Category Archives: Blog

what makes me happy

when i came home from work last night, i was sad. all i could think that would make me happy was reading a book. i read murder mystery almost exclusively. lately it has been set in regency england. and, i am embarrassed to say, i seem to read those with a male and female lead that end up romantically connected. (don’t worry, i am not reading bodice rippers. i have no interest in reading sex scenes.) i like hearing about relationships that work. (somehow, couples i know that have relationships that work just make me sad).

it seemed wrong that the only thing i could imagine that would make me happy was escaping reality to a book. set in a different century. with people i don’t know. that don’t actually exist.

tonight when i came home, i thought to myself, “nothing has changed since i left this morning”. and that is because i live alone. and i am single. and i have 2 cats. (ok, it is a LITTLE different when i get home because i DO have cats. they didn’t fold my laundry though.) (which is actually good, because i really enjoy folding laundry. weird, i know.) that felt weird. i won’t go as far as to say it felt wrong, but it didn’t feel right.

i am seeing a new therapist who specializes in grief. my old therapist suggested i see a grief therapist because of Lucy.

my new therapist and i talked about the difference between demoralization and depression. have i mentioned this before? she thinks that perhaps i am more demoralized than depressed. (below is a blurb from a study, albeit old an old one, 2007, that helps to define the difference). we talked about my life in general (i am very practiced at this story) and she said, “you have a lot of grief in your life. not just Lucy.” she was referring to the things that i have lost and/or have never had (and i am not saying, neither was she, that this is all someone else’s fault, a lot of it i did to myself, or with someone else, but not all of it.) but, the two big things, lately, are my job and Lucy. we talked about how demoralizing my job is (how much it has caused me to become demoralized? how does one work that?) and when Lucy died, it pushed me over the edge into depression.

In 1975, Schildkraut and Klein3 defined demoralization as a state separate from depression. Whereas patients with depression experienced anhedonia, patients with demoralization lost their sense of efficacy. In the 1980s and 1990s, Frank and De Figueiredo further refined the meaning of demoralization.4The term demoralization remained distinct from depression and was characterized by 2 states: distress and a sense of incompetence that results from an uncertainty about which direction to take. Individuals with depression and those with anhedonia cannot act (even if they know the proper direction to take).

i think i have struggled a lot longer than i realized. a LOT longer. and that struggle is even some of the reason why i have lost things. is this too vague? i have been so many things most of my life that i don’t think i realized. like adjectives. sad, angry, depressed, frustrated, scared, embarrassed (actually, i think i always know when i am embarrassed, it is a state i have had to master), hopeless, happy. i am not even sure i realized when i was happy. like inside happy, not laughing with friends happy. that sounds crazy though. therapists ask you “what are you feeling right now” when you share something traumatic or get tearful (sometimes when i get angry, but not as much as when i am sad) i often say “i don’t know”. and i don’t. maybe that is new? i always felt like i over shared how i felt. then after my divorce, i stopped sharing, and maybe i stopped feeling? and maybe i am just turning 50 in august, am single and have 2 cats. (i don’t want to be a stereotypical single 50-year-old woman. i don’t want to become a “get off my lawn” Xer. but maybe that is exactly what this is? i hope not. if i am, i almost feel more hopeless. i don’t want to be that woman, in that episode of “6 feet under”, who died and no one really realized it)

i feel the weight now though. i thought to myself this morning, before work, i don’t want to go and get beaten-up. i had a therapist, when i was in college, that said to me, “if you know, if you go there you are going to get beaten up, don’t go”. that has always stuck with me. i think it has taken me a long time to realize (sometimes) i was feeling beaten up. (my dad sent me to this therapist after my step-mother tried to kill me. sounds extreme, i know, but my youth was weird). it seems now like i am feeling it and it is overwhelming. like put my hands over my eyes and push back the hurt so i can go back to work, overwhelming.

we have changed my meds twice since april. it isn’t working yet. but maybe it won’t, really. maybe the help is to change what started this all in the first place. not an easy change. NOT AT ALL.

a volunteer at work, today, told me that i reminded her of Exene Cervenka. i was SO flattered! OMG! to be compared to Exene?! dream come true.

songs change mood

i drove around in my car for like an hour tonight listening to music. my car has a fantastic speaker system. it had stopped raining by the time i started to drive. did slide on water a few times on 183. some songs can make you feel really good. the right song makes me feel powerful. i always skip all the portishead and massive attack songs because that is what “the boy that broke my heart” and i would have sex to. some songs make me sad too. songs that remind me of unpleasant events. obviously songs remind me of people. i need to send an email to my micro teacher as i heard a few songs by nouvelle vague and i had shared their album with him. i wish i got the same feeling on strength listening to music in my house as i do in my car. Lucy would DJ when we were getting ready to go out. i want to roll my hair tonight. listening to music would be great. but it is a little late for that. also, cannot wear headphones while putting in curlers.

