Category Archives: Thankful

Am I worthless? Am I filthy? Am I too far gone for a remedy?

(We As Human – Take the Bullets Away)

 

I’ve been living with the intense pain of grief for a long time…and before that the abuse…and long long before that the bullying. I know rejection. I know being unwanted. And so many other hard things life has thrown in my path. I am familiar with pain, but it seems to follow me and want cuddles like a small naughty puppy that I can’t get rid of. It doesn’t feel like there is a way out. I tried to create a timeline of when I could get back to my dreams. It was good to try to create an end to work towards, but even on the more magical completely unrealistic timeline, I still will be fighting through this for another year…and if we’re being really honest, even if we pretend this timeline is practical (it’s not) I am not naïve enough to believe the pain will completely disappear upon starting a new path. Sure, it will likely be super helpful, but it won’t be like flipping a switch. It won’t remove the previous rejection and wipe the slate clean. The more realistic timeline is a minimum of two years. The idea of holding on that long is overwhelming.

 

It is hard not knowing why no one wants me. It is hard feeling so much rejection. It is confusing to be chosen for a big girl position even over people with experience when I was rejected from all the transition roles I tried to get, especially when the same organization didn’t even give me an on-site interview for the residency to which I applied. It is hard hearing people tell me how great I am and then rejecting me later. I’d rather you were just honest and said hey we don’t like you instead of leading me on just to let me be crushed later. I’d rather instead of being polite you told me what was wrong with me so that I could change and improve. Am I so worthless that I do not even deserve the respect of being told the truth? Am I really so lousy that there is nothing I could do to even be close to good enough? And why doesn’t God love me enough to finally just say yes to one of my prayers and let me leave this pain? It is hard to reconcile this pain and God’s power with the goodness all-knowingness of God.

 

I’ve heard that when a Christian woman wakes up in the morning the devil says “oh no, she’s up again.” It’s not just the devil thinking that when I get up. It’s me too. God doesn’t seem to ever want the same things that I want. I keep crying and praying that God will take me home because I can’t take this pain. I can’t keep living like this…and God keeps saying no. I know God cares and I know God loves me, but it is really hard to understand how it could really be love to leave me here. It hurts so much. Why won’t God take me to forever home where I don’t have to deal with this? I have already struggled so long and I don’t want to keep fighting. I want to go home. When the bravest thing you do every day is get up and keep going, it is hard to keep up with life. I FINALLY got my authorization to test from the Board of Pharmacy…and I know that just trying to make it day to day has drained so much of my energy that I really haven’t put nearly enough into studying…and since it took so long to get the authorization, I probably only have one chance before my job gets taken away. I feel like I am probably going to fail…then I’ll have nothing but an expensive apartment in a city where I don’t have any close friends…

 

But I keep fighting. I keep trying. I get home and my ears hurt from the multiple media sources at full volume to which I am listening as I drive to minimize the tears so I can see where I am going to get home…because I can pretend life is awesome or at least tolerable when I’m with people…but put me alone in a car and it is very possible I will struggle – time alone with my thoughts and emotions, kinda trapped there. So especially if I’ve been reminded of the pain I am pretending doesn’t exist prior to getting in, I am likely to have a hard time. Grief doesn’t have a calendar. Grief doesn’t know that it has been over three months and is time to give me a break. Grief doesn’t have empathy. Grief doesn’t know I am exhausted and just want to be able to move on and have this whole thing disappear.

 

How am I? I’m doing the best that I can. I know the basics of life enough to know what I need…and God has been doing good things even if he didn’t give me what I want. I usually burn practically just by thinking about going outside, but I didn’t wear sunscreen and biked to my friend’s house and back last week and the burns were pretty mild. Yesterday, I did put on a little sunscreen but was outside about 4 hours (biked around 40 miles) and didn’t reapply…lol, you can look at my hands and see exactly where there was zero sunscreen on though…but anyway, last night I knew I was on the border of being too dehydrated (vs just dehydrated enough to mute some of the pain and tears as long as there aren’t any reminders). So I gave myself two choices: water or ice cream…I didn’t want either, but the trying to be a good girl half of me was stubborn long enough to win, and I did eventually pick one of the options…picking nothing seemed so much easier, but that wasn’t one of the choices. Protip: ice cream is always the answer. No, ice cream didn’t solve my problems and I was too far gone for the sugar to help pull me back in, but at least it did kinda sorta make me feel a little better about myself because I was also getting calories in at the same time…

 

There is a long road in front of me. Soon I will be moving a couple hours away and be even more alone. I am thankful that I make friends easily, but worried because I can’t exactly expect someone I just met to support me the way that the friends I have made over multiple years have…and I can’t expect to immediately be invited into other people’s circle of friends as the new girl. It is hard being new. Some people are willing to let you join their friend group, but other people are like the girls in my grade at the new church who never really let me join their clique. Sure, the moms sometimes tried to invite me, and sometimes I tried to push myself into their circle, but I wasn’t dumb, I knew that most of them really didn’t want me there and it was easier for them to preserve their little friend bubble by writing me off and keeping me out of the circle. I probably should have asked to join the girls in the grade above me who were a lot more welcoming and had already invited me in…but when I had the opportunity I was still in denial that I couldn’t just go back in time and make this whole nightmare end so besides the fear of using my words to ask or even of having someone ask for me, I denied that because I didn’t want to admit that I would be there long enough for it to matter. It wasn’t until almost my senior year when I finally let go and realized that this was for real and wasn’t changing any time soon…and by then the girls in the grade above me were graduating and moving on. They invited me to the grads group, but that didn’t solve the Sunday morning problem. (But the grads group was a lot better place for me than youth group ever was. Smaller and more inclusive was super helpful for me…no one cared that I was the farthest behind academically…it was awesome until the rest of my class joined and it gradually became more and more exclusive…a few years later I took my brother and he noted that every time he said anything it was as if he hadn’t said anything but the person next to him could say the exact same thing and people would respond. I hadn’t really noticed much because I didn’t talk much anyway, but it is definitely true. They would express excitement that someone new was there and then completely ignore whomever was not in their little friend group). Lol…all that to say that I appreciate however much my friends are willing to tolerate me while I am a lousy friend in return, and I do know how blessed I am and that having friends like this is nothing to be taken lightly.

couch

Speaking of my new place, last week I bought this couch (yes and the pillows in the picture)…might not have gotten the best deal of anything, but it is red and the place I am getting it from seemed to have a super flexible delivery plan which is helpful not immediately knowing when I’ll be available to receive the delivery…

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.

