Stressors and Triggers

I intended to write something specific today, but my mood is bringing me deep down. That’s when I know I need a break, a distraction, and perhaps a six month long vacation away from daily stressors and triggers. Alas, I settled for a stack of good books.

When you’re writing about certain topics, it is often good to stay away from reading books on said topics. Instead, I find stepping back, and reading the topic for a while, is far more encouraging regarding how you will finish it, and what the quality of the writing will be.

So, I guess I’m on a bit of a self-imposed break this week. Here’s hoping I’m inspired to do things on my own terms, because forcing it means you’re writing crap. At least from my perspective.

Have a good week.

October

This is my favorite season and favorite time of year, but after an emotional, rage-filled moment yesterday, I am questioning EVERYTHING in my life.

To be fair to myself, I reacted via a triggering comment made to me, and new medication that, without my knowing in advance, causes people to occasionally react in a volatile fashion. I’ve stopped the medication, obviously. I don’t ever want to be the type of person who uses her medication as an excuse not to behave properly. That’s unacceptable to me. It’s going to take a week or so to get it fully out of my system, which isn’t a common issue for others, but apparently, for me, it builds up. For most people, it it out of their system within 12-24 hours. I am feeling is gradually leave, but nowhere near fast enough. 😦

I never ask my doctor about trying new medication unless things are bad. This was “new to me” medication, and I should have done extensive research before taking my first capsule. I openly admit to feeling stupid, but relieved that I quickly found the info and said, “I can’t do this anymore.” I had JUST spoken to him yesterday about the drug and was trying to tough it out past the side effects, but that one moment was one moment too many.

When you’re suffering and working solo on your pain/trauma/harm, anything can resurface and cause you to react. That’s what life has been like for me for the past few years, but I haven’t mentioned it. I’ve tried to cope silently, and in turn, I’ve retraumatized myself in several different ways. It is sad and upsetting, and I wish I had the energy to discuss it at length, but I don’t. I feel empty because this is an exhausting process. It’s made worse by no one asking how you’re doing or reaching out to you out of any kind of genuine concern or love for you, which I find SO insulting.

In times like this, I take a huge step back from people. I stop reaching out to them because, quite frankly, enough is enough. The world doesn’t revolve around others who have zero interest in doing the same for you. At the start of quarantine, I reached out to all of my friends to make sure everyone was doing okay, and I let damn near everyone know I was available if they needed to talk. I was mostly ignored. And then, at the end of July, my cousin passed away from terminal lung cancer. I reached out to two of her children, with whom I have solid relationships with, but I know they will call or text if they are having a rough time. They have their support systems. I do not.

I don’t speak to 96% of my blood relatives, and I have my reasons. If you have to find out that your Aunt passed away by finding her obituary online (after not being able to reach her by phone), that is a testament to how your cousins actually feel about you. My father’s side of the family baffles me. My mother’s side isn’t much better, but at least a few people value me enough to maintain a relationship of some kind. One of my cousins is sending me distantly related cousins via Facebook because she uploaded her DNA onto 23andMe and located people this way. If I wanted to upload my DNA to find family, I would do it myself. The truth is, I have enough distant relatives to last a lifetime and no deep-seeded need to “connect” with people I don’t know at this stage in my life. Especially with people in their 70s, 80s, 90s, etc. Let them live and be well, but I would much prefer a few peers. I don’t want conversations about who died, and when. Hard pass.

So yeah, I am struggling. I am suffering. I’m in a dark place. I am usually on a telehealth appointment once a week with my doctor, and despite writing and doing research for various projects I have in the works, I feel like I am mostly achieving nothing at all.

