Stopping By

Hello, everyone! It’s been a while, and under normal circumstances I might apologize, but the truth is; that’s not necessary.

It’s been a very rough period of time for me, and as a direct result, this has affected my health in some very serious ways, which I am trying to reconcile. It’s not simple. I am coming off a few weeks of two doctors dismissing my concerns, triggering me into a very dark place, and me coming away angry and triggered into a place where I’m determined to fix the feelings and my approach. I’m lucky to have one doctor who takes me seriously and validates what I’m saying, how I make decisions, etc. That helps, but my support system is nil. I have noticed, more than ever, how people come to me with their thoughts, feelings, pain, and problems, but rarely, if ever, ask if I’m okay or if I need anything. The stronger you are as a person, the less people think you are actually in need of anything. 2020 showed me people’s true colors and 2021 has shown me their level of selfishness and privilege.

Those are two things I will never grasp; coming from such a profound sense of privilege that you actually believe the world revolves around you AND the selfishness of others. I’m the polar opposite. I know what I am most grateful for in this world and that there are privileges attached to that, but as a person, I am not selfish and would want to rip my own throat out if ever I came off as privileged. That’s genuinely not how I operate.

I have struggled for over a decade with how invisible I seem to be. I’m struggling with other issues, as well, and I speak to someone about these things and I do the damn work. That’s my responsibility to myself, and to others. Not to come from a place of ignorance or selfishness.

I realize I’ve reached a new level of fed up. Burnt out. Severe Insomnia. My stress levels could kill me. And yet, a doctor had the audacity to ask me yesterday what in the world I have to be stressed about. She can have an answer when she finally learns my damn name!

We’re all going through something; some more so than others. I’ve been hard at work on various projects which I’m not sharing information on just yet, but one of those projects in particular has been my saving grace over the past two and a half weeks. It has been my catharsis. It has been every bit of my truth. Think a novel can’t be finished in that time? Think again. A solidly good idea means the story will flow. I don’t normally write things of that nature from start to finish, but this one has worked out differently. Over two hundred pages and closing in on 85,000 words in the final draft. I am extremely proud of how therapeutic this experience has been. It will go out into the world in a month or so, and I’ll see who is willing to publish it. It is the most honest, authentic, fair, reasonable, and emotional piece of fiction I’ve ever read, or written. But once it leaves my carefully crafted storytelling, I am on to the next project. That’s my new rule. Write, sell, and keep writing. Sell your brilliance, but keep some on hand because the world needs it.

I wish I had more to say in the moment, but I’m keeping things very close to the chest at the moment; much like a deck of cards. It is unfortunate I have to adhere to those rules, but they have served me well.

I will be back as soon as possible. Maybe I’ll have more to share then.

Wishing you all the best for now,

Check In

Is it really Thursday? AGAIN? My best friend and I say this every week, especially if we don’t get a few hours to chat about what’s going on in our lives. Factor in a seven hour time difference. I won’t lie; there are many moments when I have almost crawled into bed and stayed up because she was messaging me as I was about to turn my phone off for the night. What’s a little lost sleep between the bonds of friendship?

This week took its toll on me. Neurologically, I’m not looking forward to having, “the serious talk” with my doctor next week. But I have to, because everything I’m experiencing is indicative of a stress related breakdown or a possible stroke. When I’ve brought these issues up to both my primary care physician and my neurologist, both of them refused to order tests, deeming them, “unnecessary”, and proceeded to ignore my suffering. I’m putting my foot down and demanding an fMRI of my brain to rule out specific issues.

