Sunday, February 26, 2017

Build me up, Buttercup...


Hi!

I don't know why I keep myself away from blogging when I love it so much. I think it's some kind of self-sabotage thing. I have mental issues, you know! If anyone wants to psychoanalyze me, feel free :). My actual psychiatrist fired me and I'm going to a new one next month. Maybe this new one will cure me? I just feel so empty and blank.

I moved again, now I'm back in the house with the purple door. My grandparents left their house to my mom, so she moved into my grandparents' house to take care of my great-aunt, leaving her house free. My brother and his family lived here until they found a house, now they're gone and Chelsea and I live here.

So now I'm back in the house I sort of grew up in. I say 'sort of' because I lived here from ages 4-7, then from 13-34, and now I'm back again.

It's really comforting, actually. I live in my mother's old house now, and my mom is right next door living in her mother's old house. Across the street, Mike is living in his mother's old house, and next door is Dwayne (a different one) living in his mother-in-law's old house. I feel completely safe on my little one-block street, because everybody's known each other forever. It's nice.

Being back here reminds me of how much I miss my grandparents. I used to get home and my grandmother would call me as soon as I walked in the house - she knew absolutely everything that was going on in the neighborhood. Nowadays, my mom is calling Chelsea every time she gets home, keeping up the tradition!

Well...I've written as much as I can today. It's hard to write when you're not feeling anything! Mental illness is for the birds.

Please forgive me my brevity. Here's a short and sweet conclusion to today's lesson -

These are some things I learned from the past year:

1. I don't ever wanna live anywhere else.
2. The future kinda scares me.
3. My family loves me.
4. You really don't need your gallbladder.
5. Our new President...ugh.

The End.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Ten Moments That Changed My Life...


So far...and yes, I totally stole the title.

1. My child was born.

Every parent's going to say that, right? 
Because it's true. There's a clear before and after line in my life - the moment Chelsea was born, and I looked at the beautiful screaming baby in my arms, and said, "Hi." (Profound, wasn't I?)

2. I received the gift of life.

I had been checked into the hospital for emergency surgery, but they couldn't do the surgery until I received blood. 

I was so sick. I remember looking at that blood coming into me and feeling so grateful to whomever had taken time out of their busy life to donate. 

I've donated blood before; but it's a completely different thing to receive it. It's  life, and it's a gift. 

3. I entered the psychiatric hospital (aka The Place).

It was a humbling thing, admitting I needed help. After that, the hits kept coming. A physical, endless interviews, and I had to give up my distractions - no cellphone, e-reader or laptop while I was in there. 

My first days were spent staring at walls, and I wasn't alone. Other 'psych' patients were with me, along with alcoholics and drug addicts. We all stared at the walls, and slept a lot. 

This was my first step in facing my depression instead of hiding from it; in realizing that help was available; in realizing that I wasn't alone. 

4. I got laid off from Ford.

The Ford Experience Of 1998 changed the course of my life. I think. When I got hired there, I was prepared to work the most mind-numbingly boring assembly line job for the rest of my life. 

I was laid off within five weeks; devastated, but secretly relieved. I got hired back at my old company, but in a much better job. I also went back to school and finished my degree two years later, and got my current job a year after that. 

You just never know what's a blessing in disguise. 

5. 9/11/01

Not all changes are good. 

The events on 9/11 didn't affect me directly. But the way I think and act every day are affected by it. I don't ever see myself on a plane again. I can't ever go to work in the morning without thinking about what other workers in other high rise buildings were doing that Tuesday. 

Clear blue skies are the worst. 

6. Dwayne finally asked me out.

Enough said. (Okay, well, read further entries down for reference.)

7. Cancer found its way into the family.

My grandmother was the center of our family, and she molded me into who I am today. The day I found out she had ovarian cancer was the worst day of my life. 

That was 2009. She died in 2011, then my grandpa got brain cancer, and my brother got leukemia. My grandpa died July before last; my brother has just achieved remission. But I still feel like I'm in 2009 - cancer? What?

8. I got a kittycat.

The most rewarding thing I ever did was adopt a kitten. I didn't know at the time that she was a Maine Coon mix and that she would grow to gargantuan proportions! I just knew she was small and fluffy and adorable. 

Now she's nine years old, 18.5 lbs, still fluffy and I love her so much! 

