From One Chapter To The Next

I wanted to pause and take a moment to thank all of you for being here. We live in troubling times and our worlds are fast-paced and driven my headlines and social media. Taking a moment out of your busy day to read whatever it is I have written or shared means so much to me. The likes and e-mails do not go unnoticed. I find the e-mails especially touching because they are so unexpected.

I know my social media aesthetic is quite different from that of most people. This month marks my tenth year with WordPress, and I have actually had many of you as friends in real life from day one. That is special and I have immense gratitude for it all. I take nothing for granted.

This year was challenging for me, and for so many others. At times, I didn’t write here because I was so focused on manuscripts. So determined to tell beautiful, complicated, fantastic stories. My attention has since shifted. Don’t get me wrong; I have plenty of drafts for a lifetime, millions of thoughts, and a trillion ideas. That’s simply how my mind works. In a little over two months, I have found myself wanting to return to who I was long before I ever started out by taking print format online.

In late October, my closest friends heard me say, “I feel like myself again. I feel like New York City Lisa.” She is a different beast, indeed. I missed her. She is truly a force to be reckoned with. I missed having a purpose every single day. Even if it meant making enemies, instead of friends. I was my most unapologetic self, but I have grown. The same person exists, but I am stronger. I missed the real me, who often felt neutered by society and over-dramatic, unimportant nonsense. This person sounds like an alter ego, but that’s not it at all. It’s the real me.

When I first took my work online, my goal was to remain authentic and true. I do feel I’ve done that and I am proud of pretty much everything I’ve written, no matter how difficult or painful it may have been. There were many days and nights where I typed beautiful things through hysterical tears.

I am not a crier. I am deeply private. I love my autonomy. I love writing. I love putting ink to paper, but find it harder to pick up a pen these days due to early arthritis from repetitive typing. Other writers know what I mean; we feel it when we take a break. I love Blonde Espresso in my Cold Brew, but I also like simpler things. I love rainy days. I love snow days that don’t last too long, but just long enough that I’ve had a massive cup of Earl Grey. I love first edition books, music, and well-made films. And most importantly, I LOVE having a passion for what I do. It’s crucial to my existence.

I’ve been a writer longer than I care to admit. The majority of my life has been spent in front of various computers, typing all kinds of prose. There is power to using words properly, and while I will absolutely continue to write, I have also decided to go back to doing something I love. Something I am amazing at. It’s all about the right time and the right opportunity. There’s one of my intentions for 2023. It’s time to take back what’s second nature to me. Stay tuned!

Wishing you all a very safe, happy, and healthy New Year! Please don’t drink and drive.

copyright © 2022 by Lisa Marino-Molchanova & Poison In Lethal Doses, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Don’t Come For What You Don’t Understand

Authors Note: I don’t want to write this. It’s way too personal, and deeply private, but I feel it is my responsibility to punch this subject matter in the face. I have to speak up. I am omitting the names of the innocent. I am protecting the people I value most. But I’m also speaking up for everyone when I say that a lot of what I’ve come across would break most people. That’s why this needs to be said, especially during a time when we talk about suicide prevention. No one is immune. I am doing my best to be culturally sensitive, but ultimately, these are my feelings and views. Thank you for reading.

For the past six months, if not longer, I’ve heard a lot of ugly, racist, hateful, sick negativity targeted at someone I love. It is not my first experience with this (The criticism, itself.), but it is from a purely racial standpoint, and I’m not here for it. It makes me rabidly ill, which quickly turns to anger. Anger fuels me to be a better, smarter person, and I’ve mentioned this before, but it can easily get out of hand, too. I am extreme, and you will see that here. I’m not apologizing for it. In fact, as I move forward, I make no apologies for my honesty.

In situations like this, where someone I value is being attacked, you’re dealing with a dragon. I go from zero to one hundred in such a tiny sliver of time, and I legitimately don’t care if the person talking shit survives my wrath. You run your mouth, and I’m going to shove your foot back down your throat until you’re choking on your hip bone. I do not come to play with assholes, so check yourself before you start anything with me. This girl will not eat insults politely with a knife and fork. I’m far more inclined to put the fork in your hand.

(Potential Spoiler Alert for Homeland)

Has anyone seen the second season of Homeland when Quinn sticks a knife in Brody’s hand? First time I saw it was with my brother. He turned to me and said, “Oh, my GOD, YOU would totally do that!” It’s true. My patience level is always on thin ice, and right now, it’s barely present. I openly admit that recent events have caused my hostility and filter to break free. Something triggered this to happen. Under normal circumstances, I am not quite as vicious. Regardless of what occurred, I know precisely who I am. I will not be shamed in speaking my truth, or in using my voice and platform in the correct way.

I am the nicest, most loyal, rudest, meanest person you will ever meet, and when you come for what you do not understand, and it happens to be someone I love, I’m going to come at you HARD. You’re not going to see the sniper, because you’ve already underestimated her. That was your second mistake.

A while ago, I came across someone who made a completely unjustified comment. It was NOT an opinion; it was wholly racist and untrue. Please, don’t make public comments on social media when you’re not sure who will come across your words in five minutes, or in this case, four years later. You bet your ass I went in for the kill. I was angry, and I didn’t care how the other person might or might not respond; he needed to be put in his place.

I waited for the hostility to come back at me, because I had actually been warned not to say anything, do anything, comment, or fight. “Just let it go.” 🙄 Excuse him. He’s new here, and doesn’t realize I shoot to kill; he will adjust. The same way I have to, except this isn’t my first rodeo. I know what I’m doing.

There was silence for a while, and a few days later, I received an apology. The person actually said, “Looking back on this, I am cringing so hard right now. It was completely uncalled for and borderline racist.” Borderline?! No, it was presumptuous and one hundred percent racist AF. That’s precisely why I called him out on it. He apologized to me multiple times, but the gist is, calling someone a, “drug addict who will just sit around and not do their job”, is not okay to say about anyone, but it’s especially wrong to say publicly about someone you do not fucking know.

I pulled no punches. I said, “This comment is completely baseless and untrue.” Putting the words, “drug addict” into a sentence with no verifiable proof, and using it to describe a specific person, is slander and character assassination. Dude was lucky-ish. I don’t care what device you’re hiding behind, the right person can get an IP address so that you are issued a cease and desist on a comment of that magnitude. This is genuinely not my first experience handling things of this nature. You can’t make a dangerous statement and pretend it’s a fact. There are rules.

The Internet makes people fucking stupid, because they are hiding behind a false sense of security which makes them truly feel powerful in how they talk about anything, except they are fucking up in epic ways. People like to claim it’s freedom of speech. Libel is not freedom of speech. Slander and character assassination is not freedom of speech. Our forefathers didn’t have the foresight to include the words, “Freedom to be a fucking douchebag.”, written into the constitution. Yes, I’m being sarcastic. I know full well there’s a limit to freedom of speech, and I always have because, as a writer, I have to shut the fuck up sometimes, too. I could very stupidly name-drop and lose everything, and good writers know NOT to do that. For those who don’t understand that there are limits, I feel sorry for you.

I politely replied to this person, “I am glad you are seeing the error of your ways, even though it’s been a few years. Thank you for owning how awful what you said is, without making excuses. I appreciate it and your desire to correct it. I hope that, moving forward, you will think before you make a comment like this again. Since it bothers you now, it can be deleted.” A few days later, it was gone, but this girl kept the receipts. My mother didn’t raise a fool.