My mother had half a dozen strokes, and because they don’t always show correctly in women with precise indicators, we didn’t know about them until after tests were run and doctors were shocked that none of them had been serious. I remember the first one quite clearly, because she nearly hit a newly planted tree and I was with her. We both thought she’d had an anxiety attack. I talked her down, got her cold water and a tiny dose of anti-anxiety meds. She said the medication helped immensely, so she believed it was anxiety. Fast forward two hours later when the police showed up to ask her where she’d been and if she’d hit a tree, because some asshole called it in, but didn’t bother to come out and make sure either of us was all right. I have to wonder about the priorities of a person like that. Ultimately, nothing came of it; there was no damage to her car and no damage to the tree, unless you count some earth getting moved around (I thoroughly checked it all before we left.), but as I have thought about that day many times, I am experiencing some of the same brain related issues and it’s scary. Language issues, where I type not in English, but in another language entirely, or where my brain scrambles the words I use in my daily vernacular, is difficult for someone like me, who prides herself on her memory and her skill set. Generally, I type with zero typos or spelling errors, but now, I am having to retrace my steps through everything because I find the most basic mistakes. One has to be concerned about their brain when they are experiencing such troubling symptoms.

A close friend is trying to help me navigate this mess, from another state, and while I appreciate the bits of guidance and encouragement, I also get annoyed at times because I don’t want to be anyone’s pet project. I should not have to fight this hard for proper medical care. No one should have to endure this.

Add in a month long migraine, vertigo attacks, balance issues, and a lot of neck and shoulder pain, and I’m basically a husk. One day, I will have better news.

For now, I thought I’d check in. It’s the equivalent of sticking my head into a room and then ducking out gracefully. 😉

Amid all this craziness, I am doing the final revision on a novel. I cracked 150,000 words, and realize this is an achievement all by itself, but I’m still polishing the diamond (because it needs polishing, and a few more facets.). The character development has far exceeded my expectations and I’m pleased with the new material I’ve written, and what I’ll continue to write as I head toward the finish line. I’ve also done some writing on the psychological thriller, which I feel good about. I chose to do it to challenge myself, and I’m so glad I listened to that voice that told me, “You have a story to tell.” Those characters are developing at a slower pace, but they will get there. In between, I’ve been focused on a lengthy piece about racism and then, I began writing about a few incidents which occurred earlier this week. When I get mad, I make sure I am doing something constructive to get it out of my system, and help others think or look at it from a different point of view. I don’t write anything I don’t feel is valuable to others, so hopefully, upon completion, these pieces will make an impact on someone. Both will be submitted to magazines. I have an additional creative idea for my followers, so stay tuned. I am determined to make major changes this year, and I’ve been doing a lot behind the scenes. 🙂

Someone had the audacity to make it sound like writers don’t actually do any, “real work”, and they, quite stupidly, said it to me, as if that kind of thing is acceptable. Not understanding something does not mean you get to insult it. It’s a good thing we’re still social distancing, or someone would be missing their face.

If this person knew how hard I worked (sometimes for 16+ hours with no real break), with no guaranteed salary, they would be in a psychiatric wing, because what I do is not simple, easy, or lesser. Writing is a high form of art. It’s not black and white. It is full of grey area, and I tend to drown myself in the grey most of the time. I am a writer because I have talent, a voice, and I know how important it is to use that voice on the right platforms, at the right time. I’m not trying to be funny or force humor, which is usually when people find me hilarious. When I’m serious, sometimes people think I’m kidding and they laugh even harder. Other times, I’m genuinely kidding and people think I’m serious. <shrugs> This person doesn’t seem to grasp that if you insult me, I will work harder and, eventually, make you cry for your disrespect. What’s worse? The fact that they don’t grasp that it is an insult to begin with.

As such, I will now return to work. Then I’ll catch some sleep. Wish me luck!

Buena notte,

What Are You Looking For In A Therapist?

You’ve seen the title of this piece, so let me start by saying this question has been asked of me by my doctor, and it’s a long story. Overall, my best response was, “Someone who isn’t an asshole. Someone who isn’t going to waste my time, and someone whose office I will not leave more furious than when I went in.” If you’ve never dealt with a therapist before, believe me when I say these are supremely honest, reasonable requests. Then I noted my history and realized how much this traumatizes me, repeatedly.

