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.

Check In

Is it really Thursday? AGAIN? My best friend and I say this every week, especially if we don’t get a few hours to chat about what’s going on in our lives. Factor in a seven hour time difference. I won’t lie; there are many moments when I have almost crawled into bed and stayed up because she was messaging me as I was about to turn my phone off for the night. What’s a little lost sleep between the bonds of friendship?

This week took its toll on me. Neurologically, I’m not looking forward to having, “the serious talk” with my doctor next week. But I have to, because everything I’m experiencing is indicative of a stress related breakdown or a possible stroke. When I’ve brought these issues up to both my primary care physician and my neurologist, both of them refused to order tests, deeming them, “unnecessary”, and proceeded to ignore my suffering. I’m putting my foot down and demanding an fMRI of my brain to rule out specific issues.

My mother had half a dozen strokes, and because they don’t always show correctly in women with precise indicators, we didn’t know about them until after tests were run and doctors were shocked that none of them had been serious. I remember the first one quite clearly, because she nearly hit a newly planted tree and I was with her. We both thought she’d had an anxiety attack. I talked her down, got her cold water and a tiny dose of anti-anxiety meds. She said the medication helped immensely, so she believed it was anxiety. Fast forward two hours later when the police showed up to ask her where she’d been and if she’d hit a tree, because some asshole called it in, but didn’t bother to come out and make sure either of us was all right. I have to wonder about the priorities of a person like that. Ultimately, nothing came of it; there was no damage to her car and no damage to the tree, unless you count some earth getting moved around (I thoroughly checked it all before we left.), but as I have thought about that day many times, I am experiencing some of the same brain related issues and it’s scary. Language issues, where I type not in English, but in another language entirely, or where my brain scrambles the words I use in my daily vernacular, is difficult for someone like me, who prides herself on her memory and her skill set. Generally, I type with zero typos or spelling errors, but now, I am having to retrace my steps through everything because I find the most basic mistakes. One has to be concerned about their brain when they are experiencing such troubling symptoms.

A close friend is trying to help me navigate this mess, from another state, and while I appreciate the bits of guidance and encouragement, I also get annoyed at times because I don’t want to be anyone’s pet project. I should not have to fight this hard for proper medical care. No one should have to endure this.

Add in a month long migraine, vertigo attacks, balance issues, and a lot of neck and shoulder pain, and I’m basically a husk. One day, I will have better news.

For now, I thought I’d check in. It’s the equivalent of sticking my head into a room and then ducking out gracefully. 😉

Amid all this craziness, I am doing the final revision on a novel. I cracked 150,000 words, and realize this is an achievement all by itself, but I’m still polishing the diamond (because it needs polishing, and a few more facets.). The character development has far exceeded my expectations and I’m pleased with the new material I’ve written, and what I’ll continue to write as I head toward the finish line. I’ve also done some writing on the psychological thriller, which I feel good about. I chose to do it to challenge myself, and I’m so glad I listened to that voice that told me, “You have a story to tell.” Those characters are developing at a slower pace, but they will get there. In between, I’ve been focused on a lengthy piece about racism and then, I began writing about a few incidents which occurred earlier this week. When I get mad, I make sure I am doing something constructive to get it out of my system, and help others think or look at it from a different point of view. I don’t write anything I don’t feel is valuable to others, so hopefully, upon completion, these pieces will make an impact on someone. Both will be submitted to magazines. I have an additional creative idea for my followers, so stay tuned. I am determined to make major changes this year, and I’ve been doing a lot behind the scenes. 🙂

Someone had the audacity to make it sound like writers don’t actually do any, “real work”, and they, quite stupidly, said it to me, as if that kind of thing is acceptable. Not understanding something does not mean you get to insult it. It’s a good thing we’re still social distancing, or someone would be missing their face.

