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Oh, hi LJ.
My life is a shitshow right now. 
You know that feeling when you're so crushed you're beyond crying?  That "can't catch your breath" kind of pain? 
Living there.

Hope you're well, lovelies.
I'm keenly aware of my situation these days.  My brother hasn't spoken to me in about two months because we got into a stupid fight and we both refuse to apologize.  He is genuinely at fault for this one, and I'm sick to death of him being such a hardheaded dick like my father was for so many years, so instead of just trying to extinguish his explosion when he got nasty, I decided to take another route and just told him, repeatedly, to shut the fuck up.  He took me <i>very</i> seriously and literally, evidently, since he has reported to my mother that he is "done with me for good" and refuses to make any kind of contact, even when I've attempted to relay messages from family members.
My mom tells me every weekend that I drive her crazy and that I'm hard for her to be around and we talk in circles about the fact that I'm not going anywhere and the fact that each time I call her her heart stops because she's worried i'm in trouble again or worse and that I have no plan and no future.

Got me thinking tonight that maybe I should just shut the fuck up about wanting to pick and choose what's right for me and what I <b>want</b>, get my hands fixed, and be a transcriptionist in some office for the rest of my life.  Guaranteed income and steady hours and health coverage.

And for fucking what?

For me to be unsatisfied and bitter my entire life anyway?  Either way things didn't turn out how I'd hoped.  Only difference is, everybody else'd be happy because I'd finally have "turned things around" and I'd be experiencing their idea of success.

It is so terribly painful to know that my mother finds my presence more stressful and difficult than enjoyable, and that my brother (whose successes in life I applaud and congratulate and am proud of on a daily basis) can't stand me.  I don't have friends.  Family's all I got.  My dad's dead, my mom's miserable and I make it worse, and my brother and I are hurtling toward estrangement. 

My extended family makes it a little easier.  Rita and Henry are the lights of my life.  I get out of bed each day for them.  I am clean for myself, but also for them.  Even still, I know the vast majority of the extended family members find me loud and abrasive and too politically and socially outspoken. 

It's hard.  I am not like my peers.  I am not like my family.  I am the bee girl, except there's no field of dancing bees waiting for me to join them.  And it saddens me more than I let on, more frequently than I let on. 

Mar. 8th, 2011

Days like today, while difficult, are important because they remind me that I don't have bad days very often at all. I'm rarely in a bad mood and I've gotten much better at identifying my emotions, their causes, and ways to constructively cope.
For someone with my issues, I consider myself lucky to be in such good spirits on a fairly regular basis.

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...so i'm posting from my phone, since Rita-Pea left mine downstairs. Took her to see Irish dance today. She loved it and watched with great interest. At the end they let kids come up and practice with the dancers and the "big girls" were so good to her. She was one of three kids with down syndrome at the event today. It's always great seeing other families out exposing their kids to different things and sharing in the joy that having someone with DS in your life brings.
Gonna take her swimming tomorrow, which she always enjoys.

I can't believe she's four. Henry turns three in a month. Where the hell did my babies go?!

I'm liking my big kids though, i gotta say.

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In which I bitch about my family.

Whatthefuckever. I was gonna post but i'll do it another time. My family life is sad and unsatisfying, yadda yadda.

Those kids are truly my reason for existing.

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I am lounging at the moment, while intermittantly cleaning the bathroom.  Aside from going to the bank and the post office and grabbing lunch (all while braving a flash-blizzard!), I haven't done much today. 
Ever since my crazyrare reaction to gabapentin, I cannot tolerate cinnamon.  This is sad news, because I enjoy cinnamon sugar in the morning on my toast.  My mouth burns for the rest of the day, and it is simply too reminiscent of what I went through for me to want to put up with that shit.  I don't know if it has something to do with all of the new (and consequently more sensitive) skin or what, but it's unsettling.  I'm back to not sleeping as a result of discontinuing the med, but I expected that. 

My brother still hasn't broken his silence.  I am simultaneously annoyed and amused.  I doubt he even remembers why he isn't speaking to me at this point.

Feb. 6th, 2011

My brother's a dick.  This is nothing new, I've written countless entries about it.  We had a fight two weeks ago and he still refuses to respond to my texts or messages left on his wall.  I don't care personally because we have never gotten along and we don't like eachother in the slightest, but last week when the weather got bad I sent him a text asking if he could send a friend to help my mom start the generator in the event of an emergency, and passed along a message from our uncle about him needing to get in contact, and he didn't even respond to that. 

I don't give a fuck if he wants to be a petty little shit, but when I'm relaying a message from someone else and looking out for our mother, he needs to set that shit aside.  He's an ivy league college student; you'd think he'd be smart enough to realize that.  But brains and social graces are not the same, apparently.

It was a dumbass fight anyway.  He left his cycling gear here and asked my mom to mail it.  My mom got sick, so I told her I would take it to the post office on my way out of town.  I had a problem at the pharmacy and ran out of time.  My Mondays are time-sensitive because I have to pick Rita up from school, so I had to leave it.  My brother sent me a ton of nasty posts telling me I was letting our mom down and being selfish, and that I was a burdensome child and that the only person who tolerated being around me was my mom. 

I got nasty in return and unleashed a string of "why don't you shut the fuck up, nobody asked you" style texts (oh, yeah, did I mention this fight took place via text message?  Yeah, cause it did.) and pointed out that he was the dumbfuck that left his equipment in the first place.  I told him to shut the fuck up and leave me alone, and I guess he plans on following my instructions to the letter, lol.

I much prefered our relationship when he lived in the mountains and we communicated via letters and saw eachother two or three times a year.  Now that he's back out in society, we're not getting along again.

Feb. 2nd, 2011

Had a really great day today. Rita had a snow day and I had her one-on-one all day. She is an absolute joy and we had a ball, playing outside, doing puzzles, watching movies of her and Henry as babies.

Broke my nose today. Rather, Rita's forehead did. I had once before gotten a good wallop in the schnoz when Hen got me with a maraca, but this was entirely different. I heard it happen as I felt it happen. I've never had a bloody nose before in my life, so when my left nostril started gushing before I could even sit up, I knew. I freaked a little momentarily, thinking I'd have to get it set, but according to dr. Internet unless bones are exposed, it's leaking brain fluid, or it makes a grating noise when you touch it, you're good. Good and sore and i've got a headache, but it didn't wreck the day!

Time for bed!

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Jan. 30th, 2011

I am in absolute hell.  I have been in such discomfort since early last week.  Burning Mouth Syndrome is a rare side effect of the gabapentin.   It happened once before, resolved, and then started up again on tuesday. 
Little did I know, the Burning Mouth Syndrome would be just the tip of the iceburg.
An incredibly rare side effect are mouth ulcers.  My entire mouth is covered in huge blistery ulcers.  Top of my tongue, bottom of my tongue, sides of my tongue, cheeks, roof of my mouth, gums, and throat.  It hurts beyond compare.  I'd rather have my tonsils and my wisdom teeth out ten times over than be dealing with this.