I am either asleep or not sleeping at all. I am in a lot of pain, so I have extremely limited what I do and where I go. After getting sick last month for a while (and having my symptoms suddenly disappear), I wonder if I need to be tested for Covid. It’s hard to tell if my cough is “just allergies”. I might have a minor cold, but it’s the feverish feeling with no fever and insane chills, that make me worry. Yes, this could be a major Fibromyalgia flare-up, or something valid. Unfortunately, when I did call my doctor’s office about this, they weren’t the least bit concerned. The fact that a persistent cough makes me feel like there’s eucalyptus living inside my chest was of zero concern to them, but they thought they were doing me a favor by letting me know I could go and get tested, and they’d fax a request in wherever I decided to go. Instead, I called a local Urgent Care and they said, “Just come in. We don’t need a note or prescription from your doctor, and it’s covered by your insurance.” There’s also free testing being done in the area, so I’m covered if I do need to go. My insurance has called, texted, and sent letters to let me know any testing or treatment will be 100% covered. If I go, I will verify it over the phone, just to be on the safe side of potentially receiving an astronomical bill.

As it begins to dip into the 40s and 50s here, my entire body feels like someone poured -30 degree blood into my veins. Even if it’s 70 degrees outside, I am bundled up like it’s about to snow. I can’t seem to shake the chill. And yet, this could just be my new normal. 😦 I will not know until Spring, pretty much.

Here’s hoping some of this lifts for me and I am able to enjoy the Fall version of October. Realistically, I’m not holding my breath.

copyright © 2020 by Lisa Marino & Poison In Lethal Doses, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Depression Truths

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I shared this because someone triggered me this morning, and all I feel is anger towards their neglect of me as a human-being. Let me rephrase that. They do not have the decency to treat me like a human-being, and I will be gaslighted for saying so.

I was triggered via a threat. Growing up in an abusive home and experiencing threats non-stop (that was my life for over fifteen years), this person SHOULD know better than to say something in an “attack” manner, but they don’t care enough to say something kind and helpful because they want me to feel threatened. They want to diminish who and what I am.

My entire worth is summed up by what I do for them, and then I am told I am worthless when I can’t do it all. Let’s set aside the fact that I am waiting to see my doctor and have him order x-rays after I fell over the weekend. I’m struggling to move around, especially because my right leg took the brunt of the hit. It felt like my leg had disappeared, and down I went. I am lucky there was no damage to my hands or head, though my right wrist was tweaked quite a bit. My knee, ankle, and foot feel like someone beat me with a baseball bat. I have a deep bone bruise in my knee. I can feel it. My ankle pain is maddening, and I’ve been treating the swelling. Being injured gives me time to think and I am overwhelmed with emotion at the moment.

I was born with the genetic predisposition for suicidal depression. My paternal Grandmother’s side of the family was rife with mental health issues, and I’m angry and annoyed that it skipped two generations and landed on me. My father’s niece and nephews are too stupid to grasp the concept of mental health, and they’re much older than my brother and I. There was a huge age difference between my father and his brother. My Grandmother thought she was going through menopause before a doctor told her that, no, she was actually pregnant with my father. “He wasn’t supposed to be here.”, that’s what she told my mother! Alas, I digress.

If you’re going to treat me like some imperfect, disgusting creature and never take the time to sit down with me and make a plan for how to best achieve something, I am always going to be triggered by the behavior. In turn, I am going to confront this head-on. I cannot spend hours feeling like this any more. It’s my time to rise and to shine, and I am not permitting myself to be brought down.

You can achieve a lot more with honey than you can with vinegar.

 

 

 

Every Witch Way, But Mostly Dead

Authors’ Note: **POTENTIAL TRIGGER WARNING**

Yes, the title is spelled correctly. Yes, it’s intentional.

Most of my weekends are spent doing things I’d rather not do. The weekends were once my refuge for sleep, quiet, peace, laughter, productivity, cooking, more laughter, and space. They are now filled with rushed moments, trying to pack a lot of time into a few hours here and there. I almost NEVER get to do something I genuinely want to do, and despite the fact that I am being supremely honest about that, I can’t say it doesn’t gall me. It does. There’s not a lot about my current life that I signed up for. I find that’s a repetitive theme these days.

On one hand, a person might try shaming me by saying I don’t appreciate what I have. I don’t recommend attempting that tactical method with me. I might seem nice, but I’m not. Only someone who truly understands what I am going through and experiencing would understand why I say what I say and feel as I do. The truth is; I don’t need to justify my feelings to anyone or have them agree or disagree. They’re MY feelings. I own them, and they are accurate.