If this person knew how hard I worked (sometimes for 16+ hours with no real break), with no guaranteed salary, they would be in a psychiatric wing, because what I do is not simple, easy, or lesser. Writing is a high form of art. It’s not black and white. It is full of grey area, and I tend to drown myself in the grey most of the time. I am a writer because I have talent, a voice, and I know how important it is to use that voice on the right platforms, at the right time. I’m not trying to be funny or force humor, which is usually when people find me hilarious. When I’m serious, sometimes people think I’m kidding and they laugh even harder. Other times, I’m genuinely kidding and people think I’m serious. <shrugs> This person doesn’t seem to grasp that if you insult me, I will work harder and, eventually, make you cry for your disrespect. What’s worse? The fact that they don’t grasp that it is an insult to begin with.

As such, I will now return to work. Then I’ll catch some sleep. Wish me luck!

Buena notte,

Forks In The Road

Welcome to all the new readers, and those who’ve been with me for years or months. 🙂 I’m happy to greet you all.

I’ve been working on a piece about racism and my personal experiences with different forms of it, but mostly, I have started to notice just how worn out I am, which lends to me feeling completely useless. I am not sleeping well; and I am trying not to rely on prescription sleep medication because it either doesn’t work or it leaves me with sleep paralysis. I am burnt out, stressed about life and the future, thinking about all of my relationships, etc. I’ve been trying to allow myself the honesty of all of my feelings privately, which hasn’t been helpful, though perhaps I am too close to say if it’s helping or not. I do know there are abysmal highs and lows these days.

I will be taking some brief breaks for the next month or so. I don’t know if they will be obvious or not, but I think it’s necessary and needed. I think it’s time to get my head into some sense of normalcy and keep pushing for betterment. I hope you will all understand the reasoning. I will still be present, but there will be days when I’m not. I hope it’ll be fine, no matter what.

For the month of March, I will be focusing on a few charities in support of Colorectal Cancer and Women’s History Month. I also have my Goddaughter’s tenth birthday approaching. People always say, “You’re way too young to be a Godmother.” I don’t think they understand what an honor it is to be asked to be a part of a child’s life in such a deeply personal way. There is no age requirement or limit involved. It’s an honor and a privilege, and yes, it is also a responsibility. It says something about me, as a person, that people fully trust me with their child.

I will do my best not to be too “out of it” here, but will also do my best to rally. For now, though, this picture near a local trail says it all. I’m walking towards the color, because everything else feels too harming and bleak.

Wishing you all a peaceful week. Bright Blessings.

Stressors and Triggers

I intended to write something specific today, but my mood is bringing me deep down. That’s when I know I need a break, a distraction, and perhaps a six month long vacation away from daily stressors and triggers. Alas, I settled for a stack of good books.

When you’re writing about certain topics, it is often good to stay away from reading books on said topics. Instead, I find stepping back, and reading the topic for a while, is far more encouraging regarding how you will finish it, and what the quality of the writing will be.

So, I guess I’m on a bit of a self-imposed break this week. Here’s hoping I’m inspired to do things on my own terms, because forcing it means you’re writing crap. At least from my perspective.

Have a good week.

Where Did This Month Go?

I blinked and it is January 31st. Another mindfuck.

I’ve had a lot to say, a lot to think about, and a lot I didn’t write this month. I’d start to say something and it would irk me, so I’d draft it and move on. In the meantime, I did manage to read over sixty books this month, so it’s not all bad. That’s a damn good achievement. Most of what I read was for research purposes and it will carry into February. The goal is to educate myself on specific topics, and get the information I am looking for while I read. I don’t do a lot of leisure reading these days. There’s a method to my madness.

I had an in-office medical procedure performed last Monday. I’m mostly used to it at this point, but man did it hit me hard. I was in so much pain after the fact, I actually fell asleep (In fairness, I nearly fell asleep multiple times in the waiting room before my doctor came out to see me. The medication I take should have had me wide awake and a little off-center, but instead, I was ready to nap.), whereas after this particular procedure, I often have trouble sleeping. I am still recovering from it (Recovery is approximately two full weeks, give or take. If I didn’t have an autoimmune disease, my body would respond differently.), and also dealing with some new (to me) aspects of Fibromyalgia pain. I get rib pain on my left side a few days before any type of storm hits (rain/snow). It feels like I’ve been stabbed in the back, but if cold air hits my lungs, it makes it so much worse. When I brought this up with my doctor, he blew it off completely and told me my lung x-ray was clear. That was many months ago, and I’m still in pain and still being ignored. I have also since had a really awful sinus infection which required two different antibiotics, so when I talk to him about coughing and associated pain, I hear him not taking my concerns seriously. As per usual.

