Out of Time Blues

I blinked and it’s Thanksgiving week. How the hell did that happen?! The past two years have truly been a blur, and I definitely wasn’t having any fun. Yesterday was the most Friday-feeling a Monday could be. I spent the entire afternoon confused about what day it was and what the damn time was. Genuinely sad. We’ll add it to the list of things that make me feel completely fucking pathetic. 😦

I’m chalking a lot of this confusion up to burnout. Nine to ten hours of sleep most nights doesn’t really fix anything for me, either. The body needs constant rest and calm, two things I find extremely difficult to achieve long-term. I was born stressed (that’s not a joke, but an actual fact.). I’ve struggled with insomnia for so long, I don’t think about it much any more. Not until it interrupts my life and screws with my ability to be a functioning human-being. It’s doing that now; interrupting my life, and it has been for a long time. I’ve worked so hard to regulate it and get it under control. As soon as I do, and I think I’m on to something, something else happens which completely interrupts the new cycle, and then I am back at square one. I will address that with my doctor next year (In truth, I am looking for a new doctor because this one makes me contemplate evil things.).

I have been experiencing bone-deep, soul-deep exhaustion. A misdiagnosis for chronic fatigue is evident, and I’m going to confront it. The last time I made the statement about how exhausted and drained I feel, my doctor found my Vitamin D levels were almost non-existent. It has never happened to me in my entire life (Especially as someone who avoids the sun.), so he blew it off as a New England thing. Yeah, I rolled my eyes at that ridiculous explanation, only to find out it IS quite common here. He put me on a two month prescription to replenish my stores and then ordered me to take 2000 mgs every single day afterwards. Not a single change in how I feel as happened by supplementing Vitamin D, and I’m not going to keep taking them if they’re unnecessary. My other tests were normal, but the few that were questionable were also blown off. I have major organs I need to be concerned about, and a doctor who doesn’t give a shit because his agenda doesn’t involve actually helping me. The previous doctors who treated me were big on recommending Tylenol and Aleve any time my chronic pain came up. They didn’t care if I was taking a bottle a month, so long as I wasn’t talking to them about my physical pain levels, because G-d forbid a pain patient should want quality of life! This doctor had a low-key meltdown over the mere mention of Tylenol, and when we spoke, I had stopped taking it entirely. His thought process was that it was killing my organs. Gee, ya think?! Stop pushing it at pain patients like it’s 1982! We aren’t amused, and gastrointestinal bleeds are at an all-time high right now where pain sufferers are concerned. It ISN’T overdose, it’s neglect. We aren’t being given options, unless it’s to be treated like hardcore addicts at pain clinics, with monthly pill counts and drug testing. If you come up negative for the prescribed drug, you don’t even get to say, “Maybe I metabolize it faster than other people do.”, which is a real thing, because you’ll immediately be accused of selling your pills. Don’t believe me? Ask anyone who regularly goes to a pain clinic. They’ve seen it all, and it scares them. A friend of mine was shamed by the doctor at a clinic because one pill a day is not helping her. She’s suffering, but was given the riot act on how she should feel like a failure if one pill a day isn’t enough. I was OUTRAGED when I heard what happened. I find the language used towards pain patients pretty despicable to begin with, so this was a new low.

I decided to set a few of my writing projects aside in order to focus on something more important, for now. I’m not going to walk away from solid opportunities, even if that means moving out of my comfort zone a little, or in this case, a lot. I caught myself being pulled in too many directions and at the end of the day, there’s only one me. Telling my brain is harder than telling myself what I am doing on any given day. The brain is slower on the uptake. If you ever assume I’m being hard on myself, it’s because I am. Harder than I care to admit.

Sometimes I don’t think other people realize how blessed they are to be in good health. They will mention minor issues to me and I’ll find myself utterly dispassionate and disinterested in such things which can easily be corrected. I openly admit to lacking empathy and compassion about a LOT of things these days. Most people don’t know me well enough to know that’s how I’m reacting, but I’m being honest about it. What bothers me day in and day out doesn’t seem to affect other people, and I slowly catch on to their behavioral changes (I love when people think I don’t notice how they’re behaving towards me. They’re underestimating my intuition.), and then make adjustments to my response system in accordance. It’s a psychological survival technique, and for some of us, it’s every day life.