There's nothing like having a pet to remind you to love all animals, and to support shelters, sanctuaries and the ASPCA. 

9. I lost my job.

I'm still in the midst of this one. I'd worked for the same company for nineteen years, and then it was all gone.

I have a new job now, but I'll never get over the loss, and the feeling that I let somebody down.

10. I had to go back to the The Place.

The second time around, I thought I knew what to expect. More of the same, digging into my brain, experiencing lots of shame... 

On my first day back, though, I found I wasn't the only repeater. There were other people there, who had been there with me the first time three years before.

I realized then that there's no shame in admitting I needed help, AGAIN. It changed the way I viewed my disease. There should be no shame in it, because that prevents you reaching out and grabbing a lifeline.

I learned that I can fight and struggle and maybe fall down but I can and will always get back up.

:)

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Hope that you spend your days and they all add up...


On August 17, 2015, I missed a day of work. It was due to illness.

The next day, I went in to work and said to Mark, "I think this is gonna be my last day."

Later that morning, my supervisor came and asked me to come with him, and we took a trip down to the second floor conference room. 45 minutes later, I was in my car and crying my eyes out. I had managed to lose my job of 19 years.

It's still taking some time for me to get over it. I got a new job in October and I'm so, so lucky to have gotten someone to give me a chance and hire me, but it was a real blow to my confidence. I learned, really learned, that I'm replaceable.

So.

It's been a year. My dear Aunt Linda died, and my beautiful cousin drank herself to brain damage. I didn't get out of bed for a month after losing my job. I truly thought I wouldn't get through the pain, and I was terrified that I would lose myself to depression again.

But I didn't. I don't know how it happened. I managed to stick around and tough it out and I'm still here and mostly whole.

I stuck around long enough to find out my brother is in remission! I didn't realize how the worry was hanging over my head until I got the wonderful news. There are still blessings in the world.

Also, next week, I'm moving. AGAIN. This time, hopefully, I'm moving to my forever home.

And yesterday, we were finally, FINALLY told that Dwayne can get new knees. The doctors lagged on and on for years because he was too young. Sooo, there's at least one good thing about getting older! He's now 48 years old and soon may be able to walk again. 

Hope is a wonderful thing.

So, on this last day of the year, I'm grateful. I'm so grateful to have my job and my family and a roof over my head. Even though I lost family again this year, I'm ever so grateful to have had them in my life. 

I'm counting my blessings, and I'm thankful for possibilities.

Have a wonderful new year.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

How bad, how good does it need to get?


Hello.

My name is Michelle and this is my blog.

I really love it here.

I may have given the impression that I DON'T love it here, seeing as how I've been gone about ten months. 

But I've been trying desperately to come back. It's like I was on the other side of myself, trying to break through to the real side where my life was. 

I have lots to talk about. When I dropped out of things here, it was initially because I went back to The Place, for about three months this time. Saw some old friends there from last time. Apparently multiple visits is a thing.

I moved in January, and then Dwayne got sick and was in the hospital for three months. 

And now I'm here and I feel like it's time to go back to my favorite mental health facility.

My doctor did change my medicine again a couple of weeks ago so hopefully my mood will change. I like to write hopeful posts, not hopeless posts!

I got more but I'm done boring you. Here's some fluffy notes of things I've liked this month:

1) Chuck (on Netflix): I haven't watched regular TV in years. This show is so great!
2) Leverage (on Netflix): Same thing. Awesome show!
3) Avengers: Age of Ultron: Great movie! Why watch any other movie when you can be watching something Avengers? 

I meant to put five but I forgot. Love you all, goodnight!

Thursday, July 31, 2014

With grace in your heart and flowers in your hair...


I was in my neurologist's office, talking about the increase in my migraines. She hemmed and hawed and finally said, "Michelle, I think you're depressed again."

Something about chronic pain and depression feeding off of each other, blah blah, and all I could think was, I KNOW, I've been here before, but I got better. Aren't I still better? Plus, my psychiatrist seems to think I'm okay... But all I could really do was start crying and say, "It's been a really bad week."

It didn't seem to matter; she said I was as dysphoric as she's ever seen me, so now I have to go to therapy again. I hate therapy - my secrets are perfectly fine hidden down deep where they belong.

...