My doctor took me off the gabapentin, and I got a script for viscous lidocaine that I have to swish and spit.  The next day (friday, I think) I went to immediate care and the doctor there ran bloodwork and wrote me a script for two additional meds to add to the swish routine.  I'm taking four ibuprofen at a time and drinking ph water to help with the acidity.  Really the only thing that helps is sleep.

The good news is that the doctor at immediate care kicked ass.  He's a suboxone provider, and thusly, very educated on the subject of addiction and recovery.  He's starting his own practice in a few months and gave me his info, so I might finally have found a doctor in Buffalo who knows what's up.  Always looking to add another competent member to my treatment team.

If this isn't gone by monday, I'm going to seek out a dentist who'll inject me so I can have some total-numbing action. 

Jan. 23rd, 2011

I feel like I wasted most of the weekend.  My mom always argues that it's never a waste for me to come home and "recharge my batteries," as it takes a lot out of me living in two places and driving home each weekend, but I still feel like a dirtbag.

My brother and Celi stayed at their friends' house friday night, and their poor cat was desperate for companionship after they'd been gone for a few days in connecticut and then away all day thursday and friday dealing with arrangements for the second funeral, so I slept in with Kevin the cat.  He truly is one of a kind.  I'm not really a cat person...friendly cats are fine but they don't do much for me.  This cat is a lot like a super friendly dog, totally seeks out human companionship and just wants to be around you and loving on you the whole time.

I miss my babies tonight.  I can't wait to see them tomorrow afternoon.  To think that in less than four months we'll have another!

I had so much fun with Henry today. He is so busy and wants to know about everything, all the time. Rita had another phenomenal day at dance...watching her come along has been such a joy.

My brother's girlfriend, Celi, who is truly like a sister to me, lost both of her grandmothers in a period of 72 hours this past week. They left Ithaca for Connecticut on Monday, and came home to Rochester today for the second set of calling hours/services. Crappy timing, to say the least. This means that their puppy, Zoey, and their cat, Kevin, are staying at my mom's house in addition to our two dogs. This makes me excited to go home tomorrow.

I bite the right corner of my lower lip as a nervous habit. I must have been biting it more than usual this week because it's chapped as shit, it hurts, and it's swollen. If only I weren't constantly struggling with bigger habits, I'd work on not doing that anymore. Speaking of habits...next week marks a year and a half. Not sure how I feel about it really. Two years is always my most dangerous time once I get past the physical dangers of detox.

My cousins are both playing their guitars. One electric, one acoustic. Different songs, at the same time. Both are novices at best. Thankfully bedtime is in 35 minutes.

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Jan. 9th, 2011

I spent the whole day sleeping.  I stayed up late, and I had accrued some sleep debt prior to that already, so I knew it'd happen, but I always feel shitty about staying in bed the entire day.
My mom and I went to see The Black Swan yesterday.  She thought it was too intense (ever since the year my dad was sick, my mom says she has no tolerance for unnecessary emotional intensity.  She used up her reserve, is how she puts it.)  I thought it was incredibly well done, and there were a lot of subtleties to pick up on.  And Natalie Portman-on-Mila Kunis action is pretty hot, albeit slightly uncomfortable to watch with your mother when she already thinks you're a lesbian.

It'd be fun if we got enough snow to take the kids sledding one day this week.  I finally have snowpants and proper winter boots in Buffalo, so this time I won't freeze my ass off sledding in Jeans and doc martens.  Speaking of docs, they're made in thailand now.  I was blown away by this.  They ceased production at their uk plant in 2003.  I got a yellow pair for christmas, and I knew immediately upon putting them on that something was different.  They're still great, but I was really surprised.

Let's not make the same mistake we did last night and accidentally stay up too late, self.  Wrapitup.

Jan. 1st, 2011

The kids were really difficult this week.  It's so hard to be a preschooler in December in our country, because the minute thanksgiving ends, you are simply barraged with christmas mania.  Rita's birthday party was fantastic but it only served to amp them up even more. It wasn't enough to have one party in their classes, so each class had a party two days in a row (instead of simply inviting any students that might miss the party due to a m-w-f or t-tr schedule to attend) which wound them ever tighter.

By the time Christmas was over and I arrived on Monday, I had two adorable little cretins on my hands.  They were like gremlins who'd been fed after midnight.  Rita peed on the floor on purpose.  Henry put everything he could get his hands on into his mouth. They took ornaments off the tree and threw them  They wrecked everything they could.  I love them to pieces, you all know I do, but I was so worn out and beside myself from having no control that I was in tears on my drive home on more than one occasion.

In happier kid-related news, Rita got a kid-friendly digital camera for christmas and I have so enjoyed watching her use it.  She'll turn it on and go "say cheese!" while she fumbles for the button, and then look at the picture and smile ear-to-ear and say "got it!"

It will be hard for them to adjust to their regular schedules again.  I expect it will be another difficult week as they realize that the fun really is over.

In other news, my mother scared the shit out of me today and is officially required to keep an epi-pen filled and in the house.  Also, since she knows she has a peanut, treenut, seed, and popcorn allergy, she promised to be much more adherant to her allergy diet since she managed to scare herself too.  Other than her allergy exposure, we had a really nice weekend.  She made two super yummy meals (complete with vegetables which my body gets far too few of these days:) one to bid farewell to the old year, and one to ring in the new year. 

My new years' resolution last year was to read more books.  Specifically, I wanted to read 40 books last year.  I came pretty damn close, although not long into the new year I decided to stop counting because I was afraid I'd focus too much on quantity, and that wasn't my objective.  I have always tried to maintain whatever new years' resolutions I set for myself, so that they become lifelong habits.  I still carry the same chapstick tube rather than constantly losing and replacing (that was one two years ago,) I smile at strangers and say hello, I *almost* cut out all HFCS except for the coke that I allow sneak back in toward the end of this year.  This year I don't have a set resolution yet, but I plan to continue reading at the pace I kept last year.  It's good for my brain and it's good for my recovery to keep busy, even if it's only by reading.

I hope 2011 found everybody happy and healthy.

Dec. 25th, 2010

My head improved midday, but I have not been able to shake this nausea.   I ate some wild rice around four, but other than that, I am just too nervous to put anything in my stomach.  If I went into the bathroom right now and knelt in front of the toilet, I could puke with little difficulty.  Swallowing is uncomfortable because I can feel my epiglottis trying to decide whether to shut or open.  Sometimes puking makes me feel better...if I've been glutened, for example.  I don't think that's what this is, though, and the last thing I want is to feel awful tomorrow. 

I could use a hug.  

Ten dollars says I don't make it through the night without barfing.