See the Sparrows in the Air; Not a Worry not a care

(Alright – go fish)

 

Actually, no I don’t see the birds in the air, I see the ones dead on the sidewalk. There are a lot of them. Maybe those birds should be a little more worried…but I do say hello and goodbye to all the dead birdies on the sidewalk. I might have a hard time making friends my own age, but I am good at making friends with the dead birdies on the sidewalk…they tend to be there for a long time and they don’t judge if I stumble over words and only use the same two phrases. Their expressive love language is quality time, my receptive love language is basically all of the above, so it works out pretty well (as in I tend to get a pretty even score across all five love languages…I just like being loved)…I wish I were better at knowing how to make people friends that were as good as dead bird friends…I do have some awesome people friends, but it certainly isn’t because of anything I was doing right.

 

Tuesday I got my first official NO to my applications since phase II. Sure, I had the passive no of positions that I hadn’t yet heard yes which essentially meant no, but this was the first actual emailed no. The first time that the no had been more than implied. It hurt. I mean, I already wasn’t doing awesome, but it definitely wasn’t a happy moment. It is complicated though. It confirms that no one will want me. It really hurt…and then I am not sure if I was numb or in emotional shock, but it is like the world turned off and it wasn’t like I had energy to do anything but at least the pain was less intense and I was able to go to bed and get some sleep. The past few nights, despite the crying and pain during the day, I have been getting a full night’s worth of sleep. That is super rocking awesome. Emotionally I am certainly struggling, but physically I am doing SO much better.

 

But yes, I have been posting random pieces of life on facebook…yes it is an attention seeking attempt to get little red notifications….no I am not ashamed of attention seeking…it is adaptive to seek attention when you desperately need people. My opinion is that as long as you are doing it in a way that is not hurtful to other people and not intrusive or obnoxious it is perfectly fine to use social media to help yourself. If a few little red numbers on the screen are what it takes to get me through the day successfully then I’m going to do it, and I really don’t see a problem with it. Attention seeking is certainly stigmatized in our culture, but it shouldn’t be, because it generally is something people only do when they legitimately need the attention. It seems to me that filling a legitimate need shouldn’t be scorned, mocked, or punished.

 

Although, maybe my opinion doesn’t count…I did show up to class after lunch break with a container of peanut butter, a spoon, and some bubble wrap…it might not be a “normal” way to get protein to eat peanut butter with a spoon, but if it gets the calories and nutrition to my mouth, it counts as a win in my book…and I might have popped some of the bubbles during class, but I did refrain from being obnoxious enough as to get told off or even get the stink eye from the teacher…that was not an attention seeking attempt though…that was just my impulsivity saying hey, there’s some bubble wrap, that looks fun! and not thinking about that people like to not listen to me pop bubbles in class.

 

After class, my original plan was to immediately heat up my dinner and then go walk to my happy place. That plan got derailed for a variety of reasons. One is that no one is going to fail because they didn’t have the appropriate clothing or the appropriate type of time keeping device…not on my watch!! I found some students who needed stuff that I had, so I ran to my room and handed out what they needed. I think it is utterly ridiculous that a teacher would fail someone over the way they keep track of time as long as they do keep track of time, and I really really think it is dumb that a teacher would fail someone over what they are wearing (within limits…clearly there is a problem if you show up without a shirt on or something), so I’m going to provide whatever you need to pass. No, wearing a student ID is not part of being a professional, nor is wearing a watch with a second hand or wearing a white coat…among other things…My opinion is that being a professional is about how you act, not about your appearance. My opinion is also that on a skills-based assessment your appearance should not be considered because the color of your shirt does not generally impact your ability to perform a particular skill. Not sayin’ just sayin’…okay, actually I am sayin’, ’cause this is important to me.

 

Once I finally did leave, I turned on an audiobook. It is pretty good. One of the first sentences of the book was: “routine teaches our brain that normal exists…whatever normal looks like in a life that has been changed forever.” That is so true. It isn’t just the busy-ness that helps me make it, but that I am doing things that seem normal. That is probably part of why Monday and Tuesday were hard when class was cancelled. I needed to be in class not because there was so much to learn (there certainly is) but because I needed life to feel normal. I mean, Monday was also hard because I was having a hard time with applications on Sunday and therefore procrastinated so much that I didn’t finish with enough time to really calm down before going to bed, but the lack of normalcy definitely didn’t help. It is also why I desperately need people, but while there are times I need to talk, there are other times I just need to BE so that life feels more normal.

 

The loss was more than betrayal. It was more than the loss of the plans for my life. It was more than not having income. The loss took away my identity. There is very little I am good at. I have been told so much I would never make it. The one thing that made me good was that I had known what I wanted to do since fourth grade and wasn’t going to let go. Then I didn’t get that one job that was part of my plan. If I’d gotten a different pediatric PGY-1 in phase I, I think I would have been a little sad but mostly okay, but without that particular job and then without a pediatric PGY-1 and then without any PGY-1 and then without any job, any little remnant of my identity was gone. There are so many ways that it hurts. I know I can make it through though. If I can get through what happened at school, I know I can get through anything. My all of me hurts, but I will be okay.

