Tag Archives: writing

30 Days of Truth

I gave this a very brief go in the past. Time to try it again. It’ll probably take me a lot longer than 30 days, since I have a tendency to forget to journal some days. At any rate, it should be fun to do again. Who’s with me?

Day 01 : Something you hate about yourself.
Day 02 : Something you love about yourself.
Day 03 : Something you have to forgive yourself for.
Day 04 : Something you have to forgive someone for.
Day 05 : Something you hope to do in your life.
Day 06 : Something you hope you never have to do.
Day 07 : Someone who has made your life worth living for.
Day 08 : Someone who made your life hell, or treated you like shit.
Day 09 : Someone you didn’t want to let go, but just drifted.
Day 10 : Someone you need to let go, or wish you didn’t know.
Day 11 : Something people seem to compliment you the most on.
Day 12 : Something you never get compliments on.
Day 13 : A band or artist that has gotten you through some tough ass days. (write a letter.)
Day 14 : A hero that has let you down. (letter)
Day 15 : Something or someone you couldn’t live without, because you’ve tried living without it.
Day 16 : Someone or something you definitely could live without.
Day 17 : A book you’ve read that changed your views on something.
Day 18 : Your views on gay marriage.
Day 19 : What do you think of religion? Or what do you think of politics?
Day 20 : Your views on drugs and alcohol.
Day 21 : (scenario) Your best friend is in a car accident and you two got into a fight an hour before. What do you do?
Day 22 : Something you wish you hadn’t done in your life.
Day 23 : Something you wish you had done in your life.
Day 24 : Make a playlist to someone, and explain why you chose all the songs. (Just post the titles and artists and letter)
Day 25 : The reason you believe you’re still alive today.
Day 26 : Have you ever thought about giving up on life? If so, when and why?
Day 27 : What’s the best thing going for you right now?
Day 28 : What if you were pregnant or got someone pregnant, what would you do?
Day 29 : Something you hope to change about yourself. And why.
Day 30 : A letter to yourself, tell yourself EVERYTHING you love about yourself

Glimpse

You’ve heard of Schrödinger’s Cat.
Both dead and alive at the same time.
I believe we’re each like that kitty.
At least, I can see it in my heart.
Every fork in the road leading to
A different life, a different world,
Lifetimes playing out before me
In an instant, whenever I close my eyes.
One, where my mother kept me.
In that, I am small, trapped, destroyed,
While she still ends up dead drunk
On the floor, only I had found her instead.
Another, my youthful innocence
Remains intact, pure, unbridled.
I can’t see that world so clearly.
The lights are too bright, colors too saturated,
Shifting everything a little out of focus.
Over there, I never make it to the stairwell
And things play out with new characters.
But here, I got on the plane, and I see
Laughter, veils, fights, passion, tiny feet,
And improvisation. Apartments, jobs, travel,
Bourbon on the floor, temper tantrums,
And something that looks like love.
Then I open my eyes, as always happens,
And all of the elements remain the same
But our roles are so different and identical.
Eyes open or closed, the cat is dead and alive.
I just wonder if you see it all too.

Look

She has that faraway look again
The one I can’t break through
Where I don’t recognize her completely
She’s staring at something I cannot see
From long ago, perhaps
Digging into those locked boxes of bad memories
Or maybe the chest full of good ones
That still hurt just as much
Maybe she’s revisiting old ghosts
There are so many that haunt her now
Yet even more can grasp her if she loses focus
And they all tear her to pieces
Some with malice, some joy, some loss
And some are sheer possession
Some of them aren’t even real.

Tired

I wake up to throbbing, burning pain.  I’m stiff when I wake up; every joint feels swollen, every limb feels made of lead, and I’m not always steady on my feet.  I fumble for my cane, put on my bifocals, grab my water bottle and cell phone.  I try to carry as much as I can when I head upstairs since I don’t care to make multiple trips.  Heading up the stairs, I wonder if my legs will obey me and if I can avoid near-syncope.  One of my greatest fears is fainting while I’m on the staircase.  I lose my footing on the stairs often enough as it is. . .