Dec. 13th, 2010

You know when you burn your tongue on scalding liquid and the whole thing goes tingly?  My tongue has felt like that for a week.  I didn't burn it.  Then on Friday, every single tastebud in my mouth decided to double in size, at least.  Some are bigger than that.  I know I didn't burn it.  I didn't eat anything crazy acidic or super salty.  My mom started asking me about what i've eaten...and I swear, nothing has changed.  I also lost the ability to taste.  Not completely, but like when you've got a cold and are completely stuffed up. 

So I decided to check and see if it could be the gabapentin.  Yep, it's possible.  Mouth sores, and more specifically, Burning Mouth Syndrome, are two of the less common side effects.  It sucks a lot, too, because it has helped with my sleep significantly.  I'm gonna see about having my shrink dispense as written so I'll get Neurontin, which is the brand name.  This shit is maddening.  I can (and do) live with a lot of side effects, but this is one that I can't live with.  If it continues on the brand name i'll have to go off the med completely, which is really frustrating.

In much happier news, Rita Elizabeth turned four today.  We had her party on Saturday and it was too much fun.  She was so excited and really loved having all of her people around.  I am relieved to not have to keep her gift a secret any longer, because I've been so damn excited!  We got her tickets for Sesame Street Live!  We're taking Rita and Henry to see it in Rochester in April, which is awesome cause it's right before the new baby comes!  After seeing how much they loved Yo Gabba Gabba Live, I can't wait to take them. 
I can't believe it's been four years.  She is such a big girl.  I used to talk to my mom all the time about all of the things I wanted to do with her when she was bigger, and my mom would tell me not to wish the baby stage away, and now I see what she was saying.  I am so happy to be where we are now, but I would give anything for another day with that tiny little baby who would coo and smile and snuggle with me.

My sixth grade cousin just tried to tell me that he couldn't do his homework because he didn't have a pencil.  He was unaware that I used to ensure that children did their homework for a living.  I have at least a dozen mechanical pencils in my car, and I was more than prepared to march my ass out to the car to get him one.
Miraculously, he found one.
His sister, only a year his senior, never ever needs to be reminded to do her homework.  She gets upset if she gets less than a hundred.  Ryan has to work harder.  He's smart as a whip but school isn't about how smart you are, it's about how well you test.  Just don't give me any bullshit about not having a pencil.

I'm really bumming out this afternoon.  Probably it's more accurate to say I'm depressed, but I've never really liked to say that.  Drove into Buffalo and back last night because my Dad's side of the family had a post-thanksgiving gathering, and the ride home was awful.  20 miles an hour, sometimes down to a single lane, zero visability, scary.  I got home around one am and then had to head out to go back to Buffalo this morning.  We went to the Club for brunch and gingerbread house decorating with the kids, which was a blast.

On the way home, however, my Mom and I had less-than stellar conversations that have left me feeling shitty about myself and my circumstances.  I asked her if she'd help me out with paying for school this semester if I went back, and she told me she'd have to think about it because she doesn't see any hope in my situation.  When I asked her to clarify what she meant, she told me that she didn't see me ever making any progress or getting anywhere.  Yeah, I don't either, but sometimes it's nice to have someone at least pretend to believe in you.

You have to dress up to go to the Club, which I always hate.  I always feel like a drag queen when I have to dress up, and I'm fucking sick of it.  So today I wore a red wool argyle sweater, charcoal dress pants, my red twelve hole docs, and a shirt and tie. Nearly every time I have to dress up, she'll make a comment about how my outfit is particularly "feminine" or how it's a "perfect woman's outfit" which I can't fucking stand., or she'll tell me about something she read/saw/someone she knows that's gay.  So today she told me all about how she was watching Chelsea Lately and she had a gay comedian on talking about how he came out to his mother and how his mother knew all along.  I looked at her and said "Mom, you know i'm not gay, right?" and she responded by saying "I don't know what you are, Lib." I just said "well, to be a lesbian, I'd have to be attracted to women, and I'm not, so I'm pretty sure I'm not."  I went on to explain that I was gender fluid and that I probably should have been born a boy, and she said "well, then you'd be a gay man."  It's so fucking ridiculous that I even have to have that conversation with my mother.  I have had long-term committed relationships with men, and I have never had a single relationship with a woman.  I dress in gender-neutral or men's clothing almost exclusively, but I like the color pink.  Can't that just be who I am?

I guess if you didn't know all of that about me, dear reader,  you do now.  Go ahead and tell me stories about how you were watching Ellen or Chelsea Lately or surfing Perez Hilton's website.  It's nothing new to me.  I must be gay because I'm disappointed I wasn't born male.
Panicky tonight. Probably leftover adrenalin from my ride home. From Buffalo to about Batavia, anything faster than 20mph was deadly. Visibility was limited to the car in front of me, and at one point, I was the leader of the pack and realized I had no idea where the road was at all. It let up shortly after I passed through Batavia, and there's hardly any accumulation here. Funny how an hour down the road can mean a completely different weather system.

I went into Buffalo for what we have all just started calling "pies." It used to be post-thanksgiving dinner desserts and coffee, but now we hold it on the day after thanksgiving, and everybody brings a different pie. It's always awesome getting to see my cousins on my dad's side. I got to see Kenzie, which was icing on the cake. Or pie, in this case.

Tomorrow I'm going back into Buffalo for the morning, to decorate gingerbread houses at the Buffalo Club with the kids. I'm really excited about that, because the kids are going to go nuts.

Nov. 25th, 2010

My brother's cat is so fucking cool. He brought him home for the holiday and he's living in my brother's room. He and D are cool with eachother but Xena is big and he hides from her. Kevin (the cat) is crosseyed, and he's a mix between a seal-coated siamese and a tabby, so he's really rad looking. I am in love with him. He's not shy at all, and all he wants to do is come up to you and cuddle. He's the type of cat that head butts you in the face, and he likes to be petted roughly like a dog. I met him today for the second time, and this time really got to spend some time getting to know him. He's a keeper. Even if you can't ever tell where he's looking.

My shrink put me on gabapentin, which i've taken before many many moons ago, but never when I was sober. It helps me sleep through the night, which is huge, and one of its off-label uses is for migraines, so if I respond to it, it will be a win on many levels.

The kids were fantastic today. They so love a party, and they were dressed adorably and had a blast. It was a really nice day, all around. I'm thankful all the time for my kids, but today especially, I was reminded just how thankful I am for my family who supports me and my kids who inspire me.

Nov. 21st, 2010

I'm struggling. I want so badly to use. The addict in me has been trying to convince myself that it's okay for me to drink, and that it's okay for me to smoke. It's not, I know that. It'll lead me right back to hell, and quickly. I'm clean, that hasn't changed, but fuck. I'm depressed, and I'm lonely. I need to make new Buffalo friends, but I'm awful at making friends, especially sober.

I have been dragging my heels at going to meetings and feeling out the scene in Buffalo. I keep looking up meetings and then "accidentally" oversleeping. I see my shrink on monday...I plan to tell him all of this. He was looking into finding a psychologist for me in Buffalo, so we'll see.

I want to busy myself with shows in the new year. And with music. I wanna study voice again, so I gotta find a decent teacher in the area.

