The hypocrisy and double standards of Bachelor Nation

I grew up watching The Bachelor, Bachelorette and the spin off shows, now Bachelor in Paradise. It’s one of the few reality shows I enjoy watching, besides Survivor, my all time favorite show. I love watching the love story unfold, the personalities coming together to compete for the heart of the man or woman lucky enough to be chosen to find their special person. A large part of my interest is that I like to read people. To read the emotions and feelings they’re projecting and picking my four favorites I believe will make it to the end and then to pick the one I think will ultimately win the heart of the contestant. Am I right? Did my analysis come true?

I’m usually very good at the ‘art of reading people.’ Seeing through their persona to who they really are inside. To be able to see through deception and lies and see the truths behind their eyes. I’m no mind reader, but I can read emotions. Some would call that empathic or an empath, if you believe in all that.  So anyway, I really enjoy watching the show and seeing if I’m right, if I made the right picks and if they get together in the end. Did they get their happily ever after?

The show has recently changed. Did they get new producers? It went from keeping it mostly classy to a lot of trashy with scripted ‘characters’ and producer picks to purposefully spin things up and create drama. The show was fine the way it was. I’m not liking this new direction. I’m not the only one to feel that way. Yes, I understand ratings, but it’s going over the top in spinning things up and it’s feeling more like a soap opera then a reality love story. A little drama can be fun. Better them than me, right? But having to purposefully create a villain with scripted drama in every show is really ruining the original intent of the show. Even the spin off show is different, where prior contestants get together and co-mingle, getting a chance to meet the other contestants to see if they might have a chance at finding love. Now, there are hook ups before they even get together and scripted drama once again, to sway the minds of people and add their own political agenda’s into the mix. Creating cue words to be spoken over and over by the various contestants and leaking into our society through all the fans glued to the show.

I also feel it’s creating dividing lines in our nation of viewers. These scripted dramas put out for all to see with political undertones and ideas that not all viewers are ready to deal with or want. It’s one thing to allow the characters to evolve with everyday life put out for all to see, but it’s a whole other feel with ‘forced narration’ when purposefully spun and set up to create these issues and situations for our nation to debate on social media. One thing I am seeing over and over is the double standards that are alive and well in our society. Bullying is real and still alive and kicking. I also see hypocrisy.

A person’s reputation can be made or broken on this show.  These are real people with real lives and I think sometimes the fans forget about this. The cattiness is real. The pain is real for those who’s reputations are put on the line due to backstabbing and manipulation, lies and ‘drama’. I lost respect for the show, the producers, and several of the cast members after watching this season’s Bachelor in Paradise. Like I said, a little drama is fun, but the downright vicious behavior of some of the leads are absolutely disgusting and disgraceful.

It’s no longer about finding love and relationships but about digging up the most dirt and smearing each other on national TV for all to see and a nation of fans to debate and be divided over. A perfect example is Blake. Blake was one of my favorites as a contestant on The Bachelorette. I rooted for him! He’s sweet and likable, different, but endearing. I know sudden fame can easily get to a persons head. Attention, after possibly lacking it in life, can really be uplifting and exciting and provide opportunities that would otherwise, have never happened. I feel this is what happened to Blake. He’s young, single, living the dream with multiple girls interested and vying for his attention.

Being a simple fan, I can only go off of the information provided, using my inner senses to create the story and understand the situation. He dated one of the ladies from the show. He also chatted with other ladies on social media, hooking up with each other at various get togethers, some producer created and others on his own, just like any of the other contestants.  It’s what they do. Living up their moments in the spotlight and getting together for the parties and obligations as they all do. The relationship with the girl I mentioned, didn’t work out. They parted as friends. Friends with occasional benefits. Again, he’s single, his choice. From what I understand, he had his eyes on one of the future contestants of the, then, upcoming Bachelor in Paradise season. Again, I’m reading that he’s not the only one to start chatting with future contestants to see if they might want to hook up on the show. The other girl he was chatting with, who I call C girl, was very interested in Blake. That seems quite clear to all. She apparently wanted a relationship with him and based on the information provided, he didn’t. He did seem very friendly and chatty with her, as is his right.

There was a get together at ‘stage coach’ where many of the contestants attended a country music festival.  His friend with benefits showed up and they took advantage of their time together. As consenting single adults. Both of their choices. But then C-girl wanted to get together with Blake and apparently he said no. Based on the text messages that came out later, C girl wanted a straight ‘hook up’ no strings attached as implied in the conversation revealed on social media. She said, simply sex. He said, ‘That’s what they all say.” She got an uber to his room after he declined. She chose to show up at his room and she chose to ‘coerce’ him into sex.  Yes, he too had that choice. They both were drinking and drinks lower their inhibitions and shit happens sometimes.  Shit definitely happened this time.  His only mistake, from how I see it, is in not being adement about his no. Let’s put the shoes on another’s feet and flip the situation around. Can you imagine the backlash a man would get if he weaseled his way into a girls room and turned her no into a yes for ‘just sex’? The backlash would be atrocious with many thinking he would be taking advantage of her. But this was a female, rather than a male. Woman’s rights and all….

Again, two single drunkenly consenting adults. It happens. He made a mistake and he told her so. It never should have happened, but it did.  A lot of us have been there. We move on. The issue is that C girl went on national TV and purposely created drama with outright lies and viciousness to smear this guys name. Rather than go on the show to find love and focus on herself, she wasted multiple days spreading rumor and lies, stiring up the drama and making Bachelor nation turn against this guy, ruining his reputation for all to see. Remember, these are real people, and fans can be crazy.  As Hannah B stated on the Bachelorette, a comment I agree with, (but not in reference to Blake), she should have simply, “Stayed in her lane!” Instead she drove all over someone else’s lane, creating drama and spite, ultimately making her look like a desperate drama queen who felt like a woman scorned because most likely, she lied again, when she said, “just sex!”

