Category Archives: faith

My First Submitted Fiction – What A Ride

I need to just free write a post while my body calms down. I just submitted my final draft of ‘That Meddling Dog’ for the YA anthology. Now I wait. Will it be chosen? Will I get my first real rejection? What happens next?

I began work on the story on May 30 and received the final draft from my volunteer copy editor yesterday. the writing and revising was awesome, ending up five hundred words over the limit and getting it down to the six thousand, sending new revisions off to my friends and getting their feedback and talking about things that happened and how the story affected each reader differently and change this word for that and get rid of that story line all together because there’s no room for it and I wasn’t ready to introduce that character anyway but oh I still need to reference him ok let me just change his name.

All the creative stuff was awesome, naturally, then it was coming down to the wire, the story pretty much done, the surface so shiny from all the polishing that I could see my reflection and all that was left was formatting. the visual part.

I’ve known I have a trigger happy thumb. I’m sure it’s evident in this post since I’m not being careful at all, just getting thoughts down. I enter way too many spaces. There’s no way with Voiceover and my word processing program, Pages, to easily tighten up spacing issues. So I went character by character of a six thousand word document, deleting spaces.

Wanna hear a sample of that process?

After I got done deleting extra spaces, I went through and added all my paragraph indents. I do all my first drafts in a basic app called Text Edit, kinda like Notepad for Windows, since it’s the easiest for me to use with voiceover. When I’m writing my first drafts of a fiction story, I never remember to tab for paragraphs and dialogue and I’m not sure that would copy over to Pages anyway.

So I went through and added my tabs and then I counted the new lines of a blank document. fifty lines. I wanted to do that thing with new chapters so the chapter would begin halfway down the page, right? So I’d find the new chapter and press enter twenty-five times. In my head, there’s the white space for the chapters.

I exported the Pages document, was it twenty-seven pages or seventeen I can’t remember. Anyway, converted it to Word for my volunteer copy editor and sent it off Wednesday. Deadline Sunday. today is Saturday. Are you with me?

I’m feeling so good about it. Really good. I feel like the story is solid, the protagonist being a secondary character in the main novel I’ve had in my heart and have worked on for years, and the protag from that novel in the story too. I feel great about it. I’ve had fun hanging out with my kids and creating new ones.

Then Thursday morning, before I’ve had coffee, before I’ve played Trivia Crack, I check email on my phone.

Don’t check email on your phone when you haven’t had coffee or played Trivia Crack and you’re already a bundle of nerves from this whole process oh and when Brian is in Sedona for a conference and your sleep is all messed up from staying up all night on Tuesday in a Google hangout with your besties.

email from copy editor lets me know he found extra spaces and other formatting stuff. Extra spaces. After I spent two days going character by character to get rid of them. Words that aren’t capitalized, crazy stuff. Stuff I know I fixed right?

turns out, when you export from Pages to Word and vice versa, formatting errors occur. So I can’t just go through, read his comments, fix what I agree with, stet the rest. this isn’t going to work. I can’t fix those visual errors. I can’t figure out how to make his comments correspond to the area of the manuscript which they refer. I start to panic. I’ve worked so hard. I love this story.

I’m reminded that I’m blind.

later I talk to Ricardo on the phone. He looks at the document with voiceover on his Mac. We try and figure out the comments thing. It’s all so overwhelming. It’s Thursday and the deadline is Sunday. Should I send the manuscript to Amanda who is also blind but uses Jaws with Word? She can fix the formatting issues, keep it in the blind family. but then I still can’t convert back to Pages.

Oh crap I totally left out the cathartic screaming crying fit from earlier in the day. I threw myself on the bed and screamed into my pillow so hard it hurt. I sobbed and sobbed. the cats piled on the bed with me. All I want to be is a writer and there’s all these barriers.

When I’m talking to Ricardo I’m trying so hard not to let the tears come but they do because I can’t do this. I can’t be a writer. There are too many challenges. I need Jaws and Word. All those things I’ve heard for years about Mac and voiceover not working well for professionals, all those things are true. Who am I kidding? I’m a blind disabled nobody and that’s who I’ll stay.

No.

Fuck that.

Deep breath.

Talking to Ricardo. He’s saying all the things I know in my heart, all the things my doubts want to kill. Sure it’s hard. Sure there are barriers. But there are also resources. Amanda told me to use my tools. What are my tools.

Email from the Professor. He can fix the visual stuff. He can just do it, we can talk in the morning, Friday, then he sends me the Word file, I don’t touch it, I submit that.

I tell Ricardo. Should I do that?

Hell yeah!

Weight lifts from my shoulders. People. People are my tools. People are more than happy to help a person who’s doing as much of the hard work as she can on her own.

I think back to the meetings. God will do for me what I can’t do for myself. For me right now, god is those people.

I’m going to be a published writer. I know this. This experience has been so valuable. Even if TMD doesn’t get picked for the anthology, the things I’ve learned from making it the best story it could be are invaluable.

And if it does get published? It could be a launching point.

I struggled with whether to include in my bio that I’m blind. I don’t want to be picked because I’m blind I want to be picked based on the merit of the work. But then I thought back to my last job, the one voc rehab helped me get and they told me not to disclose my MS. Look where that got me? I didn’t get any of the help I needed to be successful while working with a debilitating disability and I went blind.

so I chose to disclose. If I’m going to use the resources available as a blind writer, I can’t pretend I’m not. Hey look at that, tense change. I’m really bad at staying in tense. Hehe! Wait, in tense. Hahaha. Oh but I am so intense at times. In tense. intense. I love freaking words.

I thought back to an essay I read years ago that pissed me off so bad I almost wrote about it here but chose not to. the essay was written by a visually impaired woman who had kept her impairment secret for the same reasons I almost did. She had to admit it though, because she was loosing more and more of her vision.

I was so angry at her at the time but now I get it. It sucks to have to look your weakness full in the face. it sucks to admit oh crap, I can’t do this all on my own. It sucks. It’s painful. I understand now why she wanted to hide it and how much pain she must have been in the day she decided to post that essay.

I have put myself out there now. Until today, five people read TMD. Two blind friends, a young adult friend, and two sighted friends. Friends. All people who care about me. Now the story is in the hands of strangers.

It’s like bearing your soul, which Strunk prepared me for when I read his book.

I slept and slept and slept last night. I woke up at eleven this morning, an hour into the Rays game. So not like me! I was, and still am, exhausted.

After the Rays won (yay!) I opened the submission manager. Deep breath. Heart began racing.

