Questioning Everything

Hello everyone. 🙂 I’ve been both present and not-so present around here for quite some time, mostly from an emotional standpoint. I’m not going to apologize for that. No one should ever apologize for taking care of themselves, or the crap in their lives. If someone tells you their life is perfect, I’ve got a bridge to sell them in at least two states. 😦

My x-rays came back and showed nothing. That was two and a half weeks ago, and my doctor never deigned to get back to me. In fact, she idiotically had an assistant tell me my spine is “perfect” (If that was true, I would NOT be in excruciating pain every day of my life.) and to “keep taking the muscle relaxers” and “do yoga”. I REALLY didn’t appreciate the “do yoga” comment. This isn’t a pulled muscle or a stretching issue, not by a long shot. I told the assistant “Where did the damage to my spine go? It did not miraculously heal itself because IT WAS INOPERABLE.” Her response? “I’ll tell the doctor you’re not happy with the results.” Click. ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?! One, I never said that. Two, I stated that I wanted to find the root cause of the pain so it could be properly treated. If you’re going to “assist”, at least get your shit together. 😦 Picture the angriest face in the world, because that’s how I’ve looked at times dealing with this crap! 

I called the office today and left a message for the nurse practitioner to get the ball rolling on the MRI. They need 24-48 hours to hear back from my insurance company because apparently, doctors used to abuse the privilege of running tests and now need to run such things past the insurance. Angry, annoyed face makes her appearance.

I had an appointment scheduled with her for tomorrow afternoon, but decided to cancel. I’d rather talk with her, ask for the MRI to be pushed through, and reschedule once the results come in. It’s pointless to go in and rehash my issues with someone new, especially considering the amount of pain I am in. Just showering and get dressed is terribly painful, especially when I can’t bend down. I wake up in so much pain each day, I simply cannot commit to anything at the moment. I cannot drag myself in to the office when I can barely drag myself from one room to the next. Yes, it’s less than five minutes away, but just the thought of going in for another chat is a waste of time in my eyes. Especially since I see how much they’ve been billing my insurance company each time, and how much the insurance actually pays out. Let’s sum it up in one word, LUDICROUS. I should start sending bills to my friends/family when they call for advice!

I hate admitting this, but fighting through all of the day-to-day pain, and some extremely upsetting things I have learned over the past few weeks, has made me want to cancel the rest of the year, pretty much. There is a deep, dark cloud of depression hanging over everything. I hope & pray it all works itself out, that the impossible will soon be possible, and that changes will start working towards positivity. I hate the way I feel and when I feel this way, sharing my thoughts isn’t always wise.

I saw the new therapist last week. For now, I’ll go in once a month. Not because I feel I need it, but because it’s good to have someone in place in case I DO need it. There are some painful things coming up in my life, and in the lives of those close to me, and I might need a neutral third-party to help me get through it. I don’t love her, but I don’t hate her. I think she’s fair and I appreciate that she likes my direct approach and honesty. My doctor, apparently, said a lot of wonderful things about me to her before he left. He told her I deserved someone amazing. That means more to me than a lot of things he could have said. When someone’s perception of you is incredibly kind and positive, it’s nice to get that feedback. I am sure plenty of people don’t have the same insight into me as a person, and that’s fine, but anyone I work closely with who gets it has the opportunity to either see that in me or they can choose to see something else. That’s on them. I’ve got a hard enough time dealing with my own personal stake in who I am.

I’m writing. I am researching extensively, and trying to flesh out my characters to give them more depth. As solid as the story is, and it’s so good I can’t believe I wrote it, I know the characters need more substance. You want to get deeply enmeshed in their lives from the first chapter on, and you want to root for them. It’s already there, but going deeper is important because otherwise, I will certainly be told that the characters need more trials and tribulations. I do read-throughs on it and always think “This needs something MORE.” Being tired, in pain, worn out, and often-times triggered by the smallest things, have made me feel like I needed a break from the writing. I started research for a new project the other day. I’ve never written a crime mystery, but I’m contemplating it. Why not? It’s personally uncharted territory.

I have been managing a pain support group for well over a year now. A few days ago a member approached me to start a petition for 100,000 signatures to go in front of the President. She offered to help, as did her husband. Is it terrible that I wanted to say “Do it yourself; I’ll sign it and help you promote it.”? This is a small group of people and they only come to me with ideas that are enormous undertakings. Whenever I present something small, they ignore me. All of them. I understand that many of them assume I am a pain advocate, but the truth is, I am a patient who is struggling and can’t even fathom getting 100,000 signatures. Do I for one single second feel the current “President” gives a shit? NO. He’s trying to revoke the current status and privileges of roughly 800,000 people by what he’s done with DACA, so why the hell would he care about pain patients?! If he were a reasonable person of sound mind, I’d feel more confident that what I say will be heard. However, he’s not a reasonable person and he’s proven he’s not sane, so this feels like a fight I don’t feel I can take on. And yet, I said I’d do it. Mostly to see if it can be achieved. I don’t have any expectations.

