I’m Awake


I’m not sure what I did to deserve intense sunshine this morning, but it somehow encouraged the migraine I woke up with. By “encourage”, I mean it made me ten times sicker than I thought possible. Reluctantly took Relpax. The problem with the generic version of this medication is that the side effects can give you the symptoms of a heart attack. You can feel your chest tightening and it might be hard to breathe, but then it passes. I added 60 mgs of Corgard just to keep things interesting (it’s a blood pressure medication used to prevent migraines. I immediately discovered that taking it daily didn’t help, but taking it during a migraine can sometimes eliminate it quickly. Doctors don’t know everything, but YOU know your body best.).

Should I be having such a severe migraine so quickly after treatment? No, but there are also no guarantees that treatment will eliminate 100% of migraines. If that was the case, it would be considered a treatment/cure. Far from it.

Other than feeling like my head might explode, I am okay-ish. I go in next week for progress x-rays on my foot, ankle, and knee. When I went in to pick up the brace to stabilize my ankle, the doctor had apparently forgotten to put the order in. <cue the massive eye roll> I was not pleased. Upon returning to finally get it (after confirming twice), it was, once again, on back order. Is there suddenly some massive shortage for braces in this country?! My pharmacy was cleaned out of the over-the-counter version. I don’t think it’s acceptable to ask me to pay out of pocket for something that my insurance covers if you actually take care of it properly. After slightly consideration, I was too exhausted to play with Ace bandages and sports tape. It requires more attention to detail than I currently have at the moment.

The surgeon is concerned that I am still in a lot of pain with my ankle and foot. He shouldn’t be so damn shocked since he told me I didn’t need pain medication. Yeah, because who needs healthy bones that fully heal as you’re trying hard not to scream sometimes from the pain of it all? There are times where I am biting my arm to stop myself from screaming; that’s how painful this is. I have bruises I’ve covered up with concealer that doesn’t come off without a special makeup remover. The pulsing pain in my ankle is ridiculous and my foot is always screaming at me to sit down or stop using it. My own family seems to forget I am suffering through this. I was strictly forbidden to do 90% of the things I am still trying to do, with great struggle, so I might have made things a lot worse for myself. If I require surgery in a month or two, I will be furious. I pray it doesn’t come to that. We use our feet every single day. When it hurts to walk, stand, cook, shower, do the laundry, climb a flight of stairs or go down a flight of stairs, then that’s serious. I am so used to having a high pain threshold that I’m sure people assume it’s no big deal to throw in multiple injuries. It is a big deal. This is additional trauma my body really doesn’t need.

So yeah, awake, alive, and all that jazz. Praying for good results and better days ahead.

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



I’m Still Processing

Hey, everyone. 🙂 It’s been a rough time for me. Unfortunately my “rough time” is on a never-ending loop. No one is more tired of it than I am.

During all of this chaos and pain, I haven’t had “Writers Block”, but I have certainly had “Writer needs a break.” and “Writer needs a fucking vacation.” Unfortunately, the devil is in the details and any kind of break isn’t in the cards.

For me, one of the most crucial things about being a writer is choosing your subject matter. Do I want to write about people dying? Not so much. Do I want to write about Kate Middleton giving birth? No. Do I care about every single thing going on in the world? No, I don’t. That doesn’t make me a bad person, it simply means my priorities are different. My brain has an insanely fast processing system for certain types of information (I’m not kidding. Even when I’m asleep, I feel like I haven’t ever been “powered down”.), and sometimes I want silence. Okay, more often than not, I genuinely want silence. Inner peace is more difficult to achieve than one realizes.

I had a horrible experience last week that I do want to talk about, but in fairness to myself, I am still processing everything so that when I do speak up and speak out, people will understand why I am doing it. It’s important to call certain things into question and raise awareness. When it comes to mental health, any form of chronic pain, and migraines, I am NOT going to be silent about my experiences. These are small medical communities full of daily sufferers who aren’t being taken seriously. They are being cast out and demoralized by the very people they turn to for help. It’s disgusting. I refuse to be someone who doesn’t use the power of her position and voice to help others to the best of my ability.

Initially I was quite embarrassed over the incident. I do plan on talking about it, probably in my next major post. In the midst of having to feel ashamed and embarrassed, I thought “What if this happened to someone who wasn’t as smart or as strong as I am? What if this happened to someone who couldn’t advocate for themselves and go home at the end of this?” It’s been slightly over a week, and my mind is still in shock that I went through it and came out the other side. I know my behavior was in check, and I know I didn’t lose my temper until things escalated, so I shouldn’t be embarrassed at all. It’s important to explain and share it. I would hate for any of you to have gone through this. I had a few minutes where I was angry and afraid, and then this deeper part of me responded. Sometimes I forget that I’m a knock down, drag-you-by-your-hair, lay you out on the ground, make you cry for your mother, FIGHTER. Sometimes I need to be reminded of that. Of course, I’d like to be reminded without the outrageous drama. This will all make sense soon, I promise.