We buried my grandfather almost two weeks ago, right next to my grandmother, in our family cemetery in Blackwater, Kentucky. It was humbling, to see the number of people who drove 180+ miles from Louisville to a tiny place that's not even on the map, a holler in the Appalachian foothills - all to attend the graveside service for my grandpa.

I heard several people say it at the funeral home, but I always feel like I said it first - Popa was the best man I've ever known.

You couldn't ask for a better legacy than that.

...

Popa's oldest son and I were in Popa's hospital room when the nurse came in and suggested we should start calling people. Pretty soon we had four more in there, plus our preacher. It was so crowded, and I just wanted everyone to leave - all I could think was, is Popa somehow hearing all this noise?

But there's really no tactful way to kick your own family out of the room.

So we waited, and Popa's breathing got more and more shallow. There were conversations going on around us, but my eyes were glued to Popa's chest - as long as he was breathing, he was okay. I noticed my brother doing the same thing. 

My brother and I clash a lot. We're extreme opposites, and also extremely similar, sometimes.

My grandpa's breathing stuttered a few times, which I had read was normal. The Hosparus wing that my grandfather was in was such a helpful, wonderful place. They let us know what was happening and what to look for, every step of the way. We were prepared.

Then, Popa took a breath, and then half a breath, and then he didn't breathe again.

I wasn't as prepared for it as I thought I was.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Keep on moving though the waters stay raging


I'm coming back, I swear.

It's so hard to express what's happening right now...for all that my family is extremely close, we don't spend a lot of time talking about our feelings to each other.

Well, I don't, anyway.

Since my grandfather's brain tumor, he's had surgery and more surgeries, and chemo and relapses and more surgeries, and he's just unrecognizable now from the person he was two years ago.

Losing my grandmother was devastating. Now I'm losing my grandfather, but it's in increments, day to week to month, and the way I feel about it is something I can't describe. He's still here, but not really, and I hate it, I just hate it so much, and I feel so powerless.

When Dwayne was in the hospital I had a taste of what it would be like without my person, and I don't ever want to have to face that again. I wonder if that's how my grandpa feels...kind of at sea, without his person, my grandma, there to anchor him.

Besides Dwayne, my other people are my mom and Chelsea. (I'd kinda include my kitty in there but most people wouldn't call her a person.) I'm sure I'm one of Dwayne's people...I'm not so sure who my mom's and Chelsea's people are.

Your people are the ones you trust, and who text you all the time, and nag at you to do stuff, and you talk to them all week. They're the people you can't do without, and you tell them everything. Mostly. Do you know who your people are?

Saturday, May 31, 2014

I fall down sometimes, sometimes I come back flying


Longest May ever.

I missed more days of work than I actually worked. MIGRAINES.

Dwayne was in the hospital for a week. He's home and doing physical therapy.

My grandfather is home from the rehab place. He's not really doing better.

My mom fell down and broke her wrist. She's who I get it from, obviously.

On my zillionth day or something of missing work this year, my neurologist called and suggested, again, that I have the Botox treatment for migraines. I've been refusing all this time...why would I want to get toxic shots in my head? How could that possibly be good?

But she caught me at a weak moment. This whole month has been a weak moment, really, and so I agreed. I just wanted to not be in pain anymore.

I had the procedure last week and did you know that it was 31 SHOTS?

31 SHOTS?

I didn't. Not until the doctor walked in and started getting the needles ready. 

So. The three shots to my forehead were the worst - they really, really hurt. The three shots in each temple hurt the least, at the time, but they are really sore now. Three in each shoulder, three at the base of my skull, three behind each ear. I can't remember the rest, I've probably blocked it out.

My head has hurt all week, and I have another full-blown migraine today.

My forehead is distressingly numb.

And to think movie stars do this on purpose.

I was supposed to go to a wedding today, but I didn't. Migraine.

I'm hoping that with June, I can start over. 

You know...living.

Monday, May 5, 2014

All I know is everything's going to be alright...


I was doing my best to catch up on everyone's blogs, but, as usual, life got in my way.

Most of the time, I can ignore life and keep on doing my thing, but this time, there was no ignoring it, because it was Dwayne.

Anyway, he's been in the hospital for a week now, and unless they lied, he should be coming home tomorrow. 

So that's why I dropped off the radar...I've been at the hospital.