And babies. I am going to busy myself with babies!

photo update!

Rita had such a fantastic day at dance today. Being that she's turning FOUR in less than a month (!), I don't nap her anymore except for on dance days, thinking that she could use the extra rest prior to class. She's been really logey and it's been a challenge getting her up and dressed for dance and out the door lately, so today I decided to experiment and not nap her. We did a craft as a quiet activity and then we got dressed. (Now might be a good time to mention that our littlest ballerina [and she is the littlest, by about eight inches!] is just as fantastically dressed for dance as she is in her everyday life. She's got an array of legwarmers, patterned tights, sparkley tutus and accessories, the whole nine.) She participated so much more than she normally does, it was great to watch. I could see her laughing and smiling and she couldn't get enough hugs from her classmates on the way out. She always asks for more as we drive home and it's so hard to make her understand she has to wait a whole week.

It's such a fantastic feeling, watching her enjoy herself with other kids.

I was being silly with Henry the other day and started singing "whip my hair" or whatever that song is while shaking my dreads in his face, and he walked around for the rest of the day shaking his head and singing "I whip hair back'n'forth." Too funny. I also discovered that if you tell him to say "cheeses" it sounds exactly like "jesus" which cracks me up when used in a sentence.

I have to get cracking on my super secret christmas presents this year. In past years I'd been able to work anytime I had spare time, but I'm kind of tied to the sewing machine and that's at my mom's house. I'll try to get some work done this weekend.

Playing with bay-boh:

When she's got time to play, you can usually find her parked in front of the radio with her cd's. Rare shot of Rita with socks on. Typically we barely make it in the door before they're off and her feet are free.

Here, she's having a dance party with her doll.

Check out her big little brother showing off the treasure he found on our nature walk:


Check out my "baby" G-Love:

(Not for much longer! New baby in May!)
I had a night terror last night. It was my first big one in probably ten years. I've had maybe three little ones in that amount of time, but this wasn't a little one.

My calves are sore to the touch as a result today...I was thrashing about so much that I had huge charleyhorses in both of my legs. I woke up screaming and fighting some invisible intruder (I suspect my mom's dog may have triggered it by standing above me as she respositioned) and absolutely terrified the poor dogs. Delilah then rushed to my aid and tried to help by wagging and kissing and snuggling. I left the light on for about ten minutes, until the rush of blood in my ears was no longer deafening, and surprisngly I was able to fall back asleep.

Thankfully I was alone. They're embarassing and hint at things I don't care to discuss. The last big one I had was while I was on a roadtrip with Owen and I scared the living shit out of him in the middle of the night.

One of the many reasons I miss the nightly dose of klonopin or xanax.
Every year when we change back to EST, I am reminded that I have a terrible aversion to being out after dark during the winter months. I can't explain it. I LOVE being outside after dark in the summer. I don't care what i'm doing, driving around, exploring, walking the dog, playing at the beach, sitting at a bonfire. It's wonderful and special and makes me feel alive. The second it gets dark early, I become riddled with anxiety and need to be home and inside.

Explain this?

yessssss!

I can officially share the exciting news!
Nora (Rita and Henry's mom) is pregnant and due in May!
Another baby to love and play with and snuggle!
Henry's going to be a big brother!

SO psyched.
I have improved. Three doses of antibiotic and my throat is significantly better.
More importantly, I got my medication. They put a note in my file that I don't tolerate the other generic. I also got my automatic refill of my depakote. Got home, opened everything up, and they changed manufacturers for the depakote now!!

I couldn't do anything but laugh.

I've got enough to get me through the week, and I'm gonna wait a few days till I'm back on my feet with the right effexor and off of my z-pack before I try this generic out. Generic medications only have to be 80% identical to their brand-name counterparts, which is fucking insane.

I have a bed at my Uncle's house in Buffalo now. My aunts went nuts buying me a comforter and decorative pillows and wall hangings. It definitely feels like it's happening now, and I am excited.

I found someone to work on my hair. I'm gonna drive to see her next week (she's in Syracuse.) She said to expect about four hours of work. It'll be nice to have nice, neat dreads.

What a difference twelve hours makes.

Oct. 25th, 2010

I'm being such a baby right now and I can't fucking stand it.

My pharmacy changed Effexor generic manufacturers and that's what caused my reflux to flare. I made arrangements to switch back to the previous manufacturer but the shipment doesn't come in until after two o'clock today and I haven't taken my medicine since Friday so my brain is sloshing about and I have zaps and I have cried more in the past twenty four hours than I have the whole last year.
The acid gave me ulcers in my throat and I woke up yesterday with uvulitis and eyes so thick with goop I had to throw my contacts away.
All I can dream about is using and it's beginning to consume my waking thoughts, also.

I am so fucking done.

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I feel like I haven't posted in ages. I don't keep track of these things, so I can't say for certain exactly how long it's been. Spending more time in Buffalo and less time in Rochester as I make the transition. I took Rita to an appointment on Tuesday, driving in for the afternoon, because I didn't have anything else going on. When I told the kids I had to go home Henry said "no, you sleep here!" I have been spending three to four nights a week at their house, which is beyond fun. I so enjoy getting to spend time with my loves.

I got myself into a bit of a state today. It doesn't happen often, but from time to time I get unnecessarily bitchy. Usually I can check it, but today it took hold for more than an hour. I have been having stomach issues like woah this week. Not like I'm having a celiac flare or like i've been glutened, but like my GERD is acting up or I have an ulcer. Everything burns my stomach and I feel like my entire digestive tract is eating itself alive. I'm also hungry because I am eating relatively little in order to avoid the discomfort. My mother, ever the saint, took me to Wegmans in an attempt to get me some food tonight, and I had a bit of a sulky "wtf I hate being gluten-free it's so stupid i'm done with this stupidfucking diet" meltdown. I got some veggie fried rice and some frosted flakes and some yogurt, and all of those things seem to be sitting okay. Some of my issues could be caused by the fact that the pharmacy switched manufacturers on one of my meds, so my body's gotta adjust to the new inert ingredients (which could be causing the ulcer/GERD, for all I know) and also to the varied dosage (generic drugs can differ pretty significantly from their brand-name, believe it or not.)

I have something exciting I want to plaster all over the place, but I gotta wait a little bit longer. It's totally *squee* worthy, though. In a knucklebiting kind of way.

Delly is snoring beside me. Time for some pugsnuggling.

Oct. 13th, 2010

I have a follow-up appointment tomorrow morning with my primary (in whom I have very little confidence as she repeatedly forgets I am in recovery and needs reminding that, no, I can't take those drugs...) about my carpal tunnel. The next step is ordering a nerve conduction study and pending those results, scheduling surgery.

Totally cool with all of that until about five minutes ago. All of a sudden i'm kind of freaking out. I don't do doctors unless I need medication. I haven't had a physical in more than a decade. I don't go in for anything other than ENT issues because I don't like being touched. I don't like being out of control, and I don't like doctors thinking they know my body better than I do.