I began talking with psychiatrists and therapists around age twelve or thirteen, as a way to combat the damage I was experiencing at home, with an abusive, controlling father. The first doctor was fired after roughly two sessions, in which he threatened to hospitalize me at the first appointment because I didn’t care to talk to him. “If you don’t change your behavior, I will hospitalize you.” First time meeting me, barely knew a thing about me, and he was already making undue threats. That’s called, “abuse of power”. There’s not a single mental health professional who should be threatening their patients. That’s illegal and, depending on the personality they are dealing with, quite dangerous. He had already openly admitted of being afraid of meeting up with someone like me in a dark alley, but he made no attempt to connect or get to know me and what I was going through.

To provide helpful background, I was in no danger of harming myself or others, but he saw fit to disrespect me, to call my mother names when he asked her to leave the room for a short period of time to “chat” with me (Asking me about her personality and disrespecting her for seeking out help for her child. Yeah, that didn’t sit well with me. To this day, despite the fact that my mother has been gone almost thirteen years, if someone disrespects her or speaks negatively about her, they might end up choking on their own teeth. I tend to warn people in advance, but I only warn you once.), and when I told her precisely what was said behind closed doors, she called and cancelled the following appointment, letting him know I would not be returning. He had the audacity to call her and ask why I didn’t show up for my appointment, pretending he had not received notice of the cancellation. She had given him plenty of notice as to why I would not be coming back, but once he called, he opened himself up to being schooled for his horrible behavior. This first introduction to a psychiatrist, one who specialized in treating adolescents, left me scarred. I was not scared of this doctor, but I did contemplate going back to his house (he worked out of a home office) and cutting his tires. I had to return to the person who’d referred me and explain why this doctor should not be seeing anyone, leave alone children. I don’t remember his name, but I hope he rots for how he treated me. I didn’t need an abusive doctor; I already had enough abuse at home.

After that, I saw a therapist for a few years, and she was all right. At this point, I was already an established writer and I was careful with my words with her. She still assisted for a while when I moved out of state.

My next doctor wasn’t much better, except that instead of abuse or threats (or a combination of both), her answer to everything was medication. For over a year, she practically force-fed me Prozac until I put my foot down and refused to take it. I was about five foot three at the time and one hundred and twenty pounds. Antidepressants in that particular class can cause severe weight gain and other health issues. I wasn’t eating any differently, nor was I eating more often, but suddenly I was trapped in a body that wasn’t my own. If I hadn’t started out depressed, I was by the time I fired her. I spent two straight years on roughly ten different medications before I finally decided to stop seeing her. She was unreachable when not in the office, she was not helping me in any way because she had misdiagnosed me, and when my therapist at the same location left, so did I. I then spent a few years obsessed with working out in my attempt to shed the medication weight. I was working out three times a day. This doctor didn’t understand that she’d destroyed my sense of self and self-esteem. Her answer for everything was pills.

After firing several more doctors, I would end up back in session with the therapist who had left, but now had her own practice. In three years, I didn’t feel she did much for me, and when she was pregnant with her first child, she decided not to see patients any more. She left me in limbo, and I’m sure this was true for others, as well.

A year or so later, I ended up in the office of another doctor. To say he was a piece of work would be a vast understatement. Don’t assume a physician who went to three Ivy League schools is better equipped at helping you than one who went to medical school elsewhere. He was a nightmare, and my neurologist at the time had referred me to him. This doctor refused to take my mental health seriously, and wanted to put me into some kind of “day program” where I would interact with other people who suffered from varying degrees of mental illness. He thought this was the only way I’d, “get better”. He even yelled at me during an appointment in which he had to fill out a form for my insurance, which took less than ten minutes of his time at the end of a session which cost roughly $500 for an hour. Mind you, this was his charge before insurance reimbursed me. This “relationship” where he refused to help me did not last long. In fact, it lead me to a new therapist who would refer me to a psychiatrist who happened to know the previous doctor.

