notokinthehead











{September 18, 2015}   Challenge

So quitting drinking cold turkey is a no-no when you’re at the alcoholic level I’ve made it to. I was terribly sick. Therefore I cannot say that I’ve quit drinking. I can say that I’ve cut back quite a bit. I’m down to about five beer drinks per day, give or take one or two. I feel that is tremendous for me. Though I can’t say that being fully aware of my thoughts and feelings is a welcome thing. Being aware is a challenge, but that’s usually why people turn to addictions in the first place, right? One step at a time…
I’ve got this.



{September 7, 2015}   Realization

I’m a full-blown alcoholic. We’re talking an eighteen rack for the day and a half bottle of whiskey on the rocks at night. I’ve managed to disappoint and push away everyone I care about. How are you supposed to get sober when you have no support? Why should I care about getting sober when I have no one left to care for me?
I’ve been going through withdrawals today and it’s been rough. Chills, sweating, muscle cramps, vomiting, diarrhea, heart palpitations, feeling faint… I’ve felt like death and had to work on top of it. In a 120°F kitchen. I ended up having to leave early and I had two cocktails to try to take the edge off. I’m still very sick and of course I cannot sleep.
I’m frustrated to tears.



{March 29, 2014}   Girl With No Brain

Long story short… the guy I was letting stay with me in my house until he could get back on his feet has been anything but good company. The gist of my complaints are: 1. if I came home unexpectedly my entire house would reek of marijuana. Not cool. After being told that wasn’t ok, it continued happening. 2. Stuff started disappearing, like money, packs of cigarettes, prescription medications. 3. He has no vehicle and works about an hour from my house, he was constantly calling me at 10-11pm and asking for a ride because his planned ride bailed on him. Well, tonight was it. He texted me asking for a ride and I told him I couldn’t pick him up, my dog has had a bad case of diarrhea all day and I couldn’t leave him alone in the house or I’d be coming home to a big mess. He totally flipped, saying things like I can’t live there when I can never get to or from work, I can’t believe you’re choosing a dog over me, etc. I said fine, start looking for another place to stay. Then he really flipped saying I can’t throw him out, he has rights, he’ll call the police and tell them I gave him pills and he has the bottle to prove it (the one he stole, so after that comment there was no doubt he is the thief). So when he started throwing threats around I called the State Police. They came and looked over the text messages, checked my prescriptions and said if he shows up he will be arrested for criminal trespassing and if he has my meds on him he’ll be charged with theft and possession of controlled substances.
One of the Troopers made a comment that I really had to think about because I didn’t know how to react to it: You have a big heart, but a small brain. I’ve decided to take it as a compliment. I do tend to act on emotion and I apparently want to save the world, one person at a time, but I never stop to think about how helping someone else could potentially cause me harm.
Maybe one day my brain will be as big as my heart and I’ll be able to recognize who is worth helping and who is helpless, because if someone doesn’t want to put effort into helping themself, there’s nothing I can do to help them.
Another thing I have learned is if someone knows what’s truly important to you, they’ll go after it. And drug addicts and alcoholics will hate you for being successful and sober, so they will try to accuse you of doing the one thing they know best: drugs. Just a little note I’d like to add before closing- if you’re angry, step back and take a deep breath. Are you really angry at the other person or are you angry because you  f’ed up? I find more often than not that I’m really angry because I f’ed up, because I let that person take advantage of me, use me, because I knew that person had a bad history but I stupidly let them convince me that they’d changed.
One of the biggest challenges I’m finding in life is not letting the bad people make me bitter and risk losing out on the good people.



{March 25, 2014}   Stalked

As a Firefighter/EMT, when we have bad days they very quickly turn into bad weeks. A bad day for us all too often means that we lost a patient or lost one of our own. This week I worked a scene of a young woman who completed suicide. There was nothing we could do for her, she was gone long before anyone called 911. Even though there was so very obviously nothing anyone could do to save this young woman’s life it tends to follow you, stalk you. Some things that you encounter in this profession never leave you.

For the last three days I’ve been haunted by the completed suicides that I’ve worked in my two short years as a firefighter/EMT. None of which were viable. The elderly male who put a gun in his mouth and sprayed his entire bathroom with blood and brain matter. The 19 year old girl who hung herself with the cord of a curling iron from an eye-hook in a bathroom ceiling. The 32 year old mother who we found face down in her own vomit, she overdosed on Oxycodone with her teenage children in the house. And then Saturday, the young woman who sat in her car garage with her car running.

The things I’ve seen make it hard to sleep at night. Natural death is hard to deal with, but when someone actively takes their own life it’s devastating for all involved. It kind of makes you angry, you studied your ass off to learn how to save people when they’re circling the drain, you’ve held the hand of the dying and tried to do your best to comfort them when all they want is more time on this Earth. Then you go and cut down the body of someone who decided that their life isn’t worth living. It definitely makes you question your faith in God, or whatever higher power that you believe in, that they allow the people who want to live, to die, while the ones who have no desire to live anymore can choose to take their own lives.

