Category Archives: Day in the Life

I wanna go back

(Wanna go back – David Dunn)

 

I was rollerblading today and was thinking that I should be happy. I love my red skates, but they came in the mail shortly before the first match day. They became something I used for just a couple minutes during the day to induce enough motivation to get something in my mouth. Maybe all I’d end up with was a chicken strip, but it was more than the big fat nothing I was eating without that. It made it more of a chore than a fun activity even though the reason it probably worked is that I was having little fun…well, that and I found that if I could be in motion I could handle things better.

 

But I wasn’t happy. I was crying. No one can tell me what I did wrong in the residency search, so I don’t know that there is anything I could have done differently to make people like me, but I wish I could go back. It was really hard and stressful to do all those interviews, but at least then it seemed worth it. At least then there was some hope that this was simply a necessary hurdle on my way to achieving my dreams. I’ve had to jump over a lot of hurdles to continue running towards my dreams before my dreams disintegrated and the broken pieces were forced from my hands, the sharp edges cutting into my skin. The promise of my dreams in a few more years is what got me through the abuse and fallout throughout school and while I am now finally free of that, I am not free of the effects of being abused. Aside from that situation being raw in my mind when asked about difficult relationships and making interviews even harder than they should have had to be, it is also tied with this situation as it is a relationship in which I learned that I was never going to make it as a pharmacist and no one was going to want me and I wasn’t good enough and stuff like that. You can imagine that those beliefs about myself became more real when faced with the reality that it was true that no one wanted me.

 

It still hurts that no one wanted me. It especially hurts that the one place I had forever dreamed of working, and who had led me on as if they planned on selecting me said no. Sure, one place was finally willing to give me a chance, but I am still really grieving the loss of my dreams. All I’ve ever wanted was to do pediatric critical care in a dedicated pediatric institution, preferably one particular pediatric institution, and that dream had been narrowed to NICU or pediatric emergency care. Without a residency, it is difficult to get into pediatrics and is difficult to get into critical care. With a job I will likely have less flexibility to miss days to get to interviews. Also, with a job my contributions matter more, and missing days or leaving has a larger effect. I feel guilty thinking about trying again for residency next year. Also, I don’t know if I can handle going through the process and failing again.

 

So I have a basic idea of day to day life, but I don’t know where my life is going anymore. I felt like the only thing positive about me before was that I knew exactly what I wanted for a long time and was working solely toward that one thing. And I failed and now I don’t have that and there isn’t anything positive about me. If I couldn’t get a residency while I had something going for me, there isn’t really any chance now that I don’t really have anything special to offer. Why get me when you could get someone who isn’t such a failure, and who almost definitely has better communication skills than me? I don’t know if I should try again for residency immediately and feel disloyal or if I should stay a few years and get even further away from my dreams. I do know that I am pretty sure I won’t be satisfied long term having completely given up my dreams. I feel frustrated.

 

I want to go back to a few months ago before this pain, but I can’t. My only option is to continue to go forward. I still think the only satisfactory option would be for God to take me to forever home. It hurts so much to have to live this reality. If God can take me, but wait until after June 30, I won’t leave any holes in the schedule at my current job, and I won’t have yet started at my new job, so it’s not like they’d have lost that much on me. I wish I could just give up. I should be studying for the NAPLEX and MPJE, but the pain I still live with takes up so much of my energy and concentration that it still feels like too much to really study. I know it is very important, but important and having the mental ability to do it are certainly very different things.

 

It is very hard. The pain is a little better than it was, but is still very intense…but it has been long enough that the support ended. I need people, but I don’t have them. I’ve thought about planning a trip in the next few weeks when I have days off to the city where school is just to be able to see people even if not in the context of them being there for me. I think people wouldn’t want to see me though. At church they already turned off my access maybe like a week ago to the schedules and announcements. Being excluded hurts. I’ve been excluded a lot in life, and I’ve never liked it.

 

The book I was listening to today “The Night the Angels Came” by Cathy Glass mentioned that by talking about a hard situation, it starts getting easier…I think since for so long I’ve had so many things I wasn’t allowed to say, that I used writing in that way…but talking about it I feel like is probably so much better. (Oh, and if you are looking for books to read or listen to, I love the books that Cathy Glass writes. She writes stories about foster kids. Fostering and adoption are things that I would really like to do someday).

Rise above the hurt and listen to these words

(Beloved – Jordan Feliz)

 

Recently I have been re-listening to the awesome books “The Essence of Resilience” (Kathleen Parrish and Tanya Laurer) and “Resilient Grieving” (Lucy Hone). TBH mostly I’ve been re-listening because I needed something to occupy my brain during my breaks at work and I still had a few days left of those book downloads and don’t have any more downloads left until June, but they are really good.

 

There were a couple quotes from “Resilient Grieving” that I heard the other day while driving home (yes I was listening to a book and the radio at the same time in the car…if one thing is good, two is better).

 

“Let me not die while I am still alive”

The idea behind this quote being that while Trauma or grief events often completely change our lives making us a distinctly different person in the before than the after, it doesn’t have to mean that the rest of our life is not worth living. Although I do still believe that death would be better than this, it does lead to the next quote…

 

I have wanted one particular job and had one particular career path in mind since elementary school. The story I tell says 4th grade, but in reality I am pretty sure it was sooner than that, but the story was altered at some point because I was told it was more realistic that way. Anyway, the quote is:

“Option A is no longer an option, so let’s kick the s**t out of option B.”

