Category Archives: Resilience

I was ruined by the world but I blamed it on the Son

(Take the bullets away – We As Human)

 

I absolutely love this song…I found when I was pretty close to the bottom, and it was a good empathetic cry song. Now I adore it because it is also SO hopeful. I was resistant to the hopeful message at first because from my perspective, hoping was just a way to be hurt more deeply. It felt safer and less painful to separate myself inasmuch as possible from hope. Now I am ready to slowly give hope a chance again. It is scary, but I think it is good and necessary. Being hopeless is also difficult.

 

I also really connect to the screamed demand in the refrain “Take the bullets away.” Once a bullet is shot it cannot be taken back. It cannot change course. The pain cannot be simply ended. Yet I ask God and pray that he will take it away. I so badly want to go back in time to that Friday in March and open my email to something that doesn’t hurt so much. I want my dreams back. I want hope back. I think it would cause more problems than it would solve for me to die right now, so I am no longer praying every day for God to take me home, but I so desperately long for God to come back so that I can leave this place of pain. But I can’t have what I want. The train left the station without me leaving behind only my now impossible desires and plans. I know God works all things to his glory, but I don’t understand how putting me in this place could ever be for his glory. How could the deep pain of loss work for good? How could rejection be his plan? How could completely severing all ties connecting me to my dreams be something he allowed to happen? I feel so hopeless, helpless, frustrated, and alone.

 

Today in my frustration I screamed that maybe God doesn’t even want me to pray. Maybe God really doesn’t want me. I know it is really bad to think that and totally not the Sunday morning Christian thing to admit it, but y’all know I’ve never really been very competent at playing the social game and believe that sometimes it is okay to just be myself. So what prompted this outburst besides just the grief that I can’t outrun? Well…I was listening to the VBS tape “Treasure Hunt Sing and Play” and had just flipped the tape over to side 2. The first song on that side is “Let us Pray.” (Let us pray let us pray, everywhere and everyway. Every moment of the day it is the right time. For the father above, he is listening in love and he wants to answer us so let us pray). Except it only got a couple lines in when it suddenly stopped. At first I thought maybe something had accidentally gotten recorded over the top of the tape or something, but when nothing was happening a few minutes later I investigated further and this is what I found:

20170820_155002.jpg

 

Yep, it’s broken. And I got frustrated. Sometimes it seems like everything I want gets taken away from me.

 

But I need to believe that God cares. I need to believe that he loves me and has power to work his plans in my life. He really has done a lot even though I still really hurt. Maybe I do still cry more days than I don’t, but most of the time now after a couple minutes I can calm down and be okay. And last week I was writing about how I wanted three things that logically shouldn’t be THAT big of a deal, but seemed just as impossible as everything else in life. Those three things were a decision on a church to attend, a friend in or near the city in which I live, and an opportunity to serve. I am now 97% sure I have chosen a church. I kinda sorta have a friend and I don’t think I am just her little charity project. I had an opportunity to serve. It might have only been a couple hours rather than a continuing relationship like I’ve had elsewhere, but considering God did all those things that seemed so overwhelming in a week, I can’t be too picky about how he did it. I am so thankful for what he did do even though it is super easy to see all that he didn’t do.

 

I am definitely still struggling and two hours on a Saturday of almost fitting in isn’t really enough to totally eliminate loneliness from my life and certainly doesn’t fix the grief, but when you are fighting to get through every day, sometimes even the littlest things can seem really big. A kind word on a hard day can make an enormous difference. Also, today I saw a baby who I would approximate at around 6-9 weeks old. Super adorable. Although I longed to hold her, even just getting a chance to see her made my heart feel good. Birth to 3 months is really my most favorite age, especially the first few days and weeks of life. I would love if someone wanted to share their infant with me. I super miss my infants in the nursery.

But in your eyes there’s only grace now

(Lauren Daigle – How Can it Be)

 

I am a processor…almost always that means a couple days after a conversation I will finally be ready to respond…and sometimes that means that months or years later I start understanding things about myself.

 

I don’t give myself a lot of grace. I realized today that a big reason for that is because of how I’ve been treated in the past. When you deserve praise and instead are told how big of a failure you are, you learn that anything less than someone else’s version of perfection is absolutely unacceptable. You learn to put yourself down because it doesn’t hurt nearly as much if you have already started the verbal beating for someone else to finish it. That doesn’t make it okay, but it does give me some good understanding to work on changing that.

 

I need a lot of grace. I haven’t really unpacked yet…sure, it isn’t super obvious because most of my stuff is shoved in boxes in the closet so unless you open a box to find two pencils, a solitary sock, a pile of graduation announcements, a sponge, and a ball with a smiley face on it, you would never know that this isn’t unpacked…I also haven’t run the dishwasher since moving in. I haven’t chosen a church, and I haven’t drank any milk.

 

I look at my life right now and see so much failure. It is hard to believe that God sees me through the lens of grace and thinks the world of me. Sometimes it is hard to believe he cares or wants me at all. Sometimes it even feels like he has given up on me. I know it isn’t true, but when my world is disintegrating and I can’t find anything to hold on to, I guess the truth about God gets a little twisted.

 

On the positive side though…I discovered the social worker on rounds actually wasn’t the scary kind…as it turns out she really is the kind that is a discharge planner…she just got asked about a psych consult not because she was going to do the consult but because she needed to coordinate that happening prior to discharge…I was super thankful to realize that, and it made rounds a lot better. I wonder if that is what the ‘I’ in the middle of LCSW means…I tried to look up what the different versions of the social worker license mean, because I always thought if it had a C that meant clinical which meant the person was the counseling kind of social worker, but all I could figure out was that LSW was a social worker with a bachelor’s degree…all the rest of the licenses it sounded like were pretty identical and I could not figure out what the differences were…even the other one without a C looked like clinical was an option with that license just as much as it was for the ones where C was in the title…

 

Also, wanna be proud of me? I had to talk on the phone with a psychiatrist because I had a medication intervention to attempt on a behavioral health unit patient. I did it! It really wasn’t so bad…professional interaction…the fact that I recognize that as something that could be very hard for me on a bad day though is one more reminder that this isn’t just going to go away.

 

Grief is very intimately linked to the abuse, and grief is very unpredictable. Yesterday I was at the bottom. When I was alone I was only not crying for five minutes at a time. It was a rough evening. But this evening I am not rockin’ it or anything, but I have had my lunch leftovers (yeah, I know, corollary: I failed to finish lunch), dinner, and snack. I’m at least thinking about running the dishwasher and finding the dirty laundry and doing that…obvi it still depends on how I am feeling tomorrow whether it gets done or not, but the better days are really encouraging. They remind me that I am a survivor. And I definitely feel a lot better about myself when my life is in a little less chaos. Maybe not today, but someday I will be okay.

 

Lotta Work to Be Done Here

(Renovate – Christa Wells)

 

Sometimes the grief comes in waves, and when the tide is high it is a reminder that although I have certainly come a long way, that there is still a lot of the work of grieving to be done. It can be quite discouraging that I’ve been working so hard for so long yet still hurt so much.

 

I read an article yesterday and the introduction stated that grief, like pregnancy is a whole body experience but without the cute baby clothes and due date. That summed it up so well. Grief is so hard, but unlike a pregnancy, there isn’t a date to look forward to when it will all be worth it. It just feels like an impossible pain that will never end. That is where I am right now. I almost couldn’t go to church today because I couldn’t stop crying.

