i think a lot…

i think a lot about the things that i’ve done.

things that i didn’t think about at all.

things that i thought way too much about.

i think a lot about the things that i’ve chosen to believe.

giving lies, doubt, and malignancies room to grow in my mind.

giving truth, confidence, and compassion a skeptical eye and quick dismissal.

i think a lot about the things that i’ve ruined. 

things that i screwed myself out of.

things that cannot be replaced.

i think a lot about the things that i’ve changed.

things that have improved my health and strength. 

things that have improved my path to healing and wholeness.

i think a lot about the things that i’ve got planned for the future.

things that i am looking forward and ahead to.

things like endless possibilities, unlimited hope, and seagulls on the seashore.

the tribe has not spoken…

during the last couple of weeks, with my plan interrupted, my “football” being yanked away, and having watched, 13 reasons why…i decided that it might behoove me to add something extra, in addition to my therapy.

my “football” is gone. it’s hard for me to know when i will be able to borrow a car, so, an outside of the apartment, support group is out of the question, until after may 1. i scoured the internet for a highly recommended, safe, online support group.

after about two hours, i found a pretty wonderful site, that came highly recommended, was safe, and had a really nice and easy to use interface…it reminds me of what i would imagine a mental health, “facebook,” would look like.

they have online therapists available and suggestions for therapists, in your area. they have nine groups: addiction, anxiety, depression, hiv/aids, lgbtq, marriage and family, ocd, teen, and wellness. they have chat rooms and private chat capabilities. 

it is called, “*** ***** ******** ********.” it boasts 68,407 members. it is a really beautiful and interactive site. i really like it as far as design and content. whomever designed the site and came up with the wellness activities, had great ideas.

however, there is one HUGE, glaring problem…no one really has anything to say!! i have looked around in chat rooms, group pages, etc. i am a member of four groups: anxiety, depression, lgbtq, and wellness. 

the first thing that i did was introduce myself, in a paragraph that i posted on my page and all four groups. not one person replied. i did make two blog posts and one person commented on each post. i replied and “friended” them.

i decided to really go through and look at things…i began in the lgbtq group. what i found, broke my heart. i found people reaching out, putting themselves out there, and no comments/replies. some people asking repeatedly over several days.

i think what made things even more sad, were the number of children, under the age of 18, who were not in the teen group…because they were picked on for being gay or asking questions about their sexuality. 

i decided that it was inappropriate to “talk” to the kids, but what i did do was start replying to the adults that had been reaching out to anybody/everybody. suddenly, i began receiving friend requests and responses. 

these were people just like me, they just needed to know that someone cared, and that they were not alone. i found that in my attempt to comfort others, i myself was comforted. i found that in my attempt to be a friend, i received friends. 

i now have eight “new friends,” that i have something very much in common with. we have weathered our own personal “storms” together. whether or not, we ever even “speak” again…we will always know that we made it…

…the tribe has not spoken…

up…

i could get used to this…

it’s quiet, like it’s never been before.

i love the dead of night…

or is it, the butt-crack of early morning?

i just know that it was 1:57…

and, now the clock says 2:03.

i realize that i’ve lost six minutes…

that i’m never going to get back again.

i can see the future clearly…

without the extraneous sound.

i know that it’s full of coffee…

and then perhaps, a deep sleep.

i know that i’m restless and ready to roam…

to go back to that place, my heart calls home.

no one knows for sure…

…what’s going on in someone else’s life.

the hurt that’s hidden behind a tearful smile.

the loneliness gnawing away at the most fragile soul.

the sadness held between the awkward lines of casual conversation.