I would say that I am a lot further along than option B. I think option B would have been getting a different residency in phase I (and we could probably break that down further to particular programs being B and others being other letters, but that get way complicated way fast)…Option C would be getting a pediatric PGY-1 in phase II. Option D would be getting any PGY-1 in phase II. Option E would be, well, there at least being a pediatric residency to which to apply in the scramble. Option F would be getting one of the residency programs to which I applied in the scramble…I don’t really know what letter I am on at this point, but like I mentioned previously, I am learning not to let go of my dream, but to let go of some of the pain. It is a very slow and non-linear process, but I know that someday this will not be the all-consuming factor in my life. I still remember the pain of changing churches on August 10th 2008, but I don’t think about it every day anymore. Most of the time if I do think about it, the thoughts do not lead me to feeling pain, and if they do the pain goes away quickly and most of it is more remembered pain than acute pain. I have to believe that someday that will be true of this situation and of my abuse…I think both of them are pretty well tied together right now, so they’ll have to be disentangled before one can be healed without the other.

 

After the first match, I wrote that I planned to get another residency and be the best resident they ever had and exceed expectations so well that other programs were jealous they didn’t have me. My mom saw it and wanted me to delete it, but I refused. Maybe that plan didn’t work out, but now I can be the best clinical pharmacist ever instead…there are some things I am giving up. Among other things, I am giving up staying close to my friends, I am giving up focusing on pediatric critical care, I am giving up teaching opportunities, and I am giving up being able to commit to leading my 0-3 year old VBS class. There is one thing that I gain though…I don’t have to do a residency project or a bunch of presentations this year. TBH, the residency project thing is the one part of a residency that does not sound at all appealing to me…well, that and some residency programs require going back to midyear, but it is possible that this job will also require that, so before I get too excited I’ll have to find out whether that is an expectation (or a strong suggestion…) or if I really do get to skip it.

 

Oh yeah, I wanted to wait until I’d actually been officially offered the position, because I unfortunately know that seeming promises of employment can fall through, but now I am ready to announce that I have accepted a full time pharmacist position. I was kinda hoping for a pediatric position (especially the NICU position to which I applied) and I was kinda hoping for a schedule with longer hours (like 7 on 7 off or 10-12 hour days) because I prefer having a lot of time off a few days than working a few hours every day, but I think I will like this position. I have very little adult experience, but that will make this a good growing experience, and my preceptor on my acute care (which I’ve been calling adult care) rotation at least got me to a point where caring for adults is still not my forte but isn’t so scary anymore. I know that I can, it might just take me a little longer to get to the right answer, and that is okay…and really, although it isn’t the path I wanted, I think getting adult experience will be good, because I definitely still do avoid checking prescriptions for kids who are starting to become adult sized. For NICU that is no problem at all, but for my other dream of emergency and because you can’t really only be competent in one area and make it as a pharmacist, it will be good for me to gain some confidence in treating adult sized patients.

 

And I have realized that while my heart is in pediatrics, I really do love pharmacy. Someone texted me yesterday with an adult pharmacy question, and I loved problem solving. It was a question that played well into my pediatric knowledge since it was a formulation question, but it was for an adult patient, so I guess maybe it also showed me that some of the things I love about pediatrics will make me a valuable resource in an adult setting.

 

So with the exposure I was working on…it actually went okay. It was really hard, and definitely intensified the pain that I still feel every day, but by the end of Monday it wasn’t nearly as bad as it was Sunday morning to be walking around in a logo shirt. I could definitely feel how much extra emotional energy I was using to make it through the day, but it will be worth it if the end result is after the down-trending now that I will have a few days while the shirts are in the wash is better desensitization and numbing to the pain. It might exacerbate the pain for a little while, but if it works how I want it to, it will be worth it in the end, and right now I have enough distraction in my life to be able to handle a little bit of exacerbation and stay relatively safe. I slept nine hours last night without even waking up at 2am like I usually do to get a drink…it makes it a little harder to get up in the morning when that happens since I’m too dehydrated to feel totally awake, but sometimes I guess my body needs that sleep because the emotional energy leads to real exhaustion. Post-exposure, I am doing really well. I did cry today, but I also had some moments when the pain was less crushing than it has ever been since the first match failure. I am really thankful for that. Right now I am struggling, but even a few minutes of not feeling so bad is a good reminder that maybe eventually this won’t be so all-consuming. Someday this will just be the way it is and I’ll be able to talk about it as if it is no big deal (even though it kinda is).

 

One last thing from Resilient Grieving that I missed the first time and I think is really relevant here is about Post-Traumatic Growth (PTG). Growth doesn’t have to mean that you are a better person or that life improved after loss or trauma; The growth might simply mean that your path has changed and you are now going in a different direction. We are different people after grief has re-written our stories, but if all you know is PTSD you will live a self-fulfilling prophesy and your grief will spiral into PTSD. If you understand PTG or even if you have a spiritual background you are more likely to recover more quickly. The implication that loss could be beneficial is a painful thought, but the fact that it can change one’s direction is less threatening.

 

I liked that imagery, and agree that the idea of loss making me a better person is something that is like salt in fresh wounds. I like the idea that growth can occur but that it doesn’t make it okay that the pain happened. I don’t like when people try to minimize big losses with but look now you have this good thing…sure, but now you are essentially asking me to value whatever good you see that I have now over the good that I had before and value it as worth the pain it took to come to this place. I don’t like that. Given the choice, I don’t know that I would necessarily value these things more highly than what I had before or highly enough to suffer as much as I did for them. On the other side, it is undeniable that grief, trauma, and loss have changed not only who I am, but my direction in life…beyond the fact that there are still people who probably think I graduated from Drake University…To allow the concept of growth as a shifting of paths allows me to acknowledge that yes, I am growing without discounting that this isn’t what I wanted to happen and that the pain is still very real and very relevant. I am resilient and I am strong, but that doesn’t mean that I think being hurt is okay and it doesn’t mean that I never experience pain.

