Actions of a Chronic Insomniac

This morning, I spent a little over an hour in the kitchen whipping up a full pot of tabouleh. I needed some healthy, soul food. 😉 It felt so good to listen to music and go at my own pace. It calmed me down in ways that, of late, cooking has not.

I made it differently this time (More to my personal taste, as opposed to anyone else’s.), and I’ll add more lemon juice to it later on in the day, because as it cools, more flavors pop and you can tell, right before you serve it, what else needs to be added. Taste as you go.

“Tam” means “taste”. I am an instinctual kind of chef, and I believe this stems from growing up and paying attention to how things were prepared from start to finish. Usually if I watch something done once or twice, that’s it, I’m solid on how to do it for the rest of my life. Rarely do I look at a recipe, unless I am making something new for the first time, and even then, I put my personal spin on every single dish I make for my family/friends. I take great pride in doing this, to the point where my brother texted me last night to complain about no one making, “good food” for him. I reminded him I used to do this for him several times a week and he didn’t always appreciate it. It’s a little sad when a person doesn’t necessarily miss YOU, but they miss your cooking.

I must have felt stronger than I am, because I had even softened butter to bake a full batch of Peppermint Chocolate Chunk cookies for after I’d finished up the tabouleh, but I felt so exhausted after cleaning up the kitchen, and I knew I had to listen to my body. I will bake them later, or tomorrow, if I have the energy/patience.

My insomnia is scary right now. Usually, I work when I’m unable to sleep, and I feel accomplished in that because I am able to make a lot of headway, but this morning I’d had enough of words and decided to put my efforts into food prep. I won’t have to cook later, so that will be awesome. 🙂 I’ll be able to put things on the table, enjoy, and get some feedback on this batch of Middle Eastern goodness. 😀

It is sixteen degrees here after yesterday being a snow day in a myriad of ways (It is ICY out there. Dangerously icy.), so I feel good that there’s stuff ready for a late lunch/early dinner. I’ll be pairing this with a kale and spinach salad accompanied by grilled chicken. Douse it in balsamic vinaigrette and I am THERE. 🙂 Obviously, the cookies are a bit of a treat, but I eat boringly healthy most of the time (I had the exact same salad last night, because I was too lazy to add things to it. Normally I do a full blown salad for 2-3 days, which often includes peppers, cruciferous veggies, whatever seasonal fruit I have on hand, nuts, the works, but this time, I begged out. I was too tired to do it, but it was okay.), so I am allowed to do something fun, for a change. Lately, my biggest craving has been whipped cream. I’ve been obsessed, and it’s such an odd craving to have…

I find it interesting that while I was chopping, stirring, and juicing lemons by hand (Yes, I am THAT girl.), despite the music I was listening, and singing to, my mind went blank of all the stressors. This is practically unheard of for me. I have had WEEKS of stressful thinking, mostly surrounded around heavy business decisions (as well as health stuff.).

I looked at my closest friends and saw how everyone is wrapped up in their own lives, to the point where many don’t even ask me if I’m okay when they assault me with what they’ve got going on (Yes, it is assault. They don’t ask my permission, so I’ve stopped answering everyone immediately.). I didn’t want to bother any of them with my minor problems. Yeah, I downplay my grief. I don’t deny it. They are dealing with life/death issues, and that supersedes my crap. Whatever I am thinking/feeling won’t mean a whole lot to them in the long or short run, and they don’t have my business sense, so I felt completely alone in terms of who to talk to. Ultimately, I discussed it with a family member who reinforced how responsible I am being and how I am making smart moves. They also offered to help me, and I appreciate that. It’s no one else’s responsibility to help me with business stuff. Truly. It was my business plan from the get-go and hitting a brick wall without a crystal ball was not the goal, so it is truly my responsibility to handle the heavy-lifting. It may feel like a burden now, but it won’t when it’s done, and that’s the feeling I have to embrace. Focus on the goal, and do everything in your power to achieve it. You are allowed to have goals, change your mind, change course, and whatever else you need to do in order to succeed in a fair way.