 

I have always needed like three times as long in the morning to make up for staying up late, which is almost exactly what I took this morning…I stayed up late trying to text my friends, and eventually after staring at the blank screen for way too long, I had to admit that I probably wasn’t going to come up with the words that night and it wasn’t an emergency. I don’t think it is JUST staying up late exhausting my body though…there are three things right now that help me dull the pain even just a little. Being with people helps, but I often don’t have the social ability to ask for what I need, and even if I did, the world doesn’t revolve around me and I can’t expect my friends to let me be with them all the time; that wouldn’t be fair to them. Eating (Especially Dominos or candy) also helps…but occasionally eating is still hard, and eventually you reach a point at which eating no longer feels good. That leaves being in motion. Someone commented on Monday that I must really like exercise because I’ve been walking a lot lately…actually, I do not like walking. I do not detest it as I detest running, but it certainly isn’t something I normally choose. When there isn’t a line you better believe I will take the elevator to get up or down only one floor. Being in motion makes the emotional pain hurt less…but most of the time when I am not grieving I spend 90% of my time laying on my bed in front of my computer. My body isn’t used to being in motion so much. It doesn’t physically hurt, but I’m sure my muscles are tired and needed some rest.

 

I don’t have a scale, so I literally can’t use numbers talk right now to talk about how I am doing physically in terms of food, but I can say that my guess would be that I am doing well. I have been eating a lot of food…like three donuts and a chocolate chip panera bagel for breakfast yesterday…and eating dinner twice because food was available and I was hungry again…I have certainly been doing my best, and that is all that anyone can get from me.

 

Interesting story…so I was walking back to school yesterday and suddenly there were police cars driving erratically all over. I used my thinking brain and stood still well away from the edge of the sidewalk. There must have been some donuts somewhere because the cars were randomly driving down one street then parking then turning around and driving down another street, parking, and doing it again until they all chose one street and all parked their cars there, got out, and seemed to be having some kind of party…lol…once they were all out of their cars, it seemed safe to cross the street without being smooshed by a police dude not paying attention so I minded my own business and continued back to school. Maybe I should be a police officer so I could have donuts too. Plus, I am super indecisive also, so I could totally turn around like three times trying to choose where to park…although my parking ability is lousy so I’d need to do it a lot more slowly which would probably take away the thrill of slamming on the gas and steering like a crazy girl….

 

I also used my thinking brain before that. I ALMOST used my fingers to strain my noodles…I figured out just in time that I should probably not do that. My fingers appreciated not having hot water poured against them…

what do I have that I wouldn’t lose?

(Heart Like You – Love and the Outcome)

grateful-for-pdf-nitro-reader-3
hashtag I know the picture isn’t totally centered on the background…I had issues trying to get the picture to even show up in the post…
  1. Well, I don’t post names except of online friends…which means it isn’t cheating to just say that I am super thankful for my friends. I texted a couple of them yesterday, but there are so many others that are not any less important to me…just that I picked a couple to express my thanks then got distracted.
  2.  I have been learning to eat a lot of things that I’d usually reject. I can even do it without cringing. It makes life around the dinner table a lot easier.

3. skittles. yum. (but seriously, as much as I love them, I have 5 lbs of them left at the moment and my clothes haven’t grown with my waistline).

4. meeting my best friend’s baby at only a handful of days old. Can I cheat and have a second thing: having a picnic with my best friend this summer. What can I say? People are important to me…both the children and the community.

5. My new sweatshirt jacket with thumb holes. I’ve never had a shirt with thumbholes before and I love it so much.

6. I was worried about having somewhere to sleep at night this year. I have had a place to stay every night, and probably will continue to have a place to sleep.

7. I am resilient. I haven’t let huge obstacles keep me from my ultimate dream. Perhaps some of the midpoint goals and desires have been forfeited, but the biggest goal still has the potential to come true (pediatric critical care pharmacy, here I come).

8. I am never not enough. I am always exactly who I was made to be, and that is enough.

9. I graduate in 170 days. I will be free!!!!! I’ve been looking forward to this day for almost two and a half years now.

10. I may have initially resented the comment by Certain Someone that I would probably only ever fit in at church (the implication being because those people are more accepting than the general population) because it was a way of telling me I wasn’t good enough and a way to belittle my firmly held religious beliefs. After three years to get over it and to experience more of the world, I am thankful that I do belong at church. I fit in not because no one else would want me–in fact I make friends easily and I do have friends with beliefs that differ from mine and even friends with no religious beliefs…but it is because these people are different that I fit in. These are people that truly love their neighbor and are willing to show compassion and consistently show kindness to a girl whose ability to trust was shattered. These are people willing to take the time to see past the everything is awesome façade to see that sometimes I’m so busy filling everyone else’s bucket that I’ve convinced myself mine doesn’t matter. These are people who, like Jesus, saw me lonely and invited me in, saw me scared and comforted me. I will never forget one of the first times as a fourth year I let my fear show and instead of being shamed and threatened and manipulated, was surprised to be met with kindness and concern…I was still scared enough that I chewed on my towel in front of a bunch of people, but that’s not the point. The point is that God has used his church to surround me with people who show me what it means to be loved, even in places where I walk in knowing no one.

 

 

We’re all dealt our lumps of coal; what you do with it can turn beautiful

(Nice Naïve and Beautiful–Plumb)

Sure, there are a lot of frustrating things in life, but there is a lot for which to be thankful.

I am thankful that I am not as stupid as some people…I read in the news today that there are some people suing Chipotle because they thought the burrito was only 300 calories but when they ate the whole thing they “felt excessively full.” First of all, what kind of idiot thinks that a Chipotle burrito could possibly be 300 calories? The rice alone probably has more calories than that before you even consider the meat, tortilla, toppings, etc. Second of all, the dude had options besides eating the entire things. Perhaps when the full feeling started instead of continuing to feed their faces they could have stopped eating. Bam. Problem solved…and not only that, but then there would be food security for the next day without any additional payment! What a concept! Just watch these people win themselves some free Chipotle for a year for complaining…Oh yeah, and I am thankful that I am not a whiner even if it means I have to obtain the things I want the polite and responsible way.

I am thankful that I can go with the flow. On Tuesday I was supposed to have a meeting at 1pm. I had an assignment at like 12:15 that I really wanted to get information for before I left. The assignment would probably take at least 30 minutes if not more to do well. The meeting was about 20 or so minutes away. I also needed to at least get some food heated up to eat on the way as I was hungry and my blood glucose at 12:30 was 75mg/dL (yep, my rotation partner now is convinced that my skittle habit is not a problem…I had chocolate cake and apple pie for breakfast that morning). So anyway, all that to say I was only about 1 minute late, but as soon as I arrived, I found out the meeting had been moved to 2pm at school…another 40ish minutes away. It was actually kind of nice to have some extra time…or rather it would have been if it hadn’t taken nearly the whole down time to get the computer turned on and logged in.

