While I was in treatment I was given Recovery Workbook by my one on one therapist. There were many sheets on which to detail the progression of my disease. When I was in active addiction I would try to write, … Continue reading
Curled up in bed on my left side, I opened one eye and viewed the Life Manifesto hanging on my bedroom wall. I struggled to discern the words in the dimness of the coming morning . ‘Life’ the largest word on the canvas, filled my vision as Eddie the Wonder Pup glued his body to mine. I reached behind me and gave his back a soft pat, his crooked tail began to beat against my crippled right ankle. I dreaded getting out of bed. Not because of chronic pain, because there’s always that. No, it was the chill of winter in my bedroom, that made me want to stay snuggled under two comforters with a little baby puppy by my side.
The promise of daylight was beginning to spread across the manifesto on my wall. I could now read the line ‘Life is Simple’, and I shivered. I wasn’t sure if it was because of the line I read or the chill in the room. In the last 16 months I’ve learned how complicated life can be. I ended a 24 year marriage, had a horrific car accident that’s left me disabled, and the job I’ve been doing for the last 14 years has been dissolved and moved to another department.
I shifted my weight on the mattress enough to wake my drowsy fur baby and he moved from my side to begin poking at me with his paws and kissed my ears and face. His eyes smiled as I stretched and lifted the covers from my body. He kept jumping on me and biting at the a few errant strands of hair that had fallen from my hair tie during the night. He knew what he was doing was bad, but he also knew his cuteness would let him get away with it. I slid my yoga pants and slippers on, then Eddie and I headed to the living room to grab his leash.
As I stood outside Eddie relieved himself while I continued to shiver. The wind cut through my rebuilt ankle, and I thought about all of the people that have told me how much worse my situation could be. Though I do agree with them, I alone know how much the last ten month have just plain old sucked. Each time I work with my PT or try to walk more than the length of sidewalk outside my apartment, I’m reminded that the minutes, days, weeks and months have sucked swamp water, wind, and a big old giant ass!
With this final angry thought, I unlocked the door to my apartment building. After entering my unit, I set about the tasks for getting ready for my day with my right foot dragging. I worked hard to shift my weight to the right side of my body while I stood in the shower, brushed my teeth, and did my hair. Though it was painful, I knew the more I stood on it, the stronger it would become. My surgeon and PT have both told me that I’ve healed and progressed more than they thought I would. Superwoman may be dead, but I have been bound and determined to work hard. I’ve fought through pain, depression, suicidal thoughts, and hopelessness, but I still haven’t ‘got’ this. And if one more person tells me that I do, I might lose my shit.
At work I checked the photo stream on my phone and grouped together all of the images of my accident, surgery and early recovery. I wondered, should I delete them or save them for posterity. The post surgery images made me feel sick because of all of the blood, swelling, discoloration and railroad track stitches. I decided to speak to a dear friend about the photos, and get his take on what I should do with them. His advice, look at them one last time and delete them. Let go of the last chapter of the experience and move on. I haven’t deleted them yet, but I swear I will.
There is this shyness to me now, and a realization that being a manic pixie girl doesn’t always pay off. Sometimes it’s good to let the grass grow beneath my feet, and feel the grounding force of a foundation where I once didn’t want one. For even in my slowness, there is a passion that burns within me. A smoldering ember where a wild fire once burned, and it emits heat all the same. I’ve often heard that the embers burn hotter because the fire is contained in the core. It doesn’t burn out easily like that of the brilliant orange flame that can die quickly, even though that flame dances with an unadulterated exuberance.
I’m not afraid of death, and I wasn’t before my accident and the death of Superwoman. After the car accident, I’m even less afraid. No, I didn’t have a near death experience, but I experienced extreme shock. I nearly drowned in the abyss of it, and I can tell you I welcomed the feeling. If it had been my time to die, I would have gone without a fight. I wouldn’t have railed against the dying of the light. There was such peace in that cocoon in the early hours of my accident, that many times during my recovery, I wanted to go back to it.
Even as I continue to heal and realize that the old me is dead, I often wish to return to the cocoon, never to emerge, because I hated the moth I’d become. The one that kept flying to the light and dying each time it was zapped and suffered a setback. I miss the butterfly I once was, and it pains me to know she won’t return. As I endure ongoing recovery, I know I’m going to emerge from my chrysalis. I won’t ever be the same, but I will be beautiful again. And I will dance, live, love and fly…again.