By a certain age, we all kind of find our niche and know the direction we plan on taking, whatever that direction may be. It could be personal, professional, or a mixture of the two, but the decision is made somewhere along the way to go right or left, or maybe North, South, East, or West. Some of us meet forks in the road, whereas other people see smooth sailing on the same road from the initial decision until the end of their life. My life, for some unknown reason, is one fork after another. It is an expensive place-setting with more forks than one really need have on a table called life, but there they are; ever-present and obnoxious as hell. I’m not a mermaid, you can’t dangle shiny things in front of me and distract me. Perhaps one should try diamonds instead of forks. I’m a Royal Asscher kind of girl. 😉

For a while now the saying “Different levels, different devils.” has been on a repetitive loop inside my head. I have plenty to write and say, and no interest in actually drafting any of it into a post or anything else. I don’t get writer’s block, but I do experience writer’s boredom. Let’s call me a severely bored writer for the moment. It’ll pass.

My usual desire to be creative on other artistic platforms where I have either interest or talent is also in a “bored” phase. For me to walk into ULTA and come out with NOTHING is almost unheard of. I found it kind of disturbing when I was the person who didn’t walk out with a bright orange bag.

A friend asked me how I was doing last week and I replied “I’m in a state of really not giving a shit about anything or anyone.” Not realizing that her reply could make or break someone else, she responded by saying “Oh. That’s kind of a good thing, I guess.” I informed her it most certainly is not.

I’ve been pretty ill on and off for months. I was holding up halfway decently, and have slowly started to decline. Let’s get something straight; no one should EVER rejoice in someone else’s pain or hardships. You can’t tell me I’ll feel better if “just pray harder” or if I “take a bath” and “light some candles”. Seriously?! What the fuck is wrong with people?

Your mental health, and mine, is just as important as the rest of your health. I call Mondays “Mental Health Monday” because I allow myself that time to do nothing, but take care of me. To shut everything and everyone off and allow myself to get into the correct head space to do what I need to for the week. Unfortunately, I already know that I will be badly triggered tomorrow. As a result, today was not the day I intended for it to be.

I am forced to make a heartbreaking decision. Will it kill me? Physically, no, but it will kill my soul, whatever is left of it after feeling like I’ve experienced various forms of hell for the past two and a half years. If I do it, there’s no point left for me anymore because I will finally know there’s no future left for me to return to. There’s no point in forging ahead without what little in this world that gives me hope and keeps me alive.

As usual, my brother caused critical damage to this situation, refuses to take ownership of his behavior and words, and I have no where else to turn. I have always been told that I don’t know how to ask for help. There’s a reason I don’t ask, and it’s because time and again, I’ve been shown cruelty and the true nature of others. If you genuinely want to help someone, then you’ll do it and NEVER throw it in their face. You won’t lord it over them and tell them what a horrible person they are. If you genuinely want to hurt someone, well, I’ve been hurt enough.

This week will be full of challenges and pain for me. I hate feeling hopeless and I hate feeling like I have failed when the truth is, I’ve FOUGHT LIKE FUCKING HELL to get this far. My body feels like it’s perpetually at war, and it is. My immune system fights itself and it leaves me in a constant state of fight or flight. As I type this, my heart isn’t sure if it should be calm or jump out of my chest. It’s exhausting and I’ve had enough.

I spend a little too much time in Witch City, and have for the past year. Yesterday I was subjected to more people than I EVER want to be around in close spaces for over two hours. I have never been more happy to escape crowds of people. I keep thinking how sad it would be if this was my last weekend ever. I wonder if the selfishness of others would then finally be realized.

I never get to do anything of my own choosing. But I do get to control what I write.

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

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Pull The Trigger

Almost two weeks ago, after an appointment with the Certified Nurse Practitioner at my doctor’s office, I went into the afternoon with one thought in mind: What are my triggers? It began to nag at me, until a few things dawned on me.

