Category Archives: Deep Thoughts

Yes We Did


So I’m watching President Obama’s final address and it’s breaking my heart.  I wanted to reshare something that I wrote back in my old Livejournal on the night that President Obama won his first presidential election.  Although we’re in a very uncertain time, everything I wrote on November 5, 2008 holds true today. I am still proud, I am still willing to fight for positive change, and I still believe in a wonderful man named Barack Obama. ❤ Please don’t forget all of the amazing things we’ve seen happen in the past eight years.  It’s been a struggle, and unfortunately we’ve seen some pretty awful things too, but there is still good in the world and still love in the world.  Please don’t let hate win.  Don’t let what brilliant change we’ve seen happen before our eyes be forgotten.

Yes We Can

11/5/2008, 11:12 p.m.

I’m sitting on my bed with goose bumps all over my body and tears streaming down my face. I’m so beyond touched, amazed, proud, excited, and just wowed over what is happening tonight. A few minutes ago I stood in front of my television in my bedroom as Barack Obama was announced as the next president of this country. A biracial man is going to be the next president of this county. I can’t even type that without starting to cry again. I hoped, and maybe even prayed, that one day we see a person of color as president. I believed it would happen eventually, but I honestly didn’t think it would be so soon. Months ago before I even knew who Obama was and the relentless political ads began bombarding our senses I had hopes that maybe tonight I would see the first woman president in our history… but this blows my mind.

I know tonight is historic for everyone in the country and even in the world, but as a biracial woman I can barely begin to explain how important tonight is to me. My parents met, fell in love, married each other, and had my brother at a time when it was still illegal in parts of this country to marry interracially. Stop and really think about that… it was illegal. They fought for the right to love each other and eventually chose to bring me into this world as well. To think that 39 years ago when my parents met and Obama himself was just a little boy that people were dying in the fight for civil rights and now we are about to have a president who was born of interracial love, an African American First Lady, and two beautiful multiracial little girls in the White House… it touches my heart. 

I have always been proud to be biracial. It has always been and will always be something that I so proudly display and never think of as a hardship. I believe it is part of what makes me the person that I am. Being biracial has taught me to be a person who loves, a person of tolerance, and person who hates the word hate because of all of the horrible ugly things people have done in the name of hatred. I adore being biracial and tonight my tears are tears of celebration. Sure, there are still people full of hatred and we still have so far to go when it comes to race relations… we all know this. But tonight we’re closer than we were yesterday. Tonight I am one happy, proud, biracial woman sitting on her bed in the middle of the night in her pajamas crying her eyes out. Tonight I am a happy, proud American.  

“Change has come to America…” – President Elect Barack Obama, 12:02 a.m., November 5, 2008

“This is our moment… this is our time…” – President Elect Barack Obama, 12:15 a.m., November 5, 2008

  


Why I suck at blogging; a tale of one boob and other medical crap.

I mentioned recently that I’d been working on a blog post about why I’ve been such a shitty blogger this year.  Aside from still being in transition and training for my new job, I’ve also been doing a lot of medical stuff.  That awful, shitty, horrible, no good, very bad doctor I’ve had for the past few years has been replaced.  Yay!!  My new doctor, so far, has listened to me and said things like, “Let’s get you feeling better first and then deal with XYZ…” and “Why didn’t Dr. Suck run this test?”  (She didn’t really call her Dr. Suck… LOL)  She also referred me to a Rheumatologist who I saw after waiting for several months and who also listened to me and didn’t try to blow me off like my old suck-ass doctor did.  So I’ve had a billion blood tests, found out that my Vitamin D is chronically low, and I have to have x-rays and start physical therapy while my new doctors work on figuring out what the heck is wrong with my body. (I’m convinced it’s Fibromyalgia but we’ll see…).  So yeah, I’ve been tired.  I love my job, but it’s hard when I’m always in pain and my boss keeps wanting to increase my caseload every few weeks.  It’s not nearly as emotionally draining as the old job, but it’s hard on my body.  By the time I get home I’m usually pretty worthless and just haven’t had any energy to blog or write or do anything fun.