I coffee up, trying to chase away the mental cobwebs that are never fully gone.  I take muscle relaxants, arthritis pills, pain meds.  I chase my three young children around the house, cleaning up their various shenanigans.  I wince every time I lift my 2-year-old onto the changing table.  I can’t lift my arms above my head without excruciating pain.  Come to think of it, I can’t do much of anything without wanting to cry.

I have fibromyalgia and a suspected autoimmune disease.  I’m weak, I tire easily, I’m light/sun-sensitive, and I am always in pain.  If I had to pinpoint its origin, it’s as though there’s a layer between muscle and bone, and that layer constantly feels like it’s on fire.

Sometimes it feels as though people don’t believe my pain exists.  Maybe it’s because they can’t see the problem, or that they just can’t understand the kind of chronic pain I have.  Truth is, sometimes I think I’m just crazy.  If I hadn’t seen the blood test results myself, many times, I might wonder too if what I have is really real.  I’m waiting on more blood tests to come back to see if they can pinpoint what makes me like this.

I fight so hard, take so many measures, take so many pills, just to feel the tiniest bit of relief.  When I do feel better, I often break down sobbing because it’s depressing to fight this hard to still feel so shitty, and think that that’s the best I can hope for most days.  There are more things I can’t do than I can, especially with my kids, and it makes me feel broken.  I feel broken, disabled, less than, unfixable.  I might feel better if I had a diagnosis, if I could point at something and say, “THIS is what’s wrong with me.”  Not knowing makes things worse.

I worry that I’m a burden: to my husband, for having someone so broken to take care of, that I can’t do more; to my children, like I’m cheating them out of having the kind of mother they deserve; even to my doctors, for being so difficult to diagnose.

I’ve seen a neurologist, who felt that my neurological symptoms are secondary to an underlying condition.  I’ve been to a rheumatologist, who believes my underlying condition is most probably an autoimmune disease, but doesn’t know which one.  My urologist, gynecologist, dermatologist, ophthalmologist, internist, and primary feel the same way.  Now, I’ve been referred to another rheumatologist.  If he comes to a dead-end with me too, I’ll be referred out of state.

For the most part, they’ve all said that one of two things could happen: I could get miraculously better, which they all agree is unlikely, or I could get worse enough for something to show up in my blood tests.  This leaves me praying every day that I either get the most unlikely miracle of good health, or that I get worse enough and raise the right antibodies to nail down which disease I have.  In the meantime, I bear the burden of depression, anxiety, panic attacks, insomnia, and constant, disabling, debilitating pain.

I know there are people who have conditions worse than mine, and I don’t want to take anything away from their own ordeals.  I write this because I need an outlet, because people have asked me to share, because it’s one of the only things I can still do.

Many of you are tired of hearing me complain.  Trust me when I say I’m more tired of it than you are.

Ugh.

I’m ready to cry. I’m about at my breaking point. All the docs I’ve seen so far are sure that I have a primary autoimmune disease with lots of secondary problems that make my life miserable. Many of them have said they think it’s SLE or something that mimics MS, but are deferring to rheumatologist’s ruling. I got my lab results & saw the rheumy today, but walked away empty-handed. He said that, while I have a lot of SLE indicators, apparently I don’t have enough (yet?). He said I could start feeling better (not likely, he admitted) or I’ll get worse and the numbers will reflect it. Either way, no course of treatment for today except to continue the inadequate pain meds, and no new treatments until I’m decidedly worse. I’m so frustrated, because I already feel like shit on a stick, and now this either has to become my new “normal” or I can pray I get worse and that whatever I have progresses quickly enough to be measurable. Great choices.

Unexpected

Maybe it’s because I’ve been able to be more expressive in my art (written, fiber, visual).

Maybe it’s the increased laughter in our home.

Maybe it’s the cathartic crying after challenging parenting temper tantrums.

Maybe it’s hearing that I make my gorgeous, brilliant, witty husband excited to come home.