I am thankful that people seem to become friends with me before I even think about making friends with them…even if that is why my clothes don’t fit. I will admit that going back to 110 pounds which is probably what I would need for the dress I wanted to interview in to fit comfortably wasn’t a good or realistic plan…I don’t think I have ever been that small in my adult life…but the dress fit me well at 115 pounds before it shrunk in the wash…A lot of my clothes don’t fit primarily because when I went to South Dakota I made a bunch of friends and the main way I was able to spend time with them was to go to what was essentially a buffet three nights a week…that on top of getting meals from the cafeteria that were high in calories and generally low in nutrition…and that on top of the fact that I brought enough food with me that I probably could have gone most of a semester without so much as a grocery run with really only being a little deficient in the calcium category…and of course I come back to school area and am fed so much food. Having friends feels so good that I am happy with the trade of friendship in exchange for pounds…

I am thankful that I do not own a selfie stick…because that means that I am not a self-absorbed jerk. Not that owning a selfie stick necessarily makes you fall into that category, but just saying that I don’t really see the appeal outside of that category…

On a more serious note, I am very thankful for a safe place to sleep at night, and for that I am 172 days away from freedom. If it weren’t for how hard it was to find somewhere to live when I moved out of the res hall a few years ago and to find somewhere to live this year, I wouldn’t appreciate having somewhere to sleep nearly as much…and if it weren’t for how much school has put on my plate and what graduation represents, I wouldn’t be nearly as thrilled about graduating. I am very blessed.

**Just going to note that I still think the idea of listening to the names of all of my classmates and walking across a stage still seems like torture to me. I still have no use for that pointless ceremony. In my opinion, just throw my diploma in the mail and you can save both of us the effort of showing up and pretending this exercise is enjoyable…on the positive side, I am very thankful that it probably won’t be a zillionty degrees like the you have four years left at this place ceremony was…yeah, I don’t see much point in celebrating the fact that a month ago you started making me wear an uncomfortable jacket to most of my labs…dude, nothing changed from the year before except that now you are dictating my clothing choice…I wanna dress myself like a big girl please, and big girls don’t wear white coats…

hand up worries down

(love and the outcome—God I know)

BTW, I LOVE this song right now.

So I just realized I have about a week left of this rotation and a lot of work left to do, so I’m gonna try to write all the things that I have half written on scraps of paper and stuff but do it FAST…lol…

 

You know you are still a social learner and still using scripting when it is 8:01 am and you wish someone a good night. Yep, did that. Well, on the positive side, I did use words that were not strictly required, which is a lot more than I used to do. After that experience I tried really hard to modify my script to a good DAY rather than a good NIGHT. Once I practice it into a script it is hard to change, but mostly I have switched over to a more appropriate greeting for the morning. Also on the positive side: one of the pharmacists at my rotation site told me that she thought my social skills were fine!! Y’all, that seriously means like the world to me. Every preceptor so far has given me the feedback that my clinical skills and other knowledge are great, but that my communication and social skills need some development. I wholeheartedly agree, and am very thankful that so far each of them has been willing to modify my grade so that it didn’t hurt my GPA. I don’t think anyone has ever told me before that I had reasonable social skills!! The closest I’ve ever gotten to that was first year when my friend literally got out of her chair and jumped up and down out of excitement when I used the phrase “I haven’t thought about that” instead of “I don’t know.” So yeah, a comment that there wasn’t a problem in that area was one of the most amazing things someone could say to me. It was a recognition that my hard word was starting to pay off. Sure, I am still practicing conversation with myself in the car and I am still doing a LOT of observing and mimicking and watching for cause and effect to figure out how to communicate, but I used to do all that and still be obviously impaired. Now, apparently, I do all that work and it makes me seem like a normal girl. Yay!! I wish someone had realized there was a problem and gotten me help before I became a college student who fended for herself and when necessary communicated primarily in writing, but I can’t take that back and can only move on from there. In the past few years I have learned to talk on the phone, text, email, and speak normally enough to pass as a normal college student. There is still evidence that I used to struggle, but it isn’t glaringly obvious anymore, and rarely does anyone see the deer in the headlights girl when there is the potential for words being necessary. Occasionally I do kinda avoid answering the phone when I am on rotation, but that is stemming more from knowing that there is a 95% chance I won’t be able to help the person on the other end rather than the pure terror of the phone that fueled my pretend inability to locate the phone in the past.

 

Speaking of improving social skills, it is sometimes unfortunate, because as I’ve learned to enjoy in person social contact, I have begun to crave it. No longer is looking at a facebook profile picture enough to satisfy my social needs. It also means that when people leave my life it actually matters a lot more. Which makes it hard when I am moving every five weeks and therefore leaving behind friends constantly. I hate goodbyes. Sometimes I wish I could crawl back into my shell where someone leaving my life didn’t matter very much because I never knew how to get overly connected to anyone—even my best friends. Now I connect and have to let go.

 

Change in subject, I found out this morning that I am not the only one who has ever had physical manifestations of anxiety. In high school there were a few times I vomited because of test anxiety, and even since then I do sometimes have stomachaches because of anxiety (which is unfortunate, because the anxiety is usually surrounding fear of getting sick…). Not that I ever would even wish my enemies would feel sick, but it was good to know that my friend had a stomachache because of anxiety, because that normalized it for me. Okay fine, and it made the whole situation a lot less scary because my OCD decided to flare this week. I know exactly what happened: I was still super sensitive because of the recent move to a completely new environment. On Sunday someone had said she had just thrown up. A few hours later someone said it was flu season and they were pretty sure someone was going to start vomiting. At the hospital I think it was on Monday but it might have been Tuesday I saw and heard someone throwing up over and over and over and over. That is what broke me and I almost didn’t eat lunch that day. I took my lunch break because the anxiety was so high that I was struggling to do the basic task of alphabetizing and dispensing prescriptions. I went and got some food because I know better than to skip lunch and was determined that OCD was not going to win. I stared my food down for a few minutes before putting it into my mouth, but I was wildly successful. I started putting food in my mouth, and as I did, the anxiety dropped far enough that 95% of the food made it to my mouth. Food is my drug.

