“And you’re gonna need it.”

feet showing under covers in bed

Aunty Extra

Welp.  Healing is hard.  It takes a lot of energy and mindfulness.  I didn’t realize it, but living on autopilot for so long has consequences.  I’m having to train my brain to be present without exhausting my energy levels at an alarming rate.  It’s rocket science, yo.  This level has a lot of work involved.  I feel surprised every time I get a moment to catch my breath (thanks, Solange) and look back at what I just accomplished.  It’s not a comfortable feeling;  more like, whew!  I don’t have time to over-analyze everything while zoning out anymore.  It requires me to trust my values and make decisions before I feel confident in my choices.

It’s another part of adulting that wasn’t in the brochure.  I’m relieved my love of speculative fiction comes with the bonus that most epic sci-fi and fantasy novels are also ethics training guides.  (You still have to do the work of understanding the symbolism and lessons interwoven into the story, though.)  In my case, it means rereading and or viewing after thinking about it for a while.  I often have to listen to my favorite podcasts more than once to take it all in.  I love this quirk because they’re always funnier the second time.  (My epitaph shall state:  She lived her life on CP time.)

Speaking of podcasts;  I want Crissle West and Kid Fury (of The Read podcast) to read my life when I pass.  (I set up a savings account just for this purpose.)  My funeral is going to be hilarious and healing (assuming they agree to do it.)  I’ll leave them a note, a recent decent photo, and the keys to my apartment, and let them snoop through my stuff (and kiki until they feel like they get who I was.)  Random peeks at my journals, going back to age four will probably more than suffice.  (Good thing I had access to a typewriter, but my spelling was phonetic-ish.)

adorable child

I want it to be for the people who grew up with me.  The kids who went to school with me and played with me as a child.  The neighbors who were part of my village and accepted me as a child in the community.  The teachers who stood out as exceptional and excellent.  The people who perhaps didn’t treat me well, but since evolved into better people, and want to heal from past mistakes — my village.  I’m very attached to Sioux Falls.  I’ve traveled and lived in other countries, but when I got to choose, I came home.

I recognize this is a wee bit morbid, but I still have PTSD.  One of the symptoms is being hyper-aware of my impending death.  (And every single time someone murders a transgender woman, I have to claw my way up from the floor and somehow convince myself I can handle living on a planet where people do such fucked up things.)  When I stop having a blast planning my funeral to amuse myself, I’ll know I’ve healed.  Until then, I’m good at managing it.  I’m no longer treading water;  I have the upper hand with depression and anxiety now.  They can only challenge me, not own me, which is a blessed distinction.  I celebrated hard and long, heh.

Depression: Whatever, bitch, you still have to fight me off, even if it no longer takes all your resources.

Me:  Look at you, so sassy.  Don’t interrupt when adults are talking, please.

The Friend Zone podcast logo

This week on The Friend Zone podcast was their 200th episode.  It was so good.  I mean it’s always good, but this week was special.  They were openly vulnerable to the degree you couldn’t help but love them to pieces.  It’s so rare when people you don’t know IRL are publicly unshielded like that.  Part of you can’t help but slide into protection mode and start daring anyone to criticize them in any way, (because you’re unbelievably poised to correct any such shenanigans with a thoroughness likely to result in mild emotional trauma for anyone feeling lucky.)  That good. 💜💜💜

I’m still stunned these babies (to me) are teaching me so many things for which I didn’t even know to wonder.  My life is more joyful since I started listening to their podcasts and trying the things they introduce, reading the books, and doing the homework.  I need to get busy paying it forward because I’m building up a deficit.  I signed up for Daily Harvest after Fran mentioned it thrice.  (3 times is magical to me, thanks to Patrick Rothfuss.)  I’ll update when I get my order.  It’s as if the universe witnessed how preparing a whole chicken ruined my ability to eat meat, and said, I got you.  Yay.  I’m off to beat my drums with sticks. (Excellent way to recalibrate my brain when I sense an impending meltdown.) 💜✌🏾

“He’s a regifter!”

french bulldog

It’s been a challenging week.  I think my dietary changes have messed up my executive functioning.  The red flags consist of:

  • Excessive wandering (Exhibit A: Fitbit data indicating 20k+ steps in a single day without leaving my apartment)
  • Sudden inability to complete basic quests in World of Warcraft due to complicated instructions
  • Unexpected difficulty in recalling how to respond to simple internal messages like nature calling
  • Increased rigidity requiring time-consuming self-talks on being reasonable
  • Excessive frustration from minor failures, even though I know, intellectually, they’re helping me succeed, eventually (Yep. I’m Komma Kamelion)
  • There’s more, but this is discouraging, so enough already