To those of you who have reached out to me over these last few weeks via social media, or by phone or text, please know how much your thoughts, kindness, compassion, and words mean to me. When friends and readers come to you with support, those are some of the best moments in life. Cherish them.

I think part of why I felt overwhelmed by the support I received is because I don’t ever assume my words or thoughts are making a difference for someone else. To then hear how my experiences, struggles, humor, and grace under pressure have helped someone get through their own battles, well, it puts a lot into perspective for me.

For the most part, I write something and I click publish. I might look at it once or twice after the fact, but I don’t usually go back. I put it out into the universe to be read, and I go on with my life. There’s only so much self-promotion I am willing to do. I don’t respect anyone who shoves their work down your throat, so I refuse to be anything like that.

More and more, people are coming back to me, sometimes months later, to thank me for speaking up, for sharing my very real thoughts, and for inspiring them. I am only egotistical to a small degree in that I am proud of the things I put my name on, and I’m the first person who has to laugh at my jokes and weirdness. When someone calls me and they’re genuinely hurting and upset, but by the end of the call they are laughing hysterically, I realize I have a gift that helps people. Perhaps G-d really does work in mysterious ways. 😉 I am a firm believer that people are drawn to you for specific reasons. Anyone drawn to me is either looking for strength, loyalty, a genuine ear, a genuine friend, or all of the above. Because in the beginning, we are all just words. You have no idea how that will transition into real life, but anyone who has ever met me and become a bigger part of my life will tell you I am consistently the same person. I can be hysterically funny and make you feel better, I can completely have your back, I will take your secrets to the grave, and/or I can be detached. I don’t think a single one of my true friends has ever witnessed the detached side of me. I am well aware that I’m rare. I have had to accept my rarity throughout the course of my life, but I feel like the right people come into your life and they stay. Anyone with an agenda, who doesn’t get what they want, is going to leave. It’s difficult to know what someone wants when they’re “new”. I suspect anyone who first meets me is meeting the cool, detached person who isn’t about to kiss anyone’s ass or try too hard for anything. I’m not looking to impress anyone. I am not starving for attention or friendship. I would rather have one genuine friend than one hundred “friends” coming into my life with an agenda. I can spot bullshit immediately.

In the midst of the ordeal I am still processing, I was asked “What do you think your purpose in life is?” I think we can all safely agree that is an exceedingly DEEP question to ask anyone. Like anyone else, I am still discovering my path, navigating my talents, and taking things one minute at a time. I will almost certainly spend more time wondering about purpose, and seeking it out. For many people this is defined by their roles in life. Mine is not. It’s a little bit like when someone says “You’re obviously a great Mom because you have cats.” The look on my face when people say this to me is always one of “Where the hell did that come from?” One thing has nothing to do with the other, and the analogy is kind of disturbing to me. It’s highly possible for a woman to be great at something and not have it likened to anything other than “You are great at this.” As human-beings, we wear many hats, but those hats should not be all that defines us.

I often find myself in situations where I feel appointed as the chief “slayer of demons”. While some people might say I don’t have to take on that responsibility, I will take on that which is of deep importance to me. If something could become a much bigger incident, I am more likely to see the bigger picture and get on board quickly, as opposed to backing down.

As a Scorpio, my sign is ruled by Mars and Pluto. Only one other sign in the zodiac has the same ruling planets. I’ve always found it interesting that Mars, which falls in line with the Roman God of War, would be attached to me. The way other people describe me is much the way astrologers and astronomers describe Mars. Combined with the constant regeneration of Pluto, it makes an awful lot of sense to me. Whether you believe in this sort of thing or not, I always notice how much these things tend to influence us. For many, it is without any knowledge whatsoever. I much prefer to be knowledgeable.

This incident is an enormous demon, and will probably not be the last one I have to slay in my lifetime. Not for a single second did I hesitate about retaliating. So while I navigate all the legalities and take a stand, I hope others will understand that I’m not only doing it for myself, I am doing it for everyone and anyone who is too afraid to speak up, or for those who fear backlash and/or repercussions.

I’ve been reminded of who I am. It’s taking a little time to mentally process all I’ve experienced and the knowledge that followed. I am determined to keep my head fully in this battle, and I know I will get there.

Wishing you all an empowering weekend and a fierce Full Moon ahead. 🙂

copyright © 2018 Lisa Marino & Blackbird Serenity, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.



I love Cat and Kitten, but sometimes, I have no energy for their antics. Okay, most days I don’t have the energy, but I digress.

This morning, the antics began early, and I had about as much patience for it as I do for a KKK rally. I decided to put a little food in their bowls to try to entice them away from my general direction so I could lock them out of my bedroom in the hopes that I’d be able to get a few more hours of sleep. It was an epic fail.

I came back to discover that Cat was sound asleep in my bed and it was Kitten making all the noise, running around like there were ten of her. I can’t decide if she has too much energy or if we feed her too much. 😛 She zipped past me after I’d already put food in both bowls, and tried hiding under the bed. There is no sense in trying to pull a spry cat out from underneath a bed, no matter what time of day it is. I already have two healing scratches and I don’t need fresh ones.