bought my own axe for axe league. love this axe. throw GREAT with this axe. i will NOT finish in last place next season.

i now weight 162 pounds. i am kinda of freaking out about it. though obviously not enough to do anything constructive about it. i still eat all the things. my new psychiatrist started me on a new anti-convulsant (good for bi-polar 2) and kyle says it seems to have taken off the edge to my depression, but i am still not myself. the new med (Trileptal) helps me sleep. i am sleeping great! so i stopped taking the Ativan and i wonder if that is why i am feeling increasingly off. the hope of me being able to fit into the 2 things i wanted to for vegas is basically dead. i think not getting to dress up is going to make the trip not as fun for me. but it is still great to get out of town. anyhow, while i feel a little better than in april, i agree with kyle, i am not myself yet.

i like my new therapist, but damn is it expensive. with jayme moving out, i will lose the rent i was getting. so, i guess i will have to work those overtime hours. but i am getting to talk about all the frustrating things causing stress in my life right now. my home situation will becomes less stressful next month. i don’t feel work will ever becomes less stressful unless we have a big change in management. but i also have no idea what other type of nursing i would enjoy. being single is stressful, in the lonely sense, but being my body hates me, it is probably better that i am single still. work stress, boy stress, soon to be increasing money stress, Lucy grief. i got a lot going on.

it is frustrating not knowing how to help myself. especially from a medication standpoint. i don’t know what will help. i feel like me and the medical community are sort of randomly trying things. i want some sort of full body test (physical and/or labs is fine) that will sort all of the things. i wonder if my tummy problems are a bug (literally). it all came on so fast, it seems hard to believe that it is my body simply changing with age. yes, my body is changing with age, but this happened so fast! it is like “sudden onset” dementia in older adults. it doesn’t happen. if they suddenly don’t know who you are from one day to the next, it is a UTI.

i get to redecorate my spare bedroom (into a spare bedroom). that will be fun. and i can feel comfortable about bugging people to visit me! kimberly needs some house stuff so we are going to hunt together. we shop well together. you know, except for the money spending part.

i feel like there was something more exciting i was going to share while i was thinking about this post while driving around in my car. i am at a loss.

my eating problem

i have gained about 25 pounds since Lucy died. i eat all the things. i do not fit into my clothes. all my t-shirts are too tight. people keep commenting on how big my boobs have gotten (my friends, not weird creepy people…oh wait…my friends are weird, creepy people, ok, well, not weird, creepy STRANGERS. yeah, that works). if it doesn’t have an elastic waste it won’t zip. i fit into 2 dressed. and one of those is one i bought at secret oktober today in a size large.

on monday i am starting a program call Fitgirls. it has structure and process. i need that. that keeps my interest. it keeps me busy. i am also still working to figure out all the food that hates me and eating more from the FODMAP beginner’s diet book. the simple stuff. like, roller out blueberry muffins. take less than 30 min to make start to finish and yummy snack. i use Freshly for lunch. it is sort of a challenge to follow the Fitgirls program in that stuff has to be done on certain days so that food is ready. AND you still make dinner at dinner time. when i work i have very little time between shifts so cooking is not easy at all. things are simple though. of course, i may find myself eating spoonful of peanut butter some nights.

but i have got to fit into more of my clothing by vegas or it will be a miserable trip.

started some new meds. i am better. i can get out of bed now. showering is still hard. and if i don’t shower i won’t leave the house. but better to move around the house awake than sleep 28 hours. may need to…UP THE VOLTAGE! (for all you Real Genius fans out there)

my dreams have been VERY detailed lately. and i remembering more than one a night. which is totally bizarre. normally i would contemplate what my dreams are trying to tell me. but, i am too tired these days. i had a super detailed dream where Christine and i were shopping (which is pretty common). this was SUPER detailed though. i remember the items we were looking at in serious detail.

started seeing a new therapist who specializes in grief. my first appointment was a background thing. but she did make a comment about grief that resonated. made me feel better. unfortunately, i cannot remember what it was. amusing, eh? still, i miss Lucy more and more. she mostly kept me from feeling lonely. i feel SO lonely now. i have all sorts of friends, i go out, i wet set my hair. I THROW AXES EVERY TUESDAY NIGHT! but i am lonely. i am going to be a bridesmaid. i need a date. no dates.

