The Thirteenth Year

May. The month of darkness. The month of flashbacks, nightmares, anger at being robbed of loved ones… It’s hell. I suffer silently; no one is particularly interested in what I have to say. I remind myself it isn’t personal, some people simply aren’t full-fledged human beings. C’est la vie.

Thirteen years ago tonight, my mother’s heart gave out. I got the phone call, “We’re trying to revive her, but…” The BUT was my mother’s DNR; a point of contention between us for years. I had power of attorney and I remember saying, “Screw the DNR. If she can be revived, you save her life.” An hour later and I knew. I remember looking at the clock, in pure silence, and knowing the exact moment when she left. When I received her death certificate, the time was not a shock, but it jolted me. My life was permanently altered. I feel like I’ve lived a nightmare almost every day since.

One of the most important messages my mother instilled in me was to ALWAYS be honest and speak up for my beliefs. I am not a passive, gullible, peace-keeper; I was built for war and educated argument. My mother knew, before I was born, that I was strong and a force to be reckoned with. That’s the kind of daughter she wanted; one who would always speak her mind, one who would not pretend, and one who wouldn’t take shit from anyone, because she’d know her worth and would not be afraid of walking into rooms and being a strong, powerful, determined individual. I suspect she got what she ordered. 😉

My parents taught my brother and I to focus on facts, and to know when we were being lied to. Not everyone is blessed with intuitive education. I was not taught to hate. I am an intuitive person with a mind which pays attention to details others might miss. Micro-aggressions, body language, any shift in behavior or verbal tone is something I will notice. I am grateful for these things, because I know other parents weren’t teaching such things, and because much of this knowledge has saved my life in many situations.

My mother was the best. I was blessed with someone truly devoted to her children, imperfections aside, because NO ONE is perfect. We’re all human.

I miss you. There are no words for the amount of pain I am still trying to work through. Time does not heal a damn thing. Not in this situation.

Dead Silence

What I have to say will take some time, but over the past few days, all I’ve seen is RED.

I don’t know how people can look at themselves in the mirror and pretend nothing is happening in the world. I see the lies, the propaganda, the misinformation, and I wonder why people aren’t seeking the truth.

We are coming off of years promoting and supporting Black Lives Matter, and with good reason. Yes, black lives matter. Black people matter, and they deserve equal rights. I tend not to view people as colors, but as individuals. That is how I was raised; not to judge people based on skin color. The actual BLM organization, however, receives funding from a terrorist organization. FACT. I have black friends who know this and will not give them their support. Where is the black community right now while Israel is burning?

Actress Viola Davis (Someone who I have loved and respected, and immediately unfollowed in light of her uneducated hatred.) had the audacity to post on her social media that she supported the rioting by claiming that 550 people were being evicted from their homes in Sheihk Jarrah. Here’s the truth: 4-6 families (Based on varying reports and court documents I have read.) have lived there without paying rent for close to 40 years. There hasn’t been an official ruling yet as to whether or not they will be removed, according to updated reports, but the, “Palestinian Authority” encouraged people to riot, kill Jews, and destroy/burn Israel to take eyes off of the truth. They love to incite violence and then play the victim card; and yet, they have the same rights and privileges as every other Israeli citizen.

Viola, and others, fell for the propaganda. She didn’t seek out facts. I will not support her, her films, any television work, or campaigns moving forward. I will be dropping my association with L’Oreal until they terminate her contract. She wants to empower women, but is prepared to take a nation and a people down; the only democracy in the Middle East which has equal rights for ALL women. Sorry, I don’t support people like that. Her message basically says she only supports certain women, not ALL of us. That is selective racism.

Another actor also made the mistake of promoting the same lies. Most people don’t know who he is, but if you’d like to see his post and the uneducated bullshit, I’m happy to tell you who it is. Again, it was someone I liked and respected. Probably my favorite character on a show for YEARS, and I blocked his ass on Instagram for his hatred, and for allowing people to make threats and say violent things. He didn’t think about the repercussions of such an act. I will be in contact with Netflix and those involved in the residuals for the show he was on. Hatred does not deserve a paycheck. People are pissed at the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, well, I’m pissed off at the Screen Actors Guild. They shouldn’t protect rapists, nor should they protect racists.