 

Speaking of anxiety, I know that lack of sleep can make me vulnerable, but I learned yesterday that if I am exhausted enough then it is like I don’t have the energy to feel anxiety and the mute button goes on. It makes it a lot easier to give presentations that way. I am not saying that intentionally not sleeping would be a good idea for presentations…in fact, it probably makes the presentation worse because I can’t track what I am saying long enough to even get to the end of a sentence and know where I was going with it when I was at the beginning of the sentence, but it is really nice to be able to give a presentation with no fear. I will note that it was not intentional that I didn’t get much sleep. I was up a little late because two of my friends were going to leave soon and I wanted to get in as much time as possible. Then at midnight I woke up to a lot of beeping. I thought someone was texting. Then I realized I was the only one in the house and if someone was texting then it must be an intruder, so either there was an intruder or there was an unidentified noise that I should probably ignore. I decided I would get out my computer and look up the number for security just in case I needed it then I would try to figure out where the noise was coming from and if I could get it to go away…well, as it turns out, the sound was my computer. It apparently had come open in my bag and among other things was trying to send an email without the recipient filled in and therefore continued to beep about an error. Craziness. So I solved that problem, reset all the settings that had gotten screwed up on the computer, plugged it in because it was now almost completely out of battery, and tried to go back to sleep. Hahaha good luck with that. There were train whistles almost constantly until about an hour before the alarm went off. Needless to say, I turned the alarm off and went back to sleep, waking up in just enough time to my rotation on time but not enough time to do any of the practicing I intended to do in the morning.

 

Fear is a funny thing. I am scared of a lot of things…but not the things I should be scared about. I drove around with my gas light on not knowing where I might find a gas station and I stopped half asleep in the dark at a gas station in a city that may or may not be overly safe. And I had no fear about this process…yep…I can be terrified of things that shouldn’t matter one day and have no fear about things that do the next…my mom has always said that normal is a really low standard, but I still really believe that I’d like to be normal some day.

Who I am is moving on

(Josh Wilson—No More)

I know exactly what I want to say, but not how to say it…which if you read the rest of this post you will understand why that is a very common experience for me…lol, intro sentence introducing the topic…

I read this article today and I think you should too. This is eerily similar to my story and makes me think maybe the SM (selective mutism) I saw on a differential for me in my records wasn’t too far off. Sometimes I knew exactly what to say, but couldn’t make words. Sometimes even now, writing someone a “quick” email can take hours of deliberation and maybe a couple days to psych myself up to hit send (thankfully not constantly—mostly just when I am stressed out for other reasons). Sometimes even the nonverbal communication arena was far outside my abilities. If you didn’t know me then, I do want to put out a quick disclaimer that I know people who primarily saw me in silence wondered how I managed to make it through life, but it definitely wasn’t overly unpleasant. When you live that way you quickly learn how to survive and even thrive with minimal communication. I also was very lucky that the classroom was one of my most comfortable settings so even before I was much of a talker, I never had too much trouble with academics (aside from speech class…I have passed most speech classes with insane amounts of efforts to at least pass the speeches combined with doing anything possible for extra credit to boost my grade into the safe zone…let’s just say that most people probably don’t practice their speech until it is good enough record it on an mp3 player and listen to it on repeat during nearly all waking hours for the month prior to the speech, but that is how I passed my college speech class because there weren’t extra credit opportunities). Now I am a talker and it is thrilling to be able to communicate a lot more readily. If I am being honest, I still have a lot of roadblocks in my way. Some of them were not placed by my brain, but I would be lying if I said that I am 100% extravert 100% of the time. I do still sometimes fall into the role of observer. I do still sometimes watch from the outside wishing I were on the inside. A lot more texts get written than get sent. A lot more words remain thoughts than are shared.

This is going to sound like totally off topic, but someone remarked recently that younger people have to be able to learn a lot faster than older people have ever had to learn. Every day new things are discovered about the world. Once we are older, we mostly just need to keep abreast of these new developments, because we have learned the baseline knowledge already. Younger people, on the other hand, are still working on the basics while all these new things continue to be discovered and there is infinitely more in that baseline than there ever was for us because it now includes all the things that have been discovered daily up to that point, yet education is still supposed to be completed in the same or a similar amount of time.

So to bring it back to clearly on topic, I thought about that and realized it is kind of where I am with communication skills and social skills. I have always worked hard to learn these skills, but in middle school it started being obvious to me that there must be some secret to these skills that I was missing and I was falling behind. Retrospectively, I think that secret was the lack of social anxiety. (I could be wrong—maybe there was another secret and because I didn’t know the secret and didn’t have good skills the anxiety developed secondarily—I didn’t really experience it as anxiety until probably late high school because I was an avid avoider and mostly didn’t have to face the situations I was bad at…it really only manifested as frustration with myself until late high school). Anyway, my peers still learn more about how to effectively communicate daily, and I am behind and having to try to catch up because I am missing a lot of the basics they mastered over a decade ago. It is really hard sometimes, especially because as my social skills grow, so too does my awareness of how far I still have left to go, but thinking about that statement about younger people needing to learn more rapidly, it makes me really proud of myself. I have worked really hard to be where I am today. While I may not be at the top of the heap socially, people who are just meeting me generally no longer have any reason to think there was ever a time I wasn’t able to communicate on a reasonable level. I certainly have plenty of room for improvement, but the difference between my peers and I is no longer so wide that I am discounted before I am ever given a chance. That is probably the thing that bothered me the most when I wasn’t a good talker. I hated being told what I couldn’t do or being excluded to my face. It might have been harder for me, but I wanted a chance to try. I may have needed a little adaptation or a little flexibility in how “good” the verbal skills had to be, but I wanted to be included. Inclusivity has always been really important to me, and I think it is very much because of how often I was excluded either unintentionally by people not realizing I wanted to be involved or not knowing how to include me, or intentionally when people didn’t want me or assumed I couldn’t do it anyway. I am sure some of that was a well-intentioned attempt to not place me in situations in which I was bound to fail or otherwise was certainly not intended to hurt or limit me at all, but the result was that I learned how it feels to be on the outside and developed a passion for preventing others from being left out.