He's doing better. The doctors are still not sure what happened to him, but they were all fascinated by whatever it was. They stopped all his medicine, and all his symptoms stopped, so they figured it must be his medicine that caused it.

There's a lot more to the story, and I know I'm not explaining it well...maybe more tomorrow? I think I'm going to sleep in my own bed tonight for the first time in a week and see how it goes. 

And yeah, the Ambien has kicked in. Goodnight!!! :)

Saturday, April 26, 2014

I'm bleeding out...


I'm sitting in the living room of my new apartment with my darling daughter...we're both on our computers and watching an awesome comedian named Gabriel Iglesias on TV, and laughing hysterically.

The fact that we're in our living room and watching TV is something I still can't quite get over. For over a year, Chelsea and I hadn't been able to relax in our living room and hang out together, and this is just. so. nice!

I love our new place. It's full of natural light, and the hardwood floors are so shiny and beautiful, and it has such possibilities. It's true, it needs a lot of work, but I don't care. The feeling of freedom I have here is priceless.

We're on the second floor again, but with a huge difference. Just to get up to our building we have to walk up a gauntlet of steps on a very steep hill; by the time I get to the actual steps to get up to my apartment, I have to stop and take a breather. When I'm carrying groceries or something, forget it - I start seeing black spots before my eyes on the last flight of stairs, it's pretty funny.

This is the type of place where everyone knows everyone else and hangs with each other. It makes me a little uncomfortable, actually, because I'm not the social type. I've already told Chelsea she will have to do all the socializing for us.

So...I think the current school of thought on me is, um, crazy, flaky, scattered, suggestible and absent. That's just the impression I have, anyway.

I think it's because I moved, and so quickly. People aren't used to me doing anything, much less in a hurry. I'm definitely more of a turtle type. I've only made a few major decisions in my life:

1. I had a daughter.
2. I decided NOT to work in a factory.
3. I graduated from college with a degree in Philosophy.
4. I moved.
5. I moved again.

That's all I can think of.

But anyway, this is what I come up with when people ask why I moved:

To co-workers: I had to move because my floor-sleeper wouldn't leave.
To family: Um...because...it's closer to work?

Neither of these seem to be an acceptable answer to people. I wonder why?

.......................................................................

It's 2 a.m., and I've relocated to my bedroom. I'm trying desperately to end this useless post, but my daughter followed me in here and is playing with my kitty. Chelsea isn't going to bed anytime soon, she came home from work at 9 p.m. and this is Happy Hour.

I am sooo old!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

I have a tendency to wear my mind on my sleeve...




You know, I just looked at this picture and remembered that movie Lawnmower Man from a zillion years ago...I remember actually going to the dollar theater and seeing it with a friend of mine, back when we were in high school.

I'm so old.

That theater is now a Steak n' Shake, I think.

So weird, the stuff you suddenly remember out of nowhere. :)

My week has been filled with migraine, work, rehab place to visit my grandpa, moving boxes around my apartment, moving boxes around some more, migraine, migraine, work, migraine.

I also fit in some time to watch the MTV Movie Awards, read a little, tweet a little, play Legend of the Cryptids a little, and I felt terribly guilty THE WHOLE TIME.

And...I went to the basement by myself for the first time to wash clothes and nearly died on the stairs. It was dark, and I managed to miss the last step completely. Luckily, there was a wall right in front of me for me to smash into.

Staircases - I just don't do well on them, for some reason.

So...you know my co-worker Mark, right? The one who's now my landlord? Well, we're old cronies at work, we've sat next to each other for years...he's the one I bestowed my window seat to earlier this year.

We've worked in the same office at the same job for the last 15 years or so, and we're considered 'old-timers' on our team. We recently acquired a new person, who's been with the company maybe 7 or 8 months...and wow, I just don't know how we're going to break her in.

I've caught her several times asking our supervisor for MORE WORK. Then, I heard that she went and asked ANOTHER team's supervisor for more work. THEN, if that wasn't bad enough, I overheard her bragging about the fact that she had to go and ask for more work.

Oh, boy.

But the really funny, awful thing happened on Tuesday.

Tuesday, I was sitting at my desk, typing up an email, minding my own business, when I heard New Girl walk up behind me and start talking to Mark. So of course, I immediately ceased minding my own business and started listening.

New Girl: Hi Mark...
Mark (warily): Hi...
New Girl: Um, I was working on some of your accounts...