Nerve conduction studies aren't pleasant. Everybody I've talked to tells me that the discomfort levels vary but at times it gets quite uncomfortable. I can handle that as long as I don't psych myself out, but usually I'd rely on a benzo to help me stay calm. I have nothing at all now, and that's freaking me out.

And then surgery. I have to approach it all differently. No pain meds, no sedation. I don't even know what they'll use to put me under. I think, from an addiction perspective, I'd rather just get a nerve block and stay fully conscious, but I'm not sure how feasable that is. If OTC pain meds won't cut it, I have to take non-opiod medications that everybody knows don't come close to taking care of pain, but it's just too important for me to steer clear of the opiates.

It's such a fucking hassle. And I have nothing to help me deal with the anxiety.
What I wouldn't give right now to sit in the warm sand and hear the sounds of the beach.
I am excited that the leaves are changing, and I am excited that soon I'll have to dig out my thrifted seven-dollar bus drivers jacket, and I'm excited to come home and sit in front of the fireplace...
But nothing compares to the feeling of the sand after it's soaked up the heat of the day, and the sound of the waves or the feeling of the water rocking the boat as it lulls the kids to sleep.

It always feels like ages until spring rolls around. I don't think the summer would be nearly as special if we enjoyed it year-round, but damn it, everything feels so gray and gloomy.

Soon I'll get to locate all of my kneesocks and enjoy the feeling of warm legs. That I always really look forward to.
And Rita turns FOUR in December, which is huge.

But first, Halloween!

Time, such clumsy time.

This blows my mind:


I used to arrive every morning and Nora would carefully, so carefully hand over the smallest little baby I'd ever worked with in my life. Before her heart surgery, she hardly grew at all, and even after, she had a LOT of catching up to do.
And now, she absolutely glows. I can't believe she's such a big girl.

Sep. 27th, 2010

Today was one of those days that served to remind me exactly who I am, in no uncertain terms. Started my day at the shrink for a med check. My meds never change but apparently my liver levels can, so I have to get bloodwork ordered from time to time. I'll probably get the bloodwork done tomorrow. Went to my pharmacy to pick up my meds. My mom asked me to drop off a script at her pharmacy, which I said I'd gladly do...until I discovered that the aforementioned script was a triplicate for a benzo.

I dunno. Maybe I'm being hypersensitive but it's such a struggle for me, and my mom knows it. Would she have given me a script for opiates the same way? I feel like it's a little insensitive. Like when, at family parties, I'm sent to the liquor store. I know it's MY issue, but it's a big issue for me, and I could use a little support and sensitivity in that regard.

I've been growing more and more concerned that I've lost all ability to hold down a "real job." I am completely content watching the kids right now, and that is definitely work, but it's a labor of love, and there's no paperwork or protocol or chain of command. It's family and they're my babies and it's as natural to me as it gets. I would really like to find a part time job once I'm established back in Buffalo. I need the money, but it's more than that. I need to prove to myself that I'm still at least somewhat capable of functioning in society.

I've been a little depressed lately. The summer is over, my life is in transition, I'm leaving Delly in Rochester when I really want her with me, I'm homesick for home when I don't know where that is, I miss being in school, I feel like I've accomplished so little. Nothing major, but enough to cause me to feel a little melancholy.

In more positive news, I blitzed the fuck out of my room at my mom's house in preparation for new window installation. I watched a Hoarders marathon and then went to work. If I haven't touched it in a year and I had no sentimental attachment to it, out it went. I sorted things into piles: donate, trash, save. My room at my Mom's house should really be nothing more than a slightly personalized guestroom, at this point. In less than a month I'll only be staying here two or three nights a week. It should be comfortable and tidy enough to accomodate visitors.
Happy Celiac awareness day! I went out to eat with my mom tonight and had one of my favorite foods, ever. Alladin's makes a fantastic Moussaka, all potato and eggplanty. We sat outside on the balcony alongside the canal and it was sunny and nice. I filled her in on my weekend (and really last week, too, since we've sort of been like ships passing in the night this summer.)

I've got half of my head tied up on top of my head, and the other waiting to be scalprolled. My fingers and hands need a break. So much more maintenance than I ever imagined. I guess before I let my hair lock I never really gave any thought to the fact that even after you get some solid knotting your hair continues to grow in individual strands and need regular encouragement to knot. My hair could be low-maintenance, if I were content to have a whitegirl afro with a dreadlock mullet, but somehow I'm not sure I could rock that look. Not that I'm entirely convinced I'm rocking this look.

I have have *have* to make a couple of important phonecalls. I'm such a dumbass about not taking care of things in time and then everything piles up.

Dropping Rita off at school today made me realize I sort of miss teaching preschool. I got to thinking it might be fun to find something, very part time, to help occupy me in Buffalo. We'll see. I've gotta get back and get settled and then I'll decide. I don't do well with jobby jobs that require paperwork and organization and professional appearances, so it'll be easy to make excuses.
But. I DO miss teaching preschool.

Ok, fingers and hands are adequately rested.

Home again home again jigajigjig.


I miss this little creature so much when I am away.

Posted via LjBeetle
I'm spending the night at Nora and Matt's new house tonight. The kids are in the process of going down for the night, so I'm sitting in the playroom because Matt somehow thinks it's easier to get Henry to fall asleep and then transfer him to his crib (he starts in a bed) than if I were to just put him down myself and have him sleep in the bed with me like I do at the beach or at my house. Tomorrow I'll take Rita to school and then head home to be with my dogs and my mom for a few days.

This past weekend may have been my last at the beach for the summer, which is always really sad. We were lucky with the weather this summer...got out on the boat and jetski lots. Still, the summer always ends depressingly early. All three of the kids grew up so much this summer; next summer they'll be even bigger and we'll be able to do even more with them. I cant wait for bonfires and fireworks and staying up late. That was my childhood at the beach, and now it's theirs. That is something I have really enjoyed with these guys: watching them explore and come to love the same place we did when we were their age.

...silence next door. Slumbering children.

Posted via LjBeetle

Sep. 11th, 2010

My friend Nyanlow called me tonight and left me a voicemail. I haven't been a very good friend to either Nyanlow or Uwase with everything that's gone on this past year, and there's no way I could ever explain it to them. I'm extremely open about my last relapse and subsequent efforts at recovery, but how on earth would I explain it to these women? These are two of the strongest, most resilient women I have ever had the priviledge to know but how exactly can I expect them to understand the fact that I took everything I had going for me...having been born in the united states and not Sudan or The Congo...having been born into all the comparative wealth and priviledge that comes with being raised in an upper middle class family, forget the color of my skin...how do I explain to them that I took all of that and threw it away? These women who walked for miles and had children in tow and brought nothing with them, not even photographs?

I don't.

It may be the only time my disease truly makes me feel ashamed.

But. She is expecting a baby any day now! (That's how long it's been since we last spoke.) This will be her fifth, and I am stoked for her.

