Life Is Full Of Everything

Nine years ago today, I lost my mother. I can’t always say it out loud, I can’t always talk about it, but I honestly have no clue how I’ve survived this long without her. Not because I need someone else in order to survive, that isn’t it, but because life is full of people that mean something to you, or at least, that’s what life should be.

Stupidly, I sometimes expect certain people to be a little more like my mother, and they aren’t. On a scale of my Mom to them, they’re epic failures. They don’t mean to be, they simply cannot be her. No one can. Irreplaceable people are precisely that; irreplaceable.

I have spent the past year and a half holding on tight to everything near and dear, and I’ve been a failure. I have needed help, and I’ve allowed my health to fail in the process. But ultimately, I have actually needed kindness, compassion, understanding, a person who listens, and someone who can put me first sometimes. No one ever does. Not for long.

When you go from being someone’s daughter to just being a person, there is a great shift. Suddenly, nothing is right in the universe, but there’s no way to fix it. And so, you move from one thing to the next at your own pace, trying to succeed and make a person proud, a person who is no longer here. Inevitably, there’s nothing you can do, because life is full of everything.

People, places, things, photos, shared moments, building memories. That’s life. It’s laughter, misery, friendship, companionship, love, and so much more. I went from being a daughter to just being. I’ve spent nine years trying to figure out who the hell that is. I still have no answers.

Hours before her death, the last words my mother spoke were “I love you, too.” I’d been sick for weeks at that point from Fibromyalgia pain. I couldn’t get out of bed, couldn’t move, and I had missed Mother’s Day the weekend before due to pain and a migraine. I felt like the biggest piece of crap on the planet. So getting the call that my mother had gone into cardiac arrest was like lightning striking through my entire body. I remember exactly what I was thinking and exactly what I said. I also remember thinking “This cannot be happening. This can’t be my life!”

After losing my mother, I got a brief respite for a few years before more damage could be done to my psyche. But as I sit here today, I realize some damage may be irreversible.

When you’re sick and you’re hurting, Google is your worst enemy. So tomorrow, I see my doctors’ Nurse Practitioner to see if she can be of any help in figuring out why I am suffering to the extent I am. Unfortunately, I suspect the only thing I will come away with is additional referrals to more doctors and maybe a prescription, or two. While there, I’ll get my lab work done. That should be an interesting experience. I hope someone reminds me to pack a snack. Especially since it’s going to be over 90 degrees tomorrow and I’m basically the Wicked Witch who will melt, with infinitely better skin. 😉 It’s 91 today and I can barely breathe.

Today has been a shaky day for me. I’m unable to function, unable to think, and it took repeated phone calls to find out what I was forgetting (and G-d help me, I WISH I had just let it go because when I did find out what I’d forgotten, knowing something wasn’t right with my memory, I wanted to crawl into a hole a die. I have less than 20 hours to solve the problem and quite frankly, I’d give up completely if I didn’t feel that not giving up was the right thing to do.). That I could not remember something from last week definitely makes me question what the hell is going on inside my brain. I want answers, not more questions. I’m terrified knowing I, once again, have to ask for help and that I might very well get shot in the process. It has occurred to me that, quite frankly, few people care to have your back when you’re down, but damn, they want you to have their back when they’re in the same place as you. They want you to fix their problems and make everything better, but are very happy to cast you aside once all is well in their own world. It doesn’t make you feel very good, and they’re, unfortunately, too stupid to understand that something isn’t right and they should reach out.

If we’re close and I say “I’m fine.” or you ask how I’m doing and I don’t answer, I urge you to look deeper. It’s extremely rare for me to say “I’m fine.” or “I’m okay.” when I’m not. If you dismiss it and take it at face value, then you’re showing me that you really don’t give a damn, because you’ve just accepted a blatant lie. I can’t remember the last time I was “fine” or “okay”. I wish people weren’t so self-absorbed and took a minute to really connect sometimes. No matter how good or bad my life may be, I still check in with people. If someone tells me they’re fine and I sense otherwise, I call them on it. That’s the mark of a true friend/family member.