(Here's me, thinking, OMG, if you even so much as touch one of MY accounts I will END YOU!!)
(sorry...I have rage)

New Girl: And um...don't take this the wrong way...

(Here it comes, that phrase is never followed by anything good)

New Girl: But...WHAT do you DO all day?

(??? Oh no she didn't!)

New Girl: I mean, these are in such bad shape, some of them, and I was just wondering, why...

Mark, after being momentarily stunned into silence, very gracefully told her what he did all day, as he is the leader of our group and does all the things that we don't have to do.

Finally, New Girl left.

Seconds pass by, then, at the same time, Mark and I slowly scoot our chairs back until we can see each other behind the cubicle wall.

Gut-splitting laughter ensues.

We're trying to talk as we're gasping for air.

"Did you hear-"

"Did she just say-"

Finally, Mark gets it out...

"If she'd been one of us, I would have told her the truth.

"What do I do all day?

"AS LITTLE AS POSSIBLE!"

This is the mantra of someone who has worked in the same job for years and years and years.

:)

Poor New Girl. It's not her fault she's new and gung-ho, but it IS her fault that she asked one of the rudest questions I've ever heard, and jokes have abounded in our pod the last couple of days about what we do all day.

Besides work, that is.

Miss you all...

:(

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

If you were an ocean, I'd learn to float



This is my beautiful living room!

As you can see, I have my priorities straight. 5000 boxes to unpack, but the TV and cable are hooked up! :)

I'm afraid I'll never get back in the swing of things. I can tell I'm missing some awesome posts...there's just so much to do here. 

But even though I am frantic to get back online and blogging, and we have so much cleaning and unpacking to do - not to mention worrying about Popa and my brother - still yet the biggest thing I've been feeling is RELIEF. 

A little bit of it is that we're done with the move; but really, most of the relief is that the floor-sleeper is gone from our house. 

I didn't realize how much his presence was weighing on me until he was no longer there.  

I mean, yes, obviously, because I MOVED to get rid of him...but I still didn't realize!

I'm no longer confined to my room. Chelsea keeps her door open. We can walk around the house and talk to each other and joke and laugh and work and argue - all of which we've done this week. We couldn't do that before. 

Here's a new list:
1. No more visitors! Ever!

So...I still have a bump on my head from when I fell. And bruises. And hurt feelings because Chelsea laughed at me. 

Well, she laughed AFTER she helped me back up the stairs, pulled the remaining branches out of my hair and brushed the twigs off my face, and let me lay down and head-bleed all over my pillow while she made five more trips up and down the stairs getting stuff out of the car. 

So I guess I had it coming. And I do fall down a lot. But I mean, two or three days later, I was still pulling thorns out of my head! 

She is such a brat. 

Monday, March 31, 2014

Time isn't holding us, time isn't after us

I am never ever ever moving again.

I am typing this out on my cellphone since we don't have internet at our new place yet. 

I will be back and blogging soon! I feel so guilty for neglecting everyone and I know I'm missing some fabulous stories. I also have some of my own...

My grandfather is at the rehab place and not doing as well as he should be. STUBBORN...

Floor-sleeper finally left, on MOVING DAY, NOT of his own volition...

We lost three sets of keys in 5 days; I was convinced it was a curse...

I fell down the stairs again, into a bush...

I can't wait for things to get back to normal. 

Soon...

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

I'm not giving up, I'm just giving in


Chelsea helped me with my room yesterday. We're packing this week, among other things.

When I learned of my grandmother's cancer, back in 2009, that's kind of when things went south for me, and my room reflected that. 

We got through piles of books, DVDs, CDs, papers...the stuff on the bottom was stuff that I'd last seen 5 years ago. It was kind of like an archaeological study on depression symptom #2: not having the energy or the interest to take care of things.

I'm much better now. In the past year, especially, I've come a long way from the dark place that landed me in the hospital back then. I think I've finally hit the right combination of medicine, I have figured out coping mechanisms, I know my triggers...

But this month, I'm desperately wishing to be anywhere else. Isn't that awful? I want to drown my sorrows in something...check myself in the hospital...just lay under my covers and hide forever!

But I can't, because I'm stronger now. My brother has cancer and the pill he takes makes him sick and my grandfather had brain surgery again and he's in the hospital and I have to divide my time between packing up my life to move this week and visiting my grandpa in the hospital.

