All The Messy Shit (At Least It’s Honest)

If you’ve wondered where I’ve been and what I’ve been up to, Instagram was probably a good place to start. I wasn’t posting too much of the personal journey, which is ongoing, but I was active enough to make a dent in this crazy world of balancing life with social media activity.

When it comes I writing, I have a few partially started pieces (and multiple manuscripts), but I didn’t get very far with anything because I’ve been distracted, sick, and trying to live. The living part is where things get tricky. The art of balancing means I’ve been close to hitting my head many times.

No matter what you may or may not be going through, it’s important to know who is on your side. Over the past year, I’ve watched my circle shrink to a dot. Nothing I say here is anything I will not, or have not, said to someone’s face. Establishing hardcore boundaries showed me who was going to ride things out with me, and who wasn’t. I’m okay. I’m mentally prepared to cut off family members, empty friendships, and anything and anyone who is unhealthy or toxic. People are going to be surprised, but I am ready for this next chapter. My patience is gone. My temper is at an all-time high. I am never one hundred percent sure what is going to come out of my mouth, and I’ve been super honest about this.

Part of my silence here is because my life is changing and for a long time, I felt like I was losing my identity. It felt as though someone had erased my accomplishments, wiped things clean, and took me along with them. It is a horrible feeling. I’m struggling, and I have exactly two people who are aware of what is going on. It feels like a burden; a two person support system. It makes me even angrier, because I listen to everyone with a genuine heart. I answer texts and e-mails. I take calls, even when I would prefer not to. I’m hurting, and that’s actually kind of dangerous because I am dealing with so much narcissistic selfishness that it’s borderline unfathomable, and I do not use this expression lightly.

I wear many hats and titles, some more important than others, but as a writer, you never want to lose your purpose for speaking up and speaking out. You will have occasional ups and downs, because that is life in a nutshell, but lifting yourself back up into your role, and your gift, well, it’s been difficult for me. It is important to talk about it, to address it, and to remember you only compete against yourself. No one else on this planet has what I have to offer. There’s a reason for everyone’s unique perspective. It is a Divine gift.

Someone suggested I put one word in front of the other, and just keep going. They weren’t in the same room with me when they said this, or I would have tossed them out the closest window. It came off so dismissive. Two days later, I had someone else be even more dismissive with me, and I returned from that interaction sick as a dog.

Covid has taught me that I am actually sickened by people in all kinds of situations, large or small, and would prefer to keep things as small and as private as humanly possible. Some things are too damn precious to share. I am adjusting to this knowledge, while honoring my very real feelings on this matter.

When everything is “officially” reopened next month, I will still be taking precautions. I am going to prioritize my safety, and the safety of my family. I am going to put my mental and emotional health first. I am not going to jump into anything, because the cast iron skillet isn’t ever safe. It’s not about fear or paranoia; it’s about common sense. The world has changed. So have I; for the better.

Life is chaotic and messy, but I’m looking forward towards all the beauty coming my way. I’m going to absorb all of it, privately. In peace. And yeah, I will write about things, because it’s what I do.

copyright © 2012-2023 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. 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.

Wondering When It Gets Better

It’s hard to believe tomorrow is February, but it’s harder still to believe how sick I am. This virus is no joke. A few days and I’ll feel better? Not so much. Third bottle of cough medicine. Insomnia and parasomnia. The overall feeling this will not go away because it was a misdiagnosis on top of multiple misdiagnoses. I hardly know what day it is, and sometimes, I don’t know who I am. Quite frankly, none of this gives me “virus” vibes. Yes, I may need to see another doctor. What kind of doctor? Therein lies the ultimate question. <Sigh>

Last week, things got really scary when, within a few hours of feeling like I was freezing to death, my temperature had spiked to over 102 degrees. I had checked three times, and each time my fever increased, but I was way too sick to rationalize with myself. Moving was difficult. I was really weak. I couldn’t keep down water. I was sick in all caps, and my throat was raw. In total, it took about six hours for me to be able to swallow four Tylenol. I was deathly ill and so slow; and I have repeatedly tested negative for Covid, so I was pretty sure this was more of the same (With a follow-up negative for Covid.). I rescheduled an important appointment that morning because keeping my head up was too painful, and quite frankly, too much work. I then proceeded to sleep for almost seventeen hours straight. That is definitely not normal for me.

One benefit of being sick is having Cat and Kitten be sweet, little caretakers. Kitten only leaves my side for meals and short breaks. I go to sleep and she’s by my side. I wake up, and she’s watching me. I go back to sleep, and she’s snuggled up close. Occasionally, Cat is also with me. Either by herself, or within 1-2 feet of Kitten. Even though the new vet stupidly referred to them as “old lady cats” (I suggested they bite her.), it is more appropriate to say they are adult cats. Cat turned nine this past Fall, and Kitten turned eight. Collectively, they still have far more energy than I do. There’s something so pure and genuine about the affection when I reach over and pet Cat’s bunny soft fur. She almost doesn’t feel real, but she is, and the second I do anything she doesn’t like, she will run off. I require written permission for affection, which means, no touching. Kitten wants all the affection, all the head scratches, all the chin scratches, everything. She doesn’t hold grudges or take anything personally for too long. They truly have very unique, individual personalities.

