Chronic Pain Awareness Month 2020: Part I

September is #ChronicPainAwarenessMonth. Throughout the month, I will try to feature as many pain disorders as possible to help raise awareness across the board.

That “healthy” friend or family member who you don’t see much of (even without a pandemic), but who you’ve seen talk about pain issues on social media? They’re SUFFERING and STRUGGLING. Think of something kind this month and do it for them. However large or small, it will be received with immense appreciation. Yes, I practice what I preach, even when I’m the sufferer. #ActsOfKindness #PainDisorders #InSeptemberWeWearPurple💜

A Caturday of Silence

X-rays of half my body tomorrow. 😦 I’m trying not to work myself up into a stress frenzy. Ultimately, the results will be whatever they are. There’s nothing I can do to change anything. I just have to move forward the best way I know how. Surgery is not on the table and I’d never agree to it, but this pain… There are a a LOT of days when I consider giving up. More to follow, as it is Chronic Pain Awareness Month.

Fall Equinox

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Today is the Fall Equinox, when night and day are exactly at equal length. It is also one of the eight Pagan Sabbats called Mabon. It is named after the God Mabon. He is the Child of Light and the son of the Earth Mother Goddess, Modron.

Mabon is mainly a harvest festival, it is the last harvest before winter comes. In old times it would be a time to start stocking up on fruit, wheat, corn, and grain for the winter months ahead.

This is a time of transformation. The great wheel has turned as we pass into a new season and say goodbye to Summer. Earth is going through a major shift where darkness will now start to take over light as the nights get longer and days get shorter. Cold will start to take over warmth and death will start to take over life. Plants will wilt and trees will start to lose their leaves, fields will become baron and grey. Wild animals will begin to gather food for the winter months before going into hibernation.

Mabon is a time of thanksgiving. We thank the God and Goddess for all that we have and thank them for the harvest. The sap of trees returns to their roots deep in the earth, changing the green of summer to the fire of autumn, to the flaming reds, oranges, and golds. We are returning to the dark from whence we came. The Goddess is radiant as Harvest Queen, and the God finally dies with his gift of pure love with the cutting of the last grain. He will descend into the underworld, his last day on earth will be Samhain, when a gate will open between our world and the underworld. We enjoy the abundance of fruit and vegetables at this time. We should adorn our altars with pumpkins, nuts, corn, wheat, squash, fruits, and other seasonal fair, and any falling leaves or acorns we may find to honor the season and to thank the God and Goddess for the wealth of harvest bestowed upon us.

Mabon is also a transition for the Triple Goddess as she goes from her mother phase to her crone phase; her final phase from her journey of the year.

The Fall Equinox is a time of balance, of both light and dark. It is a time to look within ourselves and balance our thoughts and emotions, and find balance in our lives. To embrace our dark and our light, as one cannot exist without the other. It is when we stop and relax and enjoy the fruits of our personal harvests, whether they be from toiling in our gardens, working at our jobs, raising our families, or just coping with the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

Mabon reminds us of the cycle of life, death, and rebirth. As we go into the dark half of the year, we also know that Spring and Summer will be upon us again.

Hoof and Horn, Hoof and Horn
All that dies shall be reborn
Corn and Grain, Corn and Grain
All that falls shall rise again

May your Mabon be memorable & your hearts and spirits be filled to overflowing.

Written & photo credit goes to: Wicca Teachings

Edited by: Lisa Marino

What The Hell Was I Thinking?!

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Last month, a client booked me for the first two weeks of September. Upon receiving her manuscript two and a half weeks early (She genuinely seemed to think that was okay.), I put my foot down and said I would not start until September 5th since she had not booked an earlier spot. She, surprisingly, agreed. I’m not being paid enough to do all that she’s demanding, and I mean it when I say the list keeps growing, but I made a commitment and I’ll honor it. Pray for my eyeballs and back, please. You know where I’ll be for the next two weeks. 😦

Normally I don’t mind proofreading and providing notes for someone, but this time I realize it’s the money that’s insulting me. It’s not befitting of my experience and what I bring to the table. The client  hired nine other people, along with me. In my opinion I find it more cohesive to work with one proofreader. Conflicting thoughts and opinions is best left for your beta readers, not a proofreader. Demanding pages upon pages of notes when you’re not even paying my hourly rate for the entire job is enough to enrage me. However, it’s 100% my fault. I agreed to do it, knowing in advance that the money might cover 26 cans of cat food or a tiny amount of food for a human. Oh, how the mighty have fallen. 😦

If you’re an inexperienced high school or college student, this would be a little play money or Ramen noodle money for you. For an experienced adult, it is insulting, but again, 100% my fault. I have no room to complain or bitch, despite doing so, because I agreed to do it knowing what was involved, partially. Please, someone schedule me for a brain MRI, stat. I want to make sure it’s still in there.

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I am in the midst of a week-long flare-up, after spending less than a week walking over fifteen miles. That’s nothing for most people; fifteen miles. They don’t even know they walk approximately ten miles a day (this is considered the national average of walking a person does daily, but a lot of my friends have told me they do the bare minimum, which means I actually move more than they do!), but for a Fibromyalgia patient, walking fifteen miles over the course of five days is the equivalent of running a marathon or winning Olympic Gold. It’s impossibly painful at this advanced stage, and yet I somehow managed it. I have yet to claim my reward. 😉

Between migraines and the pain in my back; I’ve found it immensely difficult to sleep. I’m struggling with my allergies as well, so all of these things keep me awake when I want to be asleep and make me sleepy when I want to be awake. Melatonin and/or my allergy meds have provided up to 12 straight hours of sleep some days. My body always goes through this before the Fall Equinox, but a lot of this began in August, so anyone who thinks Global Warming is a joke is wrong.

