Sunday, September 15, 2019

Life Update

This needs to be my reminder to myself this week. Kat Scratch Press editing has taken off to the point where I have four separate projects on my desk. I'm always so worried about letting people down that I'll work myself to exhaustion trying to make sure that they're happy. Part of the reason that I've moved these posts to Sundays is to make sure that my Monday are open for me to just sit and work if need be. Fingers crossed that I can hold myself in check this coming week.

As for everything else, things are going pretty well. When Ben was here last week, we cleaned the kitchen, sorted through his clothes, and then created a 3" wide (give or take, I suck at estimating distance) path from my bedroom door to my bed. Then, since I could now access my dresser, I purged that and all of the clothes that have been stacking up on my bed. In the end, I donated three bags of clothes to Goodwill and I'm nowhere near done with that room yet! It's crazy, but the big news is...I can now sleep in my bed for the first time in five years! That's a victory right there. The bed is made up with clean sheets and I've spent the past three nights sleeping up there. I'm not sleeping 100% yet but I'm adjusting to having an entire bed to sleep in. I guess you can say that I kicked that having the tv on habit because there isn't a tv in the bedroom. I still have the light on, but that'll go at some point. I'm just not quite ready.

Ben is coming back over this evening for a couple of days and I suspect we'll be tackling the living room in between bouts of me working on client work. I'm so looking forward to the point where this house is a place where I wouldn't mind my son's girlfriend coming into instead of waiting in the car while he runs in to get something. I'm really hopeful that by the time colleges let out for Christmas break, the house will be good enough for all of the kids to be here. That would mean a lot to me.

In other news, I finally received a blood pressure cuff and I've been using it for the past couple of days. My results so far? 123/78, 133/87, and 131/80. So, two of those were a little high but still below the mild hypertension range which is good. If it continues this way for the remainder of the thirty days, I don't think we'll need to adjust my medication. Perhaps if I lose some weight, that will help bring it back down.

I haven't been able to start the walking or the pool time yet. I've been so busy with everything else that I just haven't had the energy. I know that it's something that I need to do, but I just haven't gotten there yet.

I'm feeling a little stressed but overall, I think I'm handling things okay. I just have to keep going and making changes when I can. The bed thing is a huge one and I'm looking forward to clearing more of that room out so I can get more things put where they belong. One day and one step at a time. Ever Onward.


Sunday, September 8, 2019

Balance

Balance
Two weeks in a row, who would have thought? This is going to be a short post because it's been a very busy day and tomorrow...no, this entire week is going to be crazy. My oldest is visiting until Wednesday night and we have plans to attempt some serious deep cleaning around here. Of course, my plan to have no editing work for this week completely bombed. I have 4 more files for a friend of mine and each file takes me at least a couple of hours. I just seem incredibly slow at it. I'm hoping that he'll be patient and give me a few more days to get them done. I'll message him first thing in the morning and see what kind of timeline he can work with.

Other than that, things are going fairly well. I still don't have a blood pressure monitor, but someone from my past popped up and said he'd like to give me the money to buy one. Since we haven't spoken in about 25 years or more, I have my hesitations but if he comes through, that would be amazing.

I'm still really tired which concerns me. I don't know what's causing it. I did okay today though, but it's the first day that I have. I'm hoping though that it means I've turned a corner with that. It's so hard to balance life when you're spending half of it asleep or feeling out of it with exhaustion.

Balance is obviously a concern. My little editing business seems to be taking off which is incredibly exciting, but I need to figure out how to balance client work with house work and writing. I don't want to stop writing and right now the only writing that I'm doing is a weekly prompt over on Life With Katie that I've managed to do two weeks in a row. Hopefully I can start to find that balance so that I can do all of the things that I need to. Yep, I need to write. It's part of who I am...

For now though, it's nearing midnight and I need to take my medicine and see about getting ready for bed. Tomorrow is talking with my client, working on one of his files, and then Ben and I are going to try to get the kitchen cleaned up. A tidy space helps me keep a tidy mind. Thank goodness for awesome kids who are willing to help out.


Monday, September 2, 2019

What? A Weekly Update?!?


It's only been a week and I'm back! Can you believe it? I almost can't except that I've been working on setting up a new Monday schedule which includes writing a post here and writing one over on Life With Katie.

So, how are things? Let me tell you. I'm still struggling with being really tired during the day. I wake up around 7:30 and stay awake until maybe 9 am and then I fall back to sleep until 10:30 or later. It's far from ideal. I'm hoping that it's still the medication and not a blood pressure issue.

Speaking of blood pressure issues, I still don't have a cuff for me to monitor things at home. Why, you ask? Because insurance sucks. The first place I went doesn't take my insurance. The second place does, but the insurance requires submission of my appointment notes showing medical necessity. Then, once the place submits those, it can take 2-3 weeks for them to approve (or not) it so I can get one. It's really frustrating and a little bit scary. I've looked on Amazon and for $50, I could have a really high rated one and not have to go through this, but every penny that comes in, goes right back out to one bill or another. You would think that they'd find preventative care worthy of investing in. I don't think I'm at serious risk for a heart attack or anything, but if I were to have one, the medical expenses would be a lot higher than the cost of an at home blood pressure cuff.

Let's see, other than that, it's really all about adjusting to not having the kids here. Roger and Dylan seem to be settling in well at college. I saw them on Friday and Dylan was chatting quite a bit about a girl that he's met. Maybe he'll have a girlfriend soon. Roger is busy with classes and rehearsing. It makes me smile to see him taking things so seriously. His roommate is talking about starting a D&D group for Friday nights and he's interested. I may need to dig out my dice for him soon.

My editing business is trickling along with makes me smile. I made enough in August to keep DHS off my back for another month. Right now, September is looking promising, thank god. Even with the new medication, I panic at the thought of having to work outside of the house. So, I keep pushing with my little business. It's something that I truly love doing and it's flexible so if I need to go do something else, I can go do it. I think I need that flexibility.

I guess that's it for now! Life is all about adjustments right now. Tonight I start in with making sure I'm in bed by midnight. I've also slept with the tv on and the light on for years now so I'm going to start working on turning down the tv a little bit each night. Baby steps, right? Now...I'm going to baby step over to the other site and work on a Wordsmith Wednesday post!


Monday, August 26, 2019

Health Update


Isn't that post-it super cute? I made it all by myself...Okay, well, with the help of a generator. As usual, it's been a while so I wanted to post an update, especially since I went and had my annual physical on Friday. Look at me almost being on top of things!