 

The article went on to talk about how there are three things that are really important and really difficult in grief: eating, sleeping, and breathing. It was really validating to read about someone else who lost 25 pounds despite having access to plenty of food. I claimed a 25 pound weight loss in the first few weeks, but in reality it was more than that…I just don’t know how much more, but it could very well have been 10-15 pounds more than that…the person writing the article talked about how people make nurturing your body seem hard because of all the trendy diets our culture debates about, but it’s all about finding your balance and in grief that might be chocolate and I don’t remember the other thing she said most nights…I totally get that. Just getting anything in was so much work that while some people worry about whether gluten was trendy or to be avoided this week, I was busy worrying about whether I was going to break 500 calories today (or some days whether I’d even break 100). I had all my favorites: skittles, goldfish, animal crackers, jolly ranchers, peanut butter, Nutella, cheerios, and there were days I laid it all out on the bed just willing myself to eat something. I am doing a lot better now, but there are still times the tide comes in too high and I struggle. Today I had a package of three breadsticks in my refrigerator. I was having trouble with lunch and figured I’d heat them up and at least get the bread group in since that’s the base of the pyramid (yes, I know, nutritionists sa the pyramid doesn’t exist anymore. They can shut their faces. I learned the levels of the pyramid and I’ll use them). Three breadsticks on a plate was overwhelming and I just couldn’t, so after trying to figure out how I was going to get lunch completed, I figured even just one breadstick would be a start, so I heated one up and told myself to please just try one bite. You don’t have to eat the whole thing, but I’d like you to try…and I slowly ate the first breadstick…and repeat for each of the other two. Sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do and if three breadsticks is too much you just have to slow down and have one breadstick three times. Nearly three hours later I have almost finished lunch.

 

Next was sleep. Also a huge connection. The author wrote about how at a certain point she would have done almost anything to get a full night’s sleep. Oh yes. I am doing a lot better with sleep, but I certainly know how it feels to desperately need sleep…and I guess that’s part of how I knew that I needed some time before I could continue counseling.

 

And just breathe. It is essential in life, but sometimes it is just so hard. Sometimes every day is a challenge just to get up and get through it. But I am brave. I keep doing it.

 

Switching gears a little bit, this morning after I finished a youtube video of a song about not knowing how to write songs, the next video youtube suggested was about kids from hard places. There were a lot of really good quotes.

 

“Your pain matters your story matters.”

 

It felt really good to hear that. Sometimes I still don’t feel like I am worth much, and I certainly don’t think my pain matters, but it was still good to hear even if I wasn’t ready to believe it yet.

 

“Pain that happens in a relationship can only be healed in a relationship”

 

I guess this means I’m gonna need to face counseling again, but not today. I can’t. I am terrified of trying counseling again…but I guess it is time to admit that someday I really do need to figure this out…I think I need to get past the grief first or at least get further towards healing from the grief, but I know I can’t just push it aside forever.

 

“When you understand a hurt brain you aren’t screaming “why are you doing that,” but gently asking “what happened to you” with compassion.”

 

I loved that. It is easy to see things that don’t make sense and just think I’m a little weird, when in reality I’m just doing my best with the background of my past experiences.

 

“Without a voice you have three choices, fight, flight, or freeze.”

 

I get it. It’s really hard to express upset feelings without words.

 

“The task for all of us is can I leave you and can I come back. The hurt in our lives is from one of those places being broken.”

 

I don’t quite understand what this means, but I like it.

 

“When I know what my needs are and they have been met now I know what yours are too, but I can never be empathetic until it has first been given to me.”

 

So true. You can’t fill someone else’s bucket when yours is empty. Until you fill your own bucket you can’t fill anyone else’s.

 

“If I can’t connect I at least need to survive.”

 

I guess it’s true. Another one that sounds really good, but I’m just no smart enough to get. The speaker went on to say that we are here because we are survivors, and I really liked that too. It is a good perspective to have. Yeah, life might be really hard right now, but I have survived. Every day is a success!

 

“When you’ve had trauma you are more sensitive to blood sugar.”

 

I think maybe this is true. The speaker had a super biological explanation for this that I totally didn’t follow…but I have noticed that during third year I was getting increasingly sensitive to my blood sugar level going down and therefore relied a lot more on sugar for emotional management. It was super funny though, because then the speaker said to make sure people who have experienced trauma are fed and watered every 2 hours. Lol…but it is important.

 

“God is a perfect parent and he has some pretty broken kids.”

 

I like this too…a perfect parent perfectly loves their children…even though we are super broken…

But I Just Could Not Understand

(The Reason – Lacey Sturm)

I don’t understand why I try so hard just to fail. I don’t understand a lot of things…but I do understand this:

hope

This is a quote from “The Healing Path” by Dan Allender. This is the second quote about hope I’ve posted on my healing path pinboard, and it might be my favorite. The other one talked about how giving up is easier than trying, hoping, and being disappointed time and time again, but while that is true, I love that this one speaks not just to easy/hard, but to danger/safety. We are wired to fear danger and seek safety, so it makes sense that there is a very definite limit to the amount of hope I can handle. No matter how much I want to hold onto hope that there is something better out there and life won’t always be so hard, I can’t right now.

From my perspective the best advice I could give anyone is want nothing, plan nothing, expect nothing. If you have no desires, expectations, or plans then no matter what happens there is nothing that can derail you too far. Things might be a little disappointing or frustrating, but will never be soul-crushingly devastating.

For a long time I have expressed desire to be just like everyone else. Interestingly, this video

popped into my inbox as something my twitter peeps liked a couple days ago and I realized, guess what!! I got what I wanted and ce ne m’a fait pas content. (It did not make me happy). Yep, apparently 80% of people are dissatisfied with their jobs. Unless someone can find me a project or something else to do besides spin in my chair the majority of the day, I am in the majority of people. I need something that keeps me busy and makes me feel like I am contributing. When everyone can go to lunch and I can continue to everyone’s job at once and still be a bit disengaged you know there isn’t enough work to do and I need something else…add that to an environment where I get pretty close to a grand total of zero of the patients I really wanted to work with and you end up with a girl who is frustrated because she is stuck without any way out.

Also, I tried something recently that I didn’t think I’d ever do again. So, long story short, I saw a link on facebook for something that looked from the link like an online community for hurting people. I thought maybe that would be a safe place that might really help me. Unfortunately, it is a counseling platform, so for the first time since the abuse I was willingly entering a counseling relationship. It was terrifying. It was good and it was bad. It was good because I have always believed in facing fear. It was good because once I finally a couple weeks later got enough courage up to actually hit send on the first message, the counselor tried really hard to show me that how I was treated was wrong and that she believed me and didn’t blame me for it, and I think she really wanted to be able to help me get over the grief and the abuse. But it was also bad. Being involved with a counselor was terrifying and brought back the hyper-alertness from when I was really deep in the abuse. I wasn’t really able to engage because it was so scary, and eventually it got to the point that I was pretty much totally back in that place of being abused and add that to the grief and it was something I just couldn’t do anymore. I reached a point where I was not really sleeping not because of the grief but because of the hyper-alertness that I couldn’t turn off to sleep. And then I had a problem. Girl is not a quitter. Girl wants to not be defeated. And girl really couldn’t do it anymore. Girl made a very hard choice and hit the quit button. I wish they could label that button like unsubscribe or stop paying or graduate or really anything else that doesn’t feel like I’m doing one more thing wrong…but nope, it is labelled quit. Anyway, I hit quit. I guess the counselor didn’t notice and wrote another reply. And that was when I knew I made the right choice. I got the notification. I sat down and did my panic-cry thing, got up, slammed the computer shut, and ran out of the room. That is not something I can handle long term. Maybe someday when the grief is more recovered I’ll be ready to try again to get over the abuse and issues with trust that the abuse gifted me, but to protect myself I needed to stop. When I broke free of the abusive counseling relationship a few years ago it was the first time I really wanted to die…and I was plenty safe because at that time I was so upset that laying on the floor was just about all the effort I had to exert. So especially considering the grief I am dealing with right now at the same time, I knew I needed to make a change before I ended up in a place where I wasn’t going to be safe…and since I don’t know how to make the grief go away that meant the counseling had to go away. And you know what, quitting might feel like a failure, but it is really something to be proud of. I made a choice to go against the flow to do something good for me. And that’s awesome.

So yeah. It isn’t really a failure, but a huge success.

One more thing. One of the youtube channels I follow wrote a song, and not the lyrics themselves, but the concepts behind the lyrics until the end describe my life so well. And the end was so full of hope that I had to start thinking maybe someday I will feel okay. Maybe it is okay to have dreams and to hope.