Getting out of bed each day without pain is something people should be grateful for. Little things you go through with no issue or suffering… Please consider how it sounds to people who are suffering so much that they have stopped communicating how bad it is to you because they are met with disinterest. We’re glad it’s easy for you, but we’d like to be considered, too. I’ve become dispassionate as a result of the lack of support. I am not alone in my emotional responses, either. I talk to people who are experiencing the same damn thing. We’re fed up, and we only feel supported in our own communities.

This year, I’m ditching Thanksgiving entirely. I am grateful for what I have every single day of my life, and Chanukah begins on the 28th. I decided to embrace that above all else. I had the best time finding unique, handmade items for my close family members. I’m not entirely done, but I paid attention to the things that bothered them last year, and tried to find happier things for this holiday, which is my absolute FAVORITE. I boxed up a bunch of treats for my brother, which he’ll likely get in time. He’ll also be receiving some cool things from a company I found on Etsy. I did almost all of my holiday shopping by supporting small businesses on Etsy’s website. Not only were they happy to help, but they were also timely in getting things shipped out. I had to hide things in some ridiculously uncreative ways, but I’m so excited to see the joy on people’s faces when they open up something that not everyone will own. Anyone who is receiving a surprise in the mail will hopefully be delighted, as well. I tried to be thoughtful and unique in all of my choices, and it stems from years of cringing every time someone would ignore me, and give me something I’d never in a million years look at.

Is it odd that after all these years, I’d be happier with a Harry Potter memento, as opposed to a book I probably won’t read (If you follow me on Goodreads, you probably have an idea of who my top ten favorite authors might be.)? I’m only slightly furious that Pandora created all these amazing Harry Potter charms, yet made them overpriced as hell. That’s okay, though, as I don’t buy their items anyway, but if you were looking at these charms, I will say the detail is incredible. They’re beautiful. I’ve had my own Harry Potter charm bracelet since 2003. I had it custom made in Arlington, Texas and while I do have to polish it, it still means a lot to me, as does my original which is so jam-packed you can hear me coming if I wear both of them together.

Is it terrible that I don’t think Ulta gift cards EVER go out of style (They don’t, and you can tell by how I used my birthday gift cards from the brands I work with throughout the year. Asian skincare is THE BEST, but have you tried The Ordinary? Excellent product line. It’s affordable, but they don’t skimp out on quality. Their most expensive item is under $30. Since I also use 111 Skin, which is not cheap, it is very easy for you to do the math between the companies.)? If I want something badly enough, I will get it for myself or save up for it. I am the person who expects nothing from others, but gets a kick out of being the giver of gifts.

I will be staying out of big box stores this year for holiday items. I want small businesses to get the support. I plan to book an appointment at a local New Age/crystal shop, as well. I’ve become friendly with a local reader. I like her so much (You rarely hear me say I like anyone, so when I do, it’s a big deal for me.), and I’d rather support her as opposed to a total stranger who might not have the accuracy she does. That’s a gift to myself. I’ve found it’s wise to reward myself this time of year, too, especially since December is difficult as I move towards the anniversary of my Great-Uncle and father’s passing. It doesn’t get easier. Every year, the memories are so vivid for me and if I were a lesser being (As in, less emotionally intuitive and less emotionally intelligent.), it probably wouldn’t bother me, but it does. Honoring loved ones, even if the relationships weren’t what you may have hoped for, is still important. It’s my responsibility to do it as the leader for my generation. I could eschew it, but that feels wrong.