Even through the midnight hour the engines never rest

(Night and Day – Thomas and Friends)

 

Yesterday I changed the category title on my budget from “residency” to “job-getting.” Does it really matter when all of the money is coming from the same place anyway? Not really, but somehow it feels good and productive to attribute the expenses to getting a job rather than having to put them in the more specific categories and feeling like it’s just a waste of my resources…’cause that last $25 dollars was totally going to break the bank…lol..jk…it kinda hurt a little at the same time to let go of one more little thread connecting me to my dream, but I did it. Yeah, when the only therapy method with which you are super comfortable and understand well enough to perform on yourself is exposure therapy because you are a pharmacy grad and not a counseling grad, everything looks like an opportunity for exposure…Is exposure the right way to deal with grief? IDK, but it is what I’m planning on doing…I’m making this stuff up as I go. Someday I’ll even start adulting and update my linked in page…

 

I figured it was time to start getting a little more intensive in the recovery process because I wasn’t spending so much time just trying to be okay and make it through life anymore. I definitely am still fighting every day, but it is more internal pain that doesn’t spill onto the outside as much anymore.

 

I see recover as three stages. Stage 1: learn not to cry in front of people. Stage 2a: learn not to cry constantly when alone. Stage 2b: learn not to cry very often when alone (because never is hard to define…). Stage 3: learn to keep the pain away for most of the time most days (again, because never is hard to define, and for big events probably not a realistic OR desirable goal – it is okay to be sad about the big things that have hurt me in life. While stage 1 and 2 can usually be measured in months, stage 3 is measured in years. Okay, and if I am being super honest, it is definitely possible to fall from stage 3 back to stage 1 briefly since my primary mechanism of progression is numbness, so if the numbness fades I can end up where I don’t want to be – crying in front of people. I work really hard on becoming as numb as possible. I don’t really like being numb, but I like it a lot better than the alternative. Eventually I can usually gradually reduce the numbness and localize it to something that can be turned on when triggers might be present but turned off other times so that excitement can trickle through more easily other times. I am currently hovering between stages 2 and three which is why I decided it was time to start using exposure to conquer recovery. I am so excited to be hovering at least close to stage 3. I hate crying. The pain is so intense sometimes, but not crying is a good step in the right direction…even if it is 95% because the dehydration is a little bit out of hand right now…

 

This might be a stupid way to do things, but it is my way and I am going to do my best with what I have. In retrospect I perhaps ought to have waited until I wasn’t using dehydration as an important emotion-management tool, but that thought didn’t come until I was too far into this to give up…

 

So yeah, I really haven’t had trouble eating at all in a few days (okay, yeah, I really didn’t think this one through and should definitely have given it another week or two before trying this)…I am still struggling with fluids, but I am doing my best…besides, I know from that first week when I was on spring break that I can make it on minimal amounts of fluid, especially because I then drove all day and had only a couple sips of water which definitely was not nearly as much as I was losing through sweat…not to even mention insensible losses…

 

Because until last night when I was still working harder than usual because of that first intentional exposure I’ve gotten pretty close to back to a normal for me sleep pattern I’ve gotten at least the 16.9 ounces of water that my water bottle holds pretty much every night at 2am I am not too concerned because that means anything I am getting during the day is in addition to that. I know that is not really enough so I’ve gone back to drinking water mixed with apple juice. That was my saving grace in getting what I needed in my body every day at school…juice is usually a special treat that at home has always been limited to only one cup per day and I almost never buy for myself when I’m on my own, but desperate times come with desperate measures. The best ratio in my opinion is about 1\3 to 1\2 apple juice to 2\3 to 1\2 water. Filling my water bottle that way in the morning meant that I could get the fruit group for lunch without any extra work than just getting the liquid in my body and making it something fun made it a little more rewarding to drink it…and last evening I was back to using the juice and water technique to get myself to drink more because I knew I had been gradually getting more dehydrated, and I know that when it is starting to make me feel dizzy that it is time to get serious about fixing it.

 

But because I am stupid I still decided that today would be a good day to try wearing a logo t-shirt. I am still deciding whether the t-shirt is going to stay on all day. I know it is best in exposure to wait until the emotional pain is down to a 7 out of 10 (okay, so the real goal is probably 2-4, but ain’t no one got time for that). I also know that it isn’t that safe to drive at a 10 or more out of 10. Also, I know that it will feel like failure to not make it through the day which also isn’t ideal, but on the flip side I also know that I have definitely been just fine driving at like a 50 out of 10 when I could barely see through my tears…yeah, I probably should have let my friends help me figure out safer alternatives, but that’s not who I am. I wasn’t going to worry anyone and I wasn’t going to ask for help that would inconvenience anyone…especially with a situation that didn’t in my head have any practical solutions…My car couldn’t legally stay parked where it was the next day. My clean clothes and other basic necessities were not with me or in my car. There were probably homework things I needed that had been forgotten that morning in my room. I had my nightlight, but my alarm was still set to go off in the morning. I had pretty much my entire breakfast and lunch leftover but was going to need a refrigerator to keep it safe to eat the next day. So basically, the only solution was that I really needed to be able to drive to church to be with my friends and I really needed to make it back to my room for the night…and hey, I made it alive so it worked out fine! Like they always say, you need to learn to drive well and how to handle your car not for you but to avoid the other people driving poorly on the road. They just don’t say that sometimes that person driving poorly will be you.

