Saturday, March 28, 2009


I haven't had internet access for a few days, and it will be at least Monday before I am back online. So please bear with me.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


Today every bone in my body aches. Every one of those bones is tired. I am working on some writing projects tonight, and I put in 11 hours at the day job today. Friday cannot come soon enough, because I am looking at those 2 simple days of the weekend as the one thing that may help me keep my sanity.

Today I did some thinking about pain. My shoulders have been really hurting due to long hours typing, and my hips and legs have been hurting due to walking and standing all day every day. Add to that a nice little stress-induced fibro flare, and you have my current physical state. Tomorrow we have appointments with the Young Quack Doctor who does not believe in fibro and thinks all my problems are due to the fact that I am fat and *he thinks* that I lie on the couch and eat bonbons all day. He told me earlier this month when I called begging for his help and an anti-depressant besides Cymbalta (Cymbalta made me want to commit, daily, hourly, and sucked every bit of life and soul out of me) that he could do nothing to help me. All after one appointment. So not sure I will be wasting my time seeing him tomorrow.

So anyway, what function does pain play for me? It does little to impress, and less to inspire. It makes me feel like a stranger in my own body, because it actually does get the best of me, and I am no longer able to transcend or ignore it.

It is my reminder I am not in control on any level.

It is my reminder that pain is a power greater than myself, and that I can no longer ignore what I chose not to acknowledge.

Sunday, March 22, 2009


I am working on my Fourth Step in my program right now, and it has brought up some interesting things for me so far. I have learned that depending on myself is what got me in the total mess I am in today, and I want to find my way out of it. Everyone I talk to says to *Have faith.* Yet I have no faith in anything, least of all myself. So today I am being strongly led to look into the faith issue.

The whole concept of God/Higher Power/religion/spirituality is one that I have basically glossed over, run from, ignored and otherwise avoided like the plague in my program so far. I have only looked for reassurance that I don't have to be a Christian to be in the program. I don't really have anything to fill that gap, however. I have talked to friends who say they see the universe or fates or something larger than themselves as a Higher Power, and I understand and applaud them. I don't see them having a dearth of faith, and I know they are good and intelligent people. What they have said gives me comfort.

However, at one time in my life I had an abundance of faith. I was raised Catholic (irish Catholic, no less) and while I did not always agree with it, or love it, I did believe it. I felt like there was some truth there, and I was feeling like Someone cared. But I lost this. I lost it when my fiance committed suicide in 1990. When all I truly loved with passion was taken cruelly from me and by his own hand, no less. He willfully chose to leave me in the most permanent way possible, and this convinced me that I was no longer worthy of love. And this God-dude, well, he took him from me, let him do what he did, so that pretty much convinced me that I was not worth bothering with from a God-perspective. This God-dude did not love me, did not want me to be happy or have a life like other people, so either I accept that I am worthless and not worthy of life, or I find how this God-dude is telling me to live. Fast forward a year or so, and I am not able to live with the God-dude's hate, and I am listening to people tell me that it was God-dude's will that my best friend and lover and man I wanted to spend the rest of my life with was not in the picture. So my sick mind reads this as God-dude telling me to be a nun. I try out the whole nun-business, and find out that nuns are as mean and weak and hateful as anyone else, and decide that no one there wants me either, and God-dude is booting me to the curb. This time I get the message, I think. So I lose my faith again.

In a few years I had fashioned a marriage, had a baby, and was miserable. I loved my baby but hated myself. So I went back to college, got a BA and a Masters in like 3 or 4 years total, and threw myself into school. I made Deans List every semester, graduated with departmental honors and magna cum laude, then when on to grad school with an endowed scholarship and the support and grudging admiration of even my toughest professors. I made academia my church. And I was good at it. Especially after I ditched the husband, who was at best an obstacle to progress.

Then I graduate. I decide to go out and "help people," because I now think the God-dude is telling me he has allowed me to be miserable so I can understand and help others out of their misery. So I abandon my hopes of being a writer and go out to help people with disabilities. I mean, I am mentally ill, right? And my first baby is born with a deformed shoulder and arm, and then does not talk when babies/toddlers are supposed to, so I think I am supposed to make this a better world for her. So here is my career. I think. Because I am still listening to this God-dude's will.

And yet, I am still miserable. So I decide, no more God-dude. He has messed with me long enough. I go back to other spiritual paths I had looked at and felt some resonance with after the 1990 event. I look at Buddhism, which I had loved from an intellectual as well as gut perspective since childhood. And I look at paganism, which tells me that the beauty that speaks to me in the natural world is there to comfort me and show me there is a natural earth reason for my being. But paganism loses its appeal for me when the pagans I meet end up being even more screwed up than the Christians I had run from. And I cannot afford the classes at the Buddhist meditation center.