Next year, I will likely make a pilgrimage to all of the cemeteries involved since it’s important to make sure everything is cared for. My parents are low maintenance because it was their express request, but I haven’t been back to most graves in at least ten years, and I know it’s time. Especially when I consider how long it’s probably been since I’ve visited my Great-Grandparents’ graves. My Grandmother was still alive when I did it, so I know it’s been way too long. It’s depressing, but I feel a strong sense of responsibility for these things, even though they’re unpleasant parts of life, they’re also reality.

I’m sorry this is not an upbeat piece of work, but at least it’s honest. I look forward to sharing as we head toward a brand new year. 🙂

Wishing you all a good week,

copyright © 2021 by Lisa Marino & Poison In Lethal Doses, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Poison In Lethal Doses©®™ is a copyrighted, registered trademark.

The Beginning Of Everything

“There comes a time for healing
no matter how broken you are right now;
no matter how heavy your heart is right now.
There comes a time when you will go outside
and let the sun shine on your face
and let the wind touch your hair
and you will not be tired by just simply being awake.
There comes a time when you will be happy to be alive again
and that day you will appreciate your own being
because now you know the other side.
Now you know the opposite.
Now you know what it’s like to not be sure if you really are; who
you really are;
if you simply are, anymore.
And that day
will be the beginning of everything.”
―Charlotte Eriksson

It Hurts…

“It hurts to let go, to say goodbye for the final time and remain distant in your closure, it may even tear your heart out to the point of insanity; but somehow in it all you find the pieces of your worth and you start creating yourself again, and in that journey of transformation you find the essence of what truly matters, inner happiness. It’s life, we all fall at some stage but it’s up to you, to decide how long you want to stay there.”
―Nikki Rowe

Getting Honest

I was talking to my brother recently and, on occasion, he’ll say something completely on point to my internal dialogue. He doesn’t know he’s saying something that will spark a reaction from me, but that’s okay. His head is big enough. 😉

Whenever I talk to someone who genuinely knows me and knows my heart, they are the first people to read this title and say, “How much more honest can you get? Have you MET yourself?” This title isn’t about dishonesty or coming clean, though. It’s about getting honest about goals. I can only speak for mine.

The words, “Oh, you have a blog.” are particularly demeaning to someone who is an experienced writer who uses this as a platform. I didn’t create it for any other reason. Its sole purpose; a writers platform. I’m the writer. That’s pretty transparent from where I’m sitting.

I, personally, only use the word blog to describe my beauty blog or anything that feels more like a blog, as opposed to a singular voice. That’s not an insult. I’m friends with some incredibly lovely bloggers who are kind, caring, creative introverts, much like me, except I’d never use the words “kind” or “caring” to describe myself. Ever. I’m the evil fairy on your shoulder; not the angel.

There are likely billions of blogs on the Internet. Perhaps that’s an exaggeration; I’ve never looked at statistics. Everyone wants to stand out. Some people go to great lengths to make themselves seen and “heard”. Many make the move to YouTube.

Initially, that was the plan. I had EVERY intention of taking Shadows & Highlight, my beauty blog, to YouTube. I started filming last Spring and only shared the videos with my best friend. I filmed, didn’t edit because I couldn’t figure it out with my phone and because I speak the way I write, which leaves editing a question mark as opposed to a necessity. I would listen first and then share.

My take away from the experience is that I hate the camera. It’s extremely odd to see your face in a manner that is foreign to your own eyes. It’s awkward; kind of like EVERY bathroom selfie I see posted across the Internet, and it’s uncomfortable. It’s NOT who I am and it’s definitely NOT what I actually look like. Anyone can show you makeup and explain how to use this or that. It’s all been done. I want a broader audience. I want depth.

Ultimately, THAT is who I am. I’m the girl who’ll dig deep if I care enough to help you, or hide a body. Just because I wear makeup doesn’t mean it’s all I want to talk about or show people. Over the past year, I have found myself less and less interested in moving forward with it. I’ve been far less interested in makeup, too, often forgoing it entirely, which isn’t a strong indicator that this is something I remain passionate about. And so, as I listened to each video, I realized my voice is always going to be my strongest gift.