**This will be my last post about recovery and chronic pain. 2015 is already a better year. It’s time to stoke the embers, and write with passion again.**
Even flow, thoughts arrive like butterflies
Oh, he don’t know so he chases them away, yeah
Oh, someday, yeah, he’ll begin his life again
Life again, life again
Fuck 40. 40 can suck my dick!-Debbie-This is 40
As I tried to drag my tired ass out of bed this morning, all I could think about was the movie I watched last night. By myself of course, because Roger Darling had a stressful week. He’s recently been promoted to assistant manager at the direct care group home where he is employed. I have to say when Leslie Mann bemoaned the fact that 40 could suck her dick, I agreed completely. Of course, I’m now 45. That age can suck my dick too.
What the hell have I become but a hamster on a wheel? I have to work out for an hour to eat a cupcake. Hell, to even take a bite of a cupcake, and not have it go straight to my ass. Forget carbs. A woman my age can no longer even enjoy a fucking bagel without calculating how many miles she will have to run to burn off the calories. This sucks!
I sit here in my workout clothes waiting for RD to get home so I can trot my ass to the gym and run a couple of miles. Of course, it’s been a few weeks since I’ve done any kind of workout. I’ll probably keel over and die on the way home.
I miss the days when Diet Coke and a cigarette were dinner. If I did that now, my blood sugar would plummet and I’d end up in the ER. This getting older shit ain’t for sissies. I swear to you I’ve seen more wrinkles appear on my face in the last six month than I have in the past few years.
No more complaining. It’s time to get up off my ass and head to the gym. Drink more water and eat healthier too. Just once I’d like to go back in time and slap the 17 year old me and tell her to lighten up. To have more fun and run more. To go to college. Not to smoke! Don’t worry, I quit that habit years ago. I had to because I would lose my breath when doing the dirty, dirty, and no one wants that!!!!
I’m not looking for positive comments and ah grrrrlllll, you can do it pats on the back. I just wanted to bitch. As the title states, 45 can suck my dick!
Off to the fucking gym!
I decided to become a comedian!
I should have known what I was in for when the nurse asked me to pee in a cup before she could prep me for surgery. I looked at her and said, “Seriously. I had a sterilization procedure over a year ago. I’m not pregnant.” She laughed and replied, “Honey, just give me three drops.” She left and I locked the door. I sat there for about five minutes willing myself to go. I gave her nothing, nada, zip and zilch.
I headed back to Amy with my empty cup. She just laughed at me. She said, “Let’s get you prepped and then try again. I told her, “I’ve got nothing left in me. I swear.” I proceeded to hold up my fingers in a Girl Scout salute. Our conversation went to hell from there. I took off my clothes and put on my gown. I could only reach the draw string around my neck, so that’s the only one I tied. Yes, my ass was hanging out, but I was going to be lying down so I didn’t care.
Amy brought blankets that had been warmed in an oven. I told her, “Bless you honey, cuz I’m freezing my ass off!” I put my hands underneath the blanket to warm my veins. I wanted them to be ready for the IV Amy was going to shove in my hand. As she’s doing her thing, Dr. P the anesthesiologist introduced himself. He was sweet and friendly. He harassed Amy in a loving way as she flitted around the room. I told him “Thank you, you’re very nice.” The nurse said “I’d like that comment in writing please.” I told Dr. P, “Come back and I’ll gladly write it down.” I gave him a bright smile. He said to Amy, “See, she has good taste.” Amy replied, “She’s being nice because you’re going to give her good drugs.” I laughed uproariously. The whole damn room could hear me.
There were more nurses to greet me, an intern working with Dr. K and the doctor herself. I love that woman. She’s about 5’1″. She’s energy, light and fire. I love her matter of factness. She’s a dream. She signs off on my surgery band and heads to her locker to take off her coat and hat.
Amy comes back and sticks my hand with a light dose of Lidocain, then inserts the IV. I told her not to go digging around in my vein or I might have to slap her. She giggled at me. I told her I was serious. As she was taping the IV down her nose started to run. I said, “Oh honey let it drip. It’s not the worst thing I’ve had on my hand.” She replied, “Just don’t go digging around, right?” I said, “Amy, if you start digging in your nose, I’ll throw up.” She told me, “Stop making me laugh so hard or my nose will start running all over your hand.” I answered back, “Ewwwwwww you’re gross!”