 

I got up this morning not interested in eating bread, but very interested in cooking it and bringing it to work to share…luckily I realized in time that I didn’t have any evaporated milk. There are directions online for making it from regular milk, but I’m not sure how that would work with the choices I have: vanilla and light vanilla soymilk. It also would bring into question how much vanilla and sugar to subtract. The sugar wouldn’t be bad to calculate using the calories from sugar and googling grams of sugar per 1\4 cup, but the vanilla doesn’t have that kind of information available…and my guess is that both ingredients would be in higher quantities than I wanted in the first place…it is an interesting phenomenon that I’ve read about that when people aren’t doing well with eating or drinking that they take joy in feeding other people. I don’t really know why it happens, but I’ve definitely heard that it is common, so my experience of wanting to make bread seems to fit into that pattern…

 

There is always a fun quote written somewhere in the homecare pharmacy where I work. The other day I saw “When life gives you lemons, say YAY!! Free lemons!!” I really liked that. And that reminds me that I should probably stop writing and start packing my lunchbox.

The waves crash hard into the harbor…hit the ground in a pool of grace

(That’s Why God Made Tears – Matt Hammitt)

 

I don’t know where to start.

 

I still feel like I’m drowning, but I also feel so grateful for what I have.

 

I’m falling, but knowing there is a safety net below me of people who care.

 

Most days eating is absolutely no problem…not that sugar is a good way to tell since that is what I am most likely to be interested in ingesting, but I was thinking a couple days ago that the phrase “would you like a cookie” is kind of silly…the correct question is how many cookies would you like, and the answer is I would like to take a 15 right now and eat as many cookies as I can shove in my face in 15 minutes while messing around on my phone. Sometimes I pack and eat a meal like a normal person (or as normal as my meals ever are). Other times like this evening I had to admit that the best I was going to be able to do was a chocolate granola bar, a bag of butter popcorn, an orange, and skittles…yes, the protein group was missing, but I worked really hard and got at least the carbs, fruit, and calories in. That is still a lot better than some days earlier in this grieving process. Plus, I am weight restored.

 

On the positive side, I haven’t cried in front of people in a week…and that last time barely counts because it was my parents so I think it really has been 9 days. I still occasionally cry in private, but I don’t even do that every single day anymore. I KNOW that it isn’t “bad” to show emotion, but that doesn’t feel true. Being someone who has never wanted the spotlight and who would prefer to be as much a chameleon as possible and who avoided situations requiring communication like the plague, I learned to keep my emotion well-hidden to avoid stares and inquisitive comments. Although now I crave connection, community, and caring people with whom to share the burden, after spending way too much time with my abuser who made it very clear that showing emotion was something I definitely should never ever do, it became even more second nature to do whatever was in my power to hide what was going on behind the mask. I became even more fully an always okay person. Additionally, not being allowed to talk about what happened or the fallout and not being allowed to tell anyone I wasn’t allowed to talk, I further refined my hiding skills as those years ago I was so upset and there was so much chaos in my life yet I couldn’t let anyone find out because if anyone asked any questions I’d be stuck in the trap of not even being able to say that I couldn’t talk about it…and I’m not a liar so I couldn’t say I didn’t want to talk about it, because I did want to talk about it. I wanted that so much. I hated that my voice was taken away…so even the get out of jail free card people sometimes offer of just suggesting one may not wish to speak about something was an out I couldn’t accept for fear of losing the coveted prize of graduation, and without that, all the struggle would have been in vain…although it still kinda is since I can’t find a job anyway. But anyway, yeah, showing emotion wasn’t safe for a long time. It wasn’t safe because it intensified the abuse and then it wasn’t safe both because it gave her ammunition (not an emotionally stable student…not able to control herself…etc) and because it just wasn’t safe for anyone to know I wasn’t always happy all the time. I’ve always been sunny, but now it was survival.

 

I will be the first to admit, too, that not crying doesn’t exactly mean a lot…I also haven’t brought a water bottle to work which means that I am always dehydrated which is a skill I learned in high school to decrease the chance of crying. And the reason I don’t have a water bottle is two-fold. First, there definitely is the component of not wanting to cry in front of my coworkers again, and then there is also the comfort issue – bringing a water bottle exposes said water bottle to germs and also means that I’d have to be more careful with the headphones in my lunchbox. I also am working full time on top of trying to catch up on sleep, unpack, get all the proper forms turned in to take my licensing exams, applying and interviewing for jobs, and stuff. Staying busy with work is so good for me. Although wearing logos aside from the ones on my nametag still is outside my comfort zone, it doesn’t hurt so much to come to work anymore, and I do honestly still LOVE my job and my coworkers. It will be really hard to leave someday. I don’t want to ever have to leave. I want so badly to have the job I have been working towards since fourth grade. I know that ship has already sailed, but it hurts so much to let go. Right now I am able to mostly compartmentalize though, and come to work and pretend that everything is awesome, pretend that nothing has changed…until I take the licensing exam and become a licensed pharmacist the game of pretend continues to work.