I admit, this is an enormous goal. I am not going to shy away from the challenge, though. In the meantime, it gives me additional time to perfect that which feels raw. I went back to part one of this goal and when I went through all my notes, I hated everything I’d put together. Truly hated it, whereas I was previously proud not that long ago. I’ll sort it out, and I will do so without pressuring myself to have it done yesterday. One step at a time, even if they’re baby steps. The goal WILL be achieved, and I have to trust the Universe to know when the timing is right.

Here’s hoping I get some rest this weekend and continue to heal. After all, the weekend is only forty-eight hours and that never seems like a lot of time, because it isn’t. I feel like I’ll blink, and it will be May, and the thought is utterly traumatic, so I am trying to take on one stressor at a time. Needless to say, it’s probably a good thing I speak with my psychiatrist next week. I almost feel bad for him. Almost. 😉

Wherever you are in the world, may you enjoy your weekend in peace.

Copyright © 2022 by Lisa Marino & Poison In Lethal Doses, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Poison In Lethal Doses®™ is a registered trademark. Written work by author may not be shared or posted anywhere without express written consent.

Silent Nausea

I’ve felt the need to be silent this past two weeks. There are millions of thoughts in my head, things I’ve love to put into a cohesive pattern, but I honestly cannot bring myself to do so. I’m physically, mentally, and emotionally too drained. I am sure many people feel the same way.

I will put everyone at ease; I don’t want to discuss politics. I hate every single election year. I’m sick of hearing a multitude of opinions on the radio, reading them online where horrific fights have broken out and people have ended friendships over differing opinions (or where families are fighting over who voted for this one or that one), hearing about it on TV, etc. I’m upset that children are terrified and scared about what all of this means for them, and that families feel as they do. I don’t care who anyone voted for, because that’s truly none of my business. I realize that roughly 46% of Americans may not have voted in this election. To each their own. It’s your right, your choice. I’m not going to judge it/you or discuss it. I’ve genuinely had enough of the subject. I’d like to be woken in four years. Subject closed.

I’m sitting here functioning on some bizarre form of auto-pilot. It even took me on a four mile walk today. I truly have no idea how I got home! 

Currently, my focus is on my health. I’m rarely afraid for myself, but something horrible is happening and there is seemingly no way for me to save myself this time. I’ve spent days crying and breaking down, and no one has noticed or said a word to me. It truly makes me feel invisible. Sometimes people get upset when they hear me say I’m “useless”, “worthless”, “invisible”, “barely existing”, and/or “a failure”. They don’t ask why I feel that way, they simply tell me I’m none of those things. They don’t get it, and that hurts.

I don’t have a lot of people to talk to about this sort of thing honestly and openly. Very few people want to hear what I have to say, and on the off-chance they do; they cannot relate to this level of anguish. I’m not very trusting, so I wouldn’t go to just anyone with my problems, either. People are extremely happy for me to listen to them, but it’s so rare to be listened to in kind. My own brother told me to “stop talking” earlier this week, because he couldn’t process what I was saying. That or he doesn’t believe me; I’m not entirely sure which it is. Clearly, we are ALL fighting our own battles. Some are worse than others. Compared to a lot of things I hear; my life isn’t that difficult. Many people have it far worse than I do. But my emotions? They’re so violently painful that there’s no way to wrap your head around that much hurt. It’s killing me silently, and no one sees it.

My stomach has been horribly painful for about a week now. I thought some tea would help a few days ago, but because I’m so wrapped up in the pain, I probably should not have been grating ginger. I nearly took a finger with me. 😦

When I feel like this I am often accused of “hiding”. What people don’t seem to realize is; I am so filled with pain that it’s for their protection, as well as mine. Instead of accusing someone who is hurting of “hiding”, I would think the healthier alternative would be to encourage them to be around people, or to at least not be locked up in a room as if they’re in a jail cell. 😦

Where the fuck do you meet “new people”?! A close friend and I have been debating this over and over because we’re both utterly clueless regarding this matter. We both agree that we like and prefer depth, not superficial bullshit, and drama-free individuals to spend our time with is a must; because neither of us has time for drama. It’s incredibly difficult to find people who are on the same wavelength as I am. Almost all of my close friends/best friends are people I met because of my work/writing. Every single one of them lives far away. I’ve been incredibly blessed to make life-long friends simply by doing whatever my job is at the time, and finding people through my work who respect and appreciate my ability to be real, without apology.