I do however have a health related tale to tell you.  So gather ’round, my peeps… I’ve gotta school ya for a bit and I get to say the word boob a lot which I love.  Boob.  Boob. Boob.  LOL

As you may know, this is a big birthday year for me. I’ll be officially moving into a new age bracket that begins with a 4.  Forty comes many new things, more grey hair, more chronic pain, more wondering/worrying about ever getting to be a mom to my own kids… All the usual things. But one thing that came early was my very first mammogram.

Let me start off by saying that for years and years if someone said to me that they didn’t get mammograms because they hurt my auto response has been, “You know what hurts more? Breast Cancer.”  I don’t believe in the whole, “I’m not going to do it because it hurts” excuse because really, it can’t hurt THAT bad.  We’re women, we have periods and cramps and give birth, a boob smash should be pretty low on the pain scale as far as I’m concerned.

I called to make my yearly girly appointment and the chick was like, “When was your last mammogram?” and I told her I’d never had one she looked at my date of birth and said it was time. I didn’t flinch and made the appointment.

A week later I was there for the boob smash.

smash

So here’s the thing… It didn’t hurt. It wasn’t pleasant, but it wasn’t something that I would necessarily avoid like the plague. The left boob did pinch a little more than the right but it was so quick that I was like, “This is it?”  Even the tech said to me, “Have you been told horror stories? Those are about the old machines, the new ones aren’t bad at all.” Really, it wasn’t bad.

So by now you’re thinking, “Why are you talking about this?” Well, because my experience didn’t stop with just one mammogram.

A few days later I got a call saying that they wanted to re-image the left boob. I figured it was because I’d moved or something since like I said, the left side hurt a little more than the right. But no, when I returned I found out that there were two spots of concern that they wanted different shots of and I was also going to have an ultrasound.

The immediate results from that said “It’s probably lymph nodes.” A few days after that I got a call telling me that they wanted to do a biopsy.

At this point I’m doing my best not to jump from zero to cancer but I’m not going to lie, I went there.  The few people who I told were mostly supportive and kept telling me I’d be fine. I’d smile and nod but in my head I often thought, “Yeah but we’ll see…”

March 3rd came along and I went with my mom to a place called the Breast Center for my biopsy. There are several different types of biopsies but I was having an ultrasound guided needle biopsy. I knew what to expect because frankly I’d googled and YouTubed the crap out of it (I have to know as much as possible about things… Education is one of my resiliency tools).

So the doctor comes in and he’s this adorable gum chewing little guy who shares the same last name as me. He explained what was going to happen and demonstrated the biopsy tool because it makes this really loud pop gun sort of thing when he takes the sample. I was anticipating it but I think my mom was happy to have the warning.

According to the doctor, the two spots were very small and he wasn’t very impressed by them. LOL um, thanks?  They were not fluid filled cysts, which would’ve been the best result so he did have to go ahead with the needle biopsies.

For the first spot he took about two cores, and the second one he took five. By core I mean he shot the hollow needle through the lump to collect a core sample. I didn’t feel a thing, but it was pretty cool to watch on the ultrasound screen. My mom is a LPN and she got a kick out of it too. LOL

Oh and when they do a biopsy they put these surgical steel markers in your boob so that the spot is marked. I have two markers in my left boob now for the rest of my life. One is shaped like a breast cancer awareness ribbon and is frankly pretty cute on the mammogram they did after the biopsy. (I wish I had a copy of it, seriously it’s kinda cool.)

I left with steri-strips on the two incisions in my boob, a dressing covering it all, and a handy little ice pack that I could put in my bra. 🙂 Then I had to wait a full week for the results.

No really. A whole fucking week. Ugh. More time to assume I was going to have cancer and wonder what my head would look like shaved and how I would explain it to Doodlebutt if I was sick. By the time I went back in for my results I was sure I had cancer.

But I don’t. Yay!

kermit

I have two benign thingymajigs (LOL I can’t remember the name and have no idea where the paperwork is right now). They don’t have to come out and basically I just have to monitor them with yearly boob smashes. Whew!