I rarely go to the doctor. I’m not fine. I’m not okay. And quite frankly, I’m afraid for my life and sanity.

Life may be “full of everything”, but right now, life is empty, scary, lonely, and heartbreaking.

Here’s hoping my prayers are answered and that someone, somewhere, is looking out for me.


copyright © 2017 by Lisa Marino & Blackbird Serenity, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.


The Aftermath

*Potential trigger warning*

I survived, and I’m always sorry when I do. Always.

Last week, a member of my family overdosed on prescription medication. It wasn’t painkillers or anything like that. In fact, I have yet to look the drug up, but I do know what it isn’t. It’s not lethal if you’re taking it responsibly, but it can be deadly if you’re being an asshole or you take four instead of one. That’s true for a lot of drugs we deem “safe”, which is precisely why the pharmacy tells you that if you can’t remember if you missed a dose, skip the dose, don’t double-up.

We don’t know yet if it was intentional or accidental, but she doesn’t remember what happened. I wish I could say the same. It took me roughly twelve hours to talk two different family members down over what happened. I’ve felt deeply depressed, unhappy, mentally, emotionally, and physically drained ever since. I’m in such a dark place and as I sit here, I realize no one has noticed.

I remember when I tried overdosing. I’d had enough and I wanted out. This was long before my Fibromyalgia diagnosis, and honestly, it was unnecessary back then, I just couldn’t tolerate what i was going through with zero support (much like I feel now). I can say with absolute certainty that no one noticed what I did and no one knew I did it. Even now, no one spends enough time with me to notice if I’m sick or not acting like myself because they don’t know me well enough to know what’s normal for me. I can’t laugh or be goofy or do anything without it being criticized or psychoanalyzed. I could do so many truly dangerous things and I am certain no one would notice. When would they have the fucking time?!

I’m not content living a half-life. I’ve spent the past few weeks in so much pain, I didn’t realize until yesterday just how badly I want it all to stop. The daily struggle. The forcing myself to get out of bed when I really shouldn’t be moving at all. The emotional struggle. The blackouts are so bad that I don’t remember most of today after eating breakfast and I’m concerned, because I think I hit my head at some point. My skull is on FIRE and aches so bad, I’m freaking out. I’m tired of forcing myself out of the house to do far too much because the one person who knows me best and knows exactly how to help me is hundreds of miles away and I haven’t seen him in a year and a half. The financial struggle is never-ending, and realizing that I’ve been unhappy before, but this is a whole other level of miserable is the icing on the cake of misery. This is something that cannot be broken with a positive attitude and smiley faces. This can’t be fixed with kind words and someone being polite. This is serious and every time I turn to someone for help, I’m given their equivalent of a gigantic middle finger. If someone does help me, they hold it over my head like a weapon. It makes it worse because helping someone should mean that you care, not that you show them hatred.

I do have a doctor’s appointment coming up, but it’s mostly for a diagnosis. A new one, because the old one is almost five years old and things change, including me. This is a fresh start and I don’t know if this doctor and I will click or not, but he’s only getting one chance to show me who he is and what he can do to help me.

Five years ago, I was in a different financial position, and while I was struggling emotionally, I kept it in check as much as humanly possible. I was making things work. My life came tumbling down less than six months later. Horror after horror, and I am suffering for it every single day. My doctor never billed me for my last appointment. He knew I had no insurance that would cover the visit at the time (Hell, the only thing my insurance was paying for back then was monthly medication and the occasional ER visit. My primary care doctor, at the time, was months away from dumping me as a patient when I needed help the most.) and that things with me were not okay. I never saw a bill from him. If he’d sent one, I would have paid it, but sitting here today, struggling, I see it as a major act of kindness in a world where there’s so little of it. In sixteen years, he’s probably bought a car or put his daughter through private school for a full year based on what I did pay him, so I don’t feel guilty about it. When I found out in late 2015 that he never put Fibromyalgia into my chart when he diagnosed me, thus making me look like an idiot and making me question exactly what the hell is wrong with me, I damn sure felt even less guilty. I was shaking with rage, and I still am. That one absent-minded mistake cost me DEARLY. And here I am, back at square one.