Every single day, I say I’m not going to do this. I’m not going to look, and then I do. I began writing this after walking away from some of the worst things I’ve heard and seen. We’re talking many months building up. I was deeply hurt. Incredibly angry, and ferociously protective. I was ready to scream.

These are not my automatic reactions in situations of this nature, but after so many months of this crap, I was outright ready for war. In my head, a lot of people no longer have vocal cords with which to vocalize their fucked up, racist crap, and they are also missing their hands, so they can’t type heinous shit about a human being who they think they have some ownership over.

I’m not sorry to say this, but slavery is fucking over in this country, and anyone who thinks people should be kept as slaves in any way, shape, or form should be shot on sight. I’ve never made my aggressive personality a secret. I am genuinely tired of this, and yes, I’ve been asked, “Don’t do this. Let it go.” If I sit here loving someone and I say NOTHING, then I am just as bad as everyone else in this world who will ignore a racial attack and/or hate crime. I am many things, but I’m not a fucking hypocrite.

At the core of who I am is incredibly fierce loyalty. My closest friends and family benefit from this strength. I’m not outwardly hostile, until you push me, and don’t realize there were boundaries in place, and then, out of nowhere, the New York comes out of me. You watch me morph into a person you might not know. Sometimes, I’m not sure I know her, either, but I can feel and hear the difference. My body language changes, and so does the tone of my voice. People are generally too stupid to realize a shift has occurred, which is part of the problem. If I allow myself to be silenced, then the hate wins. I refuse to be the kind of person who allows it to win.

I’ve had to tone it down a lot in this particular situation because I am protective. Irrationally so. I’ve got no chill left because it’s not a shitty comment or two, they are all racially charged, hateful, and so negative that you can’t pull back from that. I try. I do. I would love to block it all out, and sometimes I can, but other times I will see key words and my brain lights up with rage. Why else would I be awake after three o’clock in the morning writing something of this nature? It wasn’t because my response to hate is positive; that’s for damn sure.

In October, I read something completely unrelated to this, and just about lost my mind with anger because the comment was so racist, I couldn’t stand it. And yes, I defended the person who was targeted because it keeps coming up, and I don’t deem it respectful or fair.

Let me be supremely clear, assuming all biracial or multiracial men are the same person, look the same, think the same way, believe the same exact things, speak the same way, grew up the same way, etc., that’s completely off base. Why do people feel the need to go there? It’s UGLY and disrespectful. The biracial man with blue eyes is not the same person who is biracial with two white parents, and who rarely points out the fact that he’s biracial at all. If you’re making a stupid remark, you’re reaching, and it’s not acceptable. Why does this need to be talked about? Because it’s racist; that’s why! I’m not the person I know I am if I don’t call it out for what it is.

The exact comment that pushed me too far was, “They’re both biracial, predominantly white, so they’re the same person. They’re half-human.” There was another sentence in there which I will not repeat because the mere thought makes steam come out of my head. My, “WHAT THE FUCK?” radar went OFF like a bullet in a gun. I stepped back, because I knew full well I was going to be meaner than a hornet’s nest. And even in my calmest moment, my words still hit the target with intended precision.

Whenever I step up, which I do constantly in my personal life, people think political references are offensive. They’re actually pathetic. They show me your character.

“You’re just a white liberal. You’re what’s wrong with this country.” Yes, this was said to me. No, this person had no clue what I look like. It’s presumptuous, at best, and highly inaccurate.

“White people have hero complexes.” Really? Tell me more, you racist scum bag.

“Okay leftie.” was another ridiculous comment made to me, and completely off-base. Do people realize you can stand up for others, and simply be a decent human being? Race does not have to get involved when it comes to right versus wrong, and rarely will I make something political. It’s unnecessary. People say it to incite, most of them probably don’t even vote and likely never have. Honesty does not make you right or left, it just means you’re intolerant of bullshit.

Do all the non-Trump supporters think using the term, “illegals” is acceptable? There were people running for office in the state of Massachusetts who were actively using this word like it’s socially acceptable, and several of them are black. Color me mortified as hell! Let’s get really honest here: We live on Native American land. Raise your hand if you’re native to America. If you’re not native to a tribe, you’re not native. You were born in America; and we need to address that, too. You can research this fact. You want to talk about colonization?! Let’s start there. My family came here for a better life and they helped build the better part of New York City; but they did not colonize the five boroughs of New York.

Unfortunately, as I began writing this, I noticed things in my own life which I definitely have enormous questions about, because I see it as part of the problem, as opposed to part of the solution. To start, my core friend group doesn’t have a diverse group of friends around them. I noticed this a lot over the past two years, and it galls me. Probably because I grew up very differently and conduct myself in a different fashion to this day.

My white friends don’t seem to have people of color in their lives, and if they do, they will often brag about it like it makes them less racist. Someone I know was dating a person of color, and she kept mentioning where he was from, almost as if he represented something to her. I know he did, because within a few weeks, she was suddenly pregnant and having a shotgun wedding to a white guy. I am not kidding when I say it was weeks, either. If you have to announce where a person you are in a relationship with is from (Let’s use India, as an example.), then you’re harboring some racist tendencies and should look into that. Otherwise, your friends are your friends, regardless of where they come from, or the color of their skin, and the people you’re in relationships with are people. I don’t use labels. I never say, “This is my African friend.” That’s completely inappropriate, and highly disrespectful. “This is my friend,” along with their name, is how you introduce someone. If people want to get to know one another and there are follow-up questions, that is completely different. Yes, if their questions are rude, I’m going to bat for whoever I just introduced you to. I don’t stand for ignorance.

Second, my visibly black and brown friends sort of stick together, but not necessarily, and they will occasionally exclude others as if they might become contaminated. I am accepted into the circle of trust because I am an accepting sort of person. I’ve always fit in with diversity, and as someone who often stands out, there are good and bad aspects to this.

The majority of my Asian friends (Not all.) only seem to have Asian friends, and that scares me. I know it stems from growing up in a very specific cultural level of acceptance. I know they are looking to their parents and the tight-knit community in which they grew up in, but it’s such a stark contrast that I couldn’t help but see it clearly. You’re adults now, and should broaden your horizons. Learn from one another and grow.

I am the odd person out in my friend group because I am not one thing, and one thing only. I use the word, “multiracial” because it is the most accurate description I can give. I also use the descriptor, “multicultural”. More than twenty flags make up my ancestry, with approximately five countries coming up as the most dominant in my genes. I know what you’re thinking; she’s Jewish and Jews are not a race. Someone didn’t do their homework if they’re reading this and thought it, if even for a second.

Jews are an ethno-religious group, a people, a nation, and an ancient bloodline descended from Kings. We are indigenous people of color. Some of us are white-passing. Millions, really. Others are distinctly brown, black, Asian, Middle Eastern, etc. My brother is constantly asked if he’s Puerto Rican or Italian because he inherited my father’s olive skin. I don’t know if he even answers people when faced with that kind of ignorance, but he and I are different on that level. Where I come from matters to me, because it shapes who we are, whether we’re aware of it or not.