I will call her this week.

Posted via LjBeetle

Sep. 10th, 2010

It's maddening: I seem to be able to sleep for days straight when I've got things to do, and yet when I've got time on my hands and would really love to tackle some of my sleep debt, my body won't allow me to sleep. The even bigger bitch is that almost guaranteed, I'll start to feel sleepy and want to crawl into bed about half an hour before I'm supposed to leave for Buffalo.

And oh, Cherry Coke. I was holding so firm and really doing well but somehow our sordid love affair began again in earnest. I know that High Fructose Corn Syrup is the devil and totally unnatural and unfit for human consumption, yet my life is unmanagable and I am powerless over oh so many addictions. All joking aside, I cut all artificial sweeteners (and yes, HFCS IS artificial! Just because it's made from corn doesn't mean it's simply corn. Plus we consume too many corn-based products anyway. I digress) out of my diet about ten months ago and drank only teas sweetened with cane sugar and the occasional Jones Soda (also sweetened with cane sugar) or Izze soda (carbonated water and fruit juice). I checked all lables and we threw away all jellies, jams, condiments (organic Heinz ketchup tastes exactly the same! Good to know when you put ketchup on everything) containing HFCS. It was great. We were doing our part: organic fruits and veggies, no HFCS, heirloom plants in an attempt to stick it to Monsanto. Somehow, slowly, the Coke snuck up on me recently. It had been stalking me for a while. The only time I allow myself a no-no beverage is if I've got a migraine and I've had too many this summer to count. It took advantage of me in a moment of weakness and now there are four empty coke botttles in my car, and I consumed at least that many at the beach this summer. My name is Libby, and I have a problem. My mother would kill me if she heard me making light of my actual addictions. I haven't been to a meeting in six months. I plan to make my triumphant return to the rooms of NA when I move to Buffalo. It'll be good to meet some sober friends.

As predicted, I'm getting heavy-lidded, and I've yet to pack my bag or gather my food together. I'm left with a choice: either I get off of my ass right now and get ready and THEN sleep, or sleep now and run around like a dirtbag when I (predictcably) oversleep. It's a no-brainer in my book. I am a dirtbag, through-and-through!

Sep. 9th, 2010

We're in the middle of a cold snap, which sucks because I hate sleeping with covers. If I could pick, I'd sleep in a t-shirt and shorts without any sort of sheet or blanket, year round. Blankets fall off of the bed, they get twisted and tangled and lumpy. It doesn't help that I thrash like I'm jumping on a trampoline in my sleep. I want my dog at my side and maybe a blanket just enough to cover my feet.
I don't know how warm my uncle keeps his house in the winter. I'll be staying there monday-friday, so I'm hoping he keeps it warmer than my mom does. I really hope I find a positive living situation by June...I am excited to be back in Buffalo but I am looking forward to being back in the city at the end of the school year.
Back to the beach tomorrow. Gonna pick Reets up at school and then head up. I hate leaving Delly behind every week, but she seems to be okay with her routine.
I'm watching videos Rita and I made when she was here last week. She loves to make videos of herself and then watch them, so there are always a handful sitting on my computer after each visit. They crack me the hell up.

A picture from her most recent visit:

And one of my favorites of me and Hen, taken about a month ago:

Note the sand covering every inch of my shirt.


I've got a hot date with a snoring pug.

Crickets.

I am a jumble of emotions these past few days. I'm depressed: my dad's anniversary was sunday and that's always hard, Its almost september and the end of summer is very sad for me. I'm anxious about moving: i'm not going to be living on my own, which is good and bad. I get into trouble when I live alone. I'm gonna be living with my Dad's youngest brother and his kids (my cousins,) who are both in middle school. He works nights and in exchange for room and board I will be a safe adult presence, make sure Ryan does his homework, and make dinner. I am not as familiar with my Dad's side of the family as I am my mom's. I know them well and enjoy the time I spend with them, but it will be an adjustment. I felt a similar level of anxiety when I moved in with my aunt and uncle, probably.
I am excited about getting to know my uncle better, and getting to spend time with those cousins. I am really excited to be spending time with Rita and Henry on a daily basis again.
I am devastated to be leaving D behind. I keep wanting to back out of the entire arrangement for that very reason. My chest hurts and my eyes sting when I think about it. She is my little sidekick and i can't sleep without her snoring at my side at night. I will definitely be driving home every weekend to see her.

I have fallen twice in the past two days, and three times in the past week. Wet rocks with algae on them might actually be the death of me. I emerged unscathed except for a slight scrape on my elbow and some brushburn. I have to remember my mion sandals (the ones, @kenz, you call my life partner shoes.)

Rather than let any specific emotion overwhelm me any further, I am going to lay here and listen to the crickets and the waves and breathe.

Posted via LjBeetle

Aug. 25th, 2010

I haven't updated in ages. It's not that I've forgotten about you, dear livejournal. I have been up at the beach four days a week all summer, and the connection up there is spotty. When I come home, typically I crash and leave just enough time to regroup and head back up.

It's been a fantastic summer. For as long as I live I want to remember exploring rootbeer creek with Henry in the pouring rain, listening to him talk about his discoveries and just watching him take in the world. Every morning, Rita comes up the stairs, opens my door, and wakes me up. In the beginning of the summer it was just "hi!" and then it evolved and became "NayNay, Hi!" and now the door opens and she says "hi, NayNay!" and crawls up into bed with me, pulls on a pillow under me and says "my pillow." We cuddle and listen to music and sing. I want to remember forever watching these kids grow up and getting to be a part of their lives.

I am moving back to Buffalo. I haven't told too many people, but it's official. I am excited and a little nervous. I'll have Rita after school during the week, which is amazing. I love Buffalo. It is my city, and I'm glad to be going back. I'm going to get active with meetings again and try to meet sober people that way. School in the spring. D isn't coming with me this time. She was really traumatized by the last move and I wasn't very attentive this last time I got sick...it took a long time for her to come back around, and she's ten now. I don't want to stress her. I love her enough to keep her here with my mom and Xena, even if I honestly miss her so much it actually hurts. It's the right thing to do, but it breaks my heart.

Tomorrow is Henry's ice cream social at his school. I'm gonna take him to the beach from there. Next week Reets is gonna come here for a few days and have a bit of a vacation, since Henry came last week. I'm looking forward to having her here.

Life is good.
I saw my doctor last week for my carpal tunnel, and while there I mentioned the increase in nighttime grinding and clenching I've experienced all summer. Naturally, she suggested a bite guard until I told her that I had chewed through two already. She said her best recommendation would be benadryl, since it will promote sounder sleep, and it's non-habit forming, and that's a major concern with me.

I took some tonight, because I'm back at home and I have some on hand.

A year ago, I could have eaten handfuls of them and been unaffected. I was combining drugs that on their own would sedate a small horse, and even then I was able to function without feeling sleepy. Not that I was functioning, but for other reasons.