In the midst of this, I meet another man. I tell him about my past, my PTSD and mental illness and this hole in my heart where a God-dude is supposed to be. This man is not a church-goer. But he has no hole where the God-dude is. His God-dude is a good guy. He tells me that he thanked his God-dude for bringing me into his life. And he wants the same things I do - a real life, a stable life, happiness and a family. And when everyone else treats me as worthless, he tells me I am not. He tells me I have value. And I *almost* start to believe him. So we are married four months later, and in a year we have my second daughter, his first. Even though he drinks daily, is plainly an alcoholic, he is still more normal than the rest of my family and there with me. He does not leave me. Even when he is angry with me, and even when he almost hates me, he still loves me enough to stay. And so here we are.

So now I have no faith. And part of my "searching and fearless moral inventory" is to determine why I am so screwed up, and what need I am trying to have met by my outrageous behavior and lost choices. And my only answer is to get my needs met. And the only need I have right now - on a non-material plane- is the gaping hole in my soul where the God-dude used to be. So i am trying to be open to see what is supposed to go there.

I am interested in others' spiritual paths, and I am interested and begging for Divine Intervention. I would prefer that no one I love dies for this Intervention this time. I cannot handle any more loss of love or dreams. I just can't.

Higher Power

Tonight I went to a speaker meeting and it was interesting to hear an alcoholic tell my story as it relates to food. I felt like this was an indication that I need to look at my personal recovery in my physical health as well as my emotional/mental health. In fact, lately I have been worrying about my physical health decline, and also wondering if there is any hope for my mental or emotional health. Tonight my older daughter approached me about taking her to an OA meeting this coming week. I told her I would. She has also determined that she is interested in attending an Al-Ateen meeting as well. This gives me hope.

Thanks, Higher Power, I needed some hope today.

Saturday, March 21, 2009


...are made for making myself sane again. First, I am not working this Saturday, but I am getting caught up on work on my own terms and times, which means I will actually be more efficient. I am also attending my usual Saturday Al-Anon meeting and that always gives me a dose of perspective and also a shot in the arm of my recovery. I am also going to run some errands today and also see my best friend, whom I miss very much and who is going through as bad a time as I am right now, if not more so. So I look to today to be a better day, and I am anxious to get some breakfast!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Pain is not interesting.

Aha, just when I thought it was getting dull, a fibro flare!

At a meeting tonight Tim actually moved a chair I was getting ready to sit in, so I fell on the floor. Everyone had a good laugh, but then I could not get up or move my neck 45 minutes into the meeting. Fibromyalgia basically is toying with me now, and next week I go back to the doctor who said there was nothing he could do about it, as it does not really exist. If only everything could be a figment of my imagination.

So anyway, more on another day, when typing is easier and I can form coherent thoughts.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Who are you and what did you do with spring?

Brrrrr! I am basking in the blankets on a 30-some degree night. I am just wondering what happened to my springtime. The weather guy is telling me that some semblance of warmth is going to return within a week or so.

I hope my little flowers are okay in the front beds. To watch them freeze will only compound my bitterness.

Did I ever really go to bed?

Fell asleep watching the late show last night - or a brief 4 hours ago - and now I've been up an hour. Between anxiety and (no doubt anxiety-fueled) abdominal issues, sleep is a fleeting presence in my life as of late. It is getting to the point were I actually lust for it. But then it becomes ever more fleeting the more I desire it. Oh well.

Today is another over-scheduled yet set-up-to-accomplish-nothing day at work. These are beginning to get on my nerves; even I can stand only so much inefficiency. But rolling with the punches is my new lift-lesson, I suppose. So here I am, I've shown up for dress rehearsal.

I am beginning to realize that my attachment to things, such as housing and health care has caused me to be even more miserable.

Time to let go. Again.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

If there is a Higher Power, S/he/It Must Have a Bizarre Sense of Humor

Today I found out that my position at the new job is likely to be eliminated. I had been there a week today.

Not sure what to do with this information.

Should I laugh? Should I cry?

Thank goodness I am still numb.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Perceptions create our reality...

There is a Buddhist tenet that our thinking creates the world.

For far too long I have been limited by the dark cloud that has shaped my family's finances and limited our opportunities to engage in things we enjoy.

So today I decided to tolerate what I have to, for today, to make the almightly dollar and get through this.

I also got some good news today that a friend of mine may be moving closer to me. This will be good for both our recoveries at this time.

And I am getting the hang of things a bit more at the new job. I'm still not thrilled, but I think I can see the light of day. Of course, the fact that it is beautiful weather outside helps too.

