As Real As It Gets


WARNING: Potential Triggers

I’m a ridiculously intuitive person, which has the tendency of scaring people if they aren’t used to it. I live my life paying attention to the same things most people ignore. However, it is virtually impossible to ignore your body and mind when they’re screaming at you. No matter what bad thing it is that you may be going through, it is sometimes important to take a step back, allow yourself to feel what you feel, without apologies, and regroup tomorrow.

For the majority of my life, my purpose wasn’t clear. I don’t know if I ever considered the purpose for my existence. I had so many responsibilities, and I openly admit that I took them on myself. When most people would have been taking care of themselves for their “most selfish years”, I was taking care of two sick parents. I was dealing with burying friends and loved ones, and so it took until maybe this last year for me to say “Enough!” and begin focusing on myself. I now know that it’s not selfish to be focusing on myself at this point in my life, it’s survival.

I’ve been through some awful things, a lot of which I try not to focus on. There’s a saying about not looking back or you’ll only manage to hurt your neck. In many respects, that is true. I gain nothing from reflecting on pain, but I do gain something for having survived all of it. I know that I can get through the horrible, never-ending cycle of suffering, I know I can come out the other end a far better person than I was today, but it’s not a choice one ever wants to make. It’s “kill or be killed”, so you have to regroup and “kill”, even if only metaphorically.

In times like this, a lot of people turn to religion. I am not hardcore religious, but I am spiritual. I pray several times a day for the peace and the concept that someone Higher is listening to me. That someone Higher cares. Through trial and error, I have found that most people care about themselves, and they have no room in their mind or heart for anything or anyone else. I’ll never understand it. The average person cares about five people, or less. Are we such a selfish, self-absorbed, self-centered society that we take no time at all to care about the person next to us? I often hear myself say that if a situation does not directly affect me and/or those I love/care about, then I cannot put forth the emotion to worry about it. The point though is that I actually love and care about other people. I’ve spent a long time placing others before me, and I still do it at times, but ultimately I don’t have my head up my ass. I find it easy to be emotionally present for others, and a lot less easy to be emotionally present for myself.

I’m sick of my internal dialogue because it’s so abusive. It’s something I call “self-abuse”. You’re cutting yourself apart as if you were actually cutting, but there’s no blood, the wound is entirely internal and it grows daily. You wouldn’t even feel it if someone dipped you into the Dead Sea, because you’re already a walking wound of agony.

I can point out positive things in other people, but when it comes to doing the same for myself I usually say “I’m loyal.” and when asked how I’m feeling I often say “I exist.” I will never lie and say “I’m fine.”, because then I’d be lying to myself. I’m not fine. I’ve never been less “fine”, but because I’ve been through so many “not fine”, “not okay” times, I would rather not pick at the scabs, so to speak. How much negativity does one need to focus on before they become batshit crazy and hurt someone, or themselves?

I will never lie about often feeling suicidal. Never. I will never pretend that darkness doesn’t coat aspects of my life so thickly that it’s hard to see the light. I will never say it is a topic that is “off-limits” or “taboo” because the fact of the matter is, not everyone acts on their thoughts, but those that do aren’t weak. It takes an immense amount of strength to say “I’ve had enough pain.”

Many people advocate for “assisted suicide” for terminally ill patients, but what do we advocate for when a person cannot be healed in any way, shape, or form, through no fault of their own? Do we pretend the issue doesn’t exist and go off into our own selfish bubble? Do we say “That’s not my problem?” Do we walk away? Do we ignore it?

So many people have been unable to see the signs in a loved one and have later been devastated that they chose to end their own life. Instead of thinking about how much pain THEY had to be in to go there, to reach that point, all I ever hear is “How could s/he do this to me?”, “How could they leave me behind?”, “Why didn’t s/he tell me?” Bringer of honesty: It’s NOT about you. 

It amazes me how people don’t look closely at situations or loved ones. It blows my mind how people choose to see the surface, and nothing more. It behooves me how few people ever say “I’m here for you, no matter what. And I will NOT judge.” Once a person commits suicide, people can lie ’til the cows come home, but they are absolutely judging. If you’re unaffected by the deeply personal pain of others, you aren’t human.