So, here we go...everything, for the most part, is okay. My weight is down 15 pounds from last year (now at 300 even), so that's good. I still want/need to keep working that direction. I spoke to her about my crippling anxiety at the idea of having to work outside of the house to keep my food stamps. She's given me an additional medication to try out to see if it helps. I need to go back at the end of September to see if it's helping. The other big issue is my blood pressure. She wants me to monitor it twice a day for a month to see if we need to tweak medication for there. Right now, I'm waiting for a prescription to be sent to the the right place for me to pick up the monitoring equipment. I'm a little nervous about that, but considering the panic attacks and big life changes happening around here, I can't really be surprised that my blood pressure is high. Still, better to monitor it and get ahead of it than not. They also want me to change back to a birth control shot because it doesn't have estrogen in it and with my age, they don't want to risk the higher chances of blood clots that can come with added estrogen.

Let's see...what's happening other than that?  On Saturday, we moved the boys into Michigan State for their first year of college. I managed to hold it together and not cry, but my mom heart is struggling. I keep wanting to message them to make sure that they're okay, but so far I've resisted. They know how to reach me if they need me. I figure I'll make it maybe to the end of the week, but I'll limit myself to asking them how their first weeks went.

As for me, there's been a pick up in my editing business which is exciting. I'm hoping to continue to see that forward momentum. If I can bring in $600 a month from that, I can stop worrying about having to work outside of the house. Fingers crossed! Very soon I'm going to try to see about getting to the pool. I've been waiting for school to start there so that they can hopefully get themselves sorted into a regular schedule before I jump in. I'm nervous about that too (hello, blood pressure!) but hopefully it's something that I can do. I really think that it will help with my knee joint problems. I just have to find the ...what's the word...strength to pull myself up and out of the house to do it. That's going to be the hard part...well that and not letting nerves get in the way once I'm there.

Fingers crossed, lots of deep breathes, and here we go?


Thursday, August 15, 2019

Am I going crazy?

No cute graphic. Just me. Raw. Crying. Wondering if I'm losing my mind.

Last night, I sent a message to "the man" after I saw a picture that he'd posted on Instagram. His response was, "huh?" and then nothing because he'd fallen asleep. This morning I asked him why he'd deleted the picture and he told me that there had never been a picture. Except I saw it. I swear I saw it. I can describe it. He was in bed, shirtless, with his glasses on. He was holding the book that he was reading, but it was closed and you could read the cover. It was similar to the one that's still on his Instagram from the night before. He swears there was never a picture.

So, that means one of two things...either I completely hallucinated it or he's fucking with me to make me feel as if I'm going crazy. I can't imagine a single reason that he would do the second thing. We were just together last week and we're good, we're solid. Which means...it really never existed. He thinks I'm overthinking the entire thing and that it was just a blip. Who the hell blips like that? Only crazy people.

Yesterday was a normal day. I worked in the morning and then cleaned some stuff out of the car. I went and picked up all 3 boys and we went to Kalamazoo. We dropped off Roger's sax for repairs, stopped by the comic shop so I could get a friend's latest issue, dropped Roger off at his lesson and then the other two and I went and had pie. After, we got gas, picked up Roger, and drove back, stopping to do a couple of errands. It was decided that everyone would go swimming at Roger's girlfriend's parents house so I left the younger two to get ready and Ben and I drove to my place so I could get my swimsuit. While here, I grabbed the mail which included stupid shit from DHS requiring me to jump through more hoops. I tried not to think about it much, but not knowing if you're going to be able to eat next week weighs on you.

We went, we swam, we had pizza, and I drove Ben back to his dad's because the other two were going to hang out longer. I used the bathroom there, changed clothes, and headed home. That's when everything went...weird...

I remember thinking about the DHS notice and thinking that I'd probably have to get some sort of job outside of the house and that's all I remember...at least for a while...at some point, I "came to" and felt completely disoriented. I kept thinking it feels like I'm driving back to Hastings instead of to my house. I couldn't tell you where I was and it freaked me out. It was before I got to Woodland. I know that because I kind of remember going through Woodland and stopping at the stop sign at the bottom of the road there. I remember rolling up the passenger side window and thinking that I have to focus, I have to focus...

I don't remember the rest of the drive. I remember pulling up to my driveway and counting the number of cars that were next door...7...and then pulling into the driveway.  I remember looking at my phone, which has become habit, and seeing that he'd posted a picture and looking at it and then sending him the message. It's all kind of fuzzy...I came in the house and sat down on the couch. I remember changing from my jeans to my leggings without standing up from the couch. I watched Big Brother from the dvr but I don't really remember much about it. Then, I went to sleep...

I'm scared. I have to work 20 hours a week/$600 a month to retain any kind of food stamps but just thinking about it sends me into a panic. I could get some sort of doctor's note, but I don't know that they'd write me one and I don't want to sound crazy. I don't want to be crazy. I'm completely not functional ever since he told me that there never was a second photo. I've tried to work but I can't stop thinking about it, I can't stop freaking out. I just want to curl up, hide, disappear, something. I don't know. I just know that I'm scared...what if I'm going crazy?


Sunday, July 21, 2019

I Need a Plan

If you've been here a while, you know I've been struggling for the past couple of months. My best friend broke my heart and unfortunately, his way of dealing with it is by not dealing with it. The man loves his avoidance and in the past, I've given in and let him off the hook when he's hurt me. I can't do that this time. I've come to respect myself too much, even if it's been two months and I'm still crying.

But, that's not what this post is really about. This post is about me. It's about the me that is struggling and the me that I want to be. It's about the me who has spent just over 24 hours in a hotel and gave herself permission to not do jack. Yep, that's right. for the past 24 hours, I haven't done a single productive thing and if I'm honest, it feels pretty wonderful.

Forever, or so it seems, I've felt guilty if I allowed myself downtime or time just for me. I only watch movies/tv with my kids or if I'm sick. Well, let me rephrase that. I only only watch them in those ways. Usually I'm doing something else at the same time. If I'm allowing myself to play a game, I'm also working through something in my head or making notes on something else I need to do.

For whatever reason, yesterday something clicked and I said, "You know what? You don't have to work. You were sent to this hotel to get away from the heat that was making you sick and yes, to do some writing, but how good will your writing be if you're completely burned out?" So, I've binged watched the latest series of Queer Eye, I've taken a nap, I've spent some much needed online time with "the man".  I've gone swimming...and that last one is kind of important.

I'm not one who has ever loved my body. In other posts, I've probably mentioned how I don't feel pretty or sexy. I feel fat and frumpy and pretty yuck. I need to lose about 100 pounds before I can have breast reduction surgery but it's really hard to lose weight when all of your major appliances have failed and you're struggling with depression. It's tough to cook/eat healthy and dragging yourself out of the house when the heat is a perfect excuse is hard.