When I look at my friends, I don’t lean towards where I may or may not be accepted. I pick and choose who I will be friends with because I know my worth and value in any relationship I am part of. Your skin color matters far less to me, as opposed to how you treat me and how you treat others. I’m not blind; I see our differences, but you’re also not going to hear racial slurs come out of my mouth. I don’t find racist jokes funny. I never have, and that’s because I know what racism really is, what it looks like, and how it sounds. Why do I know this? Because I grew up with a racist parent, and it was NOT my mother.

Our closest family friends are Puerto Rican and Columbian. That’s how I grew up. I had friends from everywhere you can think of, and I still do. I lived in a melting pot, and while there was definitely racism present, I did not take part in any of it. The unfortunate part is that I spent half my life being told I was white, which I knew in my heart simply wasn’t true. People take specific looks and match them up like dominos, but it is completely inaccurate in today’s society, and it must change. How we view others must change, and change sometimes starts with one person saying, “Enough is enough!”

With my father’s family, I would hear Yiddish, Russian, Ukrainian, Belarusian, Polish, Greek, German, Ladino, Catalan (Spanish), and two different dialects of Italian spoken when they thought “the children” weren’t paying attention. They thought we were too young to understand a language change. My mother’s family spoke Yiddish for the same reason; so “the children” wouldn’t know what was being discussed, as did my parents. I would also hear Mandarin, French, Creole, Farsi, Hebrew, Portuguese, and other languages in the homes of my friends and extended family. I can close my eyes on any street in any major city, and pick out the different languages with accuracy. That’s what I want my life to be and it’s what I choose for myself and my future; colorful, vibrant, sharing experiences, recipes, cultures, music. This isolated bullshit is not cute. Please break out of your shells! Gain some perspective and stop being part of cliques.

The reason I began writing this was not to talk about myself, obviously. It was to talk about how I am watching racism smack someone I love in the face. This individual could be the most flawless human-being to exist, and someone will still find fault with something. I am grateful he is a person of strong mind, or I’d be deeply concerned about the trauma of it all, because it is traumatic. When I hear someone say, “I just want to go somewhere where I blend in.”, that is a sign of repeated trauma.

One night, a few months ago, was such a proud time. I was ecstatically happy, and even happier because he was smiling. It was such a great shift, and an important one. I kept thinking, “This is good. This is fantastic. The shit will stop. The comments will calm the fuck down.”

Only, it didn’t stop. It shifted, but it did not stop. Because no matter how good you are, some people are still determined to rip you apart based solely on your skin color. and I am sick and tired of it. I know where these comments stem from. I refuse to engage with it moving forward.

The one person I’ve confided in about all of this (The broader story, as opposed to the tidbits I feel safe enough to share.) has repeatedly told me that if I tell someone off, then they had it coming. I’m over here trying not to be a crazy bitch, but I’m so sick of it all. I can handle it professionally and personally, but I am definitely fiercely protective on a personal level.

This past week, there was rampant criticism, but it was no longer racially charged. The focus had shifted. The wording changed, but I’m not an idiot. I know at any given moment, for any reason, the hate can, and will, come back. I know blame is going to be part of it, too. It is shameful and embarrassing to me that anyone would think their hatred has a safe space. There is a dark web subculture of deeply rooted hate that must be addressed and rooted out. We cannot hide behind, “freedom of speech”. That’s bullshit. There are boundaries, and it’s important for us to establish them, or we’re no better than the haters.

It comes down to these basic facts; THINK BEFORE YOU FUCKING SPEAK OR TYPE. Check yourself. Go to therapy, Grow the fuck up. Remove deeply rooted hate and misogyny from yourself. Do the fucking work in order to be someone you can be proud of. Do it for yourself and for those who you most influence. Do it for a better tomorrow.

I practice what I preach. I show up, and I do the work. I don’t shake my head and ignore it. Essentially, if you want to make a difference and impart change, then it starts with you. Be the example you wish others could be, for you and yours. Be an inspiration for others to see.

I said what I said.

copyright © 2022 by Lisa Marino-Molchanova & Poison In Lethal Doses, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Poison In Lethal Doses®™ is a registered trademark. Written work by author may not be shared or posted anywhere without express written consent from the author. Excerpts and quotes from author material also requires consent. This authors’ work and personal photos are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws. Further protection is under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Breathe Through It

I’ve always wondered what the hell is wrong with the majority of the people in this world. For some unknown reason, they believe caffeine, sunshine, fresh air, a glass of water, or a cup of tea will magically solve ALL of your problems. If only it were so simple!

Have you ever felt better when someone says, “You need to calm down?” Of course, not. It’s so rarely said with good intentions. Usually, it is said to stop you from talking, or to shut a situation down. FUCK THAT.

I recently had a panic attack that was so bad, I had to keep telling myself, “Just breathe through it.” repeatedly. For hours. No, I did NOT feel better trying to minimize what I was going through, or why. In fact, I felt stupid for thinking I could mantra my way out of a panic attack which was impeding my ability to breathe.

Someone finally stopped me to chat, and told me I am so heavily triggered right now, that everything is bothering me on a higher frequency. They suggested talking to my doctor about this, in order to get some support. Stupidly, I brought up the issue, only to hear the most insincere, “Oh, I’m sorry to hear that.” I have family for that comment, I do NOT need it from my support system. I found myself angered, and unable to talk about how painful it was to have to bring it up at all. I speak to him again after the holidays, and I am genuinely torn between speaking up or simply going elsewhere for what I need. The second you feel like your needs aren’t being met somewhere, you should not be inclined to blame yourself. I’d like to normalize talking about this because too often, women do not.

The month of December brings up a lot of pain and heartache for me. I cannot just “breathe through it”. It’s been a while since I’ve acknowledged how bad my Complex PTSD is, but it’s bad. and I feel unable to fully cope. Mostly because, medication usually helps, but this year, it is all just hitting harder than usual. Unfortunately, I don’t have a lot to distract me, so it’s present every minute of the day. It’s beginning to cause insomnia, which worries me, because I’m finally going to bed at a decent hour and often getting decent sleep, but not now. Now I am tormented, and I wouldn’t wish this on anyone.

Alas, I will probably survive. Or maybe I’ll just breathe through it. 🙄

copyright © 2022 by Lisa Marino & Poison In Lethal Doses, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Poison In Lethal Doses®™ is a registered trademark. Written work by author may not be shared or posted anywhere without express written consent from the author.

Experiencing What You Can’t Talk About

Sometimes, we go through something we cannot talk about. Something deeply private and painful. I want to share what I have been through, but it’s not entirely my story to tell. To some degree, it is entirely mine, but I’m not selfish. Someone else has a vested interest in this pain, and so, I am trying to honor both sides of the coin.

Personally, I need to talk. I need to know I am not alone. I need others to know they are not alone. I need support. I looked at my family, and nixed all of them. We simply don’t have the kind of relationship where I feel comfortable going to anyone and opening up on such a deep level. It’s a very painful subject and I know what I will be met with. Ten minutes after I say anything, my entire family will know my business. It’s a fucking insidious game of telephone which I find toxic, and choose not to support. That means, biological family is off grid.

I then looked hard at my friend group. Only one person knows what I am going through. I wanted to share this agony with a few other people, but since they have their own drama going on right now, I decided to keep my mouth shut. I can’t explain how much it pains me to say nothing, and to suffer silently. The simple fact that I had no one to trust and turn to bothers the hell out of me. I actually sat and thought to myself, “You need new friends.” Talk about a conundrum!