 

When does this end? I still feel so hopeless. I want a job because having a job is what people say comes after college, and I do want to be responsible, but it seems like getting a job just makes things more complicated, because it is one more thing to deal with in the process of trying to get my life back on track and I don’t think any job will really satisfy me. Nothing can really offer what my dream job could, and even if it could, that wouldn’t take away the pain of the betrayal and loss. Will life ever feel okay again? Does the pain ever go away? It clearly isn’t as intense as it was, and I am learning to function better despite the pain, but I am so exhausted. I don’t want to live this way. It is so frustrating. Everyone says I am a strong candidate and then they don’t hire me. Don’t lie to me. Either tell me I’m great and follow through by hiring me or don’t bother getting my hopes up.

 

I had my first non-residency interview (in my life…) (okay, not true…there was also the scholarship interview at Drake way back when…and the interview into third year that barely counts since showing up meant success) on Thursday. It was okay…but I don’t feel like I have much of a chance against the people who actually have experience. They have a residency program and most of their pharmacists are those that stayed after completion of residency…why would they pay me as a pharmacist when (if I’d applied) they could have me for half as much as a resident, and why would they choose me as a pharmacist when they could choose someone who actually has experience? The position does have a lot of the things I want with the biggest negatives being not being the one job I really wanted and not being pediatric, but it is hard to be excited about a position that one I probably won’t get, and two even if I get isn’t really what I wanted in the first place. It feels like my whole life was a throw away if after all that I can’t have the one thing I wanted. It hurts so much.

 

I wove a really good network of support back at school over the past couple months and then I went home and I know I still need help putting my life back together. I still need people to speak truth into my life, people to encourage me, people to just let me coexist. I don’t really have that anymore. I really only have one close in-person non-circumstantial friend in this state. And mostly at this point everyone everywhere expects me to be over it and moving on. Grief lasts a lot longer than does the support even without moving across the country. I call this state my home, but heaven is my real home and I am so homesick for a home I have never visited. I still struggle with why my eternal daddy doesn’t want to bring me home and hug me until the pain goes away. To me love means wanting to be with someone and it feels like rejection by the one entity who is supposed to love me no matter what. What could possibly ever make this feel okay? Haven’t I been through enough yet? I want this to end.

Do you reach out and touch them?

(Dreaming Jacobs Dream – Michael Card)

 

I am resilient. I am strong. I am brave. I am alive,..but I am so overwhelmed.

 

The continued questions about post-graduation plans are hard and don’t go away any more quickly as graduation comes closer. I have been holding on for graduation so long but the glow disappeared what is now almost two months ago. And applying is SO hard…and today was the first day there weren’t “normal life” plans. And that was hard too. Going through the motions of life gets me through the day. Sometimes I have to have life feel normal just a little bit. It is so hard. I need people so much.

 

In motion I am okay, but stopping I am not. It doesn’t hurt as much when I am in motion. So I was okay-ish most of the day until I had to sit still without music on to get more sunscreen on. Then I was crashing. I knew I needed to be in motion, so I didn’t even stop to get my shoes back on my feet. I just picked everything up and started walking. At this point I only had 20 minutes to be calm enough to use my big girl words with my friends. When there were five minutes left, I stopped and put my shoes on and like immediately got a text from my friends and could hold on for a few more minutes.

 

I did a really good job. I tried really hard to use my big girl words with my friends…It helps so much, SO much, but I was already so worked up that as soon as I was alone again I was back to falling apart and knew I couldn’t be safe going home. There are a lot of ways that going home could go wrong if I’d tried right then, so I didn’t.

 

And sometimes I’m a baby. Thumb in mouth, audiobook on my headphones, Sleep Sound in Jesus album playing on the laptop, skittles sharing the mouth with my thumb. In another hour I was okay…but so exhausted. There isn’t anywhere to sleep here. I looked. Well, okay, there is multiple somewheres I know about to sleep, but it would take too many social skills that I can’t access to go there.

 

But now IDK what to do. My thumb came out of my mouth like 5 minutes ago, so I can go anywhere without people finding out that I am not okay, but I’m so tired. I don’t really want to go back to school…partly because of the tiredness, but also because once I am back at school I will be alone again…but I guess without any other ideas I should probably go back…all I have left in my bag in terms of feeding my face is skittles and water, so it is probably time to head back to get some food. I will be okay. A few minutes at a time I will make it. I wish I could just go to forever home. Why does it have to hurt so bad? Why can’t it all end? Will anyone ever want me? Why did God take me to this place for the past approximately 15 years just to crush everything? Why is it so hard? I want so badly to go to forever home.

 

Lol yeah, so that was written maybe an hour and a half ago or so…I made it back…obviously…I did stop and admire the carseat graveyard, but I had enough sense to not try climbing the fence to get a closer look. I also apparently didn’t do a good job with the sunscreen and now have a beautiful imprint of my bra strap on my shoulder…and that is the real reason why your bra straps shouldn’t show…

 

Sometimes I wish people in this city weren’t quite so nice…so today someone stopped to offer me a ride when I was walking to the fancy gas station because I needed to go potty and didn’t want to have to have any conversations on the way and have to try to explain anything…and it wasn’t like I was dressed in such a way that I felt like I could get away with just wandering in anywhere and not being noticed…so anyway, single man in a car like I said yesterday is not something with which I am comfortable. Not to mention how awkward it would be to explain that I was wandering to go to the gas station…and given how I was doing emotionally, it was a really proud moment that I had words to say no thank you. It is great when my friends offer help, but random strangers on the street are a different story…plus I can’t apologize later for my poor behavior when it is some random stranger I’ve never met before.

Like Life is Only Pain

(Britt Nicole – World That Breaks)

Life still feels like I am stuck in a tornado holding on as tight as I can to keep from flying backwards in the wind. Everything still feels like it is spinning around me.