One of the positive signs, once the state of emergency is lifted (And I have no idea when that will be, as Massachusetts cases are still quite high on the North Shore.), will be when I am able to safely make an appointment with someone new, and fire my current doctor. Believe me when I say my review of him will be honest, but fair, and it might come off a bit harsh, but since becoming my doctor a little over a year ago, he has been predominantly useless on every level. I don’t need any more useless physicians; and no one deserved to feel this way when they turn to a physician for help. More than once I’ve nearly suggested he go back to medical school. I have a Telehealth appointment scheduled with him for February. Since he’s gone back and forth with me, first saying, “We will find the source of your pain.” at my first appointment (and continuing to reassure me over time that this would be achieved.), to suddenly saying, “We may never find the source of your pain.”, I feel justified that he isn’t capable of handling my case. It isn’t my fault that I suffer from something he isn’t trained to handle; but it IS a failing of his medical education. The fact that he has other patients with almost the same medical history as mine is scary. I wonder if they’re content with his treatment or if they are being treated better, worse, or about the same. This is probably the first time I’ve questioned if we’re all getting the same treatment. I’ve noticed some people are being treated better based solely on their insurance. Mine covers damn near everything, so as a physician, if you’re changing up treatment methods based on insurance, you are failing your patients. I see so much lazy medicine, it drives me insane. I shouldn’t be doing work for a doctor. That isn’t right, or fair. I work hard enough without having to do extra work.

I will be making a small list of goals for the month of February. I will choose three, to keep it reasonable.

For starters, I will be supporting the American Heart Association for American Heart Month. You’ll notice the colors change monthly for whatever I am choosing to bring awareness to. Sometimes this will mean weekly color changes. Links are included in case the charity (or charities) I choose is something you would like to give a small donation to.

I chose AHA because genetic heart disease and heart attacks have affected more than 50% of my family members, starting with my paternal Grandfather, who died at age forty of a massive heart attack. My maternal Grandfather also passed away from a heart attack. 😦 I lost my mother the same way, and nearly lost my brother a few years ago to the same genetic disorder. I’ve been mildly assured I am not carrying the gene, but I am wary about it, and worry about passing it down. For all the good genes I have, heart issues are not at the top of the list. 😦 I am doing my level best to be healthier to avoid potential issues. I am determined to be my version of healthy, as opposed to an unhealthy mental version of what health should look like.

If there are any diseases you’d like to see me feature this month (or in general), please leave me a message here, or on any of my social media platforms. I will reply.

For now, I say goodbye to January and hope February will be kinder to us all.

Bright Blessings,

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

Ungrateful Caturday

My cats have decided I’m merely a person who feeds them and rewards them for existing with expensive treats, which they think they should receive every few hours, so long as I’m working and they can annoy me. And they’ve taken to jumping on my head and screeching if they aren’t fed by 8:00 a.m.

As I type this, they are both standing near a mostly closed door, peeking in on me. If I move, so do their heads. This goes on for hours. I’ve become human furniture that requires regular cat spies. Next time, I’m ordering cuddly cats.

Writing, Reading, and Trying To Stay Focused

It was a bizarre first week of January, to say the least. I’m going to try not to talk about what happened at the Capitol Building because my brain is still trying to process the remnants of the act. I didn’t know how much it would trigger my PTSD. Especially as someone I am familiar with shared his experience of being in lockdown in the building while this was happening. I remember immediately thinking of him and worrying, but he stayed in touch and I respect how honest he was about the entire ordeal. People like to say nasty shit to him, for no real reason other than trolling someone because their politics don’t line up with yours, but he’s been a good connection for me to make since moving to Massachusetts.

