Positively Honest

I would love to sit down and write hearts and flowers nonsensical prose, but right now, it isn’t where I am. Also, if I ever DO write anything remotely like that, please send men in white coats to do a psych eval.

Life is crazy at the moment. My primary care doctor is leaving, so even though I will be handed off to another physician during the remainder of Covid (Someone to authorize three of my prescriptions a month and handle a few referrals.), I will still need to find a new doctor for post-Covid care. 😦 This sounds like no big deal, but could take 6-18 months in total. I’m talking from experience. It will be my fourth primary care doctor, too. If you’ve been lucky enough to never have to change doctors, kudos to you, but I have lived in many different places and in each place, I’ve needed a new doctor. In Massachusetts, primary care physicians aren’t very good, so this should explain why I am extremely nauseated at the idea of a fourth one since moving here.

I’ve been dealing with self-induced stress, because I am always in fight or flight mode. It’s not a good place to be, but it’s how you survive, sometimes with (or without) lasting damage. I am doing my best to pull myself out of the quick sand. I’ve asked no one for help, nor have I discussed this with anyone. My independent streak about many things is taller than I am, but at the end of the day, no one else can credit themselves for digging me out of my own pain and suffering.

I’ve made some important decisions over the past six months. “Invest in yourself” is the best advice I can offer up to anyone, at any stage of their life, and I am proud of myself for following through on this, and continuing to make investments as I move forward. A few more steps and I’ll be sharing a whole new venture with all of you. One I know will be better at maintaining connection. 🙂

In the past year, I’ve realized connection, in all forms, is quite important to me. I can’t express enough disgust at those who’ve not even bothered to check in or ask if I’m okay. That’s doing less than the bare minimum in a friendship, and I don’t need friends like that. I am not a surface level friend in any way, shape, or form. I like depth, partly because I can talk about anything, but have no patience for small talk. I catch myself tuning out the second the subject matter isn’t of a higher level. It’s sad, really, because far too many people prefer to stay surface level. It’s boring.

When all of this craziness began last year, I reached out to everyone I consider a close friend or family member, and I included a few people I’m not the least bit close with anymore, because it doesn’t mean I’ve stopped caring. It was disheartening to watch, as the year came and went, very few people remain connected. It must be nice to live in your own bubble and not care about anyone else (Yes, that’s sarcasm.). I can’t relate to that kind of behavior because, as a writer, I live inside my head, but I do come out to check on those in my world. I don’t pretend I’m too busy or that a text or a few lines of an e-mail is too much work for me to fit into my day. That would be bullshit. I can track how much time I spend promoting on social media, and I can always reduce that time, or multitask.

I am learning that it’s perfectly okay to move on without closure. I am learning how to do this because I don’t aim to come off as a bitch. It isn’t who I am, but am I ending friendships which, if you follow the Marie Kondo philosophy, aren’t bringing me joy? HELL YES. Especially if there’s nothing to hold onto.

Friendship, and all relationships, are built on a foundation. If both of the people involved aren’t doing the work, why should one person alone carry all the weight? They shouldn’t. I will not allow myself to feel guilty for cutting people off. Clearly, no one cares enough to even realize they’ve been cut off, so it goes.

I have to thank all of the new subscribers. It is such a joy to reach out to you and realize I AM connecting with a broader audience. I appreciate all of you. Every time I log in and see new subscribers, I feel proud of what I’ve been doing with this site. Many readers have been with me for YEARS, and I feel blessed knowing I still keep you reading. I’m never 100% sure why, but I do feel that people relate, and therefore, they connect to the things I talk about.

Of late, my time has been spent in rewrites. I am trying to complete a novel for sale. Not because I have to, but because I want to establish growth. I read plenty of fiction (The darker, the better.), but writing it is different. My entire career has been based on truth, and I feel confident in the things I have written which have made an impact on others. I’m not good when boxed into one category, because I know I can do more than that.