Trust is not something anyone should just hand over. Private things are so difficult to navigate. I pray that in a year from now, I am able to say, “This is what I went through. Here’s my story, here’s my truth. It was scary, it was awful, and my heart shattered. Here’s my joy in overcoming it all. I survived, and so can others.” That’s only part of what I want to say, but I also want the control to tell it when the timing is right for all involved.

Tonight, I try to power through what is haunting me. I don’t know if I am capable of crying because I’m in such shock and denial, but I do know that when the tears come, it will not be the worst day of my life. I’ve survived some of the most awful moments; so my track record is pretty good. It’s coming out whole on the other side that bothers me, because I don’t entirely know if this is possible.

copyright © 2022 by Lisa Marino-Molchanova & Poison In Lethal Doses, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Poison In Lethal Doses®™ is a registered trademark. Written work by author may not be shared or posted anywhere without express written consent from the author.

The Selective Silence

You read the news. You see the headlines. They are everywhere. The voices, however, are so silent, I can hear a pin drop from thirty states away. Sit in your silence. I view it as violence and selective hate.

Antisemitism. It’s beyond systemic. It is dangerously out of control. I’m sick of it, and I am sick of having to address it.

This isn’t about the hate on the UC-Berkeley Campus that is shameful beyond words. Don’t believe me? I have video footage of how a pro-Israel activist and Jewish students were treated while trying to engage with other students and speak the truth.

This isn’t about Kanye West, who deserves to be taken down for his hateful rhetoric, and left beneath the rock from whence he came. Things are pretty bad when Kim Kardashian is standing up for Jews and the Jewish community. Unadulterated, unprovoked hate is NOT in the DSM-5, so please don’t use mental illness as an excuse for all he has said. He got cocky; he thought no one would touch him. Instead, he was systematically dropped from one company after another. Read your MORALS and ETHICS clauses, assholes. It’s in the fine print, which is probably why you’ve all managed to miss it.

This isn’t about Kyrie Irving’s bullshit, for which he will likely come away unscathed in BROOKLYN, NEW YORK, where my family settled upon immigrating to this country. You cannot educate the truly ignorant who, through the NBA, will continue to achieve riches, but will use antisemitic, Black Hebrew Israelite bullshit to make far more than the league minimum of $8.9 million dollars a year. For those who don’t know, BHI is the equivalent of a terror organization. The NBA allows Kyrie to be obscenely wealthy playing a sport, yet he will remain a sick, twisted fool.

Jews do not need to be told by non-Jews what is or isn’t antisemitic or anti-Zionist. We KNOW what is wrong, and so do you. Stop dictating to us when we’ve stood by every minority, but receive none of the same respect.

This isn’t about Dave Chappelle, who hasn’t been funny since the beginning of time. It IS about the danger of what they are spewing. They are trying to normalize hate against Jews, Judaism, the Jewish community at large, and they are spreading falsehoods against the state of Israel. What side of history would YOU like to be on?

I have watched my friends and family stay silent on almost all of this. I am ashamed of each and every one of you. Even the smallest voice can make a ripple. Thank G-d I have both the voice, and the platform, not to pretend to be proud of my faith and hide behind it, but to speak the fuck up and declare it. If you’re offended, then I am doing something right.

I have and will continue to stand for marginalized communities. As a Jewish woman, I represent many communities due to my ancestry and things I support; things I wholeheartedly believe in. I do not waver in my stance. Ever.

I am ashamed people have learned nothing from the genocide of the Holocaust, to the point where they have the audacity to question its validity. How often to six million plus people simply vanish?! Was this a Bermuda Triangle story, or is their fact-based evidence all over Europe that this occurred? I’ll simplify it for you; four members of my family survived on my mother’s side. FOUR. Look at your family. Imagine being the sole survivor. It’s not a good feeling, is it?

I encourage you to educate yourself before believing Neo-Nazi propaganda and any form of supremacist hate speech. All of it is racist. By remaining uneducated, you are letting people know you stand on the side of terrorism. If you’re not sure where to start for factual information, please feel free to comment on this and I will provide a list of reading material at my earliest convenience. In the meantime, get smarter or get off this site.

copyright © 2022 by Lisa Marino-Molchanova & Poison In Lethal Doses, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Poison In Lethal Doses®™ is a registered trademark. Written work by author may not be shared or posted anywhere without express written consent from the author.

One State of Mind, and Uncontrollable Pain

There’s so much I want to say, and so much I want to protect. I’ll try to say what I need to, without disrupting the delicate balance between the two.

Have you ever felt divinely guided in one direction, and maybe been afraid to jump? Or let me rephrase and say, were you overly cautious about a huge move? That’s where I am, and it’s scary. If you tend to psychoanalyze your decisions, as I am wont to do (to the Nth degree), then it’s terrifying, all while being amazing and exhilarating at the same time. I don’t jump; I’m careful. Until I’m not.

No matter what I do, all signs point in one direction. It might as well be a fucking headline in glaring red. I can’t go anywhere without reminders, either. If you’re into symbology, you will understand what I mean. The signs are in front of your face constantly. If you’re not into symbols, then maybe you understand synchronicity. I’ve pondered things ad nauseum for over five years, now. Around this time, last year, the symbology shifted and I tried hard to ignore it because I wasn’t ready from a mental perspective. I told myself I was being ridiculous. But now? It’s virtually impossible to ignore. It’s everywhere I turn. It’s the Universe saying, “Remember what you prayed for? I’m giving it to you. Be careful with it, but don’t you dare walk away. I worked too hard to bring this to you. This is YOUR magic, and this is all yours. Hold on tight, because this doesn’t happen for everyone. Don’t run from your destiny.” It leaves you in complete awe.

This keeps me up at night, praying for guidance. Guidance is laughing, because I’m struggling with this, and guidance tells me to listen and take what’s mine and meant for me. If there’s anything I hate, it’s me bringing up something completely unrelated in therapy, and allowing it to eat up 20-40 minutes of the time I am allotted every other week. Unfortunately, it ate up time twice in six weeks. I felt stupid bringing it up in the first place, until my doctor said I was doing the right thing. There’s nothing wrong with being cautious, smart, having difficult discussions, and powering through. Essentially, this is also a form of guidance, as well as self-care. It helps me work things out on my own, which is something I did long before I had anyone in my life to play therapist on any level. There’s a lot to be said for people who are capable of doing the work on their own. Let me be clear; none of this work is easy, but you have to show up for yourself.

Sometimes I can focus solely on the work I choose to do in order to improve myself, and other times I need to express myself in a rush because both of my best friends lost a parent this year (One lost both of her parents.), so they are essentially AWOL at the moment. It hurts me not to be able to share this with them, but I also don’t want to dump my drama on anyone. I would rather say something in a year. They can be mad, but I choose to be respectful of their pain and suffering, as opposed to being selfish, self-centered, and/or self-absorbed. That’s not who I am. I’m not a martyr, but am I sensitive to what my tribe members are going through? Absolutely! If anything, I am more self-aware than most people, and this is one of my better qualities.

I know when things settle down, they will be there for me. These are two of my longest friendships, and I know both of them want what’s best for me, no matter what. The same is true in reverse, and it breaks my heart that I had to walk them though these losses, coming from a place of experience. Maybe that was a gift, in a bizarre sort of way. My parents’ losses are felt deeply, but if I can help someone else by sharing how I navigated it all, then it’s not entirely in vain. Everyone reading this will experience loss at some point in their lives, and I hope my words of encouragement will help even just one person.