What have I been up to since January 1st? I’ve been reading like a madwoman, studying hard, and was also able to write over eight thousand words on a psychological thriller I’ve been trying to grasp for maybe six months, or so. The story is progressing nicely. 🙂 When I look back upon the beginning of the month, it seems like I had a steady, and successful week. I suppose I did. I’d consider it small steps, in truth.

This week is already different. I am determined to truly break open my new laptop (She’s beautiful and I shall name her Poison 8.0. I won’t lie; all of my laptops have names. Why else do they give me the option? 😉 It’s not for shits and giggles. I might not name a car, but I’m sure as hell going to name the laptop that keeps me creative and working.). The computer arrived much earlier than I expected, and after initially logging in, I put it back in its original box and set it aside. I had looked at it, from day one, as a matter for 2021. My brain, unfortunately, is still confused whenever I write the new year down or see it on anything. I have the same reaction to the calendar; it startles me a bit. I feel discombobulated, for lack of a better word. I feel like I blinked and there was a ton of change I haven’t quite caught up with just yet. I’ll get there, because obviously, work is taking off in a new direction and I have to be prepared for every moment of it. I am also going to take it to Best Buy and have all of my files transferred over as soon as I can. But only if it means getting them both back within the same day. I don’t want to miss a moment of this creative drive. It’s a nice ride to be on, and any good writer will tell you the same thing.

2020 was a good year for me financially and professionally, which encouraged me to break out of my shell a bit and look into new options. The “new options” and new projects are on their way, and I am encouraged by the authenticity of them. They are 110% ME from start to finish and I am proud of this fact. If you see me do something, know that I didn’t have help in it. I will only ever credit someone if I had no hand in it, but the work you see with my name on it, know I did it all.

The downside of having this success, on any level, is seeing how hard others have worked to try to one-up me. And it’s not so much, “work”, as it is someone trying to compete against me for no valid reason. It really made me roll my eyes; especially one person in particular who has felt more like a frenemy over the past 4-5 years, as opposed to a real friend. I realize some women don’t understand deep connections, and that’s okay, but I’m not going to get behind people, “just because”. That’s not who I am. My core group of friends know they will always have my support in whatever they do personally and professionally (Unless I am worried for them, in which case I will be honest. I’m known for my honesty because it’s part of who I am. Being direct shouldn’t be considered a bad thing.), and they support and encourage me, as well. They’re happy for me; not competitive. So, I’ve started severing ties here and there with toxic people and the negative energy they bring along. I do that to move forward, and I also do it because it helps my mental health not to see those low vibrations trying to touch me as I ascend.

I will say this now and never again: I don’t buy followers to make my numbers look better. Not here. Not on Twitter. Not on Instagram. Nowhere. When I look at my numbers, I know they are authentic. I don’t have bot followers. I have certainly been approached to pad my numbers, but that’s so disrespectful to my core readers and it detracts from my message, as well. My ego isn’t part of the equation here. I receive offers all the time to pad the numbers by tens to hundreds of thousands, and I refuse to do it. It sickens me. So while social media ebbs and flows, I let it be. I only follow and support people who are part of my circle and/or people I genuinely like. There’s no other reason to click the follow button, and I speak for myself on this level.

Occasionally a friend will have to remind me about their newest blog post, but they will also tell you I DO jump online and read it. I don’t allow people to have a lot of access to me anymore, so generally the people who can reach out instantly have my phone number and can text me whenever they want. Or, they will message me via a different app and we have a relationship based on communication and mutual support. I have seen these extremely talented individuals start from scratch and a few years in, they are, like me, not padding their numbers. I have more respect for that than I do for people who so obviously are buying fake followers. People don’t like to admit it, but I’ve had so many agents and publishers tell me they know it’s going on and they can’t abide by it. If it makes no sense to someone who knows how all of this works, then it should raise questions for others as well.