Now that I'm a year clean and my system is a little more sensitive, after taking two benadryl I'm yawning so hard I've got tears in my eyes.

I made sure to have the doctor note in my file that I'm not to be prescribed controlled substances at any time without first discussing it with my treatment team. The addict in me was pained by this, because it will now be near-impossible to obtain any prescription drugs should I relapse, but it was a sound decision. It's surprising that I needed to go to these lengths, considering that my charts reflect my history of substance abuse and chemical dependence and therefore it would be reasonable to assume that no medical professional in their right mind would give me scheduled drugs, but I've successfully run scams in the past and it's too important now that I stay alive.

I'm wiped. Off to the island of misfit toys.

Jul. 17th, 2010

I haven't posted in ages. Feeling strange tonight. My summer has consisted of tuesdays, wednesdays, and thursdays in Rochester, and Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays, and Mondays at the beach with the kids. I could not ask for a nicer arrangement, except maybe if I were bringing Delly to the beach like I used to. It's too hard to juggle caring for D and the kids simultaneously.

At this point last summer, I was chain smoking joints whenever I wasn't working and spending every evening in an oxycontin, hash, klonopin, and beer fueled stupor, with some coke and tar opium thrown in for good measure. I had overdosed a few times and was getting friendly with people that were not my friends. My Mother shattered her leg, had to have reconstructive bone surgery, and not only was I not there for her, but I stole her pain pills. I knew I was in trouble. I knew bad things (worse things?) were on the horizon, but I was incapable of intervening on my behalf.

I was never allowed to drive the kids, and for good reason. Now, I get to take them across the border. I pick Rita up from school once a week. I wouldn't even say I am trusted; its more like everybody is so familiar with the two Libbys that they can automatically tell. It takes a lot of pressure off of me, because I know if I get sick again I won't have to hide it, because I won't be able to. Not that I plan on letting that happen. I am making an arrangement where my mom has permission to call my psychiatrist and/or psychologist in the event that she suspects I am using again, and then I'll be tested and sent to treatment, if in fact I am using. That way I can get help much faster.

I am really trying. Really fucking hard. I think about using every day, and I have dreams about using or have relapse nightmares at least weekly. My hands shake, and my doctors don't know if its permanent. I have scar tissue in my sinuses. I will always be a drug addict. I will carry this with me forever, even if I never use again. But I don't have to die. I am glad to be clean.

Jul. 6th, 2010

I love being at the beach with the kids. It is heaven on earth for just about everyone, but especially for the kids. Watching them explore their world is so rewarding. Henry is speaking in sentences and sleeping in an adult bed. Rita's vocabulary, both spoken and signed, continues to explode. Among her favorite things to say: "Hen! Stop!" and "No! Mine!" Always spoken in conjunction with the handsigns. Greg has a handful of words and is scary smart. He lives in a tiny, neon green rashguard and boardshorts.
Tomorrow Rita goes in for an endoscopy. They are going to take a series of biopsies all along her GI tract. The kid has gone under general more than I have, and with fewer complications for more serious surgeries, for christssake, but I will always worry.
I have been in bed all day with a wicked sinus infection. Antibiotics are finally helping me win the war.
I had strange using dreams last night. My anniversary is coming up and I am sure it's no coincidence. Fuck, what I wouldn't give to never have to worry about staying clean again. I hate that nagging, gnawing feeling in the back of my mind. I am clean and happy and proud to be that way, but I know the disease, and I know my track record. I have lost so much of my life to drugs. I have no happy college memories or longtime friends because of it. I'll be damned if I rob myself of another minute.
My fucking face is throbbing. I wish I knew why every little cold has to snowball into a secondary infection with me.

Jun. 12th, 2010

Since Monday I have had some kind of low-grade shittiness going on in my lungs. It never got any worse, but it never went away completely, and allergy medicine didn't seem to help. Unless I'm acutely sick and it's the dead of winter, I tend to forget that I have an inhaler to be used as needed. I located it today and hopefully I can clear up some of the gunk.

I am at my wits end with one of my nannying gigs, and I think I'll give notice next week and be finished the week after that. I filled out some volunteer information with the National Audubon Society, and tomorrow I'm going to fill out another form with the Lousiana Gulf Response Oil Spill Recovery Effort. As with all emergency response efforts, they tend to seek volunteers with specific experience, and I'm somewhat lacking in the sense that I don't have HAZMAT training (although my mom might be able to train me right quick) and I'm not certified in wildlife rehab. I also have some strengths. I can operate a GPS unit (who can't? although it was a specifc question, so I checked the box,) drive a boat, identify wildlife (thank you Paul Gentry) and word-process and enter data.

Spending the weekend with my little loves again. Hopefully we'll have a beautiful beach day. I need to remember some DVD's. Rita really loves watching UP when she comes to visit, and I got Fantastic Mr. Fox for my birthday. After the kids go to sleep we all watch a movie, so maybe I'll bring The Hangover, too.

Jun. 6th, 2010

Another fantastic weekend. I went with the kids to a fundraising fair at their school. There were bounce houses and game booths and kiddie rides. They had a blast, and then they got to take me in to see their classrooms and the rest of their school. Rita ran right into her gym area and sat down cross-legged: it was very evident that she was showing me what they were expected to do during gym time.

After the fair we went up to the beach. The weather wasn't as great as last weekend, but even being inside with the kids is awesome. Rita and I got to go on a shopping expedition, which secretly tickled me to bits, because usually she only gets to ride with mom, dad, or grandma.
After the kids went to bed, we watched The Road, which was originally a book written by Cormac McCarthy. It was a fantastic book, and it moved me deeply. The movie was dark and difficult, but for the most part I felt it did the book justice. I'm glad I watched it, but I wouldn't necessarily watch it again. I felt like bricks were being piled on my lap one by one throughout the course of the movie, so that by the end, my chest was tight and I was exhausted.

The freaking rain beating the shit out of the skylight in the loft had me tossing and turning all night, but it's hard to even care about the quality of your sleep when Rita's little feet patter up the stairs and knock on your door. I played with the kids and then drove home.
Mary made me polenta last night and I realized that polenta is underrepresented in my diet. She cut it thin and sprinkled it with parmesan and herbs and fried it, and it was Gluten-Free deliciousness.

I have chewed the living shit out of a couple of hangnails this week and consequently, my hands are sore as hell. I had gotten really good about curtailing that habit, but I've been under a bit of stress. Things appear to be getting better in that regard, however. That's a post for tomorrow.

I'm gonna go do some pugsnuggling. D turns ten in two months, which is blowing my mind. My tiny puppy will be double digits!

Jun. 4th, 2010

The kids' school is having a fundraising carnival tomorrow, and the parents have all been asked to work a shift. Rita and Henry are far too active and independent for one parent to manage at a carnival, especially the kind with rides, so I have been invited along. Matt will work their shift, and Nora and I will accompany the kids. I am ridiculously excited. They are both at an age where everything is wonderful and awesome, and they have never ridden kiddie rides before. I am excited also to meet their friends from school and watch them interact.

