The plan

I accidentally ended up chatting with the director of the ER when I went to scope out a potential job.  It looks fascinating but potentially high stress but wowwwwww so cool, and very different from the ER where I used to work. It felt like home though, maybe because if there’s anything I think I understand, it’s humans in crisis… and the intense organization and teamwork it takes to get them urgent health care. Being able to help in some way always makes me feel better. If nothing else, it takes my mind off of my own issues and forces me to see other perspectives, which is very helpful.

Given the number of cases that I see passing through the ER every day, particularly in the psych area – I guess I’m not the only one dealing with some emotional challenges at the moment. Such high energy out there, lots of people on hair trigger alerts. With the amounts of stress going on all over our country and in hot spots all over the planet – and everyone is getting connected enough to see these things – it’s no wonder people are losing their shit. I want to take more Emotional First Aid and Situational De-escalation classes, because you never know what’s going to happen out there. Wishing and hoping don’t help when physical or verbal action is needed.

At least the ER job would be paying. I finally decided to stop volunteering with the local emergency teams. I don’t have the time or money or heart to do it right now, nor do I feel at all able to see any firefighter – as much as I appreciate them and loved training with them. Maybe I’ll change my mind later, but the humiliation of having a panic attack and not being able to attend an event because of my reaction to the one firefighter – yeah that felt like it set me back years. Better to change things up and do other stuff for the time being.

At least trying to be of service and help others will help me feel a bit better. Super sad at the moment though. When it’s high summer, stunningly beautiful out, everything is fine… and I feel agonizingly crushed with depression like my beloved just died, it’s even harder to talk about it because people understand it even less. I feel so awful that I even made a plan, and it hurts my soul to be back to thinking that way again. Dammit. I want to work in the ER, not be hauled off to another one. Medical bills already sent me into bankruptcy once when I finally crawled out of the wreckage of that last crash. Ambulance rides, ER, ICU – that was expensive in so many painful ways.

SOTD
It Hurt So Bad – Susan Tedeschi
Sometimes It Hurts – Stabbing Westward

 

 

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Chemistry

I can’t wait until I’m over the whole fireman thing. It was a good reminder of why I don’t date, because I always hope it will be how I meet my friends; we meet, click, and fall effortlessly into relationships that last for years and years. Men are different though; there’s no honor or loyalty left in them when it comes to dating.  This experience was extra searing and painful enough to leave a permanent mark and I’m trying to see the positive sides of it, but it’s a struggle at the moment.

SOTD

Smoke Rings In The Dark – Gary Allen
Woman, Woman – AWOLNATION
You Wreck Me – Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

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The right fabric

Costumes can be incredibly fun; they allow you to experiment, expand, see from a different perspective a little bit. Every once in a while I get an inspiration to create one for an event, and I generally get carried away with it. It’s fun to create a vision that’s never been done exactly that way before. I don’t think it’s good to always want to wear costumes or disguises – that speaks to a whole other kind of issue. But it’s really fun to get decked out here and there and see what fun I can stir up.

I stayed up late last night and finished my bike ride costume. It didn’t come out at all like I expected, but I love it anyway. Even though I made up my own pattern, used fabrics inappropriately (that’s supposed to be bridal fabric, not swimsuit, lmfao), and I’m an impatient seamstress, it’s exactly like I wanted. I was even going to bail out on the party, but now I’ve got other people on board so I guess I really am going to wear that out in public. Ohhhhhh. I’m thinking I might need whiskey to deal with that level of social anxiety – holy $%#&.

My friend and I went for happy hour and a walk downtown tonight, strolling and giggling in the sunshine. I love how we can talk about anything, and he’s actually a friend, unlike the “be my friends with benefits” fireman who only romanced and seduced so he could get laid – which, whatever, you do you, but it sucked anyway. None of us need someone who isn’t going to invest, who will only wear the costume, the social disguise.

Clothes help us disguise things and blend into whatever tribe we want to belong to, but there are so many other ways to put on a mask and try to hide what we don’t want others to see. I want to strip that shit down, get raw and honest, then wrap the vulnerable soul core up and cherish it. That seems like a better basis of connection and human interaction. Yup, still single, lmao, but I have some wonderful friends that I understand and connect to no matter what costume we wear. Or in this case – what we barely wear.

SOTD
Forever May Not Be Long Enough – Live

 

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Release

I love working in a hospital, even though my job is intense sometimes. It’s exciting being right in the middle of the action, and being part of a team that’s trying to do good things. That is helpful when I come home exhausted and super sad, in urgent need of physical activity and cerebral distractions to wash away the day. After finally getting home tonight, just dropping into a downward dog yoga pose was enough to finally let go and start crying.