I hope everyone had a happy, safe, fun summer. I hope you enjoy the remainder of it because Fall is definitely on its way. For the first time in a long time, I’m not excited about it, or anything, really. Each day of my life is so monotonous, I can’t bear waking up each morning. Here’s hoping that changes.

Wishing you all a peaceful and safe Full Moon.


copyright © 2017 Lisa Marino & Blackbird Serenity, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Personal Year In Review


I wish I had fabulous things to share here as I look back on 2016, the year itself as a complete “body of work”, as opposed to how I genuinely feel about it.

Here’s the unadulterated truth; I’m filled with mixed emotions, anger, pain, and the more I think about it, additional anger on top of the original anger, which is never a good sign. I make no apologies for my honesty. I’m many things in my imperfect human way, but dishonest isn’t on the list.

I take no issue with the company in my life, or lack thereof. I am a firm believer that we all go through hard times and that hard work, love, and prayer will get us through it. I take no issue with surviving (Life should be more than that though, right?) and having a few good days here and there (Though I am determined to not allow people to ruin my days when I’m feeling good and their moods aren’t meant for me. However, this is a process. It will not happen instantaneously.), but I do take issue with things outside my control.

I am a self-admitted control freak when it pertains to a lot of things in my life, and with other things, not so much. Overall, I’m tired of my best not being good enough, and having people remind me of my failures. Never look down upon someone unless you’re helping them up. Asking for help through tough times is not a grave sin. It’s honest, it’s real, and it’s admitting something vulnerable and scary is occurring that you cannot figure out how to face on your own. Why do we diminish that?!

I was raised to believe that as long as I do my best, it is always “good enough”, because it shows effort. And then I moved to another state where I know very few people, where “my best” is NEVER “good enough” because some unattainable level of perfection is expected at all times. It makes me feel like a bad Stepford Wife. 😦 I would not know what happiness was if a radioactive spider bit my ass. I haven’t known happiness in so long, it scares me. I feel emotions, yes, but happiness is almost never among them. How’s that for honest?

My brother has been through a torturous, evil kind of hell this year. I highly suspect that whatever was done to his heart set off a myriad of other health issues because I cannot recall a time when he wasn’t under the age of ten and on antibiotics as often as he’s been this year. He has been in and out of the hospital so many times that I’ve damn near had a multitude of nervous breakdowns every single time. I am currently waiting to hear back from a surgeon as he embarks on surgery number five in just slightly over a year; which is more surgery than he’s ever had in his entire life. It worries me on such a deep level, it’s difficult to convey.

I am immensely disheartened by how uncaring and unkind people are being towards him. At the beginning and end of each day, we only have so many family members in life, and as we’ve established, life is as short as it is long. My brother & I don’t have a lot of family, so we’ve had to rally around each other and be each other’s biggest support system through what has been, in essence, the gates of Hell. I may yell at him and get frustrated, I may say nasty things to him in the heat of the moment because he pushes my buttons, but ultimately, I’m not ignoring him or pretending he doesn’t exist in the hopes he’ll simply go away. I might not respond to a phone call or a text message when I’m sleeping, and sometimes I am guilty of ignoring him for a full twenty-four hours because I can’t handle the stress, but I do speak to my brother. I might not admit this to him, but he’s one of my best friends.

I say a painful goodbye to 2016, a year that has made me suffer in ways I can’t discuss; physically, mentally, and emotionally. I hope and pray that 2017 offers me more opportunities, better work, better pay, the same high-quality friendships I’ve maintained since day one (I’ve gotta say it; my friends are the BEST friends. They’re the first people to ask if I’m okay, to see through answers when I’m 100% NOT okay, and be as supportive as they can through crises. I would not have made it through parts of this year if it weren’t for the relationships in my life, both old and new, that have helped reinforce who I am as a person.), a real directional shift that leads me exactly where I need to be lead, and a year that allows me to achieve goals I have set for myself. The big goals, because at the moment, small goals aren’t cutting it.

I’d like to see some medical breakthroughs to help me better manage my pain and overall health. I was hit in the back with a shopping cart today at a local grocery store. This woman was on her cell phone and obviously thought she had enough room and/or didn’t even see me. I swear I am invisible to 99% of the “human race”. Initially my response was “Excuse YOU!”, but the lunatic just kept on walking, loudly debating stupidity on her phone. I did not feel it was worth pursuing in the moment, but now I am sorry I didn’t. I’m not sure if she did any real damage that wasn’t already there, but the level of pain I’m in is not something I want to take with me into the coming year, or any other year. I truly think CBD oil is in my future, as the “war on opiates” in this state is far too ridiculous to pursue with a doctor. I will, but I, like so many others, need a backup plan to help manage the pain in my life. No one should ever have to live like this.