Knowing how women can be, Blake was very right when he said, “That’s what they all say.” Some women are conniving enough to push themselves into the bed in hopes of keeping a man who has no real interest. A lot of us have been there and can relate but to lie on national TV because her plans didn’t work out for her was wrong on so many levels, it left a bad taste in my mouth and a disdain for the producers who ‘set it up’ for her to smear his name and try and ruin his reputation. I personally, applaud him for releasing the text messages. What else is a man to do? We all know that if he simply denied the accusations, no one would have believed him. I know he didn’t want to smear her name but he really was left with little choice if he wanted to get the backlash off of him and his family. I don’t blame him. I would have done the same. This isn’t small town drama, this is big time.

So the divided nation is up in arms over him sleeping with two different girls two nights in a row.  Remember, one was a friend with benefits, knowing he’s free to do as he pleases as he’s still a single man. The other was told no yet showed up at his door in her drunken state in hopes of pushing him into more than he bargained for. And yet, his eyes were on another, in hopes of winning her heart on Bachelor in Paradise. Oh the webs we weave. I just don’t understand how it’s ok to flat our lie to both Blake and to the nation of viewers but it’s not ok to be a single adult, playing the field, openly, while looking for love. Don’t a lot of them hook up off the show? Pot, meet Kettle.

The saddest thing I think I saw during one of the episodes was C girl throwing herself on Cam, only to get a rose, using him and discarding him the moment another man walked down those stairs. Poor Cam. She should have focused on herself and finding love rather than wasting the first few days bashing Blake. All she was left with to chose from was a Cam, knowing she only wanted a rose when he really wanted so much more. Then she went on to say how excited she was to meet Mike and was chosen for that date, which made me cringe. Poor Mike. The moment Dean walked down those stairs, suddenly, she’s all Dean, goodbye Mike, as she tosses aside another man to get her way with someone else. Apparently, their still together if I read that spoiler right. Funny that it happened to be Christina’s ex, since after all, it was Christina who dated Blake and was friends with benefits. It seems to me she may simply like going after her competitions ex’s. She sure did stir the pot on The Bachelor when sharing the spot like with Hannah.

So now Bachelor nation is divided on Blake with hate still spewing out of the mouths of the fans and I’m just disgusted with the whole thing. Fans are angry he was ‘hooking up’ outside the show, again, something that happens with many of them, and yes, of course, mad about the two girls, two nights apart, a mistake he admitted so let him move on from that. And that leads me to Demi. I have a like/dislike view of Demi. There are moments she’s hilarious and fun to watch and other moments she’s the epitome of mean girls. I don’t like that side of her. Demi is bi. No big deal, her choice. She went on the show to find love like the rest of them, right? Apparently, not so right. She has a girlfriend back home while she ‘figures things out’ and all Bachelor Nation can see is, “Awe, she’s coming out on TV.” The political agenda is strong. I don’t care that she’s coming out on TV, good for her, not the problem. I have a problem with the producers knowing she has a lady back home and allowing her on the show anyway, something that’s not suppose to be allowed, and yet the exception is made to drive home a political point, highly scripted and forced rather than allowing love to just happen.  And yet, no one is seeing a double standard here in regards to the girlfriend back home?

Let’s pretend for a moment that we don’t know who were talking about. Girl meets guy, they are super into each other. She spends a week putting all her eggs into one basket, totally digging the guy and giving him hope. He digs her back. After feelings have been developed, she suddenly confesses to having a ‘boyfriend’ back home that she’s still ‘trying to sort out.’ Bachelor nation would be going wild with the hate about now.

Switch it up. Guy meets girl. He spends all his time with this girl who really digs him. They are invested. He then tells her he has to be honest, that there’s a girl back home he’s been seeing and he’s not sure where his heart is….  Again, Bachelor nation would be up in arms, defending this girl and bashing this guy for even going on the show to begin with. You don’t go on the show to figure out if the person back home is right for you or not. You go there to find love with the contestants on the show!  But no, double standards and all that. Just because it’s a girl she has back home, somehow makes this right? To reiterate, I’m not bashing her for being bi. I’m not bashing her for wanting an open with relationship with multiple people.  If they are consenting, it’s their business, not mine. I have a problem with her going on to begin with. For not being straight up to begin with. For the producers creating a political show, purposely staging the drama to further their views, changing the original intent of the show and breaking their own rules to do so. Anyone else would have been outed. But because of the LGBTQ movement and producers wanting the show to go in a more liberal direction rather than letting it happen on it’s own, they allowed the rules to be broken and this double standard to exist. That’s my issue.

Didn’t Demi out a contestant on the Bachelorette recently for having a girl back home? Pot, meet kettle. Didn’t she vigorously ridicule Blake for having sex with more than one woman in a weekend even though he was open and single? Even more vulgar and classless was the comment she made on social media to another contestant who called out the hypocrisy. She involved his wife. We don’t go there. If you have a problem with someone’s free speech and viewpoint, it’s crossing the line to then viciously comment about the person’s family. I completely lost respect for her at this point. I might enjoy her funny banter with Jordan, but I can no longer look at her as a future lead to the show. She might want to work on that anger issue.