I refuse to be ashamed of where I came from, because I worked hard to get to where I was even if it wasn’t quite good enough, but I am so proud of where I am now. I certainly wish I was better than I am now, but I also know I have worked hard to get where I am, and that is something to be celebrated. I refuse to mourn where I am not when where I am was such an accomplishment. This concept seems hard for some people to grasp, and I have likened it to the learning of a child, but another example would be that while the straight-A student might be devastated with a lower grade and not be that proud of that grade or even their other grades because that one grade is not so good, the straight-C-with-occasional-D’s student is thrilled to be graduating and celebrates his or her accomplishment with pride. It is all about perspective. If you had told me a few years ago that today I would be asked to give a presentation about two minutes prior to the presentation and I would be able to confidently say that the presentation went pretty well, I would have told you that was a lie. Actually, no I wouldn’t, because I would be busy laughing my head off. Or, no, I probably wouldn’t, because I would be so terrified I would just stare at you blankly and try really hard to smile politely. That is just something that would very likely not be possible at that point, and I don’t think I really believed the light at the end of the tunnel was that close…I actually don’t think I realized at that point that even an AWESOME communicator could even do that. It was just so far out my realm of reality and possibility to even be considered as an option. But yeah, that is a true story. My preceptor told me her idea of something for my to present to the pharmacists. I agreed to do it and asked when this presentation was going to occur and the answer was in about two minutes. I quickly brainstormed what I was going to say, then I presented it with no practice run, and no preparation aside from the previous two minutes. I really did rock it! I was so proud of myself. I can’t say I would ever volunteer to spontaneously give a presentation, but it was incredible to realize that I could do it, and it was probably really good for me to have another opportunity to practice presentation skills. In reality, not having the topic and details in advance or even knowing it was going to happen more than two minutes before it did happen meant that I didn’t spend hours upon hours working on what I *should* say or obsessing over whether it would be good enough. It saved me tons of practice time and re-working time. It is definitely a little more nerve-wracking to go into a presentation so blatantly unprepared, but at the same time knowing that my preceptor anyway knew that this was impromptu (even if I’m not sure anyone else did) greatly decreased the stress level as I knew that with the minimal guidance on what was expected and the minimal prep time that there was a definite limit of what could be realistically expected of me. I think I actually might like the idea of an impromptu presentation, because it evens the playing field a bit, because I doubt that there are more than a handful of people who would choose to do a presentation without first practicing, so it is taking anyone out of his or her comfort zone. Side note that I was so far behind on communication skills in high school that even impromptu speeches couldn’t bring me all the way up to where everyone else was—even though I did practice in whatever ways I could prior to days I knew there might be impromptu speeches. God has done some pretty incredible things in my life.

Too many leaders. You asked for followers. So take the lead now, ’cause your my father.

(What You Want—Tenth Avenue North)

This is kind of halfway between brain dumping for finals and a legit post…

You know you are distractible and have a moderately selective (but not choice-ful selection) memory when: you forget to take ibuprofen and then wonder why everything you took did absolutely nothing for you…and then look in your pill case to take more things and realize that umm, no, you didn’t take any ibuprofen because you packed three red (200mg non-flavored) and 2 orange (100mg flavored) which is the same number as is left in there…oops…well that explains why it didn’t work. I actually did take the tums and vitamins, but I did not take the ibuprofen. Let’s just say when I was on antibiotics in high school the only way I knew if I had taken it was by counting how many were left in the bottle based on the days I remembered skipping it…yeah, I am a really lousy example…don’t get your drug taking modeling from me…although in my defense, I didn’t want to be on antibiotics and it was my parents idea and they made it clear there was going to be a loss of privileges if I didn’t…(but I was pretty sure they wouldn’t keep track close enough to know if I skipped it sometimes)…oh, but I can totally spin this into a positive–I don’t have issues taking ibuprofen anymore like I did when the OCD was taking over!

Today I learned that I can have a really awesome day AND take a final.

After doing a wiggly happy dance in the early morning re-reading the notes of a bunch of my friends, and then crying in the late morning because I felt really left out, I got a really awesome surprise! I still am very much a draw an extra set of lines inside the lines kind of person, but I am also all for not being left out. I would have been happy with just a cookie and a cup in which to make my own tea, but I got to have whatever I wanted, which I re-translated into I can go one time and do not go anywhere but that one place and keep eyes straight ahead, no talking, no playing games…but I was thrilled. Also, that there was actually caffeine free options that didn’t come out of my backpack!! That like never happens at school!

Oh my…that one video about fidgeting I referenced a few weeks ago that I had been watching while waiting for people to come be tutored, well, it talked about Tangles, and I was like, aren’t those intended to be a baby toy? Except, I was playing with them today, and they really are so much fun and there were even fuzzy pieces…except, the non-fuzzy ones get very hard to take apart and put back together when your finger start getting sweaty…so, yeah…I don’t like not finishing what I started, but it was getting very close to time to get out of there, so I had to leave it not 100% sorted by color…but I put it all in a pile NOT on the floor when I was done so it wouldn’t be like stepping on legos to the next unsuspecting customer. Right next to my declaration in the sand “I love me” because I do. Love me that is. I’m pretty awesome. You should get to know me.