I tried something different this weekend. Usually I do applying for jobs on Sundays because it is so hard emotionally that I don’t want it to overshadow the goodness of being at church…not to mention that it is certainly an element of avoiding the excess of pain that comes with trying to work on applying.

Since the weather was nice. I decided to walk to church. Since walking has helped me a little in containing my emotions…not as much as rollerblading and biking did for me, but certainly something, I decided maybe the pain would be more manageable if I could break it up between both days of the weekend. So yesterday I worked on letters of intent, then walked to church to help calm down. Today I will do the actual application part. I think it helped so the emotion wasn’t AS overwhelming, but I can’t keep doing things like this. I really need to be able to study and do other things besides laying in front of the computer working on applying for jobs.

Speaking of walking to church, it was a bit of a wake up call last night. Physically so many things are getting a lot better…but certainly I am not out of the woods. I got halfway to church before stopping while waiting to cross the street and adjusting my sock. The sock seemed stuck so I pulled a little and it was itchy so I figured maybe there was a leaf or rock or something in my shoe or stuck to my sock…I checked and found that my sock was stapled to my foot. My best guess is that perhaps I had some staples in my pocket last time I did laundry and one got stuck in my sock and then stuck itself into my foot when I put the sock on my foot and my foot in my shoe. It is certainly not good if I don’t notice a staple in my foot before walking over a mile. I obviously took the staple out, and at least thought about a bandaid…it is frustrating that I can feel so much emotional pain that physical pain is covered instead of covering it up. Luckily, the bottom of my sock was stained enough that the blood wasn’t noticeable enough to make me feel like I need to wash the socks.

The end of last night’s sermon was convicting. He was talking about how worth is defined as how much someone is willing to pay, and so how much are we worth if God was willing to pay for us with his son, and he was recounting a conversation with someone who had survived tragedy and said “you made it because God has a purpose for your life.” I’ve continued praying for God to take me to forever home because this hurts too much…but I’ve continued to survive. It is hard to believe there is any reason for this pain. It hurts so much. It feels like I am underwater drowning every day trying so hard yet failing to get to the edge to be able to pull myself up and get another breath. It is a crushing pain drowning out the joy in life.

To be honest, I am writing right now because I should be applying and doing this feels like I am doing something kinda sorta productive, gives me a reason to not face applying, because that hurts so much. I know I need to do it, but just writing these words thinking about it makes the pain of loss so intense. It is so difficult.

But I do know how to take care of myself. On the way home, someone stopped, honked at me, and waved me over. I went to see what he wanted, and he said “Hey, come ride with me.” Although I was starting to notice that I hadn’t brought sunscreen with me and was starting to burn, I also knew that getting into a car with a man whom I had never seen before in my life and whom I had no context for meeting was not going to put me into a situation that made me feel comfortable. I said no thank you and I moved on.

I am proud. My roommates left me with an overflowing trash can that smelled awful. I left it alone a day hoping that someone else would empty it since I had barely used it, but it became obvious that no one else was going to take responsibility. Taking out the trash (even my own trash sometimes) is something with which I still struggle. To take out the trash I not only had to touch the trash bag, but also clean up the excessive trash overflowing out of the trash can. I was overwhelmed. Luckily, I was desperate enough to look everywhere first to see if I could find anything to help me…what I found was two gloves. I managed to complete the task one handed so that one glove could be preserved in case I needed it. I mean, I did not follow the direction of tying off the bag, because I couldn’t do that one handed, but technically the directions said to use a bag that could be tied, not that you actually had to tie it…semantics…I can and will use them to my advantage when in that type of situation. Now I feel frustrated, because to prevent having to do that again I didn’t put a new trash bag in the trash can, assuming that without a bag people would throw their trash into their own trash cans. Yeah, silly me. Instead, they are throwing disgusting trash into the trash can without a bag which will make it even more difficult to get rid of it. Luckily it is a trash can that belongs to the school that they forgot to remove when converting these rooms back from temporary offices to dorms and isn’t a trash can I was planning on bringing home, but I feel really frustrated. Your mommy doesn’t live here. Clean up after yourself. I mean, it is kind of like how between me and the two other girls in my bedroom, I was the only one who brought soap…like did you not think that you might need to wash your hands or body while you were here? Perhaps a little self-centered but instead of offering to share I suggested that they use their shampoo as soap. My guess would be that I am also the only one who brought cleaning supplies.

I think I probably can’t delay the inevitable any longer and need to start actually applying for jobs…

All I need I can find in you

(Press on – building 429)

I need people so badly. Sure, I was in a room with my entire class, but I was essentially alone and in that room all day. It’s hard. I want out…and I didn’t realize how much I rely on my laptop until I had to turn it in. Part of the issue was the possibility of losing significant amounts of my information, but a bigger part of it is the computer itself.

I didn’t realize how much that laptop was how I self-regulated. I need it for music to calm myself or to distract. I need videos for a human connection. I need my keyboard to provide my voice…even if most of the words are deleted without being shared. Texting this blog post isn’t quite the same. I need the company of the junk emails popping into my inbox all day. I need the community of social media. I need the pages that are familiar and the random stream of Google searches.

And with the intense loneliness and pain of grief I was (am) drowning by the end of the day. I wish I had my bike or inline skates. Even just like two minutes on my skates was enough to help me eat something that first week. It was raining…and my feet are kinda raw from yesterday, so it isn’t a good idea to take a walk. I am working really hard and struggling through dinner. I am frustrated. And IT doesn’t know when I can have the shell of my computer back and they don’t have a loaner for me. I either need some people to help me or I need my computer.