My brain was foggy with sleep, so at the time, I couldn’t tell who was who and I didn’t care, so long as the behavior stopped. I got back into bed and thought I saw Cat at the foot of the bed. I put out a hand and immediately knew who it was by texture. She feels like silk. That’s when I thought “What a little shit!” Thirty seconds later, she was opening the door and flying down the stairs like a monkey on crack. The insane behavior didn’t stop until well after I was awake. She tormented me until I fed her two hours in advance, as if she’s ever starved a day in her life with me. It’s a little scary how ravenous she is, but I suppose many cats (and dogs) are hungry when they’re on a schedule. They probably have internal timers we are completely unaware of. They don’t greet us at the door out of love, they greet us at the door because we control the food. If they had thumbs, we’d be obsolete. They’d start adopting themselves. I’m pretty sure there are animals who could bag my groceries better than most humans, but that’s a story for another day (I mean really: Who the hell puts two huge cans of crushed tomatoes on top of a loaf of bread?! Think about that for a second before answering.).

On the plus side, I love it when they’re sweet, sleepy, affectionate, and cuddly. While I was working yesterday afternoon Kitten walked over to Cat, who was sleeping, and proceeded to kiss her head. Affection ensued. Then, they wrapped their paws around each other and snuggled to sleep. This went on for three hours before they got nasty with each other and one of them took off, but it was nice to see because as they get older, there will be more fighting, as opposed to play-fighting, and less affection. That’s how it is with female cats, even if they’re litter-mates or siblings. I’ve seen it before, I’ve lived it, and I am not anticipating miracles here. Coexistence, but not miracles.

This is how we assist Mommy. Did you know that cuddling is good for your health?

Cat and Kitten are many things, but they’re not mean, selfish assholes. I thank God/Goddess every day that they’re not people-people, because then I’d probably find them rude and/or annoying. Thankfully, animals bring unconditional love with them. They’ll spend time with you if you’re sick or sad, they’ll check in on you, bring you toys (Maybe that’s just my two?), and give you kisses. They don’t care what you look like because they don’t have human vision. They don’t care if you have perfume or cologne on (Cat and Kitten both smell like spicy maple syrup. I have no idea how this is achieved.), so long as your skin smells like Mommy/Daddy and is consistently familiar. There is no superficiality to the life of critters. These two could care less if I have a full face of makeup on or if I’m in my PJ’s, they still love me. I swear, it’s the food thing. LOL. In all seriousness, I find comfort in that. I can be myself without fear of persecution or demands I cannot meet. In this selfie obsessed world, they are two of the reasons I am alive. I could not be more grateful.

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

This should be a theme for me.

Frazzled Saturday Mornings

After an extraordinary amount of sleep last night into this morning, I somehow managed to convince myself that today was:

A) Monday (Which is just plain EVIL, even though Monday is a holiday for me.)

B) Sunday (How the hell did I sleep so long?! I only took ONE Benadryl for my allergies!)

C) Another week entirely. (Yes, I know.)

It just goes to show you that stress really does manifest itself within the body and definitely within the mind. I did not want to get out of bed this morning, but I did it. The downside of that is that cat and kitten think they need to be fed PRONTO. I’m willing to negotiate with them, but there’s no way they’re being fed hours early simply because they run into the kitchen in the hopes of tripping me.

Happy Birthday Miss Lucy! You’re one of my only friends who writes and can properly spell the word blonde. These are important things.

Before I forget, today is my friend Lucy’s birthday. Please visit her @ Blondewritemore and wish her a wonderful day. If nothing else, this is one weekend where I probably won’t have to chase her for calling me “Ma’am”. Try it and I will make you PAY.

Other things occurring this weekend? Minor Rosh Hashanah prep (Ask your local Rabbi or consult Google.). In my vast idiocy Thursday evening, I forgot a few things at the store, so I will either get them later today or sometime tomorrow. No one will die if there is a lack of zucchini, mushrooms, or candles, but I will personally lose my mind for forgetting something sweet. The Jewish New Year is basically an invitation to have a sweet (a piece of honey cake, an apple dipped in honey, etc.) to invite sweetness into the new year. Lord knows I could use some of that (sweetness in the new year), though I prefer chocolate because I’ve noticed that every last bit of honey in the store is processed (ie: fake). Some are more processed than others, and that’s unacceptable to me. It’s like handing me maple syrup that isn’t real, but trying to convince me it’s real when it’s flavored corn syrup. If I’d noticed the honey issue in advance, I would have ordered some from an Etsy store (which is straight from the beehive) so that I’d know it was real and healthier, but it’s too late, so I can only do my best. This explains why honey from the store is addictive.

I will be doing quite a bit of cooking today and tomorrow. In between, I am going to try resting my body because Thursday kicked the hell out of me in every possible way. There is not a muscle in my body that doesn’t feel bruised and battered. I will also be working on an important piece, one I’ve been working on all week, in fact. Here’s hoping I can complete it before tomorrow night.

Wishing you all a wonderful, relaxing Saturday.

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