i am still awesome though.

here is a picture of me in a wet set. i do really enjoy playing girly with my hair like this.

april cannot come soon enough

april is when i see my new psychiatrist. my old one fired me. wtf?

this what my brain is doing to me these days. not even vaguely hiding things in symbolism. this is why i am afraid:

my most recent dream this morning. i was at work, my boss wouldn’t help a certain pt family member find a place to eat. i walked them out to a mall but got lost on my way back. i was only wrapped in a comforter (plus underwear) and there was a mountain lion and a mountain lion cub sleeping on it. no one wanted to help me because of the mountain lion and i was a nearly naked women walking around wrapped in a comforter. this was all happening in germany. i finally found a cop, but when i went to ask where there hotel i was staying at was, i couldn’t remember the german word for hotel.

i am not ok.

my dream means: i feel disconnected, i am unable to articulate when talking to people about what i need and something about me (something vicious or angry) keeps people away from me. the nudity means that i have gained all the weight back i lost for my 30th high school reunion and none of my clothing fits (again).

lucy and i made sure the other person got up every day and kept going. now i am alone in this. if people ask how i am, what do i say? i am struggling. how can they help me? i have no idea. seriously, none. one thing i have always done is keep going. it is just so much harder now after having had someone to help. i’ll keep trying. i do not know what else to do. i adore the offers to listen. i have no idea what else to say.


if i were to go back and read all my old posts (many of which are no longer up, i need to fix that), i bet most of them are complaining. i bet most of them are about fear. or hurt. sure, part of my not-secret blog is that it is easier to write it than say it to someone (sometimes i read my blogs to my therapist because it is easier to get it out that way). but there are many awesome things. honestly, my life is pretty rad.

i have great friends and lots to do. places to go. experiences to have.

but i also feel so very lonely. it is really bad. my medication isn’t working anymore. i had hoped someday i would be able to stop taking anti-depressants, but maybe not. certainly not now. my psychiatrist fired me recently, i wrote him the meds weren’t working and i could not handle the side effects of one of the meds anymore. he said i should find someone with more similar treatment goals. what the hell? is the goal that i feel better? whatever, i see my new doc in April. which sucks, but oh well.

as i was saying, i figured something out today. i had been messaging with boytoy earlier (he is doing VERY well!) and i talked about being sad about Lucy. about what i lost when she died. all i have been able to say until now is, “we took care of each other”. but that isn’t quite it. today i realized what it is exactly. we made sure the other person kept going. now, Lucy’s family and friends might say “Lucy didn’t need help with that”, but i think we all do. and Lucy told me once, after she finally got a great job she kicked-ass in, that she couldn’t have done it without me. eh, Lucy was pretty awesome strong and resilient, but i think i know what she meant.

Lucy fed me. everyone knows how bad i am at feeding myself. always have been. Lucy made sure i kept going by taking away one of the most difficult things for me in life… feeding myself (i do not want to go into what this means exactly if you don’t already know the story. if you want to know the story, ask me in person next time you see me, happy to share.) eating is essential! eating well, regularly means life is better. all the studies say that! dinner was the only time my family got together regularly. it meant togetherness. now that i am Lucy-less and single, the reality of me taking care of me is painfully bright. i have GREAT friends! i have amazing things in my life! but someone used to feed me too. someone made sure i kept going. there is only me to make sure i keep going now. that is a lot of energy. that is something i liked sharing with Lucy. i’d like to share that with someone.

so, being single is even worse now. i turn 50 in august. the number doesn’t really bother me (other than i wish i were younger so i could do more nurse things before i die). i know that studies have shown sadness and feelings of emptiness and worthlessness peak in ones 40s, and then things go up from here. it isn’t that i feel worthless, i am awesome, but i feel lonely. and i know that it common, typical, normal at my age. my brain knows things will go up from here. and everyone knows my brain is still in charge (even if, perhaps, i should try and feel more). this will get better, i know it will. right now, though, all i want to do is sleep and i have gained back every pound i lost since my 30th high school reunion. food and loneliness.

for those of you that don’t ever get to see me in person, this is what i look like these days (ax throwing bday party!) (mod cloth skirt, death cafe t-shirt made for my by coworker Jade, black bartoli boot fluevogs (not shown); “Rock me like a Hurricane” – Scorpions)

how does one title it?

my roommate died Sept 13th. lucy called 911 at 7am. i was told her heart stopped when they transferred her to the gurney. they worked on her for an hour. couldn’t bring her back.