I keep a food journal to track what I’m eating each day. I’ve done this for a little over a year now, mostly because I wondered if something I was eating was causing my migraines to become worse than they were prior to my move. After going over it repeatedly, I genuinely don’t think my diet is triggering me in terms of stress or my migraines. It’s simple, boring, repetitive, crazy healthy (for the most part), and I’d probably murder you for a Triple Classic with bacon and cheese from Wendy’s and a baked potato with extra sour cream if I went within a minute of the place. Notice I didn’t say a mile. I haven’t touched fast food in almost a year and a half. I catch myself missing it when I’m stressed, or a few days a month when I just NEED a change of pace.

The CNP was exceedingly clueless as to what is causing my blackouts. I would refrain from blonde jokes temporarily, but she opened the door wide open the following morning when she called and yelled at me about the medication that was prescribed to me after she’d left for the day. And by yell, I mean she has a very shrieky voice and it is offensive to my ears, especially when it goes up an octave and she’s actually yelling. She blew off my lab work like it was no big deal when I questioned it, thus leading me to wonder if she can read lab results because I can, and I’m not a medical professional. I questioned the issues because they’re exceedingly visible (Elevated white count, which is NOT uncommon in Fibromyalgia sufferers or in anyone with an autoimmune disease, except I never used either word in my visits to this doctor’s office. I knew my blood work would speak for itself.) and her answer was “Can you like pop in next week and re-do it?” (Said precisely like that.) Um, NO. I’ve got a hematoma that spans three fingers on the inside of my left forearm that IMMEDIATELY bruised. I hadn’t even left the office and it was BLUE, which never happens to me. I’ve applied Arnica gel to help speed up the healing, and it’s looking a lot better now. It went from looking like someone had taken a mallet to my arm, to looking like a trauma version of Saturn, to looking like a heart, and now that it’s almost gone, it’s just plain ugly.), but I’m not rushing back for blood work any time soon. If you aren’t concerned enough to call me about that, which my physician did NOT, then I’m not concerned enough to come running in. In fairness, my doctor should have looked at it and called me to go over it. That’s what every doctor should do if something doesn’t look right. I went in running a fever and that was also blown off like it was no big deal. “It must be because it’s a warm day.” No, that’s not it, USE YOUR BRAIN.

The entire appointment was useless. I didn’t need to come in to tell you I could fail a baseline test, or that my neurology appointment couldn’t be moved up. You didn’t “save me” a trip to the emergency room by having me come in to “assess the situation”. And for the record, they thought I’d come in because of my migraines, NOT because I’m blacking out and losing time almost daily. Why would I go to a primary care physician’s office over migraines?! I wouldn’t.

A smart person would have ordered an MRI or a CT scan ahead of my neuro appointment, just to be on the safe side, but this chick didn’t even have suggestions (Did you know CNPs earn roughly $98,000 a year when they are part of a medical practice? Factor that in and you’ll be able to tap into my disgust.). I was so distracted that I forgot to ask about new anti-nausea meds and a muscle relaxer. It only took three phone calls for that to get cleared up.

When she called to yell at me about the medicine, it was because, in her words, I should “only take the muscle relaxers at night”. I had to bite back the “Duh!” that I was thinking when what I almost said was “Chill, blondie! I wasn’t prescribed an entire bottle of them. I was prescribed fifteen pills.” I paid roughly .30 cents per pill because the doctor who wrote it (not mine) was afraid to give me a full prescription. That annoys me, because it’s more cost effective for me to have a prescription that is a month of medication, as opposed to a few days worth. The normal daily dose for this drug is 80 mgs. I was prescribed 10 mgs. One pill does NOTHING. Two is slightly helpful, but 30 mgs does the trick and helps all of the muscles in my body ease up a smidge. I am going to be extremely honest with my doctor about that when I call for a refill. I don’t particularly like the drug, but if it helps my muscles not be stiff when I wake up, then I’d prefer to stay on it until another doctor says otherwise.

The anti-nausea medicine is for twenty-one pills, which is a little more practical. The whole “passing the buck” onto the neurologist pisses me off. Implying that they could get me in sooner to see him was obviously not handled properly, if at all. The neurologists’ office told me when I got the appointment that this was the first opening available with any of their doctors. There were literally two times on the same day, and I chose the earlier of the two. I took what I could get. I know they’d contact patients if they had cancellations, but obviously, there’s no room. As a first-time appointment, I expected to wait. I’d rather wait and actually get the doctor’s full attention, as opposed to deal with a rushed physician who is completely overbooked.