I feel like an insane basket-case, just waiting to explode. I’m looking at the pile of problems in front of me, which I cannot solve. I’ve got nowhere to turn for help, and I am scared out of my mind. I can let certain things go, but the realization of this particular problem and how important (and potentially damaging it could be) is making things worse. I suspect knowing that since yesterday is what caused me to blackout today. The stress is too much for my body. Stress can be so damaging, we don’t always know exactly how much stress we’re dealing with, until it’s too late.

Unlike many people, I’ve always understood the level of emotional pain it takes to make a person say “I’ve had enough.” I also understand the level of mental and physical pain it takes to say “No more. I can’t do this.” Most people never act on it, especially when they’re talking about it for several years to family and friends, but the people who, like me, keep it inside, are the ones more likely to act on their thoughts. There’s no fascination involved, we’re just done.

Today, I am 100% DONE. I have no idea how I’ve survived this far and I’m tired of worrying. Of not sleeping. Or praying and feeling like I’m all alone. There’s only so much hurt, disrespect, abuse, and abandonment one person can handle.

Will tomorrow be better? I don’t know. I never know. I can pray, and I am going to reach out for help to see if someone will have my back this week, but ultimately, once I’ve exhausted all options, I don’t know where I’ll be.

I’m praying for better days, but I feel lost and completely abandoned. The level of emotional pain for that is off the charts.

This is the aftermath of loss, grief, abandonment, abuse, and other things you may never heal from. No matter how strong you are, no matter how hard you try, there are some things you can’t do anything about. For me, that hurts almost as much as seeing how meaningless I am to others.

Most people would say “It’s the Monday blues.”, but those people don’t understand I feel like this almost daily. That’s not okay.

copyright © 2017 by Lisa Marino & Blackbird Serenity, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.


The Countdown

Every year, usually around mid-April, is the countdown reminder from every company I’ve ever done business with, or might do business with in the future, that Mother’s Day is fast approaching. Last year, it angered me to the point where I unsubscribed from about 20-30 different mailing lists. I just couldn’t take it any more. The e-mails were daily. Daily. Sometimes, there were three or four a day. How much more business do these people need to drum up?! Was it a slow year?!

This year, Mother’s Day falls out on the day when I normally do my big grocery shopping, which requires hitting three different stores, usually, to acquire everything on my detailed list (which I usually organize by store, so I don’t forget anything major). If I keep my head down and I just focus on that list, I should be able to avoid as much of the hoopla as possible, but the pain in my heart will never go away.

There have been years where I couldn’t even get out of bed at the mere thought of facing other people on Mother’s Day. And the worst part is; Few people acknowledge this or discuss it. I refuse to be one of those people.

It’s unbelievably rude when people dismiss your feelings, especially in regard to something like this. When someone tells you to “get over it”, it might actually be wise to consider the source and/or re-think your relationship with that person. Being dismissive of someone’s pain, be it physical, mental, or emotional, is never acceptable.

Being a Motherless Daughter is painful. There is this enormous piece of me missing, and I assure you; no one gives a damn. No one else’s life stopped after my mother’s death, no one else mourns her daily, and that makes it so much worse in my eyes.

I remember how I felt at her funeral. I probably know her eulogy by heart because I only had a few days to write it, but every word was from the heart. I did her proud. I try to keep making her proud every day of my life.

The things I could talk about with my Mom are now things no one else on this planet would understand. Instead of having a person laugh with me and enjoy my insight and sense of humor, I am criticized for having a sense of humor that others do not understand or appreciate. Technically, that’s their problem, not mine. There are so many times I want to tell her about something going on, and I can’t. I know she is looking down on everything happening in my life and is now the “All-Seeing Eye”, but I really hope she sees how I am being treated and the character of others. I hope she sees and does not forget.