Afterwards I'm heading to the beach for more sand and water and cottage fun with them. I haven't been able to get the kids to transition to sleeping up in the loft with me. It would be ideal if I could have them upstairs when I was there, because then Nora and Matt would be able to sleep in a bit and I could walk the kids down to the water or to see the horses before breakfast. I tried last weekend with Reets; it was all fun and games and sleepover giggles until I tried to get serious about sleepy time, and then she statrted with the chin-wobbles and got weepy.

In less awesome news, work sucked today. Three times a week I nanny for three kids (four and-a-half, three, and sixteen months) and it is a nightmare. Their father takes total advantage of me and it's a good week if he remembers to pay me. He did not remember today. I didn't get paid for my other job with the big kid, either, even after being told to wait for exactly that purpose. I waited in my car for an hour and finally she called to say she was running behind and would be another half an hour. Fuck that shit. I'm moving back to Buffalo this fall, that's for damn sure. I try to stay positive about it, but I get really frustrated after dealing all day with ill-behaved children and their tantrums, so by the time payday rolls around, my ability to cope with not being paid isn't exactly the greatest. I don't get to throw a tantrum and kick and hit and scream. Maybe I should; seems to get the kids whatever they want with their parents. All day I've suppressed the urge to scream. The beach'll fix a lot of that tomorrow. A little bit of sun and some hugs from my babies and i'll be good as new.

And then it'll be monday again.

Jun. 3rd, 2010

Rather than thrashing about in bed, I'll make an entry.

I forgot to mention that this weekend at the lake, Henry said my name for the first time. I'm very often referred to as Wibby, since the 'L' sound is tough for toddlers. Henry's is a variation on that, and he calls me "We-be" which is just about as adorable as it gets. I got a little teary-eyed, as I do with all of the milestones I am lucky enough to witness with those kids. Rita is working on my name. When prompted, she'll say "luh-buh", although I think she'll end up sticking with "bb" which is fine with me. Whatever she wants to call me is just fine. G-Love is saying "ball" and "bb" now, too! It's crazy how short-lived the baby stage is.

The teeth-grinding and jaw clenching is just bad news. I'm trying to remember to put my thumb in my mouth before I go to sleep in an attempt to discourage it. I sucked my thumb up until like seventh grade, so I'm hoping the habit sticks. Lets hope it's like riding a bicycle.

I've been saving for new tires for a while now, and I continued to save even once I had enough for a new set, so I'm going to go forward with my Lucky Pug style Maneki Neko tattoo. I'll wait until July and give it to myself as a one-year anniversary gift.

I love Thursdays because I get to sleep in.

May. 31st, 2010

I had a stellar weekend. Went to the beach for the weekend and soaked up plenty of baby-time, in addition to the wonderful sun. A year ago, I couldn't have managed to spend much time with the family because I was too drug addled to step away from my habit for more than a few hours. This year, I enjoyed three days of picture-perfect weather and quality family time in my favorite place on the planet.

I am feeling hopeful and grateful and content, and that is a wonderful place to be.
Also, I am ruining my teeth. I've been grinding them pretty intensely in my sleep. A bite plate or night guard is not an option...I couldn't wear a mouthguard when I played hockey for the same reason, they make me throw up. Now, in addition to the bruxing, I am involuntarily clenching my jaw and it's starting to break my teeth. My jaw is constantly sore. I worry a little that it's some odd form of tardive diskinisia (I also have a problem with tremors in my windpipe/throat.) I gotta remember to mention it to the shrink when I see him next, which means I gotta remember to call and schedule an appointment.
As a kid, I remember going through spells where I'd fret nonstop about my dog dying. As my dog got older, I worried more, which isn't that surprising. This August, Delilah turns ten, and suddenly my little sidekick who seemed to be the perpetual puppy is considered an elderly dog. Just a few minutes ago, I went to pet her and realized she's got a hematoma the size of a quarter on her ear. She's a small dog, with small ears, so it's cause for a cerrtain amount of concern. I did work in the garden today like crazy, and she was out with me, so it's possible she got bitten by something. I laid some sod in her dog run, and she rolled in it with youthful abandon, and it's possible she irritated it then. If it were the shepherd in this situation, I wouldn't hesitate to give her a benadryl, but D weighs twenty pounds and has the whole brachycephalic flat-faced thing going, and I worry about pumping her full of meds when she's breathing just fine at the moment.
This dog has seen me through every moment of my adult life. My freshman year of college, my first serious relationships and subsequent breakups, my first apartments, my first car, my dad dying, relapses and partial programs and med changes; you name it. I know the time will come, and I know myself well enough to know I have it in me to give her the final gift of a humane end rather than let her suffer, but it will break me, for damn sure. I hope she continues to live a healthy life for many years to come. I don't like it when she's sick or injured.

I finished my garden. I put a couple of poppies in: one red and one yellow. I also got a huge lupine plant, already starting to blossom. It's beautiful and the whole garden should be relatively low-maintenance. They are all either perennials or self-seeding, and full-sun and drought-resistant. I also got a jellybean succulant (also known as a burro succulant) in a hanging basket for my bathroom.

I've been working on-and-off for a couple of days getting my computer ready for a format and re-install (or actually, update, from Vista to 7 Ultimate, but i'm going to totally format my hard-drive to reclaim my space.) I've learned from past experiences and I'm downloading drivers in advance as a precautionary measure, even though it's not as big of an issue with the newer computers and versions of windows. I decided to do one last backup of my entire system to my external hard drive and in my entire damn house I couldn't find a single USB cable that would connect my computer to my external drive. I must have left it in Buffalo. So tomorrow i'll have to go grab one before I can finish the project.

I like having productive weekends. I have some children's benadryl downstairs that I am considering giving to D, but I'm very torn. I guess I'll just keep a close eye on her.

May. 19th, 2010

Despite the fact that i've been clean for nearly ten months, I still shake like crazy. My doctors can't say for sure if it'll ever subside. It's worse when I let my blood sugar get too low, but it's ever-present. Sometimes it's so bad I worry I'll chip a tooth while drinking from a glass. Between my carpal tunnel (which I really ought to get fixed now that I have insurance) and the shaking, I can't write to save my life. It's painful and my writing ends up looking like that of a second grader's.

I have the day off, and I'm making another trip to the nursery. I have room for a couple more plants in my garden, and I've decided on shasta daisies and some lavender. Perennials are my thing. I can't bother with new plants every year. I want to forge a relationship with my plants and watch them thrive, like my rubber tree plant that I harvested from the giant rubber tree plant where I was living in buffalo. I took a cutting and it's turned into a plant in it's own right, which was neat to witness. I still haven't decided where exactly to put the chinese lanterns; they are terribly invasive so I have to plant it somewhere where it won't mess with my other plants. I've been given permission to go bulb-crazy this fall, which will be great.