In all of this craziness, I learned that my ultimate trigger isn’t something I’m eating, but an actual person. Anyone who seems to gain from your misery, pain, isolation, and fear that something is seriously wrong with you is just plain evil and is someone you should probably avoid. It’s not often I find myself hating people, but I realized I hate how I’m being treated. I hate how anyone can deny how horrible their treatment of me is, and in the classic deflection technique, tries to turn it back on me. That’s not love, it is hatred, and it is so palpable, it enrages me.

This person is the ultimate “self-harm”. Rarely is a kind word spoken to or about me, unless there’s an insult thrown into the mix. I’d elaborate, but it chaps my ass to the point where I just can’t. Repeating hateful things said about me that aren’t true is giving the other person credence. When you tell someone who is chronically ill, and has been for the majority of their life, that they “Don’t want to get well.” because they didn’t go running to pick up two prescriptions the second they were filled, or ask for someone else to pick them up, there’s not a whole that that you can say to that, is there? It’s a crock of shit. If a muscle relaxer and anti-nausea medication would cure and/or “heal” me, then I’d have been on both years ago. Is waiting 48-72 hours going to change anything? No. Not one bit. Those medications are not cures. They’re temporary solutions to long-term problems. They will not magically heal me.

When you genuinely care about a person, you don’t ever want to cause them harm with vicious, hateful words. But now I see what others have been trying to tell me for probably the past twenty years; this person doesn’t love me. Maybe they think they do, but when you love someone, you want what’s best for them. You can always say things without being cruel, hurtful, or harmful. If you can’t, there’s something wrong with you.

When you realize that a person in your life, however close or not, is a serious trigger for you, you need to be self-aware when you’re around them, especially if you’re left without a choice. I feel my best when I am completely away from my triggers, both human and otherwise, but I know that’s not always a possibility for everyone. Hell, it’s not a possibility for me at the moment, but at least I’ve fully identified the target and know how to deal with it.

The neutered, “I’ve been to therapy” Lisa would disengage, say nothing, and walk away, but would internally be enraged. However, I’ve decided that particular version of me isn’t acceptable in my daily life any more, whether I’m going to therapy or not, so I’ve decided to let the other person (and people) know that their mouth is a problem and that I expect them to keep it in check with me. Yes, they will likely slip up here and there, but it’s my duty to correct them immediately, or the issue will get bigger and continue to fester. It’s easier for me to say what needs to be said and shut it down, so I am able to let it go. Mostly because, I don’t think I’d be a very good inmate.

When coping with triggers, it’s important to first identify them. If you are able to write them down and nail them the first time you try, that’s good. If you need to nail them down in therapy, or over time, that’s good, too. It shows growth. It comes down to “What/who hurts me the most.” I see a lot of people mention family issues as major triggers, or their wife/husband/partners, friends, children, etc., and all of that is normal. You definitely want to write those down if they’re affecting you and find a way to turn it around, but also look at your past and present, as well. You might even want to look into future things you know will take place that are causing you some form of triggered pain.

Ultimately, we’re all different. I’m not Zen enough to ignore rudeness and insults that are blatant and feel personal. I can let a lot fly, but there are things I MUST call people on. And if I happen to remain silent about something, it will eventually come out at a more appropriate time. I do believe in the “write it out” philosophy, too. I am lucky in that 99% of the people who effect me do not know I write and if they do, they don’t read my work, so I can come here any time and write exactly what I’m thinking or feeling. I can be my authentic self, and if they ever stumble upon it (they aren’t interested, so the chances are slim to none), they’re probably too stupid to know who or what I am talking about.

When I used to write about friendships, one of my best friends thought everything I wrote was about her (on occasion it was. She should know better than to piss me off or push my buttons.), but I never named names, and I never would. Most of the time what I am writing is a generalization and pertains to no one in particular. If I have to resort to calling someone out by name, that’s a pretty sad day in my writing career, but I’d do it in a New York Minute if I had no other choice. Otherwise, I like to keep my integrity in check.