So, after I make hopefully just one more tedious phone call this week, I will have time to prepare the new laptop. In between reading and writing. If you’re going to be at home, you might as well be productive on as many levels as humanly possible. Because other than grocery shopping and laundry, books and creativity will always be there for me, and I’m grateful for that.

Stay tuned, my friends. Stay tuned. 🙂

This Is Important

People, too often, consider America the promised land. The ultimate goal. I’ve noticed, over the past ten years, people who’ve always believed this moving to Canada or the United Kingdom, instead. I can’t say I blame them.

There’s a lot of fucked up shit that happens here. Far more than most insulated citizens are aware of. This country isn’t perfect, nor is its leadership. That was proven this week while the rest of the world laughed at us.

For an incoming President, I’d like to see lower income families be taken care of first, even while you’re tackling Covid-19. Larger stimulus checks for lower and middle class families. They are the backbone of this nation. These communities are the ones that have lost the most in the past eleven months. We need to provide safe childcare if we’re going to demand they work harder, longer hours.

All across the board, the United States needs to do better. The world is watching. It’s time to do better, get better, and move forward in a healthier fashion. Because when I think of greed, I look at this country and I see it everywhere. It makes me sick and it adds shame on top of that. I’m still reeling from the events of this week, and I’m hoping we will move forward with less hate and more dignity. Alas, I know it will probably take the rest of my life to see that level of change, if not longer.

Numb Dismay

It’s hard not to be angry and numb today as an #American. I’ve seen a lot of ugly, racist comments made, all under the guise of, “If those people had been…” Just stop. I don’t want to see ANYONE shot, choked, tear-gassed, or harmed because of one psychotic person who bought an election in this country. The hatred is alive and well without his encouragement. The white supremacy needs to stop, and people who are wholly white need to stop their bullshit, because a lot of it comes off hateful, even if you mean well.

This morning, some white privileged pig told me (and the several million people I represent as an American Jew) to leave this country, “for my own safety”, and proceeded to made assumptions regarding how I vote. To be perfectly blunt; Fuck you. I will take up arms and I will fight back against all forms of hate, including someone telling me I’d be safer somewhere else. REALLY? Where?! “Go back to Israel.” Are you fucking kidding me with this shit?

🌏 My family, like many others, helped build this young country with their bare hands. Half of the things you admire in New York City were physically built by my Great-Grandfather, an immigrant who worked until the day he died, and my Great-Uncles, only one of whom was not born here. No one gets to tell me I’m lesser than everyone else because I’m #Jewish. Nor does anyone get to make assumptions about which way I vote, because unlike many people, I’ve been voting since I was legally allowed to do so. I was raised to know my voice has meaning. I’m tired of the assumptions based solely on my skin color and where I reside.
Let’s see how the transition from racist AF “President” who can’t stop playing golf on taxpayers dollars, to seemingly laid back, sane President goes. It’s NOT always red versus blue, or vice versa. It’s about HUMANITY. This country seems to have forgotten its history, and the future is on shaky ground. I’m hoping for the best, but prepared for the worst. More importantly, we’re fighting a #GlobalPandemic. It’s not a hoax. It’s not going to be gone the second you’re vaccinated. These are facts. Today, try to be a lot more civilized than you might feel. You’re not alone.

Pre-Thanksgiving Jitters

Hello, everyone. It’s been a minute, and the reality is, I’ve been sick for over a month. 😦 I haven’t had any real energy, and I’ve struggled with not getting enough sleep and then getting too much sleep, if too much sleep is actually a real thing. <Sigh> According to my body, it isn’t.

Fighting pain 24/7 is exhausting, let’s be clear about that. I might be the only person I know who can have caffeine in her system, or any stimulant (My normal amount is none, but extended quarantine and curfews have led to MANY changes. I keep saying I’m not myself, and I say it because it’s true. I don’t feel like myself, sound like myself, and I am definitely not behaving like the person I truly am.). and fall asleep fifteen minutes later. Not for a short period of time, either. I can be out for twelve hours straight, or longer. My body cannot seem to get enough rest no matter what I do. Yes, it’s possible I’m burnt out, but I am still concerned.

