The Ledge

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I’m on the verge of letting go today. There’s no way to pretty it up or sugar-coat the amount of pain I am in, both physically and emotionally. I’ve had enough. Reached the boiling point. Feel as though I am trapped in a maze of never-ending bullshit, and I cannot take another second of this.

Over the past two days I’ve accessed my life and come to this conclusion: apart from my responsibilities and loyalties; my life is meaningless. Well, and truly, meaningless. If I were bleeding on the rug, someone would attend to the stain, but they wouldn’t even notice that a body was present. That’s the truth, whether some people are willing to believe it or not, or admit to it. I’ve witnessed too much to feel or believe otherwise.

I have been in a bad place for so many months now and not a single person has so much as noticed. The selfishness in my presence knows no bounds. There’s zero warmth, care, concern, or love present. And quite frankly, I’m sick of it.

I’ve been in tears on and off for almost three days. No one has noticed, said a word to me, asked me if they could help, NOTHING. This is what it feels like to be “the invisible girl”.

While preparing a salad Saturday afternoon, I banged my right hip into the handle for the drawer next to me. It wasn’t anyone’s fault, but it hurt as if I’d just had the bone yanked out of its socket. I actually bit back 95% of what I truly felt physically in that moment, but I was admonished for being “dramatic”. Please, feel this pain for a week and then tell me how “dramatic” I’m being. Clearly, you don’t know true pain.

I am genuinely experiencing the whole “Princess & The Pea” phenomenon, which is not uncommon when you suffer from an autoimmune disorder that revolves around pain. This particular issue is killing me. I can feel every spring in a mattress in such a painful fashion that I want to hurl it out a window. I “wake up” each morning in stiff, agony. Nine out of ten nights, I haven’t truly slept, I’ve simply given up and taken to lying still, in tears, praying for the pain to stop.

I’ve taken over a hundred Aleve in the past month in the hopes that it will provide some small measure of relief, but it never does. I’ve also taken nearly an entire bottle of Ibuprofen because every flare-up makes me feel like an anti-inflammatory MIGHT help “this time”. The pain is maddening, and constant. I hurt so badly each day that I contemplate walking into the middle of traffic, not caring if I get hit or not. My only issue there is that I’d likely survive and remain in worse pain, if that’s even possible. I don’t want to know, I just want this to stop.

I struggle each day to cope with the pain, with my emotions, with stress, but most of all, the pure isolation and loneliness I am forced to carry with me, because I truly am “the invisible girl”.

When I can’t do laundry, take a shower, and do five other things in the same day, I sit here in tears over the loss of life I am experiencing. I have to set alarm clocks and timers to remind me to do things, or they will never get done. I fall at least once a week. No matter how careful I am, the pain brings me to my knees.

Occasionally, I feel okay. But here, in this moment, I’d gladly take death over this agony. Just make sure Cat and Kitten are adopted into loving homes. Cat is aggressive and a bully, so I think she’d do better in a single-cat home at this stage of her life. Kitten is a sweet little angel who loves her Mommy, but doesn’t understand why I have no energy to play and run around with her. Alas, I can’t explain these things to them. All I can do is pray for better days; just not today. Today is Hell and I am burning alive.

copyright © 2017 by Lisa Marino & Blackbird Serenity LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Prayers & Tears

justlikeI contemplated being silent today because I’m not in a good mood, but I’m also too upset to pretend.

I’ve had less than five hours of sleep. I tried going back to bed an hour ago, but I am unable to focus on genuine rest. That usually means doing what I always do when there are thoughts running through my head; write.

My brother is sick. By “sick”, I do not mean he has a cold or the flu, I mean that he is going into the hospital tonight. Why wait? Because he “doesn’t want to ruin my day”. It’s not meant to make me feel guilty, he’s just utilizing God given guilt.

When I tried encouraging him to “just go” (He totally inherited the stubbornness from my Mom.), he refused, saying he could go tonight “after I celebrate”. I even offered to go with him, which he doesn’t want, not unless major surgery is being performed. He’s not trying to be dramatic, he just is. 😦 He’s also conscious of the fact that nearly every birthday I have sucks in some way, and that he’s usually the cause if I, myself, am not stuck in bed sick as a dog (in the traditional way).