Sometimes I really, really need regular release, some way to unlock what is blocked. Usually exercise and/or sex or art are super effective, which means these days it’s mostly biking. I think I wouldn’t be able to stop crying for a while if someone even hugged me right now, and sex would be way too intense – why waste that energy on the arrogant and emotionally detached dudes I keep picking? And neither words nor images are coming easily when I sit down to create. I have so many projects that I’m passionate about and in the middle of … and all I want to do is sleep. I see the waves of depression flowing in and I’m fighting them hard. Oh lord though, it’s such hard work. Having had mono for a couple of months as a kid, I would compare depression to that. It sucks all your energy, leaves you wrung out and exhausted. Above and beyond anything else, it’s frustrating to be battling my own brain when I have so much I want to be doing instead.

I’m so grateful for the blessings in my life – there are many. If I could change my chemicals, all the good things would totally help me feel better. Because honestly right now, I feel pretty crashed out awful yet again. The firefighter thing, the time of year, work stress, feeling totally isolated and like a generally wrecked out failure at everything. I hope this wave passes soon. It makes me sad to be so sad. Come on universe, how about some more happy stuff? I know I’m not the only one struggling right now.

SOTD

Cry To Me – Marc Broussard
Brother – NEEDTOBREATHE

 

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That moment

“Keep your legs together, keep your legs together,” I kept chanting in my head as the police car rolled up to my window. My vape pen was discreetly tucked between my thighs to stay warm, but the tip was visible if I wasn’t careful. Dammit. I had been cruising blissfully down empty two lane highways, trying to navigate with my phone and map, and getting totally lost as usual. My windows were down, the stereo was cranked, and I pulled over into a wide gravel turnout to try and figure out where the hell I was. Summer road construction and detours had made a mess of things.

I was bent over the map, lost in the music when I heard the siren. I thanked God/Goddess/FSM/BSOC again for the invention of the odorless vape pen and my reduced cannabis usage these days. If I’d been road smoking like I used to – holy crap it would have been a different story. I still had a massive jolt of shock to look up and see flashing lights and a police car behind me. I held up the map, made a universal gesture of “Lost?” and he pulled up alongside me. I was so embarrassed that I could barely speak, could only point to where in the map I wanted to go – he laughed and gave me directions. I guess I fit the stereotype – I was in a dress with jewelry, looking all girly and stupid.

I have mixed feelings about using THC. On one hand, it’s been lifesaving for the panic attacks when used in moderation. It helps immensely when I’m hyper and need to get out of my head a little bit. It’s been useful to numb the fear so that I can get out and live my life, do fun things. It lets me step out of crippling social anxiety and depression and switch to giggling and mountain biking, as a great example. On the other hand, it’s a drug and there’s all the stigma attached to that. Of all the possible choices though, I could have done much worse.  I’m just profoundly grateful to not be on the horrible antidepressants anymore – depression and PTSD are going to hurt no matter what I do or take, so I have to always work on coping skills and other ways to manage.  Weed has been a useful tool for parts of the journey.

SOTD

Home – Marc Broussard
Still Believe In Love – Jacksoul
Passing By – Zero 7
Hand to Hold On To – John Mellencamp
Lonely In Your Nightmare – Duran Duran
Lights – Ellie Goulding
Tearing Me Up – Bob Moses

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Where have you been

My friend said that I remind her of a innocent lamb, and the wolves recognize that instantly. I’ve never heard it phrased that way, but trust me, I know. The sophisticated rams and sheep look on with disdain while the stupid gullible lamb gets torn to pieces. It’s kind of funny really, but it’s even more of a relief to realize that my heart can’t take anymore ever again. I’ve dealt with enough from men in this lifetime, whether it’s my fault or not. Done dating. I’ll go out with people for company, and find a casual lover for sex if needed, but that’s it. I have a lot to do, life is short, and romantic distractions are just a painful waste of time.
SOTD
Where Have You Been- Rihanna
Teach Me Tonight – Ella Fitzgerald
Club Can’t Handle Me – Flo-Rida
Prince Charming – Adam Ant

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Love and time

Foster kids still seem like an impossible dream, but I’ve wanted to have them for years. I know I would be good at it because I love kids, was a nanny and teacher for so long and I care so much – I could even handle teenagers I think. There are always kids in need of a safe space, whether it’s for a few hours or a few years. Everyone needs a home and family. I miss having a close family, and I’ve created a new surrogate one with my wonderful friends…but children and pets really make the difference.

Although really, this lifetime has been so challenging that I feel like none of my dreams are ever going to come true. Truly I must have been awful in a past life. I’ve tried really hard to be good in this one, but that only means something to me – most other people look for specific and significant markers of success, the kind I don’t have. I’ve also needed more help than you’re supposed to, and people look down on that, pass judgement, write you off without even knowing.