“My heart is racing,” I say.

“Why, because you guys won?” Brian asks.

“No, I’m about to submit the story.”

“Oh!”

He knows what a journey this has been. He’s heard me mumbling during revisions, that doesn’t sound right, how can I reword that, he knows how important this is to me.

Of course I ran into a quick technical issue while looking for the file, the only one on my desktop, to submit. Silly mac.

I clicked submit. There goes the bio I wrote, there goes my baby, bye!

“Your submission has been sent.”

Oy vey, right? Holy crap. I mean holy crap! I tweeted, then grabbed Timmy and went to cuddle him in bed. His purring soothes me. I lay in bed, collecting my thoughts, the feeling slowly returning to my feet.

Now we wait. I posted on Facebook that I’m equal parts sure it will be accepted and that I’ll get my first real rejection.

Whatever happens, I’ll keep writing. Ren and georgie insist on it and their story isn’t done. They’ve got at least an entire novel to appear in, if not two or three. And my friend Dulce made her appearance in TMD when I had to work in a flashback to explain something. We find out she had her first kiss. And Dulce the character needs to meet Jedi the dog, who will love her as much as Jayden loves the real Dulce.

This story isn’t over. It’s just beginning!

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Filed under accessibility, accomplishment, Adjustment to blindness, apple Inc, assistive technologies, baseball, cats, coffeeholic, faith, fellowship, gratitude, Jaws, Jayden, Microsoft, misty eyes, screen reader, silly girl, spoons, Timmy, twitter me this, Voiceover, writing

Let’s talk about God, shall we? Don’t be scared.

I haven’t used a lot of the writing prompts suggested by a Twitter account I’m following but I liked this one and decided to see if I could do it with my one and only iBook. The prompt was to grab the nearest book, turn to page eight-two and work the third full sentence into a post. Since going blind, I can never participate in these sorts of things, grabbing a sentence from a certain page, since that isn’t possible with an audio book. Now however, I have an iBook and the ability to choose my page! I am pretty sure page eighty-two of my iBook isn’t the same as the print book, but it works.

When I found the desired sentence, I was torn about whether to do this. This sentence addresses the major controversy about the program that rescued me from the clutches of alcoholism – God.

When I first stumbled into my first meeting and saw God on the walls in the steps I thought, well I’ll do those steps because I don’t want to drink anymore, but don’t talk to me about God. Of course I knew they would talk to me about a higher power. I had known a guy who had made a band his higher power. Before I had ever started drinking, I hung out at a coffee shop with a bunch of young people who were newly sober and they talked about how they could make their higher power anything they wanted. Yet, it was God on the walls everywhere, not a higher power that was a door knob or a band.

I wanted what those people had though, so I trudged forward and decided to deal with the God thing when I came to it. I wanted to be happy like those other people, those people who didn’t drink and still smiled and laughed, genuinely laughed!

“When we became alcoholics,crushed by a self imposed crisis we could not postpone or evade, we had to fearlessly face the proposition that either God is everything or else he is nothing.”

I have read that sentence countless times this morning as I copied it down from my iBook word by word. Looking back on those early days over seven and a half years later, I see that I had already noticed that God is everything when I looked at those happy people and decided I would do whatever they had done to be like them. I didn’t know it yet, but it was their faith in something, call it whatever you want, that was pouring out and making me drunk with the desire to be happy with them.

The misconception about this program and God on the wall is that when you walk in the door they start throwing bibles at you and making you believe what they believe. That is so far from the truth I laugh when I hear it. You hear comedians talking about it, you see it online in every social networking group there is, it’s everywhere and it’s sad.

The chapter in the book, (yes there’s a book but it’s not a bible, it’s more a manual) this quote comes from is the chapter called “We Agnostics”. The writers of the book understood that in order for their program to save as many lives as possible, they would need to reach out to people of all faiths. All faiths include no faith. That is where the God of your understanding comes in and that’s what saved my life.

I craved having something to believe in. I needed it. I was frightened off of religion as a child though and never found anything I could believe in. I tried as a young adult. I went to supposed “cool churches” but they still preached hate. When I was told I could borrow my sponsor’s God, I was intrigued.

She asked if I believed she believed in her higher power. Well, yes I did. She asked if I wanted what she had, meaning her sobriety and her happiness. yes I did. So she said I could borrow her God. She called it God because that is a universal name and it’s easy to spell. So when I left her house, I pretended her God came with me. I started talking to her God, just asking for help staying sober, simple stuff in the beginning. I cannot describe the relief!

Whether that God was real or not didn’t matter. The point was I was so sick and broken that believing that her God was watching out for me and helping me stay sober brought me relief and took away some of the fear that I would go weak and buy a drink. It didn’t take long for me to morph that comfort into my own conception of my own God.

That faith that helped me stay sober in the beginning has helped me through so much more than I ever thought possible. Whatever it was that I talked to and begged for help when I was diagnosed with MS, kept me from drinking and got me through that adjustment. Whatever it was that I leaned on and relaxed into when I went blind on my three year sobriety anniversary helped me stay sober through a life altering ordeal and helped me through that adjustment. Whatever I sobbed to on my knees in the kitchen with a destroyed coffee maker and water and coffee grounds all over me, kept me from drinking and guided me towards getting help for my mental health.

So in my life, is God everything? You bet. Is my God a religious God? Not for me, but if that’s what you need, fantastic! Is my God always God? No. I don’t pretend to know what God is and sometimes my higher power is just the part of me that is sane, the part of me that knows what the next right thing is and does it, the part of me that knows right from wrong and cares about others. So you see, sometimes my God is me. If that isn’t everything or nothing, I don’t know what is.

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Filed under Adjustment to blindness, apple Inc, faith, fellowship, gratitude, mental health, My story, NaBloPoMo 2012, sobriety, spoons, twitter me this

My First Week on Lexapro – The Drug Might Have Saved a Leaf Blower Man

Today is a week since I began taking 10mg of Lexapro daily to help with my depression and anxiety. I know I’m not yet feeling the full effects of the drug since it takes about a month for this kind of thing to really build up in the system but the placebo effect is strong in this one. Tell me this pill is going to make me feel better and just the knowledge that relief will come will make me feel better. It’s like when you’re starving but you know you’ll eat soon, you can make it, but if you don’t know when your next meal is coming it’s harder to make it through.