I remember, quite vividly, shredding years and years of fiction before I moved away from home. If I think back to those days, I remember trying to develop compelling characters. It was, quite frankly, a never-ending story that I eventually saw for what it was. Thus, the shredding. Coming out of that experience shuddering, and embarrassed, I knew any fictional work I might do in the future would have to grab the attention of the reader immediately. I’ve already got editors breathing down my neck for this novel, so I’ve thrown myself head first into rewriting and developing the characters into multifaceted jewels.

I am confident in how the process is going. Instinctively, I know when something is working and when it is not. I trust my own judgment. Someone recently told me that because I trust my judgment, I don’t seek approval from others. They were accurate in this assessment. I will only ask questions if I’m unsure about something, and this rarely pertains to what I write. I write specific material, but I know a lot of my personality shines through. Sarcasm, humor, and wit, can all be involved in serious subjects. If you lose those things, you lose the individual voice.

Other things are happening, too. I am looking at almost all of it as positive. Sometimes, things occur and I am reminded of my strengths and how much I can achieve. Those are good moments, but we all have to take a step back at times and remind ourselves to achieve without feeding the ego, the superego, or the Id. I have watched people, over the past few years, truly feed their superego and it is such an immense turnoff. I choose not to say anything to them because you can’t talk someone down from that level. It slowly becomes a disease and I’m not trained to deal with everyone’s disease-feeding. Factor in that we all know someone who has reached this level of narcissistic behavior, and they now feel free to share their hideousness with the world. Over time, it is shown for the cancer on society it truly is. Add in closet racists and it’s very easy to see why many people choose to fully back away from society at large.

Wishing you all a wonderful week ahead. Mine involves some stress. I am meeting a new doctor this week (a specialist) and have had the appointment for five months. Before I got an appointment, I waited eight months just to get the phone call! Here’s hoping it goes off without a hitch. Fingers crossed.

Boker Tov,

copyright © 2021 by Lisa Marino & Poison In Lethal Doses, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Written work by author may not be shared or posted anywhere without express written consent from the author. Excerpts and quotes from the material also require 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.

Discussions of Funerals and Such

Today is the funeral of a friend of the family who died as a result of Covid 19. My brother is there now, and there’s nothing I can do except be encouraging, even though it puts me into the headspace where I relive every funeral I’ve ever been to. Funerals aren’t usually anyone’s cup of tea, but my brother especially, is not good with them. He has his reasons, and they’re perfectly understandable. That’s why he texted me this morning to ask if he looked okay and to go over certain things since we don’t usually get asked to attend non-Jewish funerals. There are religious and cultural differences between the two, believe me.

I’m in an okay element at the majority of funerals I attend. I’m being brutally honest when I say I’m invited to funerals, but no one ever invites me to their wedding. I’m serious about this, too, so don’t invite me to a wedding out of pity. I have nothing to offer there.

Having always been honest about life and death is likely crucial to how I handle things as an adult. My mother didn’t try to pretty it up for me when my Grandfather died, or when subsequent family members passed away after the fact. There were no bullshit stories in my home growing up, and I had no tolerance when people attempted bullshit stories with me. I haven’t changed on that level.

I cringe when people tell me how they (tried to) explain death to a child (at age three-ish or so), and fucked up royally (My words, not theirs. They think they did the right thing. My eyes rolled to Japan and are on their way back. Excuse me one moment.). I’m mortified by the shit they tell their kids because that level of dishonesty will shape them as they get older, and I’m not good with it. To this day, I still can’t tolerate the lies people tell. If you ever wonder how dishonest you come off, ask me and I’ll tell you.

Yes, I was the kid who told all the other kids that Santa, the Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy weren’t real. And I’d do it all over again, too. I mildly got in trouble for my honesty growing up, but it was mostly in the sense that my mother understood why I was being so honest, and told me it was the responsibility of other parents to also be honest with their children, or not. And if “not” was on the table, then I needed to try and keep my mouth shut, so as not to interfere with what they wanted their children to believe. I don’t think I’ve ever been on board with that.