Last night I also talked to a professional writer - one who has made his living doing political writing - and he offered to meet with me and discuss my writing and where I may be able to go from here with it. This also offers hope to my soul.

Thanks for reading, in good times and bad. Until tomorrow...

Monday, March 16, 2009

Can it be? Spring comes to my yard!

I drove home from work today and was shocked as I drove past the front of the house. There are actual flowers blooming in the front of the house, in my raised beds. So I pulled out my cell phone and snapped these photos.
Ah, now if only springtime would come to my soul...

Oasis in the midst of insanity

Today I am going to work in Frankfort at my old job and get some things done that have been waiting for me there.

Plan is to attend meeting tonight. Did my readings this morning.

Overall I am exhausted and not sure why - I spent the weekend reading a novel and a mystery (another Charlaine Harris - I only have like 4 more of hers to go and I will have finished all her works) on Sunday, and doing service work on Saturday. So it is was a good weekend overall. No major conflicts with the family. Last night I made chicken korma, rice and greens, and everyone seemed subdued.

I am just wondering what this pain in my stomach is, like something is gnawing at me from the inside, and I am still in a high state of anxiety.

Hoping that retreating to my old job, familiar place, will help, as I actually like my old job. Miss the people there.

Oh well, just for today, I have to get through today.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

If you can't stand the heat, get out of the sauna.

This has been a strange week. Not really all that entertaining. But my reversal of fortune - or perceived reversal, I should qualify - has made it interesting.

The new job. Oy vey. The jury is still out. I am having major moments of trepidation about the entire thing. But I am doing the next right thing, which is to me to put one foot in front of the other, remember why I am doing this, and just try to get through it one day at a time. That is it. I can't do anything else.

This weekend I am trying to decompress. I did some service work yesterday, and attended my regular meeting and a speaker meeting.

Today I hope to stay at home and try to relax. Read. And nap. Because the anxiety is getting much worse during the week with this job, I am having trouble sleeping at night during the week. And my health is starting to show it, so I am hoping to recharge today. So far, so good. I am awake, and the rest of the house is asleep, so I am getting some much needed alone time. And I am going to get some books together and retreat back to my bed and hope to take a nap or two in the course of the day.

So this is my tentative flight plan: get through it. Kinda grim.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

If you don't have anything nice to say....

... then move in with me and I will support you indefinitely, apparently.

Gratitude is something I am constantly urged to show and feel, yet only receive from my friends.

Today I am thankful for my friends. Without them I could not bear living with my family.

And I am thankful for my daughter, Tara.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Some things never change...

Today I got up and planned on getting ready for work and then taking 10 minutes to sit and drink my tea before I had to get on the road (45 minute drive) and get to work. But that was not the plan of my children. The three-year-old cried and told me that I needed to stay home and make cupcakes with her. She did calm down eventually with little intervention. But the 13 year-old chose this morning to begin to enlighten me about all my parenting flaws as well as my hideous physical appearance. With a firstborn such as this, who needs enemies?

None of this is remarkable except it brought into sharp relief an interesting fact for me. My family has absolutely no respect for me. This phenomenon is not just limited to the angsty teenager, but is also witnessed in my mother, grandmother, and sister, all of from whom said teenage takes her cues.

The interesting thing about this situation is that I am the one who is now scheduled to work approximately 80 hours per week to support them.

Actions may speak louder than words, but my wager is on that other adage: Money talks. And mine is saying that it no longer supports anything it does not believe in, including the tyranny of the dysfunctional.

P.S. The job went fine.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Changing of the guard

I just found out that I will be starting the new job tomorrow. At this point, I am just glad that something is changing. I need a change.

I am at once over- and underwhelmed with my life as it is.

New chapter, y'all.

Day three of emerging from the fog

It's been three days now and I actually have emotions again. That part kind of sucks. I am also feeling the anxiety very sharply when I view what is the bleakness of my life and future. This part makes me miss the oppressive fog, but then again, I do like the being able to move about and speak again, so I guess it is a more or less even trade.
In the last days or so it has become apparent, however that I am having a flare-up of the fibro. Since I *might* be starting a new job tomorrow, I am wondering if I should use the cane today and tonight to spare my hips, legs, feet, and back so I will not hobble when I work tomorrow, and therefore not give them the impression I am going to keel over as if I were a patient requiring care. I called the doctor I have been assigned to, and his office says that they are double-booked and cannot see me at all. So basically I am without care, unless I go to a UTC or to the ER. Dealing with this doctor has been a nightmare.