Today though, I told myself to stop making excuses and to take advantage of the fact that there's a pool literally across the hallway from my room. I knew there weren't any kids in it because I would have heard them if there were. So, I got on my swimsuit, grabbed my towel and snuck over. Then, I spent 30 minutes or so doing slow laps. I don't do fast laps these days and since I fell getting into the pool (wet hand + damp hand rail + weak knee = oops!) I was trying not to push too hard. At the end of those 30 minutes, I'd done a lot of thinking and my arms were tired, but that good tired. The tired that I used to love when I swam regularly.

What did I decide? Well....a few things....

1. I need to get the house in order. I know that when I walk back into it, the depression is lurking there waiting for me as well as every thought of being a failure. Somehow, I have to push past that to start making changes. It seems minor, but I'm going to try to spend one hour each day working on the house...15 minutes in the living room and 45 minutes (broken into 15 minute chunks) in a different room each week.  I'll also take advantage of when/if the boys come over to get some of the bigger tasks taken care of.

2. I need to get me in order. I love the pool. I love swimming. It's an exercise that my doctor actually recommended. I'm not quite sure how to make this one happen, but I need to try. The community center in Hastings has a pool and I believe that they have open swim times and possibly even lap times. I've not looked into it because of my own self-consciousness...what will people think about this big, fat person in a pool? What if my slow laps hold up other people? Well, what if I never try and end up not able to get up off my couch? Priorities, right?

Anyway, I know they have a pool but there will be challenges. First, it's 30 minutes away (like near everything else) and I'd have to get some sort of membership and those aren't cheap. I don't know quite how I'll make it happen, but I'd really like to.

3. I need to get my business in order. I love what I do and I'm good at it. Somehow I have to get my name in front of people. I was thinking of running an introductory price special with a discounted price for new clients as well as those who recommend them. I'd also like to have business cards made up. I'm supposed to be going to a big comic convention in October and I think it might help to have a double sided card made up...one side having Geek-o-Rama on it and the other side having my editing/proofreading on it.

4. I need to get my finances in order.  They're not really out of order in the way that I have no idea what they are. I totally know what they are. They're non-existent. I need to start bringing money in so I can afford to do things like go to the pool, to pay off the fridge, to buy a new stove and microwave...and a thousand other things like paint for the living room. Life costs money and I don't have money. For the first time since my last failed attempt at getting a job, I'm considering applying for a job at the "local" gas station once the boys are safely installed at college. It scares me spitless, but I have to do something.

I publicly stated a goal of $600 a month in income this past week and I believe I can do it. I just don't know how fast I can do it.

The other option is believing all those people who keep telling me that it's okay to ask for help and set up some sort of funding type thing to help me get back into a position where I'm on safer ground and can take on more myself.  Honestly though, I have a really tough time believing that people would put in towards it. I remember how hard it was to get people to pledge when we had a gofundme to help send my youngest on a science research trip...and we had reward tiers. I have a KoFi set up now and in all the time that I've had it, only 2 people have used it.

I honestly believe that people don't understand what it's like to have a mental health issue that does its damndest every day to try to keep you from living. They see me...have heard me talk about the struggles of being poor ...and they're just plain tired of it and believe I should have sorted all of this out by now. I admit that I could be wrong and nobody thinks that at all, but it is what I think.

5. I need to get the people in my life in order.  That sounds harsh, but if being mostly away from social media for a couple of days has taught me anything, it's that it stresses me out far more than I had realized. I was on for 5 minutes earlier, just scrolling, and could feel the tension climbing back into my neck and shoulders. This means that I need to start culling people from my list. There are those there who give absolutely nothing of value to my life, but that stress me out whenever I read their posts. They need to go. It's not personal...no wait, it is personal. It's personal to my health and well-being and that's really what I need to be focused on. Quality over quantity and all that.

So...those are my swimming thoughts...Now I have to figure out how to make all of that happen. One step at a time.





Update: A membership to the community center to use just the pool is $20/mo or $200/year.

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Depression is Sneaky

It's been a month since I wrote here and I suppose that's a good thing and a bad thing. After Laura's funeral, I was thrown for a while but then life caught up with me and I had to just keep going. My youngest had final high school concerts and then honors night and then graduation. I kept waiting for the tears to come but instead, I felt almost numb. Please don't misunderstand. I am insanely proud of him and I know he's going to great things, but I'm finding it hard to feel those emotions right now.

I don't think I realized just how down I'd gotten until today. All of the usual signs were there, but because the depression wasn't this intense feeling, I hadn't recognized them. I'm guessing I can thank my medication for that which is good...I mean, it means it's doing something, right?

June seems to be kicking my ass though. Instead of the excitement over the kid graduating and life changes, I feel stuck. I feel trapped in a never ending loop of what ifs. What if my food stamps get cut back again and I can't afford to eat? What if I never finish this book? What if I do and Nick hates it? What if I can't ever get it together enough to get this house clean? What if no more jobs come in and I can't afford to do anything? What if...What if....What if...

Depression sucks, y'all. I know that I'm a super intelligent person and yet I feel stupid. I feel like a failure, like someone who will never, ever succeed at anything in life. I know that I have a lot of setbacks now, but when I'm depressed, those don't feel like setbacks, they feel like huge walls or quicksand, things that I can't get past.

Right now, I'm part of an incredibly great Kickstarter and I so badly want to have the excitement and the enthusiasm for this project so that I can help encourage people to help us fund it. Instead, I find myself not wanting to even be online because online means people and people means pretending I'm not stuck in the bottom of a well. They say fake it til ya make it, but depression is exhausting on its own and faking enthusiasm and happiness just makes it all the more tiring.

I don't know, y'all. I don't want to be like this. Who would? I want to enjoy writing, enjoy storytelling, enjoy my bullet journal again. I want to tell the world how amazing Awakenings Act 3 is without feeling like crying. Because it truly is an amazing project. Nick is an incredible storyteller and Veronica is an amazing artist. Their work deserves to be seen. I don't want to sleep 12 hours a day. I don't want to be this person right now and just typing this paragraph has made me want to go back to sleep. I hate that.

For now though, this is where I'm at...and I'm glad some of you read because feeling totally alone would just make it worse.


Monday, May 13, 2019

On Death and Dying

On Death and Dying
Image from: http://wisdomquotes.com/
I would love to say that this past week outshone the week before that what with cars breaking down and black licorice taffy, but sadly, that isn't the case. The reality is that it's been such a rollercoaster that a part of me is screaming, "Please just let me off. I can't do this anymore."

I don't tell you that to scare you, but to be real with myself and with anyone who reads this. It's been a really rough week...and as the mechanic told me last Monday, "But, honey, it's only Monday."