In my eyes, a funeral is where you go and pay your respects. You’re not doing it for you or those involved (unless you’re really close with them), you’re doing it because it’s the right thing to do. Period. Respect is something I find lacking in so many relationships these days, and it’s disgusting to me. If you are unable to attend, then you send something, based solely on your relationship with the survivors of the deceased. I generally send cards and fruit baskets, but last year, when my cousins lost their mother to cancer, I had trees planted in Israel in memory of her, because I knew it would mean more to them, and it did.

When my father passed away, I sorted through hundreds of cards. I’m not exaggerating; cards came daily for over three months, and there were a decent amount of people at his funeral. When my mother passed away, I didn’t get five cards in total, and I got only three phone calls. It was bizarre as hell. My support system (i.e: Family) sucked then and it sucks even worse now. I cope differently than I used to. The person who buried her parents five months apart is a completely different woman now. I am colder, harsher, and darker, but I respect myself more for that than I once did. You see, these hard things change you, and when they do, you should honor the change, and not think of it as something awful. Change means growth. That’s not negative, and don’t let people tell you otherwise.

Did I want to burn my Aunt and Uncle’s house down after my father’s funeral? Absolutely, but I didn’t (Instead, I marched over to my Uncle’s grave and tore his spirit a new asshole. It felt good to get the anger out of my system, in the moment.). Did I want to rip people to shreds at my mother’s funeral? Yes. Instead, I stayed quiet, behind dark sunglasses, like a lady, and spoke when spoken to, after eulogizing my mother. I admire the woman I was that day because behind her pain, she was poised as hell. I am still poised. If you’re kind to me, I will be kind in turn. If you’re disrespectful, it’s not beneath me to throw you into the nearest open grave and shovel dirt over you. Everyone picks their own poison with me, no pun intended.

Today, I am sad. I’m sad that people still don’t seem to understand how serious this pandemic is and I’m sad many people have had to say goodbye to loved ones way too soon, and I’m angry with the knowledge that much of this could have been prevented.

I’d like to go back to normal. I’d like to not have to wear a mask (I’ve nearly walked out without one so many times.). I’d like to not have to worry about whether or not I’ve touched something that may be contaminated, etc. I’d like for people to feel safe again and not be worried, but I’m too realistic for that. Naturally, I have definitive opinions on the three vaccines that were pushed through and approved in less than a year, too, but that’s a discussion for another day and, possibly, a different audience entirely.

For today, I wish everyone the best and hope that you’re safe, healthy, and coping to the best of your ability. If you’re not, please know you’re not alone.

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

The Eerie Stillness of Bad News

Today, #Covid19 claimed the life of a family friend. His crime? Being told it was safe to have surgery, so that he could get back to being the healthy, active person he was. 😡 They are NOT preserving a life if Covid is part of the diagnosis, and it’s important for people to know this. They’re too afraid to try and help them in any real way, except keeping them comfortable.

PLEASE, STAY HOME. WEAR A MASK if you must go out or interact with people for work. This person died less than a week after testing positive, and he died alone. I tested negative at the beginning of the month (And I’m STILL sick, but not severely.). This easily could have been me, someone who is immuno-compromised, or anyone I know who has been forced to proactively handle their health during all of this insanity that no one could possibly be prepared for.

My primary care physician keeps telling me it’s safe to go into the office. 🙄 Two other doctors of mine were much more honest, telling me to stay home unless it’s absolutely necessary to go in. “It ISN’T safe and they CANNOT claim to provide a virus-free environment. He should NOT be saying this at all.” No, he shouldn’t, and I will be canceling my March appointment with him. I will be canceling other appointments for the beginning of next year, too. I don’t want to risk exposure, and I really can’t afford to be put at risk. None of us can.
I’m not saying you should be scared to live your life, but please, be mindful. Use common sense. Take precautions. Be mindful of the situations you’re putting yourself in.

Yes, we’re all going insane with restrictions and closings, etc. But you have to be alive in order to go insane even a little.