I am vehemently supportive of ending hate against the Asian, Southeast Asian, and Pacific Islander communities which have been brutally targeted in horrific ways. I am part Asian. Where is the Asian community right now? They are SILENT. I have been LOUD for them, so the silence isn’t going to fly. However, I thank everyone from India who has shown their support. My heart goes out to the family of the caregiver who is from India, and was killed during last night’s attacks. It’s heartbreaking. I hope there will be an online fundraiser for her family.

Where is the Hispanic community? Latinos aren’t known for their silence, yet the message is divided. Brazilians have shown the most online support for Israel, but everyone else? Crickets.

The United States is equally as bad as everyone else. Biden is giving secret demands to the Prime Minister of Israel, and was told to mind his own business in this matter. This escalation of hatred is a retake of the Obama Administration. It’s disgusting. Nikki Haley is one of the only people who shared her support for Israel’s right to defend itself. A Bronx Congressman also shared his support, and I thanked him for it. Even 45 made a statement of support and, in a shocking turn of events, he didn’t even lie. Everyone else has been spewing lies. I’m more than sick of it. I’m outraged beyond words.

I will be discussing selective racism and systemic racism in the coming weeks and months, but right now I am angry AF. It’s time to calm down, focus, and start getting louder than ever before.

If my honesty offends you, please don’t let the door hit you on the way out. I’ll keep using my voice properly. I have told the truth; not a version of it. Oh, and the list of selective racists is getting longer with every passing moment. I will be boycotting all kinds of things moving forward.

Seeing a slab of stone, which was called, by mainstream media, “a rock”, hit a seven month old baby, and seeing all the newborns in their fathers arms in the hospital hallways for lockdown and protection; that was endgame for me. Seeing the list of citizens murdered because thousands were told to take to the streets and “kill Jews”, ON JERUSALEM DAY, no, I cannot abide by that. Nor can I abide by over a thousand rockets being shot from Gaza targeting innocent civilians. That is what the “Palestinian Authority” does with your tax dollars. Billions on foreign aid they receive is used to purchase rockets and other devices of terror. They don’t help their own people, but they certainly like to put on a show of how evil they are. Brainwashed from birth by terrorist regimes, yet the world always blames Jews and Israel. This has been a historical fact for centuries. I want to see real change happen.

For me, this is personal. If you want additional facts, I have video, screenshots, accounts from my family on the ground, and a team of Zionists behind me to back up the truth with history and facts I may have forgotten since I was not enrolled in Judaic Studies in college, and did not have an Orthodox or Ultra Orthodox upbringing. Nevertheless, I am Jewish. We are a people, we are a nation with nearly six thousand years of history, we have survived genocide, and we have every right to exist and defend ourselves against all threats, both foreign and domestic.

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

Setting My Alarm

I’m determined to be prepared for my doctor’s phone call in the morning. I know he’ll call and try to get ahead of me and what I’m feeling/thinking, but I am still very much in a state of shock and betrayal. I’ve considered cancelling my appointments with him for the rest of the year; but that likely won’t be helpful on too many levels.

I do feel composed enough to set him straight, but I’m going to respond to tone and behavior. I should not have to preface everything I say with, “Please leave this out of my medical record.” I’ve seen what other doctors have written in my chart. There’s so much incorrect information, their personal perceptions of me, and even when quoting me, they get it wrong. A lot. Whenever I’ve confronted other doctors, they have vehemently denied what is right there in a file they signed off on. One denied saying something to my pharmacist and turned his back on me when I confronted him. Legitimately turned his back to me, pretended to fiddle with the computer, and would not look me in the eye. Since she was defending me, as a patient, three guesses who I believe. Patients should NOT have to feel like this.

I was voted, “A Strong Voice for the Mental Health Community” a few years ago, and I take this seriously. At the core of who I am, having others respect my voice is truly important to me. If I advocate for other people taking charge and fighting the system, then why should I do any less for myself?