And so, I sit here on Labor Day, isolated from the world. I’ve felt alone most of my life, truly alone, but this year it’s worse. There’s no one to watch baseball with. There’s no one to ask if I am making hot dogs or hamburgers, if I’m making fries, or inquire as to whether or not I got pie. Being intentionally isolated by family and friends is incredibly hurtful, but feeling like I have to withdraw even harder to keep myself in tact is worse.

I have spoken to one friend via Facebook messenger, another via e-mail, and received a few text messages inquiring about my health. The only genuine concern I’ve received today, the only genuine love, has been from Cat and Kitten. Of course, Kittens’s love is a continuous thing, growing each day. She chooses to spend time with me when she could be off doing silly cat things or sleeping. Cat, not so much. She has been better these past few days; bringing me toys and giving affection. She is being sweet, which is her general disposition. Perhaps she has felt much as I’ve felt these many months; unhappy. The only difference is, she is given love and care every single day. I’ve never abandoned her. I’m allowed to feel less than human, and what’s worse, I’ve been told I am less than human. It’s a wonder I haven’t killed anyone yet.

Ultimately, there are worse things in life than someone trying to be cruel and failing. There are people who have lost their homes and everything they own due to floods and fires, there are people who are homeless through no fault of their own, people who have died or been injured in earthquakes, and there are people who are sick and dying because no one gives a damn. “Band-Aids don’t fix bullet holes.”; this is one of the most honest phrases ever written and yet, I have continually found it to be true. Far too many people think a politely worded lie will mend the damage done. I’m certain I live in a world where things get more bizarre by the day.

If you are in the States, I wish you a happy unofficial end to the summer. If you’re not here, be glad, for we’ve got a maniac running for President and crazy shit happening on the daily. Nothing is as simple as it seems. Nothing is ever so cut and dried.

I, for one, will be glad to see this day end, and hopefully everyone dealing with the remnants of the tropical storm is safe and sound.

Merry meet, merry part, and merry meet again. 🙂

copyright © 2016 by Lisa Marino & Blackbird Serenity LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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Life is short. Make a fucking effort.

August Ends

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It’s no secret; I HATE summer. Unbearable heat, humidity, endless days of sun; they simply weren’t meant for someone like me. Fall is my favorite season (Two guesses why.), but Winter is a close second. That is why I am relieved to say goodbye to August and hello to the cooler temperatures ahead.

This year has been HELL. On some levels, I’ve made great strides and on other levels, I feel stuck, trapped, and genuinely unhappy. I look forward to new people, new achievements, new goals, new forms of happiness, new successes, and pretty much all things NEW. And while that means delving into my past and ridding myself of a lot of negativity, I am all right with that. I am all right with the hard labor that will involve, so long as it opens up a new, fresh chapter that can be lighter, fresher, and ultimately, happier. I don’t always like change when it’s forced upon me, as my recent changes have been, but I look forward to making lemon drop martinis out of the lemons I’ve been handed. If I look at it any differently, it will only continue to traumatize and harm me, so I am doing my best to place a positive spin on it, because to go in reverse is not how you move on to better things.

A lot of people in life settle. I’ve heard way too many people say they married someone “because they asked”, not “because I genuinely love him/her”, but “because they asked”. That’s not reason enough for me, or I would have been married in junior high school! Yes, that’s when the majority of my marriage proposals began, and I’m not ashamed to admit it.

I may not believe in marriage at the moment, but I don’t ever want to settle for things I’m not happy with, or settle for someone who I don’t fully believe in. That’s like going to your favorite restaurant and ordering something off the menu that’s passable, but something you know won’t make you happy in terms of choice. Just thinking about it makes it sour in my mind. I won’t settle in any aspect of my life. Perhaps it’s why I am so challenging and difficult. I know who I am and what I’m capable of, and when people try to box me into their thought process or desire for me to be their vision of who I should be, I’m always going to rail against it. I don’t have to be perfect for anyone, I just have to be able to live with myself.

This month has taught me who is truly important in my life. As usual, the numbers diminish a little, and that’s okay. As people show you their true colors, you’re able to see everything and everyone a lot more clearly. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. It may upset you or piss you off initially, but ultimately, assholes and idiots, on occasion, help you make big choices. Life is a labyrinth of learning. Knowledge is power, and I feel like people forget that sometimes.

I move into September focused on my health, on my brother’s health and helping him as much as humanly possible (I am in the process of setting the fundraiser up. A detailed post will accompany it for those who didn’t read my previous post about feeling like this was the right thing to do for him. If I wasn’t deeply concerned, I’d never do something like this, but I am.), and on trashing the old, keeping as many good memories as possible, and learning that not everything needs to be held on to forever.

We come into this world naked and crying. We leave this world alone, even if we are surrounded by loved ones. None of our worldly possessions can go with us, though I’ve seen many people try. So, take stock of your life and don’t forget to look after loved ones to the best of your ability. Sometimes it’s a struggle, but it would be far worse if you had to live with regrets for the things you did not do when you had the chance to be present.

If I didn’t have loved ones and responsibilities, I’d have checked out a long time ago. I will never lie about that, because it’s always in the back of my mind, but today, I am trying to focus on being rinsed clean of all the bullshit and drama.

Here’s to a new month! Goodbye, August. I am happy to see you go. Wishing you all blessings, good health, and happiness for the month ahead. 🙂

copyright © 2016 by Lisa Marino & Blackbird Serenity LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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