Another family is shattered tonight. 💔 Do your homework. If you can get vaccinated, weigh your options (It’s too early to be good for EVERY person. There ARE risks involved.). If you feel safest at home, I will NEVER judge you for it. But please, think about receiving a phone call at 2:30 a.m. and then wondering how you’ll cope with the aftermath. And if you don’t think about your family and friends, think about how you’d feel if the person was your mother, daughter, wife, father, son, husband, sibling, etc., and they died because you exposed them, unknowingly, to this crap. Yeah, it’s not a good thought or feeling.

Rest In Peace, Robert. You didn’t deserve this. 😢

To Many More

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

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

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

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

Bright Blessings,

Ultimate Guide To Letting Go…

I apologize for not being able to write this weekend, as intended. I’ve been suffering a few weeks now, not knowing exactly what was wrong. I hadn’t been exposed to anyone, so I was more in the mindset that maybe my migraine treatment was not working, which can happen. It’s not an exact science and your body can metabolize certain things faster than the next person, but yesterday things got so bad with my migraines that I went back to questioning what was causing my skull and face to hurt so much.

I took my new CGRP drug (Nurtec ODT) and hoped it would help. It made things considerably worse. By the end of the day, my skull was on fire, and I pretty much knew what was wrong. Because I’ve been suffering for weeks, I also knew I needed to see a doctor ASAP.

I went to Urgent Care to be seen, and to avoid any possible Covid exposure in my doctor’s office this coming week because Boston is still seeing an increase in cases and hospitals aren’t very safe. I’m glad I did. For the first time in a long time, going into a new experience with someone I’d never met before, I was treated like a human-being who was not “drug seeking” or trying to be a pain in the ass. I was treated like an intelligent patient who simply wanted to feel better, not worse. In less than an hour, I had my diagnosis, my prescriptions had been sent to the pharmacy, and I was glad I know my body as well as I do.

I will be down for the count for the next ten days, perhaps longer, though, as they chose to run a PCR test on me for Covid, and the results probably won’t be back until the 14th. Suggesting I hunker down for the time-being was a given. Even though I am pretty certain I wasn’t exposed to anyone who is actively ill, the nurse practitioner thought it would be a good idea since I could very well be asymptomatic. I can already feel the first dose of antibiotics working. This one is new to me and hits hard, almost as if it’s telling you, “You are NOT okay. You’re sick and you need to take care of yourself.” This is true.

I’ve been dealing with so many rough things that when I first started feeling lousy, I attributed it to lack of quality sleep. At one point, during the summer, I was almost convinced I had Covid, except Fibromyalgia patients can experience many of the flu-like symptoms of this particular virus. When I started feeling better two weeks later and had no fever, I didn’t sweat it. I’ve been extremely careful. I am not running a fever. In fact, I’m running at about 95 degrees. I can taste and smell everything far more than one might care to. I’ve mostly had head and an insane amount of face pain, sometimes stemming from my neck (Stress and tension in an arthritic neck is horrendous. I wouldn’t wish this pain on anyone. Add in rain and snow. I wanted to rip my bones right out of my body. My injured foot from January was so bad the other day, I was nearly in tears from the pain.), and this morning I woke up with a sore throat. I am grateful to the person who saw me today because there was a lot of compassion present. I will be informing the company she works for how amazing she was, because everyone deserves to be treated as I was today, but especially as someone who has experienced over a decade of medical trauma, gaslighting, and neglect, it meant the world to me.

If you need me, I’ll be writing and reading this week, in between taking my medicine and resting as much as possible. Oh, and don’t touch my Starbucks cup. As of thirty minutes ago, it became Strawberry Bubly and a heavy pour officially made it 100 proof. When I’m really sick, I usually do a couple of shots of whisky or vodka a day to disinfect my throat and speed up healing. This is a tried and true method that always works for me, and it’s something I know other cultures also incorporate into healing. I can’t hang with you if you can’t shoot straight vodka. 😉 Not the American crap, either. It’s got to be Russian. There are rules.

Be well, everyone, and stay safe.

Dobrey nochi,