I strongly suspect my brain needs me to eat sugar in the form of fruit daily.  The only things I crave are water, protein, sugar, fat, and salt.  (My body doesn’t usually ask for anything more specific.)  I eliminated sugar a week ago today.  Ever since I’ve been thinking about mangoes, bananas, and pears; it seems to be the only thing my mind can hold on to at the moment.  Everything else is annoyingly just out of reach.  (Including my grammar, no doubt.)

bowl of fruit including mangoes

I’m convinced I need to acquire some fruit and rectify this situation.  I’m using an app called Carb Manager.  It’s deep with helpful tools (premium version) to track my intake and develop a food plan tailored to my particular body.  It allows me to determine my goals in several categories.  Five stars.  It’s like having a friend who’s studying to be a dietician in my phone.  Everyone in my social tribe is striving to be their best self.  The support and information sharing helps tremendously.  I’m going back to gummy vitamins and supplements, too.

I’m sending others to attend The Beyoncé Movie (aka Lion King) on my behalf (due to excitement regulation issues.) 😆🤪🤭 Sending local friends is easy peasy.  Then I tried to buy tickets for friends of a friend in another state.  Unfortunately, Fandango sucks so severely; it made me wonder if the company is just a front for some illegal activity.  Enter Fandango scam in any search engine, and you’ll see.  So shady;  my bank automatically won’t authorize transactions from Fandango.  Period.  Wow.

Fandango complaint

In my head, Crissle West, (First of Their Name), from The Read podcast, responded with a read so scathing, hilarious, and spot-on.  Then (I imagined) she ordered the CEO to take a naked Walk of Atonement down Internet Street until they emerge open-mouthed wailing while covered in shit, feet bleeding.  (I also imagined) Kid Fury was ringing a bell and yelling shame the whole way while wielding a shield to keep the flying filth from touching him.  (Just like they did the Goodwill bitch from Illinois this week ((who since got a clue.))) 😂🤣😭

walk of atonement

Congrats go out to Gwendolyne Christie for submitting herself for an Emmy and getting nominated.  That was even cooler than beating the Hound so thoroughly he decided to embrace karma.  I’m thrilled by so many nominations; it’s ridic.  I’m off to beat my drums with sticks. 💜✌🏾

“I’m an old man! I’m confused! I thought I paid for it!”

amethyst

I’m so jazzed because my comment got read on The Friend Zone podcast, the other day.  It was a double down on the best gift ever.  It tied into my recent course correction and reaffirmed I received and understood the adjustment opportunity.  Just for listening to a favorite podcast. (!!!)  And there was a follow-up gift of custom, created just for us, tools I know how to use in my healing.  Yay!  (I ordered mine, and in 2-3 weeks, I’ll show and tell.) They even gave us a heads up to set aside some fundage. 👏🏽

Seriously, if you’re not listening to The Friend Zone, why not? They’re explaining and showing how to level up in life for free.  It’s three (or more) people who are padawans out loud.  These are creatives and influencers who are playing the long, deep, sincere game.  I, for one, am not blinking.  Be nice to yourself.  (You’re on the journey of your life, and kindness feels right.)

bridge

Jade (of Jade and X.D.) presented a special podcast this week where she interviewed three teens.  They were intelligent, but as teens, they haven’t yet linked the part of their brains that allow them to translate their thoughts into language that matches their articulation potential.  It’s super frustrating, (which is why I remember so clearly, even though I’m oldish.)  Jade was a delightful, patient bridge that allowed them to share important things.

I heard them and learned about how to do better by them as an adult.  I strongly suspect these three teens did a solid for their entire generation by stepping up.  The urgency was palpable because they pretty much have to scream to get a whisper out (figuratively) at that age, which is just one of the many reasons adolescence is so traumatic.  I’m so proud of Jade and the kids.

Here’s an update on my progress with this year’s challenge.  I chose a neighbor who wears Cult 45 t-shirts.  She’s the same age as Stevie Nicks and recently retired.  She’s from a small town in Iowa, and she used to support Ben Carson before settling for 45.  Openly.  We exchanged emails yesterday after a friendly chit-chat.  We used email like long-texting for a few minutes, and she told me a little about herself.

basketball hoop

We have plans to go to the park to play basketball when the weather cooperates.  The last time, she attempted this alone, the kids in the park wouldn’t let her play.  I told her I would mediate that situation, and she was visibly relieved.  (+10 for recognizing it.)  I think we’re going to be friends by July.  It’s headed that way without me doing anything but being myself, and taking the time to connect with someone who sees the world differently than I do.