I deleted every video where I had to watch myself speak and realized that it truly is awkward as fuck, and not something I plan on getting used to. Because it’s something I do not feel I can get past. I’m my own harshest critic. For the record, there’s nothing wrong with my face, but leave it to me to find small things that I suddenly want fixed yesterday. It’s sad, because in this heavily edited “Instagram perfection” and obsessive use of filters, Photoshop, and Facetune culture that we see every day, rarely do people point out their own facial or physical flaws. I am the first person to tell you that I have two completely different eye shapes, which I expertly correct with makeup. And yet, when I look in the mirror I see one that is more uptilted and the other is more round. I will even argue which is which, at times. If I didn’t point it out, no one would ever see it. I pointed it out to someone early last year, long before I started filming, and even behind the makeup, they were like, “If you hadn’t pointed it out, I never would have noticed it.” Only recently did I notice my brother has it, as well. How weird that I’ve had it from about age 3-5 and he’s developing it as an adult. I don’t pretend to understand such things. Genetics isn’t my line of work.

I’ve been using my voice for a long time in different ways. I have always had specific goals in mind, and I’ve earned my various platforms. Nothing was handed to me. I’ve never made an ass out of myself or tried to be a different person. The second you try to be fake, your readers, as an audience, will figure it out at some point. Buying subscribers and followers is NOT who I am. I’ve watched people do it, but they aren’t fooling me. That which is natural and authentic has a good feeling to it, and that which is “trying too hard”, I pick up on immediately. I can tell when things aren’t kosher, for lack of a better word.

I’ve set specific goals for this year and will be sharing updates as things come to fruition. There is a plan in place. I want to keep this close to the vest because imitation doesn’t flatter me. I want to bring this to you in an organic manner, and I don’t want to force it down your throat. I want people to be interested because they’ve been on this journey with me, and for no other reason.

I don’t worry about being liked. That is something you need to leave in junior high, where it belongs. If you can’t, I strongly suggest speaking with a qualified therapist. We all have issues and drama in our lives and, sometimes, in our families, but when you can leave that at the door and not take it with you everywhere; that’s when you start getting honest with yourself.

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It’s important to me to remember precisely who I am and what I bring to the table. It is important to me to work from a place of strength. Dealing with abuse for the majority of my life; I am constantly criticized and picked apart, and often told I am worthless. The words are vicious, ugly, hateful… Until you realize they stem from another person’s issues and you do NOT have to hold on to the ugly, hateful, bitter rhetoric others might spew in your direction. In fact, you can walk away from it completely. I have been doing this for over seven years (walking away) because if I engage with low level bullshit, I will rack up a staggering body count. People often think I’m a nice, sweet person, but I’ve never owned niceness or sweetness. I have, however, owned the fact that I don’t care that deeply about another person’s life if they’re mistreating me. As a friend often tells me, “Yes, you can be harsh, but you are also supremely FAIR in dealing with others.” These are facts. It’s the people who know me best who help keep me grounded in reality, as opposed to allowing me to believe that I’m worthless when I am anything but.

Unfortunately, true friends are few and far between. I am reminded of this whenever I talk to my best friends. They’ve known me for such a long time and I’ve grown, but I haven’t changed. They always remind me of these facts. Even my brother often reminds me of just how far I have come on a personal and spiritual level. But I don’t absorb these things and allow them to make me egotistical. I keep them in the back of my mind and allow them to fuel me and help me heal when things bring me down.

Inevitably, not every day of your life is going to be happy and perfect. We all have bad days. I’m insanely honest about mine. Are you?

Will this year be the one where you get honest and realistic with yourself and your goals? I am taking baby steps. I’m stepping into a new comfort zone for overall betterment. I look forward to the new, better chapter because the last one is boring me to death. As it turns out, I can grow and still remain true to who I am, without sacrificing my soul in the process.

Recently I expressed how sick and exhausted I have been. A friend said to me, “Let us know when the Phoenix rises.” How perfectly apropos.

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copyright © 2020 by Lisa Marino & Blackbird Serenity, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.