From here on in, I am willing to “pull the trigger”. That’s my analogy for shooting down someone or something that is causing me any form of harm or emotional pain. No more.

I’ve been through hell and back. I have the scars and the ashes to prove it, but I’m done feeling victimized and/or excluded from my life. I’m in control. I am the boss. If you step out of line, prepare for the warning shot. I only warn once.

‘Pull The Trigger’ is copyright © 2017 by Lisa Marino & Blackbird Serenity, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

The Aftermath

*Potential trigger warning*

I survived, and I’m always sorry when I do. Always.

Last week, a member of my family overdosed on prescription medication. It wasn’t painkillers or anything like that. In fact, I have yet to look the drug up, but I do know what it isn’t. It’s not lethal if you’re taking it responsibly, but it can be deadly if you’re being an asshole or you take four instead of one. That’s true for a lot of drugs we deem “safe”, which is precisely why the pharmacy tells you that if you can’t remember if you missed a dose, skip the dose, don’t double-up.

We don’t know yet if it was intentional or accidental, but she doesn’t remember what happened. I wish I could say the same. It took me roughly twelve hours to talk two different family members down over what happened. I’ve felt deeply depressed, unhappy, mentally, emotionally, and physically drained ever since. I’m in such a dark place and as I sit here, I realize no one has noticed.

I remember when I tried overdosing. I’d had enough and I wanted out. This was long before my Fibromyalgia diagnosis, and honestly, it was unnecessary back then, I just couldn’t tolerate what i was going through with zero support (much like I feel now). I can say with absolute certainty that no one noticed what I did and no one knew I did it. Even now, no one spends enough time with me to notice if I’m sick or not acting like myself because they don’t know me well enough to know what’s normal for me. I can’t laugh or be goofy or do anything without it being criticized or psychoanalyzed. I could do so many truly dangerous things and I am certain no one would notice. When would they have the fucking time?!

I’m not content living a half-life. I’ve spent the past few weeks in so much pain, I didn’t realize until yesterday just how badly I want it all to stop. The daily struggle. The forcing myself to get out of bed when I really shouldn’t be moving at all. The emotional struggle. The blackouts are so bad that I don’t remember most of today after eating breakfast and I’m concerned, because I think I hit my head at some point. My skull is on FIRE and aches so bad, I’m freaking out. I’m tired of forcing myself out of the house to do far too much because the one person who knows me best and knows exactly how to help me is hundreds of miles away and I haven’t seen him in a year and a half. The financial struggle is never-ending, and realizing that I’ve been unhappy before, but this is a whole other level of miserable is the icing on the cake of misery. This is something that cannot be broken with a positive attitude and smiley faces. This can’t be fixed with kind words and someone being polite. This is serious and every time I turn to someone for help, I’m given their equivalent of a gigantic middle finger. If someone does help me, they hold it over my head like a weapon. It makes it worse because helping someone should mean that you care, not that you show them hatred.

I do have a doctor’s appointment coming up, but it’s mostly for a diagnosis. A new one, because the old one is almost five years old and things change, including me. This is a fresh start and I don’t know if this doctor and I will click or not, but he’s only getting one chance to show me who he is and what he can do to help me.

Five years ago, I was in a different financial position, and while I was struggling emotionally, I kept it in check as much as humanly possible. I was making things work. My life came tumbling down less than six months later. Horror after horror, and I am suffering for it every single day. My doctor never billed me for my last appointment. He knew I had no insurance that would cover the visit at the time (Hell, the only thing my insurance was paying for back then was monthly medication and the occasional ER visit. My primary care doctor, at the time, was months away from dumping me as a patient when I needed help the most.) and that things with me were not okay. I never saw a bill from him. If he’d sent one, I would have paid it, but sitting here today, struggling, I see it as a major act of kindness in a world where there’s so little of it. In sixteen years, he’s probably bought a car or put his daughter through private school for a full year based on what I did pay him, so I don’t feel guilty about it. When I found out in late 2015 that he never put Fibromyalgia into my chart when he diagnosed me, thus making me look like an idiot and making me question exactly what the hell is wrong with me, I damn sure felt even less guilty. I was shaking with rage, and I still am. That one absent-minded mistake cost me DEARLY. And here I am, back at square one.