…unless they stop and ask.
 

my upset…

in hindsight, i should’ve never let that sheet of paper bother me, and i should’ve never said or written anything about it, but it’s done, and i’m not going to try to “hide” it. i’m owning it.

my upset came at a huge, personal cost, but there’s no reason to try to pretend that it didn’t happen. everything that i said was absolutely true and how i felt…and, to a lesser degree, still feel.

i should’ve just been a “big girl,” and kept it to myself. my mistake was believing that my blog was off limits ethically, as that was what i was told. i should’ve been seen and not heard.

i put a lot of effort into trying to unravel, “the mystery of the agree to live contract.” to me, that was very important. it was like i was stuck and couldn’t move forward, until i knew why.

i know why now. i’m fully functioning and completely capable of moving forward…however, now apparently, things are different. i chose to let my ptsd-triggered, shit-storm get to me.

i finished a post analyzing everything, but now it just serves as a reminder, that i say way too much, and many times without thinking things out completely. as my ex would say,”but, i’m charming.”

my discoveries are really in depth and wordy. i’m just going to cut them down to three simple concepts. 

the fact that i had no one other than my sister, my dad, and my ex to put as emergency contacts, made me feel incredibly sad and alone.

the fact that i felt that my choices and options were being taken away…and, after watching my mom die from als and seeing her choices be stripped from her…it upset me.

the fact that my verbal agreement wasn’t good enough. i’m an honorable leo…if i say it, i mean it…but, if you try to tell me what to do, or try to pin me down…i may shut down or disengage. 

***now, please know…i don’t say any of this to elicit sympathy or pity. i’m not a victim or a project. i’m a fiercely, independent, strong, healthy, capable woman!! i choose to share this with others, but, this is my self-discovery and it’s used, as a personal-growth ruler.*** 

tuesday (the first part of the day, part two)…

so, i was getting ready to leave my therapist’s office, when she unknowingly sprung, an upsetting surprise on me. again, i don’t think that a “normal” person would’ve have had the same reaction to having to fill out and sign, an innocuous, white sheet of paper, but it bothered me. as my eyes scanned it’s contents, the tears ran down my face. that, “agree to live contract,” was the trigger that made me very unsettled for days.

my therapist watched as i carelessly scribbled my name and all of the information that she wanted, onto the sheet…and then, signed the thing illegibly. she kept trying to ask me what was wrong, but the more she asked, the worse it became…because the point was, that i didn’t have a fucking clue, as to why i was so upset. she was trying to calm me down, make a copy of the contract, and give it to me…and, i just kept trying to leave.

once the contract finally came out of the printer, my therapist handed it to me. i had it in my hand for a moment, but then dropped it onto the ground. when i reached forward to pick it up, i dropped the pen on the ground. i looked my therapist in the eyes and threw the car keys, that i had been holding, onto the ground…just to round out the absurd juggling routine….and, make the routine into a “3”…three disproportionate acts.

she looked at me like, i was green and had one eye, and a tail. she asked me, “why are you so angry?” i said, “first of all, i’m not angry. i was just trying to be silly and was paying homage to my other two clumsy acts. i was making a statement…look i’ve got fumble fingers, but, i’ve also got a killer throwing arm…but, you did notice that i tossed them onto the ground, right? i didn’t throw them at anything or anyone…”

she said, “yes, you did just toss them. i’m glad you’re not angry and were just trying to be silly.” i said, “well, when i was in iowa…m****a made this stuff that one of her daughters called, “unicorn poop,” and we were up at three am eating it at the counter. i spilled mine on the counter two times, each time she cleaned it up. when she was done the second time, i looked at her, took a scoop and dripped it onto the counter. i was being silly.”

she knew that i was just trying to be silly and alleviate the tension that i felt. she knew that i was very upset and she knew that, i had no idea why. she knew that i would eventually figure it out, but we didn’t have time for that, then. i still had tears running indiscriminately down my face and it was ten minutes after twelve, but, she was very kind and wouldn’t let me leave until, she knew that i was okay and stopped crying.

at fifteen minutes after twelve, i stopped crying and was “allowed” to leave. i walked out to the crv, got in, cranked the radio, and “you are a tourist,” by death cab for cutie was playing. as i listened to the song, the tears began to flow again, as that song described exactly how i was and have been feeling, for the last few weeks. when the song was over, they gave away tickets to the ninth caller. i was the ninth caller and nine is my number.