I feel like my hands have been freed and I can reach my tools again. I know how to cope and get through life but I couldn’t reach out and grab that knowledge. It was like the depression and anxiety were shackles binding my wrists. I now feel like those shackles have been loosened enough for me to get one hand free. Life is looking up, just knowing that my brain chemistry will be getting back on track.

The first few days I was a little apprehensive. I wasn’t told about side effects and I didn’t look them up. A friend told me she had headaches on Lexapro so wouldn’t you know, I started having headaches. I looked up Lexapro and headaches and sure enough, lots of people have had that problem though headache isn’t listed as a side effect. I found a forum were several people said the headaches went away after a week or so for most so I had hopes that they would for me too and they have. I started taking Advil when I felt a headache coming on and now I don’t even need that. I also experienced some pretty bad nausea when I ate but luckily that has gone as well. Too bad, I need to lose some weight after being so inactive. 😉

This week I returned to the gym. My doctor cleared me to exercise when I saw her last week and I’m so grateful. I know exercise will help with the depression as well and now that the weather has chilled out and I feel better physically, I feel like I’m in the home stretch. It was so great to get back and see my friends this week and today Jayden flirted with a new guide dog in the restroom.

Yesterday was a huge test of my psyche. I don’t do well with loud noise. If the police were ever to need to flush me out of a building all they would need to do would be to cause a lot of noise and I’d come out willingly. Yesterday morning I was relaxing, reading Twitter, contemplating doing a home workout, sitting on the couch with Jayden, when this God awful noise started. I thought it might be a leaf blower but the sound was more shrill. Turns out it was indeed a leaf blower. I began to live tweet about it and last night I copied the tweets to include in this post since I’m pretty sure something would have happened had I not been medicated. So, here are the tweets:

Noise outside, no clue what it is, combo leaf blower/wee wacker? OMG my head is gonna split open. Help! 8:39am

This could be a headline: “Blind woman accused of murdering a leaf blower in AZ” 8:47am

Reminder, a leaf blower is an inanimate object. Can it be considered an appliance? 8:50am

I’ve been known to murder appliances. Ok seriously, this dude needs to move the eff off. 8:51am

Why is he focusing on my apartment? I think he wants to kidnap me. Like Wanda Sykes’ comedy skit. 8:52

(Reply to friend asking me to just be sure to get out of prison by Opening Day) I just want to break his stupid appliance. Not him. That’ll be a slap on the wrist. 8:52am

My dog is starting to get stressed. What do I do? This dude won’t effing stop! 8:56am

Just when I think he’s leaving, he comes back. This is insane! 8:57am

I think he’s finally moving on to torture another apartment. Do I dare hope?9:00am

Hey leaf blower man, you’re lucky I’m medicated now. That’s all I have to say. He’s finally gone far enough, I hope. 9:09am

(Reply to friend telling me her old landlord threatened a leaf blower man with a gun) Oh geez! I would obviously never threaten this guy but he was out here much longer than normal. My head, oh my head. 9:13am

As you can see, the leaf blowing went on for a good half hour. He kept coming back to my door. I have no idea why he kept coming back and I was so tempted to open the door and scream at him or call the office and scream at them. Luckily I did neither. The stress of it exhausted me though and I ended up putting on comedy on ootunes to try and relax and recover. I ended up doing this for about six hours though I had no idea that much time had passed. I included two more tweets here to show how much time had gone buy:

Catching up on Twitter and I’m a little nervous to find out how that 23 mile skydive went. 3:13pm

Oh, apparently my nerves were all for not as the jump was aborted. 3:15pm

I was definitely still feeling anxious and had the worst case scenario in my head while reading tweets about that guy who wants to do a twenty-three mile skydive. Today I feel a little more hopeful about that haha!

So, that’s my first week on Lexapro. I’m excited that my life seems to be getting back on track and I think I’ll be able to handle the next curve ball a little more easily. Lexapro is my hitting coach. Can you tell it’s a day of baseball? Listened to the Nationals/Cardinals while at the gym and now it’s Reds/Giants. Gotta love playoff baseball but I sure wish my Rays had made it.

Oh, another possible side effect of Lexapro is the desire to switch to hot tea from coffee in the afternoons. That one is a little bizarre. 😉

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Filed under baseball, coffeeholic, doc, faith, gratitude, guide dogs, humor as coping skill, Jayden, mental health, twitter me this, workouts

From the Desk of My Depressed and Semi-sleep Deprived Mind

Disclaimer: This is not a happy post. I’m just putting this hear before I post this as a warning in case you’re unstable around politics like I am.

***

I’m not sure if I’ll title this post From the Desk of My Sleep Deprived Mind part three or not since I didn’t wake up at like 1:30am or anything. I did however, wake up at 4:00am, I just didn’t get out of bed until 6:00am. Do you ever do that? Wake up at an ungodly hour and lay there thinking, “if I fall asleep again now, I’ll get another three hours. Ok, so now if I fall asleep again I’ll get like two and a half hours, oh now it’s just kinda pointless, oh but I’m comfy, hey the air conditioning kicked in if I’m gonna sleep it’s now or never to that air, quick, snuggle up. Oh the air is off again. Now I’m thinking about all my fears again do I really want to do this? I could make coffee and read Twitter. But if I fall asleep now I’ll get another two hours, everyone is gonna die before me and I’ll be alone! Alone! Alone! Oh screw it just get up.” Or is that just me?

Yeah…I’m in a lot of fear in my life. I do morning writing upon awakening every day so this morning I chatted with myself about that fear a little bit. I’m not gonna write that all in public cuz that’s a rather private conversation between God and me but basically I’m having a hard time trusting that I’ll be ok. It really did hit me while trying to get back to sleep that everyone in my life is older than me. I have this horrible fear that I’m going to be left completely alone, with no one. No one! Do you know how scary that is?

I know a lot of this is coming from the change in the family dynamic since Gamma had to go to the home. The family sold her house recently and I don’t think I’m ok with that. That house was the last place we all were before everyone started dying. Now there’s no house where we all were. That’s just sad. I’m so glad that I didn’t know the last time I was at her house was the last time. I left there our last Sunday together oblivious and happy and then….