I know partly I’m struggling because I was working on applications yesterday and that is an emotionally taxing activity, but regardless of cause, I’m struggling. It probably doesn’t help that I am also sleep deprived.

Sometimes I need people to make life feel normal and sometimes I need people to let me talk, but always I need people. I really really need people but I’m really really alone. Why won’t God answer my prayer with a yes and let me go to forever home? I’m tired of holding on. It’s too much.

And I can’t figure out how to categorize my post from my phone.

Like it or not no matter how hard we can’t change all the damage

(Starting Over – Plumb)

Not really edited seeing as how I really need to get my computer turned in and I’ve had so many issues trying to copy enough of my files to feel comfortable saying goodbye…at this point I’m not sure how much or what is copied and there is half a chance that I have almost nothing…I hate that school completely clears our laptops…they say we can’t have personally identifiable information on there, but seriously? The information identifies ME!! Why can’t I have information identifying ME on MY laptop?? So frustrating!!

Since it needs to get turned in ASAP, I don’t have much of a choice in the matter at this point. It is going to have to go in God’s hands to hope that nothing crucial is missing. I guess I should be happy that there is a good chance I at least have SOME files. That was not true back in July when there were like 3 files left on my computer when it had a booboo…luckily that time the computer was fixable and I got everything back. This time it will be gone forever…plus that time my email was still fine…this time I’m also not so sure about my emails…sad day…we’ll just have to let go and hope for the best…

I was listening to a video yesterday, and the person on the video said “It’s okay to go numb. It’s helping you survive. It’s too much for our brain to process and we’re tired because we’re mentally and emotionally maxed out.” It felt really validating…I mean, she did say that being numb was normal for about two months from when the event occurred and if you only count from phase I my two months are up, but I didn’t go numb right away, so I think probably I get more time…and I know myself…it can take years…

Sometimes grief looks like a foot covered in blood…apparently there was something in the puddles I walked through on my way to church that irritated my skin…but I didn’t really notice much because of the much deeper hurt in my heart…as it turns out, by the time I got home the skin was so irritated that some areas had started bleeding and my whole right foot was red from blood…I didn’t even really notice until I looked down and didn’t think it looked right…yeah…sometimes the world in my head is so overwhelming that physical things get less notice. Oops…

I am still at a point where if I am interested in eating I am going to eat…not going to worry about whether it is a “good” time to eat or if what I want is balanced…when I am not actively trying to gain weight, snacks are something I really think about if I need before eating, but right now: if I want it and procure it relatively easily then I’m going to eat it.

It’s a really good thing that at the moment my OCD has gone away…I have no dish towels or wash clothes…so washing dishes is being gone with just some soap and my hands…are they perfect? No, but I’m the only one eating off of them, and that means it is good enough.

I keep telling people I am “applying”…AKA I wrote the letters of intent then went to church then tried to take a nap then watched videos. Then realized my CV needed updating before continuing…but by the time I went to bed I did have five more applications submitted than when I got up Saturday morning. It is a hard stressful process, but little by little I am getting through it.

A long long time ago when I was a first year I did the Strengthsfinders survey. Includer was not in my top 5. My guess would be that is probably because at that time I barely talked to my very closest friends, so clearly I wasn’t going to positively endorse any question about talking with a new person…but I think it is pretty clear to me that I am an includer. Lol…so what started as a quick special note to a few close friends to thank them for the difference they made in my life has turned into a huge insane project…when you are trying to figure out how to send a thank you note to someone who has lived in at least three states since the last time you saw her and you currently have no idea what state she is in much less have an address, email, or phone number, you know you might have started going overboard on this project…good thing I still have like 480 black and white prints left on my account…

I started with 2-3 people from the place I volunteer, 1 more person from church, 2 from school, and 1 from back home. Quick project to be easily completed sitting in the many many airports and airplanes I visited while interviewing in February, right? Yeah…then the list went up to 40 people to definitely do and a list of other people to be included if I have time…I think a good half of the list is people I haven’t seen in years and for whom I will struggle to find contact info…I might not be good at making friends, but living between two states gives you lots of opportunities to meet a lot of people…

Sometimes I am ashamed of my grief. The thought seriously went through my head last night that I should set up a make-shift bed in the closet so that if my roommates started moving in they wouldn’t see me crying…because at bedtime I was crying and not just like tears falling, but like body shaking crying. I go through most of the day numb and/or pretending…but the hurt is still very real more often than I’d like to admit. I haven’t truly gotten to the stage of numbness where the pain is 100% gone, but the light ache for parts of the day is so appreciated when the rest of the day is spent in agonizing deeply acute pain. I didn’t set up in the closet, and I calmed down without anyone seeing me…besides, it would probably be super awkward if someone had tried to move in and decided to open the closet only to discover someone sleeping and/or crying inside…

They did move in last night…in the middle of the night…side note, 24 hour quiet hours are anything but quiet…also side note, I now am very aware of why I have never shared a room before…umm, yeah not being able to turn on the lights makes getting ready in the morning hard. Not to mention I’m guessing they won’t appreciate if I want to turn my music on to sleep.