i sat there in the car for a minute and thought. i picked up the innocuous sheet of white paper and began to inspect and re-read it. the first thing that i noticed, was that i really made no attempt whatsoever to make anything legible. it was barely readable to me, so, i have no idea if my therapist could even read it, in the case of a “contractual dispute,” (i just find the whole thing so absurd and ridiculous.) or actual emergency.

what did the paper say? what information did it ask me for? why did it upset me? the paper was entitled, “agree to live contract.” the first line says, “i, k****** w****** (client), agree to live.” which in and of itself, is kind of obtuse to me….each day is a crap shoot. how can i agree to something that i really have no control over? then, i read on further. i thought to myself, “oh, okay…i see now. it’s an agree not to kill myself contract.”

“i agree to not kill myself, attempt to kill myself, or cause any harm to myself at any time. i agree to get rid of anything that i could use to harm myself, including, but not limited to , guns, knives, other weapons, pills, etc. in the event of an emergency, such that i am in serious danger of harming or killing myself, i agree to dial 911, or go to the nearest hospital emergency room, for immediate assistance.”

“i understand that if, my therapist, determines that i am in serious danger of harming or killing myself, my right to confidentiality is waived, and she will take any measures necessary for my protection. i authorize, my therapist, to contact the following people, in regard to myself, in case of emergency.” the contract wanted me to list three people, their names, phone numbers, and their relationship to me.

“i agree that if i have a bad time and feel that i might harm or kill myself, i will immediately call: ___________(name) who is my___________(relationship to me). i agree to also call one of the suicide hotlines listed below: national suicide prevention lifeline 1.800.273.2855 or go to the emergency room, or call 911. i agree that these conditions are part of my counseling contract with my therapist and are effective immediately and indefinitely. client signature__________therapist signature_______.”

when i re-read the contract, i began to understand some of the reasons for my upset. first of all, this is not an easily solved mystery, it’s not an “open and shut case.” it’s very complex and complicated. i’ll tell you that i’m not mad now and wasn’t mad then, at my therapist. i totally understand that she is just doing her job and covering her ass, for insurance issues. i also understand that she really cares about each of her clients and is committed to giving each of us, the very best care.

i’m just going to list some of the issues that i’ve come up with for this upset, now. tomorrow, i will actually attempt to discuss those issues, in an attempt to better understand myself. Some of the issues: childhood memories about death and dying, fundamentalist christian upbringing/rhetoric, my mom’s death, being sick, my advance directive, my family, my friends, the people in my life, the hospital in general, having to make this kind of a promise or risk losing the help from my therapist, trust issues, and just the fact that since there is really no possible way to enforce the contract…why even bother in the first place (yes, i understand…insurance issues, billing, obama care…).

***please know, that when i say that there is no possible way to enforce this contract, i’m not talking about me killing or wanting to kill myself, because i don’t want to and i’m not going to!! just so that we are clear and are all on the same page…sync-ed…sympatico. what i’m talking about, is that just because someone signs the contract, it doesn’t mean that they will honor it. also, i can’t possibly get rid of the guns, knives, and other weapons that are in my living space, because they’re not mine…they belong to my roommates and they’re not going to get rid of them. and the last thing, i can’t possibly get rid of all of my pills, because i need to continue to take them…like it or not, i will always have access to pills and medication…that doesn’t mean that i will use them incorrectly, it just means that i can’t remove them from my living space, or my life.***