I am seemingly more allergic this year than ever before, so I’m kind of glad I ordered tissues in bulk a few months ago. If I’m not coughing, I’m sneezing. I only noticed this recently. Apparently, you can still get the mother of all colds without being around too many people. Epic suckage.

I’ll be honest; the last thing on Earth I want to do is partake in any type of traditional Thanksgiving meal. On top of having no appetite, which I will be addressing in another piece soon, I would have been totally cool making homemade pizza or anything less complicated than a turkey, stuffing, etc. So when the turkey arrived, along with other traditional items to accompany it, I was immediately nauseous. Let me be clear: I am by no means ungrateful. I know I am extremely lucky to have a roof over my head and enough food to feed my own hockey team, but I already know how time-consuming and energy consuming this type of cooking is. I felt like I had made this clear, and still, I found myself deeply annoyed, bordering on hostile, and then I settled down and decided I cannot be responsible for that which is not wholly my idea. Period. Others have the right to celebrate, even if I do not feel well enough to do so.

I have not made anything traditional for Thanksgiving in a long time, and not once did anyone complain about this. But now, my head cannot stop going over my stuffing recipe. It is actually easy to make, but thinking about it tires me out. Lots of chopping and nailing down the flavor, toss it together in a huge cooking pan, a short amount of cooking time (under two hours), and then you have enough food for a week or more. It’s my mother’s recipe. I have since tweaked it, and yet, it tastes exactly like hers. But do I want to make it, or any carb heavy dish right now? NO.

The more I factor in the realities of “Thanksgiving”, the less I want to partake in it. The historical inaccuracies to modern day truth is something I struggle with, and I know I am not alone in this.

I spent a large part of my life being told I was white, and there was always a measure of shame added to this because of the, “privilege” it may, or may not, bring with it. I am pretty sure my long form birth certificate states I am a Caucasian female, which is incorrect (and my parents were not asked for any unobvious information, either.). To be clear, I was told at a very young age that we were Russian. Eastern European. Nothing else. Blood tests and cheek swabs would tell a much larger story, and it would explain childhood dreams of countries I had never even heard of (Circa, age two), the things I would say before ever learning anything about world history, and the things I surmised from hearing different languages spoken around me. So as someone who is more rooted in her culture(s) and ancestry, “Thanksgiving” is merely a date on the calendar. And it makes me sigh, in sadness.

Someone mentioned this is the 399th Thanksgiving which will be celebrated on U.S. soil. The history of how European settlers were somehow bestowing kindness upon those who actually showed them kindness, and as a result of their arrival, brought illness and death to the Native American tribes upset me into a headspace of feeling the way I’ve felt for a long time. Un-American. And by using that particular phrase I mean, “Different.” or perhaps, “Other”. That’s the best way to explain it. Usually when someone meets me for the first time, they will describe me as, “Otherworldly”. They don’t mean I’m alien, just different to a degree they vibe with.

For me, this is another year without my Grandparents and parents, and that’s painful no matter how I look at it. It reminds me of all I’ve lost. It is another year separated from my brother, who could not be here even if he wanted to be because traveling is unsafe, and while we knew this ahead of time, we did not know traveling into New York City, even if you did not intend to stop, would require being stopped at bridges and tunnels to ensure you have a negative Covid test in hand. This requires a LOT of on the ground manpower for every out-of-state vehicle. And because of his job, I know he can’t be away for too long because he has so many professional responsibilities. I’ve come to terms with the fact that we won’t see each other for a while. If he was a better communicator, this would not be an issue, but he’s horrendous. I have a texting relationship with the asshole. And he’s likely to read this, which is fine. I do miss him, but I have no patience for him these days. And by, “him”, I mean everyone. 😉

However you are choosing to celebrate this year, I wish you good health and peace. Thank you for being on this journey with me. For that, I am incredibly grateful. 🙂

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