The Ups and The Downs

So according to Social Security, they concede that I’m disabled enough to have limitations in the line of work i have been doing for the past number of years. However instead of granting me disability, they have proposed I just “get another job.” Have I mentioned that through the years I have downgraded the intensity of every single job I have had from physically lifting and moving patients around to doing nothing but sitting behind a desk, answering and checking patients in for appointments? I CANNOT GET ANYMORE PHYSICALLY LESS TAXING HERE! And when I was forced to quit my final job they were shooting me in the back with SIXTEEN INJECTIONS of lidocaine to numb me up to keep me upright in my chair so I could finish the work day. SO TELL ME SOCIAL SECURITY, WHAT JOB SUITS ME? CONSTRUCTION PERHAPS? Will that put my HS Diploma and lapsed CNA/GNA licence to good use, because that’s all the skills I have. I’m a medical worker, I know my fucking limitations thanks.

Ok, enough of that. I also just reread the last email that former friend wrote me with her ultimatums gave me, for the first time in a week. I haven’t responded to it still. It still invokes the same stomach churning upsetness it first did where I am at a loss for words at how I could possibly reply without being snarky or incredibly awful in my response, or just cry my whole way through it. I just am not at a place where I can respond at all I do not think at the moment.

Especially not in the wake of one of my best friends since I was teen getting engaged this weekend to another friend I have known of ours since I was 18! I wish them both the very very best, I cannot wait to see them start this part of their lives together, they both deserve nothing but the best. I love Christine so much, I sat in my car and almost cried when I heard the news I was so emotional about it, and I’m not even the damn person getting engaged. She is. But then again, you’d have to understand the past 15 years to get why I feel entitled to be oddly emotional for her. I could probably write a book dedicated to the shenanigans of our friendship in this really bizarre Sex in the City meets My So Called Life sort of way. I couldn’t ask for a better person to make those memories with either. I miss living around the corner from each other all the time now that we are adults and have to live adult lives now.

For reals though, Christine, if I don’t hear some Jump Around at this wedding, our friendship is going under a serious probationary evaluation. 

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Move it Along

I’ve been confronted with a situation lately where I’ve been given an ultimatum, “change who I am so we can maybe kiss and make up on THEIR terms” or just keep moving on. It was actually tough for me at first believe it or not, because when that situation involves someone you considered a best friend things just get complicated. I peice of me is emotionally attached to this person and wants nothing more to apologize, forget the whole thing, and do what it takes to rectify the situation. I miss them in my life, because they were around for so many years, and there are good memories to be attached to that. Upon taking some time to collect myself however, I have to stop and think rationally, and what’s emotionally healthy here and what the reality of the situation is. It wasn’t always what it was cracked up to be. And now this. This person already self righteously cut me from their life for two years without so much as a word to me all the while making it known to others that she had a fundamental problem with my lifestyle. Which apparently means, since I don’t believe in god, I’m against him, and I also actively hate her religion and try to pull others out like I’m a stop on some underground railroad. Which couldn’t be further from the truth, as I have close friends still involved in the church and we have very clear understanding of one another’s beliefs and do not try to change each other. I have my suspicions her issues with my “lifestyle” have deeper meaning as well, that I’m not going to get into here, but if thats true its a 100% no go in my book for things I can tolerate. That’s a subject you DON’T get to make me choose or feel bad about in my life because you will lose EVERY SINGLE TIME.

What bothers me the most is the simple act of the one promise that was made to me was broken that our entire friendship was based on. No matter what our differences, I would just not be dumped because god has instructed her that unbelievers are beneath her in her position in life. Because thats happened to me with several friends since leaving the church, friends I grew up with since I was a toddler. And that’s exactly what she did in the end. My trust issues have taken a huge leap backwards, in both trusting people who profess that faith helps them do good works, and in people who pretend to be interested in my friendship altogether.