so, until tomorrow then…there you have it…

so, here i sit…

…in valley hospital, las vegas…

…occupying room 373, bed b…

…with a window overlooking…

…the parking lot and some haggard palm trees…

…the room gets really hot…

…from all of the sunlight that spills into the room…

…here it is 4:13 pm, on a tuesday afternoon…

…without having my b/p meds…

…my b/p is sky high, 189/101…

…my pulse is racing at 111 rpm’s…

…as the neuropathy in my feet…

…grows in intensity, with each hour that passes…

…without gabapentin or baclofen…

…i have had quite a day already…

…and it all began, as nearly as i can figure…

…at about 11:00 pm, on monday night…

…when i wandered our parking lot…

…searching for an elusive white car…

…that didn’t exist anywhere…

…except for in the dream that i was living…

…as i re-entered the apartment after walking…

…the entire length of the parking lot…

…repeatedly, with my dog, for about a half-an-hour…

…i flung open wendy and jenny’s room door…

…and proclaimed that i couldn’t find the father’s coat anywhere…

…meaning richard, wendy’s step-dad…

…who doesn’t own a coat, but wears a vest…

…and jenny readily pointed out to me…

…that richard’s vest was on the couch…

…where he took it off and left it…

…jenny was frustrated with my not wanting…

…to go to the hospital…

…and i was frustrated with my own confusion…

…as to why i was looking for a white car…

…when richard’s car was metallic teal…

…and i was frustrated as to why i would be looking…

…for a coat, for a man who doesn’t even own one…

…and only wears a vest…

…jenny went back in her room with wendy…

…and i had the grand idea, to have a cigarette…

…i smoked, after having gone without, for several days…

…and immediately upon extinguishment…

…i became nauseous and promptly puked…

…over our patio wall…

…and onto our front walkway, right in front of the door…

…the girls heard me puking…

…and came outside to have a talk with me…

…i kept saying that i was sorry and wendy told me to stop it…

…and i knew that she meant business…

…they were both very concerned with the level of my confusion…

…and felt strongly that i go to the hospital…

…by ambulance, of course…

…jenny was convinced that i had walking pneumonia…

…when she punctuated her plea with…

…”we love you and we are very worried.”…

…really, how could i not go?…

…so she reviewed my symptoms, called 911, and to the door they came…

…the door opened and bugg’s was sounding the alarm…

…i walked outside to the waiting gurney…

…i was seat belted in and off i went…

…my guys of the evening were ryan and jeremy…

…these two were very cute and i am allowed to say so…

…jeremy reminded me of my exes brother…

…ryan looked like timothy olyphant…

… with a macho man mustache, a la the village people…

…these guys always have catch all names for women…

…jeremy’s was “sweetheart”…

…ryan’s was “dear”…

…they were very sweet…

…i began my day in the henderson hospital…

…where i had blood tested, x-rays, and ct scan…

…i had an iv in the top of my left hand…

…i had to use the bathroom, to produce a urine specimen…

…i entered the bathroom, felt nothing…

…but noticed that there were blood drops…

…all over the wall and floor…

…i couldn’t figure out where they were coming from…

…until i looked at my hand and saw blood spurting…

…i had knocked my iv out…

…i was kind of mesmerized by the growing drips and drops…

…i wanted to take a photo, but applied pressure instead …

…and pulled the cord to call my nurse, robert…

…i took one last look, before the towel hit the floor…

…it was beautiful like a jackson pollock painting…

…in brilliant crimson…

…i had a very strange doctor, whose name was story…

…”like the fairytale,” he said…

…he transferred me to valley hospital…

…because henderson had no neurologists…

…so, here i am…

…sitting on a hot plastic bed, with sweaty plasticized pillows…

…my nurse’s are wonderful…

…mariebeth is funny and helpful, kind and cheerful…

…jay graduated in february and he makes me feel safe and cared for…

…they have both seen how hard it is for me to be in the hospital, all alone…

…after all of the tests, the doctors best guess to my ailment…

…was co2 narcosis, from the extremely low setting on my cpap…

…and/or an interaction between my medications…

…now i sit here with really high blood pressure… 

…because they’ve held my meds for twenty-four hours…

…they’ll release me, but only when my b/p is below 160…

…i am trying to calm myself down, after crying all day…

…it’s hard to be in the hospital alone…

…it’s hard to be back in nevada…

…it’s hard to be in limbo…

…the silence is overwhelming…

…conversations have dwindled…

…they are still there, but different…

…i am alone in the hospital…

…trying to wrap my head around the fact… 

…that my blood pressure won’t go down…

…and that i will be taking a cab at 11 pm, back to where i’m living…

…it’s all a very hard pill for me to swallow…

…but, here i sit waiting, always waiting…

…patiently and purposely, with my hand out…

…just waiting for her to hold it…