20160510_122536 20160510_122647

I was so happy that someone told me I should take a CD and even though I wasn’t a fan of the music and don’t really need extra things to pack up, I almost did…until I saw the words on the CD and went NO WAY and dropped it like it was burning my fingers (hey, at least I didn’t fling it across the room…but even if I had, it would be a lot more convenient to pick it up and put it in its rightful place on the table than when I throw my pencil or paper off my bed at my apartment and have to go find where it went and then climb back up onto the bed)…but anyway, after reading the first two words on the CD ain’t no one tricking me into pretending to like that. (Yes, I know that is improper use of the word am not). Besides, I come with my very own music in the form of a computer and a phone with headphones so even if the music wasn’t kind of annoying and was instead just okay, why would I listen to subpar music when I could listen to AMAZING music. (Plus, I don’t even know where my disk drive is and my CD player at my for real house is reserved for Sleep Sound in Jesus by Michael Card). There are a bajillion songs/musicians that I adore like Plumb and Thomas the Tank Engine and Blank Space (WUM) and Maternity Pants (Elle), but there are some I don’t, and that is okay. I get to have my own opinions. You can have your own opinions, but I get to keep mine.

Also, there was this toy full of lights and water and scented smoke and that was awesome too and I didn’t even spill the water on myself…LOL…my mentee, remembering how clumsy I can be, was kind of worried that I was going to end up with soggy pants to take my final, but there was not much water in there and it had a pretty wide base, so it would have taken talent even for me to spill…and I mean, I do have talent, but not that much talent…now, if it had been filled up to the 500mL line, then yeah, there would have been a pretty good chance I would have been wearing the water if I had played…but I am smart enough most of the time to know my limits, so if it were that full the cap would have gone back on without me playing with it…also, there were TWO red markers in the room…how awesome is that?! Doodle time!!

The final didn’t go super awesome today, but I can honestly say that I did my best, and I could have studied forever and ever and not had any better idea what the teachers were looking for on a variety of the questions…so many times I was like umm, yeah, I could totally explain to you the information you are trying to test me on, but I have no idea what you are attempting to ask me with this question. In this case, some of them may be partly 2/2 my not so awesome reading comprehension level, but sometimes I think it is fair to say that the question was just somewhat poorly worded. I wish there were an explanation box so I could tell them what I was thinking to justify my answer to show that I really did know what I was talking about even if I didn’t pick the answer they were expecting based on that information.

One more final.

369 days.

Not a Doubt Check it Out Better Believe that God Rocks

(God Rocks Theme)

But it is hard to believe that God Rocks when I just finished an exam that I know I didn’t do well on in a class I really needed to pull up my grade in. Even though on the outside I claim that it is fine because D’s get degrees and because I know exactly what my problem is and it is definitely not intelligence or effort, on the inside it really bothers me. Right now is not a good time for me to talk about that though, so we’ll move on to a random assortment of all the things my brain wants to write about after telling myself no more blogging until after the exam.

Yesterday for the first time, I got lost getting from the other school I have a pointless class at back to my actual school…I figured it was no big deal that I had no clue where I was because I still was oriented enough at that point to know what general direction I needed to go to get back to school and assumed that eventually I would end up somewhere I recognized…yeah, unfortunately the random road I chose to turn on actually very quickly became an entrance ramp to the freeway…exactly what I didn’t need when I just wanted to get back to school to study and was frustrated about even having to go to the other class…On the positive side, I forced my way over to the exit lane for the very next exit and ended up somewhere I could figure out getting back to school from…I was frustrated, but Nutella makes everything better.

(20160316_174512

This week I stopped hiding how much it hurts to see this one thing…sometimes the energy required to hide my reaction just isn’t worth it…it’s not like it is a surprise that certain things will upset me…

Sometimes you have to laugh about the little things so you don’t cry about the big things. A few days ago I literally LOL’ed, because apparently the homepage of my blog came up for someone’s google search of “after suicide picture.” I’m not really sure what that person might have been looking for, but I am fairly certain that my blog wasn’t it…

I have a very loose definition of “emergency.” See, there is at least 2oz of skittles in my car at all times for emergency use only—that is, not to be used just ’cause I want it…However, with no defined criteria for what constitutes an emergency, the utilization review would be a bit interesting to interpret…So, last week when I was quite obviously crashing, struggling to breathe because I was crying so hard, and attempting to drive home, barely able to see, that apparently did not constitute an emergency. Not having any candy whatsoever on Saturday counted as an emergency because it would have been too easy to fall back in if anything happened. Tuesday? Well, I am not exactly sure what the emergency was besides I thought there was free cake and sunscreen in the res hall and there wasn’t…which was kind of a problem that I defined that as an emergency, because inside my head I was done for the day at 4:20 and could go home if I was struggling…but outside my head, I actually am not done until 8:30, and remembering what was going on the week of the last T4 exam was pushing me into the danger zone where I really actually might need the bag of skittles that was inhaled three hours ago…so we were down to just prayer that I’d make it…spoiler alert: I did.

I created a new pinterest board: The Healing Path…I am kind of biased, because everything about it is all mine (Except the information from the book obviously), but I think it is pretty awesome…

So yeah, last weekend I decided I was tired of cleaning chocolate off of my sheets so I needed a new place to study besides my bed (or the floor, because my knees get sore too fast on the floor)…it is no good when you notice what you think might be a new chocolate crumb rubbed into the sheet and attempt to lick it off only to discover that it is actually smeared blood from either my fingers or my face where I picked away too much skin that will have to wait another week for laundry day…priorities…I have them…see, chocolate smells weird at night when I’m sleeping, but blood doesn’t…

So I started out sitting in my chair the way it is intended to be used…but being on wheels was super distracting for actual studying…so I took the ball off of the base, put a beach towel on the floor, and used my big red ball to support my weight in frog position…besides not being able to have so much paper at eye level or spread out within reach around me, it is a really great way to study…it is a good thing that I don’t have a blue ball, because anatomy has made the phrase “big blue ball” sound really dirty…let’s just say there is a giant reproductive model that is blue that everyone loves…and refers to as the big blue ball…

I took a picture, but I have no idea where I put it…

Maybe I’m like the girl shrek who turned green when she got married…’cause I might be half frog…

Sometimes my mouth is like “hey would you like me to stay” when my brain is screaming “please give me an excuse not to go back to school today.” So even if my grades are lousy, I am not spending extra time here to remediate, because I am reaching that point where every single day is a conscious choice about whether it is really worth it to keep going…even though someone did say I should set up an advising appointment to discuss class registration…I sent an email back that I wasn’t planning on registering unless I failed something and would set up an appointment when that happened…

