Brain weasels are jerks.  Their nests clutter your thoughts, and the weasels gnaw on your sense of self worth, your confidence, your belief that you are deserving of common courtesy and respect.  Once a nest of brain weasels gets going, they can keep you up all night with their incessant chittering and it seems like they'll  never stop.

Case in point:

Early in our marriage, hubby and I applied for the Christmas Angel program through Kitsap Community Resources so our boys could have presents under our tiny Christmas shrub (I still have the picture around here somewhere).  For two years, complete strangers gave of themselves to deliver clothes and toys so our children would have something to open on Christmas day.  Hubby and I promised ourselves we would someday pay the generosity forward to another family.

Years passed, our ...continue reading The Giving Tree (or Resistance Is Never Futile)

"Where do you get your ideas?"

Writers write what we know, teasing out bits of truth to flavor our fiction.  Here is one such truth.  Somewhat squicky pictures below.  You've been warned.

It's all started here.

Before
Before

A small sore on the side of my nose turned out to be a schlerocizing basal cell rodent tumor with an aggressive hysology (i.e., it grew fast and ate away at the flesh.)  In March of 2016 ...continue reading Phobias, and Where Stories Come From

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"The difference between shame and guilt is the difference between 'I am bad' and 'I did something good'."   -Dr. Brene Brown

Yesterday I did a good thing.  I shared something BIG with my husband, the man who holds my heart and has my back, and with that telling I was ashamed.

(Yeah, yeah, I know.  I have nothing to be ashamed of, I'm a good person, be strong, be proud of myself.  Another moody writer, blah, blah, blah. Moving on.)

Shame is depression's Child.  It strips away the good and strong, proves to me I am not worthy, shatters joy.  Shame follows depression and diabetes everywhere, laughs at the same jokes, eats what they eat.  Oh, yes.  Double fudge chocolate malts with extra malt, a bacon burger with extra bacon, a large order of onion rings, and a slice of pecan pie, warm, with whipped cream, for dessert.  And a Sprite Zero, of course.  Have to watch those blood sugars, don't'cha know.

Since starting therapy (mumbled) years ago, I have made considerable, if often painful, progress.  Every day I struggle to reclaim what my father and ex-husband have taken away.  A good friend would say progress not perfection.  I recognize that I am better off now than I was when I made that first call for help; ;I also recognize that I have far to go.  I am only now coming to grips with the jagged pieces of my childhood, and in part that entails another phase of addressing my abusive relationship with food.

So, where does this leave me and why am I sharing all this?  Maybe to hold myself accountable.

I use food for the same reason an alcoholic drink and a drug addict uses (I do not consider marijuana in this category.  Deal with it.).  Food is friend, comfort, and executioner rolled into one.  I deserve to have diabetes because I am a bad person.  I eat to console myself, drug myself, then punish myself with more food because my blood sugar numbers are already horrific.  Eat to console, eat to punish.  Rinse, repeat.

Yesterday I started Jardiance, a medication that promotes the body to pass even more sugar through the urine.  I feel like roadkill.  The med has made a significant difference in my sugars, by as much as 70 points at some readings, and now my body is convinced I'm having a permanent low blood sugar and I must EAT ALL THE THINGS.  I'M DYING!  GET THE SUGARS BACK UP WHERE THEY BELONG.  MOAR!  MOAR!!!

Depression is one of the cornerstones of my often tenuous mental health.  It fuels the diabetes which in turn fuels the depression, and shame feeds off them both  Talk about a co-dependent relationship.

Stay tuned. . .

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I found myself writing upstairs yesterday.  "Are you sure you want to do that?" I said.

Myself didn't look up from the monitor.  "Mmmmm?"

"Write that novel.."

Myself nodded, still not looking up.  "Mmmhmm."

I dropped onto the couch, sending the cat running.  "The first one hasn't even sold."

"It will."

"You hope."

That earned an eyebrow but ...continue reading So I Says To Myself. . .

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(Trigger Warning:  writer expresses thoughts, feelings, and concerns that mark her as human.)

I have only recently become strong enough to open up about my mental illness.  I almost said comfortable, but there are certain aspects of my life that are far from it.  There are places in my head, and voices in those places, that follow their own agendas whether social, sexual, or, in one instance, directly suicidal.  Sounds melodramatic, huh?  Not quite.

I had a rough day on Thursday, not my worst day by far, but dark enough that I spent most of the day hiding in bed and ...continue reading Breaking Bad & Self Care

Feeling very brittle  at the moment.  Today's much anticipated surgery fell through.  I can't think of anything new to say, but here is a flash piece I wrote a few years back when I had my first run in with MRSA and medically necessary plastic surgery gone bad.

###

MRSA

Did the plastic surgeon know how she felt when he touched her face? How she fought not to squirm in the exam chair. Until. The. Last. Moment? The doctor expressed a stream of pus from her right eyelid, and the orgasm rolled over her like a freight train. She bit through her bottom lip to keep quiet.

The doctor finished draining the abscess then stepped away from the examination chair, frowning at his handiwork. He stripped off the purple nitrile gloves. “I’m really sorry that hurt. Infections like this aren’t common after surgery, but we’ll take care of you. I’ll have Tanya do the IV and we’ll start you on antibiotics. You’re in good hands.” One of those good hands squeezed her shoulder before he headed out of the room, calling for the nurse.

She floated in a pool of warm, luxuriant pus. Two solid infections, though only one abscess. Too bad. With a sigh, she got up and grabbed her purse. She pulled a gauze compress out of her wallet, tore off the paper, and rubbed the small square over the counters and sink, inside the lip of the orange biohazard container. Dabbed it over the dirty compresses and tools still on the examination tray. She tucked the damp compress back into her purse, and made herself comfortable in the chair to wait.

She was scheduled for carpal tunnel surgery on her left hand at the end of next month. She couldn’t wait.

 

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I have a complicated relationship with cancer.  Then again, who doesn't?  It's not like you can take cancer out of an evening, drinks, dinner, maybe a movie, and then head home for one of those intense discussions that leaves you alone, tearful, and brooding for the rest of the night.  Not that kind of complicated.

Cancer is one of the few diseases to have wormed its way into common English parlance.  A person or situation is malignant.  Someone's behavior is ...continue reading Another Word For Fear