I was under the care of the new psychiatrist for sixteen years. His treatment was sub-par, outside of when I was in his office. When my records were requested in 2016, he actually claimed I was never under his care! After having submitted my entire chart, which was over six hundred pages, which included personal notes which never should have seen the light of day, I called him and confronted him. For sixteen years, he told me I was suffering from Bipolar I and II, mixed episode. This diagnosis was one hundred percent inaccurate.

In an attempt to help myself, I did see a therapist for six months in 2012. When I lost my insurance, she disappeared. I’m still annoyed by that because I feel like she was a good therapist for me.

When I met my current treating physician, he was astounded by how much medical neglect I had endured between doctors and inept therapists. When he handed me my new diagnosis, it was a game-changer, but it also left me devastated, because there was no way to fix any of it. The damage was done, and all we could do was treat things here and there.

The day I first met him, he disclosed he’d be leaving in a month. Our last discussion, days before he left that particular hospital, he said his biggest regret was not being able to do more to help me. This stayed with me. Upon his departure, my case was handed over to another doctor who, upon meeting me, in less than ten minutes, insinuated I was an addict because I was taking medication she didn’t approve of. This woman tried to damage my medical record as part of her vendetta, and she pursued getting me kicked out of the mental health care clinic, but I lucked out with a therapist who fought on my behalf. Unfortunately, nine months later, she would also leave that particular hospital.

I was now left with no therapist and no doctor. I signed up for waitlists with a handful of places offering therapy and either no doctor or they had someone who came in once a month to prescribe medication. After meeting with two different therapists, I lost my patience and let both of them know I would not be returning. Not long after, I bumped into my doctor in one of the medical buildings where I now go, having since changed insurance companies to one that covers a broader spectrum of things and has a larger service coverage area (the entire state, pretty much, along with parts of Rhode Island and Connecticut). In less than two weeks, I had an appointment and was “back in business”, so to speak.

My doctor actually gives a fuck about me. I am trying to keep this in mind because I’m annoyed as hell with him right now. His first attempt of setting me up with a therapist he works with crashed and burned. I wasted ten months of my life dealing with this woman, and at my very first appointment, she made the crucial mistake of threatening me. Knowing what I know about what needs to be said between clinician and patient, I tried to let it go, but I then spent the entire time waiting for her to be a better therapist, which never happened. I cancelled my last appointment with her because 1, I was going to tear her a new asshole. 2, I did not feel she would be receptive to the feedback, and more than that, did I really want her to get paid as I shredded her for being a useless therapist? No. She didn’t deserve to be paid when I was going to be angry going in and leaving. That’s not right, or fair. When I explained this to my doctor, he agreed I did the right thing by being silent, but explaining to him why it didn’t work out. She was in no way invested in my well-being, and it was obvious, especially as she repeatedly checked the clock from the second I arrived, right up until the final moments of each session.

Collectively, my doctor and I decided to shelve the pursuant of a new therapist after I called twenty different therapists, all to be told that they had full practices, which means they aren’t taking on new patients. A few had a three year waiting list to see them, and at that point, I’d had enough of the bullshit of flaky therapists.

When it came up towards the end of last year, he didn’t really have too many ideas or options for me, but was willing to keep trying. I had actually considered fighting for my out-of-network benefits to return to a previous therapist, providing she agreed.

Today is the day to go over the whole, “What are you looking for in a therapist?” question for what is hopefully the last time, and see where this goes. It gives me anxiety and makes me sick to my stomach. Because ultimately, I don’t know if I’ll ever meet a therapist and feel they are a “good fit” for me. It takes time to build trust and establish a relationship enough to be vulnerable. Anyone who truly knows me, knows I’m the least likely person in any given room to put myself in a position of weakness. I’m pretty glacial most of the time. I’m not a welcoming person; I will get to know you first. I am not overly trusting, either. These are things you have to earn with me, yet I see people give away trust like tissues all the time, and then they wonder why they’re devastated in the end.