Maybe it’s seeing effects, in my body & wardrobe, of my healthier lifestyle choices.

Maybe it’s all the old-school grunge I’ve been listening to, aiding in bringing nostalgic smiles.

Maybe it’s the anticipation my children and I have for the long weekend we’ll have with John for this Christmas weekend.

Maybe it’s knowing we’ll be gaining daylight soon.

Maybe it’s a million little things all combined.

It’s all led to this moment when I declare that, unexpectedly, today I am unabashedly happy.

Happy Hanukkah.

What’s your major?

I’m going back to school. It’s been 50,000 years since I took a class. I’m not sure what mommy-brain has done to my ability to write essays and take exams. I’m a little scared.

Since I’m a full-time stay-at-home mommy of three young attention-grabbers, I’m going to start out light. I’ll probably only take one distance course in the spring semester. UAF is processing my admission deferment now, and I have an appointment with an academic advisor in a little over two weeks.

I majored in petroleum engineering once upon a time, 15 years ago, for about five minutes. At UAA, I was an English major, minoring in philosophy, and considering psychology as a secondary major. Then all manner of things happened, and my school days were over. The visions I had for myself then are vastly different than they are today. I have to take this into account when I look at the disciplinary concentrations offered by UAF, as I wonder what on earth I want to declare as my major.

I’m still completely drawn in by the idea of a dual degree in English and psychology. I’d love to have that as my foundation for the writing career of which I fantasize so often. The advent of ebooks combined with the decline in print media makes me question whether writing could ever be a profitable venture for me. So I ask myself, what else do I like to do?

I’ve looked at computer science/web design. I love anthropology, and as a child daydreamed of being an archaeologist on digs in exotic places, but that hardly seems like me now. I wanted to be a math major once, but even then didn’t know what I’d do with a math degree besides teach, which is something I have no interest in doing. Don’t get me wrong; I love teachers. I value the teachers I had so immensely, and consider many of them my friends today. I just know that teaching is not something I could do well, nor would I enjoy it.

How did you decide what to study?

Whoa.

Holy absentee blogger, Batman!

I’ve sort of been writing.  Elsewhere.  Stuff more for me and less for public consumption.  I just haven’t been writing enough, which is likely why I feel… congested? emotionally.  Time for a cathartic dump.

I’ve been exhausted, aching, and/or ill, for what seems like for.ev.er.  I have depression/anxiety/panic issues, and fibromyalgia, and chronic back pain from an ancient injury.  Those are all the basics that are with me on an almost daily basis.  I’ve had in increase in migraines (complete with aura, awesome), a resurgence of insomnia, an uptick in panic attack intensity and frequency, and some unexplained diffuse lymphadenopathy which hit me like a freight train.  And this has all just been my shit.  Each of the kids has had their own (typical, uneventful, unremarkable, viral) illness, and John has had his fair share of ickies.

So through all this shit, a lot of things have taken a back burner.  This blog was one.  My spinning.  My painting.  My knitting too, on occasion. Reading, some writing, most frivolous/fun things.

I’ve spent more time primping and preening.  I figure if I feel like absolute shit, I will at least look good.  Hot, even.

I listen to more music than before. [Side note: each of the kids has a distinct musical preference. JR = bluegrass/jam bands, classic rock. Mia = ’80s hair, metal, industrial.  River = r&b and hip hop.  These are usually incompatible genres, often leading to musical chaos and at least one disappointed child.  Thank goodness for Pandora.]

I text more, play Words with Friends, nurse an ever-teething baby.

River’s not really a baby anymore.  He’s 26+ lbs of adventure, charm, and mischief.  He turned ONE YEAR OLD on July 3.  My Itty Bitty Baby Boy is ONE.  It’s amazing, and kind of heartbreaking.  (He got cake.  He loved it.  He took his first steps just days before that.)

I’ve reconnected with some really great people.  My friends and my music have really gotten me through some crappy times these last few months.  Thank you.