My bruises are finally gone (it took forever).  I have two little scars from where the biopsies were done.  I no longer feel the need to walk around holding my boob so that it doesn’t move too much and hurt.  LOL It was a scary situation, but I made it thorough and I don’t by any means regret getting that mammogram. Had my thingymajigs been cancer, it would have been early (too early to be felt by hand) and hopefully would’ve been treatable.  But if I’d avoided the mammogram because it might hurt it could have grown and spread and been much worse.

So the moral of the story… get your freaking boobs smashed.  Then go buy yourself a treat for being a good, responsible, girl. 🙂

 

 


“Try”

When it came time to choose the songs for this year’s song fic prompts I was excited to have the chance to pick a few.  Of course my first choice was to pick a Backstreet Boys song.  The song is called Try and if you’ve never heard it and want to hear it, you can click here.

It’s one of my favorite songs but when I chose it I didn’t think about how sad it can be even though it’s hopeful too.  This is for Sydney and Olivia who I did not know but wish I or someone had been able to help.

~~~~~

Sophie and I had worked together for six months, side by side slinging expensive coffee to the masses.  We’d bonded over our strange tastes in music and movies, and laughed at the absurd names the hipsters named their kids.  I’d slowly fallen in love with her but had been too afraid to tell her.  I told myself that being her friend and coworker was enough.  As long as she was in my life in some way, I’d be happy.

I could tell she was hurting, and I saw all of the warning signs.  She’d withdrawn from her friends and activities she loved, made a massive change in her wardrobe, began getting failing grades, and had wicked mood swings.  The red flags had all been there, and had all been ignored.  Her family thought, “Oh she’s just going through a phase…”  Her friends who’d been pushed aside said she’d turned into an “emo bitch.”  When her teachers and school counselors brought up concern they’d been told by her mother, “I know my daughter, I’d know if she was hurting herself or if she was depressed.”

I couldn’t ignore her though.  Even when she tried being mean to me in an attempt to push me away, I shrugged it off knowing that she was just in pain.  It was a pain I’d known all too well myself.  I didn’t know how to tell her though.  It wasn’t like one day as we mopped the floor I could just say, “Hey… you seem depressed and well, I have experience with that so… wanna talk?”  If I’d done that, she would have slammed her walls down around herself and I probably would’ve never seen her again.

So instead I just did my best to let her know that I was there.  I gave her access to every social media account I had. If she sent out a tweet, I read it.  If she Instagramed something, I liked it.  I hoped that if she knew I was out there paying attention to her that it would help somehow.  I remembered the days when I felt like no one saw me and the dark, scary path it had led me down.

One Saturday morning when we were supposed to open the store together she didn’t show up.  The voicemail in the office that we were supposed to call if we had to miss work was empty. I checked her Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and checked to see if I’d somehow missed a text but there was nothing.  Her last post on Instagram had been four hours earlier and was an artsy shot of her left hand, palm up.  There hadn’t been any sort of text along with the shot, but it made my blood run cold.  She was right handed and if she’d planned to hurt herself, the left wrist would be first.

I called her phone and prayed that she would pick up.  I ran through my head as the phone rang what my next step would be if she didn’t pick up.  I didn’t know her exact address but I knew where she lived.  If I had to I was prepared to risk my job and lock up the store to go check on her.  Just as I was reaching for my keys her voice was in my ear and it wasn’t her voicemail kicking in.  She was saying my name, “Alex?”

“Hey, Soph…” I said, with a relieved sigh.  My heart was still in my throat but if she was talking to me that was a good thing.  Or at least that’s what I told myself.  “Uh… Yeah… I was just wondering if you…” I rolled my eyes at myself and smacked my hand to my forehead.  “Well, I figured you weren’t coming in today but I was wondering if I could see you later.”

Total silence on her end of the line and then quietly, “Why?”