It is important to check in with those we love. It is important, and crucial, to look deeper. There will still be times when you will not see what a person chooses not to show, but there will also be times when a hug, a hand to hold, a kind word, a moment of inspiration, a thoughtful phone call, or card will pull a person back and show them that they mean something, that their life has value and purpose.

This will be painful for some people to read because they choose to avoid brutal truth. This may be painful for suicide survivors who are still left asking themselves “Why?” As a person who thinks about it deeply, I have very few reasons for not acting on my feelings. Those reasons become less important each day.

I am touched by the people who genuinely reach out to me in love or friendship. I am touched by the people whose actions say “I’ll always be here for you, no matter what.” But those moments, and people, are few and far between.

One day I may not be able to rely solely on my self-talk to pull me back. And the excuses you might very well hear in the wake of that will be: “I work 60+ hours a week, I have no time to talk.”, “I never returned her phone call. I feel TERRIBLE.”, “I didn’t answer her text message.”, “I stopped speaking to her because she was too honest.”, “She was so young, smart, creative, and beautiful…I don’t understand. She had her whole life ahead of her.”

No one will say “She was in so much pain, she couldn’t take it anymore and I understand.” No one. And that is truly fucking sad.

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


Come Look For Me If I’m Too Quiet


Mondays. They are the bane of my existence. I get sick by 8:00 PM nearly every Sunday evening, knowing that Monday is only a few short hours away. I have a sneaking suspicion I should only work Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. Perhaps I shall rename the week days altogether. I’m starting to suspect that an insulated cave with WiFi and food delivery is the way to go, something very “off the grid”, so to speak. I’m not entirely sure the world is capable of handling me on any level.

I desperately want quiet. True peace, true silence. I hid in my bathroom while my neighbor did the landscaping on my property and mowed next door. Why? Because it was the only place where I didn’t have to hear the roar of the riding mower and the drill saw sound of the trimmer. By the time he was finished, which wasn’t very long, I thought the migraine was going to send me to the emergency room, begging to be put out of my misery. That was Saturday night. This morning, I don’t feel that much better, though I can say the pain has shifted and is no longer trying to shoot itself out of my skull. Small victories.

537336_258889024260051_2100521305_nI realized a few days ago how utterly disillusioned and unhappy I am with my line of work. If I did realize it beforehand perhaps I never voiced the truth to myself, but I’m doing it now.

Those of us who are highly creative don’t do well when we’re boxed in, and I think I may have accidentally done that to myself over the past few years. I’m done. Within the next 6-8 months, I am going to stop editing for other people. I will still beta and do critiques, I will still be present for those that want/need my knowledge and skill-set or simply want a reliable, experienced person to turn to, but I am going to be doing two things once the time-frame passes.

I will be focusing on my writing, and I will be starting something new that will allow me a great deal of creative freedom. I’d rather juggle the two than be miserable for the rest of my life. Misery is unacceptable, so it is high time for a transitional rebirth. I’m sure I will be met with some negativity here and there, but ultimately I am the one that has to be happy and this is a way for me to achieve that in some small fashion, or perhaps a very large way. I won’t know until I dive in. 

I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason. Once you’re able to see the full vision of “Why is this happening?”, you’re almost grateful because it lets you know how strong you are and how much you can handle without going utterly batshit crazy. I am counting my blessings, of which there are many, and thanking God for who and what I am today.

I will still be writing, but hopefully the mood will shift. While I will always be open and honest about migraines, Fibromyalgia, depression, suicide, and other things I deem important to discuss, it’s also crucial that I have more time to focus on my fictional work in order to speed up the publishing process.

I am planning a YouTube channel and some other things that some of you may or may not appreciate, but will have access to all the same. So yes, there will be some changes up the road, but I am embracing it all because I’m tired of dulling my shine to make other people feel more at ease.

Many people told me that when I was ready, it would be time to focus on myself exclusively. They assured me it wasn’t selfishness, but about prioritizing my needs over that of being dutiful. I’m ready.

Here’s to new beginnings… Cheers!

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