Let's backtrack just a little bit. I want to tell you about my friend, Laura. Just over a week ago, I got a call from one of the few people on this planet that I trust with my everything. It sounds a bit odd to say that since before this call, I hadn't heard his voice in probably five years, but it's true. Anyway, it wasn't a happy call...he called to tell me that Laura had died. In that moment, I think I went numb and into some sort of denial. It wasn't possible. She was 53. She was this amazing, incredible woman who was loved by so many. Writing this now, almost two weeks later, the tears are finally there and I can't stop them.

Going to her funeral was only reliant on one thing..if the friend mentioned above would let me stay at his place. Once that was set, I move heaven and earth to get there. Of course, my car broke down on the way and there was a bit of drama trying to get it fixed/get a rental car, but I got there. The funeral, as far as funerals go, was lovely. The room was packed and I couldn't help but look around and wonder if anyone would come to mine if I died. Compared to this woman, I've done nothing with my life. What would they have to talk about in my death?

I came back home just two days ...not even two days really...after getting there. I left with mixed feelings: sadness over Laura, fear that it'd be another six years until I was back "home" again, a desire to prove myself to the world, and a need to see my children. Since then, I've pushed and pushed trying to be even a quarter of the woman she was. I've taken the youngest to rehearsal, attended his senior breakfast, took both boys for one last immunization, had lunch with an author friend who amazes me constantly with his skills and talents, worked on projects for clients...do you all see where this is heading?

At no point have I taken a moment to mourn or grieve or even breathe. Tonight though, I can't stop the tears. I can't stop the sobs that wrack my body. It's good that I'm alone because if I were with someone else, I'd try hard to be strong for them. I'd shove it all down. I wouldn't be able to say what I'm about to put here...

I feel guilty for being alive. The world needs Lauras. They need those amazing hearts matched with strength and determination. The outpouring of love and the number of people in that room showed that. I live in fear that when I die I will die forgotten. There will be nobody to even put together a funeral, let alone people who will travel from all over to share their stories of me or to help comfort those who grieve.

I want this post to have a happy ending. After all, that's what I do, right? I write these posts about my struggles but I always end them with some little ray of hope, some thought that keeps me going. Tonight, I don't have one of those. All I can think is...why me? Why am I still here but she isn't? The world needs Lauras.


Friday, May 3, 2019

Life is Fragile and Absurd

Life is Fragile and Absurd
As usual, I've been meaning to write this post for a week, but things kept happening and I kept trying to process them but none of it ever made it here. This post is one big wrap up, I think, but we'll see where it goes.

Let's start with last week...

On Wednesday, I did the usual thing of taking the kid 90 minutes to his lesson and then jazz orchestra rehearsal. On the drive there, we didn't notice anything out of the ordinary, but on the way back was a different story. The car was vibrating loudly from the back and of course, not being mechanics, we had no idea why, but we agreed it was probably bad. Once I dropped Roger off, it started making a series of new sounds so I decided to take it to our "shady" mechanic the next morning. Thursday dawned bright and early and I headed in once I realized that the power was now out at the house for an undetermined amount of time. Except, I didn't get very far. Three miles from home, the car jerked and started making a very loud ka-thump ka-thump noise. I figured this was probably bad so I pulled over. I got out, saw that I still had four tires and all and got back in the car. I started it again and pulled away going maybe ten miles an hour...the ka-thump was so loud that I didn't go even a block before I pulled right back over. A friend called the shop where the owner said he hadn't had a mechanic since January. January?!? What?!? After a small meltdown, we agreed that I should have the car towed to the town I had to go to for Jazz Fest. Did I mention that it was day 1 of Jazz Fest and my youngest would be performing with 2 of his bands for the last time that day? Yeah... Anyway, we managed to find a shop who said they'd look at it, I got to ride in a super high tow truck for 20 miles, got the car dropped off and headed down to Jazz Fest. Did I mention that the shop was now going to "try to get an estimate done" that day. Oy! On the way down to the venue, I stopped at the General Store, thinking they sell General Store type items. Nope. Wrong. They sell...fru fru crafty stuff. Not cell phone chargers which I now knew I was going to need. Scratch that. They did try to sell me a car charger. I'm sure you can imagine my expression at this offer. No car, folks. They did offer me a taffy from their bowl on the counter and after getting to the venue, I eagerly unwrapped it. After all, something good had to happen, right? Wrong. I bit down...into black licorice flavored taffy! Then I tried to wash away the flavor with strawberry lemonade! Ugh! Yep. No winning there. Fast forward to the end of the day and I get word that my car did make it to get an estimate, but wouldn't be done before noon the next day. No worries, I could book a hotel room, right? Nope. Wrong. There are only two hotels and both were booked. My choices? Sleep on a bench in the park or call the ex-husband to see if I could sleep in my oldest kid's room since he was away to school. After much dramatic sighing (by him), he agreed and I spent the evening hanging out with my youngest.

The rest of the weekend wasn't too bad. I got my car back, got to listen to some great jazz, took some pictures of the youngest and his beautiful girlfriend before prom, and then spent Sunday recovering. There was drama, but other than one small breakdown, I weathered it. I'm kind of proud of myself for that.

This week hasn't been too terrible. I've managed to complete one major project and get a lot crossed off on my to do list. My youngest is off in Anaheim at the national competition for Business Professionals of America and I got to pick my oldest up from school yesterday and I'm spending some time hanging out with him. I miss the time I used to have with my boys, but I'm proud of the young men that they've become.

There was one real tragedy from this week though and it's one that I'm still trying to process. On Tuesday, one of my closest friends asked me if I had time for a call. I don't remember the last time we actually spoke on the phone because he's in Canada so it's an expensive call and our schedules don't often match up. I said absolutely because I miss him tons. Unfortunately, it wasn't a happy call. He called to tell me that a mutual friend had died. Part of me is still in shock. Like he said, she was our age and had been taking care of her health. It's terrifying.

So, it's been very much a mixed week and a near constant roller coaster of emotions. I'm a bit tired, but I'm pushing through. I'll be doing a whirlwind trip to Canada to attend her funeral...god, I don't know if there are enough Kleenex on the planet right now...and then back home to try to survive the last few weeks of my youngest's high school career. Final band concert, senior breakfast, awards night, commencement and then his open house. I'm not ready. I'm not even going to pretend that I am.

But, like always, I will keep trying to push forward the best ways that I know how....

And also, as always, take care of yourselves and each other. There is no greater gift on this planet than love.


Monday, April 22, 2019

#MeToo

#MeToo
For a couple of weeks now, I've been feeling called to write this post, but I kept putting it off because I was afraid. I was afraid not only what people would think, but also of what it may do to my own mental health. After a week away and time spent with "the man", I had a bit of a revelation as I was driving home...one that had me in tears, but tears that were washing away the last ugly remains of a terrible thing. Tears that left me thankful for the man I have in my life now who helps give me the strength to be brave and to be bold, to tell my story, to stop hiding, and to show the world my amazing. What's to come is my story...and it isn't fun and it isn't pretty and if things like physical abuse and rape are going to harm you, please stop reading. Please put your own health first. What's next is raw, but it's me...

