How Is It That…

“How is it that some celebrities, whom the average person would believe to have all the popularity a human being could want, still admit to feeling lonely? It is quite naïve to assume that popularity is the remedy for loneliness. Loneliness does not necessarily equal physical solitude; it is the inability to be oneself and rightfully represented as oneself.” ―Criss Jami

Insomniac City & Other Feelings

There is something about summer that causes terrible insomnia for me. It’s not just the blistering heat & humidity of the days (and many nights). Even on cooler nights, I find myself completely and utterly unable to sleep. It’s awful, especially when I’m yawning at 7:30 PM thinking “I can’t wait to be in bed before 9:30.” I typically have to be in the midst of an excruciating migraine, Fibro flare, on allergy meds, or take a hefty dose of Melatonin to be in bed early these days. And let me tell you something; I’m not the least bit entertained by it.

Normally when I cannot sleep, I read or watch something I’ve seen a million times. Eventually I get bored/sleepy and it’s lights out. Sometimes I listen to music and that will help, but other times it makes my brain even more responsive, and that’s not helpful at all. I have tried re-reading some of my favorite books and every time I do, the next thing I know it’s 5:30 a.m. and I’ve got at least one cat crying to be fed or both of them wreaking some kind of havoc that annoys me and lulls me into the belief that if I feed them, they will calm down. Generally, they just walk away from the food and go back for it later on, but much meowing or pawing of the Mommy occurs before the “calming down” process. It irritates the hell out of me. I am NOT a morning person. Hell, I’m not even a day person!

Thursday morning I sat here unable to sleep. Kitten was 100% OUT next to me. She’d been sleeping soundly for about four hours or so while I’d done everything I could think of to put myself to bed. I eventually got about 2 1/2 hours of sleep, but after that, I was a prisoner to the day. I was so sleep-deprived that when I went outside around 3:30 to water the plants and herbs, I kept visualizing myself being found there at some point, ravaged by the neighbor’s dogs. It wasn’t just the heat and the sun’s intensity, it was that delirious state you often reach when you’re so sleep-deprived, you’d kill for 12 hours of solid, uninterrupted rest. Lack of proper rest screws with your body over time. I can’t remember the last time I truly slept well.

Last night, severely determined, I took a dose of Melatonin and was in bed by 9:15. The downside? I was up by 3:30. Not what I had in mind, AT ALL. 😦 Despite suffering pain-wise, I’d prefer not to need a nap by 10;30 in the morning. I’d also prefer to avoid additional encounters where I cannot account for 2-4 hours of my day.

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For the next week, the forecast is 80’s and 90’s. Only one day is slated for rain and thunderstorms. Heat and humidity make me viciously cranky and unpleasant. It makes me feel even more like a prisoner than I already do. 😦 I cannot enjoy “the great outdoors” when the heat index dictates that I need to drink a gallon or two of water, especially when I feel like it’s so hot I cannot breathe, or when the heat affects my eyes and makes my contact lenses cloudy and/or gooey. My allergies are awful. Even just typing these words makes me feel like a kvetchy bitch, but I’d rather be honest than pretend. Extreme temperatures are NOT my friend. Insect bites and sunburns are not a badge of honor that you’ve enjoyed the summer. I NEVER enjoy the summer, and I’d like to avoid all things involving damage to the skin.

There are no good suggestions for “things to do” when it’s this hot. Sure, you can walk the mall for no reason whatsoever, you can go to the movies, you can mindlessly walk around the book store, you can hit up a museum, but all of those things require energy I don’t always have. My patience is nil and my ability to make small talk is nonexistent. I don’t want to talk about anything serious either, because I am up to my ears in serious and do not care for or want any additional drama. I’m doing my best, my best is never good enough, and that’s the way the cookie crumbles, apparently. At this point, I’d rather discuss absolute nonsense, and that’s sad, because I am NOT a nonsensical conversationalist.

On one level, I could take the opportunity to hibernate and watch the Olympics, but let’s face it; that’s not going to happen. I will watch what I can of the opening ceremony (I already have it set to record on my DVR. I do not plan on watching it live.), some gymnastics, and the closing ceremony. The problem with watching gymnastics is that, as a former gymnast, I do gymnastics in my sleep. I remember every routine I’ve ever done and my brain works in mysterious ways. I’ve been lucky to retain nearly my flexibility, but NO, stretching does not minimize the pain of Fibromyalgia and things like yoga annoy the shit out of me. I am a physical kind of person, so if I’m going to workout, I need to be punching things or doing something that brings about results. I do pay an immense price for punching things; it kills my arms, back, and muscles I didn’t even know I have or utilize, but it makes me feel better mentally. I have many creative outlets, but so few mental outlets. Clearly, it’s time to search for something new.