we had these rituals that are gone. the night before we had a perfectly normal conversation. no indication she was having health issues other than she had “heart burn”. could be a cardiac sign for a woman (women generally don’t have the tv classic, left arm pain, truck sitting on your chest like men do. that is why women die of heart attacks at a greater rate, the signs are misinterpreted).

i was the first they called because i was the first person they could find. please put an emergency contact in your wallet. mine says lucy. i need to change that.

family came. we celebrated her. they cleaned out her room. i listened to them find things that she had kept and reminisce about her, and them, and their lives.

i find myself saying “silly lucy” when i think of something i want to share. the night before was SO normal, that it still seems like she could walk back in. we just remodeled our kitchen!

i went in and held her hand at the hospital. she was wearing cute underwear. (i saw them when i lifted the sheet to hold her hand. women will understand why this is important)

she was the perfect roommate. we had already started planning our house warming part. we were going to make goth tapas! (and when i say we, i mean lucy. i would make dessert).

my friends are bringing me food because they are afraid i will starve to death. just like when patrick and i split. i really love being taken care of like this. it feels good. it feels like a big family. a place where i have people supporting me. maybe that place has existed before, but i really feel it now.

i may understand that death is not personal. but my patients are sick. lucy was perfectly normal the night before. sudden death is the worst. it makes no sense. when i die, i want a 6-month cancer. doesn’t drag it out, but people get to process it before i am gone.

man, i miss lucy.

my brain hates me

i have had 3 dreams (in like the last 4 days) of patrick “betraying” me. while i did not want to get divorced, patrick never betrayed me. all the dreams have him being with other women. and it hurts SO BADLY. the dream is emotionally painful. i want them to stop.

they are about the boy (david). he betrayed me the night he forgot about me.

they are about people i thought were my friends. i found out a coworker applied for the team lead position but hasn’t told me. why would she do that? i told her i was applying. this is a rift i don’t think i I can forgive. i don’t hate her. but i don’t respect her anymore.

they are about my boss. we certainly do NOT betray our patients. despite everything, our patients get a level of care of have never seen in healthcare (before or after i entered the field myself.) but i think mgmt betrays us. they say all sorts of things. but nothing changes. no one who works on the floor is held accountable. messages are sent with no sense the meaning or rules will be enforced.

so what do i do about this? i don’t have another appointment set with my therapist. we both thought i had found some footing. she commented “you say ‘whatever’ a lot more” (i think implied in that she saw i felt it too). i am not even sure this is a “big” issue. it is obviously very meaningful, but is it some deep seated, life long misery? i don’t think so. at least not one i haven’t come to understand and learned to live with. i have a number of friends that say you can’t trust anyone. i don’t want to live in that world. i also don’t want to take care of any patients except the dying. how do i find this new balance? or is it just a bunch of stuff at once and will mellow out?

my refi is complete. my financial position is far more solid. i don’t HAVE to work a lot of extra hours. don’t really want to either. i want to pass the CHPN (certified hospice and palliative care nurse). i get $1/hr more for that. that’s another ~$150/month. but you have to sign up 2-months before you take it yet pay $400 it costs to take the test at that time. i’ll need some extra hours for that.

PopCats in 2 weeks. new kitchen the week after. lots happening. now if my brain would just stop being such as asshole.

FB knows too

so, this weekend i had some closure that has stopped a loop in my brain. i visited with the “boy who broke my heart” to see how i felt about him. was it getting better? am i getting over the heartache? (also a thing about lust that has to do with a medication i started taking, but that is WAY too complicate to explain). Anyhow…

while it was hard to hear about other women he is trying to forge relationships with, it made things clearer. while hearing, he didn’t like me quite enough to date was a virtual slap in the face (though certainly NOT what he was trying to do, i am just using a metaphor for how it feels, my feelings) it helped clear the path forward.

while i wish you felt about me the way i feel about you, thank you “boy who broke my heart” for being honest and clear. i wish and hope and offer my virtual energy so that you might find the right girl and she treats you as fabulously as you should be.