I haven’t been the same since. And the politics don’t help. That stuff is everywhere when you’re on social networking. I can filter a lot using my Twitter client called YoruFukurou but a lot still slips through. It’s like when I stopped listening to talk radio because even though I listened to the shows I related to they still played sound bites of the other side. I still had to hear it. And even the side I relate to and agree with more or less drives me crazy. It’s all crazy. But the side I don’t lean towards? They hate women! And I’m a disabled woman! Even worse! I’m a drain on my country! I’m worthless! I need help and I can’t support myself! Do you know how hard it is to hear that other side that I don’t lean towards? Why am I being evasive? Maybe I just don’t even want those words on my blog. I’ll just say if we don’t elect the same President I’m really just gonna lose it. You will have to lock me up. I’m gonna freak out. I am so terrified and that other party is a big, no huge, no gigantic part of that. Do you hear me? That side? Look at what you’re doing to the people you want to govern! Look at me! Up until like a month or two ago I was one of the most well adjusted people I knew and now I’m close to a shell of a freaking human because I’m not a rich old white guy who can support myself and who’s healthy. I have parts that side wants to assign laws to. Heart, calm down, I’m sorry, calm down heart. I’m a sick woman. Yes, I am being melodramatic, but this is how this all makes me feel and I can’t get away from it because even though I don’t follow the people who believe that stuff they still tweet it! Ok I’m gonna cry I need to stop talking about this.

It’s all worsening my depression to the nth degree. Old time readers here know how I feel about that word, depression. You know if I use it, it’s getting kinda nasty for me.

I’m not one to throw around the word depression or depressed lightly unless I’m really in a depression. When I feel it coming on I fight it, I try and keep it down, I try and soul search and inventory and fix it. Sometimes it goes away quickly so for me, that was just a case of the blues. When it hangs around for weeks and then a month and then more than a month and I find myself crying easily, it’s a depression full blown and I hate to admit it but then I admit it and it starts to lift.

Share your pain with another and cut it in half. Share it again and cut it again. Slowly, ever so slowly, it begins to help. I’m reaching into my memory vault and trying to remember the things I learned in therapy while adjusting to blindness. I officially was diagnosed with an adjustment disorder which just makes me laugh. Adjustment disorder. Alrighty then. So do “normal” people just adjust in a day to life altering changes? I think names just have to be assigned to things. I just don’t like the word disorder. I think I’ve blogged about this before.

Anyway wow, so how did all that come out? This is what happens when I’m sleep deprived. Maybe it’s a good thing. Maybe it’s my version of a loose tongue with the drink since I don’t drink. Sometimes when I vomit out a word post I wonder if I’ll actually put it up on the blog but I always do. It’s partly that sharing to cut the pain in half thing but also because every time I post this kind of stuff someone always thanks me for sharing. The best way to get out of oneself is to help another.

Ok, so it’s 7:06 now. I only started writing because I caught up on Twitter and didn’t know what else to do. I need to refill my coffee but that will require moving. I wonder what I’ve written? I love the stream of conscious writing. That’s what my morning writing is like. I have over a year’s worth of daily writing. It’s never this much though. I think maybe because I do it first thing, before I’ve really woken up and had time to put thoughts in my head.

I wish this was more of a funny post like the other two sleep deprived posts. I was a lot more sleep deprived in those posts though, so maybe this is the equivalent to only like three beers and those other two were more like eight to ten beers. Yes, I am comparing my lack of sleep to beers. When I don’t sleep enough I do feel inebriated. How bout some coffee and reading back on this to see what I’ve got.

Wow, that was intense. I ended up vomiting out that political stuff while I went and read through. I think that’s been stuff I wanted to spew for awhile. Please, if you comment, please don’t try and change my mind on the politics. Please don’t. I’m not talking lightly about how badly the politics is affecting me, so please don’t. I don’t want a debate in the comments, that’s not why I’m writing all this. If you disagree with me, just move on. I don’t think my readers are the type to troll the comments like on big sites but for my peace of mind I had to throw that in there.

I know deep down that this too shall pass. I haven’t been well and that’s a big part of the depression. The only time I see people is when I go to the gym and I haven’t been well enough to go for awhile. Jayden is fantastic company but he can’t talk to me and he can’t hold me. I know this is a rough patch and things will get better, but I’m just not sure better is enough anymore.

Was about to publish when I thought maybe I got all this out now since I’m planning on getting some audio later and it would have sucked to cry in that. See? Silver lining still there.

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Filed under coffeeholic, faith, Gamma, in the news, Jayden, mental health, misty eyes, politics, rant, Sleep Deprived Fun, spoons, twitter me this

Sometimes life is just plain hard. Just keep swimming.

I’m having a really difficult time staying in the center of the roof. Not as far as my sobriety goes, that is the only thing in my life I have complete choice in, so that’s stable, but the rest of life stuff? I’ve been teetering on the edge for awhile now, struggling to cope, taking it all a day at a time, talking to my closest friends, but I still lost my balance and fell today. I suppose it’s good when something pushes you in to a complete emotional breakdown when you’ve been unknowingly keeping it from happening.

I haven’t even wanted to blog about what’s been going on, but today I feel the need. In early February, Gamma took a spill and broke her hip. They had a hard time getting her heart to stabilize for surgery, but they finally accomplished with medication so they could repair the bone. The surgery was successful and they put in a pacemaker to keep her heart stabilized.

She was in the hospital longer than expected because of the heart complications and finally moved to the rehab facility for physical therapy about a month ago.

I was able to talk to her every day and she kept telling me how much she just wanted to go home after rehab, her friend offered to move in and help etc. My dad and uncle were looking at assisted living facilities which upset Gamma. Eventually they agreed to try her at home and see how it went when she was done with physical therapy and everything was looking up. Or so I thought.

Dad called one day to tell me that Gamma started having episodes of dementia at night. I won’t go into details, but they were so severe that the rehab place took her phone. I have not been able to speak with her for nearly two weeks now, except for one time when she agreed to talk to me on Dad’s cell phone.

Next week she will be moving to an assisted living facility equipped to help her with everything. I’ll be relieved when she moves, because she’ll have her own room which she’ll be glad about, but she’s not going to like living in the single room. She has claustrophobia and doesn’t like being confined in one room for long, so I’m not sure how this is going to work. When she found out about her dementia episodes, she said if she had known that would happen, she wouldn’t have gotten the pacemaker. I understand, because now the pacemaker will keep her going even as her brain betrays her.

I haven’t been able to help with any of this. I’ve been struggling with my feelings of uselessness, knowing this isn’t bout me, but also acknowledging that this effects me too. Gamma is my second mom. This has been such a huge change for both of us, not just in her health and living situation but our relationship. I feel like I’ve just been wandering through life since all this happened. I’m starting to worry about my dad since he’s had to handle this assisted living thing on his own while my uncle is out of town for work. I feel so damn useless since I can’t jump in the car and go sit in on these things with him.