I still hold the few near and dear to me in the same position as before this happened. I’m not losing trust in them, because that wouldn’t be fair when they have done no wrong. If anything, I’m grateful to have such friends and family in my life left that have stuck around me through my illness, my crazy times, the hard times Ken and I have faced, against the odds, and the times when the clouds have broken and we have caught a break every once in a while. That accept me when I fall down onto the sucky friend train, and wait for me to get myself right again, because they have faith that I will. It’s those friends that I want to keep around, not the full of one sided conditions, walking on eggshells, constantly making me second guess myself for the wrong reasons types of friends. So thanks guys for enriching my life with your intellectual conversation, everlasting attempts to understand me, and always willingness to offer your ears, even at 3am.

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(Wo)Man In the Mirror

I have a confession. On this lovely blog here, I have been pretty open about some things. In my other social media sites though, not so much. I have a really bad habit of molding myself into this compliant person that doesn’t want to lose friends or family in the internets simply because I have opinions or thoughts of my own. Yet I sit here every single day and be accosted by the opinions of everyone else I chose to be online connected with, without a word most of the time. It feels unfair. So let’s set the record straight shall we?

I’m a bleeding heart liberal. I believe in gay marriage (gasp) and that the LBGTQ community deserves EVERYTHING everyone else is entitled to. It is NOT a lifestyle choice, and it’s not against nature to love whoever you chose to love. And no, it’s not going to divulge into pedophilia or bestiality. These are ridiculous arguments, for neither party can give consent, quit being dumb and bringing them up. Also, the Christian church does not hold the patent on marriage, people were getting married 1000’s of years before Christianity was even a twinkle of an idea.

I believe in this country helping the downtrodden and those in need, and everyone lending a helping hand for those who are willing to try to rise out of their own situations and make themselves a better life. I believe there are men and women that serve this country under good intentions, and while their orders my not always be what we agree with its our responsibility to recognize they are not to blame for doing a job none of us will willing to sign up for. I want better healthcare for our nation. I’m sick of the disabled being cast aside, and the less fortunate being buried under medical bills no normal person could afford. I’m tired of having my uterus legislated. If Obamacare is what we have right now to ease some of that, I intend to give it a chance.

And now religion. I’m an atheist. For those who need a clear definition of that, it means I reject the idea that a god of any sort exists. It’s not a religion, there is no dogma and I’m not some scary person that eats babies in my spare time. I recognize evolution as fact and I rely on science and logic and reason to expand the knowledge I have, not a book that cannot be proven to be real, but ultimately taken on faith alone. I do not feel like organized religion is very healthy, nor do I agree with it’s practice as a whole. I understand that this is my opinion, and there it is, and I’m always willing to talk, but never there to “preach” or “convert.”

These are things I don’t discuss a lot except with a few close friends. But that is about change. If I support these things, I should walk the walk after all shouldn’t I?

Wintertime Blues.

I’ve been out of my mind feeling like I have been dropped on my head for weeks. I feel like my meds stopped working. I’m not in my deepest darkest depression, but I feel like a shell of a person just walking around my house, looking for something to do, but not feeling like doing anything. I watch the hours slowly tick by and wonder if drinking will help the days speed by any faster. Nothing seems amusing, but I’m not super emotional in the opposite direction either. Most days I look forward to the washes of fatigue so I can just shut my body down for a few minutes to make time speed up. I have no desire to write. I have hit a brick wall.

Today, I realized, I think it’s winter. Just 6 weeks ago even I was feeling MUCH different, thanking my doc for finding the right combo of meds for me, as I had never felt better. In general I was seeing hope for life despite my struggles. Then the bitter cold, shorter days, and the rain and snow started dumping. I’ve been sick, quarantined and cooped up in the house due to my autoimmune issues. I’m so done with winter but I really have no idea how to perk myself up right now. I really don’t have friends in Richmond. Life has been so stressful with school, my illness and the Army that we haven’t had a real opportunity to make any. Especially since I’m a pretty introverted person, I find it hard to initially put myself out there and build connections anyway. I guess I’m just feeling the downside of that pretty hard right now, when I look at my phone and realize I don’t even have anyone besides my grandmother to talk things out with anymore. My call history contains 3 people, and all of them are family. 