I’m not putting down people who are depressed, suicidal or mentally ill. I understand some of the emotional distress and chemical imbalances that play a role in depression. I’m just simply asking why things play out the way they do. I understand that I’ll never have an answer to that question.

Conclusion: death is difficult. My job has me knee deep in corpses, when I’d much rather do lift assists all day every day. You can comfort the families who’ve lost a loved one all day, but you can never breathe life back into a person when their time has come.

EMS: the profession of being stalked by death.



{March 20, 2014}   Hell in New England

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The weather forecasters said we’d see 3″-6″ between Wednesday night and Thursday morning. We have over a foot of snow now and it’s STILL snowing hard, visibility is almost zero.
And today’s supposed to be the first day of Spring? Well played Mother Nature, well played.



{March 3, 2014}   Nothing’s Changed

For some reason I thought that having my own house, a cat, a dog and a life separate from everyone else would make me feel different. What kind of different, I don’t know. Maybe I expected it to make me feel special or “grown-up”. That’s not how I feel. I think I may have thought in the beginning that I finally had freedom and my own house to have freedom in, that I’d have friends over and get drunk and have parties. That is most definitely not the case. I think that despite having my own home, nothing has changed for me. I can say that since moving out of my parent’s house I feel better. Don’t get me wrong I love my Mom and Dad with all of my heart. However their house is full of twenty-three years of clutter and with all of the foot traffic it’s damn near impossible to keep up with the housework there. Here in my house I clean every day. There’s no clutter what-s0-ever. My counters are spotless, my floors are clean, there aren’t shoes covering the entryway, there’s no dishes overflowing my sink… and as an added bonus I don’t have to keep the volume down on the TV or stereo. I can wander my house all hours of the night and not worry about disturbing anyone.

So in reality, though on the surface it seems everything has changed for me- new friends, new home, new responsibilities, new dog, etc.- nothing has really changed. I’m still the same person, though I may have my shit together a little better now.

To top it all off… I now know that I’m a good person. I’ve rid myself of the toxic people in my life who were holding me down and preventing me from growing. I’m no longer running around and answering to their every beck and call. I was a good person before, I just didn’t see it because I was surrounding myself with bad people. What a difference it has made to rid myself of the toxic people in my life! I definitely suggest everyone try it.



{January 29, 2014}   He Owns Me
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I wonder what would happen if my pager went off right now??? Haha.

Harley’s second day home and he owns me. Or at least he thinks he does. I’ve found him to be very possessive of me, he doesn’t want anyone coming near me and it’s all I can do to hold him back so someone can enter my house. I got me a real guard dog!
He slept in my bed with me last night and I learned that he is a big bed hog. He pushes me to the edge of the bed, lays across the bed and partially on top of me. He’s such a sweet boy. All he wants is to be with me or on me at all times.
Yep, he definitely owns me!



{January 6, 2014}   Early Bird
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My drive and the sunrise Friday morning. Gorgeous after getting a foot of snow overnight!

We’ve gotten a lot of snow over the last week. Between two storms we got just over two feet of it.
I saw a surgeon last Monday and he backed out of doing my surgery because it’s “beyond his scope”. So Friday morning I saw another surgeon and he’s willing to operate on my shoulder. I have a SLAP (superior labrum anterior to posterior) tear that involves the bicep tendon. I go in Thursday morning for the operation that is expected to take four to six hours. In addition to anchoring the labrum he has to cut my upper arm open, cut the bicep tendon, grind a chunk of bone from my humorous and reattach the tendon to my humorous. The surgeon expects the recovery to take anywhere from six to twelve months, the first three of which will be spent with my dominant arm in a rigid brace instead of a sling.
I will have a lot of time to think, that’s for sure. I won’t be able to do much of anything else. Even driving is out if the question for as long as I’m in the brace 😦
BUT… I will come back stronger than ever!



{January 3, 2014}   Talking to the Walls



{December 18, 2013}   Making a Comeback

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I had surgery yesterday morning. Nothing major, but enough to put me out of work for awhile. I’m supposed to be in the sling for at least a week, when I see the doc on Monday. Honestly I’ll probably be out of it by tomorrow night. It’s such a pain in the ass. Especially since I’m living alone now. I’m tough though, it’s nothing I can’t handle.
Tomorrow I see the cardiologist and his team for a Stress-Echocardiogram. He’ll be pissed that I’ve been working for the past three weeks when I’m supposed to be on bed rest. I had a small setback, what they called a “cardiac event”, where I sustained left anterior ischemia (lack of oxygen to the heart, which we all know is a muscle, and muscles require oxygen or they atrophy and die. The heart doesn’t atrophy, it just stops beating). Anyway tomorrow’s test will determine whether the ischemia is reversible using medication or if I’m just fucked. Wish me luck!
There’s no possible way I’m sleeping tonight, between the pain and anxiety, and if it was a little warmer than -13°F I’d go for a drive. But it’s too damned cold so I guess I’ll be reading and having some intimate time with my heating pad (the muscles in my arm, neck and back are spasming like crazy).
I’m also going to have some hard cider and toast to Making a Comeback!



et cetera