It is so rare for me to meet anyone and feel an immediate sense of rightness, but when I do, I am much more forthcoming with them because I know I’m not being judged. Over the past year I have come to realize that, in many instances, people tell me everything about their lives, and this likely stems from being a good listener, a solid confidant, and someone people often rely on in an advisory capacity, but if asked, they would not be able to tell you much about me. This is why people often say, “Check on your strong friends.” The person who is everyone’s rock is not always okay, but by turning to them constantly, never asking about their health or life, you are diminishing them and that isn’t acceptable behavior. In fact, it’s a quick way for me to boot you out of my life. It’s not “the silent treatment”, it’s walking away from toxicity with your self-respect. That’s what I have to do to preserve my sanity at times, and I will never apologize for it.

I’ll see how this Telehealth appointment goes and make my decision from there. I know whatever happens, it will be a collaborative discussion. Having a doctor who doesn’t Lord over you is important. If you’re working on your mental health, keep this in mind through your journey.

Brightest of Blessings,

copyright © 2021 by Lisa Marino & Poison In Lethal Doses, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Where Did This Month Go?

I blinked and it is January 31st. Another mindfuck.

I’ve had a lot to say, a lot to think about, and a lot I didn’t write this month. I’d start to say something and it would irk me, so I’d draft it and move on. In the meantime, I did manage to read over sixty books this month, so it’s not all bad. That’s a damn good achievement. Most of what I read was for research purposes and it will carry into February. The goal is to educate myself on specific topics, and get the information I am looking for while I read. I don’t do a lot of leisure reading these days. There’s a method to my madness.

I had an in-office medical procedure performed last Monday. I’m mostly used to it at this point, but man did it hit me hard. I was in so much pain after the fact, I actually fell asleep (In fairness, I nearly fell asleep multiple times in the waiting room before my doctor came out to see me. The medication I take should have had me wide awake and a little off-center, but instead, I was ready to nap.), whereas after this particular procedure, I often have trouble sleeping. I am still recovering from it (Recovery is approximately two full weeks, give or take. If I didn’t have an autoimmune disease, my body would respond differently.), and also dealing with some new (to me) aspects of Fibromyalgia pain. I get rib pain on my left side a few days before any type of storm hits (rain/snow). It feels like I’ve been stabbed in the back, but if cold air hits my lungs, it makes it so much worse. When I brought this up with my doctor, he blew it off completely and told me my lung x-ray was clear. That was many months ago, and I’m still in pain and still being ignored. I have also since had a really awful sinus infection which required two different antibiotics, so when I talk to him about coughing and associated pain, I hear him not taking my concerns seriously. As per usual.

One of the positive signs, once the state of emergency is lifted (And I have no idea when that will be, as Massachusetts cases are still quite high on the North Shore.), will be when I am able to safely make an appointment with someone new, and fire my current doctor. Believe me when I say my review of him will be honest, but fair, and it might come off a bit harsh, but since becoming my doctor a little over a year ago, he has been predominantly useless on every level. I don’t need any more useless physicians; and no one deserved to feel this way when they turn to a physician for help. More than once I’ve nearly suggested he go back to medical school. I have a Telehealth appointment scheduled with him for February. Since he’s gone back and forth with me, first saying, “We will find the source of your pain.” at my first appointment (and continuing to reassure me over time that this would be achieved.), to suddenly saying, “We may never find the source of your pain.”, I feel justified that he isn’t capable of handling my case. It isn’t my fault that I suffer from something he isn’t trained to handle; but it IS a failing of his medical education. The fact that he has other patients with almost the same medical history as mine is scary. I wonder if they’re content with his treatment or if they are being treated better, worse, or about the same. This is probably the first time I’ve questioned if we’re all getting the same treatment. I’ve noticed some people are being treated better based solely on their insurance. Mine covers damn near everything, so as a physician, if you’re changing up treatment methods based on insurance, you are failing your patients. I see so much lazy medicine, it drives me insane. I shouldn’t be doing work for a doctor. That isn’t right, or fair. I work hard enough without having to do extra work.

I will be making a small list of goals for the month of February. I will choose three, to keep it reasonable.