My grandfather also has cancer again, and this time they can't do anything with it. They're giving him six months to a year.

My mom and my aunt, wimps that they are, sent my brother to tell me the news. He was very no nonsense about it, much like he was when he told me that he himself had cancer.

I just want to cry.

Well okay, I have. But only in my room, late at night. 

I just can't even express how much I hate cancer.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

We're one, but we're not the same, we get to carry each other...

Well.

You know, my mind tries to look at what's going on objectively, and it can't...it veers away. Weird. My only issues are that this stupid migraine won't go away; also, I'm apparently going to need to pry my floor-sleeper out of the apartment because he hasn't budged. Is he going to just keep sitting there even after we move?

But everything else, I just try to look at from my mother's perspective, and I want to be a better daughter. My grandfather has never quite recovered from his brain surgery last year, and tonight my mom is with him back at the hospital. My brother, in the meantime, is starting his third week of treatment for leukemia. We're still healing from the loss of my grandmother to ovarian cancer, and so learning this about my brother was a blow.

I had three hospital stays in three years, it's my time to be healthy; I just need to get there. I want to support my mom and not be so tired all the time. 

Life's too short.

So now, totally unrelated, I thought I'd cheer us up (or, well, me up) with a film clip! Have you ever seen "O Brother, Where Art Thou?"? You haven't? Why not???!!! This is my heritage, yo! LOLOL

So, this is my very favorite part of the movie, because the guys have been running from the law this whole time and have no idea that the record they made as The Soggy Bottom Boys has become a BONA FIDE hit! And if you feel the need to make fun of the accents or the dancing, go ahead, but tread lightly, because I grew up with grandparents and great-grandparents that sang and danced EXACTLY like this! :)

p.s. The clip isn't perfect but it's the best I could find...and oh, yeah, it's dubbed in French. AHAHAHA


Wednesday, March 12, 2014

I woke up late, guess I'm never really early...


Hello...

There is just not enough time.

I have twenty-five blog posts to read. Y'all are prolific this week.

I've been lazy. It's not ENTIRELY my fault. I somehow contracted a computer virus and my floor-sleeper has been fixing my computer for two days.

I don't know if I'm thankful or irritated.

We went out to eat with the family on Monday and my brother, after one week of treatment, is showing the effects. His color is terrible, he looks exhausted, his hair looks like it's falling out. He won't tell us, but my sister-in-law told us that he has been experiencing some of the severe side effects of the drug.

But now, the good news - his white blood cell count dropped from 79,000 to 39,000. In just one week. The drug is working.

More good news - my brother was as obnoxious as ever. I never thought I'd be happy about my brother being a big jerk, but I am. If he's arguing with me for an hour and a half across a crowded dinner table at Texas Roadhouse, that means he's feeling well enough to fight this thing.

That is all.

Oh wait.

One last thing...

Something made me think about this movie the other day, and this scene is one of my all-time movie favorites. If you haven't seen The Contender, I highly recommend it, and don't watch this [spoiler alert]! Otherwise, here's the awesome final scene:


Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Tonight's the night the world begins again...


There's so many scary things happening right now, and all I want to do is hide.

If I could just stay in bed and cuddle my kitty forever, I'd be content.


I guess I can't do that.

Treasure your family and make time to be with them. Appreciate your good health. If you can walk and run, do it! Drink in the beauty around you and listen to music...and if you are artistically talented, use your talents! Paint, draw, dance, sing and play the piano...the world needs it.

And I meant what I said about family! You blink and they're gone, or different, and all you have left is your memories. Cherish what you have, and make the most of it.

Family = everything.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

When the darkness closes in...


I'm furious with my big brother.

I've documented in great detail here about how obnoxious and annoying my big brother is; how he's a terrible loser and an even worse winner, how we still pick at each other like we're 5 and 10 years old and no one can stand to be around us because we're so much alike; and how he's the best dad and big brother in the world.


He's a big jerk.

On Monday, he told me he had leukemia. Chronic Myelocytic Leukemia.

My stupid brother has stupid cancer.

I'm so, so mad at him.

I'm crying even as I type this. How dare he have this happen to him? We've always been Johnny and Michelle, and now he's going through something I can't help him with.

