“The other day I spit my gum out on the carpet.”

light through the forest

Confession: I recently returned from a recreational, medical mini-vacation in Denver. I partook of a new-to-me product that consists of 1:1 CBD and THC (hybrid) via a disposable vape. It was perfect for my body chemistry. I felt terrific without feeling mentally hazy. Two hits every two hours for two days, and now I can hold my head up without crying from the effort required. Yay so hard. I’m free of a challenging round of depression, and I feel like myself again. This round was the creepy kind, where I don’t feel emotional despair, but my body behaves as if I’m completely devastated.

(The despair bit came first, and I got through it before the physical part hit, so it feels wicked out of sync. I can’t even multitask with depression sometimes. At least it’s funny.)

On top of that, the Depression Goggles were stuck on my face, and I couldn’t get them off. Every thought was dripping with negativity. It was so obviously skewed I didn’t fall for the lies, at first. Then they started wearing me down with constant repetition. Yo, Explosive Rage, this is your queue. (I hate that guy.) I caught myself yelling at an app for possessing a bug feature. I’m pretty sure anyone who ever created an app is no longer allowed to personify them to this degree. Sigh. (Okay, dear universe, I see it — red flag.) 🙃

So anyway, that sucked. I feel so much better; I’m giddy. Part of it is because I’m home. It’s astonishing how much I hate leaving my apartment. I recently showed up two hours early (my bad) for a dental appointment. I set a new record for length of time spent in a crowded waiting room with a loud TV and more than one lively conversation taking place. Worse, I sat between a couple who were trying to invite me to join their discussion. I made a valiant effort and hung in there for over an hour. Then I very awkwardly rescheduled and hauled ass out of there before my breathing revealed my leaking panic.

pug peeking

I have to look at it as a heroic attempt and stamina building exercise. It’s a feat of strength every single time I enter the VA building. Instead of feeling shame for wasting an appointment slot, I insist on viewing it as an unscheduled break for my dentist and assistant. (If I spent that much time hustling around between rooms, my feet would cry.) They’re both delightful people with excellent bedside manner. I’ve only had one evil dentist in my entire life. Every other one has been awesome. Yay. I have a long way to go to fix my smile.

When I’m myself, I smile a lot. I smile at everyone I encounter whose energy doesn’t repel me. It’s rare when I feel immediately frightened in someone’s presence, but when I do, I always know which way to run, or what to do if I’m trapped. Thanks, Army. Fair warning: If I encounter any human deliberately harming another human, I will intervene on their behalf with a ferociousness intended to scar. My journey so far has gathered a lot of furies I’m holding in abeyance for just such an opportunity to unleash with wild abandon. Also, I’m convinced this is the strategy of my entire massively intersectional tribe. Step accordingly. 😐

Almost caught up to the present with My Favorite Murder podcast. Do you know how every so often you encounter a person you feel you’ve identified with your entire life? It’s happened to me three times before discovering Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark. They’re as different as Beyoncé and Solange, yet both feel like they’ve known me forever. WTF? Whatever, I love it. Karen is a wee bit younger than me, and Georgia a whole lot. I get all Karen’s references, which rocks because she’s so funny. Georgia thinks so quickly; it feels viscerally exciting to listen to her talk. (Like Crissle!)

She processes what Karen says, and begins responding (often hilariously) before I finish hearing. (!!!) I’m usually a moment behind, which makes the humor a surprise I only caught on the second internal pass. It results in that laughter that shoots out of you before you can apply any filters. (Like what Dustin Ross does to The Friend Zone podcast ecosystem every week. 🤭) I’m reasonably sure podcasts are a significant factor in overcoming that last round of depression. Listening as often as I could drown out the negative distortions on repeat in my head. I’m so thankful. 🙃 I’m off to bond with Amelia B and Tallulah. I missed them so much. 💜✌🏽

p.s. Freelance Lover by Syleena Johnson is my new favorite song. (Thanks, Dustin.)

“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.  ✌🏽💜