I would love to come back in a few days and say, “Okay guys, I got angry and reacted, but everything is good now.” I’d like to be 100% wrong or partially wrong, except I know I am right in feeling as I do. I know I am right to say, “Re-read your notes and please remove every personal detail you have entered. The personal stuff is for you to remember, NOT for outsiders to peruse, twist to their own benefit, or for me to see and get pissed off at you, because some of this is disrespectful as fuck.” I highly doubt he’d appreciate me going over his head, either, but I’m more than happy to get on a first name basis with the hospital adminstrator. I fucking LIVE for setting these kinds of people straight (According to my brother, who says I should have been a lawyer because I “love to argue”. I don’t, but I will always fight when I am right.), especially since I tend to leave all of them dumbfounded.

Another doctor of mine happened to confess their hate for this person (the hospital admin), and despised that the first thing they did upon taking the job, was choose their own salary. They mentioned how this strips many departments of much-needed funding, and since this is not a gossipy type of person, I take them at face value. Moreover, I know this is how things operate. At the end of the day, hospitals are a business, and in this country, they don’t care if they bankrupt you once a medical bill is in play.

No one needs another overpaid, glorified paper pusher banking on the pain of every single person who enters the main hospital buildings, all affiliated hospitals, practices, medical buildings, etc., which accounts for nearly half the damn state of Massachusetts. I could go on, but I’m tired.

The gloves are OFF. You guys can start a Go Fund Me in case I need to be bailed out. 😉 I’ll keep you posted.

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

Cats Are Life

It’s been a rough week. At times, Kitten was my saving grace, curling up next to me to sleep and keep an eye on me. When I rested after my procedure, she didn’t disturb me, as she is wont to do. She often jumps up at my head and scares the shit out of me with her silence. Even if I wasn’t able to sleep, she was hanging out with me. Cat has only shown interest in me today, when I offered up fresh catnip.

If you aren’t a cat owner, I can’t explain the bond of raising kittens (which is what builds trust), but it’s amazing and such a good life lesson. My cats go where I go. That’s always been my rule.

As I approach the 13th anniversary of losing my first (owned solely by me) cat, I feel terrible. She is buried at a small pet cemetery out of state (Obviously, since I’m not from Massachusetts and haven’t lived here that long.), and I have not been back. It’s so painful, and completely breaks my heart. I’ve been reliving her last moments over the past few days and it has nearly killed my soul, at times. I lost her sister over five years later, during an awful time in my life, and when finally given no choice at all, I went against my core beliefs and had her cremated. Her ashes are with me. She is the photo on my laptop screen and the everlasting love I have in my heart. The only thing I have left of her are some photos on my camera, and all the memories of adopting her and loving her right up until she took her last breath. They leave this plane of existence, but they truly do stay with you.

Kitten is her namesake (Her real name is translated out of Old Norse and Hebrew.). My amazing cat, who chose me, taught me how to be a mother, how to love, how to be patent with animals and small children, and she loved me probably as much as Kitten does. They are similar in some ways, with Kitten being less gentle, but I will always have a Tortoiseshell by my side. They are a color, not a breed, but they have these unique personalities and spirits that let me know I was probably once a cat. Kitten was meant to be mine, just as Cat was meant to go home with me and keep me honest with myself.

Today is the first Saturday in a while where I’ve embraced, “Caturday”. I didn’t wake up early and rush out anywhere. I’m hanging out in sweats and a t-shirt, and they are enjoying the sun and bird watching. It’s a low-key afternoon. I’m contemplating whether to cook or order in. The mourning doves are cooing. But I still remember my first “Cat and Kitten” with all my heart. I made promises to them and I kept them, and I made the same promises to these two characters.

They ARE family. Even when they torture me at 4:00 a.m. or harass me for treats an hour after they were given treats. They’ve been happier, a lot more playful, less stressed out, and more affectionate since recovering from the trip to the “evil vet”. 😉 She’s not evil at all, but I know it’ll go better when I can go in with them. They really don’t like not being with me. Dogs have their place, but when a cat is waiting for you at the window or the door, it’s not because they’re trained to do so. Nope. It’s one hundred percent their choice. That individuality is one of the things I love most about cats, but when I see mine waiting for me, it makes me smile. Even if only for a brief moment.