“I’m nervous about writing songs. I’ve never done it before.

People seem to like my videos, but what if my songwriting blows?

I’d like to write a song that will help a million brains.

Inspire and encourage them when they need it the most, here’s just one tiny problem:

I have no idea how to write songs.

I can barely play the ukulele. I should really practice more often.

But even if I could play the ukulele, there’s still one problem…

I really don’t know how to write songs.

Oh it’s hard when your dreams exceed your skills and what you want to do exceeds your grasp.

There’s only one solution: learn…and probably practice.

Get really good at being not very good, enjoy falling on your face.

And maybe eventually (there’s no guarantees) but someday you’ll do what you dreamed.

Yeah, someday you’ll accomplish your dreams.”

So yeah…starting in January I was interviewing for residencies. I was really nervous and hadn’t really ever interviewed for anything before…well okay that’s not quite true. There was an interview at another school for scholarships, but I think I failed that interview…not to mention I had almost no chance anyway…but yeah.

People really liked me at work and my preceptors on rotations were impressed with me and loved working with me and really appreciated my work. Everywhere except at school I was loved and appreciated. (Side note, huge success to realize that outside of school I really do have worth).

I really really wanted to be hired somewhere and to make a huge difference to the patients there and to make my coworkers excited to work with me…okay, and I wanted to enjoy it too and have opportunities to grow, but I was thrilled to be able to make a difference. I wanted it so badly…but one problem: I didn’t match in phase I. I was really upset and crushed and frustrated and decided it was all my fault that I probably just wasn’t good at interviewing and should practice more, when in reality I don’t think I did anything wrong the first time…and even if I could interview well I just felt like no one would want me. And I didn’t get a residency in phase II…or the scramble.

It is so so true that it is really hard when your dreams exceed what happens in your real life. It hurts so much.

Sometimes to feel better I might need to realize that I can’t change my situation. I can’t (immediately anyway) change how much it feels like my heart is on fire with 25 knives stabbing into it over and over. What I can do is get used to this and let this become my new normal. It doesn’t mean that I have to be totally thrilled with feeling like this and totally thrilled with the loss of my dreams and totally thrilled with my job…

And maybe I can someday be ready to hope that I won’t be here forever or maybe even if I am mostly here forever it will not always be so painful.

Youtube video here: https://youtu.be/BmiS6atdAi4

Even if these tears never dry

(Even if – Mercy Me)

 

Grief continues to be a painful journey I must traverse. Some days I am proudly standing atop a hill, doing remarkably well. Other days, many many other days, I am falling down the hill or working so so hard to try to make upward progress and feeling like there ain’t much to show for my effort. There have been a lot of tears shed and a lot of days spent in the twilight zone between too in shock to cry and too upset to have any control over stopping the tears from appearing completely randomly and inappropriately.

 

Even though I might seem like an impulsive airhead…and maybe I am…I do also find myself reflecting on where I am and what is going on in life. For one thing, the same sentiment I wish I could get my little buddies to understand when they are really upset is pretty much the same thing I wish I could figure out for myself. I wish they understood that as much as they might prefer not to be there, they are stuck with me in this playroom for the next hour and might as well at least try to enjoy the toys that we have before they go as that surely must be more fun that crying. I wish I could find a way to have fun and enjoy myself until God takes me home. It is easier said than done. The feeling of hopelessness and pain and loneliness is oppressive like a thick heavy soggy blanket that I cannot remove. I wish I could just find something fun and forget my pain, but I’ve tried so hard and it just seems so impossible. I tried so hard to give this place a fair chance. I tried to find *something* to be excited about. I try so hard, but I fail which just makes it all the easier to see the continued losses…and then there’s the licensing exam that I probably failed. I feel frustrated. I feel stupid. I just wish God would hurry up and come back so I wouldn’t have to go through this life that hurts so much anymore. I so deeply long to not be on Earth. I do not want to be alive. I want to go home to be with my eternal daddy. I don’t understand why a God who is supposed to be all-powerful, all-knowing, and all-caring would make me keep having to live in a world that hurts so much.

 

I also read an article recently about assessing someone’s safety and need for intervention. I’m not totally sure how I ended up on the article, because I started out looking for what would happen if I drank some bleach…before you freak out, don’t worry. I didn’t come up with some stupid plan to intentionally hurt myself. There is a reason I don’t own any bleach and have no plans to own any, but it isn’t because of self-harm or suicidality concerns. The reason is because bleach feels safe and clean and if I had a million dollars I would very much like to buy a zillion bottles of bleach and bleach the world…and along those lines, I wanted to know if it was safe to drink bleach because I thought maybe I could sanitize my insides to prevent getting sick. As it turns out, I learned that small amounts will do virtually nothing and moderate amounts will cause stomach upset. Larger excessive amounts could cause more dangerous issues. Lol, since stomach upset is one of the most terrifying things in my world, there is no way I will ever attempt drinking bleach. Anyway, so the article said ultimately in a person without other obvious symptoms necessitating intervention, if you ask if the person can remain safe, most people will be honest and say no if they can’t so you can simply ask the question and the yes or no will direct whether or not you should intervene. Yeah. I am not most people. Ask me that question and I can almost guarantee you the answer will be that I am fine. There is a teeny tiny chance I will say I don’t know, but even then with further probing I will claim being okay. I’m always okay, especially when I am not. I can think right now of one particular time I was not safe and someone did ask that question…and I claimed being fine. Even so upset that I am crying uncontrollably, I am thinking about others and trying to protect others. My thought process was that if I admitted that I wasn’t very safe it would inconvenience someone and probably just cause more problems later, so I didn’t. Sure, it might not have been safe for me to do what I did, but clearly I survived it since I am still here. In retrospect, it would have probably been possible to sleep right where I was, let someone know to unplug my alarm clock, and go back to my room in the morning when I might not have been doing a lot better but would at least be attempting something in the morning when I am at my best rather than at the end of a long day, but I was deeply in survival mode and that kind of logical thought was WAY beyond me.

 

Lol, speaking of safety though, am I ever really safe? So a little background first, even though my mouth is basically a toddler and my social skills probably place me in elementary school despite my chronological age in my mid-twenties, my skin still thinks I am in puberty. That is to say I still get acne and a few nights ago I had what seemed at the time like a great idea to use a kitchen knife to cut a pimple off. I was very lucky that while I was trying to figure out how to hold the knife to be able to get an angle that would work and still be able to see what I was doing it occurred to me perhaps this was not a good idea. So I didn’t do it. Sometimes I think maybe I need a friend not just for companionship, but also to add a healthy dose of common sense to my life…Lol, I’m always a danger to myself in some way since I am kinda clumsy and kinda impulsive. I do really need a friend though. I don’t have any where I live.

 

Totally unrelated, but yesterday something pressed my buttons. Inclusion is extremely important to me, because I know how much exclusion hurts, so when a child was excluded I was furious. I had to work really hard not to lose my temper when a child with special needs was taken from his developmentally age appropriate classroom and moved to a younger age group where he clearly didn’t fit in and didn’t understand why he was taken away from his friends. If the child was disruptive or couldn’t keep up with his peers I would *almost* understand, but he wasn’t. Another child who had undisclosed special needs was definitely disruptive and was picked up partway through because of it, but this child was wonderful. Even if this child hadn’t been as able to keep up with his peers, we also had access to a 1:1 aide if he needed it to keep him with his peers. It would also be a different story if the room was at capacity and we absolutely could not take any more kids and had to move someone and were moving multiple kids to keep numbers balanced, but that isn’t what happened. Oh man, I was so livid. I got in my car afterwards and cried. I wasn’t crying out of my own grief (which, okay, felt pretty good to have something unrelated to my immediate circumstances to cry about) but because of how this child and his family were treated. That was not okay…especially when our lesson was on how we are all different and wonderful. I sent off an email this morning about it, and apparently it already had come to the attention of someone high enough up to fix it. Tonight should be better. Tonight no one will try to tell me at the end of the night how much better it is because of exclusion. Exclusion doesn’t feel good and doesn’t make anything better.