My mother always taught me to forgive, but never to forget. “Forgive for yourself,” she’d say, “So you don’t have to carry the hurt and allow it to harm you, but don’t EVER forget.” Forgiveness has become downright impossible in the wake of her passing and other terrible things that have occurred since that fateful day. There are always things you can never un-hear, un-see, un-learn, etc. There’s far too much you cannot forget. My mother was a nice, kind, caring person. I’m not all that nice and my kindness and ability to care is limited.

My Mom used to tell people she couldn’t remember what she wore two days ago, but that “My daughter remembers EVERYTHING.” My short-term memory is shit, but my long-term memory is eerily accurate. So you can question me, but don’t, for a single second, try telling me I’m wrong. I’m many things, but wrong isn’t one of them (I have a key-chain that says that verbatim.). Not when it comes to most things. And I openly admit when I am wrong, which many people won’t ever do.

Last year, right around the start of this month, is when my blackouts began (at least I’m pretty sure that’s when they started. In fairness, it took a few months before I was aware that I had lapses in time each day.). Is it somehow tied in to my mother’s passing and all the other death that has effected my life in the month of May? It’s possible. I have an appointment at the beginning of next month and I will certainly ask the doctor if he thinks it’s a possibility. If it’s not something triggering me, then it is something neurological, and that’s even scarier to me. I doubt an MRI will show damage, but psychologically, I suspect it’s a form of trauma manifesting itself.

I wish there was a measure of sensitivity surrounding this subject, but there really isn’t. I can attend the local Motherless Daughter event, or I can stay put and mourn on my own. I don’t think I can actually focus on other people’s stories at the moment, so it’s probably best I just isolate myself, except for the fact that I am ALWAYS isolated and alone. The effort I put forth not to be is always slapped down, always insulted, and is never good enough. The more negativity I hear, the more triggered I become. Someone might think they’re paying me a compliment, but I know an insult when I hear one. I’m NOT stupid, and I will walk away or disengage when a person is acting like an asshole or just plain being disrespectful.

One of the reasons people like and respect me is because I’m always the same person. Whether it’s on the phone, in a letter or e-mail, interacting on-line, or when you meet me or spend time with me; I don’t change. What you see and read is precisely what you get. I’ve had friends tell me precisely how much they enjoy that and respect it because they never have to worry how I am going to be because I’m always myself. When my friends spend time with me, they don’t understand why anyone wouldn’t love me. I am most at ease and most myself when I am with them. I wish they didn’t all live so far away, but I do have a very close friend visiting next month from California and I am SO excited to spend time with her! We met through my writing, as well as hers, and have been friends for five years. It seems like a much longer time period because of the bond between us, and I’m really looking forward to whatever adventures we get to share. Right now, having something to look forward to is all I’ve got. I don’t really know what I will do after she goes home. 😦 I do know I will miss her, though.

I might not write anything on Sunday this year, and if I don’t, I hope everyone will understand why. I might reblog something I’ve written in the past if I have the time to search, but if I am silent, I hope no one will take it personally.

I am still recovering from last week’s Urgent Care visit for my migraines. My IV “wound” is nearly healed, but I learned my lesson in regard to how to handle this horrible pain from here on in. I hope the neurologist I see is a good one and that he will have answers for me. I’ve been doing extensive research to make sure I go in armed with information to try and come up with a plan that we can both agree on.

And so, the countdown begins. On the plus side, I’m glad to be writing in a successful, productive way. For those of you who’ve been super supportive of this project (Lillian & Steven), please know how much it means to me.

Have a lovely Friday, everyone!

copyright © 2017 by Lisa Marino & Blackbird Serenity, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.



It’s Possible To Feel Worse

Just when I thought it wasn’t possible to feel any worse than I have these last few weeks, I woke up this morning and the pain is at an all-time new high for INSANITY.

