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.



{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.



{January 6, 2014}   Early Bird
image

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!



{December 18, 2013}   Making a Comeback

image

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!



{November 12, 2013}   Coping Skills

mvaThe tones went out for this motor vehicle accident at 17:57 this evening. Two of the occupants were flown to a major hospital by helicopter from the scene and it will be a miracle if either of them survive.

In Fire and EMS we tend to joke about these horrific calls as a way to cope with the horror we are faced with. It seems morbid, or even disturbing, to people who do not deal with these scenes. But for us it’s the only way we know. So… Don’t Drink and drive, or I get to see you naked!

Think people! And stay safe!



{November 11, 2013}   My Playlist

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“I’m gonna make it to the top, well let me show you, and if I’ve got to toughen up then that is what I’ll do, don’t make me a monster, baby, you’d be crazy, that’s for sure…” ~Jem

Nonessential information: I have a routine I must follow or I go completely ballistic- Go to Dunkin’ Donuts every Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday night at ten o’clock in the evening to get my medium, hot, French Vanilla, extra-extra with a shot of espresso and three ice cubes. Then I sit in my car in the parking lot, listening to music, and drink exactly half of the coffee before taking the long way home. I need this time, this constant, or I go totally ape-shit.

My current playlist is:
1.) “24” by Jem
2.) “Good Enough” by Sarah McLaughlin
3.) “In the Arms of an Angel” by Sarah McLaughlin
4.) “Save Me” by Jem
5.) “Seduces Me” by Celine Dion
6.) “They” by Jem
7.) “Come Over Here” by Sarah Bettens
8.) “Dreamin’ of You” by Celine Dion
9.) “Adia” by Sarah McLaughlin
10.) “Do What You Have to Do” by Sarah McLaughlin
11.) “Falling Into You” by Celine Dion
12.) “Fire on the Mountain” by Rob Thomas
13.) “I Always Knew” by Jem
14.) “Just Stay Here Tonight” by Augustana
15.) “Thank You” by Dido

Because fifteen songs is way too many to post the videos of I chose a few of my favorites, three that really speak to me at the moment:



{October 20, 2013}   Drained

How can one

person take so

much from you?

Out of you?

How can one

person cause you

so much pain?

So much frustration?

 

Seems it’s true-

you’re damned if

you don’t, damned

if you do.

Do you crawl

into your own

dark abyss, lock

yourself away from

the people, the

mess? Isolate and

keep your heart

safe?

 

I’ve been hurt by who I thought was a good friend, and in turn the person I thought was a good friend turned to my own family to try and turn them against me with their lies. Fortunately for me my family knows me and knows that person is lying about me. However it doesn’t stop it from stinging. I too easily turn the hurt and pain into anger. I’m battling the anger now, though it feels like a losing fight. I’m finding myself feeling vindictive, and that scares me because I’m not a vindictive person. Tomorrow morning I have a meeting with the Chief of Police in hopes of getting the harassing text messages and phone calls to stop. I need to dig down deep right now and find the strength to be the bigger person. I can overcome the little people in this world. I just have to stay strong and not let them win.



{October 20, 2013}   When Help is 1,749 Miles Away

My psychotherapist, JB, has taken a job in Puerto Rico, 1,749 miles away. She will continue to “see” me via phone, Skype and/or email. I guess it’s a temporary job for only five or six months and then she’s coming back to continue her private practice here. I wish her nothing but luck and happiness. I can imagine how burnt out one can get being a psychotherapist.

Now for the selfish side of me: JB couldn’t have taken this job at a worse time! It’s mid-October and my anxiety and depression increases three-fold throughout the winter months. Yes she gave me referrals in case I feel the need to contact a counselor to have face-to-face sessions with while she’s gone but I’ve been seeing JB off and on for ten years, a new counselor won’t get it. JB does. I don’t have the patience to train a new counselor so they know what is and isn’t off-limits and I don’t have the mental ability to retell my story to a new counselor.

Maybe that’s the problem. I’ve become too comfortable with JB and it’s more like a friendship than a client/counselor relationship. Maybe she respects my boundaries a little too much because she knows how defensive and angry I get. Maybe having another counselor on the side would be beneficial for treatment. Maybe a kind of good cop/bad cop thing wouldn’t be a bad idea. JB is the good cop and another, new counselor can be the bad cop.

Maybe I’m completely overreacting by hitting the panic button so soon.

panic-alarm-button-buy-one-get-one-free

 



{September 21, 2013}   Puppets

puppetSo I have a good friend who’s having a hard time right now. I think it would be safe to say that she’s having a bit of a mental breakdown. I’ve been there for her every day, until I had to have thirty injections in my back and have been legitimately drugged up. All of a sudden I’m the enemy. I’m a liar, I’m selfish and I don’t care about her or what she’s going through. ARGH! Finally last night I had to shut my phone off and avoid all social media. I got to my breaking point, she pushed me over the edge. Then tonight I’m hanging out with a friend and she starts texting my friend telling him how I blew her off and all of a sudden I don’t have any time for her, etc. I don’t have the patience for this crap. I’m in pain.

Being friends with her is like being a puppet on a string. Anybody who is friends with her is her puppet on a string. She says who I can and cannot be friends with, where I can and cannot go and when I’m going to do this and that. Maybe I am being selfish in the way that I’m not going to answer to anyone. I’m my own person and will do and see who I please, whenever I want. I’m single and I have ZERO responsibilities. That’s how I like it.

So tonight I’m struggling with writing her an email explaining that I do love her, she’s like a big sister to me, but I can’t play all these games. I won’t play all of these games. Take me or leave me, but I’m not a puppet on a string and I won’t listen to the b.s. that results from me doing what I want to do.



et cetera