There’s so much more, but the rest of it is very personal and not to be written for the public eye. I guess I decided to write this all out so my friends know what’s going on with me. My life is so online these days that I guess this is the way to reach out and explain why I might fly off the handle over things that other people might not see as stressful.

It’s funny the things that let me know I need to do some work to stay sane. One of my red flags is now when I shut Twitter down for the day. When I can’t handle Twitter, that’s when I know it’s time for reflection on my spirituality. Luckily that hasn’t wavered, and while everything is very uncertain, in ways not expressed here, I somehow know I’ll be ok. Twitter has been an incredible support in many ways and I almost didn’t write this because one of my friends lost her own grandma last night. I know she’ll understand if she reads this though and I know we’ll keep swimming together.

Jayden just began dream barking on the couch beside me as I was finishing this post. I’ve said it a million times but I really truly don’t think I could manage to keep a smile on my face if I didn’t have Jayden. Baseball isn’t even helping at the moment. It’s only spring training, something I’m getting so sick of saying, but things aren’t pretty. I’ve got the Rays/Pirates game on in the background as I write and it’s not helping my mood. I know a Pirates fan who will like it though, so that’s a silver lining.

*Edit. James Shields just picked a guy off third base. That made me smile.

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#NaBloPoMo – In Love with Steve Jobs

Being in love is about passion. passionate love does not have to be romantic but there can still be a romance to it. I am passionate about a lot of things, baseball of course as regular readers know, but I’m also intensely passionate about Apple. My post, It all started with an iPod, explains why.

I’m currently reading the biography of Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson and I am captivated and rather sad that I didn’t learn about this man before his death. All I knew about Jobs before beginning this book was that he was the co-founder of the company I have come to love with increasing passion. When he died I felt an immense sadness even knowing nothing about him. His company brought technology back to me and for that I will forever be grateful.

I’m finding it difficult to write this. Perhaps that is why I didn’t attempt to write about him immediately after his death. Sometimes it’s difficult to grasp the different emotions that go flying about my brain when i feel deeply about a particular person or event that touches me and ignites a passionate sense of gratitude. Maybe not knowing what I know now about him was also the reason I didn’t attempt to try and write about my feelings around his death. I couldn’t put my finger on how I felt before, just knowing I felt a loss, but it’s so much stronger now.

I’ll just describe the emotional reaction I had to one part of the book. Isaacson writes about the unveiling of Macintosh in 1984. He describes what Jobs was doing on stage, the way the crowd cheered, the images on the screen. What brought me to tears was the description of Jobs choking up after the computer speaks and the crowd goes wild. I was laying in bed, iPhone cradled in my left hand listening to the audio book, weeping. I’m getting choked up again as I write this.

The day after Jobs’ death, links were going up on Twitter like an assembly line putting out freshly built Macs. One of the links I clicked on was a video of the very day Isaacson wrote about in the biography. As I listened to the audio book and remembered the sounds of the unveiling, I put images to what I had heard.

I got emotional the first time I heard it, hearing Jobs’ voice and that computer way back then converting text to speech, but I couldn’t picture the setting and I certainly didn’t know Jobs had gotten choked up just as I had. When I heard that, the damn broke and tears soaked my pillow.

The next morning I pulled up the video. I had bookmarked it the day it had been posted on Twitter. I sobbed the entire time it played, imagining what I had read the night before.

I just now sat here with my hands on my keyboard, at an intense loss for words. There really isn’t anything I can add to describe my feelings about Steve Jobs and the loss of that brilliant mind. Read the book. Just read it.

Here is more audio of Jobs accepting an award. I’m not sure when this was, but I love listening to him talk. I wish there was more to say. I feel like his intense stare is pushing me into silence the way it did to so many during his lifetime.

I began this post yesterday and now I have more to write. I’ve reached a part in the audio book where Isaacson spoke with Jobs near the end of his life. They went through his iPad playlist and discussed some of the music. If you’ve read the book, you’ll know what I’m referring to, but I don’t want to give it away for those who haven’t. The sadness inside me swelled even more and once again I was overcome with emotion at what a visionary we had the pleasure of witnessing during our lifetime. As I lay in bed trying to quiet my mind to sleep, I felt him. Have you ever had that feeling that though someone’s physical body is dead, part of them remains? I feel that with my mom sometimes, like she’s near when I’m struggling or intensely joyful. I felt that last night about Steve Jobs and it reminded me of this old eighties movie I loved as a kid.

It’s called Solarbabies, and it’s a futuristic tale about an evil organization that is holding the world’s water captive. A group of teenagers escape on their roller skates after discovering a magical orb the young boy names Bodi. I’m not sure of the spelling but it’s pronounced Bo-dye. Anyway, at the end of the movie, Bodi sort of explodes and surrounds the kids with energy after they’ve freed the water. Bands of energy connect the group and they notice they can still feel Bodi, that he’s everywhere now.

That’s how I felt about Steve Jobs last night. He was larger than life and to me, his energy just can’t be contained. I have a feeling he can’t rest if he’s not still in control somehow. I also don’t think he would be offended by that statement. The feeling that his energy is still here is “insanely great”.

– Written on my Macbook

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#NaBloPoMo – It’s fun to read an entire blog

It’s been awhile since I’ve had the desire to read every post of a blog I find. I recently did just that, creating temporary bookmarks as I went so I wouldn’t lose my place. I’ve had the blog on my roll for quite awhile now but just hadn’t sat down to write about it.

The blog is called, “Culture Shock” and it’s written by an American who now lives in Croatia with his Croatian wife and their three children. He writes about the differences between Croatia and the states in such a way as to make you want to visit, at least it’s made me want to apply for a passport.

He describes what it is like to learn another language and even the culture shock he experiences when visiting his home land of America. How quickly the pace picks up, how everyone has a cell phone out no matter where they are, how America has baseball, his favorite sport. He’s even bringing baseball to Croatia! The differences are vast and quite interesting. I enjoyed stories of pay bathrooms, crazy parking, tight roadways, ice free beverages and how dare you have a “dirty” car?

One of the aspects I like about “Culture Shock” as well are the posts about Christianity. Since I am quite a spiritual person, I tend to drink up the things I like about the different faiths, and Jeremy’s posts give me a sense of enlightened comfort without making me run screaming from religious talk. I truly appreciate that.