So at any rate, today's plan is to go buy steaks, shrimp, and all the other trappings for Tim's birthday dinner tonight. Then go to a meeting at noon if I can squeeze it in, and then go to work, handle some pending crises as well as the usual onslaught of paperwork, keep trying to call the other job to see if I indeed start there full-time tomorrow, handle a human rights committee meeting and a behavior intervention committee meeting, come home, cook meal, bake cake before people start arriving. During this time my 13 yr old will call me repeatedly on the phone to harass me about how many hours she can spend with the friend she is obsessed about, and I will try not to pass out or lose my mind. Oh yeah, and not throw up or think about the future. Yay me.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Bad Behavior

This afternoon I basically had a breakdown. I let my sister lead me into reacting, and then I got off the phone and took it out on my husband. It was a short-lived temper tantrum, and I apologized to him as soon I could (which was about 20 minutes later).

There are just a whole lot of things about myself that I despise. And there are a whole lot of things about myself I am learning. For example, if I am to recover, to heal at all in this life, the contact with my family of origin is going to have to be as limited as possible. By this I mean, I will be most successful with limited contact with my mother and father, and no contact whatsoever with my sister.

At this point in my life, I am choosing the addicts I am dealing with. I choose to deal with my husband, as long as he chooses to work on his own recovery. I am choosing the immature people I am dealing with, like my children. I gave birth to them. I am not dealing with the immature person that is my sister. I am not dealing with the addict that is my sister. I am not dealing with those who consistently and historically treat me with disrespect and derision any longer.

People may do the best they can at the time. I know I have, and it has not been enough, not by a long shot. But I do not choose to judge any longer. I cannot know anyone else's motives, or emotions. But I do know that I have to do a better job protecting myself than I have done in the past. I just need to behave a little better at the same time.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Day one of reclaiming my life... it's going to be a long trip

Today was the first day I did not take my meds. And I mean, I did not take any of them. I am kind of over all of them, to be quite frank.

I took a long hot bath, because I suspect that I am having a fibro flare in spite of - or in addition to - everything else. Midmorning I drank a cup of milk and became violently sick to my stomach again, making me wonder if I am not lactose intolerant. So tonight at the grocery I opted for lactose-free milk. We'll see if that makes a difference.

I still needed a 3 hour nap to make it through the day, but I did feel better overall. So I think I may be on the right track. Hopefully I will just continue to improve in the coming days and get these medications that this wet-behind-the-ears-young-quack introduced to my system. Maybe someday my pleas will be heard by the state Medicaid system and people will be allowed to see their family doctors who have experience treating them and knowledge treating them so less mistakes are made. And people will not need to suffer like I have.

Maybe someday the poor will have a voice.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

If a nap can't fix it, nothing can.

When I was a young one, my paternal grandmother was the wisest woman alive. She was funny, enjoyed life, and was always dispensing nuggets of wisdom to me. She smoked Winstons (red pack) which she kept in the fridge, but shook daintily out of a gold case and always got flaming red lipstick on the filter end. She smelled good. And unlike the rest of the family, she did not go to church. But she could get the best service in any restaurant we went in, flirting outrageously with the waiters and maitre d s. "It's because I'm cute!" she would always tell me, and she was right. of course, her nose was too big, and she had developed a little pot belly in her later years. But she could pull it off with style. And no one ever forgot her, ever.

Every afternoon she lay down for a couple of hours to take a nap. This, she said, was as necessary, as breathing and food, and without it, people were a real bitch. To illustrate she would point out any number of my other female relatives. Being related to them, I had to agree. There was some bitchiness there that church just could not even begin to address.

So this is a mantra that has stuck with me. I do not live by it, hence my own bitchiness. But I do embrace it when I can, or when I get too sick for my own damn self. This afternoon I took a nice 2 or 3 hour nap, and it *did not do a damn bit of good.* So I think it is time to take Kim's advice and jettison the meds and if the MD does not like it, jettison the MD. He is wet behind the ears anyway. My granny would have eaten him alive. And I would have enjoyed watching that. That, dear reader(s) would have made me feel better. Any takers?

Friday, March 6, 2009

Another day lost

Today was another day lost to the gray fog. Not to the fibro fog, although my body is not connected enough for me to know if I am having a flare. But I feel like I am lost again to the miasma of disconnectedness that is my dead soul, or apathy, or nothingness...

Is it depression? Yes, I guess. Although I don't have the energy to feel the lows. No highs whatsoever. My three year old wants to go outside because the weather is warmer, and thank goodness my thirteen year old is here and feeling less hormonal than usual, and will play with her. Tim just appears as lifeless as me, or is irritable and angry. I am slightly jealous, as I don't have the energy for irritability or anger. I do worry, a bit, to the extent of my energy, as my friend from Louisville is coming in this weekend and will want to do something and this will include my moving about, making conversation and the like. I tire even thinking about it, and I adore her. I love my friends, and it is not fair that I suck so badly. I love my kids, and I just don't have it in me to interact.