I know I have turned this post into a total pity party, but its been weighing on me. I need to change some things in my life come spring. I need to find the zest for living again. Remember my hobbies. Try to figure out how to adjust my physical needs to be able to accommodate a social life. Figure out how to get a social life. Until then, I’m going to keep holding on and hating snow. 

 

We’re Still Having Fun, And You’re Still the One.

Five years ago today woke up next to my best friend. We got dressed, ate breakfast with my roommate, she went to work like it was just another day. It wasn’t for us however. We proceeded to do the scariest thing I’ve ever done. We went downtown and got married. Yup, just like that. There was a moment of cold feet in the courthouse elevator but other than that the story was short and sweet.

In five years, we have moved 8 times, were separated the first 4 months of our marriage, been though the countless struggles and issues with my illness, craziness of the military, spent almost 3 years as a poor college couple and survived a deployment. I came to realize that though all of this, we have never fought, REALLY fought not even once. Mind blowing. I was raised in an environment where knock down blow out fighting was the norm, and taught that early on and throughout a marriage it was to be expected and for 5 years I’ve been waiting for that ball to drop. I realize now, this warped expectation of relationships has caused me great anxiety when really I have the healthiest relationship right in front of me. We are being our own example and I didn’t even know it.

So, today, I’m still waking up next to my best friend. And we are going to get dressed, eat breakfast, and celebrate today the best thing we ever did in finding each other. Committing to it long term.

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Some of you may remember this, but for those who missed it, here is my wedding story.

I feel like we are that couple that no one ever knows quite what to do with. It’s marvelous. He’s this super nerdy nice guy who’d jump in front of a train for a total stranger…..or a puppy. I’m a headstrong sometimes bitch who will cut you if you dare abuse the niceness of my husband, or try to legislate my uterus, whichever. We were brought together during such outwardly mundane circumstances (work). He was a small town boy (LIVIN’ IN A LONELY WORLD….sing with me!) who joined the military and ran into me, a city girl (WHO TOOK THE MIDNIGHT TRAIN GOING ANY-WHERE!), working at the Pentagon. We clicked, and that’s all she wrote.

Actually, that’s not “all she wrote.” We actually have one hell of a story of an evolving friendship and quite a backstory to go with it that’s led to this incredible thing we rightly and proudly call a not so traditional marriage we have today. (DON’T WORRY INTERNET, IT’S TOTALLY LEGAL AND NOT PERVERSE, AND THERE ARE NO ANIMALS INVOLVED, RAND PAUL).

What I love the most about our story is this: IT’S OURS. Some people know the abbreviated version of events. Our closer friends know more of the intimate details. However, there are only two people on the planet that know some of the most important memories of all involving how everything came to be when we started legally sharing the last name of Woodland, and that’s Ken and I. I intend to keep it that way, because I’m complicated like that.

But I’ll tell you this. Our original wedding rings were purchased by hopping off the Red Line of the Metro at Union station and bought from a street jewelry vendor. We took a cab to the courthouse in Arlington and were legally married in a law office underneath a Jerry’s Subs and Pizza. No one mentioned God, nor did we bear any vows to a religious nature. (Gasp! No! Those Atheists have gone and ruined the sanctity of marriage!) We promptly had 5 shots of Jameson at an Irish bar to celebrate after. There were no witnesses. And I was married in my sneakers. Hell yes. I love the city.

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LARPing for Jesus

The fascinating conversations I have with my childhood BFF. LARPIng remains a subject of great hilarious interest to us, having hung out in the nerdtastic circles throughout our lives. I love my D&D playing husband quite dearly, but I have to draw the line at Live Action Role Playing.

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This conversation went on to include how WE would LARP for Jesus, and the equipment we would need. I decided I’d be on the opposition, it felt like it was only right…someone needed to play the Devil’s Advocate here, if we are all practicing for the big one.