She hooked me up to the IV bag and let the fluids run fast. I still needed to pee. I grabbed my cup and asked Amy to tie up my gown. She called me a brazen hussy. I replied, “How did you know!?” She said she needed to get me an IV pole. I yelled across the room, “Be careful now I might have to dance around it.” The woman across from me laughed. I’m glad she did too, because two minutes before that she had the most distraught look on her face. She was talking to her daughter that was going to have surgery. I could see she was putting on a brave face, but she was nervous as hell.
I took my pole and cup with me to the bathroom. Finally peed, washed my hands and headed back to my bed. Sitting in the chair next my bed was my rock. My Roger Darling. Amy helped me with my IV and covered me back up. I looked at RD and said, “My nurse had the nerve to call me a brazen hussy because I told her I was going to dance on my IV pole.” He laughed and shook his head. Said, “Babe even before surgery, you can be a nut. He heard the other patients and care givers laughing at me and he gave me the warmest smile. He asked, “Are you okay?” I replied, “Yep, I’m ready for good drugs and good night.”
Dr. K stopped by and said she was ready. She chatted with Roger, he kissed my lips, and headed out to the waiting area. Dr. K said, “He’s so chill. So calm.” I told her, “Yes, he is my rock. My other half. My friend.” They wheeled me to OR 1. As we entered the room they said they would draw the shades. I told Dr. K, “Good. I don’t need everyone seeing my hoo hoo.” She laughed at me and said, “You’re a funny woman.” I replied, “Yep, now give me drugs.” They did and I was gone.
I woke up an hour later to the sweet sound of my nurse, Molly telling me it was time to wake up. I didn’t want to though. I was dreaming. Of what I don’t remember, but it was good. I think it was anyway. Now I’m home and resting. Taking care to write and read. Nothing more. Results will be in by the end of the week. Here’s hoping it’s not the big C. And if it is, it’s only a little c.
Anxiety is love’s greatest killer. It makes others feel as you might when a drowning man holds on to you. You want to save him, but you know he will strangle you with his panic.-Anais Nin
I feel torturous fear. My entire body becomes chilled. Palms perspire and feel as though 1000’s of stick pins are pushing into them. The small hairs stand up on the back of my neck. My heartbeat quickens to 175 beats per minute. There’s tightness in my chest. Tingling and numbness in my left arm. Am I dying? Will someone help me? Please!? My head pounds and I become dizzy. My teeth clench. I feel as if I’m living outside of myself. That I’m not real. I touch objects, but can not feel them. My breathing becomes shallow and rapid. I have feelings of impending doom.
My brain speeds up and all thoughts scatter. My eyes dart around the room. Can anyone sense what’s happening to me? My anguish? My need to live? To run away? That I’ve lost my breath? That I’m shutting down? Dying. Of what, I’ve no idea? I hyperventilate and my body shakes. I think I’m going to pass out. Won’t anyone help me? I can’t breathe! I can’t see! My face flushes. I am shaking. I reach out with trembling hands and scream, “HELP, I’m dying!!” Am I crazy? Can those around me see it? See me? Heal me. Please!
So pronounced was my need to live that I lost my breath. Every single day.
I would wake up and try to focus. Stand up. Breathe air into my lungs. It felt as though they had collapsed. I could barely gulp in air. The tightness in my chest would intensify and my heart would constrict. Such was my need to live. My need to survive everyday. I was a young wife and mother. I had lost control of my spirit, mind, and body. I wanted to die. But I didn’t. I wanted the fear to subside, but it never did. Every day I spiraled out of control. Every damn day.
It took years to come to grips with the fact that I was doing all of this to myself. That I was hurting myself. I went to the emergency room constantly. There were EKGs, EEGs, blood work, stress tests, and echocardiograms. I was a healthy, albeit crazy 22 year old woman. I fought the good fight. I finally found my way to the Anxiety and Panic Disorder program at the University of Michigan Hospital. After an assessment, I was put into an anxiety group discussion. I worked hard at my program. I faced my fears. My anxiety went into remission. I was able to live again. Enjoy my husband and children. Find my way back to happy.
Ten years later I started having symptoms again. My children were growing up. I was self-destructing. I was gaining weight and sabotaging myself. I started waking up in the night with panic attacks. It was time for medication and more therapy. I started Lexapro. Within one week the sparkle returned to my eyes. There was life in my life. There was hope. I and my family flourished. I realized that I was like a diabetic. I needed the meds to bring me back to life. I still take them. I need to.