You know those pain scales every doctor’s office has posted with idiotic faces? There is no logical way to say “Oh, I’m at an eight.” when in fact you’re at a fifty for your own personal pain threshold. We’re all drastically different. What I do on days when my pain is at a ten are things that would kill the everyday, average person. The pain scale is one of the most inaccurate things I’ve ever witnessed in life. It’s also unfair to those who suffer daily. It tells you that a ten is “The worst pain you’ve ever experienced in life”. That’s most days for me, it’s not “on occasion”. A five or six would be my every day baseline according to that chart, but as I stated, it is inaccurate. I have no choice but to function at 50-85% pain every day of my life. Give me a chart for that! 😦

There are pains we’re warned about in life, at least as women. Menstrual cramps, childbirth, toothaches, ear infections, sinus pain & pressure, a burst appendix, gallbladder pain, post-surgical pain, broken bones, etc., but nothing in life quite prepares you for a searing migraine that will not go away OR the physical body pain that has decided to accompany it, courtesy of Fibromyalgia. My arms, legs, every muscle, joint, tendon, and perhaps things I may have missed are on fire. This comes from a ravishing creature who sat through four tattoos and didn’t bat an eyelash. That felt GOOD compared to what I am currently experiencing, and yes, I paid for that “luxury”.

My main task yesterday was showering, getting dressed, and getting my butt to Urgent Care. This sounds SO easy. Have you ever tried showering when half of your body doesn’t want to move or work properly? It makes it a very tedious task, indeed. I pushed through though, after a short nap (When you’re an adult who needs naps, it’s not the kindergarten kind of nap one dreams of. It’s the nap where you’re desperately trying to rest and your cell phone genuinely needs to be tossed out a window, except you need the damn alarm on it, on the off-chance you over-sleep.). I had reserved a time slot on their website on Thursday, and that had been a very smart idea because when I arrived, they took me quickly.

So, how do I feel today? STUPID. I will never go to Urgent Care again for a migraine. I asked them in advance if they handled severe migraines and they said yes, but this is clearly more suited to the emergency room. It’s technically NOT an emergency, but it IS when you need access to the medications an ER can provide that a walk-in clinic doesn’t have on hand. Sad, but true.

I was treated perfectly fine, they were very caring and kind, but after I got home, the anti-nausea meds I’d been given in the IV, along with Toradol, proved they were not only ineffective, but I am clearly allergic to one or both of them. I took a second dose of the anti-nausea medicine (normally given only to cancer patients) before bed and I am paying for it this morning. I’m nauseous AND my stomach is on fire, which makes me wonder if my ulcer has returned. I had one years ago and it took a long time before it healed (I was warned that with too much stress, it would return) and I could stop taking medicine for it, but that is pain you NEVER forget when you’ve live with it for years on end.

I have had ZERO pain relief. This means calling my doctor on Monday and making an appointment because I can’t get through a month of this until I see my new neurologist. If it is indeed my ulcer, I can go back on probiotics or OTC Nexium until I can see someone, but it is CRAZY to suffer like this.

The worst part in all of this is that I do NOT want to get out of bed. Technically, I already am (Kitten was crazy aggressive this morning because I was late getting home to feed them. She thought breakfast time was the second my head lifted off the pillow!), but my point is, I want quality rest, not six fitful hours of torture vaguely masked as “sleep”. And for the past few days, more than once, I have wondered how much stress factors into how I am currently feeling and what I am going through.

Stress can cause so much damage, and oftentimes, we don’t consider it as a factor in our health issues. I can’t remember which doctor asked if I was under a lot of stress (I believe it was my neurologist, though. It was a long time ago.), but I do remember saying “YES!” His answer was “You need a vacation.” Gee, why didn’t I think of that?! <rolls eyes>

Wouldn’t we ALL love to go away and completely detox from the stress of our lives (Relax, I didn’t say we all had to go together!)? Yes, most of us would. Anyone who says they have zero stress in their life is lying, or a delusional billionaire.