For starters, I will be supporting the American Heart Association for American Heart Month. You’ll notice the colors change monthly for whatever I am choosing to bring awareness to. Sometimes this will mean weekly color changes. Links are included in case the charity (or charities) I choose is something you would like to give a small donation to.

I chose AHA because genetic heart disease and heart attacks have affected more than 50% of my family members, starting with my paternal Grandfather, who died at age forty of a massive heart attack. My maternal Grandfather also passed away from a heart attack. 😦 I lost my mother the same way, and nearly lost my brother a few years ago to the same genetic disorder. I’ve been mildly assured I am not carrying the gene, but I am wary about it, and worry about passing it down. For all the good genes I have, heart issues are not at the top of the list. 😦 I am doing my level best to be healthier to avoid potential issues. I am determined to be my version of healthy, as opposed to an unhealthy mental version of what health should look like.

If there are any diseases you’d like to see me feature this month (or in general), please leave me a message here, or on any of my social media platforms. I will reply.

For now, I say goodbye to January and hope February will be kinder to us all.

Bright Blessings,

copyright © 2021 by Lisa Marino & Poison In Lethal Doses, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Day One

My vibe for this year is so different. I think part of it has to do with already knowing the direction I’m heading in, and knowing I can rock it. I only left a little, “up in the air”. The rest is falling into place, as it’s supposed to, because I did a lot of work preparing for it last year.

2021 is a complete investment in myself. I wasted too much time encouraging others, so now I’m encouraging myself. I’m not seeking approval or trying to be someone I’m not. I’m going to roll with it all, pray for the best, and be prepared if things aren’t some idealized version of, “perfect”, because that’s not realistic.

It’s important to remind myself how many impossible things I have already faced, head on, and survived or achieved. Basically, this is the year for me to remind myself who the fuck I am. I don’t require approval to grow or to be my best self. I am simply going to keep my mouth shut and do it. Sort of. 😉

Of course, this also bears the ultimate question… Are you ready for it?

To Many More

I’ve been here for a little over six years (Eight years in total with WordPress), and I am proud of how this site has grown. I appreciate all the new readership that has come on board over the past few months, and in general. I wish I could hug all of you, and I’m not a hugger, so I hope you know I mean well when I say this.

I still feel like 2020 just began. I was reading something I wrote the other day, right around this time last year, and it was exactly the same in terms of what was going on from a mood standpoint. Minus any mentions of Covid, because it was only slowly becoming an issue North Americans (and most of Europe) might face. We truly had no idea what was coming our way, and I remember thinking how limited our information was, at the time. It’s disconcerting to go into another year with so many unknowns, especially since I have friends who’ve gotten sick and friends who’ve lost loved ones, as a result. I resent people claiming it’s, “like the flu” or “It’s no big deal. People just want an excuse not to go to work.” Seriously? Most people don’t have a job to go back to, and the flu has never killed anyone I know, period. The ignorance is astounding, and it starts at the top and trickles down.

The fact that we roll into another year in twelve days makes me hesitant. I’d like to err on the side of caution with this one. I don’t want to get my hopes up. As someone who tested negative for Covid, I am still concerned that if I drop my guard for a second, I could end up sick. This virus is as unpredictable as a blizzard, and equally as dangerous.

I am saying a collective prayer tonight, and I hope it keeps a lot of people safe. As for direction, I hope there are many more December 19ths where I can thank all of you, and celebrate the victories of the year.

Bright Blessings,

Pre-Thanksgiving Jitters

Hello, everyone. It’s been a minute, and the reality is, I’ve been sick for over a month. 😦 I haven’t had any real energy, and I’ve struggled with not getting enough sleep and then getting too much sleep, if too much sleep is actually a real thing. <Sigh> According to my body, it isn’t.