Last night, he informed me of all his final plans. Plans I am meant to carry out, some of which include organ donation. I’ve had to hear people’s “final wishes” more times than I care to count, so last night was too much. My eyes are swollen from crying and my stomach hurts wondering if this is it, if some horrible health issue is going to rob me of the only remaining sibling I have left. Very real possibilities. When he got a clean bill of health three years ago, I was surprised, and relieved, but a lot has changed since then and I am sick with worry.

You know that one stubborn family member who would rather risk his/her own hearing than go to the emergency room for a horrible ear infection?! That’s my brother. Not once, not twice, but three times. The first time he did it, he did lose significant hearing in his left ear because he waited an extra day before going to the ER. The last ear infection was so bad that he now accuses me of raising my voice when I speak at a normal tone. I can whisper, he’ll say I yelled.

Today is not about me. Today is about praying for my brother and what he is going through. It is me praying that he did not have a heart attack and isn’t in congestive heart failure, and that nothing more is going on, though I suspect there is based on what he is saying hurts. Both of my Grandfathers died from heart attacks, but one died at 40, leaving behind a wife, a fifteen year old, and a five year old. My brother started taking aspirin several years ago to “prevent” that from happening to him, but he made no other changes that could have been beneficial. That’s why I’m scared for him, and that’s why I’m sick to death over this.

I will half-heartedly do some important things that need to be done this morning into the early afternoon hours, but after that, I am forcing his ass to the hospital, even if I have to drag him there by his balls. He usually hallucinates when they medicate him, so that would mean being told rather loudly that I am “trying to pull out his IV” or “embarrassing him” when all I’m doing is sitting quietly, or pacing the hall outside a room. I will spend the evening waiting to hear what his prognosis is.

No matter what you believe in, I ask that you say a little prayer today. No one deserves to lose a loved one and no one as young as my brother deserves to go through this.

copyright © 2015 by Lisa Marino & Blackbird Serenity LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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Bright, Blue, and Dark

10418355_391119307742525_1244338325782921632_nDespite what the Migraine app claims, I slept horribly (hours don’t count unless it’s quality sleep). Under normal circumstances the fact that I took two Benadryl for my allergies would mean I would have gotten an extra 2-3 hours of sleep. Alas, around 5:00 a.m. I was haunted by Case Study #2. Note To Self: Change locks and murder anyone that wakes you three times in one night for their own selfish reasons. By sometime after 6:00, I was awake, pissed off, and hungry. Thank God for awesome leftovers because that’s all I was craving this morning. When you haven’t made something in several years, having it after so long is like a homecoming. I wanted to celebrate the happiness that was occurring in the kitchen. 🙂 However, I’m not in the mood.

Despite bright blue skies vividly showing off the start to an early Fall, my mood is dark. I would love to say “Oh, it’s just Monday blues.”, but I know that’s not it. I’d love to say “It’s just the holiday bothering me.”, but that isn’t it either. Normally those might have been the lies one would tell themselves to get through a bad day, instead of honoring the fact that some days aren’t good, and that’s okay. We don’t wake up every single day feeling our best, or wanting to cast that cloud on others. I often say my mood first thing in the morning will determine my day, and that’s true. If I wake up on a mission, then I’ll slowly, but surely get things done. If I wake up feeling sick, or in a terribly low mood, then it’s often best to keep my mouth shut and my mood to myself. The last thing I want to do is lose my temper in public.

Because today is a holiday, it is often solemn. I normally read, keep a low profile, maybe talk to someone via phone or e-mail, but basically I keep to myself until the holiday is over. Unfortunately, that’s how most of my days are, minus the minor socialization and reading. I have so much to do and the stress is weighing heavily on me. I know that it will all get done, but man, all I want to do is crawl into a cave today and be left to my own devices.

It is extremely difficult not to feel insignificant in God’s eyes when you are going through difficult things with minimal support. But then you look in the mirror and you realize that ultimately, you support yourself. You look in your eyes and say “No matter what, I’ve got this. We’re going to be okay. We’re going to rise above everything. Hell, we’re going to fly.”

copyright © 2015 by Lisa Marino & Blackbird Serenity LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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Mondays…The Bane Of My Existence

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Maybe it is lack of quality sleep or the fact that I woke up stressed, but this particular Monday is making me ill. The eerie quietness was giving off a lovely early Sunday morning vibe, which was helping calm my nerves…until the mowing and trimming started, AGAIN. I’ve had a migraine since last night, so the sound is like a never-ending sickness within me. I didn’t realize it until just now, but the smell is also murdering my sinuses. Spring allergies on top of all this physical pain AND a migraine? It’s unbelievably cruel.