Navigating the day-to-day aspects of what I am going through right now are harder. I have a lot of late-night discussions and random bursts of laughter. I still spend a lot of sleepless nights writing until the sun comes up. Sometimes I can cut myself off earlier, but this often means taking prescription sleep medication, and I can say this based on my experience with it; it doesn’t always work. It’s never been consistent for me, but there are times it completely knocks me out, and times when it wears off too quickly. No wants a sleep aid to wear off after 2-5 hours. Then you feel like you didn’t sleep at all, and the cycle continues.

I hurt my neck about six or seven weeks ago (which is part of why I am experiencing so much painsomnia.). It initially felt like it was a flare-up from sleeping in a weird position during a rapid weather change, but quickly became me not able to turn my head at all. The pain affected the entire left side of my body. It eased up after a few days and I went to a doctor and had some injections put into my neck. Normally, this settles everything down in a few days, but it’s been a while at this point, and I am suffering terribly, and the injection sites flared up, as well. Any stressful situation or conversation causes my neck to get worse. I don’t even realize how tight my neck is, until I try to move. My doctor told me the entire back of my neck and head are badly affected, so she added some medication to the back of my head, as well. No help.

I touched base with someone recently who is coming off of shoulder surgery due to a pinched nerve which, for ten years, tormented her. She’d finally had enough of the excruciating agony. My doctors decided it was a pinched nerve without running any tests. I’m not kidding; they recommended physical therapy via YouTube and a cervical collar which is SO painful, I am not sure where I threw it one day, but I do know I threw it out of frustration. To make a long story slightly shorter, I now have to deal with a shitty primary care physician in order to get him to go back into my chart when this first started (during the height of Covid), and insist we discuss it, and that tests be run this time around. During the last two flare-ups, they put me on short-term opioids (In May and again in October of 2020), along with long-term muscle relaxers, which made a dent. This time, I don’t even know if they’re strong enough to touch this pain. The muscle relaxers help me temporarily, but I’ve reached my pain threshold and I am worried surgery could end up on the table. There’s clear-cut nerve damage. If there’s something torn, I could be sidelined for 6-9 months. There are parts of my head and face that I don’t feel anymore. My right ear, especially. It seems weird, but I realized it last Winter, and another time when, recently, I was putting a small earring into my myriad piercings. I jammed a sharp earring into a piercing which, for some deeply unknown reason, wants to close up on me. I could understand if I never wore anything in it, but I actually do. Every time I leave the house. I’ve had it since I was about twenty, so I’m baffled by it giving me trouble over the past year or so. I left the house one day with the earring in (along with all of my others, none of which had given me trouble), only to later discover blood trickling down the side of my neck when I reached my destination. I never felt a thing. I cleaned it up with alcohol pads I keep in my purse, but later that night when I took the higher piercings out, it all stemmed from the third cartilage piercing. I disinfected everything and I still wear it, but some days I get fed up and skip it. It’s not worth popping it open, having it swell up, etc. Eventually, I will find out if it’s related to a metal allergy, but honestly, one piercing out of so many seems a bit odd, even to me. Of late, all of them are swelling up, except for one. It’s been an odd, random experience, to say the least.

Obviously, I have a lot of my plate right now. In advance, I would like to thank all of you for sticking with me this year. I have definitely been out of sorts and challenged beyond measure, but I am grateful to walk this website into another year (Which officially starts on the 26th.). I did take a lengthy break from writing over the past while, because I needed it, I was burning out, and my focus needed to be elsewhere. My focus remains where it needs to be. I will revisit what I’ve been working on and forge ahead, but I might focus the next few months on a How-To manual (If you know, you know.). The idea started out as a joke between myself and a mother figure, but I quickly realized I might be on to something. If nothing else, I keep people laughing, and there’s a bonus to that.

If I am not able to write anything more this month, I want you to savor all the good moments. Be it Fall or Spring where you live, enjoy the little things, the big things, and everything in between. You never know when you might be stumbling on something life-changing. I’ve been the dumbest brunette on earth this year (In my bubble of an existence.), but I’m embracing the magic and protecting what, and who, I value beyond measure.

Wishing you all a wonderful remainder to the month of October. 🍁🍂🍃

copyright © 2022 by Lisa Marino-Molchanova & Poison In Lethal Doses, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Poison In Lethal Doses®™ is a registered trademark. Written work by author may not be shared or posted anywhere without express written consent from the author.

Sharing

Despite having a handful of incredibly talented friends who are also writers, I don’t share my process or progress with any of them. It simply doesn’t come up in conversation, and I won’t bring it up, except to maybe say I’m working on something new in passing. Several are maybe privately producing and not talking about it, and others haven’t brought it up to me in eight or nine years, if not longer. I can’t force conversation out of people, so I let it be. If someone wants more support from me, I’m honestly not sure how much more I can give seeing as how I already do all the right thing.

I have supported any and all new projects they have taken on. To the point where it’s almost ridiculous how blindly I have shown my support, plugged projects and novels, but recently someone asked me, “Who supports you? Who cheers you on? You’re not getting what you give to others.” This came from someone who I trust to occasionally push me, but it also made me think deeply about the lack of support I receive in both my personal and professional lives. I paused. I’m not talking about readers, but my family and friends? That’s a whole other ballgame.

My family, for the most part, does not understand anyone who is not an immediate billionaire doing what they love; what they are truly talented at. This is borne out of ignorance, competitiveness, and their own superficial, borderline narcissistic issues. However, it is their issue; not mine. I am not saying all of my family is like this, but the numbers are too high for me to pretend there’s a majority of support when there most certainly is not. I know the truth. I know how they treat me, and the bullshit that is discussed behind my back. Why would I want support from such creatures?!

Other family members cannot wrap their minds around what I do because they consider it a, “hobby” and think it’s something you do in your free time. 🙄 “It must be nice to have that kind of free time to just write.” Yes, this has been said to me several times. The rest choose to ignore what I do so they can build themselves up. After all, no one could possibly be greater than them. 🙄 They can pontificate for hours on how incredibly brilliant they are, yet you’ve heard not a solid, intelligent word spoken the entire time. It’s not dissimilar listening to a drunk person spouting prophecies on the train or at the train station (Anyone who lives in a major city knows what I’m talking about.).

In the words of the great Tom Hardy who I am loosely quoting, “People ask what you do in order to decide how much respect they should pay you.” There’s an additional part of the quote, but he sums it up nicely, and accurately.

I’m a full-time writer. I don’t get off-days; I have to schedule my life around my writing. I don’t get paid vacation time. I have health insurance. I can pay my bills, and I am beyond grateful for all of that. I win awards. I am invited to some amazing events which provide once-in-a-lifetime opportunities. I am not a newbie. Ten years in, or less, and you had to take classes to explain basic principles? Newbie. Those are facts, and yeah, I’m wary of people who try to force themselves into something, and then the way they try to shove themselves down your throat in a competitive fashion. It is NOT a cute look for anyone. You can gain support and community by being a good person who listens, and doesn’t just talk at others. Consider your life relationships for a hot minute, because we all know someone, or many people, who do this to us. The difference is that you might perceive it differently than I do, or have more patience. I received many chips, but the patience chip is reserved almost exclusively for babies, small animals, and my favorite SoCal Maple Tree (If you know, you know.).