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

The Importance of Doctor/Patient Trust

Today, I received multiple messages from my treating hospital with information I had never sought out because it was off-limits. However, they are now one of the first hospitals in the country to allow patients to view all of our medical records, respond to comments made by anyone who has treated us, and request corrections to the records themselves. This would not be a big deal, under normal circumstances. I’ve already had that level of access and would have to continually roll my eyes, be frustrated with the lies in the file, and ignore the ignorance and stupidity I was dealing with. Until today, when my psychiatric notes were revealed. I read one note from this week, scanned over it three times, and had to calm myself down because I contemplated breaking my doctor’s hands. Pissed is NOT what I felt at all. Worse, he is one of the people who knows me better than others, so I had a hard time swallowing the bullshit.

It took me leaving, and subsequently deleting, nearly ten messages before I was able to calm down enough to say, “I’m not sure if you have been made aware of the fact that I can now see your psych notes. We need to discuss this because I now feel I will have to edit 90% of what I say to you, and that is NOT how we’ve worked to establish trust as doctor and patient, not once from the first day I sat in your office. I’ve always trusted you, and you have always assured me your notes were clinical; yet THESE NOTES WERE PERSONAL. Without correction, they will follow me for the rest of my life. This needs to be addressed. You know precisely what I have been through with doctors writing their perceptions of me, as opposed to the facts I am spelling out, so we don’t need to talk about it next week, but it must be addressed at my next appointment.” I felt like I left the most honest, professional message I could, under the circumstances, and I changed my tone of voice so that he understood how this made me feel and how it would effect me moving forward.

For example, if I say, “I’m a mess.”, I don’t expect to see my doctor put that into clinical notes as the header of our discussion. Really?! Under typical conditions, I can only see we have discussed depression, trauma, PTSD, anxiety, suicidal ideation, etc. I’m using those topics as an example, not as facts. But to read my words twisted slightly to make me seem like a much different person. it retraumatized me from my previous medical trauma, and immediately made me want to say to him, “Are you OUT OF YOUR FUCKING MIND?! How stupid can you be?

Here’s what many people don’t understand about psychiatric notes; they can be subpoenaed in ANY court case. They can be used against you. One improperly written note can be twisted legally into something it isn’t. This has happened to me before; TWICE. He knows this. He knows it has deeply affected my life to terrible degrees, which is why I reacted as I did. I will, one hundred percent, be going through every damn note he writes from now on, and requesting our private discussions be removed from the medical record. They don’t belong there, especially since he processed this as “psychotherapy notes and ten minutes discussing medication”. We actually discussed medication for under five minutes total, with him saying he’d give it some thought and call me in a few days. I missed his call, and he’s damn lucky I did, because I’m not sure I’d be able to have controlled the tone of my voice or the aggression in what I was saying.

I used to wonder how he kept all of his patients lives straight, because his recollections are as precise as my own, until one day, I saw a notebook on his desk at the start of my session, and it’s one of a few he has on me. It’s a nice, leather bound notebook. The kind I’d journal in, and it is filled with his private notes on me. Lord only knows what’s in there! Yet, the actual medical record had way too much private info on me for him to claim he, “keeps it strictly clinical”. I am going to force corrections from 2017 right up until this past week. If he thinks I won’t go over it all with a fine tooth comb, then he’s forgotten the woman who first walked into his office, and declared herself, “A pretty mess.” I have been assured I looked like I was going on a date, but that nothing about what I’ve been through or said could ever be covered up with concealer and properly blended eyeshadow. At my second appointment, I tore him a new asshole for referring to my pulled together appearance as, “a mask” (after he ended the appointment by saying he was leaving in five weeks.), and he admitted I was right and he was wrong. He earned my respect by being a down-to-earth human-being who saw me as a human-being, and didn’t treat me like another annoying mental health patient who doesn’t respond well to medication. But this? This is a deal breaker. It violates everything I hold dear, and now I feel like my entire medical record needs to be turned over to me for review. If I seem like I’m calm, trust me, I’ve got fangs and I’m not afraid to claw those records apart. And I will absolutely hire a lawyer to get the personal information, which is not necessary for such records, completely omitted. He does not want to test me on this.