I had no idea what to tell her.  I ran my fingers over the scar on my wrist, a nervous habit, and tried to think of something clever.  The scar itself gave me an idea, “You’re artistic and I need someone with an artsy eye.”

“Al, what are you talking about?” she asked in a confused and somewhat annoyed voice.

“I decided to go ahead and get a tattoo. You told me that if I got one you’d go with me.”  Suddenly my mind was firing on all cylinders and I didn’t sound like such a dweeb.  “Remember?”

She chuckled and sniffed like maybe she’d been crying, “Yeah I remember.”

“So will you go with me?”

“Even though I was about to ditch you on a Saturday morning shift?”

“I can handle it…” I told her gently.  “I’m not sure how well I’ll handle the tattoo needle though.”

More silence followed by another sniff before she cleared her throat, “I’ll be there in half an hour.”

“Promise?” I asked before I could tell myself that it sounded too desperate.

“Yeah… I promise.”

She made good on the promise and made it to work, which means I had to follow through with getting a tattoo even though I hadn’t really planned on it at all.  She was quiet in my car on the way to the tattoo shop and I did my best to fill the silence with light banter.  She’d been quiet all through our shift too, but as long as she was there with me, I knew she was safe.

I was pretty sure that I was going to either piss my pants or puke when it was time to get my ink.  She found that to be hilarious and she smiled for the first time all day as she teased me.  When the artist asked me what design I wanted, I pulled up a picture on my phone.  It was one that Sophie herself had posted months ago on her Instagram and I’d saved because I’d liked it so much, “Like this…”

I heard Sophie gasp as she realized the picture belonged to her.  It was a semi-colon  on a coffee cup that she’d doodled on the edge of a history test.  I pushed the sleeves of my tee shirt up and bared my wrists to her.  In the six months we’d known each other my wrists were always covered.  Mostly because it had been fall and winter in Michigan, but also because even when it was 80 degrees out I had a tendency to cover my wrists.

“It was a year and a half ago…” I told her as she reached out and ran her fingers over the scars.  “I was very lucky.  I shouldn’t have survived it, but my mom came home early.”  I watched as a single tear slid down each of her cheeks.  “You okay with me taking your design?”  She nodded and kept looking down at my wrists.  I then turned the tables and pushed her sleeves up her arms.  She had scars too but none as severe as my own and they were fairly new.  “Will you get one with me?”

She let out a soft sob and let her head drop as she gave in to her tears.  I pulled her into a hug and let her cry.  The tattoo artist smiled at me and motioned silently that she was going to leave us alone for a bit but she’d be back.

“Soph… I don’t know what’s been going on with you, but I know from experience that it can get so much better.  Please let me help.”

“How did you know?” she finally asked when she pulled back from the hug to wipe her eyes.

I shrugged, “I’ve been there.  Sometimes it takes someone who’s been in your shoes to see what’s really going on.” I nudged the toes of her converse sneakers with my own.

“My own mom doesn’t even believe me when I say I need help.”

“I know…” I told her and held her hands in mine.  “And I hate it.  But I believe you. That design you drew, that tells me that you don’t want to go anywhere.  You wouldn’t have drawn it otherwise.  So this is your pause… you get to decide whether your story ends or goes on.  But for the record, I really, really want it to go on.”

She squeezed my hands and nodded her head, “So do I.”

“Okay, so let’s do this.  We get the ink, and then we do this together.”

She finally lifted her eyes to meet my own and as they filled once more with tear she said, “Promise?”

I smiled from ear to ear as relief washed over me.  “Absolutely.”

Try, baby, try
Give me a moment of your time
Oh no, don’t, don’t close your eyes
I know you’re hurting now
We can work it out
If we just try.

Project-Semicolon

PROJECT SEMICOLON IS A GLOBAL NON-PROFIT MOVEMENT DEDICATED TO PRESENTING HOPE AND LOVE FOR THOSE WHO ARE STRUGGLING WITH MENTAL ILLNESS, SUICIDE, ADDICTION AND SELF-INJURY. PROJECT SEMICOLON EXISTS TO ENCOURAGE, LOVE AND INSPIRE.

National Hopeline Network  ::  1.800.SUICIDE (784-2433)

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline  ::  1.800.273.TALK (273-8255)

The Trevor Project (LGBTQ)  ::  1.866.4.U.TREVOR (488-7386)