And talk about mean girls, another episode that seriously disgusted me was the airing of ‘mean girls’ when Blake injured his foot. To watch three grown ass adults completely ridicule this man and be ‘happy’ he got hurt, is just so wrong on so many levels. How is this cool? How is ok to see someone really hurting and to laugh and think it’s the funniest thing? I guess empathy is being lost in our new generation. I thought bullying was something we’re trying to speak out about and stop.  But no, due to catty women and notorious gossiping and lies, it somehow makes it right to kick a man when he’s down. Yes, let’s applaud that. Let’s glorify it and make it cool again. SMH. And Tayshia, I really liked you. I did. You lost my respect when you joined ‘mean girls’ for that catty bashing fest. I thought you were better than that. I guess I was wrong.

The point of the show is meeting people and finding love. To watch people’s love stories unfold and relationships form. The direction has changed and it’s more about catty drama and scripted set ups that leave a bad taste in my mouth. Seems the producers rather make people look bad, highlight bad behavior, and push the drama when these really are, real lives and reputations at stake. I know these people chose to be on TV and put their lives out there for all to see and judge. And yes, a lot of mistakes are made and people grow from them. Sometimes the attention can get to someone’s head and they get lost in the notoriety and attention from the show. It can happen to any of us. We’re human. But never is it ok to purposely lie on national TV to smear a mans reputation. Never is it ok to purposely mock and make fun of a man, especially while he’s ok. It’s never ok to throw stones when you yourself live in a glass house. How can hypocrisy and double standards exist on this level and not get called out? Or if you do, you get bashed for it. As our world is changing and people are advocating more for acceptance and equality and being treated with respect, we need to lead by example. It’s easier to sway someone with honey than it is with vinegar. We need to take a good hard look at ourselves and reevaluate how we judge another. Switch it up. If the shoes were flipped and it’s ok in reversed roles, then maybe we shouldn’t be bashing so much. If those shoes are on the other feet and that behavior would be atrocious, why justify it and glorify it? People really need to think before they speak. They really need to evaluate a situation before they openly judge and chose a side. Remember, there’s also two sides to every situation and somewhere in the middle, is the truth. Allow both sides to speak before jumping to conclusion. You might end up with egg on your face when you realize, the ‘truth’ wasn’t quite how it was relayed.

Bachelor needs to get back to it’s roots, the new direction isn’t enjoyable anymore. Yes, I can simply turn the channel, but like anyone else, I’ll share my thoughts before I do.

 

 

Frustrated Ramblings once again..

I’m tired of dying every day and being uncomfortable in my own skin. Of watching the light fade from my children’s eyes as another mention of “not right now” whispers through their ears and the ensuing frustration and defeat that washes upon their faces… my kids need me now. My hubby needs me now. My mother needs me now. My family needs me now. Tomorrow might not get here and time flies, moments pass, needs go unfulfilled looking for outlets and something to fill the void from avenues best left discarded.

I remember those times. My children are there now and yet I’m here, I see, I know, but I’m not present and I see this being fulfilled while my body falls apart and my mind wants to spiral. To be so dependent on a stinking little pill to wash away the pain and fatigue yet such controversy on something so tiny that gives me life in a way few will understand. No high needed or received, just relief, blessed relief from the torture my body inflicts upon me. Some days, not near enough,  leaving me so despondent, I rather wither away and free my family from the burden I feel I’ve become.

The negative thoughts and heavy weights weighing them down like a chain around their necks in a sinking ship lost at sea. To free them. To free myself. To put an end to the drain on this life and allow healing to begin and forward movement on their own journeys this life will bring. May they never be saddled with these illnesses that grip me so tightly, squeezing the life out of me. But it’s heritable. It’s the gift that never seems to end. One generation to the next. My burden, my cross to bear laid upon the shoulders of my tender children and the guilt that consumes me because of it. My fault.

Set Up For Failure; War on drugs and Mental Health

Our country needs to legalize or decriminalize drug use. This statement might seem pretty extreme but I’ve been thinking about it for a while and when you see the big picture, it’s the only way that makes sense. I’m debating starting a petition. What we need are people to actually read the reasoning behind that statement with an open mind and not with the mindset that people just want to use drugs. I don’t even use drugs. Keeping drug use as a crime against society causes harm and hinders people from seeking help.

Merriam-Webster states that a crime is an illegal act for someone could be punished by the government. Especially: a gross violation of the law. (1). But there is also a legal definition of crime that allows for prosecution for breaking a law. The legal definition per The Free Dictionary by Farlex states, “n. a violation of a law in which there is injury to the public or a member of the public and a term in jail or prison, and/or a fine as possible penalties.” (2). 

Also from them is this statement, “There is some sentiment for excluding from the “crime” category crimes without victims, such as consensual acts, or violations in which only the perpetrator is hurt or involved such as personal use of illegal drugs. (See: felonymisdemeanor).”

Typically, to be considered a legal crime, it must be a violation of law against another person or property of another person. With drug use, the crime is simply against oneself. There is no crime against another for simply using a substance. And yet, it is considered a crime. I believe we need to change that and I have good reason for feeling this way.

The ‘War on Drugs’ has been going on since the 70’s. They’ve had 50 years, FIFTY YEARS to perfect it and have failed miserably. The only thing this war on drugs has accomplished is making drug use illegal, stigmatized drug users, stigmatized legitimate patients using a proper medication to relieve pain due to some abuse by others, and creating large barriers to people seeking help both mentally and medically.

There are various types of drug users. Those who use recreationally like any other person who likes a nice drink on occasion to unwind, those who use to drown their troubles and hide their pain due to some internal or external conflict in life, and those who can’t seem to function without drug use who are the legitimate patients addicted to a substance. Those with addictions need extensive help and therapy to fight their addictions and live drug free. The recreational users don’t need any kind of therapy as they use just like a person who drinks on occasion. Those who use for drowning their troubles likely need therapy to help manage the issues that drive them use in the first place.