Pain should not make you feel like you’re being eaten alive by a Komodo dragon, but sometimes, that’s exactly what you feel like. I wish I could say I was being dramatic. If anything, I’m downplaying it. 😦

The best part of my Urgent Care visit was the doctor saying he doesn’t think I suffer from migraines. Excuse me?! Every highly educated neurologist I’ve ever seen has declared that I do indeed suffer from migraines, but you think it’s “just tension“?! My blood pressure was through the roof; that’s not tension, that’s PAIN. Mind you, a smarter doctor would have seen fit to provide me with muscle relaxers if he thought it was “just tension“. My neck is indeed tight and sore, not to mention achy as hell, but it’s dealing with a lot and I chose not to disclose my spinal damage to him since it’s already in bold-type in my chart. A chart he couldn’t seem to read since he repeatedly asked me the same questions over and over again.

I’ve learned my lesson. Urgent Care isn’t suited to migraines. Unfortunately, a busy emergency room isn’t much help either, but if ever I am in this position again, that’s where I’m going. Under duress.

To add insult to injury, the pain medicine he prescribed couldn’t touch any of this with a ten foot pole. I took one last night in the hopes it would help, but it didn’t touch the migraine (it helped everything else temporarily). Even better, he claimed on the prescription that I asked for half the normal dose, which I did NOT. No sane pain patient would ask you to give them less pain medicine for the same price. That’s over 50 cents per pill for a medication that doesn’t even cost 10 cents to make. My insurance company should be shot for charging me full price.

I honestly just want to lie here and moan. 😦 But mostly, I am praying this horrible nausea goes away. Obviously, today is one of those days where you have no choice but to stay in bed and rest. Bleh! I hate days like this.

Wishing you all a stress-free, no-pain weekend. I hope someone had good Mexican food for me yesterday. As bad as I feel, I would murder someone for a taco!

copyright © 2017 by Lisa Marino & Blackbird Serenity, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Too Many Thoughts That I Can’t Process


Today is one of those days where I just can’t seem to break myself out of how bad I feel. Physically, mentally, and emotionally. I caught myself last night, while making dinner, realizing just how done I am. It wasn’t a temporary feeling. It was a “What’s the point in this life?” feeling.

I’m still experiencing the same migraine I’ve had since the 18th (I might be off on the dates by a day or so. I can’t check at the moment because my new cell phone battery is walking on tiny feet all the way from California. The info for my migraines is calculated by an app on my phone.). It got so bad Monday, I called my doctor’s office. There is nothing helpful about a doctor telling you to go to the emergency room, Urgent Care, or to “come in” when you’re barely able to get out of bed. Technically I was out of bed, I just wasn’t dragging myself anywhere because I couldn’t. When her office asked me if they should call an ambulance or if I had someone to call to help me, I was so upset, I nearly threw the phone out the fucking window. After that, I did NOT want to speak to a soul for the remainder of the day. The realization of how alone you are is not something you need to be drilled into you day after day.

Yesterday was a blend of so-so and really bad. I was up until nearly 3:00 this morning dealing with the nausea, and the aftermath. I got less than four hours of sleep in total, and I hurt from my head into my toes. It’s a beautiful day, the temperature is perfect, the sky is that perfect shade of blue, and I’m trapped indoors, hiding from the sun, the sound of lawnmowers, and birds chirping, all because my doctor couldn’t call in an anti-nausea medication when I explained how bad this aspect of my migraines is currently affecting me. Where the hell is good old-fashioned Coca-Cola syrup when you need it?! I’d murder someone right now for the biggest Coke from McDonald’s. That’s sad considering I don’t drink soda, but it tells you how awful I feel. Nothing is helping.

Today, after taking an important phone call I need to take in about an hour or so, I might unplug my phone entirely. I’m genuinely sick of people. I’m sick of being sick, and I’m sicker of being minimized when I talk about how I feel.