When my appointments were cancelled due to quarantine last March, it took me three months to get on board with Telehealth. Initially, I felt like other people needed the appointments more than I did. I had weekly appointments for months before I was forced to go down to twice a month. Before agreeing to these appointments, I kept asking myself, “Am I just a pain in the ass patient, am I a challenge for this doctor, will I ever feel better, or am I going to have to look for someone else?” I strongly considered a new psychiatrist because I was confused about how laid back and comfortable our communication is. It has always felt comfortable, human, and safe. It doesn’t feel that way now. In fact, I feel betrayed beyond words, and I wonder how much will require correction.

In this particular moment, I probably need to hear him out first, and then decide if I still want to break his hands. Of all the people I have met as psychiatrists and therapists throughout my mental health care journey, he is the first I have trusted the most. He’s also the first who isn’t completely afraid of me, but probably should be right now.

He won’t hear my message until Monday, and that’s fine. It gives me a few days to cook, read, maybe get in some yoga, do some psychic work, and remind myself that even though he’s taller than I am, I can still knock him out, and by that, I have to say that my message should be enough to make him see reason. As honest as I’ve been here, I will be ten times more honest with him because he needs to know what those notes did and can do.

Anytime there has been an issue between us, he has been good about hearing me out and fixing the problem. On that level, I should consider this before getting upset, but I couldn’t help reading through it and thinking, “Is this how you perceive me?” Because if it is, then there’s a bigger problem underneath it all and that won’t fly with me one bit.

In my message, I made it abundantly clear I might be undermining and/or underestimating my coping mechanisms going into the month of May (If you know, you know. If you don’t, you’ll see what I write next month or you can go through the previous years’ of work. It’s a rough time for me. Period.). I had said, “I don’t think I’ll make it through the month unmedicated.”, and he wants to revisit this discussion because he’s concerned about side effects, even though I suggested a medication I am extremely familiar with. I said this mostly because he will be away next month, during the worst of what I’ll be dealing with and that’s never a good feeling when I have to relive one of the worst months of my life, despite the fact that I have his permission to have him paged no matter what, and also have his personal cell phone number in case of emergencies.

The level of my trauma is a terrible loop and if I block things out, they can (and will) come up out of nowhere and throw me down a metaphorical flight of stairs. It cycles the trauma over and over again, and as he and I discussed this week, “We can’t medicate trauma.” Maybe one day, in the future, this will be possible, but for now, it isn’t. Not being about to help trauma victims and survivors is something the mental health community fails at deeply; in my personal experience.

I wanted him to know I wasn’t demanding the medication, and that I will defer to his guidance, but he also knows I agree to disagree with him a lot. And I do so respectfully. I might be upset, but that’s because this is a relationship I highly value. I’ve felt blessed that someone cared enough to have my back, and today, I felt stabbed in it by the one person who should know better because this is someone who, long before Covid, is the person I spent the most time talking to about the heaviest shit in my life. I will wait to see how this is handled on Monday, and next month when we speak at length. But I’m not going to lie; I am now contemplating dialing my appointments back to once a month and not being anywhere near as forthcoming as usual. As a direct result, I will be searching for a full-time therapist because clearly, if personal things are going to end up in the record, then he is not following proper procedure under the psychotherapy terms and conditions, where every note truly IS clinical and boring as hell.