I was already admiring Jeremy and his family so you can imagine my surprise when I finally reached the beginning of the blog and read his introduction to find out he had been named the Time Person of the Year! How refreshing, I thought, that the award went to a man doing selfless missionary work in Croatia. If you read nothing else on his blog, please go read that post. I assure you, you will enjoy visiting the link he provides about his award. I know I did.

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#NaBloPoMo – My Story: Right Eye Blind and MS

Yesterday Carol came over to begin helping be go through the storage containers in the spare room and organize the memories stored within. We threw out some more stuff that had no business being kept and she read things I had written before losing my sight. The most valuable things were letters I had written in my drinking days. What a reminder of why I don’t drink! One line read, “I’m soooo hungover. I know a beer would help but I’m scared.” That pretty much summed up the end of my drinking days.

She also looked through a CD full of pictures from my partying days. It was really good to reflect and remember but it also left me rather exhausted and numb. There were also many reminders of Mom and my childhood. We did this for about five hours. This morning I felt the urge to continue writing my story here. I haven’t written anything in the my story label since 2009. Wow.

In case you are interested and want to read the other posts in order, here’s the school days, college, mom and alcoholism, deciding to get sober and first year of sobriety.

So when last I left off, I had been sober a year. Everything was pretty great. I had a host of amazing friends, a good job, a nice car and an apartment I had never drank in and loved. Life was just pretty spectacular. I was very involved with a fellowship of young sober people. I was twenty-seven. Life was great! I loved being sober!

There was a young people’s conference in Prescott, AZ in May of 2006. I was thirteen months sober and hadn’t planned on going. I didn’t want to spend the money since I had just spent a lot going to a conference in California. Then I decided it would be fun to make a day trip out of it and just go up for the Saturday night main speaker meeting.

My friends had already all driven up and I didn’t want to make the drive alone so I called my friend G, my ex-boyfriend who had become a great friend, and asked if he wanted an adventure. He wasn’t in the program, but agreed at once to take the trip with me.

A couple days before that Saturday, I felt like I had an annoying migraine behind my right eye, which was odd, because I had always had migraines behind my left one. Then the vision started getting weird, kinda like looking through TV fuzz. I had had a week long migraine like this once, but in the left eye, so while it was strange I wasn’t concerned.

The morning of the trip, it was as if a curtain were slowly being lowered over my right eye. It started like a black shadow just on the top of my vision, and the migraine-like pain was still there. It ached when my eye moved. I was excited about the trip though, so put it aside, figuring I’d go to the doc on Tuesday if things were still weird.

Things got worse by the time we arrived in Prescott. I could hardly see out of the right eye. The entire top of my vision was obscured. The pain was getting really bad. I made it through the meeting and even managed to dance for awhile afterwards and then on the drive back I could no longer ignore it. Moving my eyes to check my mirrors or glance behind me to change lanes was becoming excruciating. Headlights were like daggers into my brain. We were driving back in the middle of the night.

We stopped at an IHOP and while we ate, we discussed my eye. I thought it must be a detached retina or something. We talked about the ER but I was trying not to go that route. As we stood in the parking lot after eating, I looked at a street light. I closed my left eye and the light vanished. The right eye couldn’t see the light. I decided the ER was indeed absolutely necessary. G drove the car back into town and straight to the hospital. It must have been four or five in the morning on Sunday.

The ER was blissfully empty and I was in good spirits. I was very sleep deprived and goofy and had had a great time with G on our little trip. I didn’t wait long before the triage nurse called me back. G went with and my vitals were checked. I was asked to read the eye chart, which I could do until they asked me to close my left eye. I still was in good spirits. Whatever it was, they’d fix it.

They took us to an exam room and the doc came in. He was completely confused. Nothing looked detached or torn but my pupil was doing something strange. He had G look too. When light was shined into my right eye, the pupil would dilate and then bounce. Literally bounce. He showed me in a mirror. The brown strands of color around the black pupil bounced in and out lazily. The doc brought in other docs to have a look.

Finally they wanted me to see the ophthalmologist on call. I would need to go to his office. They told us where to go and I knew the place. I had taken my Gamma there. It was the same doc.

We met him at his office at six or seven on a Sunday morning. It was strange to be let in by the doc and have no staff or patients around. It was just the doc and G and me. He examined both my eyes and I told him he had done surgery on my Gamma’s eyes. He recognized the name.

Suddenly he backed away and said he wanted me to go back to the hospital and have an MRI. He would call and arrange it as we drove. He wanted it immediately. My stomach began doing cartwheels. This did not sound good.

“I’m worried about MS,” he said. “This looks like optic neuritis, which often presents in multiple sclerosis. I want you to have an MRI immediately.”

I stared at him. I had an eye problem and this man was telling me something was wrong with my brain? I knew what MS was, sorta. I loved this movie called Hillary and Jackie, about a cellist who had MS. It was a true story.

I peppered the doc with questions. Couldn’t it be something else? You’re sure the retina is ok? Anything but MS. Please! He was very matter-of-fact with me. He hadn’t seen optic neuritis in a patient without MS. The condition is usually temporary, with vision being restored, but MS is not temporary.

G drove me back to the hospital. They whisked us back into a room and I was prepped for the MRI. I had never had one before. G and I sat in a daze, sleep deprived and scared. He and I went all the way back to when I was a freshman in high school. I was so grateful he was there. I didn’t call anyone; I didn’t have time. That ophthalmologist must have made it very clear that I was to have an MRI STAT.

All I could think about was my lack of insurance. I had just started a new job in the cytology department of a lab, preparing specimens for testing. My benefits wouldn’t be active for another ten days. Luckily they enrolled me in Arizona’s version of Medicaid. A hospital visit is the easiest way to get that accomplished.

I actually slept in the MRI machine. I was all bundled up in blankets with country music coming through the headphones clamped to my ears. I found that machine comforting. When they pulled me out however, my right eye was completely blind. I thought it wouldn’t open. It was open, just not seeing.

G and I waited what seemed an eternity for the results. The doc assigned to me looked like Detective EAmes from Law and Order: Criminal Intent. She was very nice. I remember laying on the gurney, cotton ball taped to my arm where the MRI IV had been. G was sitting in a chair next to the bed, leaning his head against the wall. We discussed all my strange ailments I had experienced while we had dated in my drinking days. Could MS have been the cause of all that? I had been through heart tests and blood work but nothing had ever shown a thing. After I got sober, my doc and I thought it had all been my alcoholism. It made sense. It could have been.