Fighting pain 24/7 is exhausting, let’s be clear about that. I might be the only person I know who can have caffeine in her system, or any stimulant (My normal amount is none, but extended quarantine and curfews have led to MANY changes. I keep saying I’m not myself, and I say it because it’s true. I don’t feel like myself, sound like myself, and I am definitely not behaving like the person I truly am.). and fall asleep fifteen minutes later. Not for a short period of time, either. I can be out for twelve hours straight, or longer. My body cannot seem to get enough rest no matter what I do. Yes, it’s possible I’m burnt out, but I am still concerned.

I am seemingly more allergic this year than ever before, so I’m kind of glad I ordered tissues in bulk a few months ago. If I’m not coughing, I’m sneezing. I only noticed this recently. Apparently, you can still get the mother of all colds without being around too many people. Epic suckage.

I’ll be honest; the last thing on Earth I want to do is partake in any type of traditional Thanksgiving meal. On top of having no appetite, which I will be addressing in another piece soon, I would have been totally cool making homemade pizza or anything less complicated than a turkey, stuffing, etc. So when the turkey arrived, along with other traditional items to accompany it, I was immediately nauseous. Let me be clear: I am by no means ungrateful. I know I am extremely lucky to have a roof over my head and enough food to feed my own hockey team, but I already know how time-consuming and energy consuming this type of cooking is. I felt like I had made this clear, and still, I found myself deeply annoyed, bordering on hostile, and then I settled down and decided I cannot be responsible for that which is not wholly my idea. Period. Others have the right to celebrate, even if I do not feel well enough to do so.

I have not made anything traditional for Thanksgiving in a long time, and not once did anyone complain about this. But now, my head cannot stop going over my stuffing recipe. It is actually easy to make, but thinking about it tires me out. Lots of chopping and nailing down the flavor, toss it together in a huge cooking pan, a short amount of cooking time (under two hours), and then you have enough food for a week or more. It’s my mother’s recipe. I have since tweaked it, and yet, it tastes exactly like hers. But do I want to make it, or any carb heavy dish right now? NO.

The more I factor in the realities of “Thanksgiving”, the less I want to partake in it. The historical inaccuracies to modern day truth is something I struggle with, and I know I am not alone in this.

I spent a large part of my life being told I was white, and there was always a measure of shame added to this because of the, “privilege” it may, or may not, bring with it. I am pretty sure my long form birth certificate states I am a Caucasian female, which is incorrect (and my parents were not asked for any unobvious information, either.). To be clear, I was told at a very young age that we were Russian. Eastern European. Nothing else. Blood tests and cheek swabs would tell a much larger story, and it would explain childhood dreams of countries I had never even heard of (Circa, age two), the things I would say before ever learning anything about world history, and the things I surmised from hearing different languages spoken around me. So as someone who is more rooted in her culture(s) and ancestry, “Thanksgiving” is merely a date on the calendar. And it makes me sigh, in sadness.

Someone mentioned this is the 399th Thanksgiving which will be celebrated on U.S. soil. The history of how European settlers were somehow bestowing kindness upon those who actually showed them kindness, and as a result of their arrival, brought illness and death to the Native American tribes upset me into a headspace of feeling the way I’ve felt for a long time. Un-American. And by using that particular phrase I mean, “Different.” or perhaps, “Other”. That’s the best way to explain it. Usually when someone meets me for the first time, they will describe me as, “Otherworldly”. They don’t mean I’m alien, just different to a degree they vibe with.

For me, this is another year without my Grandparents and parents, and that’s painful no matter how I look at it. It reminds me of all I’ve lost. It is another year separated from my brother, who could not be here even if he wanted to be because traveling is unsafe, and while we knew this ahead of time, we did not know traveling into New York City, even if you did not intend to stop, would require being stopped at bridges and tunnels to ensure you have a negative Covid test in hand. This requires a LOT of on the ground manpower for every out-of-state vehicle. And because of his job, I know he can’t be away for too long because he has so many professional responsibilities. I’ve come to terms with the fact that we won’t see each other for a while. If he was a better communicator, this would not be an issue, but he’s horrendous. I have a texting relationship with the asshole. And he’s likely to read this, which is fine. I do miss him, but I have no patience for him these days. And by, “him”, I mean everyone. 😉