***On the plus side, the notes state I’m ten years younger than I am, so that’s something he can keep on record. 😉 I’m maintaining the whole reverse aging thing. The fact that a specialist told me this week, “You’re young. You don’t need ANY cosmetic enhancements. There’s not a single wrinkle or mark on your face, and this has not changed since the day I met you.” These are the small things that make me smile while I am going through internal and mental HELL. Last weekend, I stopped into a liquor store to pick up wine and a few other items (I am craving Pina Coladas like nobody’s business! It’s odd. I’m not much of a drinker. I feel like quarantine turned me into a maniac I don’t always recognize.). The second I asked for two small bottles of Jack Daniels (for a recipe I love, but one that is very time consuming and doesn’t require more than a few ounces of JD. I think it calls for a few tablespoons, but I usually eyeball it.), was the moment when, not even realizing I’m behind a mask and sunglasses, the cashier asked to see identification. I could have been anyone. She couldn’t tell my height, eye color, NOTHING. Legally, they have to ask and I always offer, but it amused me. Like I said, these are the small things that make me smile.***

I hope everyone looks into their own medical records for this very reason. Don’t hesitate. Once I calm down, I’ll be tearing through mine like a starving vampire. It’s a good thing I’ve already fired most of the doctors who are in my chart, because they can’t fight me when I ask for something to be removed. It is my legal right. I’d hate to have to do the same with this doctor, so here’s hoping everything gets straightened out. I’d like to think that maybe this situation was a slip on his part, but I won’t ever make excuses for him, and he knows that.

It would be a shame for him to be on vacation with no hands. 😉 I have zero shame in being mean. After all, this involves my life. I should be fully involved in what is written about me, and so should you.

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

Work, Work, Work, Work, Work

Lately, my every day expression is the side eye emoji most people use. Especially when it comes to hiring people to assist me in any way. Opportunities are opportunities and the door doesn’t always remain wide open.

Much like me, some artists are perfectionists. From a realistic standpoint, I know nothing is ever, “perfect”, but can you come close enough so that you are pleased? Absolutely, and if not, you can wait a while and revisit it. You can always revise something up the road. You can always make a radical change.

I am lucky to have amazingly talented friends who I can turn to (Friendship aside, I chose them because I would much rather pay a friend, and support them by doing so, as opposed to dealing with a stranger who might not understand my vision. Especially friends with small businesses. They need all the help and promotion they can get.), but sometimes trying to agree on something is exhausting. Because ultimately, we are all seeking the same thing, in different ways. (If you know a freelance graphic designer who isn’t terrified of women with strong opinions, please message me.)

This week is already stressing me out and it’s only Monday! 😦 Lots of work to get done, but I know I can do all of it. I keep telling myself I can do anything, but I have days when getting out of bed is the worst kind of difficult (Today was one of those days.). I could hardly stay awake at my appointment, but I did and it’s behind me. Small victories are still victories.

Yes, I most certainly do.

Deep, Dark Hole

All too often, people are made to feel ashamed for suffering from anything people can’t visibly see. How sad it is that we live in a world where you’d receive more help and kindness for breaking a leg, as opposed to suffering for the rest of your life? A sick, depraved world; that’s what you face in the world when you suffer from any form of mental illness.

Today was a bad day for me. A bad day on top of G-d only knows how many others which have come before it. I refuse to allow anyone to judge me or make me feel lesser because I suffer in ways they don’t understand. Educate yourself, and maybe you’ll judge a whole lot less.

For me, a bad day could mean any number of things, but it can also mean it’s been a month of despair, or an entire year. I tend to remain silent because support is hard to come by, and quite frankly, I’m tired of the usual rhetoric. The, “I’m sorry to hear that.” crap gets really old, really fast, especially since it is said with not an ounce of genuine care or concern. It is one of the rudest things you can say to me, and I will react and respond to those words in ways you cannot possibly imagine. On a good day I don’t suffer fools. On a bad day, I won’t roll my eyes and pretend one might secretly mean well. No. Those who mean well have better words. If you don’t, I strongly suggest you get better words, quickly. So many people are suffering privately because of ignorance. They are afraid they will lose their friends, family, job, and everything else they value or need to survive.

I see a lot of patently false “woke” people these days pretending to care about things they didn’t care about two years ago, or two months ago. Things many have been silent about their entire lives. It sickens me. It’s so disingenuous. Especially when words exchanged in private are still of the ignorant, hateful sort. There are too many people trying to pretty up their views on others; their judgments.

Too many people are constantly judging a person who is mentally ill, as opposed to trying to help them. I see it and I hear it, and I am not quiet about my views. To do so would be hypocrisy.