My typical brother:

John: I have leukemia.
Michelle: (crying)
John: Why are you crying? Other than the leukemia, I'm in perfect health!

And later:

John: (blah, blah, blah)
John:...And no matter what, do NOT ask me how I'm feeling, I'm already sick of it, I feel fine! I mean it! Don't ask me!!!

(sigh)

The prognosis is good. I just feel a little beat down, what with my grandma's cancer and then my things and then my grandpa's brain tumor and I don't wanna hear the prognosis is good I wanna hear that my brother is going to be perfect as good as new as obnoxious and annoying as ever.

I love my big brother. I'm not really mad at him...well, no more than usual. :)

Love y'all, goodnight. :)

Sunday, February 23, 2014

I'll never get used to it...

Meadow with Poppies, 1902 - Pal Szinyei-Merse


CAUTION: AMBIEN POST

I am trying to write with extra care and precision but my eyes are mostly shut and I'm thinking about puppies for some reason, which has nothing to do with my post...

Oh dear, it's already gone off the rails!


Anyway, just thought I'd provide a weekend update and a promise to do better in regards to my blog. :)

Update:

1. Still moving. I have to turn in my letter by Friday. I tend to procrastinate. I need to be out of here by April 1, yay!!!

2. Still sickly. I have discovered that I CANNOT eat dark chocolate. I was given bad information and so for Valentine's Day, certain people gave me some wonderful dark chocolate to eat. It was good. The ensuing migraine was very, very bad.

3. Dwayne finally got his letter on Friday, approving his disability. TWO YEARS and TWO DENIALS later, and two years of no income, before he could get this approval. Because he has not had access to good medicine during this whole time unless he paid for it out of pocket, he has deteriorated to where now he is in a wheelchair 99% of the time. His poor hands and fingers are permanently disfigured, the joints are twisted and knotted...he has the hands, knees and hips of a 90-year old. He is only 46.

4. It's hard not to be angry at the government in this kind of situation. His savings are gone.

5. But I guess all of us are in bad shape. I know the economy is supposed to be getting better (really?), but I'm not feeling it.

6. My brother, for instance, lived with my sister-in-law and their baby at a very nice house that he had owned for years. Then the Recession happened. The house got sold, and my brother moved his family into an apartment. They had another baby, and my brother moved his family again, into the apartments where I live. It's the WRONG WAY. As your family gets bigger, your house is supposed to get bigger...not smaller!

7. As for me, my rent here has gone up and up, but my pay stays the same. Oh excuse me, the company raises our hourly pay every year, but its minuscule, and insignificant since our health insurance goes way up every year and any raise we see is immediately swallowed up by the health insurance.

8. Okay, I gotta wrap this up because I forgot what my original mission was and I've fallen asleep 30 or 40 times now. Ambien 1, Michelle 0.

9. We'll continue later and see if I can stay awake for Round 2. Should be great fun.

Goodnightzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz................

Sunday, February 16, 2014

10 years. 10 YEARS!


All of a sudden, ten years is today!, and I have to make a fabulous post, an hour after I've already taken my Ambien, which means...nooooo fabulous post is coming from me tonight! Maybe tomorrow...

But my ADD couldn't just leave this date empty, so this WILL be the official 10-year anniversary post! Sad, very sad, but true...

I've been trying and I can't really remember what prompted me to start blogging to begin with.

It was the days of AOL dial-up, so we had lots of open time while we were waiting 20 minutes to download one song at a time from Napster, and AOL started something called AOL Journals (it was blogging), and all us nerdy writer types signed up. And then we went from there.

And a lot of people quit along the way, or moved sites, but I stayed...I tend to stay somewhere until I'm forced from the building. Finally I was forced to move to Blogspot, and I've been here ever since. Yay!

I truly love my blog. It's a purely personal blog...when I started it, I was a young mom with a young daughter and we were having a sometimes difficult, sometimes wonderful life. 

As we both got older, our lives changed, and as Chelsea was able to take better care of herself, my grandmother got sick and my world fell apart. 

My blog became a record, and an outlet for the things I couldn't tell my family, because they were in as much pain as I was in.

So...I'm trying to gather my thoughts because the Ambien is kicking in big time! ... This blog has been a lifesaver for me. When I write down the things that have happened, the things that I have felt, I know them to be true. It's been cathartic. I think it's helped my mother and daughter, too, who've also read it.