Hey Girl in the Back of the Classroom, JUST BE STRONG

(Better – Britt Nicole)

So yeah, like I mentioned before, being still alive at the end of the day on June 30th was really hard. That had been a defined endpoint to work towards and even though I knew that God says no a lot and probably would say no, losing that was a lot harder than I expected it to be. Every remnant of hope was once again lost. It was a bit of a setback. There no longer seems like there is any way out and that is hard.

 

I hit a dead end. It is hard to let go of long-held dreams. There is truly no way to fully get my life back on track and that is really hard and frustrating. I worked so hard for so long for something that I can’t have.

 

But God hasn’t put a period at the end of the sentence. There continue to be secondary losses and hard times, but I have to believe that someday life will be less difficult and less painful.

 

Even with no hope and no end in sight, I am still working really hard at recovering and making the most out of the rubble. Slowly, life is getting easier. I’ve had to let go of my forever dream of working in pediatric critical care probably NICU or maybe emergency at a dedicated pediatric institution. I’ve had to let go of a lot of friendships. I’ve shed a lot of tears. I might have failed, but God doesn’t see me as a failure. God sees my success. I am eating okayish now. I am sleeping more than a couple hours at night. As a driver I am less often on the relying on other people to keep me safe and more on the watching out for everyone else side.

 

I still feel a profound sense of loss and there are still days that are so incredibly difficult, but gradually I am more and more able to experience little glimmers of joy sparkling underneath the heavy blanket woven of pain and sorrow that has been covering me.

 

People say that you should only own things that bring you joy and not own things that make you sad or don’t elicit any emotional response. I think that is dumb because by that logic I shouldn’t own a toothbrush and toothpaste because brushing my teeth is most definitely not fun and at times in my life has been downright overwhelming. I am willing to admit that when the OCD was at its worst, there were significant periods of time I didn’t brush my teeth because it was too scary. Anyway, most residency related stuff has been thrown in the recycle (with a few perfectly good books going to the goodwill)…and as I was sorting through piles of things, I found a thank you note that every time I come across makes me feel a surge of anger. I wrote a physical thank you note to every place I interviewed in person in phase I. One of the places rejected the note without even opening it and sent it back to me. It showed up at my house again about a month or so later. It wasn’t a place I was super thrilled about so at the time it was frustrating but not a huge deal because if they didn’t want me then I didn’t want them and I had no reason to believe I wasn’t going to be selected for a job I’d love more than that one anyway. It wasn’t until I was rejected from every job to which I applied that I was angry. I spent a considerable amount of time, money, and effort to apply for and interview for that job. If you disliked me enough to not even read my thank you note then you should have let go and cut my losses before dragging me out to an interview. I poured my heart and soul into phase I and was treated like a child’s toy, played with and then discarded without a glance behind. Everyone has always told me how much of a community the world of pharmacy is with everyone supporting each other. Instead, it feels like everyone is against me. Sure, there are some pharmacists who care about me, but they seem to be outnumbered by the ones who don’t really care. Whether you liked me enough to hire me or not, I would appreciate a response to my emails even just to say sorry not interested, especially if I am following up after already submitting my application. I think that is a respect thing. I might not be a good communicator, but I am a real live human who deserves respect.

 

On the other hand, there have been some really caring people in my life, primarily outside of the pharmacy setting. Life hurts so much, but over the past few months I have been shown more love than I ever could feel worthy of. I am so thankful for people who have been willing to enter into my life and love on me when I had minimal to no ability to give anything back. People have cared about me while I was hurting so much that they were at risk of becoming collateral damage. Despite the penetrating loneliness and isolation of grief, people have shown me that I am never really alone. They could have given up on me and ignored my pain, but people have chosen to love me way more than I deserve.

 

Making friends isn’t my forte and neither is letting people in, but the people I do have in my life have gone way beyond the call of duty to show that they accept the itty bitty approximations that I attempt.

 

With time to cool off and think, I have come up with a new way to soften the blow. I am ready for God to come back. Yeah, I know it isn’t the ideal solution for me to be thinking about, but even that solution didn’t seem like an option originally and if making that feel like an option is able to give me a less hopeless existence then I am pleased. God coming back would mean that there wouldn’t be any loose ends to worry about because no one would be left trying to tie them up…plus it means immediate heaven, and I definitely believe that heaven is a place where the pain of my earthly existence will melt away and I will be purely joyful.

 

So realistically, I don’t know what I am doing with my life. I do have one career-related dream left that isn’t AS impossible anymore, but I know it is not a great idea…I had only wanted one thing since early elementary school…until second year when my counselor (the good one, not the abusive one) challenged me to come up with something I could do if I wasn’t able to be a pharmacist. The other thing I want to do is be a social worker and work with kids. I’m not even totally sure what a social worker does outside of clinical social workers who do counseling…I think at the time I made the decision I had just watched a video on the internet where a person identified as a social worker was hugging a child and that sounded good to me. I know the phrase social worker is used in the foster care system and I am kinda interested in fostering. Also, on the counseling side, I have loved my psych classes, so I mean maybe it is a fit, but I see myself very quickly running into the same roadblock in social work as I have in pharmacy – who is going to want to take a risk on a girl who is way behind on learning communication skills? In fact, that is probably a field in which my lack of skills might be even more apparent and more likely to interfere with my potential for success…but maybe that is a field where the studying and training might actually teach me how to communicate…and working with kids doesn’t need to involve a lot of words. I mean, I really think some of why I am so skilled at calming kids is because I don’t usually start with the same method as everyone else of trying to talk to the kid until they can’t help but respond…I now do have enough communication ability to use that method if I am running low on options, but I start with physical comfort, distraction, and parallel play before I jump to that option.

 

I am still alive. I am still hurting, but I am not defeated. I will keep fighting until either God ends the fight by coming back to Earth or I come out on top and am able to spend much of most days happy. I am strong. I might have been dealt a lousy hand, but I am still playing the game.

sanity

Also, I’m not sure what happened to my other results, because I know I have taken this quiz a zillion times before, but it is pretty incredible to see how my score has moved from the edge where you just about as insane as it gets to where I am now hovering around the “average” score. The bottom score is from when I was in an active “relationship” with my abuser (aka, before everything blew up and the abuse became public). The middle is from when I was about three months from phase I, so around 2 months from phase II and was still actively grieving. The last one is from a few days ago…I am certainly still grieving, but it isn’t affecting me as severely. The physical effects of the grief are significantly better, and emotionally I am sometimes making it through entire days without tears. I like taking quizzes…that’s why before the MMPI as removed from the internet I took it a ridiculous number of times…at first trying to approximate my original answers because my counselor at the time never talked about it after I finished it, and then just with who I really saw myself as at that particular moment in time…

 

I may have almost cried in Panera last week because I couldn’t find on their menu the item I always order for actual meals at panera (vs just snacks), but that is possibly a good thing…it means that I cared enough…and I definitely did not have the bravery right then to try ordering something they might not have…

 

And I almost cried at the Honda dealership when my email dinged with a notification that I didn’t get the position I interviewed for in Bemidji, MN. I know I currently have a full-time job and should be thankful, but so far I’m kinda bored because the parts of my position I’ve been shown are kinda easy and brainless for me…and even if I didn’t want the job, rejection hurts. I’m hoping it gets better where I am and I hope that as the position gets better that maybe it will help decrease the pain of loss and soften the blows of the secondary losses. Like this one blog post I read recently said, wasn’t one loss enough?! But loss never stops at the primary loss; it always leads to some kind of secondary loss whether relatively minor like loss of a routine that you kinda wanted to change anyway or more major like loss of sense of safety…there are so many things that continue to come up as further losses. It is hard to put into words how much it still hurts and how these secondary losses continue to rub salt into the still very raw wounds, but I have to believe that God can and God will heal the wounds somehow whether I have to keep waiting for more time to run its course or whether the world ends and I get to go to heaven. Someday, somehow life won’t be so hard. I think. I just want to let go and drown. Sometimes I wonder if maybe it wouldn’t be so bad to stop fighting and just let myself stop eating when I don’t want to and end up malnourished in the hospital where maybe I’d have enough disruption in my life in a different way to shock my body and mind into not hurting about this loss anymore and even if that didn’t happen at least I’d be with someone 24/7 who was paid to at least pretend to care and would never be alone.