I work with an incredible therapist. He helps me find my way. He tells me I’m not crazy. That I am good. He makes me work hard. Makes me accountable. What’s surprising is the fact that I’ve become an adrenaline junkie. Nothing scares me. Well, hardly anything. There’s that unnatural fear of sharks that I have. I think I was killed by one in a past life.
If you feel these symptoms, know that you are not alone. Get help. Talk to me. Talk to others. Find your way back to life. And breathe easy. You are okay.
I was planning on revising an erotic story for posting today. Wouldn’t you know one word would change my whole day and perspective. My erotic post is abandoned. In its place is a little story about a colleague of mine.
She walked into my office and shut the door. We often have private conversations in my office, so I wasn’t surprised that she closed my door. See, she and I have both been on the same path in the last two years. We’ve been sharing our stories of weight loss. About our reinvention of self. We’ve shared highs and lows. Happiness and anger. Laughed about the attention bestowed on us by men and women. Today though, she stood in front of me and said, “I have breast cancer.” I froze. I I then went to her, and hugged her. Told her I was sorry. She’s a strong one though. She said, “I’m not going to let this define me, Renee.” I smiled and told her, “You shouldn’t. Cancer is not the sum of who you are.”
She shared that her oncologist told her she is Stage 2A. She needs a lumpectomy and radiation. She will most likely not have to have chemo, but will be on Tamoxifen for the next five years. I had her tell me the rest of the story. How she found it herself and made sure that after a week of self breast exams, she called her doctor and they got her right in for a mammogram. The radiologist called the doctor in during the mammogram. They found a shadow under a cyst. A biopsy was done almost immediately and the next day she was informed she had a malignancy.
I watched her as she told me the story. She had such grace. She was so calm. She told me that as she’s been informing people that she’s had to comfort them. She was not upset by this. The whole time she spoke to me, she had this aura about her. This incredible lightness. She said, “Renee, the oncologist informed me that women that go through a significant weight loss are at a greater risk of breast cancer.” I looked at her stupefied and said, “How can this be? We’ve regained our health. How???” She said, “It’s something about our bodies, though they are stronger, healthier. They can become weak too.”
I’m telling you I wanted to leave work and go pick up a cheesecake. Just wanted to say, fuck it! Instead, I went home and changed into my gym clothes. Roger Darling and I headed to the gym. We worked out and then came home to eat a healthy dinner. I’m really thankful Roger Darling likes to feel me up a lot. I have yearly mammograms. And I make sure that I do a monthly self-exam. I’m thankful that my last test was normal. I’m thankful that though my colleague has been diagnosed with cancer, she went to the doctor and it was detected early. I will be her support. I will be strong because she is. And if she walks into my office, closes the door and falls apart. I will hold her till she comes back to herself again.
So this post has been kinda marinating in my brain for the last few weeks or so. I’ve struggled with it. Do I want to post it? Do I want to let it go? What should I do??? Today after talking to a dear friend I decided it was time to make a few remarks. First off, I’m a good person. Impulsive and a little crazy. But ultimately I’m good. Secondly, I know that in the last 20 months I’ve changed. Not physically, but mentally. I’ve developed an incredible passion for the written word too. It’s not just a “thing” that I do. It’s who I am.
I was talking to Super Therapist this week about an article in the current issue of Reader’s Digest that I was reading while I waited for him to call me back for my appointment. The article was titled, Are You Normal or Nuts? I thought, why isn’t that an appropriate article to read while waiting to see my therapist? After reading it, I learned that those with anxiety disorder (I’ve had it for over 20 years) are compassionate. I had to agree. While being in the throes of daily panic attacks in my early 20’s I wished to die. They were horrible and I never thought I would get through them. Fortunately, I did. I’m 44 and by God’s good grace I’m still here. I have incredible empathy. I’m not saying I’m a fucking saint. I’m just saying I give a shit.
I also read that people with mild bi-polar disorder (yes, I have great mood swings) are more creative. They are the writers, the musicians, the dancers and the artists. Because of the incredible mood swings they feel more. Because they feel more they are creative and make those that they create for, well, feel. I’ve never been diagnosed with even mild bi-polar disorder, but Super Therapist did agree that I do have mood swings. I am passionate and creative. He says that’s how I’m made and who I am.