The migraine is never truly gone. It will lull me into a false sense of security and then come slamming back, making me feel like my brain is being rattled. Has anyone received successful Botox treatment for their migraines? If so, please share your experiences with me.

Originally, I had some semblance of a plan for today. I had ideas laid out for work and I will definitely begin the process of writing certain things, but I’m realizing right now that some serious self-care is also in order. Today is going to be one of the hottest days that I’ve seen in quite some time, topping out at either under 90 degrees or over, so I think my first order of business before it kicks into high gear is to start hydrating, and to refill the Brita pitcher as a precautionary measure. Heat and I don’t mix well. In my mind’s eyes, it’s a “Wicked Witch melting” moment.

Something about the heat always makes me sick. It affects my entire body (pain, stress, stomach issues) and it exhausts me to the point where I will close my eyes and wake up five hours later. Like many things, the heat does Fibromyalgia no favors. It irks me that a person can’t spend five minutes educating themselves about Fibromyalgia, or any chronic illness, but when you explain that you’re sick, their response is selfish and self-centered, with claims of also having it. And yet, when they describe the pain they experience, you know their journey has yet to even take place because, while it may have been diagnosed, it is the utmost of mild for them. They don’t have to spend a week in bed after two days of serious activity. The only thing they do experience is widespread pain, but it’s not constant. Well, unless you’re on a morphine drip, Fibro is a constant. There are over 100 symptoms and side effects, but if you’ve only got one or two of them, I have a hard time relating because I score over 85 on the list, and that’s extremely disturbing to me. This disease is robbing me of my youth and energy in ugly ways.

So, if I don’t do or say something today that you expected, please forgive me. I’m waging war, both physically and mentally. I don’t have time for frivolous nonsense.

copyright © 2015 by Lisa Marino & Blackbird Serenity LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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Guess I Missed The Boat…

I suspect this might be the case.
I suspect this might be the case.

Happy Monday everyone. If you’ve been deluged by an obscene amount of snow, I’m sure it is anything but happy. Temperatures in the red, even if only via wind chill, are murderous. Keep warm, be safe, and don’t overdo it with the shoveling. Too many people are telling me about back, knee, and shoulder injuries from the mountains of snow they’ve had to deal with in one way or another, and I don’t want anyone else to get hurt.

This morning I was greeted by a dark, grey day. It sort of suits my mood at the moment. No, I’m not upset about anything or feeling down, nor am I angry at anything or anyone (Yes, these days DO happen.). I’m just tired, despite nine hours of sleep, and I have a migraine that could take down twelve horses and a head of cattle.

I start a new job in a few days, which I hope will be promising since this person has already asked me to be her permanent editor. In the meantime, I’m focusing on me. Today is “rest your head” day. I can’t even think straight much less focus on anything that requires fine motor skills.

I’ll try to answer e-mail and some messages this afternoon into the evening, but right now I’m cooking lunch. I’ve got peppers roasting in the oven, I’ve already made the sauce, and in the last stages of the peppers cooking, I’ll toss in some mushrooms since they’re quick to cook. After that I simply have to boil water for veggie pasta. YUM! I know I will feel better once I’ve had a hot meal. This was the quickest thing I could think of that wasn’t breakfast food and wouldn’t nauseate me when I’m already sensitive to smell. I’m nursing tea and have taken something for said migraine from hell. Hopefully by tomorrow, I will feel like a new woman. 🙂

I’m diligently preparing new posts for all of you. I am going to warn people in advance that some of the subject matter might be sensitive, and a lot of it truly IS. I am going to put warnings up that way no one happens upon something they truly don’t want to hear, see, read, etc. This is not a place for negativity, but it is a place for honest, open discussions. The things I write about aren’t for everyone and they do not apply to all, but I’d rather be myself and speak my mind as opposed to writing nonsense or untruths.

In a nutshell, I think it’s important to adhere to the core of who you are. When you know you’re right, don’t let anyone ever try to talk you out of who you are.

copyright © 2015 by Lisa Marino & Blackbird Serenity LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

A Hard Week Ahead

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A Hard Week Ahead

Seven years ago this week, my father passed away. He bravely battled various forms of cancer for 15 years. Eight years “clear”, cancer resurfaced. It continued to be a battle on and off for the remainder of his life, which ended at age 63. Way too young. From year-to-year, I have mixed emotions about the relationship I had with him and a thousand other little, and not so little, things.