~~~~~

Let’s see what the other girls have cooked up, shall we?
Kris | Bronwyn | Jessica


Wednesday Words: Too Much

This week we’re supposed to be talking about the things we spend too much time on. The first thing that comes to mind is, of course, my job. But you’ve heard about that ad nauseum, right?  So here’s a short list of other things I can think of. 🙂 

  • Worrying: I’m a worry wart. I’ve had problems with anxiety all of my life although I didn’t really have a name for it until a few years ago. Growing up I was afraid of the dark, afraid of sleeping alone, afraid of strangers, and painfully shy. I still struggle with all of those things today too, just in different levels of severity. My job makes me worry, I worry about my parents, about my babies, about my friends, and panic attacks. Anxiety blows. I do my best, but it’s been a really hard couple of years for my anxiety and the job doesn’t help.
  • Rereading and editing: Because my writing career started with serial fanfic I got in the habit of sort of publishing as I went along. So if I posted a chapter I couldn’t go back and change it later because it was already out there for reading. Because of that I struggle with leaving a chapter incomplete and going back to fill in the blanks when I’m writing. I also HAVE to write in chronological order. So when I’m trying to write something that isn’t being immediately shared with readers I go back and retread and edit allllll of the time instead of just getting the story out.   I often get stuck because of it. I also worry about it being “good enough” which we all know is a no no.  miss serial writing and the excitement of regular feedback!  
  • Caring: No, it’s not a bad thing to care. Especially if you’re a social worker. But sometimes I care too much and wind up upset because I care more than the person with the problem does. I know for a fact there have been times I’ve lost sleep over a client who wasn’t losing sleep over their own life. It’s just hard to turn off. 🙂   
  • Disney: Okay no, there’s never too much a Disney as far as I’m concerned. But I suppose if judgey outsiders were looking at my life they’d think I watch too much Disney channel for a single chick in her upper 30’s who has no children. I’d much rather watch Good Luck Charlie over some housewives of wherever show.  Don’t get me wrong, I love certain reality tv, and have regular grown up shows I love too… But my go to is Disney.   
  • Procrastinating: Yeah, I tend to procrastinate. It’s a side effect from my depression and anxiety. I know that if I were more on top of things it would help, but I also just get so damn worn out sometimes that I’m like, “Fuck it, I’m taking a nap!” LOL     

That’s all I can think of for now. I should’ve been asleep a while ago. When this posts I’ll be on a 3rd grade Earth Day field trip with my Doodlebutt. :p 

Let’s see what my lovelies spend too much time doing, shall we? 

Kris | Bronwyn | Jess | Gwen | Jessica | Paige | Kayleigh 


Delurker Time!

WordPress keeps telling me that I have all these blog followers but only a handful of people ever comment. So I wonder, are you guys really out there? Or is WordPress a big fat liar? 🙂 Therefore, I’ve decided that today is the day that my lurkers come out of the woodwork and say hello! Technically, National Delurking Week is in January, but whatever… I’m doing it now. LOL plus apparently yesterday was my four year bloggerversary here so I get to make shit up. 🙂

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Tell me your name, how you found my blog, and where in the world you are. 🙂 You can tell me more, but at least give me that, okay? Don’t just click the like button (although I do appreciate likes, don’t get me wrong). Please and thank you!

Ready… Go!


WW: You couldn’t pay me to…

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I’m struggling with this week’s prompt. I mean, there are a lot of things I say I’d never do but the truth is that for the right amount of money I’d go all Indecent Proposal and Fear Factor on all sorts of situations. Give me enough money to live off of comfortably so I can do what I love full time and yep… I’d do a lot of stuff.