No one had to teach me how to be a writer. It’s honesty, ink, and paper. Every ounce of experience I possess is crucial to how I operate and navigate the business side of being a writer, as well as the creative side. Having a background in Public and Fan Relations, understanding so many different business aspects, and knowing how to nail things correctly the first time are probably a few of the best things I can rely on, off the top of my head. You have to be a natural at it; some skill sets really can’t be taught. I’m not saying that to be mean, I’m speaking from personal experience. I cannot teach someone with no imagination how to magically be creative. There are no magic wands here, I’m afraid.

Roughly five or six weeks ago, an extremely close friend was really proud and excited about how much I have accomplished on my current manuscript. I am getting closer to two and a half months in, and I’m almost at one hundred and six thousand words. That’s not easy. I did a quick draft initially, redrafted, and have continued to polish as I go. What has helped me the most is our constant contact during the process. She has allowed me to share regular screenshots of my daily progress and major milestones. With zero jealousy on her part; only pride and excitement. This must be what it’s like to receive completely unselfish support. <Gasp>

There are days I’m writing between three and five thousand words, and days where I’ve forced myself to write a thousand, and I do mean forced. There are also days where a few hundred words is my limit, and I have to make myself go the fuck to bed since I start writing most days by ten a.m. and don’t always stop until after three in the morning. That is, clearly, a lot of time spent on specific subject matter, and character development. Tonight, I allowed myself to take a break so I could watch playoff baseball. Balance is helpful.

Being able to share progress with a friend who is invested in me, as opposed to when she gets to read the finished product, is one of the most helpful things I have experienced. It encouraged another person to check in with me every few days and discuss my progress, as well. Everyone’s schedule is different, but my gratitude for people who truly care about me, and who choose to make themselves available is proving invaluable. They don’t need a daily synopsis, it’s more like a, “How did you do? How is everything coming along? Do you feel good about what you wrote today?” It is true support. When you know the difference, it’s easy to spot someone who is merely trying to compete with you. For me, there is never going to be any competition. I prefer to be a safe space for knowledge and support. That’s my choice, a choice not to be negative or toxic. Regardless of the path you choose, I hope it is something you can live with.

Enjoy what you do, or there’s no point. And if, like me, you are watching baseball for the next month, let me know who you’re cheering for.

copyright © 2022 by Lisa Marino-Molchanova & Poison In Lethal Doses, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Poison In Lethal Doses®™ is a registered trademark. Written work by author may not be shared or posted anywhere without express written consent from the author.

Juggling On A New Level

I am functioning on less and less sleep these days, which screws with my day-to-day life, but seems to do wonders for my productivity. Yeah, I don’t understand it either.

My current WIP (work-in-progress) is at eight-four thousand words. I achieved those numbers in slightly over a full month. I put in a lot of hard work, and long hours, which I am proud of. Every day, it gets better.

Obviously, I’ve taken time to sleep so I come back refreshed, but I am looking at this material every single day. Even on days when I say I’ll take a break, I still put a few hours into it, or I do a quick read-through before bed to make sure I like how it flows. I allow myself to cut what doesn’t work.

I’ve written an insane amount of words this year for various manuscripts. People keep telling me how impressive this is, but honestly, it’s a job, like any other job. It’s important to me for anything with my name on it to feel like it’s work readers are familiar with, regardless of the topic at hand. This one in particular is not something I’d considered doing before, so as I write and catch myself enjoying it, I feel that translates to how a reader will catch my sense of humor or my snark within. Both of which would be incredibly hard to miss.

The majority of writers, if they are truly lucky, have a distinctive voice. I am constantly told it’s crystal clear when I’ve written or contributed to something. That is positive reinforcement to keep writing and making contributions. To keep creating. I’m not sure I know how to stop. I don’t like ignoring solid ideas. I don’t like putting things aside to work on what is selling and/or more relevant, but I’m only one person. There are only so many hours in a day, and I’ve been putting in an extraordinary amount of time on every detail. I’ve researched, studied my ass off, and I still do that several hours a day to make sure I’m in the right mind-set. We all need to source inspiration from something, someone, or somewhere. On occasion, all of the above.

What I’m writing is something I have actually lived. That is why I had not written it, until now. I have changed names and switched things around for obvious reasons (To protect the innocent, not the guilty.), but there’s extensive truth on every page.

There are genres I love to pieces, and there are genres which will always sell. That’s something all writers have to factor in. I’ve paid my dues. I’ve been at square one. I’m not starting over. I’m too experienced and too smart to try and diminish myself, and box myself into one aspect of what it means to be a writer. I refuse to go in the opposite direction.

I re-set everything this time around. Brand new playlist. New pre-writing routine. A whole different set of rituals. I want what’s on the page to feel fresh, because it is a story being told in real time. I dated it back a year, but everything else is current, and I like the way it flows from one chapter to the next. When I don’t like something, I go back into earlier portions and write a new chapter, or I build upon something I started, but needed to take a break from. We all have days when the material is never-ending, and days when it lags. I am trying to stay on schedule with the current portions, because some of that material is easier to write. The schedule is my own. I am looking at what I have for October and November, and this should be ready for submission in early to mid-2023, providing I remain on pace. The timetable includes several rounds of editing and rewrites. Right now, the manuscript is pretty clean. Most of mine are.

A genuine benefit of having an editing background is that I see errors in everything. Not only in my own work, but in a brand new novel that just came out, a restaurant menu, a street sign, or a glaring continuity issue in something written for television, etc. I am constantly correcting something, or someone. I am also highly aware I have a terrible habit of correcting people as they’re speaking. Sometimes I do it mentally, but other times, it slips out. It’s an occupational hazard, not an intentional dissection of others. That’s a whole other ball game.

It’s a damn good idea to write what you know, but it’s also important to be realistic about what you don’t, in case you do decide to break out of your comfort zone. The work I have done for the past few years has been, one hundred percent, me coming out of my comfort zone and making myself uncomfortable as hell. I needed a challenge, so I gave myself several. I found a weak spot and I lunged for it like a tiger. There’s nothing wrong with feeling strong enough in your body of work to say, “I can do this.”, and then follow through.

Coming off of a holiday weekend here in the United States, I have been diligent at keeping myself writing. I thought this week, I might miss a few days, so I was tripling my word count for days. For now, I’m okay-ish.

My migraines have reached a critical point where the nausea, dizziness, and vertigo are out of control. A few weeks ago, I called to make an appointment with a specialist who is focused on migraine-related vertigo. I didn’t have to wait very long to get in, which was quite shocking. The first appointment was hearing and vision tests. No hearing issues; I can pretty much hear every pitch imaginable. The vision tests were nauseating, and I have not been the same since hot air was forced into my ears. Initially, there was some dizziness, but I’m less than forty-eight hours out of the tests and have fallen multiple times, injuring myself. The doctor was amazing and very kind and empathetic. We talked about how, if it’s not my ears, then it could be my nose, throat, or a deeper inner ear issue closer to the brain. Clearly, it’s something and not a simple connection. I’ve already been told I will likely be sent an order for a brain MRI. I’ve been begging my headache specialist to order one for far too long, so to have someone run tests and not waste my time is so crucial. I meet the actual specialist at the end of the month, and as long as he has all the tests in front of him, I will potentially start a treatment plan at the end of September, and that’s more than reasonable. I do expect to be sent to a regular ENT specialist, as well, but I am grateful that when I called, there was no real wait time to get started. That’s extremely rare, and coming across someone who specializes in this is equally as rare. I just have to see how it plays out these next few weeks/months, and hope there’s help around the corner. Basically, getting an accurate diagnosis so I don’t end up with broken bones would help tremendously.