This morning I finished my cheerios and was still doing okay so I decided to capitalize that and went to get myself a chocolate chip bagel bread sliced please from Panera. It is kinda nice that now I live close enough to Panera that walking both there and back is less far than I walked one direction before I got my parking pass on Saturday. I have some rewards on my card, so that will probably help with the weight gain journey…I only gained half of a pound from last Saturday to this Saturday. I feel like a failure…Anyway, that’s not the point…so as I was walking to Panera, some lady comes up to me and goes “Why are you wearing that?” I looked down to make sure my shirt wasn’t inside out or backwards or anything, but all my clothes were on correctly and even fit appropriately. I just kinda stare at her like what is wrong with you and she says “well I just don’t know why anyone would wear anything like that?” Umm…it’s a Cru shirt and a pair of shorts…I just walked quickly away from her…

I’ve tasted hopelessness. I know what heartache is…I’ve lived through brokenness…but all that matters is that I matter to you

(Colton Dixon – All That Matters)

 

It is super easy to see lots of problems in my life…but this evening I have also felt a lot of gratitude. People have reached out to me and made me feel like I mattered. Being around people is super helpful for me. I don’t necessarily need to talk, in fact sometimes I can’t talk, but presence is such a huge gift to me. Presence is so healing.

 

I can be annoyed that my car turned into like a sauna because my dress and other articles of clothing that couldn’t go in the dryer were laid out in the car…in addition to the moisture left over from Friday afternoon, or I can be thankful that I have clean laundry.

 

I can be frustrated that it was about to start raining again so I couldn’t air out my car long enough to really get the insane humidity to go away, or I can be thankful I recognized in time that the rain was about to come down really hard and got the doors closed and myself inside before I was soaked.

 

I can berate myself for not having the ability to ask anyone if I can sit with them this evening, or I can be thankful that the majority of the time now that isn’t a problem and recognize that once there are fewer things adding to my overwhelm, I will probably quickly regain consistency in that skill.

 

I can be disappointed in myself that I almost cried in church in front of people, or I can be super grateful that I pushed it away before it happened…even if it was probably noticeable to the people I was talking with that I was a lot less okay than my words said I was.

 

I can be annoyed that it is raining while I am trying to move in, or I can be thankful for the fact that a cart was available that allowed me to get all my stuff to my room in only a couple quick trips which meant I ended up a lot less soaked than when I got home yesterday…yesterday’s shoes have had plenty of paper towels in them and still are soaked and now that I packed them in a plastic bag in my car all day kinda stink…

 

I can be frustrated that being the first person to move into my room means there is no one to help me raise the height of my bed before putting the sheets on and no one to talk me down when I am getting really frustrated because bed-making is not one of my skills, or I can be happy that I get to pick which bed I want and that at least for this first night I’ll get to use my music to fall asleep and can sleep with the light on if I want to…lol…apparently the outlets in this room aren’t shaped right for my nightlight. It does work on battery, but it seems easier to just leave the lights on and call it a day…Probably I should unpack…but I think Imma just go to bed and do that tomorrow…and I gotta do more applying…and try to figure out how to back up my computer…

 

Good lyrics of the day:

I should follow the word but I guess I’d rather be murdered. Excuse me I mean martyred ’cause I’m killin’ myself. My sin conceived a baby, and we gon’ name her death. Breath taken. She takes my breath away. Replaces it with poison. (Killa – Lecrae)

Hold on tight a little longer

(Hard Life – NEEDTOBREATHE)

I feel like I’ve been holding on forever. I was holding on for graduation and then graduation lost most of its thrill when my dreams died. The light at the end of the tunnel burned out and there wasn’t even a train to replace it and keep me company in the darkness of the empty tunnel. No one wants me and no one will. Now I’m holding on just trying to find my way through the pain that tries to drown me every day. It’s hard. I wake up every day having to face another day of failure. I am not enough. I will never be enough. I can’t. It hurts.

I can’t do anything right.

I keep getting emails about the pharmacy weight loss challenge. It rubs salt in the wounds. They are the reason I already lost too much weight because they didn’t want me. I am trying so hard to gain weight, not lose it, and I am failing at it. Yesterday I freaked out because I hadn’t gained any weight since Saturday…in fact I’d lost half a pound. Fail. So I did what any person with only about half a brain functioning secondary to emotional pain; I continued with my general plan except I also had about 40 chicken nuggets and filled my cup three times with lemonade for lunch. My stomach hurt so good after eating all that. But it didn’t do anything. I weighed the same this morning as I did yesterday. I think this is why the experts say that you shouldn’t weigh yourself more than once a week. Fail. I can’t do anything right.

I always fail. Yesterday I cried in front of people again. Fail. Why can’t I stay numb at the right times? Fail.

I can’t parallel park to save my life. I tried really hard this morning and gave up. Then I almost forgot where I was going and figuring it out any more minutes later probably would have ended me up at church wondering why I was there. Not that I wouldn’t far prefer to be there rather than school, but that’s not where I was supposed to be.

Where am I supposed to be? No one wants me. I just want to be alone…well, alone but with friends. And I can’t. I haven’t ever lived in a shared space except in a hotel, and it always leads to high stress levels…and now I’ve been assigned to a group of three in one room with three more people sharing the adjoining room…definitely no space to be alone in a room full of people I barely know. I do at least recognize the names of the people I am with though…so at least I’m not living with strangers. I also don’t know how long I can live there. I hate change and I hate unknowns.

There’s this song I like called all you do is whine. Some lyrics are “All you do is whine, no matter what. It’s your bedtime lights out doors shut…we’ll do it again you’re up. You don’t stay down…you’re up down up down.” Except I’ve been doing it “All you do is fail, no matter what.” It feels a lot more true that way. I can’t I can’t I can’t. When does this end?