Starting a Salt Lick

Yesterday a friend sent me a photo of her latest salt purchase, which happened to be pink Himalayan sea salt and I cracked up. The reason being is we have the craziest variety of salts…and yes pink Himalayan, i think more than one container. For some reason people think we love gourmet cooking salts and give them to us as gifts. Which we actually do but now we have like this overload of salt and we actually DON’T cook with salt in general all that much (my go to is Celtic sea salt if you must know, a little goes a long way, and its got a good mineral content.)

This situation has just gotten entirely out of control and its really funny. Ken and I have what we refer to as “the salt shelf.” Somehow, because we enjoy cooking our family has read into this as “Those people cook! They must NEED FANCY SALT!” Last year my uncle gave us the ULTIMATE SALT COLLECTION. It was three jars of different salts (Red Alaea Hawaiian, Pink Himalayan, Australian Murray River) and they each came with three little spoons. They reside on the salt shelf. My parents gave us two salt blends that are actually a staples now that were blended with other herbs. Another friend directed us to a website filled with nothing but gourmet salts which I’ll admit was fascinating yet hilarious all at the same time. All this was pretty much in the same month. I wonder if my family just assumes my cholesterol is shot to hell and we eat lard by the bucket with our meals too. We have table salt, pretzel salt, sea salt, grey salt, garlic salt, sad salt, happy salt, drunk salt, now I’m just making shit up salt, but you get the picture. It’s almost as ridiculous as walking into one of those Asian grocery stores where they have big bags of MSG on the shelves. And I stress, WE OWN IT, WE DONT USE IT IN THOSE PROPORTIONS, this crazy salt. Don’t get all worried about my health you health nuts.

I’m pretty sure we actually have Epsom’s salt under the bathroom sink too now that I think about it, like a gallon of the stuff. NOO! Now my nightmares are going to consist of me being inflated with my cooking salts and bath salts and smelling salts, all because of the one picture I now have on my phone reminding me of the salt shelf in my kitchen. DEAR FRIEND, YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE, AND I KNOW WHERE YOU LIVE.

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14 salts on the Salt Shelf: Salts not pictured: Epsom’s Salt. He was too busy being a asshole recluse under the sink and I wasn’t going to fight his ass for this classroom photo.

P.S. We apparently don’t have any black salt. Consider that a open invitation I guess.

BRAIN WWAARR!!

I don’t usually encourage bad grammar or spelling but I really want to scream “IMMA ‘BOUT TO NEED A VALIUM DRIP UP IN HERE!” with all the recent changes going on in my life right now. We all know I’m one crack up from going completely insane, and I just feel like life is pushing those buttons right now just to see if it can break me. JUST SO YOU KNOW LIFE, YOU CAN. YOU CAN STOP NOW. THIS WHOLE BIBLICAL JOB COMPLEX IS NOT AMUSING.

Sure, I’m on meds that are like my secret little weapons of second wave back up forces keeping the anxiety armies and tears at bay. I have the friends kinda dropping in from the sky and beating back my insecurities like kamikaze pilots when it gets bad as well. I certainly don’t want to kill them off, and everyone needs to sleep around here. And I’m fond of their devotion and all that.

But the point here is this, none of these things can keep putting my brain back together if you, life, keep dropping nuclear bombs in here of ridiculous nature. Between my illnesses, the military, financial, and family life struggles I simply need a break. Don’t you give me any of that “God doesn’t give you any more than you can handle” nonsense, because we both know full well I don’t believe in God and that saying is bullshit. Surviving and handling are two entirely different things.

I’m angry right now, I’m venting, I need a good stiff drink and probably a sense of humor. But I allowed myself the usage of the slang “IMMA” for the very first time ever, and now I am going to have to reflect on THAT for a few hours. *Cringe*

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I’M SO ASHAMED.