When Dr. Eames finally came back and delivered the news, brain lesions, definitely MS, need to give you steroids, should admit you, all I could do was cry and scream at her, “what the F*ck did I bother getting sober for!!!!” she placed her hand on my arm and told me staying sober was the best thing I could do for MS.

They hooked me up to another IV and I questioned what they were giving me. No narcotics, I’m sober, no narcotics. Steroids, that’s all. Why steroids? It’s what we do with the onset of MS. Why? Questions. Everything a blur. A gram of Solu-Medrol began pumping into my arm. A gram? Will I get addicted? Will I have super human strength? It’s not the stuff the athletes take. Oh. But you need to have someone with you. You could go a little crazy. I’ll stay with her. G would stay with me. Watch her for any drastic mood changes. I wasn’t being admitted. Another doc wanted me admitted. I’m chairing a meeting on Tuesday, I need to go to meetings, don’t admit me. Ok but come back for the next three days for steroids. Three days? Three days. Outpatient, come back. Call your doctor. You need a neurologist. Steroids dripping through the rubber tubing. I can’t see out of my right eye. It’ll come back, the vision would come back. What else will happen to me? Will I be paralyzed? We don’t know. It’s different in everyone. Multiple Sclerosis. Thirteen months sober. New job. Love my life. MS. Right eye can’t see. Steroids.

I remember calling my sponsor. I remember G driving us back to my apartment. I remember we had stopped and gotten fast food. It was a Sunday. Monday was a holiday. G would need some things from home. I went with him. We told his parents. It is all such a blur. We came back to my apartment and my back hurt. My body hurt. I wanted to sit in the sun. The sun helped. We were so tired but we couldn’t sleep. We had known each other so long. We had been in love. We had lived together until my alcoholism drove him away but he was there, supporting me. Georgie was having a barbecue the next day. I wanted to go. What if I got so sick I could never go again. I had to go.

I went, after my steroid treatment the next day. I crawled into Georgie’s bed and we cried and cried. She had just been through something huge, too. At the barbecue people asked what was wrong. Other sober people. I told them. I cried. I told others and cried. Georgie told others and we cried. I hadn’t told my family. I couldn’t see out of my right eye. My balance was completely crazy. I was hyper from the steroids but depressed and exhausted. I still managed to laugh. I remember still finding my humor, the day after it all happened. I remember laughing through my tears.

G stayed with me while I was still on the high dose steroids. He went to work during the day when I could be around other people. I didn’t go crazy from the steroids. After the IV doses were done, I had to take pills to taper off at home. The heartburn was terrible. I was hyper and didn’t sleep well. I got bloated and I couldn’t cool off. I hated those stupid little white pills.

I shared everything at the meeting I chaired on Tuesday. I was surrounded by love and support. The timing really couldn’t have been any better. Getting the diagnosis at thirteen months sober, when I had my feet under me and a host of friends, the trust in my higher power, it really was perfect timing. Dr. Eames had been right. Staying sober was the best thing I could do.

I left the job, because with the onset of the MS came shaking hands that couldn’t accurately pour. The sudden loss of vision in my right eye killed my depth perception and accuracy was out. I ran into walls because I couldn’t see on the right side. My left leg had gone heavy, almost dragging at times.

My doc found me a neurologist she loved. She almost felt bad she hadn’t diagnosed the MS before, instead blaming my drinking. I assured her it was good, because if I had been diagnosed when I was drinking, who knows what would have happened? I doubted I would have gotten sober. Things would have been very different.

My neurologist told me not to go online. Don’t go read about MS. Don’t do it. He said most of his patients with MS were “a depressed lot”. He said don’t let the depression get me. Don’t read, don’t look into what might happen to you. MS is different in everyone. He assured me the vision would come back in my right eye, though colors would be muted. I wish he had been right, sometimes.

Ok, I’m going to leave off hear. I didn’t expect to write what I just wrote. I suppose that’s what happens when the memory and the fingers team up, huh? It’s quite therapeutic to write about my past. I don’t know why but it is. Hopefully I won’t wait another two years to continue.

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#NaBloPoMo – But for the grace of God go I? Hmmm.

The definition of grace that most relates to God found here states:

8. a. Divine love and protection bestowed freely on people.

b. The state of being protected or sanctified by the favor of God.

c. An excellence or power granted by God.

I looked this up after I wrote the following post, just to be sure my thoughts made sense. One of the definitions not yet listed applies to the later thoughts, so I will include it where appropriate.

One of the sayings in some forms of addiction recovery is, “But for the grace of God go I”. We often say it when someone relapses or dies from their addiction, as a way of reminding ourselves that death is waiting for us too, if we pick up a drink or a drug. I am certain I would die, if not physically, the person I am today would die. The spirits would kill the spirit, so to speak.

I’ve said it countless times. I said it after Amy Winehouse died. I thought, how tragic, but for the grace of God go I. For some reason I thought about that phrase today and realized how much I dislike it.

When I got sober, it was suggested I put my trust in something bigger than myself and my addiction to make it through each day. What I’ve come to understand about this is that, left to my own mind or what I perceive to be my own mind, I will fail. For all I know my higher power is just my good conscience, but there are days that that belief can get me into trouble. It’s just easier trusting something else, something I can’t define. For a lot of people new to recovery, this concept is daunting because of the name God. A lot of us come into sobriety with resentments at God, whether it be because of our pasts or because religion had made us uncomfortable. For me it was the latter. I don’t ever remember having a resentment at God, perhaps I did but I’m sure I quickly realized, through step work, the resentment was actually at myself.

Religion had always been a sore spot for me. Don’t tell me what to believe. Don’t tell me I couldn’t have been in love with a woman if that’s who I had been, don’t tell me I have to frown upon one who loves a person of the same sex, don’t tell me I can’t make decisions about my own body, the list goes on and on. These days I don’t deny you those beliefs if they contribute to your faith and make you happy, but that doesn’t mean I agree with them. Knowing I don’t have to agree with them has made it possible for me to trust God. That is my decision; not everyone recovers with a higher power. Plenty recover with their own will power or their religions.

Luckily when I got sober, it was suggested I turn my life over to the higher power of my understanding. My understanding? You’re not going to tell me what to believe? Sweet! The word God on the walls freaked me out at first, but I soon understood that I could do away with all the things I had heard about hellfire and damnation and come to believe in the God of my own understanding. What a huge relief! I had always been seeking for something to believe in that didn’t make me sick and finally I was free to truly begin my seeking, and seeking I never stop doing. Which is probably why the thought came into my head today that I don’t like the phrase, “But for the grace of God go I”.