Sadly, a migraine is NOT an emergency. It’s not life or death, and I’m not having a seizure or a stroke. Unless it is the worst headache I’ve ever experienced, (I told my doctor’s office “It’s up there.” I cannot answer that question. Obviously, if it were a mild migraine, I wouldn’t be calling, but to be asked, “Is this the worst headache you’ve ever had?” Um, I’m a MIGRAINE PATIENT. NONE OF THEM ARE FUN EXPERIENCES!) I don’t want, or need, to be in a noisy emergency room where, without a written migraine protocol from a neurologist, whoever is on call can choose how I am treated, and they can blow me off.

The last time I went, the ER broke my migraine protocol and refused to give me a shot of Demerol. My doctor was furious, and it was enough to keep me away from the ER regarding my migraines ever since. You do NOT need a single medical professional questioning your doctor’s protocol for you, or standing in a group with a bunch of other “medical professionals” whispering about how you “might be drug-seeking”. For the record, I’ve never had a shot of Demerol in my entire life, so for anyone to use my name and drug-seeker in the same sentence just plain pisses me off.

Yes, I have received pretty good care here, but I don’t want to push my luck, either. If the migraine and nausea get any worse, I will have no choice. I’ve already contacted Urgent Care and they said they do handle migraines. It’s a much quieter environment, more contained, and I could go Friday afternoon or early evening. In all likelihood, they will run an MRI and possibly take some x-rays of my neck and spine before they given me any medication. That’s standard operating procedure since they don’t have my records. But today? I can barely handle what little I do have on my plate because if I add anything more to it, I can’t deal. And the truth is; I can’t deal. I can do mindless tasks, like folding laundry, but I can’t think straight. I catch myself blinking too much and unable to fully process what people are saying to me. That’s never a good sign.

HATE being sick. I hate being so depressed and stressed that I can’t handle a phone call, or a cup of tea. I hate not being able to concentrate. This is NOT a life. It’s too much pain for any one person to have to endure.

I pray that I survive these next few days. I’m definitely going to get this migraine handled. By Friday, it will be nearly three weeks of incessant pain and increased nausea. My neurology appointment isn’t until June, and I cannot wait that long to be treated. If they do blood work, they will find that all is not right in the land of Lisa.

What else is new? 😦

copyright © 2017 by Lisa Marino & Blackbird Serenity, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

The Month Of Triggers


Fourteen years ago today, a female relative of mine (an Aunt by marriage) was murdered by her live-in boyfriend. I just read her autopsy and toxicology report for the first time; her death having been ruled an “accident”. I read it in utter disbelief. The damage incurred was no accident. I look at it as being blamed in death for being harmed. If I ever come within ten feet of her ex, and I’ve always said this from day one, I will beat the living crap out of him. That he’s alive and breathing disturbs me on levels I cannot begin to describe.

I remember being told that she was gone . She died on Thursday morning. I wasn’t told until Monday. I fell to my knees in the living room, devastated, in tears. Eight years later, her ex-husband, who is my direct relative, would also pass away suddenly. I nearly fell down the stairs when my brother told me, because I just couldn’t handle the news. Both of them far too young to die at all, leave alone the way they did. It guts me.

For the past week or so, leading into this day, I’ve been nothing short of a basket case. I kept asking myself “What’s wrong?” I’ve been dealing with a lot of memory loss and blackouts, and I kept telling myself that my neurology appointment would “fix everything”. Not so fast.

Yesterday, I became keenly aware that the month of May is really “the month of triggers”. It’s a month full of loss and painful memories for me. Last year, it was when I started blacking out. If I began blacking out in years past, I am 100% unaware it was happening, but now I’m wondering if it began earlier due to trauma.

I don’t often talk about their deaths. It pains me, because it was like losing a second set of parents. It is a hard adjustment to go from being loved and adored to having no one to turn to for shelter from the storms of life.