Genuine friendship is rare. Being able to trust another person is crucial. In the beginning of any friendship, trust is built. However, I’m starting to realize I have immense trust issues because I’ve been hurt & betrayed in the past. I try hard not to look at new people as potential betrayers. I’m simply hyper-aware of them. The one person I met this year that I instantly disliked ended up hurting someone I care about. The other person may eventually forgive, forget, and move forward, but I feel as though listening to my intuition is one of the most important things I can do in all situations. No matter how wonderful and fabulous someone is telling you another person is, take a thirty-second pause to really look at them and allow yourself to sense the truth. You’d be amazed at how important those thirty seconds are.

I’d rather have five solid friends than a dozen tarnished pennies. So, while not a social butterfly, I am 100% ride or die for my friends. However, when they made me they broke the mold. Rumor has it they also beat the hell out of the mold-maker, so don’t expect every person to be a dazzling creature such as myself. 😉 Use your intuition. I find it helps keep the nausea at bay.

I hope you all have a lovely weekend. I’ll be back soon.

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

Life’s Battles & Celebrations

Last year, the day after my birthday, my brother was diagnosed with congestive heart failure that required a quadruple bypass. It was an extremely scary time in which I functioned on G-d only knows what, and forced myself to remain strong through prayer and talking to people who did their best to emotionally support me through that horrible time.

Today, I celebrate my brother’s birthday. In the past year, through horrific battles that life has challenged us with, we have become a more united brother & sister. I’m proud of that. The ugliness and evil of others cannot destroy what he & I have built. It’s a horrible situation, but through bad, there is also good.

In the past year my brother has lived through three life-threatening operations and a horrific maze of challenges that have been cruel, harsh, evil, and vicious. I pray that this year is better to him; that promises made are promises kept, and that a year from now, we can laugh instead of cry.

As so many of us know, life itself can be a harsh task master. If you have the power to make someone’s life better, greater, happier, more secure, etc., even if only for a short period of time, then you should be selfless and act, not say one thing and do another. Life is SO short and none of us want to live with regrets. My father (May He Rest In Peace) spent most of his life not speaking to his brother. This would go on for five years, ten years, etc., until eventually my Uncle was 71 and dying from cancer. Instead of calling my father, I was the one to receive the call that my Uncle had cancer and didn’t have much longer to live. I had to break the news to my father and plan a day for the entire family to be together. They bonded in those last moments as though they’d never bonded before, and I know it gave them both a sense of peace. My Uncle passed away, and nearly two years later my father passed, from the exact same disease.

I’d slay dragons and demons to make sure my brother remains alive and in tact. I may very well have to do that; but today I thank all that is Holy that he is alive, that he has survived, and ultimately, that he is MY brother.

I know things are bad at the moment, M, but I am ALWAYS, ALWAYS with you.



“They tried to break us, but that didn’t work. And they tried to destroy us, but that didn’t work. They sent every form of evil our way, and still we stood tall. For that is the bond of this blood, once and for all.”  

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


For a Torture To Be Effective…

“For a torture to be effective, the pain has to be spread out; it has to come at regular intervals, with no end in sight. The water falls , drop after drop after drop, like the second hand of a watch, carving up time. The shock of each individual drop is insignificant, but the sensation is impossible to ignore. At first, one might manage to think about other things, but after five hours, after ten hours, it becomes unendurable. The repeated stimulation excites the nerves to a point where they literally explode, and every sensation in the body is absorbed into that one spot on the forehead—indeed, you come to feel that you are nothing but a forehead, into which a fine needle is being forced millimeter by millimeter. You can’t sleep or even speak, hypnotized by a suffering that is greater than any mere pain. In general, the victim goes mad before a day has passed.” ―Yōko Ogawa