I love my blog and I love the friends it has brought me, that's definitely the most important thing. Thank you all for sticking with me through my migraines and meltdowns and mild little freakouts; I'm totally appreciative (hope you don't stop now!), and you rock!, thanks y'all!!!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Don't you bring me down today...

Orchard in Blossom with View of Arles by Vincent Van Gogh

I'm only mildly irritated that every time I try to comment on a post, my comment disappears into the blogosphere. THREE times that has happened, so far. No wait, FOUR.

I'm practicing my breathing.

Chelsea and I are moving! Probably. Most likely. Our new place will be not as nice, is smaller and has no fireplace, BUT it's closer to work and is almost half the rent.

The most important thing and the biggest impetus for our move is that our new place will not have a floor-sleeper.


I know it's a tiny bit ridiculous...I'm basically moving because my squatter won't leave.

Let me be a precautionary tale, although I seriously doubt there's anyone out there as naive, gullible, timid, pushover-y and can't say no-y as me.

I'm going to pick this up again tomorrow when my stuff isn't disappearing into the nether...I'm hoping this doesn't disappear!


Let me know if you have some oceanfront property in Arizona you're looking to get rid of...

Friday, February 7, 2014

Whatever's meant to be will work out perfectly...


So I went to Google looking for the Olympic thing:


But instead, I found this:


Google said Happy Birthday to me!

I know that Google is telling me Happy Birthday because I'm logged in somewhere or other...but it's a little, um, freaky... The machines are poised to take over. We are almost in the land of Terminator and The Matrix, I know it. The other day, I went to send an email at work, and my computer very helpfully told me I forgot to attach my spreadsheet.

They are alive.

So, for my birthday tonight we went out to eat, and my birthday party is on Sunday; tomorrow night Dwayne is making me dinner, because he's perfect and wonderful. He is in pretty bad shape now, and pretty confined to the wheelchair and in very low spirits. He is in constant pain, yet apologizing to me because he can't help. 

Doesn't he know he's my hero?

I have much to say, but not the will...my headache has been hanging on for a good long while this time around. At this point, who cares? Migraines are just a given...like the SNOW, and the COLD; and never going away!

Ahem.

Still celebrating my tenth anniversary of blogging, here's a birthday throwback...


Before I left for Germany, when I was ten years old, my family had an early birthday party for my brother and me…who knew when we would be home again? My grandmother decorated a huge cake, with one side of it with Smurfs (for me J ), and the other side of it with a UK wildcat (for my brother)…

We got lots and lots of presents that day. One of my presents was a tape recorder…one of those huge black and silver things… On that day, with my family all together for the last time in what would be years, I made all of them speak into the recorder and record a special message for me.


I took that tape with their special message with me to Germany, where I kept it for all three years I was there, and whenever I was desperately homesick for my family I would play it…


The message was simple: It was my mom, my brother, my grandma, my grandpa, my aunt, my great-aunt…everybody recorded the same thing… 


"I love you, Michelle…"

"I love you, Michelle…"
"I love you, Michelle…"

I no longer have the tape, but I can still hear it, in my head…


Today, my family had an early birthday party for me (my birthday is actually Monday)…They called me into the kitchen, and I walked in to the crowd of people, my mom, my grandparents, my brother and sister-in-law and nephew, my daughter, my aunts, my boyfriend…


I knelt down to blow out the candles on my cake…


And I realized that all the people that had left me the messages on my tape so long ago were still right here…


I nearly cried as I realized how blessed I was, that over twenty years later, I’m still a member of this wonderful, sometimes maddening, always loving family,


And they were able to tell me again, today, that they loved me…


Instead of a wish for something I didn’t have, this year, before blowing out the candles, I just thanked God…for everything.

Monday, February 3, 2014

I can't escape myself...


What I'm experiencing right now is anxiety and stress, a lot of it. I know it well.

What I'm doing right now is hiding under the covers, nursing my headache.

What I'm afraid of is that I'm going to be triggered right back into the dark place - the place I've tried so hard to get out of for the past two years.

Funny how that fear is just piling on to the anxiety and stress I already have.

What I'm supposed to be doing is utilizing the tools I've learned to handle moments just like this.

But I can't remember a thing. Let's blame it on the headache.

The headache is probably caused by the stress and anxiety.

See?

I can't escape myself...