I’ve lost a couple of good friends that I thought would be a part of my life forever. Because I’ve “changed”. I didn’t though. I evolved. Became who I was supposed to be. I was just hidden under fat. I’m very proud of myself. I won’t go chasing after anyone anymore. I care for those that aren’t in my life, but I can’t go back. I won’t. I know that I’m good. I make no apologies.
Today I’m home sick. Terrible headache, sore jaw, tooth ache. No, I was not out giving blow jobs to random men. I was at the dentist yesterday having a cavity filled and I also had a flu shot this week. I feel like I have a jackhammer banging the shit out of my temples. My body aches and I have the chills. I feel fabulous!
I posted the fact that I was going to the dentist to have a cavity filled. One of my readers left the comment on my page that he’d fill one of my cavities for me. When I read it, I laughed so damn hard I cried! Thank you BC for the joke, I was hoping someone would say it!!!!
I saw the quote above from RDJ yesterday and it kinda snapped me back to reality. I’ve been such a whiny baby bitch lately, I was beginning to get on my own nerves. You know it’s time to check yourself when that happens. So it’s back to romantic stories, poetry, some erotica and journal entries. No more whining if I can avoid it.
After talking to one of my Angels, I was reminded that life is life. It can be good or bad. We need to make the best of it. We need to be positive, supporting and loving. Of the people in our lives, but to ourselves too. Shit happens. Shit doesn’t happen. It’s life.
Now I need a nap because I’m sick. I have a book chapter to write later. I have a life to live. I have a daughter getting married. Oh, and I have dog pee to clean up off from the damn floor. Then I’m going to do whatever the fuck I want to do.
I leave you with the meme below. I know, I’m such a sweetie. But don’t fuck with me. Hahahahahahahahahhaha! Later my loves.
40 days till my Meggie marries the man of her dreams. He looks an awful lot like Eddie Vedder. His name is Chris. My future son in law couldn’t carry a tune in a bucket. If you listen to Eddie though, he sounds like he’s sucking on a few marbles when he sings. Which is just fine with me. I think he’s a golden god! I digress. Now back to Chris. The young man loves my daughter with everything he has, so I gotta love him too. I love him even more, because before he asked Meggie to marry him, he asked her dad.
The wedding plans are coming together. Not much to do. Get the dress there, get the license, and make sure that the bridal party gets off the cruise ship on time. We also need to get to the rented beach bungalow, hair/makeup/clothes, catch a taxi and make our way to where the ceremony will take place. Roger Darling is in charge of getting the wedding guests, family, groom and groomsmen to the beach by 10 am.
Roger sent me a text yesterday that said, I love you Mother of the Bride. I sent him a reply that said Olive u 2 Father of the Bride. We’re a couple of dorks, but we’re fun!
When I got home last night, I realized that Meggie’s dress will have to be cleaned and pressed. Then placed in its own suitcase for the trip. I started freaking the hell out. What if it gets ruined at the cleaners? What if the suitcase it’s in gets lost in transit? What if? What if? What if? Roger looked at me and said, Ah hell we’ll rent her a dress on the ship. I totally forgot we could do that. Phew!
In the last few weeks I’ve tried putting on and zipping up my size 12 pants. Seems I’ve grown out of the fuckers. I’m none too pleased by this development. If you’ve been following me for long you know I’ve gone through a huge weight loss. My body and mind have been transformed. The last two years have been quite the roller coaster. Through writing, I’ve been learning to adjust.
Recently I injured my back, got depressed, started drinking again and well, kinda fell apart. Little by little I’ve healed. I’ve recovered in almost every way. Except I still can’t fit into my fucking pants!
Now it’s back to the gym for Roger Darling and me. Time for us to get addicted to something healthy. And though I’m sore from doing 75 ab crunches and reverse sit ups and my legs feel like jello from learning how to run again, I’m elated. Fucking elated, I tell you!!!! I’ve got my gym clothes in the car and I’ll head there right after work today. It feels good to sweat. It feels good to run. It feels good to hurt from a workout. Fucking A it feels good!
I told Super Therapist today as I opened up my palm and pointed at it, “This right here in the palm of my hand is the world. I can do and be anything that I want.”
He just looked at me, smiled and replied, “Yes Renee, you most certainly can and you will.”
Happy Wednesday my sweets. Happy Wednesday. Go grab life by the balls, will ya?