With drugs being criminalized, seeking help places the individual in a very sticky situation where their very lives are at risk simply for seeking help. If they have children, their children can be taken from them. If they have certain careers, their careers can be destroyed. Just the fact of use being illegal sets barriers against those seeking help. The stigma as well keeps people quiet. I’m certain there is a large portion of users who desire help but the fact that use is stigmatized and the fact that use is illegal keeps them from seeking the help they need. There is also fallout that affects those who don’t even use illegal drugs who are looking for help. A ripple effect that spreads far and wide touching those who don’t even use illicit substances yet use legal medications that some have chosen to abuse, harming many pain patients who simply want to function in life and yet they are thrown into the stigma with those who use illegally thanks to misinformation campaigns, the media, and organizations seeking to demonize the use of opioids regardless of the reason for using them.

I would be remiss without mentioning the stigma of mental health which is often linked closely to drug use though not all mental health issues lead to drug use. The stigma of having anxiety, depression and other mental health challenges is just another barrier to those who wish to seek help. We desperately need to break those stigma’s paving the way for those holding close to the vest their mental hardships that may simply need, talk therapy.

I absolutely believe that by legalizing or decriminalizing drugs, our war on drugs would be successful in a way it never has before. Why repeat the same mistakes over and over and over that achieves nothing but more harm. Stubbornness? Pride? Some kind of deeper ulterior motive? Whatever it may be, it’s not for the American people as we’re the ones that are suffering because of it.

The fact of the matter is, people WILL USE DRUGS. That will never change. There will always be someone either seeking to get high or seeking to drown their troubles in some kind of substance legal or otherwise. I’m pretty certain this is an established fact. We know that for some, drug use can lead to dirty needles, spreading of disease, unsavory behaviors, and harm against oneself. The person inside has issues. They need help to find the reason why they are seeking out the substance to begin with. I’m not referencing recreational users. They’re in a different playing field and having been around many growing up, they don’t need help no more than a person who drinks alcohol to unwind on weekends. They just chose a method that gives them a different feel than alcohol. But those seeking to numb their pain, physically or mentally, are the ones I’m referring to in this article, the ones who need real help to keep them from spiraling further and to put them on the road to recovery. The way our society is set up, keeping drugs illegal is a barrier to receiving help.

Our country has slowly added some changes to help with some of the issues that are caused by illicit drug use, such as offering clean needles which is a good thing as we know, they’re going to use regardless so at least we can help decrease the spread of disease if their route of choice is the needle. Some countries have legalized or decriminalized the use of drugs and have shown much success in doing so. Maybe we can follow their lead.

By legalizing or decriminalizing drugs, we can lift the stigma attached to it. There are a lot of fears for someone to admit to drug use. For one, it’s illegal!! How can you expect people to get help if they have to admit to doing something illegal? That alone is a huge barrier for those who do want to seek help! If they have children, they fear losing their children. If they have a good career, they fear losing that career. So many reasons NOT to seek help all because of the legality involved and the record it will leave on the person for simply admitting it.

Imagine having your permanent record marked as a drug user then that person seeking medical help after an injury or for chronic pain. Now because of that label, that person is not only treated differently in the medical establishment but they can also be denied pain relief!! I’ve spoken to people that have had this happen. I also know a family of someone who was mislabeled as an addict who went through an extremely painful surgery and then was denied proper pain relief. He killed himself. Killed himself!!! And even sadder, he never misused his medications, he simply used a medication off-label for chronic pain that is given to those who abuse drugs, even though he never abused them. This very stigma smeared his permanent record, labeled him as an addict and then led to him being denied proper pain management. This also shows that those who do abuse drugs may not ever have proper pain management all for seeking help or being labeled as an addict. They are treated differently in the medical system. And people wonder why some refuse to seek help.

Legalizing can rid a huge portion of this problem. In time, the stigma will fade and people can simply reach out for help if they find themselves in trouble.

What about legitimate pain patients? Many of us, myself included, use opioids legally and yet there are people out there that abuse them with and without a legitimate prescription though studies have shown most illicit users don’t even have a legitimate prescription for the drug they are abusing so it’s not legal prescriptions causing the bulk of this particular drug abuse but a heavy handed organization and campaign has ruled with an iron fist to not only heavily tighten the availability of pain medications but to reduce the milligrams needed by even legitimate pain patients as if it’s one size fits all and assuming that after a certain dose, harm will be caused. Never in the field of medicine have I seen a drug that flat out limits the maximum dosage allowed when each individual is a person that metabolizes a medication differently and the reason why various dosages are created and prescribed. Tolerance to any substance can be built causing a need for higher dosages of ANY drug/substance and yet they put a limit on pain medications that allow those in chronic pain to function in society at least as much as able. How is this ok? Not only that, but they just attached a huge stigma against the use of pain meds to go so far as creating children’s books that talk about ‘mommy using opioids’ and needing help…. Wait what?? Wouldn’t it make more sense to talk about illicit drugs as a whole rather than single out one particular drug that used by many to keep someone functioning? Why put fear into a child about pain meds? Pain meds are good for those who have need of them and due to all of this, an even larger harm has been created in our society in the last few years due this campaign against opioids, no different than their ‘war on drugs.’

Hospitals given incentives to limit their use of opioids by paying out more money if they can use alternative means. There will always be those who abuse their roles and story after story was told of being left in severe pain from surgery after waking up and being denied opioids. Yes, that happened over and over as hospitals raked in extra funds for using Tylenol and in some places, lavender essential oil for pain. I truly feel like I woke up in the twilight zone and we’ve gone back in time to biting a stick for pain.