 

I’m still holding on and know that is a bad idea, but it is hard when there is no end in sight and no visible hope. As much as I really WANT to enjoy this position, I can’t force myself to like it. To really enjoy my position I think I would need to either feel challenged, be able to stay busy, or be passionate about what I am doing. I think I probably don’t need all of those things – maybe just one would be enough – but right now I don’t have any. What I do have right now is that I do feel at least mostly wanted, but that is very confusing. I don’t understand why this position for which my qualifications certainly did not make me an ideal candidate wanted me when no one else wanted me. Other places where I was much more qualified for the offered position turned me down. The other problem is that being wanted is great, but I would prefer to have a sense of being needed. Even if no one really realizes what I am doing and doesn’t know how much they need me, I feel fulfilled when I feel useful. That is also not happening. I feel like I do a lot of sitting around waiting for something to do…and because I am in training and therefore always paired with someone else, I don’t really feel like what I am doing is worthwhile because if I am doing something then the person I am paired with is just sitting there watching me…the other problem with this job is that everyone is sick…a lot of them it sounds like with real sickness like vomiting and strep throat sick. I am doing amazingly well considering the circumstances, but that also doesn’t make the transition easier or make me look forward to showing up in the morning.

 

I really want to like this job, but I am still counting down the minutes every day until I can leave and thinking about how long I might be stuck here. I really think that if nothing changes then I am going to need to find some way to get back to my dreams. There is talk of perhaps adding an emergency department pharmacist and if that happened and I could get into the position maybe I could stay a little longer, but that addition if it even happens is likely years into the future and even when it does, the chances of being selected as someone with no formal training is very slim. But so are my chances of getting anywhere else. Without going directly into a residency from school it will be even more difficult now to get into a residency, and without a residency even decades of experience is often considered irrelevant. No one wants a pediatric pharmacist without a residency and no one wants a critical care/emergency pharmacist without a residency, and I want into the very crevice of those two specialties; I want either NICU in a dedicated pediatric institution preferably with a mother-baby partnership, or pediatric emergency in a level one pediatric trauma center in a dedicated pediatric institution. I don’t know how I can break into that field, but I do know that right now it feels like I will never be happy again and never really work past this smothering grief without a change. I can’t keep living this way forever with the feeling that weights are strapped onto my mind and body weighing every part of me down.

image

I found this image that sort of explains what life has been like. That person is in the middle of the ocean, attempting to stay afloat, but a very heavy animal is standing on the person’s body, and there is a hand under the water also pulling the person down. Yet the person must stay above water to breath. Forward progress, while necessary, is not the focus. The focus is just staying above water. While getting to shore would make this better, it is a difficult proposal when just staying above water is so challenging…this image and explanation I hope explains to more than just me what life has been like and why I have been such a lousy friend and very likely may seem to not really be trying hard enough to recover. I am trying…but most of my energy out of necessity has gone into staying above water.

 

I don’t want to be a debbie downer though. I feel really bad that I continue to be so negative. I really am functioning a lot better than at first. I am back to being a little more dehydrated than I should be, but I am trying really hard. Although thinks are still really difficult, they are significantly better than they were a few months ago. While it is easy to look at where I am now and think that I should try harder or that I should be further than I am by now, I think (hope?) that where I am is understandable and put into perspective by where I came from. Sure, I am not rocking it at eating, but I am for the most part having three somewhat balanced meals every day. Much better than the solitary chicken strip and strawberry that could very well have somehow been considered breakfast lunch and dinner in the early days…and far better than the less than a handful of cereal and a couple sips of water that passed my lips on the second match day when in retrospect I really was doing a lot worse than I even let on which is scary considering how much emotion spilled through the mask I was trying to put on. I hid as much as I could, but it is really by God’s grace that I didn’t get into any car accidents. At the time I was driving to school for that last rotation I was pretty upset and driving through tears that were certainly not being adequately replaced by the miniscule amount of water I drank…and when the second phase came around I honestly don’t even know how I got from point A to point B. I could barely see where I was going. I certainly couldn’t think. It took everything I had in me to remember how to stop and start and not run into anything and really I totally would have run into other cars if they hadn’t been doing a good job of avoiding me. If anyone really knew what was going on I would have most likely ended up in a locked behavioral health unit because I know how I was living was threatening the safety of myself and others. I am so lucky and so thankful that no one knew what life was like. Now I am able to be mostly back to my usual self, giving other people plenty of space on the road and sometimes being a little too considerate in my driving (yes I am that jerk who feels bad for people waiting to turn and will stop so that people who have been patiently waiting at a not-four-way-stop sign can have a turn…). I actually slept reasonably well the past few nights – still not back to normal sleep, but sleeping hours at a time rather than minutes is a huge improvement. I still have a long way to go, but I am super thankful for all the way I have already come. I am so so thankful for the people who have helped me get this far. I don’t even know how to express how deeply I appreciate the people in my life who have been supporting me through this. I would very much like a support system where I am right now, but I wouldn’t be able to function as well as I am right now without one if I didn’t have all the people at school and back home who have poured so much into me.

 

And now it is time to stop writing because I haven’t been doing a very good job of studying and in six days at this time I will be getting ready for bed in a different city so that I can be ready to take the NAPLEX in the morning that I am not feeling ready for…that is an expensive test to fail…prayer appreciated 🙂

I’m fine. But I know it’s a lie…hug me with your arms so I know you know

(The Last Night – Skillet)

TOTALLY UNEDITED EXCEPT FOR THE ADDITION OF THIS PARAGRAPH…Don’t judge and if you are concerned then please let me know. Kthxbye.

I’m trying really hard, but grief is hard, and like I heard somewhere recently, grief cannot be rushed. It takes its time. I had a fine Sunday morning – plenty of kids, a little chaos. In the afternoon I drove to my new apartment. And the low tire pressure light came on partway there. I really didn’t need any more stress in my life. I was just about ready to stop right there and give up on life. But life doesn’t work like that. Instead I called my dad to discuss whether this was really important since it didn’t feel like the tire was flat. His suggestion was to pull over and look at the tires, but I was in the left lane and didn’t really want to get over and not be able to get back over when I needed to turn…and if I stopped and there was a problem, you have to know where you are when you call roadside assistance…so I didn’t stop. Then I was somewhere I totally could have stopped but having already driven another 25 or more miles I figured if there were a real big problem I would have figured it out by then so I kept going. I made it to my apartment building and the stupid garage door opener wouldn’t work. I sat there trying and driving forward and backward trying to get it to work for at least 10 minutes…likely longer…before giving up. At this point I was way frustrated. I got out and all the tires looked fine. I started working on getting things out of my car and when I walked in and saw smiling strangers who were friends with each other in the hallway, I guess that was all that I could take. As soon as I was alone I was crying.

 

I was crying my frustration at the day’s events. I was crying my grief over the loss of my dream job, dream life. I was crying my loneliness of leaving behind so many friends. I was crying my inadequacy of not really knowing how to make new friends. So many reasons I was crying and probably more I am currently leaving out…this isn’t where I want to be. This isn’t how life was supposed to turn out. Years ago, I vowed that after graduation I was never living in an apartment again. Now I am back in an apartment, and yes, it is probably not helped by my negativity, but I am not happy with it. My parents kinda made me buy a TV because I have free TV service here…or I am supposed to. I called the TV service provider because it wasn’t working and they said the property manager needs to call them. I called the property manager and explained the situation. I still don’t have TV service. There is paint on the floor, in the bathtub, in the dishwasher. It was insanely dusty and dirty when I moved in. There are no keys to the door in the apartment and the scan tag locks are really frustrating. I am not that great at using keys, but would probably have an easier time with a key so that is definitely saying something. There are dimmers all over the apartment except not in my bedroom and I always sleep with lights but don’t want to waste the electricity of using the entire light fixture.