I’m going to take care of myself for the next few weeks. Maybe during that time, some people will pick up a book and enlighten themselves. Depression, and mental illness on a whole, doesn’t discriminate. It is the ultimate predator. It doesn’t take out the weak, it tries to take out the strong. Keep that in mind the next time you judge without looking in a mirror first.

Sedate Me

Yes, I’m still writing. Yes, I am still reading (Check out my Goodreads challenge. I’ve read 111 books, so far. Crazy, right? Research pays off!). But for the next few weeks, I think I need to take it easy.

Today I took Cat and Kitten to the vet. I was already stressed out and barely keeping myself together in terms of appearing mildly sane. Naturally, Cat, who is sweet, loving, quiet, flirty with all men who have a Russian or Ukrainian accent, and an overall, “I want to be with the people.” kind of cat freaked out and used her back claws to rip me open. I can’t open and close my right hand without serious pain. If I hadn’t moved my hand, which is what allowed her to get into contact with my wrist and forearm, I probably would have needed stitches because she was so relentless and putting up such a physical struggle. This quiet little being, who barely ever meows, used up a fifteen year quota of meows and screeches today, and she’s not even eight years old.

Every time she meowed, my panic reached a new level of traumatized. 😦 However, I knew I was doing the right thing for her health. Some of the news wasn’t great, unfortunately. I had forgotten that her breed is prone to certain genetic predispositions. I’m upset, for her, but will do whatever is necessary to let her live the rest of her life in peace and good health. I can’t spend money when I’m dead, but I can work harder and recoup whatever goes towards her care moving forward. Her breed is known to live between 12 and 20 years, which is precisely why I adopted her. I wanted a cat who I felt I could give a good life, but also one who’d be by my side through a specific chapter of my life. I’m aiming for 20. <Fingers crossed.>

Kitten wasn’t happy about any of this either, but I got her into her carrier with far less fanfare, and she got a 99% clean bill of health. The fact that she weighs almost two pounds more than my Bombay makes me question their scale. Especially since she is always running around, jumping, and playing. She’s much more physically active, and always has been. This is where I disagree with the vet. I know that if I change anything in their diet, it can lead to thyroid issues. I’ve dealt with that twice before, and I will not put them on a different diet unless they require it for their long-term health. I measure everything out carefully. Also, when a vet encourages you to make sure they get extra treats to help with health issues, you don’t feel as bad as I do since I feel like they’re constantly in my face begging me to give in (Which I often do, because I’m a sucker.). They are shameless little con artists.

The downside of a day like today is day’s end when you are exhausted beyond measure and hurt from head to toe. Add in poor sleep, and this is ridiculous. Hopefully I can feel less rushed tomorrow and sleep in a bit. I need it. And I need to replenish cat supplies.

In the future, can we sedate the owner who was triggered today, right along with the cats? Is there a tranquilzer we can use? I’m asking for future reference, of course. 😉

Enjoy the rest of your weekend, folks. I’ll be on the mend. The sliced part of my hand might slow me down this coming week, but I will do my best.

Until next time…

All I want is a Pina Colada.

For Your Consideration…

Working on half a dozen different things for the site. Unfortunately, I am plagued by a bout of migraines which aren’t responding to medication. I think this will be my last month taking Ubrelvy as a rescue med. 😦 Maybe my doctor will have another option when I see her in three weeks. I try not to use this stuff at all, but when a migraine hits and effects your neck, mouth, face, and the entirety of your skull, you’ve got to cut yourself some slack.

I feel bad that I’m not accomplishing anything today, but being coherent enough to write this is falling under the, “good enough” category I rarely, if ever, settle for.

Here’s an updated photo of Kitten to make up for my lack of words. She was being especially cute yesterday while I was working. I only came away from the altercation with two scratches (Her nails are currently longer than mine. Vet appointment in a week and a half for the terrors.) and a smack. She asks for belly rubs and then grabs my hand like she’s human. She doesn’t mean to hurt me. She’s quite gentle and sweet, really. Yet, like me, SHE BITES. 🙂

Have a good one. I’ll be back ASAP with something that is hopefully more interesting.

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.