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The whole library debacle is ongoing. After sending a formal complaint to the Director, the only results I’ve seen was the removal of $50+ in late fees they slapped on to my account because no one ever picked up the 14 items that were sitting here, half of which had been delivered five days after being checked out. I was so annoyed that I didn’t have time to read any of the books (I started one and got about 100 or so pages in, but I really wanted to be able to finish it.) and I still haven’t listened to any of the music I burned. I do hope the issue is resolved soon. On the plus side, I am caught up on The Good Wife after discovering six seasons of it are available on Streampix as part of my cable package. I was able to watch season four, which is apparently when I started watching in the first place. That was precisely what I thought originally, so now I’m over it. I can barely watch an hour of TV most days. I am so focused on getting work done and acquiring more work that it’s easy for my DVR to fill up and for me to miss things for months on end. At one point, I hadn’t turned it the TV on in a few months. It’s new, so it had calculated the energy/electricity saved and how many hours it had been since I’d last had it on. I had one of those moments where I thought “Wow! You have NO life whatsoever.” Of course, I tend to think that daily, but realizing that my new flat screen is basically collecting dust pissed me off. It was a gift, a “sense of normalcy to help me transition” after my move, but nothing is normal, I am not “transitioned”, and I have little time to enjoy the things I normally love. 😦 My life feels like it is dictated to me, as opposed to my choice. That doesn’t make me feel good about myself and I suspect it’s not supposed to.

And so, another day begins. Sun, heat, prepping for an interview for next week, being ignored by Cat (Kitten has already had breakfast and is sleeping peacefully beside me. She talks in her sleep. LOL.), and a zillion thoughts facing through my head. I’d like to go through the next few days without an interrogation, stress, deepening depression, or thoughts of walking in front of moving vehicles. I can’t afford to deal with broken bones (physically) and I really cannot handle dealing with anyone giving me the third, fourth, or tenth degree. I’ve bitten my tongue for far too long. One more push will likely send me over the edge and it won’t be pretty. However, it’ll feel damn good not to hold back the force of my personality any longer. I am only an opponent when someone forces me to be one. I make no promises if you continually push my buttons. In this, I think many of us are the same. We don’t actively go looking for the craziness that comes our way, but we won’t back down if you get in our face, either.

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Wishing you all an easy Friday and a wonderful weekend to come! 🙂

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

Feeling Sour

Maybe its lack of sleep, the weather, circumstances being what they are (I will explain at some point.), etc., but whatever it is, the combination has made me utterly unpleasant and sour. Two feelings that I can never seem to shake entirely. 😦

I forced myself to go to bed early last night, which was an utterly useless idea considering I have been battling migraines all week long (two separate, extremely painful migraines. One on Monday that carried over into the following day and the other that began Tuesday and has yet to part ways.) and have more caffeine in my system than the average Starbucks consumer. :/ Earlier on, I realized could still be “on time” today if I got 4-5 hours of sleep, so I forced myself into it and not only was I on time, but I managed to have a relatively decent day.

My first stop was the library. As a writer, I’m a big fan of libraries on a whole. They’re a great way to support writers by reading their work, and many of them have extensive collections you can read on your tablet or computer with a simple tap. You may not be able to fork over $30 for that first edition hardcover (or $10 for a paperback. Let’s face it, book prices aren’t getting any lower, unless you’re buying Kindle versions where there are often deals and decent prices at times, especially if you pre-order. I cannot speak for Nook prices.), but if you borrow the book, you’re still supporting a writer and you’re supporting your local library. Win-win.