I don't think that I've ever really talked about this. I'm 99% sure that I've never written about this. Up until this point, I couldn't handle the reliving of what happened to me, but the time has come and I'm thankful for those who have helped in my healing. Please forgive me if this is a rough start because how do you tell the world that you were raped and it left you damaged for years? I guess just like that.

I was raped and this is my story.

About three months before my 30th birthday, my marriage was officially over. I have given ten years to it and lost myself in the process. In the year or so before it happened, I had discovered internet radio and became a dj and even a station manager. I loved it. I felt as if I'd found a community where nobody knew and I could just be fun and happy, even if it was pretend a lot of the time. Not long after my divorce, I met a man named Larry through internet radio. Yes, that's his real name. There is no one innocent here to protect.

We became close and through him, I started dj'ing at a BDSM radio station. It was tied to a popular club and the people all seemed really great. Like I said before, I'd lost myself in my marriage and during this time, I was lost and when Larry showed an interest in becoming a dom to me (if you need more information about BDSM, please don't hesitate to ask/educate yourself), it sounded perfect. He could help guide me as I made my way through a very confusing time of my life. He was willing to help me make decisions, no matter how big or how small. People seemed to like him and after months of talking to him, I felt safe and like he was someone I could trust.

After a lot of talking, we decided that I would fly to where he was and spend my 30th birthday with him. For some reason, I always knew 30 would be a tough age to turn and with what felt like my failure lying all around me, I was thrilled to be spending that weekend with someone who could distract me and that I could have some fun with.

When all flights out of Chicago got cancelled due to a tornado, I should have taken it as a sign and gone home. I didn't though because he kept encouraging me not to give up and that if I ended up at another airport, he would come and get me. So, I hung in there and ended up landing at another much larger airport and sure enough, he was right there to greet me. By the time we got back to his place, I was ready to fall asleep, but he had other ideas. He wanted to give me birthday spankings. The idea amused me and I was curious about the physical side of BDSM, so I went along with it. Except, he didn't spank me. He took a wooden paddle to my bare ass and hit me hard with it 32 times. Then, 10 more because I'd corrected him on my age.

Then, he proceeded to turn me facing the wall and started touching me. I was okay with this at first. After all, I had known we would probably have sex if I went there. Except, he wasn't touching me to turn me on. He was touching me to turn himself on. Then, with no warning, he anally raped me. I'm not going to go into the details. We all know what anal sex is and we all know what rape is. Combine the two and that's what I experienced. Then, he pulled me close, told me how much he cared about me and went to sleep.

I laid there until exhaustion took over. The next morning, I was confused. He was acting as if nothing bad had happened. I knew I hadn't imagined it. I had been to the bathroom to see the black and blue welts covering my backside and to clean up the blood that would happen every time I went to the bathroom for the next week. Emotionally though, I was lost. Was this normal? Was this how these type of relationships were? He did everything he could to reassure me that nothing bad had happened.

That night, I went into the bedroom first and was reading on the bed wearing my pajamas. He came in and removed them from me, reminding me that he had told me that his rule was no clothing in bed, none at all. He then proceeded to hit me with the paddle again, right where he had the night before. This time though, when he forced me down onto my stomach, I went non-responsive. I completely disassociated from what was happening. I was in the air looking down as this man did what he wanted to my body. When he didn't get the reaction he wanted from me, he pushed me over to the side of the bed, turned away from me and went to sleep. The next morning I actually apologized.

I would love to say that I never saw him again, but it would be a lie. I flew out there again the following month. This time, he not only raped me again, but also starved me the entire weekend. I didn't go back again. Not long after that, I was approached by the manager of the radio station to ask if he'd ever mistreated me because others were coming forward and accusing him of rape, of keeping them hostage until he was done with them, and other things. One girl, he would wait until she took medication that put her to sleep and then rape her while she was out of it. No charges were ever pressed against him by any of us.

Why? I don't know. For me, it took me a long time to come to terms with what he had done to me, how he'd used me, taken advantage of me, and then took away the one thing that I had felt I had control over in my life. For the others? Perhaps there was a fear of having to tell officials about the lifestyle and the belief that they wouldn't be believed.

I don't think I've spoken to this man in about 11 years. Not long after the second event, he got married to one of the women that he'd been screwing around with. From everything I saw posted, she enjoyed being treated how he had treated others. As for me, I had friends who flat out forbid me from having contact with this man. It's taken me twelve years, but that's my story. Writing it all out has left me feeling sick, but I know that this is the final step in closing that door forever.

It's taken me a very long time to feel as if I could freely trust anyone with my body again, but I've found that. I have been blessed to have found partners who have treated me with the love and respect that I deserve. I now have an incredible man who without knowing has helped heal some of the worst of it and has helped me to be braver and bolder than I thought I'd ever be able to be again.

I know there are people that mock the #MeToo movement and who have said some horrible things about the women who have spoken up. That hurts me because I'm one of those women, especially once I post this. Remember...all of us deserve love. All of us deserve respect. We may not always agree, but we're all human and deserve to be treated with decency. Treat each other with kindness and compassion. The stories are real. The people are real and sometimes the names have been changed to protect the innocent. Not this time, but sometimes.



Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Little Victories = Big Anxiety

Little Victories = Big Anxiety
They say that the smallest victories can lead to the biggest results or that success is just a series of small victories. That maybe true, but for me, right now, my series of small successes/victories has led to some seriously high anxiety. 

Let me tell you about my week...

On March 28th, I signed my first ever comic contract. It was for a book that I've already done two issues on, but to be asked to sign a contract to make it official an all of that felt like a really big deal and it made me feel good that the creator really appreciates the work that I do for him.

On April 2nd, I spent all day, literally, creating a resume and cover letter and then sending them off for a job that could be a good thing for me. I haven't had a job outside of the house in twenty years and my hands were shaking as I sent the email. The idea of working outside of the house is scary for me. The outside world can be scary for me, but I did it anyway. I pushed past the anxiety at least to a point where I could send it.

Today, I went to the dentist and made it through an appointment without being given nitrous. Again, to most people, not a huge deal, but I get horrible anxiety for a lot of medical things. At my surgery consult last month, I actually caught myself disassociating while he was speaking to me. Today, I got through the appointment. I was lightheaded when I sat up from the anxiety, but I got through it.