Today I went to the grocery. I took the kids to lunch. And this was as much as I could force from myself. I could not make anything else happen. I could not unload the groceries from the car, nor could I put them away in the house. Chloe (the 13 yr old) had to do those tasks. I could only sit on the bed and clutch a library book.

So am I taking the meds? Yes. Are they helping? I really don't think so. There are no highs or lows. There is just this pulling away.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Making the effort

Today I did one right thing. I met a friend for coffee. She is a good person, a real friend, a person who is genuine and open-minded and trustworthy - basically a rarity in my world. And basically way too good for an isolator like me. Talking with her made me realize how much I'd missed her. And how out of touch I am with myself and the social/human part of myself. This would be something I would talk over with my sponsor if I weren't *still* isolating. I could not even connect correctly today because I took some anti-anxiety med last night (Vistaril? - supposed to be better for me than Xanax, according to the wet-behind-the ears-quack!) but it has wrung every bit of energy and desire to exert effort out of my body and soul. On this medication I can see my soul seeping out of the soles of my feet and me flushing the sewer. Xanax was never this hateful.

Oh, and I returned my overdue library books. So much for civic pride.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Still trying to stay positive

Today had a rather early start and tomorrow will be even earlier. Tomorrow I go for my very first mammogram, as there are 2 or 3 suspicious places they want to check out. Plus the lovely fact that yours truly does indeed turn the big 4-0 this year, I guess they want to be safe rather than sorry.

Tim and I also went and got the 401K check cashed, so we were able to pay the nearly $300 electric bill (as well as find out the next electric bill is close to $200, what a bargain), and get the rent money.

Tonight Barb is back in this part of the state so she will probably be hitting a meeting with me. Other than work, meetings are the only time I am in public anymore.

Tara is hobbling around the house saying her ankle hurts, but not so much that she can't scam orange Milanos at every opportunity. It's all good.

Although I have been having increased anxiety and feeling the overwhelming impending doom, I am trying to stay positive and basically count the good things in my life and think less about freaking out over the bad stuff and the stuff over which I have no control.

Good idea. Hard to practice.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Accent-u-ate the positive...

Today I awoke with a nameless and origin-less sense of doom, anxiety and depression. I knew I needed to get in touch with something outside of myself, and so I did some reading and made it a point to attend a morning meeting I have never attended before. I ended up being half the meeting, as only one other person showed up. We talked informally for a while, then had our meeting. It was AWESOME. She said I said some things and some things were brought up which we both needed to hear. We were each going through mini-crises. And we both left feeling more clarified and more together than when we arrived.

A lesson I am trying to learn is taking care of myself. So after the meeting I went to lunch alone and had a peaceful meal. I then went window shopping in a bookstore and basically took it easy before I came into work. Once I got here, I did not allow others' sense of elevating everything to a crisis/stress get to me. This is a first for me. The old me loves the chaos and will jump right in and play right along.

Tim called and his 401K payout came in and is just enough to pay the rent and the electric bill. It was supposed to be here at the end of the week, so it is about 4 days early!

So overall a positive day, despite my feeling of trying to go back into the darkness.

Read outside the bookstore on their sandwich board/placard:
"In the end, everything is going to be ok. If it's not ok, it's not the end." -unknown

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Hyper-extension, love me, love my shoulder!

Well, dear reader(s), I have done it once again. Unable to duck the bullseye I have painted upon my psyche, I am once again an accident-prone graceless soul.

Letting the dog back in this morning as he had completed his morning toilet/jaunt, I stepped out onto my sidewalk and both legs flew out from under me on the ice, and I landed gracefully on my well-padded ass. However, my left arm stayed entwined in the door handle, which the wind had whipped away from my body. Thus a hyperextended shoulder is my reward and my diagnosis, after a visit to the ER and three sets of x-rays.

A most symbolic injury, really. I have often complained about the weight of my life upon my shoulders. In trying to remedy this, I have hyper-extended myself with work and home and any type of work that may pay me to help support my family. (Meanwhile I am too exhausted to even clean my house.) Now I have hyper-extended my shoulder. Ha ha. How cute.

Another issue of stress. Although he vehemently denies it, it appears that St. Timothy of the Broken Tap was in his cups again last night. It's not up to me to inventory his recovery, but damn.

So tomorrow starts another work week. Maybe I will get it together this week.