If I’m to believe fully in this statement, am I therefore to believe that God chose me to have grace because I grasped recovery? Maybe I’m thinking too much about the statement, the way so many of us do when it comes to words. However I think this is exactly why I had such strong “survivor’s guilt” when I really began to recover and be happy when countless others continued to suffer. I felt like I had been chosen and that just didn’t sit right with me, because my God loves everyone.

I call my higher power God because I got sick of saying higher power all the time. I also don’t share the true name I have for my higher power. That is a deeply personal story. It’s really just that simple. I don’t know what God is, but that’s a universal name for an individual’s higher power. I capitalize the name because it’s a name but I don’t capitalize him because the intellectual in me says you don’t capitalize he unless the word begins a sentence. I know a lot of people do and that’s totally fine.

Fortunately, I’ve become so much less judgmental of religion and every so often, don’t mind reading about it. I’ll read something religious, leave what I dislike like, hate the sin, love the sinner. Ouch, really? That means I have to believe in sin and believe in a condemning God, which I don’t. I know right from wrong, my opinions of right from wrong rather. For example, murder is wrong, but even that has degrees. What about self defense? I can now ignore religious statements that make my heart hurt and smile at the religious teachings I find comforting.

My God is a loving God who’s will for me is to be happy, joyous and free. To treat others as I would be treated. That’s about it. Be who you are and I’ll love you anyway because that’s how my God is. (That doesn’t mean I like everyone haha!) Keeping it nice and simple like that keeps me from manipulating it. I can’t find a loophole in that simplicity. Happy, joyous, free, treat others kindly because that’s what I want for myself. That’s it. I can’t manipulate that to suit my will when I’m not aligned with that of my higher power. The addict in me will find any loophole, any manipulation and run with it, dragging me down and that can’t happen. I love who I am too much today to let that happen.

So, for me to say I’m sober and alive because of God’s grace makes me feel like I’m saying the next person won’t get God’s grace and that makes me ill. Here is where I’m adding that other definition:

6. A temporary immunity or exemption; a reprieve.

This definition suits me better (see how I manipulated to suit my own beliefs? See why I have to keep my concept of God simple?) because my sobriety is simply a daily reprieve, a “reprieve contingent on the maintenance of my spiritual condition”. Perhaps Grace of God is just a simpler way of saying that. My recovery is held steady by my conscious contact with God, something I must maintain, something I have chosen to maintain. I don’t believe God booms down vengeance and I also don’t believe God bestows just certain individuals with sobriety, leaving others to suffer. Those of us graced with recovery, one day at a time, have made the decision to trust something other than ourselves to give power to. The power most certainly was not bestowed upon me.

I suppose for me it’s now, “but for the grace of my trust in God go I”, for it’s when I stop trusting in a higher power, that I’m in danger of walking near the edge of the roof and falling.

PS – I wrote the majority of this post Saturday to post Sunday. That’s just a coincidence haha! Sunday is not a day of worship for me. I don’t worship, but trust and that trust happens daily. Just a trust that I’ll be ok no matter what happens, a trust that I don’t have to pick up a drink to be ok.

PPS – Recovered atheist amaze me. Truly. That is not a judgement, I just don’t know how they do it haha!

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Jumbled thoughts

“We may ask ourselves if we’ve shown enough kindness and generosity and compassion to the people in our lives. We recognize our own mortality, and are reminded that in the fleeting time we have on this earth, what matters is not wealth, or status, or power, or fame – but rather, how well we have loved, and what small part we have played in bettering the lives of others.”

-President Obama 1/12/11

My mind has been a jumbled mess. How much to blog, what not to blog, how much to I write about my feelings, feeling silly about my feelings, not knowing how to process, trying not to make things about me, finding the line between grief for others and grief for myself.

This year has just not started well for the people in my life. I can tell you right now that I’m fine, my family is ok, Jayden is fab, B is fine. But tragedy struck on January 1 and then the following Saturday.

Just when the winter blues were lifting and I was getting back into a routine and getting things taken care of, it just seemed like the world was turned upside down. Some friends of mine lost a child on New Year’s Day and my grief for them but so consuming, causing feelings about my own never to be motherhood and those feelings bought about feelings of guilt for thinking about myself amid the grief for my friends, who were in another state.

I saw a specialist that week as well, for a female issue that is totally fine, so no worries there, but the doctor thought it would be a good idea to take my hand, place it on my belly, and have me feel my uterus. He couldn’t have known how much that would ache emotionally, but it did.

Then the shootings happened in my hometown and I found out on Twitter and I can’t even begin to write about that. It’s why I put Obama’s quote at the top of this post, because I feel he summed it up while he was here for the memorial.

The fact that my town was on Dateline and CNN and all the national news and then the President was here, was just so incredibly surreal. When tragedies like this happen, our first thought is always, that would never happen in my town…and then it does…

It happened the day of my friends’ memorial for their child, and my town lost a child to violence. Again, the questions of appropriate emotional response flooded my brain and it wasn’t until Obama announced that Congresswoman Giffords had opened her eyes that I was finally able to sob.

I feel like something has switched off in me, like all I can do is write, I can’t read. I can’t read anyone else’s words. I can’t bear to see more, to hear more, to try and fathom more. I tried today, to read, and I just can’t seem to do it right now. And that makes me feel guilty, like I’m being selfish and uncaring. I mean, that started even before the holidays. I chalked that up to holiday blues and now it just seems to be more than that.

This last Monday I learned that a distant relative had died and I had to be the one to tell Gamma, because she doesn’t have Facebook. It seems Facebook and Twitter are the means to find out about things these days.

I’m hoping this is just maybe some kind of transitional phase, as I continue to process what happened in the town I grew up in, as I grieve with my friends from afar over their loss. Perhaps life will, in fact, find a sense of normalcy.

As always, Jayden is my rock. Can you believe our year anniversary is next month? He’s the only thing normal in life, it seems, for the time being anyway.

I really did try and spend the day reading today, to see where you all have been and what you’ve been up to. Hopefully soon the block will lift. Until then, I’ll be here and there, writing fiction maybe, or the occasional jumpled ramble.

Tell the ones you love that you love them. Be grateful for each moment. Time is so…so fleeting. Lives are so short.

I hope this year shapes up. It has to, right? Me and my silver lining. I guess the silver needs some polishing though, because right now it looks pretty dull. It’ll shine again though, I have faith.

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