Legitimate patients using opioid medications to function were taken off of the medications without choice. Left to suffer not only the withdrawals of stopping this medication but also to suffer the effects of their chronic pain and debilitating condition without a proper medication to reduce the pain. They were left to suffer. I’m sure almost all of us were left in fear as we read story after story of patients having their life saving medication taken away from them, waiting for it to happen to us. Many who were on high dosages (higher than what some non doctor decided was the threshold) were suddenly tapered down (some without taper) to fit under this new imaginary number that the CDC determined people can’t go over. A recommendation, not law, that was also ruled with an iron fist with the DEA going after good doctors who refused to go by this “RECOMMENDATION.” What has our world come to? They just created more illicit drug users as some took to the streets in defiance looking for illegal ways to reduce the pain that riddles their bodies. Legitimate pain patients!! Some turned to suicide, refusing to live a life in severe pain without relief, care, or help. You’d be shocked if you knew all the numbers involved. They don’t talk much about that in the media. America’s dirty secret. The rest are left trying to function on doses that don’t work near as well as what they had prior, struggling to function. Some of us were lucky. I’m thankful I wasn’t over the ‘recommended’ limit but the fear of having my meds taken away is real not only for me but for those aware of the situation our pain patients are facing. Many patients have even refused surgery due to the stories of those left struggling with little pain relief after their own surgeries. No one wants to wake up in severe pain after being cut open and left to suffer.

Story after story run by the media about this crazed ‘opioid epidemic’ and all these deaths due to opioids and yet the real numbers tell a different story. Illicit drug use, not prescription medications, are the cause of these spikes in death. Illicit drugs cut with powerful substances being sold on the streets not in doctor’s offices. So why smear legitimate pain patients? Why punish legitimate pain patients? That’s pointing the blame at the wrong person and then punishing them for a crime they didn’t commit. Why?

If drugs were legalized we wouldn’t have this problem. If truth and justice existed we probably wouldn’t have much of a problem either but that’s doubtful to change any time soon. If we legalized and regulated drugs, we could safely allow those to continue a habit they would continue anyway but without the fear of what’s in it, without the fear of a tainted supply, without the need to limit good legitimate patients for a crime they didn’t commit. They could also make money off it if they so chose. There’s always money in drugs. Take the money from the cartels and black market that will always exist and put it into our states instead. Create REAL programs for those with addictions and those who need help with mental health problems. Imagine the facilities that can be created off the money made. Real facilities, not thrown together back alley rooms where people NEED to remain anonymous and help is limited. How about plush retreats that only the rich can attain. I’ve researched wilderness camps for my child, a nice nature retreat where he can reset and get guided help and focus on his anxiety and depression and you want to know what that would cost me? A mortgage in some places! Over $50,000 for short session with all the right tools in the right places that might actually help my child rather than the closed off room in a small office where they simply sit there and talk or at least try and talk as some children don’t want to talk about things going on in their heads. This boils down to rich vs poor and what’s available to each. It’s sad. Don’t we want a productive society? Don’t we want people to get help and better function in this world, able to give back? Yet our country places stumbling blocks in front of us, creates massive stigma’s and criminalizes behaviors that are not against society but simply against themselves creating those barriers that keep people from getting help.

We’ve done a good job at our institutionalized places of learning teaching our children about the dangers of drugs and the legalities around it but what have we done to teach them about love and compassion and seeking help in a world that tells them it’s bad to begin with? It’s a catch 22. We need to break that.

It’s really no different than someone who feels suicidal but can’t be honest about it without getting locked up or having their children taken away from them. The stigma is real. We’ve placed those barriers in society and then expect people to reach out and get help. Yeah, you might catch a few of them but most will simply bury those feelings and try and suck it up, never truly able to be honest or seek the help that they need. Then compound that by being a chronic pain patient on a legitimate prescription and the fear of having their meds taken away and what help is truly available for them.

Here’s an anonymous example of someone’s life:

Imagine living with chronic health problems, keeping a person disabled. They get a few hours relief each day from the pain meds they’re taking. This person’s a fast metabolizer of medications and already on the max dosage ‘recommended’ by the CDC so no more meds will be given to help with the pain. On good days, the meds work well for three hours but on bad days they only last one to two hours so there’s a lot of break through pain but a second script to cover that is no longer available. (And yes, many alternatives were tried and nothing other than heat which lasts maybe 30 minutes have been successful at reducing the pain.) They are only allowed one pill every 4 hours. But instead, they take the meds as needed, knowing their own bodies and making their own decision at how to handle it so they take the meds every 2 to 3 hours depending on the level of pain their experiencing. Yet, every time they see their doctor, they say all is good as they can’t be honest. They’re not allowed to be honest. Being honest will get their medication taken away from them. They know damn well they won’t get additional pain help and they know damn well they can’t be honest about not taking their prescription as prescribed. Is this person a bad person? Is this person abusing their meds? Is he a drug addict? In my view, the answer is no to all those questions. Our society has simply set up road blocks to being honest and receiving adequate care. And for the record, on really good days, he can space the meds out even further apart and sometimes save an extra pain pill for a rainy day so it’s not like he’s simply using them up for some kind of need/addiction.

Let’s talk about saving those little pills. Unlike some meds where you can be an adult and simply take them when needed, with pain meds, you are expected to take every single pill exactly as prescribed. If you admit you’ve had some good days going on and were able to reduce your usages by even one little pill, the next thing you know, your script will change, your meds will be reduced and you’ll be left to suffer when the good days end and the bad ones pick up again. We’re not allowed to be adults. We’re not allowed to be responsible for our own usage. We live under an iron fist and treated like junkies as we have our meds counted, our urine scrutinized, and treated like we’re criminals even picking up those meds at certain pharmacies. It’s dehumanizing. So no, if they caught wind that we had even a tiny little stock pile of extra pills for when pain gets brutal and knowing we won’t be given help during those days, that’s grounds to remove our meds.