Last week, I came up with this idea for an anthology and people really seemed to like it, including someone who is so good at putting together anthologies and who is a talented creative in his own right. Honestly, I was in shock. I guess I don't put a lot of value on my "silly ideas".  I'm slowly getting better at finding the value in what I do as a proofreader and even as a writer, but I still very much question a lot of me. Anyway, I approached this person about partnering with me on the project and to my surprise (and insane level of excitement), he was willing and seemed eager. Fast forward to today when I signed a contract with him to go ahead and start planning the project. That's when reality slapped me hard in the face. I can't finance a project like this. Heck, I'm currently living without a stove/oven in my house because I can't afford to replace them. We won't talk about how I have no hot water because I haven't been able to dig out of the chaos my mental state has left me in.

Anyway, I had to be up front with him about that. I mean, partnerships are built on honest communication, right? I had to have faith that it would be okay...and it is, really. I have to keep telling myself that over and over again. It's okay. It will get made. So it has to be put off for an indefinite amount of time because he's awesome and amazing and has two years worth of launches to get through, but he will come back to you. He won't forget about this project or you. Just because something is a huge step for you doesn't mean that it is to everyone.

It's not his fault. He's being real with me. He doesn't pull punches and that's not always easy for me, but he's not being mean or hurtful. It just is what it is. It's tough though.

All of this has left me wound tighter than....umm...something creative that gets wound up...It's hard not to take that leftover anxious energy and spiral down into some deep, dark place. Like I can hear that voice in my head telling me that because I'm such a fuck up, I don't have any money and I'm going to be stuck in this place forever...this place where I can't get a foothold to get out, where I'm going to die without anyone knowing who I am, where I will forever be this worthless thing that ruins lives and who never should have been born.  This place that says all of my victories of the past week mean nothing.

I referred to it earlier as the voices of family past and that's what it is. It's my mother's voice. It's the neglect of my father. It's the voice of the man who raped me. It's the voice of every single person who has ever abused or neglected me. Sometimes small victories lead to big anxiety and that's where I am tonight. It's nobody's fault and I have one of the best cheerleaders on the planet telling me that he's proud of me and he just wants me to be proud of me too. I've made big steps for me and it doesn't matter if those were easy steps for anyone else, they're big for me. I really have gotten lucky and have some great people who support me, who don't berate me when I'm feeling like this, but remind me that they think I'm awesome and capable of awesome things.

So...before I leave you all tonight, I want to update a section that I put on this blog a month or so ago...







Current Weight: 306 (-7.5)
Goal Weight: A lot less ...like 150 pounds less.
Days in a row taking meds: 34

Monday, March 18, 2019

Feelin' Good



So, it's been a few weeks and I wanted to make sure that I stopped in and let you guys know how it was all going. It's had its ups and downs that's for sure. I just have to stop singing and dancing to this song so I can actually type it all out.  I love this song so much. The video is a bit weird though, don't you think?

Okay, it's done. Right. So the past few weeks...Well, last post I told you that I had decided to start back on my anti-depressant and that I was a bit nervous because I tend to forget if it's doing me any good once I'm on it for a bit. That's part of the reason that I want to write about it. I want to have a record that I can look back on.

I decided to start with a half dose because the last time I took a full dose (I was on the max allowed dosage) it made me feel loopy. I spent an hour one evening cutting all of my pills in half and rebottling them. That night, I took my first dose. The next day I was headachey and nauseous all day long. It was not fun, but I took another dose the following night because I figured maybe I just had to adjust to it. The following day was a Thursday. I know this because my youngest had a jazz performance at a club. I had the same headache but the queasiness was more on and off, but man, when it was on, I wanted to throw up. Ugh. That night, I didn't take any. The thought of swallowing anything was too much.

Friday I still felt crummy, but better. I decided that I'd try an every other day regimen for a while. Saturday I woke up and felt great. Go figure. So, I took another dose that night. No reason to put it off if I'm feeling okay with it. Sunday I woke up and started the first real period that I've had in over three years. Now I'm wonder if the medicine combined with hormonal crap and just made me feel dreadful. No real way to know, but I've not had that god awful reaction since.

So, since I started, I only missed that one dose and that was on purpose. I'm really starting to notice a change. I've had my down days and I've had some serious stressors, but so far I've been handling them. The past couple of days I've found myself smiling, singing, and god help the poor cats who can see me...dancing. I feel lighter. I feel more like things are going to be okay, and that they're possible.

I had about 4 nights of total insomnia, but I think that I'm slowly moving past that which is good. The past two days I haven't slept until noon or later which is a relief. Regulating sleep is a top priority because my afternoons are too busy to lose my mornings.

In a bit of other news, I'm thrilled to say that #Fridgepocalypse is over now. Our brand new refrigerator was delivered this afternoon. If you don't know what that hashtag means, I'll just say that this is our second fridge purchase in just over a month. I'm going to have to put myself out there more as a proofreader/editor to make the money back as quickly as I can but I don't believe that it's impossible. I just have to get the right eyes on what it is that I do.

As for weight, I don't really have an update there. I don't have a way to weigh myself at home and I haven't figured out a solution for that yet. I don't really want to drive 20 minutes to the doctor's office every couple of weeks, even though I'm pretty sure they'd let me stop in and use the scales. I will say that I think that my pants feel a bit looser, but it's hard for me to tell if that's just wishful thinking or reality. I promise I'll keep updating that bit as often as I can though. I need to know too if the bits I'm trying are working. Only five more months until that appointment. Now that the new fridge is here though, I can get my water bottles filled and in there so that I have a ready supply of drinking water on hand which will be nice.






Current Weight: ???
Goal Weight: 150 lbs
Days in a Row Taking Meds: 18

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Ch..Ch...Ch...Changes

Ch..Ch...Ch...Changes
Another month has flown by and I can't even tell you where it went. February in Michigan has been brutal with things like polar vortexes, icemageddons, and then a bomb cyclone. There was a lot of drama involving me attempting to get a fridge back into my house and a lot of time just being mom.

Now here we are, the last day before the end of the month and life hasn't slowed down even slightly. As I'm writing this, I'm sitting at a jazz orchestra rehearsal. My youngest son has been a part of this audition only group for two years so for two years, I've lost about 8 hours each day getting him here and back...as well as the rehearsal time. He loves it and I love sitting in, even if it takes away from other things I could be...and maybe should be doing.

So, here we are and I'm trying to sort through the stuff in my head. Thank goodness I have all of you to talk to about things! It really does help me work through them.

Yesterday, I had a doctor's appointment. Nope, let's back up. On Monday, I took myself off to a hotel for an overnight stay. My water heater has decided it doesn't like hot water anymore and with the appointment coming up, I needed a night away and a long, hot shower. Best decision I've made in a while. Thank goodness for tiny tax returns which let me do that. I got to relax and rest up which I badly needed.