I think it’s finally time to give up on that dream, like a few others that haven’t panned out. Even though I’m doing so much better now, I can barely keep my own head above water; no state agency is going to look at my income and tiny apartment and approve it, no matter how maternal I might feel. I did do the potential foster parent orientation, and holy shit some foster parents are evil nightmares. It’s makes me sad that I’ll never have the opportunity to help foster kids when I know I was made for it in a sense. I can handle crisis well and help people through it and heal afterwards, having been there enough myself. Oh well. Such is life. There are a million other ways to help and volunteer time and love, I just need to concentrate on those.

SOTD
Extraordinary Way – Conjure One

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Timing is everything

Damn, I needed that. With a few interesting exceptions, my vacation was simply magical. Lots of driving gorgeous winding roads, time to stare off into space and think, time to write, and lots of time to walk, hike, and bike in the woods. Perfect. I rolled back into town all blissed out, giggling about how fascinating timing worked out for the whole trip – an available beach cabin last minute, camping spots, catching the ferry just right. Even though the sailing on the Lady Washington was cancelled, I drove down the coast with the windows down and the music turned up and singing along.

Biking and hiking are excellent, immediate treatment for panic attacks and hyperactivity. Sometimes I just have to run that energy out. This was like a therapeutic, mobile spa and holistic treatment vacation, but fun as hell. I fasted a little, ate mostly super healthy, and drank lot of water – until I was too scared to leave my tent in the middle of the night so I had to violate my nalgene water bottle. Why yes, I did also have a night light in my tent – don’t judge.

One of the places I camped borders on 20+ miles of hiking and biking trails – I love those biking trails so much that I sometimes dream about them. The prehistoric looking forest of tall trees, and intense green ferns and undergrowth. Plus this time of year there’s giant pink azaleas (or rhodies? Always get them confused) popping out of the forest in bursts of color. So gorgeous. After rolling onto the island I couldn’t even make it to morning coffee without feeling the pull – I flipped a u-turn and went for a quick ride just to take the edge off. I quickly felt new, pretty intense love for my tank of a new bike. The bigger rims and fresh shocks rolled right over everything. It was orgasmic to bounce over bigger roots and rocks no problem. I didn’t push too hard since I was out in the woods by myself with no one knowing where I was, but I did try some new trails and went a little faster – because why not try to rock at it even a teeny tiny bit?

It wasn’t until hours later that I had a what I will call a history-related panic attack – it woke me up, hit hard. I wasn’t able to sleep much all night, couldn’t eat much the next day, battling the flood of feeling like a failure that should just die, and why was I there in a place with so many bad memories – wtf? I fought it off, but still felt too vulnerable to go off the island via the suicide bridge. I wasn’t expecting the intensity of the feelings, it made me super sad all over again. What made it worse was realizing that the pilots would probably mock knowing that I was bolting off the island in tears yet again – that crazy bitch. Yeah. Then when I smoked a joint on my favorite beach – just on principle – airplanes flew over me and I called it a win, like the universe was rebalancing the energy. Sometimes the tiny moments are all we get. I will focus on how amazing it was to have so many of those moments in one week. #gratitude

SOTD
Airplanes – Gary Allen
Back On Holiday – Robbie Nevil
Hurricane – Luke Combs

 

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Fear the shoehorn

There are a few things that I know trigger me – I’ve worked through a lot after many years of effort, but a few just won’t go away. A big one is the female exam, so whimsically called the “Pap Smear.” I scheduled it for my last day of vacation when I thought I would be relaxed and chill. It was with a sweet older female doctor, and I thought it would be fine. It’s been so long, I’ve been so careful, and worked incredibly hard to be healthy and present in my life – and oh god. Being in that position of complete vulnerability, it just broke me this morning. She couldn’t finish the exam, I couldn’t stop crying, it was awful.

The worst part is that it’s no single thing that I can put a finger on, it just is. Maybe it was the cold rigid nature of the metal shoehorn thing they use? I don’t know. #wrecked

SOTD

Much Too Young – Garth Brooks

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Whitewater dreams

Despite being completely trashed and stained with toxic smoke from the fire, I haven’t been able to give up my kayaks. I bond with equipment that’s seen me through near death experiences. Especially on such a regular basis. I paddled that IK through, around, under, and over shit that it was absolutely not rated for, and my hard shell – oh the messy stories.

It got to be so much fun paddling the IK that I got intensely addicted- the low profile, the not having to dodge rocks with my head when I got flipped over, unlike a hard shell boat. My other boat hasn’t seen any whitewater in longer than I can remember, and that’s not going to change. It’s just a cool boat; an old but playful and pretty little river runner with a tendency to stern squirt if you aren’t paying attention.  Maybe I’ll take a few pictures, cry a little, and release them into the universe.

I still dream of whitewater and I know I’ll find a way to get out there again someday. Being out on the water in any way is heavenly – whitewater, flat water, whatever.

SOTD

High – Sir Sly
Don’t Worry – Appleton

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