Imagine in a disaster if things shut down, knowing your exact count and when your meds will run out. We’re not allowed to fill early and we’re not allowed more than a month at a time even though any other drug is allowed up to a 90 day supply. Not pain meds. We simply might use them before our prescription runs out. But truly, legitimate pain patients know better than to be so stupid. We know how many we get. We know if we were to run out early, we’re not allowed an extra fill. That’s drilled into us. Who in their right minds, who legitimately need them, would blow through their meds? How is 90 days any different than having our 30 days? We know the count.

Every time we see the pain doc, we have to fill out a form that asks lots of questions in relation to anger, mental health, depression, ect. Of course they also ask if we abuse our meds, take them beyond how they’ve been prescribed or for reasons other than what they were prescribed for. My honest thoughts? Who the hell would admit if they did? What if Janey discovered they helped her anxiety and on a really bad day she takes them for exactly that. What would admitting to that mean for Janey? She’d have her pain meds taken away as she signed a contract (another thing required of us) and would be considered to have broken that contract. So why ask? What about the example of the guy above? What if he admitted to taking them sooner than prescribed? Again, there go his meds. And obviously if you have some idiot getting pain meds to use for illicit means or to sell them, do you honestly think they’d admit that on that questionnaire? Seriously? What’s the point? You can’t be honest, you’re penalized for trying. Though the person using it illicitly shouldn’t be doing so via pain management route, even if they legalized drugs across the board. Those people would need to go a different route, however that would look like. Pain management should solely focus on those seeking pain relief.

I’ve often wondered why they ask questions about anger or depression. With so much fear of losing the only med that gives some sense of relief, would those meds be taken if you admit to feeling depressed? Angry at life? Suicidal? Again, these stigmas come to hinder people from seeking help in one of two ways.

What if someone was severely depressed and wanted to seek in treatment for their depression? There are two immediate and very logical fears that come to mind, having seen my own mother going through a similar situation. Suppose you admit yourself to a facility for some much needed help. What if your facility doctor decides you shouldn’t be on pain meds? What if they decide that your dose isn’t appropriate or that they fail to give your medications on time? Those are real fears and real experiences had by others. In my mother’s case, she takes one very small dose of pain meds each day for her restless legs. No other med has reduce that pain except her pain med. The doctor didn’t feel she needed it even though she’d been on it for years with great success. Not only did he try and deny her dose of medication but he attempted to have it removed. She won that battle but it was hell for months after having to rejustify and fight to keep on it.

Psychiatry is NOT pain management. Yet it was a group of psychiatrists that first attempted to control the facade of the ‘opioid crisis’ seeking out the CDC and determining their own recommended dosage limits and starting this war on pain medicine. They were quite successful to the point of states creating their own opioid tasks force with many many states not having a single pain management doctor on the panel. The very specialty in prescribing opioids and yet that type of specialist was excluded from the decision making and denied the input that would ultimately affect his job and his patients. Nor did they allow the insight of chronic pain patients when setting up this new guideline. It’s so mind blowing how this whole thing came about, how it was handled and how many rolled over and just accepted and allowed it. Those who fought back got penalized. I’m starting to think our country is slowly moving over to a dictatorship.

(1) https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/crime

(2) https://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/crime

Set Up For Failure; let’s talk mental health.

One of the very first statements a counselor or psychiatrist will tell you is that if you mention that you are a threat to yourself or others, they will be obligated by law to report you. The immediacy of walls and defenses thrown up is a hindrance to getting real help and therefor the system is set up for failure before it even gets started.

What exactly constitutes a threat to your self or others? Obviously actions and a plan is part and most important (and understood) but what about thoughts? Are they acting like thought police, waiting to report someone for simply having thoughts and feelings of harming oneself or others?

What exactly does it mean when someone is reported? Will they be immediately taken away and locked in a padded room? Will they be flagged in the system and heavily watched? Will CPS get involved and disrupt their lives? Or will it simply allow for immediacy in a referral and moving to the front of the line? There’s so much uncertainty in this situation that it causes a major roadblock in seeking help. WHAT DOES IT MEAN??

There’s already a negative connotation and stigma attached to mental health. It’s hard enough to admit ones thoughts and feelings especially when they deviate from the norm. Our system is so set up for failure, there’s no wonder why bad things do happen and people turn to drugs, self harm, or snap and hurt others. Not to mention the dangers associated with being bullied in schools and lack of recognition from the adults who are suppose to keep you safe and help you. With conflict resolution just getting started in some of the schools, we’re simply barely scratching the surface. Today’s bullying is no where close to the bullying that went on in decades prior. With as many kids suffering from autism, health issues and mental health issues like never before, we need to change our system immediately to make sure no child is left behind in getting the help they need to feel safe, understood, and treated as necessary.

We absolutely must rid the stigma attached to mental health issues. We must decriminalize drug use and focus our funding on building more safe places for kids and adults to seek treatment. We must put our funding in training more medical personnel into understanding and treating those needing help. We must change our approach. God knows, what we’ve tried both on the mental health front and the war on drugs front hasn’t and won’t work. Why keep repeating the same failures over and over? Pride? Stubbornness?