On a whole, this is an extremely hard time of year for me. I know for some people, they bury a loved one and after a few months or maybe a year or two, they don’t think about it much. However, I’ve been burying people damn near my entire life. I have next to no immediate family left, and unfortunately two members of my family have really pissed me off over the past few weeks, this was exacerbated early this morning to the point of me seeing blood. Extended family pisses me off, period, but I’ll save that story for another day.

Some people have trouble with the word “No.” or, “It’s 12:30 a.m., I JUST fell asleep, I am in agonizing pain, LEAVE ME ALONE until later. Let me fucking sleep!” I think they’re simple, honest statements and requests, but apparently some people struggle with comprehension. If I tell a person at 8:30 PM that I am going to bed, then I strongly encourage them to leave me the hell alone unless their issues fall into one of the following categories.

A) You are bleeding and I am the only person within a 10 mile radius that can help save your life.

B) You’re on fire and need me to help put it out.

C) You need to be bailed out of jail, and in truth there’s not much I can do until morning any way, so leave a message and call back in the morning. Provide pertinent info, I will find you. Believe it or not, they DO allow you more than ONE phone call.

D) You are drunk and have no money for a cab. I will send one your way.

E) Someone has died, in which case, please leave a message because I really do need to sleep to be able to handle this in the morning.

I think those are pretty fair categories, but some people are anal-retentive and cannot listen to simple instructions. Consider what constitutes a TRUE emergency by emergency standards and proceed accordingly.

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My second family issue is with a person not thinking before they speak, talking down to me, being disrespectful regarding someone they do not know, and making demands that I find over the top for someone who has not known me their entire life. Moreover, after well over 10 days of pure silence from my end, they call or e-mail acting like NOTHING is wrong, but they include an additional demand that just plain makes you want to smack them.

Generally, if I don’t respond to an e-mail within a few days, it probably means I am BUSY. I do work and I DO have a life, but in some rare cases, I am ignoring you for a while so that I don’t tell you exactly where to fly and how high. 98% of the time, it’s truly just the fact that I am busy. I almost always call people back if they’ve left me a message, BUT if I don’t call you back within 1-7 days and have repeatedly explained that I am not feeling well and that I am going through some heavy shit, respect that answer and stop shoving yourself down my throat.

Unless you are my brother, Aunt, or one of my dearest friends don’t EVER call me at 10:00 a.m. on Thanksgiving Day and assume I am “spending the day all alone” because that’s how your day is going. I hate assumptions, you know what people say about them, so just DON’T. By the way, I was COOKING, so I didn’t have time to reach over and spend the next 7 hours “chatting”. I think my days of speaking to people I barely even like are 100% OVER. If I take the time to call someone myself, it’s genuinely because I want to speak to them, care about them, and like/love them. The list gets shorter by the day.

On an entirely different subject, it is starting to annoy me when people use languages I don’t speak as a means of “good wishes”. English is my first language. I am well know for saying thank you in Italian on a consistent basis, no matter where I am. I am also well known for answering the phone in Italian, Spanish, or Russian. These are simply things I do, BUT it’s not out of an attempt to annoy someone. In fact, I try not to do it all the time because I understand it can be annoying on the flip-side too. So why would you constantly do it to someone when you KNOW they don’t speak the language you’re using?

I have yet to decide whether or not to say something about it. In fact, the “demand of the day” is that I speak to the previously aforementioned person right about the time I plan on making dinner tonight. Mind you, I was not asked about MY schedule, simply INFORMED that she’d be calling between one time and another because that’s when she’d be home from all of her appointments today. I had a hard time not responding with “I’m NOT speaking to you right now.” I really want to tell her off, but I think it’s best said in a few weeks when I’m calmer. I really want to make a great meal tonight and do some Chanukah prep, so I definitely think pointing out all of these things is best kept for a post-holiday discussion. In fact, I think it’s good karma to rid myself of it before the end of the year.

If I’ve repeatedly said this is a hard time of year for me, you can either be supportive and back off, or simply let me know you’re available if I need to talk, but you don’t need to be a monkey on my back. I don’t respond well to tacky aggressiveness.

As we go into the holidays, do you have any family members that drive you absolutely insane and/or make crazy demands of you and your time? Or invite themselves over when you truly don’t want to be bothered? Please let me know how you deal with this insanity in the comments section.

copyright © 2014 by Lisa Marino & Blackbird Serenity LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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