What else is going on that I can share? Oh, that’s right; it’s private AF and I might never talk about it. I know some of my friends have caught on, but for the most part; I’m writing. I juggle it differently these days, but I get it done EVERY.SINGLE.DAY. In case no one has mentioned it before, that’s the job.

Let’s roll into Fall, everyone. September 23rd will be here before you know it! Special thanks to all the new readers; I see you. 😉

copyright © 2022 by Lisa Marino-Molchanova & Poison In Lethal Doses, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Poison In Lethal Doses®™ is a registered trademark.

The Art of Storytelling

Nonfiction is where I shine. When you’re obscenely direct as an human-being, to the point where your honesty has been called, “intimidating” by others, you should stick with what you know and what you are solid at. Over a decade ago, I decided to test myself and began writing fiction. I think my migraines got worse as a result.

Fiction is a whole other beast for a person whose primary focus is honesty. It’s the curveball you’re not expecting when you step up to the plate. It is challenging. Perhaps that’s part of the allure. I’m the type o personality which will tell you to throw the fucking ball right at me. I’ll catch it or I won’t, but more often than not, I’m catching.

I had written a solid starter novel which I ended up shelving because I felt like it had already been done so many times before. No one wants to write a cliche, even though they sell. I now know the timing of my work coincides with some current life events. Despite my ability to tell a story differently and my OCD attention to detail, I realize now it did nothing to boost my confidence as a writer, because fiction is not my safe space. I live in my head enough that fiction should be incredibly easy, but it isn’t. I have no shame in admitting that.

Slowly, over the past six months or so, I started parceling out parts of that starter novel to other projects. I had written so many fantastic scenes, and another writer had told me to save everything. “Write more than you know you will need, because those scenes can always be used up the road.” She was right, and it was something I’d been doing my entire career. I always save partially written scenes and see them come alive months, or years, later. I draft so many ideas which are brilliant in the moment, as many writers do, but when something nudges me and tells me the story needs to be written, and I have to tell it, that’s when I make a concerted effort to listen to that message. When I need a break, I take a break. I come back to the material in a fresh way, and it always feels better when I do. I like coming back to several hundred pages and being so involved in the story, I completely forget I wrote it. For me, that is what a gifted storyteller does.

I’m working on something new right now. It’s one of those things I began writing out of nowhere about a week and a half ago. I found myself inspired by very specific honesty, integrity, and energy, and decided to put ink to paper. Essentially, I wanted it to be larger than life.

The art of storytelling is to tell the story your way; leaving the opinions of others where they belong. It’s a different way for me to use my voice, and still share and discuss issues I deem important. I pulled myself out of a box and opened up on a level I am proud to put on a page.

I’ve written twenty-three thousand words, thus far. None of which I’d cut (I’ve already done some of that.). These characters are so unlike those I’ve written before. I wanted to be more inclusive, and so far, so good. It requires going into a different head space, but that’s part of what I like about it. I want the cultures and flavors to be present from cover to cover.

I’ve learned so much about myself while exploring fiction as an alternative avenue. One of the most important things is to make sure you’re telling a story for the right reasons. I looked at my typical lead characters and decided to switch shit up in a big way; which is deeply important to me. It adds depth to the storytelling. I want those first few pages to grab you, and this is something I’ve always been able to do. Grab someone’s attention for the full ride.

I find all of this works best when you have someone to refer back to as inspiration. I lucked out there, and had been a bit blind without realizing it, which is mentally and emotionally embarrassing. I’m grateful for the enlightenment, though. I can only describe it as a soulmate moment. I have nothing else to compare it to, other than the automatic knowledge that you’ve met someone who is part of your journey, whether it’s permanent, from a past life, or a soul acknowledgement. You feel it from head to toe. You automatically know things you shouldn’t know. You can read them as though you’re looking in a mirror. This has happened to me a handful of times, but this feels so much deeper, and it’s impossible to ignore.

Being able to see something so serious through someone else’s eyes is an important aspect of both personal and professional development. I want to say the absolute lack of aggression and hostility is what hit me the most. The approach had zero malice. The kindness, compassion, emotional intelligence, and deep empathy reached my soul, and I know I am a better person for paying attention and listening. I am still listening, and will continue to do so, because the lens is clear for me now, where before, I couldn’t connect. The inability to connect was completely on me, but again, the approach had a lot to do with my receptiveness. I rarely connect with a person on such a level, but when I do, it is deeply meaningful. I always ask for guidance, and the Universe heard me loud and clear.

Writing multicultural characters helps me connect with my own cultures, as well as those which are currently foreign to me. It broadens the horizons. I have always connected through my love of languages, art, architecture, and individuals who are great guideposts. I feel good, and proud, of the work on the page. I put a lot of truth into fiction, and I’ve addressed issues which I’ve remained quiet about because I never felt it was my place to speak on behalf of things which were not in my wheelhouse. I was not indifferent, I simply felt the need to take a small step back and observe. I don’t jump on bandwagons. I educate myself fully before I mention anything, and if I have questions, I would much prefer to do the research or talk to someone who is more knowledgeable on a matter than I am. I don’t ever want to come from a place of ignorance or say something hurtful to someone. It’s not who I am as a person, and it isn’t the kind of writer I am, either.

In a lot of ways, this year did not go as planned, and there’s still five months to go. I have been stalled, like many other people, regarding major business decisions and steps I intended to take long before Covid hit. However, other things have shown me how far I’ve come from 2021 to 2022. My priorities, relationships, and business acumen have all shifted greatly. I allow myself to set larger goals, even when they make me a little nervous.

I received an e-mail last week to let me know I’d been nominated for an award, and I am humbled by this. My presence on Instagram has exploded. I dialed it back on Twitter. I update less often, so I know the award is based on different aspects of my content. I try to create things that matter, inspire, and bring people together. I try to inspire the way I’d like to be inspired. Inevitably, I’ll make mistakes. No one is perfect, but I am highly aware of my faults.

During a conversation last week, I was informed how good I am at being hard on myself. This was during a video chat and I responded by saying, “I can’t believe you just said that to me!”, because it came out of left field. The response I got was, “Oh shit, did I say that out loud?” The person I was talking to actually ducked in the middle of that exchange, as if he thought I was going to throw something at him. That moment of humanizing me and letting me know that yes, I’m a perfectionist and it’s both a blessing and a curse, but it does make me more self-aware, was actually helpful, even though we were both laughing, which sort of defeated the purpose of the point he was trying to make. It was deeply acknowledging, though, and I do appreciate a person who has truly taken the time to get to know me, being able to have lighthearted moments with me, and no, I wouldn’t have thrown anything at him. The playfulness of the exchange really makes me laugh even now. It’s so similar to a sibling dynamic, but this is someone I have great respect for, and I have seen from day one, how much he respects me and my insight. Knowing what a positive, healthy relationship it is gives me that push to be fiercer each day.