I feel like an insane basket-case, just waiting to explode. I’m looking at the pile of problems in front of me, which I cannot solve. I’ve got nowhere to turn for help, and I am scared out of my mind. I can let certain things go, but the realization of this particular problem and how important (and potentially damaging it could be) is making things worse. I suspect knowing that since yesterday is what caused me to blackout today. The stress is too much for my body. Stress can be so damaging, we don’t always know exactly how much stress we’re dealing with, until it’s too late.

Unlike many people, I’ve always understood the level of emotional pain it takes to make a person say “I’ve had enough.” I also understand the level of mental and physical pain it takes to say “No more. I can’t do this.” Most people never act on it, especially when they’re talking about it for several years to family and friends, but the people who, like me, keep it inside, are the ones more likely to act on their thoughts. There’s no fascination involved, we’re just done.

Today, I am 100% DONE. I have no idea how I’ve survived this far and I’m tired of worrying. Of not sleeping. Or praying and feeling like I’m all alone. There’s only so much hurt, disrespect, abuse, and abandonment one person can handle.

Will tomorrow be better? I don’t know. I never know. I can pray, and I am going to reach out for help to see if someone will have my back this week, but ultimately, once I’ve exhausted all options, I don’t know where I’ll be.

I’m praying for better days, but I feel lost and completely abandoned. The level of emotional pain for that is off the charts.

This is the aftermath of loss, grief, abandonment, abuse, and other things you may never heal from. No matter how strong you are, no matter how hard you try, there are some things you can’t do anything about. For me, that hurts almost as much as seeing how meaningless I am to others.

Most people would say “It’s the Monday blues.”, but those people don’t understand I feel like this almost daily. That’s not okay.

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

 

The Month Of Triggers

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Fourteen years ago today, a female relative of mine (an Aunt by marriage) was murdered by her live-in boyfriend. I just read her autopsy and toxicology report for the first time; her death having been ruled an “accident”. I read it in utter disbelief. The damage incurred was no accident. I look at it as being blamed in death for being harmed. If I ever come within ten feet of her ex, and I’ve always said this from day one, I will beat the living crap out of him. That he’s alive and breathing disturbs me on levels I cannot begin to describe.

I remember being told that she was gone . She died on Thursday morning. I wasn’t told until Monday. I fell to my knees in the living room, devastated, in tears. Eight years later, her ex-husband, who is my direct relative, would also pass away suddenly. I nearly fell down the stairs when my brother told me, because I just couldn’t handle the news. Both of them far too young to die at all, leave alone the way they did. It guts me.

For the past week or so, leading into this day, I’ve been nothing short of a basket case. I kept asking myself “What’s wrong?” I’ve been dealing with a lot of memory loss and blackouts, and I kept telling myself that my neurology appointment would “fix everything”. Not so fast.

Yesterday, I became keenly aware that the month of May is really “the month of triggers”. It’s a month full of loss and painful memories for me. Last year, it was when I started blacking out. If I began blacking out in years past, I am 100% unaware it was happening, but now I’m wondering if it began earlier due to trauma.

I don’t often talk about their deaths. It pains me, because it was like losing a second set of parents. It is a hard adjustment to go from being loved and adored to having no one to turn to for shelter from the storms of life.

Despite being divorced, they both loved me and had my back. My Uncle, especially. There is nothing he wouldn’t have done for me. He put me through school when my own father would not. He didn’t co-sign a loan; he flat-out paid for six years of advanced education, four at a top ten university. If I had ever been hurt or in trouble, he would have been there without a single judgmental word. In fact, he’s one of the reasons I am the way I am. My Mom used to say that not only did we look alike, enough that I still pass for one of his children, but that I took after him in so many ways, it was creepy. Since his passing, I’ve forgotten that fact. There is a ring in my jewelry box that he gave me after I graduated. Whenever I wear it, I’m reminded that I am fire, flame, and unique. I can storm through anything. It’s been a long time since I’ve had it on my finger, I think I probably need to remedy that.