Despite being divorced, they both loved me and had my back. My Uncle, especially. There is nothing he wouldn’t have done for me. He put me through school when my own father would not. He didn’t co-sign a loan; he flat-out paid for six years of advanced education, four at a top ten university. If I had ever been hurt or in trouble, he would have been there without a single judgmental word. In fact, he’s one of the reasons I am the way I am. My Mom used to say that not only did we look alike, enough that I still pass for one of his children, but that I took after him in so many ways, it was creepy. Since his passing, I’ve forgotten that fact. There is a ring in my jewelry box that he gave me after I graduated. Whenever I wear it, I’m reminded that I am fire, flame, and unique. I can storm through anything. It’s been a long time since I’ve had it on my finger, I think I probably need to remedy that.

This month will be lonely, sad, emotional, and painful. Tomorrow has its own triggers. I’ll do my best to power on. Sometimes, there’s strength in tears.

copyright © 2017 by Lisa Marino & Blackbird Serenity, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.


The Never-Ending Excitement

I swear, I’m radiating unhappiness.

Thursdays’ appointment made me feel like a fucking fraud. Despite the fact that I KNOW I suffer greatly, you cannot see anything I suffer from. It’s like being slapped in the face a bit. People can’t help but stare at you, because they’re questioning your validity of illness without knowing a single thing about you. I could almost hear people’s thoughts as they wondered why I was there. It’s very similar to when doctors tell me I’m “too young” for certain treatment methods or medications. They would have no problem if I were over 70, but anything under that is just plain “too young” for them to take me too seriously. I hate it.

In a room filled with wheelchairs, walkers, scooters, canes, oxygen tanks, etc., and being the youngest person there, not for the first time, I felt overwhelmed by other people’s pain. It makes you feel bad for asking for help, no matter how badly you need it. I definitely need it, or I wouldn’t have put myself through that.

My neurology appointment is set up for early June. I am both looking forward and not looking forward to it. I want results. I don’t want to play games. I don’t have the energy for the nonsense. Run tests, and tell me where we go from there. I don’t like to drag anything out. I’m concerned that new tests will show the progression of how bad things are. I am certain my MRIs and x-rays are going to show significant changes from the last time they were done. Between my spine and my brain, there’s no way it’s all going to look the same or report the same way. I am trying to be prepared, but mostly, I’d like someone to be here when I have to sit and cry over it. Ultimately, I likely won’t discuss what’s going on, unless it’s in an abstract way. I’ve only recently realized I’ve been doing that for years.

People assume that as a writer, my entire life is open for public consumption. It isn’t. I don’t even post my cats names on here, preferring to call them Cat and Kitten, instead It might seem silly that I don’t just declare them by name, but they’re very unique names (Everyone who meets them comments on this fact. I’m not a “Princess”, “Pearl”, “Muffin”, “Socks”, or “Mittens” kind of gal.), and they are special to me. In my life, when I do write directly about it, everyone has a nickname or a title, but I don’t give more than that. I learned early on in my career that you don’t put your business “out in the street”. The Internet is, at times, a vast gutter. There is both good and bad, as in all situations, but I do try to keep the personal as private as humanly possible. The few times I’ve opened up on a very personal level, I can say that I was met with disappointment, anger, and rudeness, even from people I deem close friends. No one needs that, so I keep the private stuff where it belongs.

In other situations, I am supremely open and honest about what I am going through. I guess in most respects, I prefer things to be one-on-one. If I say something, I say it in extreme confidence. It helps because if it is repeated, you absolutely know who you told, especially since I keep my circle small.

I’m proud of my accomplishments and what I put my name on, but when someone clicks LIKE on something particularly painful, it makes me wonder what the hell is so damn likable about anyone’s pain. I’d much prefer someone say “I can’t like this, but I understand how you feel.” or ANYTHING that is a little more concrete than clicking LIKE. I’ve told many people that I cannot “like” their torture and agony, but that I can support them for writing about it. They’ve always understood the difference.

So as I go to sleep tonight, questioning the never-ending excitement that my life is NOT, I’m going to think long and hard about what I will be writing, and saying, next.

Bright Blessings.


copyright © 2017 by Lisa Marino & Blackbird Serenity, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.