When a person acknowledges how prolific I am in my writing, and how I will always have great ideas and opportunities… It’s so complimentary and supportive. It’s even more supportive when the same person says, “You have grown so much since the day I met you. You are worlds away from who I was first introduced to, and you have every right to be proud of that because you show up and you do the work.” That’s special. I don’t see myself the way others do, so I’ve received a lot of feedback of late that was so loving and supportive, and maybe it was a small confidence boost professionally, but more so on a personal level.

Like anyone else who is going through a lot, but who is also taking time out of a day to write for 12+ hours, I feel closer to a few of my larger goals.

Here’s to better days, brighter tomorrows, and all the inspiration a person can hold in their head and heart. Have a good weekend, my people. 😊

copyright © 2022 by Lisa Marino-Molchanova & Poison In Lethal Doses, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Poison In Lethal Doses®™ is a registered trademark.

The Traumatic Journey: Part I

I’ve been quiet for what seems like forever, and anyone who knows me knows I use my platform to communicate and inform; even if my subject matter isn’t popular.

It’s likely obvious to my regular readers that I am going through some heavy shit. I am. Unfortunately, I am also numb to a lot of the things other people are talking about right now. Not because I lack empathy or compassion; neither is true. I am trying to work through a 747 full of trauma, and through that journey came more trauma, and more, until I reached a breaking point.

Let me be clear: I’m okay. I am on the other side. Mostly, I am angry, in a lot of pain, and trying to be strong. A lot has been going on for me, and it will come out in the pieces I am writing, just not all at once.

I am coming off of a fresh set of nerve blocks and once again, I am sorry I did it. Once I feel better, I get to begin to fight for occipital nerve blocks. My doctor has already heavily documented occipital neuralgia in my chart, but my insurance has refused to pay for these injection sites, claiming they are experimental. They aren’t. She actually told me not to fight for it. Any doctor who would say that to me clearly doesn’t know me very well. I know it’s a covered procedure. The nerve blocks they immediately agreed to pay for are actually far more expensive than the one’s they don’t want to pay for. It makes NO sense, and I’m nothing if not a fighter.

This was my third time getting supraorbital nerve blocks. These hurt like I cannot explain. There are multiple injections, and they go under and into the brow bone on both sides. Because of the dose, it’s not quick. You’ve got a needle jammed into your bone for a good 45 seconds or so. The majority of my facial structure is bone, as so observed by my doctor. For me, I then have to apply pressure because these locations bleed heavily. There are a few which go into the supratrochlear nerve, a series goes into muscles in my shoulders, and she chose to add extra starting at the top of my spine, under my hair, going 3/4’s down the spinal column where I already have arthritis and Lord only knows what else, because my doctors won’t order additional tests if an x-ray will do. If she didn’t give me the medication, she’d have to throw it out. They are paying for an entire vial of medicine, but telling her not to give me a particular set of injections. One day she mentioned, in her frustration, how she is forced to account for every drop of medication she tosses, and how it’s incredibly wasteful for them to only pay for small amounts of these medications, and then ask her to throw it out. My nerve blocks are steroid free and are supposed to last 6-12 weeks. I was asked to give it a year before I say yes and continue, or decide to stop them. I don’t know where I stand on this moving forward. It’s a lot of work suffering from chronic migraines and worse with a spine that’s badly damaged. I’m definitely not having any fun on that level. 🙄

As she was injecting my shoulders and spine, my doctor told me she could feel how tight the muscles are. Mind you, I am also on long-term muscle relaxers for a full body experience. I’m careful with them because too many, “relaxing” medications can cancel each other out. If I don’t take them, I can’t always move, and if I do take them, I don’t always feel them working. 😔 I worry they will be taken away because so many doctors are making pain patients choose between treating our pain and treating our mental health. It is wrong, and I am vehemently against any doctor who tries to pull this on anyone. Mental health IS healthcare, and if doctors ask you to choose, find another doctor. The fear-mongering in medicine has got to stop. I’m sick of it, and I know I am not alone.

Much of the time, I factor in how long I’ve suffered from migraines. It will be twenty-five years in December. That’s a long time to suffer from anything, but imagine daily migraines. I was given my diagnosis at my very first appointment, a diagnosis most people wait 1-5 years to get. I tried all the usual suspects medication-wise, and they failed me. Each time a new symptom surfaces, I hesitate to bring it up with my doctor. I asked about a medication I had never heard of and she shifted her tone and behavior immediately, because the medication in question is a narcotic abortive nasal spray. I’m glad she decided she, “Won’t be prescribing THAT,”, but I wanted to say, “What if it REALLY helps me? What if that drug is the only medication to stop my suffering?” She was so dismissive, she wouldn’t even look at me. I immediately felt less trusting, overall.

Most doctors require a reminder of the Hippocratic Oath when they make such bold refusals. “Do no harm.” They absolutely, be it intentionally or unintentionally, ARE harming their patients. I have seen things in my medical record that make me want to scream. So, many doctors are harming their patients, en masse. As is the government, which needs to get the fuck out of my health care, as well as the insurance companies. Our pain is a political business to them, nothing more. All they care about is money, and if you don’t believe me, look into how much the government paid for your Covid vaccinations. They don’t come cheap. Doctors at hospitals are on salary and insurance, along with the government, dictates what they can and cannot prescribe. That is NOT okay. Pretty soon, they will be regulating alcohol and killing off millions of dependent alcoholics. Just like with pain patients, the only people who care will be those who get left behind. And the brands who depend on the business. It could all come crashing down.

I am frustrated as hell living with multiple diagnoses of pain disorders and only having a tiny percentage being looked after. Something I take, as needed, might be causing serotonin syndrome. I have to stop taking it, and this is something that costs a fortune out-of-pocket, until I speak with my doctor, who will almost certainly run lab work to make sure I’m not in the rare danger-zone. My symptoms indicate I might be, and that’s scary as hell.

The more I deal with medical professionals, the more I am marginalized and traumatized. It’s a system that is irreparably broken. It is rife with systemic racism and people who never should have gone to medical school in the first place because they have mind-blowingly limited knowledge in their chosen field. If you can’t do a little bit of everything and truly care about your work and how you are perceived by your patients, then please go the world an epic favor by going into a different line of work. We don’t need anymore crappy doctors. You’re embarrassing the few good doctors we’ve got!

With all of this going on, I am also working on two manuscripts. I wanted to make them a Spring/Summer project to see which one would be near completion by the end of October. They both have enormous potential, but I’ve written double the word count on one, whereas the other is about seventy thousand words. If either starts to get on my nerves, I’ll work on the dark urban fantasy material, instead. Because I’ve been in such crippling pain, I have written and read a lot less this year, but I am trying to get my shit together on that. Even if it’s just to challenge myself to get two thousand words written a day, that’s reasonable. Others would say to start at a page, but I am experienced enough to know I can accomplish the higher word/page count. There will be days when I double, triple, or quadruple on this, and days when a page will be enough. Know yourself, know your limits. It’s not dissimilar to the days when I’ve walked eight miles and it takes me a week to recover. There was a time when I wouldn’t stop until after dark, but those days are long-gone. Coming to terms with that, with the loss of complete health… It’s not easy. For people to insinuate that anyone enjoys suffering is just plain sad. For them. For the warped mind who dares to go against every doctor you’ve had to struggle through, for every diagnosis you’ve fought for. There’s a special place in hell for people of that nature.

And on that cheerful note, I’m on my way for now. I’ll be back as soon as possible.

Have a good week, everyone.

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