This month will be lonely, sad, emotional, and painful. Tomorrow has its own triggers. I’ll do my best to power on. Sometimes, there’s strength in tears.

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

 

My Body

“My body thinks something is gravely wrong, but my brain doesn’t have a clue what to do about it, so it starts racing to the worst possible conclusions.” –Unknown

I’ve been sitting here for a few hours now, trying to talk myself down from a horrible panic attack. I even took something to try and nip it in the bud, but thus far, it’s not helping. I detest being stressed out like this, to the point where the anxiety overtakes everything. Someone told me last night that something is triggering it. I immediately figured out what one of my triggers is, and I’m NOT okay with it. I hate being lying to. I hate people breaking their promises to me, and I hate feeling like this.

If you really love and care about someone, you don’t go out of your way to hurt them. I legitimately want to sit and cry. Here’s hoping the feeling passes.

Triggers

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I don’t fully agree with all of this. It’s a very complex thing and I’d never gloss over it.

December. My new month, chock full of triggers.

I woke up Thursday morning and didn’t know where I was. From the colors around me, to the sounds; I was completely and utterly disoriented. And then, it came crashing down on me in one fell swoop; it’s December 1st.

Last year, my life changed drastically on that very same Thursday morning. I worked hard to make sure the change wouldn’t come, but there are things outside our own power structure and oftentimes, we have to learn to adapt and try not to take painful tragedy personally. However, it was indeed tragic, it will forever remain personal, and it breaks pieces of my soul every day.

At the time I said I’d probably never discuss it, and I’m still not discussing it, not in its entirety. Perhaps, one day, in therapy, I will feel comfortable and safe enough to let chunks of pain out, but for now? No. There are some things that are personal; things you’ll carry with you, because they cut too fucking deep and, a year later, the memories continue to haunt you

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I cannot tell anyone the last time I was truly happy, if ever there was a time, or even a moment of happiness. My life is very ordinary, and extremely unhappy. Write, edit, cook, clean, wash dishes, do laundry, shop for groceries. Lather, rinse, repeat. I sing when I cook, if I don’t have a migraine and happen to be in the mood for music. I even danced the other night while cooking, because the song was perfect. I couldn’t remember the last time I had danced around a kitchen and dining room. I take care of Cat and Kitten, because they love me unconditionally and would never intentionally harm me in any way. I have been constantly reminded that I’m “not someone’s mother”. In fact, this year I’ve constantly been reminded how little I matter to those in my life, and especially to those around me. Many people have stepped back (some permanently, others I let go of), but others have stepped up and in to my life in larger roles. I am immensely grateful to those who truly stand by me, even when I’m suffering, and don’t push. I am grateful to those who take the time to get to know you, because they genuinely want to know YOU, because they CARE. They show you your value by their words and actions. As I told a friend recently “Friendship is free.”, because it is. However, it is also an immense gift in times of good and bad. And if you’re dealing with horrible shit, you quickly learn who will stand by you and who will not.

I’m happy to say I’ve made some new friends this year, and managed to strengthen my long-term bonds into something richer and deeper than ever before. That makes me proud because I highly value my friendships. It’s nice to receive text messages that make you smile, or items in the mail that mean SO MUCH because it’s truly the thought behind the gesture. It’s nice when friends say “I wish you lived closer.”, because they mean it. I’m almost certain I’d be in jail if all of my friends lived within 1-4 miles of me. Perhaps that’s not such a bad thing, either. I might benefit from being on a first-name basis with more police officers. LOL.

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Emotional garbage. Littering is unacceptable.

I am trying hard to turn my triggers into positives by changing my reactions to days of the week, to numbers on the calendar, etc. It’s not easy, it will take time, but I am trying, and I give myself credit for the effort that takes.

So, while this will be a difficult month for me, I look forward to coming out the other side a stronger, smarter person who can look for the silver lining amongst the clouds.

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