By proxy, some libraries are better than others. My “new to me” library isn’t as good as the one I frequented in Pennsylvania, which was a Comcast supported library and, interestingly enough, was the BEST in the county. This one has fewer computers for people not bringing their own, 60% fewer books overall, 80% less DVD’s and Blu-Rays, and 70% less space, but it’s nice and quiet, is on two floors, has separate rooms for things some people deem “popular” and “interesting”, and I could probably spend an entire day there without being disturbed, unless they had some kind of event going on. There’s also a pizza place next door, so if you got hungry at any point after 11:00 a.m., there’s pretty good pizza within walking distance. Not too shabby. I scored a book that I’d placed on hold earlier in the morning before deciding I could attempt sleep (talk about fast service on a hold!), and a pile of CD’s that aren’t due back until June. Trust me, it won’t take me long to copy the music and drop the CD’s off next weekend, and since almost all of it is brand new, I was pretty impressed by that alone. They have a nice section called “New Music”. If you wanted anything new at my previous library, it had to be ordered and it could take anywhere from two weeks to six months, if not longer. Here, they order books and music directly from Amazon, so I learned. That’s quick service.

After that, I spent a few hours at the beach. Yes, I know. Beach and Lisa are two words you don’t normally find in a sentence. Yes, I was properly sun protected, as I would later discover in front of a lit-up mirror exactly how pale I am when I’m under different lighting (Holy crap!). It was nice being at the beach when it wasn’t chock-full of people, was low-tide, and I was able to take photos and find a few shells that spoke to me. Plus, it allowed me a good mile plus of walking. Yay! 😀

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I then had lunch at a restaurant that had previously been an absolute favorite. I was saddened to find that they’d changed their menu entirely, and that the quality of food, service, and even more than that, were seriously lacking. If I never see a server bringing a drink into a huge party, only to hear a waitress call out “She specifically said ‘no lime’.”, only to watch him fork the lime OUT of the drink, it will be too soon. If you’re in the food-service industry, we all know you’re supposed to pour that drink out and start over, not fork out the lime. There’s a reason people get specific with food and drink orders and nine times out of ten, it is due to an allergy, especially in this day and age. If someone handed me a drink where I tasted lime after specifically saying “no lime”, heads would roll. Not because I’m a bitch, but because you don’t go into a fancy restaurant of any kind and expect such poor service. You cannot charge nearly $30 or more for most lunch items (I’m not exaggerating.) and do shit like that. It is completely unacceptable. I wasn’t the only person who was utterly shocked to see that, a couple sitting at another table was also mortified. That place is now crossed off my list of favorites. Every time I find a fabulous restaurant, it doesn’t remain fabulous. 😦 This is one of the reasons I’m hooked on my cooking. At least then, I know what to expect and can only blame myself if something isn’t to my exacting specifications, which is incredibly rare.

The remainder of the day was pretty calm/relaxing, though I did come home in some serious “I walked way too much for one afternoon” pain. Such is the life of a sufferer of any form of Chronic Pain. I openly admit I pushed myself hard to do what I did, but it’s important to do that at times, because it helps you achieve something out of your day. Being at home 5-6 days a week, completely isolated, hurting, with just Cat and Kitten to keep me company and (partially) listen to me, is grating on my last nerve. Sometimes, I need to be around people and be reminded that I’m still young and that I need to break out of my shell on occasion. Otherwise, life is pointless.

One of the ways in which I will be breaking out of my shell is via YouTube. It’s completely outside my comfort zone and goes against a lot of my feelings and beliefs, but you do what you have to do when you have to do it, for your own reasons. As long as your choices are on your terms, it is okay. No one is perfect. It’s more important to me to be a decent person as opposed to aiming for the impossible.

So now, I return to a book and hope that everyone has a fantastic weekend and week ahead. I’ll be around, in one form or another. That alone is a soberingly depressing thought. 😦

Blessed Be.

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

Pull The Covers Up And Leave Me Alone

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I’m a pretty dark person. I have a wicked sense of humor and I’ll say anything goofy to make someone laugh, but when it’s my life, there isn’t a lot I perceive as humorous. I’m not the kind of person who laughs at someone else’s pain or who enjoys hearing about someone’s breakups, divorces, illnesses, a death, etc. Laughing at other people’s pain is evil, in my eyes. When someone mentioned losing their Mom last week, I sat on my couch and cried. I’d already endured a rough week and hearing the words “My Mom passed away, but she’s at peace.” made me ill. I felt SO bad for this person. I was relieved that they had support from a spouse, friends, and family. That made me feel better for them, despite the fact that losing a parent at any age is one of the worst things one can go through. I should know; I’ve already lost both of mine. I’d give a lot to have even just one of them back. I spend every day of my life feeling like an absolute orphan.