My lymph nodes are all starting to calm down, finally.  My spleen still hurts, but it too is on the mend.  I have medication for the panic attacks and insomnia.  Now that I’m getting at least 4 hours of sleep a night and am in less pain, I’m starting to feel like things are looking up.

Maybe I’ll get over this mental block I have about sharing certain things and y’all might see some more posts.

Pictures soon, promise!

Wee li’l bit of ol’ me

I’ve got a bunch of blog drafts that just haven’t been finished/published.  But thanks to my friend at Ripped & Frogged, I’m stealing the idea from her post today and jumping in on A Wee Bit of Me Wednesdays with myleighashley.

{one} what color is your kitchen? One wall is taupe/tan, and one is this horrid institutional green.  I’m desperate to repaint it.  I’m thinking a rich deep red.


{two} do you have a good luck charm? I like to think of my pinky ring — a deeply colored amethyst set in white gold — as my good luck charm.  My mother gave it to me years ago.

{three} do you prefer to write with a pen or pencil? Pen.  Purple ink.  If it’s a pencil, it has to be stupid sharp.

{four} can you use chopsticks? Yes, and only within the last 8 months.  We went out for Chinese on a random afternoon after River was born, and I picked up the chopsticks and could just use them.

{five} do you prefer baths or showers? Showers, definitely.  Baths on rare occasion, with candles and smelly pretty stuff.

{six} what is your favorite salad dressing? Ranch.  Not very imaginitive.

{seven} can you sing the alphabet backwards? Yes!  And with some great speed.  It was a skill that was finely honed on barroom stools many many years ago.

{eight} do you have any allergies? Aspirin, compazine, phenergan, some/most cats, mold, pollen, possibly dust, penicillin, willful ignorance.

{nine} crunchy or creamy peanut butter? Creamy and raw almond butter, please.

{ten} have you ever hitch hiked? Yes, when I was 17 or 18 and my truck broke down on the Parks Hwy in the middle of winter, when no one knew where I was, when I’d left, where I was going, etc.  I might not be here today if someone hadn’t stopped for me.

Random on a Tuesday

  • My youngest sister, Melinda, died at 25 on January 14, 2011.
  • We drove to Anchorage for a small memorial service for her, held on Friday, January 21, 2011.
  • It’s got me mourning my mother all over again.
  • The kids got to play with Grandpa, cousins Faith, Caleb, and Vicky, Aunts Jessie, Tasha, & Sandee, and Uncle Darrell.
  • We took family photos at my parents’ house, courtesy of Sandee Rice Photography.
  • Back at the hotel, we took the kids down to the swimming pool.  They had a blast.
  • The chlorine in the pool did crazy tightening things to the dreads forming at the back of my head.
  • Bouncing Bears is the coolest place to get kids worn out before a long road trip.
  • The living room floor is the greatest place to roll around after many long hours cooped up in car seats.
  • The wolf and the orca share the same animal spirit in Yup’ik lore.  These are the two animals I debated between in trying to identify the animal essence of my youngest child River.  JR is a polar bear.  Camilla is a lynx/mountain lion/fox.
  • I’ve spun 4 oz of a pinkish-purplish wool/alpaca batt by Bohoknitterchic Spins into 400+ yards of a fingering weight single.  Melinda loved pink.  I’m going to knit a shawl out of this yarn.
  • I’m knee-deep in laundry that needs to be done before we leave Thursday night on vacation.
  • I get a kitten after we get back.  It will go nicely with the litter box and cat food I got from John for Christmas.
  • I’m planning on getting tattooed in San Antonio and Chicago during the next couple of weeks.
  • I’ll be starting a Little Acorn Learning curriculum for JR and Camilla after our trip.  I’m excited.
  • I definitely need to get back to daily workouts.  They’ve fallen by the wayside with a marked increase in fibro pain.
  • I nearly forgot how comfortable Vans are until I bought a new pair the other day.
  • I am very clearly doing anything possible to avoid laundry and packing.
  • I have to start all that now, before Thursday gets here.

Sigh.

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