I hate to say it, (sadly it’s true enough) that those with money typically get the best help available to them, state of the art facilities that provide real distractions, focused therapy and compassionate care that those without the finances don’t have access to. It was shocking to discover the cost involved in wilderness camps for teens. I could buy a house with the admissions charge they ask for. Yet, studies have shown wilderness camps as having a good success rate in achieving long term skills and recovery. A basic clinical facility with underpaid staffing and simply throwing one drug after the next at someone is not the answer and may drug and sedate a patient long enough to appear recovered but they will simply relapse shortly after leaving the facility.

All these millions if not billions of dollars thrown into the war on drugs and mental health treatment could be better managed and utilized if we give our system a real look at the successes and failures of our current system. Why not ask those seeking help both in past and present what they feel would help them? Why not survey the actual people going through their plight what they feel they need rather than relying on those at the top who aren’t knee deep into the viewpoints, feelings, and experiences of those seeking help? Wouldn’t their input be valid? Seems no different than those at the CDC seeking to put guidelines on opioid prescriptions for those with chronic pain without asking the very doctors and patients input from those who actually treat or have chronic pain. How could they possibly think that would be successful? You wouldn’t ask a plumber advice and guidance on electrical systems, right? How is this simple common sense lacking in our world today?

To be continued…

Another Conundrum:

There’s a medication that’s been around for decades. It’s meant to calm anxiety and panic attacks. You have a child with severe anxiety and panic attacks but no one wants to prescribe it because of that stigmatizing word again; addiction. So we’ll leave your child to suffer severe symptoms causing endless chaos to those around them, sucking the desire of life right out of him and anyone watching him suffer who’s obviously suffering with him because, he just might, become addicted… But we’ll shove other medicine down his throat that causes a lot of other side effects, symptoms and harm triggering even more anger, frustration, and now reluctance to see any doctor ever again or try a new drug intended to work more long term. And the system?? Well, it’s set for failure once again as there’s limited specialists available in the field of child psychiatry and often the wait is more than a year for someone to get seen and what’s a parent to do during that years wait while the anger is building and the symptoms go unaided causing so much more anxiety that he refuses to even see a counselor or leave the house or simply function…

And the services he has had, don’t even get me started there. A totally broken system.

Life’s Choices…

The chaos swirling in my mind pulls me deep into the pit of despair. I’ve found myself to be a fragile mess of sensitivity, shut down and paralyzed to life around me. I finally reached my limit and it’s broken me. I’m broken. I’m weak. I’m fragile. Something I’ve never wanted to be. Something I’ve never been. Something that just makes me sink deeper into myself and longing for a simple release from it all. Death doesn’t scare me so much anymore.

I went from being the rock, the picture of stability and strength to the mess I am now. And my choices have left me limited help and assurance. If only I can share the thoughts swirling through my brain. The deepest of the deep in my emotions, feelings, and view upon the matter. I feel stuck. I have absolutely no one to confide in all the secrets in my heart other than God and right now, I’m not so happy with Him. I’m pretty sure, he’s not so happy with me either.

I’ve made my bed and believe me, I’m laying in it. Hind sight… Not much I can do about it now. Choices… No point in the ‘if only’s’. Is this depression? I’m not typically a depressed person. I’ve always been fairly positive and happy go lucky for the most part, knowing I do suffer anxiety and that’s been pretty maxed out the last couple years. Can intense anxiety trigger depression?

It’s been coming at me from so many directions all at the same time, my life’s been flipped upside down and I’ve landed on my head, face first in the dirt and muck and I’m not sure quite how to turn it all around. I unhealthily day dream endlessly for financial winnings, the lottery, HGTV dream home, other sweepstakes, ect to at least lift the financial pressures and provide the financial security that can at least pay away some of the issues plaguing me. I can simply hire the help. I could know my children’s futures were taken care of. I could get out of the noose this home and our bills has tightened around our necks. It would solve a lot of our problems and pay to solve those that need more hands on deep work that seem only available to the rich.

The way our world’s going, I’m so ready for God to come back and fulfill the prophesies left unfulfilled in the Bible. Regardless of others beliefs, I believe it will happen. I believe it’s about that time. I’m not so happy with the world we’re living in and corruption is so deep and lies so tainted that we’re not truly free. We’re not truly living the ‘American Dream’ that allowed our country to be one of the greatest of the greats.

Having to come to terms with my health issues, knowing I will most likely never get better, that THIS IS my life. No cures, no fixes, no real medicine to treat the problem, only pills to mask the symptoms and provide some blessed relief from the pain and insomnia but nothing that helps the heavy limb fatigue that weighs me down. Nothing to stop the world from spinning upon rising and trying to fade to black. Nothing to stop the sensory issues that keep me hiding in a quiet corner, limiting my interactions.

This wasn’t quite the life I pictured for myself. This wasn’t my dream. I always hoped that one day a doctor would solve it. I just needed to hold on and find the right one. Took 15 years to put a name to a couple of the health issues I suffer with. 15 years!!! 15 years to be taken seriously. 15 years to have someone quit blaming anxiety or simply throw me into PT expecting all to get better. 15 years for someone to finally care and want to dig into it. And then she up and left me after being my doctor for a couple years. That was a crushing blow. But I’ve made some progress in getting my answers, a bitter little pill knowing that it will not get better.

Those who suffer ME/CFS seem to have a 5 year window. If you don’t get better within that time-frame, it’s your new buddy for life. I’ve had it for 20 years. Waxing and waning giving me bits of reprieve but always coming back until the last time it never left. It stopped waxing and waning at the mostly functioning level and now simply waxes and wanes at a disabled level. It also seems that a chunk of my medical conditions have also gotten worse with age/time. POT syndrome was like my ME/CFS in it’s waxing and waning though it had always been worse than my ME/CFS in a flare up. It can cause me to be just as weak and fatigued but it too seems to be hanging on and not giving me much reprieve. Just compounds the problem.