Then, yesterday, I went to see a plastic surgeon. If you know me, you know I have huge boobs. You'll also know that I'd rather not, but I'd never have plastic surgery for vanity's sake. They're causing me issues. My collar bone hurts a lot of the time. I never have straight shoulders. I'm always hunched over because of them. Boobs weigh a lot, guys. So, after my doctor asking me about it for over five years, I decided it was time. It took me almost 5 months to get this appointment.

The doctor was super nice, but basically laid it out that if I want to lose weight, I need to do it pre-surgery. If I do the surgery first and then lose the weight, the boobs will sag, and he doesn't think I'd be happy with them. The reality is that they beyond sag now and they're not close to symmetrical. Still, if I'm going to go through all of this, I do want to look down and be happy afterwards.

I left the appointment and sat in my car and cried. I wasn't hurt or upset by anything that he said. He couldn't have been nicer. He told me that if I wanted to go ahead now, he would do the full exam and proceed. He also suggested, that if I wanted, I could come back in six months and we could reevaluate everything. That would give me time to work on losing weight if that's what I wanted to do. If, at that point, I didn't feel I was where I wanted to be yet, we could put it off another three to six months.

I sat and cried because I'm so angry with myself that I've allowed everything to overwhelm me to the point where I've gotten to the weight I am. I'm frustrated because I've dug myself into this deep hole between my health, weight, and house. I'm overwhelmed. I look around and don't know quite how to dig myself out. On top of everything, DHS took my projected income form for this year (which they required me to predict and which I am nowhere near making at this point) and cut my food stamps down to less than $300 a month for three of us. Luckily, Ben is off at school and Roger is busy with school and work and music, so isn't at my house all of the time.

Still, I have no idea how to feed even just me in a super healthy way with that amount of money. I'm sure it's not impossible and I'll just have to be incredibly careful about what I do buy. I'll have to tightly meal plan and stick with it.

I want to do this. I know I can do this. I'm also completely overwhelmed. I don't really know where to start. No, that's not true either! I'm full of arguing with myself tonight. I guess here's the tiny baby plan as much as it is:

1. Start logging calories using My Fitness Pal. Not so much trying to keep within what it's saying but logging so I can see where the problems may be.
2. Take the last bit of my tax return and order some glass water bottles for the fridge. I may not have hot water, but I do have water and a filter for the kitchen tap. This will allow me to not have to buy water and save a bit of money there while at the same time having a healthy drink option in the house.
3. Start talking with my tiny Facebook weight loss group about things. Support is super important.
4. Continue taking my medication. Last night I started back on a half dose of my anti-depressant and a full dose of my blood pressure medication.

Hmm...I guess it really is a tiny baby plan. That's all I've got right now.  I have six months to see how far I can get. I'm stuck without much exercise right now because I can't safely get out of the house and walk, but maybe in another month or two I can add that in. I do have a Fitbit, even if the rubber band causes my skin to react. Perhaps for my birthday (in 6 months), I can ask for a leather band for it to help alleviate that problem. If I can make some changes around the house, maybe I can start walking from one side to the other...I figure it'll only take a few hundred trips to make a mile..heh...

For now though, it's one baby step at a time. If anyone knows of some low impact exercises I can do at home that don't require a lot of space, please let me know! I'm still getting over a sprained ankle and what I suspect is a pinched nerve in my elbow, but I'm willing to try new things.

Take care of all of you!





Current Weight: 313.5
Goal Weight: A lot less ...like 150 pounds less.
Days in a row taking meds: 1

Friday, January 25, 2019

Riding the Edge

Riding the Edge
Link to book below post.
It's been a while. I know. Maybe I'm writing just to myself. It's possible and that's okay. I'm here today because I need to be here. I need to lay everything out and maybe it will start coming together for me.

It's been about two weeks now since we dropped Ben off at school. I always knew that I'd be one of those moms who cried when she did that. I wasn't wrong. Walking away from him broke my heart. He was crying and trying to be so brave. We both knew it was the right decision, but in that moment, I think we both just wanted to go home. He has done really well though. I think the independence while knowing we're only a little ways away has been good for him.

Meanwhile, his brother is going through college auditions and about to turn 18 in just a couple of days. I'm struggling with that too. I so badly want for him to get into the school that he really wants. I want what I never had, a chance to follow his dreams.

Here at home things could be going better. The fridge broke last weekend and it's taken me a week to get it just about cleaned out. I have one more bag to go and it'll only be a small bag...like grocery bag size. The rest of the house is a total tip because I just can't seem to find the balance of home, work, kids, mental health, and everything else. I had a trip planned to a convention in March. I may have written about it. I was so proud to be granted a pro badge. Now, because of the fridge, I won't be going. The money for my plane ticket has to go to getting a fridge. I mean, we can't live on crackers and crunch n munch forever, right?

I keep trying to find the bright spots...like hey, now I really will be able to get a fresh start on food. Then, the voice pops into my head reminding me that my foodstamps were cut because of Ben working. For every positive voice, there are five negative ones drowning it out. Even my sense of humor that usually gets me through these spots is eerily quiet. Perhaps it's because I posted asking people to help and nobody answered. Meanwhile, the wife of one of my closest posted a $2000 fundraiser to get her dog's broken leg sorted and they've raised nearly $1500, I think. Look, I know I can live without a fridge and the pup's leg really needs to be cared for but it's the perfect thing for the negatives to latch onto. It's easy for them to say...hey look, you don't matter. Nobody wants to help you.

I look around and think how alone it makes me feel, that nobody will send me $5 but they'll send someone else art supplies so they can do a bullet journal. I don't know. I know I'm feeling sorry for myself and that it won't help anything, but I'm really struggling to shut it down. Do you know what's the worst part maybe? It's that voice...the one that sounds suspiciously like my mother...saying that I'm whining, that none of this matters, that my feelings don't matter, and that I'm being the weak, useless person that she always knew I was.

That's bullshit. It really is. I am stronger than she ever knew. I've gone through more than a lot and I've survived. I'm still surviving. Is it ideal? Hell no. It's pretty crappy actually, but I'm still here. So...here's the thing...I'm going to put this out there. I need to put it out somewhere...and here is as good as anywhere, perhaps better...because on some level, it's safe. Nobody will read this here.