The Wheels On The Bus Go Round and Round…

A few days ago I woke up crying in a panic over “what if getting better changes me and I lose the parts of myself I like because of it” WHO DOES THAT? Is that normal? To be scared of getting better because you are afraid of losing part of your uniqueness or something in a way? Or that people you know now might not like the fact some of the YOU qualities are now muted? The not bad ones? Do you even lose those? I truly have no idea because I don’t know what “normal” feels like, or what it will feel like for me. However, right now I feel like I’ve lost my edge in a way in the whole “limbo” of waiting to figure it out process, and its getting to me, not having answers, or an idea of how this works. I’m pretty sure it’s not as beautiful a transition as all those neat little anti depressant/mood stabilizer commercials where I’m just going to burst through as a beautiful butterfly as soon as the medication just rights my ass on out. I KNOW better. Healing takes time, work and commitment. But man I miss that little Zoloft bubble from back in the day. He was uber cool.

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Look at him, transforming his life and shit. Classy Zoloft bubble.

I just feel less funny, or maybe less able to be expressively funny lately, and I have always loved my own sense of humor. Some call it snarky, but I never cared. I crack myself up, I draw on it to observe and write and tell stories with my friends. If I lose that, I will be devastated. If I become this serious, just introspective person ALL THE TIME, who can’t let herself fly off fantastically at the mouth, or just crack up at random sometimes, without it being a manic episode, I think I will miss that part of me. I’m also afraid other people won’t recognize me either, quite frankly. However, I can’t LIVE my life like that 100% of the time, I must heal myself, I MUST become a better person, but I’m scared of losing a bit of what’s made me ME in this whole “facing the music” road I’m putting myself on.

I’ve been assured by people with some experience in several aspects of this what I’m feeling is both normal, and also something that I will get over as I figure out my situation, my treatment, and basically the groove of what the hell is up with my life. Once again support system to the rescue while I hash out the mixed bag of nuts life has handed me. I have to say, at least these aren’t all freaky exotic nuts no one has ever heard of, as complicated as all this feels to me. It’s all nuts that while the package may be hard to open, no one seems surprised to encounter what’s inside. Whew.

It’s like undergoing a procedure. You know it’s for your own good but you’re still scared of going under the knife for a myriad of reasons. I think that’s a valid way to feel about it.

HOOAH!

It’s funny how in 24 hours the military can absolutely wreck your plans for days, and those of everyone involved around you. HOOAH!

Ken has been called to work this weekend, with 48 hours notice, so now it’s a total scramble to cancel all our plans. No birthday party for Rhysie. No Costco shopping for grandma. No playing IT consultant for grandma and Eileen. No staying with my parents, seeing my sister, paying last respects to the Colonel AGAIN (he would get it though) and no revisiting the Pentagon for “old time’s sake.” It was just a flurry to disappointing cancellations and clarifying “WHAT THE HELL” details with his unit yesterday when we found out. So in our sadness we ate Bon Chon, and got wasted off of some Soju for the second time this week. White peach Soju is a winner.

20130808-063857.jpg it’s patriotic, red, white and blue. Get it? Ha!

Turns out though, not all was a loss. In our misery, our poor friends down at Bragg were having their own special hell finding out his report date for a 6 week assignment to Ft Lee, in Richmond was moved up two days to FRIDAY, instead of SUNDAY. We had agreed to get him safely to Ft Lee on Sunday as he would not be allowed a car (the military is stupid with the rules for training schools) but since they now thought we would be gone on Friday in DC, he and his wife were freaking out. So as luck would have it, it works out that we are no longer going because I can now help them on Friday no problem! Ha. It’s really fine though, because this particular couple, were my neighbors while Ken was deployed, and without them, I surely would have lost my mind. They took me in as one of their family, every single day, helped me move in, kept my mind from going nuts, became my best friends. That bond continued when Ken came home. We owe them favor upon favor. I would rearrange a million plans to help them out anytime. They are extended family in my eyes. And I’ve missed them terribly since we left Ft. Bragg. But in October they will be moving to Newport News, VA! So much closer!

Maybe we will get some helpful news this weekend about this upcoming year of separation, but most likely not. I’m not holding my breath. I’m too much a veteran in my own right to expect too much out of this no matter how hard they hint at the possibility of information. You get better information listening to people talk in the bathroom like in highschool, than you do at formation most of the time. Until they actually cut and hand you orders and people start going insane.