 

I am not moved in, really. It looks like I am, but in reality I stopped putting things away and just started piling things up in the closets and drawers – and did the same with the stuff I didn’t have time to pack at home. With closets with only a single shelf I don’t know how to put away all my things.

 

The first day at work was also hard.

 

Someone came and talked about he “just fell into” working at this hospital system. He talked about how the match works and how he originally put some place I don’t remember as his first choice, but a week before rank lists were due changed his mind and put this place first and then ended up at his first choice. That was a really painful story to hear. Such a contrast from my own. The difference seemed to accentuate my failure and my pain. My first choice wasn’t a last minute decision; it was a life-long desire. My match day was not met with excitement of obtaining my first choice; it was filled with sorrow…and then there was phase II with another failure. And the scramble: fail. And the job search where I continued to mostly be ignored and also have failure for the most part. I doodled on my doodle page and prayed no one would notice my tears.

 

I am strong, but not that strong. Sometimes the pain is more than I can take. We did a wellness worksheet. After ranking our wellness on a circle chart we were asked how well our wheel would roll on a bike or car. I answered “it wouldn’t.” I couldn’t help but note that while my wheel approximated a half-circle, that while the exercise was designed to show that you needed wellness is all areas of life that in reality if I were completely devastated in all areas of life then my wheel would theoretically be round and roll well…not sayin’ just sayin’.

 

I try so hard just to continue to live with this pain. I would be thrilled for the world to end and God to come back. This is more than I can take. And just to bring it home that I have absolutely no control in life, OCD struck on Sunday. It was super dumb, because in the morning I was able to handle a kid who climbed on the toilet like a monkey and stuck is hand in the water after using the toilet (oh the joys of potty training) and a kid who stuck his hand in his poopy diaper and was pretty much fine…and then I sat on the couch at home that was vomited on when I was in elementary school and was in a bad anxiety attack. On the positive side, I am super proud of how I handled it, but on the negative side, I am really frustrated that OCD can still own me so easily. I wanted so badly to strip off all my clothes, shower with excessive soap, put on clean clothes, and sanitize all the dirty clothes and spray lysol in the air to get rid of some of the airborne germs and clean the floor where the clothes sat while I showered. I could have washed in steaming hot water until the anxiety died down enough to at least kinda sorta think logically and go on with life. Instead, I forced myself to keep sitting there. So I sat, wanting so badly to hold my breath and run away. And of course because abuse infiltrates a lot of aspects of my life, I then remembered vividly my first exposure with my abuser when as I was trying to calm down she saw a vulnerability and started talking about how her previous clients had thrown up (probably my worst fear, as she knew). You may say that sounds like appropriate exposure therapy, but I need you to believe me that it certainly was not. I knew and she knew that the exposure I had just done was right at the tip of what I could safely handle. I knew and she knew that talking about vomit was something that at that point in my life would certainly cause excessive disruption to my life. She did this right before times up on the session. So yeah, anyway, one more thing to increase the anxiety from an 11 out of 10 to a 12. But I continued to sit there because years of doing hard things growing up socially anxious with a bold mom who didn’t get it taught me how to survive and the psychology I know tells me that avoidance won’t make it better, but doing hard things might. So I sat there and eventually I was able to calm down enough to realize that it was really dumb to be so upset when it had been so long ago that any germs had almost certainly transferred to the entire house including my room by this point and if I was going to get sick from them I already would have. The great thing about OCD recovery though is that by an hour later the event was virtually forgotten.

 

Speaking of germs though…four out of five guys wash their hands after using the bathroom. Someone should really talk to that fifth guy.

 

I was supposed to go to the lab today. I didn’t. Getting to the lab was scary…knowing what to say when I got there was scary. It was more than I wanted to take on and I decided I wasn’t doing it. I know tomorrow is the very last day I can put it off and I am scared. TBH, right now thinking about it I am so scared that I barely feel the pain of grief except that I wouldn’t have to do this if it weren’t for this new job that wasn’t what I wanted. One of the labs they want is one that is very hard for me. I cried and got alternatives at my doctor office at home, but that isn’t an option here. I’ve already had to do it once for this job and now they want it again. It is extremely uncomfortable physically and emotionally for me. Because it is so stressful, I almost cried at my last employee health visit where I had to do it. The first person I talked to said I could interrupt at any time to do it. Being very polite I didn’t want to interrupt, but eventually I was not listening at all anymore and was at my limit and wanted it to be done and said I wanted to go get it over with and it was like 20 questions. Are you sure? We’re almost done here you could wait? Wouldn’t you rather do it later? I was working so hard to hold back tears because no, I was so overwhelmed at this point that I was going to be a crying mess on the floor if it wasn’t over soon. I think the nurse must have eventually understood the desperation in my harsh reply that I just wanted to get it over with and gave in. If I could, there is a lot I would do to not have to do this. I seriously think I would be willing to pay as much as $100 to not do it. In fact, I might be willing to give even more than that if asked as long as it wasn’t going to be a constant thing they were going to want from me. My happiness is worth something.

 

I am working really hard though. I may not have eaten dinner yesterday, and lunch today was really more like a snack because the food was supposed to be provided but the food was so far outside of an acceptable food for me that I had to force myself to even take one bite before throwing away my plate. Yuck. I’m sorry, but it was worse than when SAA ordered Jimmy Johns. They may not have figured out that not everyone likes mayo either, but at least with a jimmy john’s sandwich the mayo is to one side so you can get it out and still have a functional sandwich. The same was not true of these sandwiches. They were drenched in mayo all over from top to bottom. I went to the bathroom to wash my hands. Yes, this is stimulus generalization and not a good way to handle my frustration, but as an adult, it is not appropriate to whine that I just wanted a normal sandwich and to not have to eat just the snacks (that I always come prepared with) for lunch. After how nice the person was that told me on Friday about lunch was, I expected something edible and even my snacks weren’t really an appropriate substitute.

 

Luckily starting tomorrow I am in charge of my own lunch and will pack something suitable…I am definitely currently using sugar as emotional currency…and calorie currency…but you gotta do what you gotta do to get through the day.

 

I hope God comes back tonight. I don’t want to go to the lab tomorrow and I am tired of all this pain and I am physically sore (even minimum necessary was more child lifting than I should have been doing and I am back to it hurting just to breathe) and I just want to be done with all this. Then the lyrics of this song would be more true “you say that this will be the last night feeling like this. Just came to say goodbye. Didn’t want you to see me cry.”….but I absolutely love the lyrics of this song…very true of me – I claim I am fine. I am always fine. Especially when I am not. I don’t necessarily see it as a lie because my heart is still pumping oxygenated blood, but I suppose it kind of is, because my emotional lifeblood is pretty much at 1% oxygen saturation completely depriving me of the ability to experience joy in life 99% of the time. Maybe it is time to be honest with everyone including myself. I am not okay. But that isn’t socially appropriate and I work so hard every day at creating socially appropriate communication.

And there were times I cried myself to sleep at night only to wake up wishing I didn’t

(The Reason – Lacey/Flyleaf)

I read a blog post recently that I think corresponds really well with where I am right now. The gist of the post (since I can’t seem to find it again…) is that sometimes things happen in life and you are in the middle of a river, drowning. All you can do is hang on to a log floating in the river and hang on. It is not ideal, and it is tiring, but it is saving your life. Eventually, though, you need to realize that you can’t stay there forever. When you can see the waterfall in front of you it is no longer safe to keep holding on. You need to let go and get to the shore. So you try to let go and swim to shore. Sometimes you get a little bit away from your log but it is exhausting and scary and you can’t get to shore so you hold on again, but you are getting closer to the waterfall, and it isn’t safe to keep holding on. It is frustrating, and exhausting, and seems hopeless, but you have to try again to reach safety. There are times when you are not safe (not on the shore), but also not in acute danger (not holding onto the log). You are swimming. It is hard, but even though you aren’t safe, it is self-care that will eventually help you reach safety, hopefully before it is too late. I was drowning when I realized I was going to have to remain alive, but now I think I am ready to continue trying to swim for the shore. I’m not safe and I am certainly vulnerable while I am trying to reach safety, but I am not actively headed towards the waterfall, so that is positive.