I am good at listening to others and giving exceptional advice, but I’m not very good at listening to myself in an advisory capacity. The last thing I want to hear is the sound of my own voice. I spend a lot of time trying to shut the inside of my head up. I don’t do drugs, so that means I pull the covers around me (usually because I’m cold) and close my eyes. After a few minutes, kitten comes to check on me and she’ll cuddle in, which always makes me feel cared for. She’ll look at me with such loving green eyes and I know that she is conveying her concern for me. “Why are you sad, Mama? Don’t worry, I’ll stay with you. ” And she doesn’t leave my side until I leave the room. She is the epitome of loyal, and it is gratifying to see so much love from such a little person.

Cat also checks on me. These last few weeks she has been very observant of my unhappiness and has spent a lot of time watching me, cuddling with me, sitting on my lap at times, and looking for me. If I leave a room, she’ll trot after me to make sure I’m okay. She stares at me with her deeply knowing little face. I can almost hear her thinking “Mommy’s not okay. I always hear her say ‘I’m not okay.’, why doesn’t anyone listen to her?” I don’t know.

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I’ve been so miserable that I’ve struggled emotionally in deep, dark places. Very few people have noticed and even fewer have shown me that they care. That’s okay, because it only proves what I already know; Most people live on their own fucking planet and aren’t aware that other people exist. Good for them, but please, stay the hell out of my lane or I will mow you down for shits and giggles. I have absolutely no tolerance for anyone who has their head that far up their own ass, though I am slightly impressed with their ability to physically aim so high. Since their heads never come out, there is no need to stock up on Listerine for the “great hose down of 2015”. I’ve decided to ignore assholes, douchebags, and vicious souls for the foreseeable future. I don’t care who the person is any more, I don’t need the stupidity and heartlessness.

Oftentimes people forget that all forms of depression can strike them down at any given moment. They can be the happiest person in the happiest place, and suddenly feel as though there are no words for their internal pain. Lying about it, pretending it does not exist, and blowing off the pain of others to make yourself seem stronger doesn’t make you better, it makes you afraid of being stigmatized. It’s 2015. Get the antiquated thinking out of your head and stop being an asshole to yourself, and others. It takes strength to treat a chemical imbalance. It takes strength to talk about it. You should be ashamed if you’re lying about it and hiding it. You should be even more ashamed if you’ve hurt friends that suffer because you can’t handle the fact that they’re stronger than you are. Yelling at someone who is suffering is not helpful. Screaming at them is even less helpful. You either want to help someone because you genuinely love and care about them or you scream because you lack proper communication skills.

I will yell when I’m frustrated, I will tell someone to back off or leave me alone when I am frustrated and need space, but the only person I abuse is myself.

I never know with any certainty if I will emerge from these dark places. Medication isn’t an option for me. I wait for new drugs to be released every few years to see if something new will be the answer. And by new, I mean NEW, I do not mean reformulated with a new name, which is what most pharmaceutical companies do when a major money-making drug is about to go generic. They will re-release it under a new name, having slightly tweaked it. If you’re not proactive in researching these drugs, you will spend years taking the same fucking crap, experiencing the same horrible side effects, wondering why you never feel better.

I am the exception, not the rule. Many people do find medication that works after some trial and error, even if only for short periods of time. I am chemically sensitive and I have been written off as “treatment-resistant”, which means that my brain doesn’t respond to all sorts of crazy chemical cocktails. No drug has ever worked for me on a long-term basis. Every time I “go dark”, it is up to me, and me alone, to try to pull myself out of the deep, dark hole before things get worse. I’m really tired of everyone’s opinions in regard to that. When you’re hurting, you want to be understood. You don’t want to hear hypocrisy or “That’s a permanent solution to a temporary problem.” Um, NO. I will have this for the rest of my life. That my friends, is fucking permanent.

I will never be a perfect, blooming flower for anyone. I wish people understood that depression does not diminish who I am, it does not detract from what I bring to the table. It does not make me less talented, less intelligent, or less anything. If anything, it makes me the more interesting person in the room with a little more vibrancy at times because I hold a lot back daily. I don’t shine all of the time, but when I do, I highly suggest wearing sunglasses.

Here’s hoping I will soon shine again.

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

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