If only this virus would move along as quickly as Cat when I so much as move a muscle. Being sick has zero perks. In a full months I have gone to Urgent Care, the pharmacy, grabbed groceries and some cat supplies. I got sicker after the grocery run, and that was with two masks on! My life has legitimately been sleep, sleep, and more sleep. It’s important to listen to my body. None of this rest has seemed to help, and neither have all the vitamins and healthy choices I’ve made, either.

Yesterday was my first step back into “real life”, and I ended up in bed before six o’clock, exhausted beyond words. I felt overwhelmingly ill. I still don’t feel great. Never a worse time for Amazon to lose not one, but TWO tissue deliveries when I need them so badly. UGH! “We promise you’ll have these on Monday.” That was on Friday, so I thought, “Okay.” No delivery. We promise you’ll have them by February 1st. HOW THE HELL ARE YOU LOSING 18 BOXES OF TISSUES?! How does it leave a facility and disappear? Why can’t you lose the orders I try to cancel?! Yeah, I have questions. Who wouldn’t?!

Despite the fact that Covid restrictions are going to be lifted this Spring, I still don’t feel well enough for certain things. February is a short month and I am concerned about how to navigate it in a healthful way. The same is true for March and April. It seems far away, but one look at my phone calendar says otherwise.

Ultimately, I had to make the decision that 2023 would not be the year where I would be able to post daily. This hasn’t been true in the past, even at my worst, but it must be true this year. I have to heal, focus, and work on projects I am passionate about. I will share things as they come up, but I’m going to do what I feel is right. I hope you’ll hang in for the ride.

I’ll be back with an update when I am feeling better. Wishing you all the best. Also, Happy Lunar New Year!

copyright © 2023 by Lisa Marino-Molchanova & Poison In Lethal Doses, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Poison In Lethal Doses®™ is a registered trademark.

It’s All Fun And Games…

How did your year begin? I woke up on New Year’s Day with laryngitis and a sore throat that made no sense. I can’t tell you the last time I had both happen at the same time. It’s been a long, damn time since I’ve had vocal issues. My voice went from nothing to a whisper. The following morning, I had a voice, but it was accompanied by a fever and a vicious cough. I sounded awful and my head felt like heavy, wet cement had taken up residence. I tested negative for Covid, but still decided it was best to go to Urgent Care on day three when my symptoms were worse. It’s all fun and games until you’re forcing yourself to see a doctor, or in this case, a Physician’s Assistant.

The wait was reasonable. The nursing staff and technicians treated me with absolute kindness. I immediately tested negative for two forms of strep, two forms of the flu, and Covid. I was convinced I had an infection, and I still sort of question if I do.

When the PA walked in to do his thing, I was prepared to be dismissed. He skipped a few steps, for sure. He didn’t check my eyes and he didn’t bother to check my sinuses. After declaring that he was pretty sure I had an acute upper respiratory infection, I was informed my ears and lungs were perfectly clear (I still think there’s a kitten meowing inside my chest when I breathe.). I was dismissed with a prescription for Tessalon perles. He actually became visibly annoyed when I asked a few questions. I was looking for clarification, especially since I’d been careful.

I’ve spent almost a solid week in bed, when I could, but mostly I’ve dealt with horrendous coughing, a dry throat which sometimes triggers other issues, severe headaches, facial pain, mild wheezing, sneezing marathons, and ear crackling which drives me insane. I’ve either had an appetite for real food or I’ve been craving comfort food, like homemade chicken noodle soup. This is a specific recipe and requires kosher ingredients. I recently moved on to swollen eyes, where I actually looked like someone had hit me.

This virus SUCKS. The Physician’s Assistant told me I’d be fine in a few days. I’m not. I am still experiencing sore throat issues and this cough is keeping me awake and leaving me unsettled.

Your Covid vaccines will NOT prevent you from getting any virus that is floating around. Double mask, if you can. Especially in public. I only got lucky in the sense that this did not progress to bronchitis, but it still could. I am taking precautions and trying to get myself healthier. Right now, depletion of energy is my biggest challenge each day. As of right now, I am pretty sure I will miss at least one in-person doctor’s appointment this month. My doctor did warm me in advance that if I so much as had a sniffle, not to come in. This is the kind of thing I definitely don’t want to spread around any medical office.

It’s all fun and games until you can’t rest, but need copious amounts of sleep. It’s ridiculous how hard this virus as hit me, but I am trying to hit back harder, and failing. Hopefully, it will pass entirely in another week or two. Hopefully, most people will not get this. If you do, stock up on tissues, vitamins, honey, and do whatever you can to feel better. No one hates being sick more than I do. This “acute” URI ISN’T cute at all.

Thank you to everyone who helped take care of my in some way since this all began. It’s appreciated. Stay well, folks!

copyright © 2023 by Lisa Marino & Poison In Lethal Doses, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Poison In Lethal Doses®™ is a registered trademark.


A lot has been going on. Some good, some not so good. I tell myself there’s a reason for everything, but sometimes you feel grief and you’re not entirely sure where to place it. Was it a good thing? Was it a horrible, tragic thing? Ultimately, I came to the decision that it fucking HURTS. I’m a human being, and no one gets to take pain away from me and make it seem like it’s no big deal. Just as I am not allowed to define it for you, no one can define it for me.

It’s hard to know what to make out of senseless loss. This was my second time experiencing such soul-sucking grief that I truly need to shut myself down for a while, and attempt to process it. Hopefully when I return, I will feel less hurt, less angry, and more awakened. One can hope, I guess.

copyright © 2012-2023 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.

Grieving needs to be allowed and supported, Lake County mental health experts say