As much as I hate daylight savings and givings, it is super awesome that bedtime comes an hour earlier, because I feel so much more alive…on the negative side, having a boatload of energy and no good way to use it up is not so awesome for my ability to study…and bringing my ball to school is not an everyday thing…

A word to the wise: check that your cup is empty before pouring in milk…’cause vanilla milk + the sprite already in your cup = no Bueno…not that I accidentally did that or anything…

…somewhat surprisingly, somehow Thursday of last week did not repeat itself at all this week! I was close to crashing on Wednesday, but I didn’t!! (Well, crashing emotionally that is, I was obviously crashing physically, because my lap was vibrating the entire drive home and it wasn’t until I got out of the car that I realized that my alarm was going off…my alarm was not *just* vibrating…I’m not going to re-hash last week since that is what I wrote about last week and I don’t think I need/want extra processing now, but I am so happy to not have experienced it again despite the obvious stressor of another therapeutics exam…My guess would be that it has something to do with taking (in my words) far too many micro-breaks and discovering bouncing on my ball instead of staring at the wall when the energy overflows at my apartment, but either way, not having breakdown or flare at all is wonderful, especially since I also even attempted exposure on Monday (I say attempted, because I didn’t do it the way that was in my head that was a lot more intense, because I wanted to protect myself from crashing in a setting in which it would be hard to escape and in general from crashing again prior to said therapeutics exam…but I probably shouldn’t say attempted, because I actually did it. I worked hard on that, and every little bit counts.

Plus, it was marginally successful since I wore my glasses in EBM on Tuesday and didn’t just let them fall off my face when they started sliding…

…And I have a list of like fifty-billionty teachers I should have emailed over the course of the last week (slight exaggeration) that I didn’t because I felt too busy to put words together, and so I should at least start that with the minutes I have left prior to my next class…

We’re Walking Into the Forest

(Kick Drum Heart–Avett Brothers)

In my law book there was a story about a woman who didn’t receive the birth control she was supposed to at a pharmacy and as a result got pregnant and had a healthy child. The book uses this as an example of compensation, putting the “victim” in the position in which he or she would have been had the action not taken place—the pharmacist was required to pay the cost of pregnancy and raising the child.

 

I find that a really lousy example. Without getting pregnant she would not have had the sweet experience of the deepest love one can ever experience: holding a sweet, beautiful, healthy, newborn child. Sure, kids are expensive and she wasn’t planning on one yet, but if the pharmacist is paying the full costs it seems to me like she is getting a double benefit: she gets to keep both the kid and the money…jackpot!! I am not advocating that we should take babies away from their parents, but it seems to me that the joy of a child should be most of the compensation she gets and so the pharmacist should only have to pay maybe half of the costs, because yeah, she intended to not get pregnant, but let’s get real, there’s a pretty good chance that she had a copay on her prescriptions and would have been paying something for a while anyway…and how do you not notice that your birth control looks totally different than it has before?! I am also not advocating that pharmacists can fill prescriptions with whatever they want—that is clearly wrong too.

 

Anyway, that got me thinking about how a lot of people have asked my position on dispensing birth control. I believe that murder is wrong whether it occurs in an adult or an unborn child. While philosophically people argue about when life begins, biologically, it is not up for discussion whether or not life begins when the sperm meets the egg. Oral contraceptives act by preventing implantation of the zygote (egg+sperm), thus ending the pregnancy long before it is detectable. For this reason, I believe that oral contraceptives should not be used if a patient intends to exercise use of their baby-making parts without further protection. I will not refuse, however, to dispense birth control for a few reasons. First, some people are using it in a legitimate way for conditions totally unrelated to killing babies and have no intention of utilizing its other function and it isn’t practical to sort through that at the time of dispense. Second, if I don’t give it to them, I am legally obligated to ensure they have another way to get it if they want it, so it doesn’t really do anything but make me a jerk if I say no. Third, legally, it is acceptable to use birth control regardless of what you want to do with it, and my freedom ends where yours begins. I don’t really think it is my place to act as God and tell you what you can and can’t do. I do know people who refuse to sell it, but in my opinion, it makes more sense to just do it.

 

On a totally different note, I saw this hilarious statement on a blog recently: “Remember to treat your password like your toothbrush. Share it with no one and change it often.” The article also gave a lot of easy to remember passwords which were supposed to be ones they didn’t recommend, but I looked and decided those seemed like good ideas for this girl with an excess of information competing for limited spaces in her head.

 

Sometimes I feel lazy (one of my friends would comment that lazy isn’t a feeling…)…but the vast majority of the time I am not really being lazy even if I feel that way…when I wake up and can’t keep my eyes open long enough to type in my whole password to my email before the screen goes dark again and I have to try again, that is probably a good sign that I still have sleep to catch up on rather than that I am lazy…and if the test is pass fail and I can finish in 25 minutes without checking my work and the only consequence for failing is probably going to be re-taking it over spring break when I am not so squished for time anyway, it makes a lot better sense to turn it in and get outta there. It isn’t lazy, it is time management…and besides, everyone needs a break, even me…

 

Side note number 3: When I totally wasn’t distracted (okay fine, yes I was) I found a document on my computer labelled story. It was an article I had written first year when psychcentral put out a call for personal descriptions of what counseling is like. It was a good reminder to be thankful for what I have, because everything I have is a gift that I worked for. It has been a long time since the days of it being an accomplishment to say hi to a friend. On the other hand, it made me mourn the loss of naïve trust and innocent belief that people would always have pure motives to help me…and I wish I still could believe that self-advocacy is effective…originally I wrote a lot more than this, but I couldn’t decide if it was internet appropriate, so I decided to delete it…also, I discovered this week that someone posted my name, cell phone number, school, and email address on the world wide web for anyone to see…if that same someone wasn’t already calling me twice a day I would complain, but since I don’t want any more intrusion into my life, I am just being frustrated inside my head (and on here)…thank God that I finally figured out how to auto-reject the calls though! Thrilled about that!