 

After I went to bed very much alive on June 30th and woke up alive on July 1st, it was incredibly difficult to realize that the endpoint I had been living for over the past few months was gone just like everything else I had lost. It was a secondary loss that was incredibly painful and dunked me back under the waves of extreme pain. What little hope I had was pried from the death grip of my fingers. It is still very painful, and was certainly a setback in my emotional recovery from the deep grief I have been walking through, but you know what? I know that God is in charge and my opinion isn’t ultimately the one that matters. I have to continue to face each day knowing that chances are I will be facing this every day for a long time and will need to figure out how to be okay with that.

 

I know that I am strong and over time the pain may not completely disappear, but I really want to believe that over time it will fade to a point where life is not so difficult and the wound isn’t so raw. Maybe it is just the shear physical exhaustion and lack of sleep, but last night anyway I slept a lot better than I had the past few days, and while eating and drinking are definitely still hard, I have today at least been thinking about food at the correct times of day which is a helpful step in normalizing my eating. I have done a really good job of at least mostly maintaining my weight once I achieved my goal, but of course I also know that being completely responsible for myself in a few days versus sometimes having meals as a family a home where I just need to show up can greatly increase the level of difficulty of keeping myself fed somewhat appropriately.

 

I tried to go ride my bike or rollerblade or something to help get some fluids in, but I didn’t even step outside before I realized it was way too hot for that…and besides, I was already going to be breaking the rules I set for myself of drinking something before doing anything active. It is so hot outside 😦 Speaking of outside, I am still pretty sore, but externally I am healing really quickly…unless you know how well my skin heals and how long it has been since the injury, my back doesn’t really look bad anymore – just a little scraped up. I can now lean against things without pain and pick at the scabs without re-opening the cuts…sounds like a weird thing to comment on, but it is super helpful, because I will totally admit to being a skin-picker, so once I could reach my back without a lot of pain, it was a conscious effort to not pick at the scabs…

 

I should be studying…but that is still something that feels too hard, and I just want a break. I don’t have that long until the test though so I really need to work on that…

 

I am playing with the idea of a quick celebration trip if or when I pass the exams. A trip to Lake Superior is something that I have kinda daydreamed about for years but never very seriously considered because going on trips isn’t really who I am…my idea of an adventure is sometimes as simple as going the opposite direction that I usually go around the block. I also have a lot of friends that don’t live near me that it might be fun to go see…Considering that I am a single female who would be traveling alone, IDK how safe Lake Superior would be, and since I am a people-lover, it might make more sense to go somewhere with people and make it a separate mission to find a lake as beautiful and clean as Lake Superior that is closer to home to fall in love with…

 

I usually celebrate with food, but as a totally new chapter in my life has been unfolding this year, I thought maybe it was time to think about something crazy that I usually would never consider. The loss I experienced is still an open wound and I figure either this could turn into something really cool to shock my mind out of the pain even if only for a little while, or it could be a really stupid idea where the stress and new experience causes a setback, but I figure doing SOMETHING is better than doing NOTHING and since I am viewing a trip as something that would be a huge achievement of stepping outside my comfort zone for me, I think it would probably tend towards the former feeling like an accomplishment…of course, if I went somewhere and the trip was a fail, it could also be another failure, but I’m choosing to think about how it could totally be an esteem-building success. Like toll roads. That was terrifying, but when it was over I was SO proud of myself! I did it!!

If I reach out can I trust you? Will you help me see the light of one more day?

(Take the bullets away – We as Human)

So yeah, I fell on two Sundays ago. I’m blaming it on the red bumps at the end of the sidewalk, because I already hate those anyway, but in reality I have no memory of falling. Partly I hate the red bumps because in school I was told that everyone appreciates having those and I don’t like when school tells me what I like and what I don’t like…but partly I actually legitimately dislike those red bumps because they make it more work to skate and because they collect yuckiness on the sidewalk.

 

So anyway, I remember looking both ways and starting to cross the street while singing to myself and listening to an audiobook, and then I remember being on the ground and in a lot of pain. I honestly have no memory of actually falling or what happened. I know as soon as I realized I was on the ground I looked around to see if anyone saw me and noticed someone had heard me fall and turned around to see what happened. Hashtag embarrassing…based on the scrapes on my skates my ankles were facing towards my right which is already weird because I naturally tend to lean towards my left when I’m on my back…although maybe that is why I was falling. Seeing as how I don’t remember falling and I was too concerned with getting up ASAP to preserve as much of my pride as possible, I have to judge what happened by the marks left behind, so what is really confusing is that the bruises are definitely worse on the lower right, but the cuts are worse on the upper left on my back. Based on what my helmet looks like I am pretty sure I caught myself before I hit my head.

 

Someone suggested that maybe I fainted…IDK…my best guess is that I was dehydrated because I hadn’t had anything to drink all day and I was dizzy and between that and acting out the song I was singing to myself managed to get off balance and maybe it all just happened too fast for my brain to keep up with what was going on…IDK…Either way, I know dehydration isn’t good for me even though it does feel like it helps sometimes, so new rules have been implemented that if I want to do anything active I have to drink something before I leave and especially if the goal of going in the first place was to create enough motivation to drink something, the water needs to come with me unless I am not going further than the end of the driveway.

 

I might not know what happened, but I do know the impact was pretty significant…the plastic on my left wrist guard broke just a little…and the person a block away heard me hit the ground. I initially thought the cut on my hand was from the broken wrist guard, but as I realized later the break is a lot lower down than where the cut is, so my hand must have scraped against the pavement which is also super weird because that is the hand that was holding my phone and would therefore have most likely hit the pavement later but hit more with the fingers than at the base of the thumb. My phone survived the fall (besides how it already didn’t have service). I also know it is significant, because none of the injuries I can see explain why it hurt so bad just to breathe the first few days…also, while the injuries I can see explain why it hurts to lean against anything, it doesn’t explain why I can’t twist or bend at the torso without pain and why doing really anything but laying down mostly flat on my front hurts at least a little. Yeah, I know that sometimes being strong means letting other people in and getting help…but sometimes I just am not that strong. I can handle a lot, but even I have a limit.

 

Two and a half month olds are not heavy…but I have to admit that as much as I love infants, that it probably was not nearly as good for me physically as it was emotionally to hold that cutie for an entire service to put him to sleep, keep him asleep, and then let him gently wake up. It was so hard to give him back to his mom when she returned. But anyway, although I was holding and carrying bigger kiddos before and after that, I was being more careful to hold for as short a time as I thought I could get away with without the (child’s) tears coming back, so it wasn’t as big of a deal…but I have a soft spot for infants…and yeah, I could have at least sat down to rest more of the weight on my lap and the chair, but I didn’t wanna…but it was totally worth it. On the way to church I was working really hard just to remember things like using my turn signal because I was having such a hard time, but on the way home I was doing a lot better. Life is still hard, but any small moment I can experience even of just better and not good is something I am super thankful for.

 

I felt super lazy taking the elevator last Monday, but carrying three (empty) cardboard boxes was way more weight than my body was telling me I should be carrying…I got halfway down the (not very long) hallway and wondered if I needed to abandon the boxes and get a wagon to pull instead of carry, so there was no way that I was going to be able to get down the stairs carrying the boxes and make it back upstairs by the end of my break…so yes, I do really need a lot more boxes than I brought home, but my ability to carry the boxes is a definite limiting factor in the number of boxes I can bring home…and if the elevator can allow me to remain functional for my shift then I might need to be lazy and realize that is okay.