(thanks for listening, y’all)

i have been thinking about this post for weeks!

so, basically, i started it in june, but have been stewing for almost a month. not in a bad way. in a “hm, but then there is this” way. whatever…

i am refinancing my condo. after 4 years i have some great equity. it is going to relieve some stress in my life. i won’t have to work as much, if i don’t want to. i find i like having days off. i like being surprised by who is still there, gone or back when i come back after 3 days or so. i did apply for a promotion. they have listed a Team Leader for HACH. i think i am the best candidate. i don’t think i am perfect. i do think i will need the support of my boss.  i worry about that support. but i KNOW i can make HACH a better place to work (not sure it can even BE a better place to die, but we’ll make that better too!)

i also like having days off because i fit into ALL my clothing again. so i have all sorts of outfits i want to wear out!

susan (from work) and i went to a haunted hotel/dancehall in Coupeland, TX last weekend. i do not believe in ghosts, but susan does. and i love weird things. we had a WONDERFUL time! i was talking with the pharm tech at CVS today and he likes creepy places too. he seemed to want to say more, but didn’t. so i said, “perhaps susan and i will need a male protector?!” he thought we might. hm.

i made the mistake of going to david’s FB page to see what he has been doing. there was a photo who took of someone in NOLA (that day). that made me SO sad. i even posted on FB about feeling stressed about things. i even mentioned “the boy who broke my heart”. he seems to read most of my stuff (considering the things he “likes”) so he may have seen me reference him. to be clear, not loving me back was fine – that is my own heart’s problem – it was the forgetting me the night of the goth ball that ended it for me.

but, with the medication, i don’t want to have sex (i have thought about this so much i feel like i must have already blogged about it?). which is super bizarre for me. though, emotionally and/or mentally, i don’t really care. i realized tonight that for the first time in my life i want to cuddle instead of have sex. it made me laugh because when patrick and i got married, he wanted to cuddle and i wanted to roll-over and go to sleep! fact is though, i do want a emotional/romantic partner. i just don’t want to have sex. i could probably enjoy having sex, i would just never finish. that causes issues. i don’t need issues like that.

kyle has started a new med for his depression that has made an AMAZING difference. he is a totally different person. he thinks about people other than himself. he has openly helped and supported me a bunch of times lately. he even joined the gym and we go together. he is my platonic husband. we act like a married couple. i really like just being around him. but i don’t want to have sex with him. i simply don’t feel like having sex. part of me wants to ask if he wants to cuddle, but i don’t want to give him the wrong impression or hurt his feelings when i don’t want to do anything more than cuddle.

i work. i sleep. i drink soylent. i read. i go to the gym with kyle. i sew. PopCats is at the end of august. i go see shows. it is a good life. i feel a little weird. everything feels ok. i am doing new weird things with newer friends. while i still love to dress up and look as perfect as possible, i am tired of men responding to me sexually, as a first interaction. my therapist told me i had to take “sex-positive” out of my personal ad on OKC, because men don’t get it. am i doomed? because my clothing fits me perfectly and shows off all the best parts of me, does that mean that is how men are always going to respond to me? life feels balanced and that feels weird. i worry i am missing something. am i missing something? or is this a peaceful feeling i simply haven’t ever achieved before?

this may not sound like a lot of thinking, but it has been. where am i? where is this all going? seems good though i fear a false sense of security. i’ll keep you posted.

some very nice things

i’ve had a few friends send me very nice messages lately. one who empathized with my loneliness, and while realizing being told you are awesome doesn’t make it go away, still told me i was valued. another friend was stressed at a conference but when the presenter reminded her of me, she said she was suddenly comfortable. aren’t those cool?

had a great bookclub. the strange case of the alchemist’s daughter. we always start bookclub with with Ross asking, “So, <bookclub host> why did you pick this book?” funny thing was, i couldn’t remember why i read the book. i picked it for bookclub because i enjoyed it so much. which counts, i suppose. not everyone had time to read it, because it was only like 3 weeks from our last meeting because of my work schedule. those that did really enjoyed it. i was asked if i related with any other the characters. “do any of the fatherly relationships remind me of my dad?” then i told them my ultimate dad story. some already knew, some were shocked.  there was a lot of silence (i am referring to the accidental dick pic incident). and i made my standard comment, hearing things has got to help people understand why i am the way i am.

my boss gave notice. i like holly. i think she is a GREAT nurse. i don’t think she is an effective manager for that environment. i pushed back hard because we needed a leader to help improve our work and work environment. for whatever reason, she wasn’t able to do that. she went back on promises on too many occasions. all of HA mgmt has. a few people have already asked if i will apply for the job. i’d love to be a full-time “charge” nurse. deal with staffing, help with admit/discharge, work on processes, etc. but i am not a good direct people manager (and probably can’t afford the pay cut). i want to help in the best way for me to help. i’ll talk to leanne on friday, i suppose.

planning my new ikea kitchen is challenging. the app lost my updates. i think i just need to wait for the summer sale and go in to get help directly.

tomorrow is a free day. going to lunch, going to get pedicure, going to donate platelets. a day.