Blessings to you all, as we say goodbye to 2016 and welcome in what will hopefully a bright New Year! 

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



Pain In The Neck

Good morning. Buenos dias. Buongiorno. Guten Morgen.

I’ve been up since 4:50 (I know this because I checked, hoping it was later.) and the only thing I can say is “UGH”! I’m in so much pain, it’s wrong. I slept in a delusional fit early last night, and again for a few hours early this morning. I am trying not to let the pain get to me, otherwise it will result in yet another migraine from the stress it is placing on my body. I do NOT need that. I do, however, need to be adopted. Any takers?

I suspect I am in so much neck pain partly due to my marathon laundry session yesterday. Did it all need to be done immediately? No, but I was trying to make the most out of a Sunday after suffering on Saturday through migraine hell. My efforts resulted in two phone calls: One to my mattress manufacturer, the second to the store where I bought said mattress.

Upon removing the mattress protector to throw it in the wash, a protector which has remained on the mattress at all times (I have more than one, obviously) since I purchased it, I discovered a hole in the top of the actual mattress. It was not there two weeks ago, or even a month ago. My immediate reaction was “What the fuck is THAT?!” At first I thought it was merely a surface tear, which wouldn’t have been an epic deal, but no, it’s a one inch by one inch hole. If you stick your thumb into it, you will hit a spring pretty quickly. The second you do and realize what a piece of crap a nearly $2000 mattress is on the inside, you feel a plethora of things. Mostly I was glad I got it on sale with my bedroom furniture because in that initial moment, I wanted to throw it at someone.

The mattress manufacturer said I should try to work with the store first since I didn’t buy it directly from them, but that if they don’t make it right I should call their warranty department and see what they are able to do for me. Yeah, I bet. 😦

I will say this: The store called me back pretty quickly. On a Sunday. Damn near unheard of. After a nice conversation with one of their “furniture specialists”, I took some photos for him and e-mailed them off yesterday afternoon. I am sure they will want to send someone out to personally inspect it before deciding if they’re going to honor the “lifetime warranty” and replace it. If it weren’t for the spring and the fact that it is a hole that will only get worse with time, I’d let it slide. The fact that they guaranteed the mattress when I bought it means they should stand behind what they sell. I hope they make good on their promise because if they don’t, you can expect to hear the store name and the names of all of the employees assisting me blasted from here to kingdom come. Chica takes notes! If the manufacturer screws with me, they’ll definitely be hearing from me via social media and every other means of communication.

I was told by two employees that it sounds like the mattress might be a “production lemon”, but that they do need to determine if the damage is their responsibility or not. I may be a major badass, but I assure you: I have never harmed a mattress in my life. Besides, you’d have to take the protector off to do that kind of damage and the protector is 100% in tact. You do the math. I loved being asked if I “had a dog”, because we all know a dog that puts such a precise, spring sized hole in a mattress, right? OY!


I was able to do some editing yesterday and talk with my client, albeit briefly. I worked on 80 pages and I am still coming across so many issues. I don’t want to prolong the process, but I don’t want to submit work back that is going to require another year of additional edits after the revisions and rewrites are done. Since this client has always self-published, she is not used to the editing process, knows nothing about it, and probably doesn’t realize how time-consuming it can be. The more work I do, the more problems I find.

                                    “I’ve got 99 problems and this manuscript is one!”

If you find continuity issues in chapter 22 and they exist through to the end of the manuscript, it requires you to go back to the beginning and correct things from page one all the way back to the current chapter, solely because continuity errors are a bigger issue as you continue to work. You will quickly lose your patience as you find these little gifts. I don’t know how most people write, but I check my work thoroughly and would never submit a first draft to ANYONE to edit. I fixed my first draft within the first few months of writing book one, so yes, I lose my patience with people who don’t read and proof their work before submitting it to me.

When you’ve got dates in a manuscript, make sure you look at the calendar for that year and get your facts straight. If you reference a full moon on a date when there was no full moon, you don’t look like a creative writer, you look like a moron. Perhaps I’m the only person that notices such things (probably not), but you MUST have your facts straight, be it fiction or non-fiction. You can’t play around with certain things. The majority of your readers won’t notice little things, but the percentage that does notice will tell you, and no one wants to be embarrassed by continuity issues, or other things that make me grind my teeth from the stress of having to work on something so distracting as a professional. I’m developing a twitch in my eye from dealing with this.

And now, back to your regularly scheduled insanity. Me? I need a nap. Apparently writing about this made the pain worse. No, I’m not surprised.

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