I suppose the one thing I probably would never be able to do no matter the money is kill someone. I’m sure if in the god awful position of self defense I could do it, but I could never just set out to end someone’s life. Or an animal for that matter. Yes, I eat meat and yes I know where it comes from. But I can’t be the one doing the killing. Like, I’ve always thought it horribly cruel to pick out your own lobster from a tank for dinner. I don’t want to know that what I’m eating was happily swimming around a few minutes before. LOL call me weird, it’s okay. I CAN however kill bugs, and although I haven’t killed a bat, I will beat the shit out of one with a tennis racket if it’s in my space bubble because yuck. (Sorry, Bron…).

Am I taking this topic too seriously? Watch, everyone else will be all “You couldn’t pay me to eat a bug!” and I’m like, “Murder… I can’t do murder.” LOL

Check out what my girls won’t do for money and be sure to share what you couldn’t be paid to do in the comments!

Bronwyn Green
Jenny Trout
Kris Norris
Jessica Jarman
Gwendolyn Cease


Wednesday Words – Fears & Phobias

This week we’re talking about fears and phobias. Oy vey, this was a hard one! I feel like the older I get, the more fears I have. I also feel like that’s backward. Shouldn’t my fears decrease as I grow older and wiser? Nevertheless, here’s a list of my top phobias in no particular order.

Big Scary Bridges – My yearly writer’s retreat is waaaaay up in the tippy top of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. It’s gorgeous up there and last year was a blast. The one drawback is that in order to get to the UP, though, is that we have to cross the Mackinac Bridge. Although the Mighty Mac is pretty, she’s also big and scary. It’s the fifth longest suspension bridge in the world and the roadway is 200 feet high in the center of the bridge. When I’m crossing her I have visions of high winds blowing cars off into the water. (Hey, it happened!) Last year when we crossed the bridge it had been nearly 17 years since my first and only trip across the bridge. I think I did pretty well (no panic attacks, no crying, no hiding my face or popping of Ativan) but it still scares me. I almost enjoyed crossing it on the way back home and even took photos… But yeah, I’ve already told the retreat girls that if we take my car this year, I can drive as long as someone else drives us across the bridge.

Death of my Parents – I honestly don’t know how I’ll handle this. I fully envision winding up in a mental hospital over it when the time comes. I can’t imagine life without my parents.

Never Being a Mom – If you know me well or have read this or my previous blogs you know I want to be a mom more than anything. I’m totally afraid that I’m running out of time to have a baby the natural way and that I’ll never be able to afford to adopt because I have a suck ass job and live paycheck to paycheck.

Water I can’t See Across – I’m not nearly as scared of this as I was before I went on two cruises. But I still have a healthy fear of water I can’t see across and can’t touch the bottom of. Also, undertow.

Mental Illness – I have a fear that one day my clinical depression is going to take over. That instead of conquering it, it’ll conquer me. Which also leads back up to the never being a mom fear.

Bats – No, just, no. Especially when they’ve entered the space bubble of my home. Not okay. Nothing you can say will change my mind on this one.

Not Being Good Enough – Gee, could this post get any more depressing? Ugh! I worry that I’m not good enough at my job, my relationships with people, my crafts… Basically everything.

Okay, enough of this topic for me… what are your phobias? Leave a comment below and be sure to check out what my girls Bronwyn, Jessica, Leigh, Tess, and Kris have to say about phobias and fears! Oh and check out Jenny Trout’s blog too… she may or may not be joining the Wednesday Bloggers group, but even if she doesn’t, she’s amazing and you’ll love her. 🙂 Plus, her new book The Bride is finally out! Wee!!


Go-To-For-OT Blog

Sharing and Caring in Pediatric Occupational Therapy

Caffeine, Cuss Words, Dauchshunds, Xanax

and other assorted ramblings

Babbling Brook

The mind wonders. Come along for the trip

Thoughts Off the Top of My Head

My life in black and white.

Writing is Hard

So sayeth the Prophet Chuck

Kris Norris

My life in black and white.

Paige Prince

My life in black and white.

Can You Vague That Up For Me?

Bronwyn Green's Random Thoughts

Tess Grant

Books and Bones

Marj's Musings

.....is this all there is?

Trout Nation

Your One Stop Procrastination Shop

JennieKnits

my life with knitting