However you are choosing to celebrate this year, I wish you good health and peace. Thank you for being on this journey with me. For that, I am incredibly grateful. 🙂

copyright © 2020 by Lisa Marino & Poison In Lethal Doses, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Friday the 13th

I’m not overly superstitious, but today was a bit much for me. I woke up with an arm injury (I am typing with my left hand. Perhaps it’s a good thing I trained myself to use it in all situations, in case I ever had a stroke.) that is painful. I’m not sure how it happened, either, so I spent the day trying to manage my pain, in between a rescheduled Telehealth appointment, and other crazy happenings. I am praying the weekend is better.

I’m trying to manage a lot at the moment, but I will be back with better material moving forward.

Have a safe weekend, and try to lead with kindness.

Launch Day

Notice anything different today? If not, you will. Change is coming in big ways, and it started this morning when I made, “Poison In Lethal Doses” a true website.

This has been in the works for a while, but I wanted to launch the site on my birthday as a constant reminder of my writing and various community achievements here, and off-line. There are excellent opportunities and positive things I will be sharing as I get deeper into each project, but for now, I celebrate the bittersweet of this launch. The timing is crucial as I try to cope with difficult emotions. Hoping for the best. Thank you for reading. 🙂

P.S. Yes, the ads are annoying AF. I apologize. Click on one, you don’t have to browse. It keeps the site running financially. If it bothers anyone too much, please let me know. I did it on purpose to monetize slightly, but I can undo it, as well. I will ultimately do what is best for my readers and myself. We can figure it out together.

Current Mood > Assumptions

I keep asking myself when a day won’t feel, “rough”, “tough”, “heartbreaking”, “emotionally taxing”, “lonely”, or “deeply upsetting”. The fact of the matter is, as someone who rarely cries, I’ve been an emotional tornado. I’ve cried so much over the past few days, and that only angers me.

In the past week I’ve nearly hyperventilated from anxiety (and being overstimulated in a small crowd. Thank you, Anthony for getting me the hell out of there!), felt re-traumatized by photos and memories, and I’ve been going to bed early to try and regulate my sleep schedule (I haven’t even factored in the pain I’m in 24/7.). I’m having weird dreams and Complex PTSD medication can only do so much. Nothing is perfect. The medication is failing and my sleep medication is waking me hours before I should ever see the light of day. I hope a few adjustments with the new medication will make a difference, but nothing is etched in stone. I try, but I don’t have much hope in these things.

The words, “chemically resistant” and “treatment resistant”, are VERY sad words to hear, even if you’ve known them to be a fact from day one. Every day, I do my part to represent the Mental Health Community honestly and openly, with no hidden agenda. I remember EVERY moment and every person who has tried to make me feel ashamed for something outside of my control. If you’ve ever felt that way, you’re NOT alone. Consider how miserable other people must be to criticize you without just cause, talk behind your back, or medication shame you in public. These people lack kindness, compassion, empathy, and basic human decency.

Last week, a suicide prevention organization reached out to me. I was actually offended by what they had to say because prior to hearing from them (An organization which should know better!), two other organizations asked me to become a Mental Health Awareness Ambassador for them. Since this is a non-paid position, I told each of them to contact me directly if they wanted to pursue this (They didn’t.). I am already a card-carrying green ribbon ambassador. If someone wants me to be the face of something, then they need to know my time is worth being paid for. I paid my dues a LONG time ago and will not work for free. I’m not new to this experience, nor am I newly diagnosed. I’ve suffered my way through life and, somehow, probably out of sheer stupidity, I am still here.

To those who’ve been treating me like my friendship, love, loyalty, kindness, and time are expendable; FUCK YOU. You get what you give. I was fine before you ever came along and I will survive without you. Please know this.

I’m not okay. I’ve been clear about this. Maybe this level of brutal honesty will help others.

**If you’re struggling with mental health issues, and you aren’t sure where to go, please message me. I will provide information for your area.**