Also, I like her.  M thinks she’s a harmless kook.  (That’s pretty much his way of letting me know this is a solo expedition.) 😂  I like that M doesn’t participate in anything I do that doesn’t interest him.  He also doesn’t invite me to places I’d want to leave after ten minutes.  Like Las Vegas.  Nothing about me says: add alcohol.  😂  (The universe already taught me my body transmutes alcohol into tears.)  But I like knowing he’s having fun there, now, while I’m in my airconditioned safe place with candy. 😆

It's a beautiful life

I watched Dead to Me through twice, recently.  They had me at Christina Applegate.  Duh.  It’s brilliant.  This weekend is all Grace and Frankie on Netflix.  It’s my favorite show now that Thrones is over and Westworld hasn’t resumed.  It’s even better the second time around.  Brianna is who Daria wanted to be when she grew up.  Love.  Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin are teachers.  This show is their school.  I’m learning about aging beautifully, realistically, and joyfully.

I’m also learning about sexuality, marriage, divorce, breakups, raising multiple children as a single parent, interracial adoption (FINALLY portrayed in a manner that doesn’t offend my bullshit detector) and more.  Thank you, everyone, who made it happen.  It’s a fabulous show and such a fun way to learn about life.  I’m off to continue watching.  💜✌🏽

“You’ve got a little rage.”

child swinging over water

Welp.  I’m still sporting Distracted by Everything mode.  Instead of pouting about it, I’m going to have a ramble.  First, shout out (into the void) for the cop and theme park worker who fist-bumped Karma, recently.  Way to flex your inner superheroes.  So shiny.  I’m proud of you both.  (Hey everyone, lets copy.)

(Rips off bandaid)  I got a thorough, tailored to fit like a glove, still has me a wee bit shaken, earned, course correction, the other day.  Sofa king ow.  And after much thought, the only thing I have to say in response, is, thank you, Maryam Hasnaa.  Okay, maybe more than a wee bit.  Shook, but extraordinarily and helpfully.  (How did they do that?)

I started reading; The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma by Bessel van der Kolk, M.D. It was recommended on The Friend Zone podcast recently. World rocked. So hard.  Must read.

toy soldiers

I’ve accidentally remembered and resolved several things from childhood, just from the information presented so far. There are no cures in the book, duh. But it has resources galore, and at least three of the methods defined will undoubtedly work for me (PTSD.) I’m not even done reading it yet!

Then my VA trauma popped up and said, hey. So I burned through a shitload of rage energy with my drum kit. I’m angry there exists numerous, cheap, quickly taught, scientifically supported treatments for PTSD, and not one of them were ever offered to me by the VA, despite the fact I endured several stays in the Mental Health Ward over the years and acquired the autoimmune issues that often accompany.

I’m furious to know I lost years of my life suffering needlessly, merely because the VA only decided a few days ago to follow up on giving a shit about veterans’ health. Also, that 82% trust rating of the VA hospital system by veterans is bullshit. (You only asked the ones who still bother going there.)

That’s, How To Further Lose Our Trust 101: Lie to us about how we feel about your not holding up your end of the deal ever, VA. 🖕🏽Just legalize weed and focus on the ones coming home today. The damage exists, and greedy indifference is mostly why. Maintain for us, do better for them.

masked person flipping the bird

Train all in the Mental Health department to recognize, understand, and assist veterans learning to cope with mental illness via the useful studies and tools that have been available for decades, but have been passed over in favor of medicating us. (You bastards. Shame on you. You put government contract shenanigans ahead of our health, and we know it.)  Congress, we know your part in this.  Stop fucking us for doing what most of you wouldn’t.

Years of my life spent barely functioning, believing all I could do was battle the symptoms from hour to hour, and keep my rage in check. The few times, I managed to accomplish incredible feats, such as completing my education, were hugely expensive to my body. That’s what trusting the VA got me.  My rage is healthy. I’m learning all sorts of things that are eventually going to lead to my being a devastatingly effective bitch who will get off on making sure the VA evolves into what it should have been all along. I’ve had a lot of time and experiences to draw on. Glad I got that off my chest.  ✌🏽💜