 

While I certainly do not want to indicate that I believe intentionally creating pain is okay as long as it will be beneficial for emotional health, because I certainly do not condone deliberate self-injury, I have to admit that this was super awesome in the emotional realm. Without recognizing the role that physical pain plays, it would be easy to have just found myself on the ground and been annoyed that I wasn’t dead or to just lay there and hope to become dead by someone not seeing me and running over me or something…but that isn’t what happened. For the first time since March 17th, I didn’t really strongly desire to be dead. In fact, I actually felt thrilled to be rollerblading. It took until Wednesday for the thoughts that I’d rather be dead to come back, and even then, the thoughts come in and out. The strong desire to die is no longer a constant companion…at least not right now. The physical pain seems to have done a really good job whiting out the emotional pain.

 

I know it is not healthy to live with the desire to die whether that desire is accompanied by suicidality or not, so really I just exchanged physical for emotional health. It seems like a good trade because one thing I have always thought was pretty fortunate considering the severity of my former, also unwanted, buddy OCD, is that my skin heals pretty quickly. Partly wiping up the blood quickly made my back look a lot better immediately, but beyond that, in the past few days the puffiness around the cuts has mostly healed and the cuts are definitely shrinking really well. I wish the pain went away just as quickly…both the emotional and the physical pain. I know grief is more like a marathon than a sprint and I can’t expect it to completely go away by utilizing pain. I also know that it is unacceptable to intentionally use pain to heal my mind…it is not a long term solution and definitely not something I am going to allow into my life. If God wants to gift me with physical pain I wouldn’t complain (except for that most of my ibuprofen is an hour and a half away already and I already am in a decent amount of pain without adding new physical pain to help with emotional pain. And I know that my body is the temple of the Lord and it is wrong to damage his home…but at the same time I am thinking about the teen in the nursery with cuts on her legs and arms and how easy it would be with all the blades at work to try out a few cuts to try to get an emotional release. I don’t want to do it. I know it is wrong…but the thoughts are there. I don’t want to be alive and I know that hurting myself physically will dull the emotional pain. I promise I won’t do it, but the thoughts are scary because it was such a big deal to stop hurting myself the first time…I know that they say once you do it once the thoughts about doing it again will never fully go way even years later as an adult so I guess it is kinda normal to have these thoughts, but it is kind of like how even normal things to be grossed out about make me nervous sometimes because I don’t know where the line in the sand is between what is normal and okay to think about and what is not normal and not okay to think about.

 

I had like three more paragraphs written and then my computer froze and when it woke up those three paragraphs were goners…I don’t even have the energy to care that much, so I’ll just continue with what would have been the fourth paragraph…lol (not literally)…

 

Since I am posting this, I suppose it is evident that God refused to take me home on June 30th like I told him to. It is so hard continuing to live like this. I cried myself to sleep Friday night. I was so thankful for the sleep I got even if it wasn’t much. I guess I didn’t realize how much having an end in sight was helping me get through each day, so I didn’t realize how much harder it would be when the end was no longer in sight…I guess I should have. I am so tired of living with this pain. I don’t want to keep going. I don’t see an end in sight. I don’t see any way out. I don’t see any hope. All I see is how much life hurts right now and I don’t like it, but there doesn’t seem to be any way to make it okay. It will never be okay. I will never be okay. Being alive hurts too much, but death doesn’t seem like a good option anymore either. Dying would just leave a bunch of messes mostly figurative, but some literal. Death wouldn’t fix enough to even be worth it anymore. The only alternative between dead and alive is for the world to end and everyone to go to heaven. That isn’t really a fair solution either though because then people who have worked hard and are actually seeing some kind of reward from it wouldn’t get to experience the fruit of their success. That isn’t really fair to them. So basically all I can see in life is despair and hopelessness. I can experience little glimpses of joy like when my coworkers surprised me with gifts and pizza on Friday and it was completely overwhelming in an awesome way, but most of my day is spent crushed in the pain of rejection and loss and inadequacy and frustration. I can tell how out of life I am by the fact that I let my mom throw away things that had been important to me for years and despite the fact that I don’t watch tv, when my mom insisted that I needed a big tv I gave her my credit card and let her use it to buy one…which then led to further frustration later when the stupid tv hook ups didn’t work in the apartment where they needed to so unless the cord was going to be stretched across the apartment it wasn’t going to work anyway.

 

I should be studying for the NAPLEX…and probably to retake the MPJE when I find out that I failed…but I’m just so overwhelmed that I just can’t right now. Life hurts too much. I don’t know why God makes me live through this but I know that I don’t like it. I want a stop button on life so I can have a break. I also want someone to hang out with and hug but I don’t have that right now either. And I really want to go to Lake Superior and to a few places where I know people…but while I am an adult and can therefore go on vacation if I want, the only place I should be going right now is to finish putting things away in my apartment…vacation is not on any agenda until that is done and my room in my parents house is clean and empty and my tests are passed…and also I don’t know how to plan a vacation.

This is how it feels when your dignity’s stolen when everything you love is leavin’

(Not gonna die – Skillet)

 

So I started writing this post a sentence at a time in between studying on Saturday evening. Can I just say how amazing physical pain is at covering up emotional pain? So I took a quick break to skate a few minutes because I couldn’t sit still any longer. I am not quite sure what happened except that suddenly I found myself on the ground. I am pretty sure those stupid pink bumps on the ends of the sidewalk are at fault…I fell so hard that someone a block away heard my body make contact with the ground. I am angry that my beautiful red skates are visibly scraped up, but aside from that and a little embarrassment, emotionally I feel better than I have in months. Physically though…I couldn’t figure out how to take a picture of my back, but there is one pretty deep cut and lots of scrapes and abrasions on my back. My left hand got a decent scrape, and it hurts to breathe…I will totally take this over the emotional pain I have been living with though. This is SO much better. I am super stressed out because I take my law exam on Wednesday and had been living in survival mode so long that I hadn’t even started studying until Thursday, but that is almost nothing compared to what was going on before. So I edited a little, because I am doing awesome right now. I am not happy about my job situation and all that, but right now I don’t want to die…which makes the lyric I picked yesterday for the title even more appropriate!! Funny how this worked out so well…

 

I have never been phone-addicted, and I used to frequently leave my phone turned off in my backpack for days at a time so you wouldn’t think a non-functioning phone would be a big deal, but it kind of is. Grief is isolating and I really need connection. Even if I have nothing to say, not having ability to communicate feels even more isolating…

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Since at least September my phone has had at least minor issues getting signal, but I chalked it up to being in areas that just didn’t have good signal (which doesn’t fully explain it since some of those areas I am pretty sure I had signal other times I’d been there…but you know, signals change, right?). In March I sent a text to my manager and found out she had never received it. This past week for hours at a time my phone would have no service then work for a few minutes randomly. As of Friday afternoon, my phone had no service whatsoever until two minutes on Saturday afternoon (long enough to send one text) and then nothing. The ATT store isn’t totally sure what’s wrong but knows it would cost more to fix it than to get a new phone. So I had the idea to put my sim card into my old phone…good idea…right? Except that I discovered that this genius idea wasn’t going to work: the sim cards are completely different sizes.

 

Friendship is already hard and then I couldn’t even have the ones inside the phone. Long story short, five dollars later my dad’s old phone is working and is now connected to my phone number. I am not a fan of his phone at all…even before you factor in how much I do not like change, but I am contactable now. There is a good chance any texts or calls sent since Friday (and possibly sooner) never got to me, so I’m just hoping no one sent anything I really needed to know…

 

I was running late to church because I couldn’t find my keys…I don’t know how I lose things…

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oh wait…this is one of the chairs on my side of the kitchen table…there is a bike helmet, two sets of wrist guards, a water bottle case (but no water bottle) a messenger bag, a purse, my lunchbox, a bottle of sunscreen, an advertisement, a pile of papers, and a slew of other items…and you don’t even want to know what my room and my corner of the basement look like…It is really the phone’s fault though. AirBnB sent me an email so I had to go look at my airBnB profile and read the reviews because I was lonely because no phone and that made me feel a little bit connected…then I was messing around and discovered an airBnB of someone I actually know…and basically, if I hadn’t gotten distracted on airBnB, I would have started getting ready for church sooner and I wouldn’t have been running late over trying to find my missing keys…

 

Random thought, but I saw these what might be wild turkeys a week or two ago and that was kinda cool.

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