I'm broke. Hell, I'm beyond broke. If it weren't for a good friend helping me out, I'd be sleeping on a park bench somewhere. The fridge broke and while it will get replaced, knowing that part of the hold up is the fact that my kitchen is beyond ugh is dragging me down. I can hear people saying, "Well why don't you just clean it up? Then you could have a new to you fridge and it'd be better." Except, it's ever quite that easy, is it? I've managed to slowly empty the fridge but every time I look at the dining alcove, I freeze. I can't seem to do a thing about it. Honestly, I could probably put a trash bag into the can (which is also busted, by the way), grab the snow shovel, and just shovel it all away...and weep with every scoop because all of that...it's like seeing a million failures right in front of my eyes. It's every negative screaming at me and it leaves me frozen. I had someone who was going to come help me, someone who tries very hard to understand, and doesn't judge me, but first it was car trouble, then weather...and so I'm on my own...and I'm afraid that my own just isn't good enough.

And only getting colder!
Then, there's the weather. Winter in Michigan can really suck but up until a week or so ago, it wasn't bad and I was really thankful for that. Why? The furnace decided to stop working. I can hear the voices again.. "Just call the landlord and get her to fix or replace it for you." Except...I can't. We all know that I can't. If I can't get strangers in to haul away a busted fridge and put a different one in because of the condition of things, there's no way that I can get someone who will report back to the landlord. To fix the furnace, the kitchen, living room, and laundry room have to be cleaned from top to bottom. It feels impossible...and we're about to go into a week of possibly record breaking cold. I have a small space heater and the oven running 24/7 when I'm home. Right now, it's 61 in here. I can live with that. This week? I don't know how cold it might get in here. I'll be having to go out quite a bit which is good and bad. Good because the car's heat works and I'll be going heated places. Bad because I'll have to turn everything off and the house temp drops fast. I've seen it drop 5-7 degrees in just a couple of hours.

I guess you can probably see where this is going right? I need money and I need it like yesterday. I don't have it because the reality is that with my mental health issues, I can't work outside of the house. I got a letter from DHS yesterday saying that I have to either start working 80 hours a month or volunteering 80 hours a month or taking some kind of classes. I do work. I proofread and edit books and stories for other people. I don't make $600/mo doing it though and that's how much I have to make to keep them off my back. I'm good at what I do and my clients are happy, but I don't have 20 comic clients putting out a book each month. Comics and books take time to create. As for my own books, I haven't received a single royalty payment in almost two years. I don't know if the books aren't selling at all or just not enough to bother sending me the change.

I've considered setting up a Patreon where for $5/mo, you could get early viewing on a story that will later go into an anthology. I'd do two different ones...one for children's stories and one for erotica. I have a Ko-Fi now. Actually, I've had it for months and months but not one single person has ever used it. I get it. People want to get something for their money, which is why I think maybe Patreon might be a better choice. I don't know that people would sign up there either though.

That wouldn't be enough, but it would be something. I talked to one of my clients today and he told me that he would have 5-10 books for me in 2019. At the rate he pays me, that's either not even one month or possibly 2.5 in an entire year. Clearly that won't work. I love his books and working with him and I'm not going to stop. I'm just saying that it isn't enough to get to where I need to be. I either need to be doing 4-6 books a month proofreading or some combination of things...proofreading novels, proofreading comics, Patreon, Ko-Fi...my own books starting to bring in some funds.

I do have a plan to take down my erotica stories that are also listed with the other ones in their series and then properly format the series and put those up on Amazon. There's no reason to have the individual smaller ones up by themselves. I'm planning on listing the series ones at 99c. They aren't long, more like a bedtime story but I hope worth the 99c. They won't make me millions but even $10/mo would help.

There is one other option and it's one that I'm going to have to do and hope that it goes well. I have the opportunity to apply for a ghostwriter's position. If I got it, I'd be writing mm romance/erotica of various types. It pays pretty well and with one thing would fix this problem. Here are the voices again, "If you knew it would solve this, why haven't you done it? Oh wait, because you're probably going to fail and then what?" Ugh. It's not just that. I could fail. I could fail and then still be screwed. Or, I could be decent at it, get hired, and then with my struggles to balance everything, it could end up being the only thing I do. 2019 was supposed to be the year of finally defeating the hoarding monster and setting myself up for success in 2020. Here we are, less than a month in, and that's already going out the window and I don't know what to do about it.

So, there you go...I'm riding the edge. I'm riding the edge of just wanting to give up and wanting to fight for what it is that I truly want. I'm riding the edge of do I fight for my dreams or do I continue to settle and make do with what I *have* to do.  I'm really tired of settling or making do with what I have. This isn't the life that I want for myself. I want to write and I want to be successful at it. I want to help other authors make their books be as good as they can be before they're sent out into the world. I love what I do and I want to keep doing it. I don't know how, but even if I do this ghostwriting thing...and I don't see how I can not do it...I need to keep finding me. I can't lose myself in the horror that is poverty.

I don't know if people will help me and support me. I don't know if they'll follow me on Patreon or donate to me on Ko-Fi. I don't know if they'll go and spend 99c on an erotica story. I don't know, if I get that far, if they'll back me on Kickstarter. I honestly don't know. I've been burned quite a bit by people who say they'll hire me and then don't or industry people who say they'll start sending business my way but then don't...or worse, keep it for themselves. I do know though that there are a lot of people out there and I don't need a million, or even a thousand. I need just enough to bring in maybe $1000/mo for now. Why $1000 and not $600? Because it's time to stop making just enough and time to start making enough that I can invest back in myself, in my home, and in my future.

$1000 = 34 comic book proofreadings
$1000 = 5 50k word book proofreadings
$1000 = 200 Patreon supporters
$1000 = 225,000 words proofread
$1000 = 334 cups of coffee purchased through Ko-Fi

That seems like an awful lot, doesn't it? It's not impossible though, especially if there was a small income from my writing coming in as well. I really, really, really want to get the erotica stuff already on Amazon updated. I desperately want to get Nevermore finished and sent off to Nick. I want to get my publishing house name chosen and Tales from the Toy Store written and published. I have dreams. I need to make them happen.

I hope that I have the support to make them happen. I hope that people will recommend me when they hear of someone looking. I hope that when editor/proofreader friends have overflow, they'll send
it to me. I hope that people will enjoy my writing and be willing to buy it. I have a lot of hope and at the end of the day, that's really darned important.

Today, though I feel as if I'm standing on a crumbling foundation, though it'd be so easy to just quit, I'm choosing hope and I hope (see what I did there?) that all of you will stick with me through this never ending journey of ups and downs. It's a rocky path, but it's a path. If by some small chance you want to buy a book or buy me a cup of coffee to help keep me going, I've added links above. If not, that's okay. I just hope that you got something out of me doing a total brain/emotion dump out here. I know this post was really for me, but I always hope that there's someone out there who reads it and says, "Hey, yeah, I get this and maybe for this minute, I, too, can choose hope."





The book in the image above was found via a random Google image search and something about it spoke to me. It appears to be out of print, but if you're interested in learning more about it, check out its Amazon page.

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