Then there’s my bone inflammation. I’ve never had an answer for that one. 5 years! 5 freaking years of intense deep severe bone pain that put me in a wheelchair and left me unable to walk far or without excruciating pain. No answers. Just inflamed hip/thigh bones that felt like they were expanding and ready to burst open, pulling my muscles off my bones along with it. I’m thankful it’s gone down. I’m thankful to have a reprieve from the intensity of that pain. Will it come back? I’ve felt inklings of the pain pushing to the forefront when overdoing it trying to walk, making up for lost time. It’s still quite painful to walk in my muscles and joints but the bones are holding. Every little niggle of bone pain though…. scares the hell out of me, jump-starting my anxiety with questions on whether or not it will come back. If they couldn’t give me a name for what I suffered, how can I know? The limbo it’s left me in is devastating and mind screwing as I simply don’t know if my ability to walk will be taken from me again. Granted, I can’t walk long without breaks or without pain but I can WALK!! Oh how so many take that for granted.

I’m one of those people who NEED to be productive. I’m a hard worker at heart and sitting here day in and day out watching life pass me by, watching things pile up, left undone, building my list of things need doing, just added to all the frustration and havoc swimming in my mind. I’m a doer. My release from anxiety, anger, and frustration is to clean or sing. I actually love to clean. How can one clean to release their frustration when they’re as disabled as I am? Yeah, kind of taking away my outlets for this bottled up frustration. I love to sing. Belting out a song as it washes away the tension and anger but guess what? Bet you never thought how much energy singing uses up. Guess what? It’s a lot. How something as simple as singing is taken for granted. Imagine being so physically fatigued and short of breath that you can’t even sing without wearing yourself out and putting yourself in bed to recoup. All of my outlets taken from me. The music finally came back to me this week. I can handle just a little more than I use to. It’s something.

My life’s journey has taught me a lot. Hind sight.. Oh hind sight. How do you impart your wisdom on your children and make them listen rather than having them suffer some of the same mistakes? How do you protect them from the health complications that can surely be passed down to them? They say many of what I suffer is not genetic and my kids have low risk of acquiring them. Guess what? My son has been suffering like I do. Imagine watching your child hurt from doing simple tasks. Imagine the pain and anger from watching your own child suffer physically knowing the end result and how your own medical journey took 15 years and no real treatment… Why? Doesn’t he have enough on his plate? That crushes me. I fear for my daughter.

Being such giving people and helping when able and watching your extended family walk all over you and take advantage of you after years of helping them… that’s crushing. Realizing that no, you’ll never have the full love and acceptance from a parent that you’ve been seeking all your 43 years. The reality that psychologically, that’s what I’ve been seeking and the crushing truth that the gene is simply missing in that one. It’s not going to happen. Time to toughen up on that front and quit seeking out the acceptance and need for that kind of affection. That ship has now sailed, door closed, chapter ended, reality has finally hit home. I can only do the best for my own children, giving them what I’ve never had and trying to correct my own mistakes from my own upbringing. Life is tough.

And why oh why do I have to have such heart?!!! Why do I have to care so much about others? Even those who take advantage of me, I worry about their own well-being and situation and my son says I’m too soft. I’m a bit of an empath so I can feel the emotions of others around me and even though I know some of them have made their own beds to lie in, I still feel the sadness and gut wrenching feelings for them and don’t want to add to their troubles even if they earned and deserve it. Maybe that’s why family takes advantage. Maybe they innately recognize my heart and know I’ll be the net to catch them when they fall. I don’t want to be that net anymore. I struggle enough trying to take care of my self, let alone, my children. Time for people to stand on their own feet and pull their big person pants on and take care of themselves. I’m burnt. I’m done. I just wish I didn’t have to feel the feelings I feel about it.

All the weight pressing me down and paralyzing me, numbing my mind and shutting me off till I’m simply not functioning anymore. The rock has crumbled. Pieces of me scattered about and broken down wondering how to put it all back together again. I fought so hard to rise above the ashes of my childhood only to sink into a pit of despair in my adulthood. The fighter in me weakened and left with little fight in me anymore. My children have suffered because of it. I feel the guilt from that. Why did my health have to continue to be taken till I was left a blob watching life pass me by and then more hell piled on top with all the other issues that have been added to it. Wasn’t my health enough? Yes, choices, some of my own choices are responsible for some of it. My brain no longer thinking as sharply as it once was and decisions made that never should have… hindsight. Will I ever be able to pull myself from this rut? Can I win the lottery?

Life’s Downward Spiral… Dreaming of the lottery…

I’m sitting here with a heavy feeling of depression in my gut and tears at the back of my eyes. I feel despondent and at a loss with gut wrenching disappointment and pain in my heart, dreaming of winning the lottery or coming into some money to pay off my debts and simply disappear to a new place far away from my current one. People have let me down. I have let me down. Family, what’s that anymore(?) have let me down.

What is wrong with people in our world?? Why is it that so many look to take advantage of others and then throw it in their face, blaming them instead of manning up and taking responsibility in life? Why?!

I’ve always been a giver, someone who would never leave my family to suffer without offering my hand. We’ve helped nearly every one of our family members at some point in life, even at the expense of ourselves, always at the expense of ourselves (my own family).

Finding out that family doesn’t have our back in kind, doesn’t care about all we’ve done, doesn’t even hold to their basic obligations is worse than a slap in the face. My son says I’m too soft. I’m a bit of an empath, absorbing the emotions of those around me and always trying to help those in need to the best that I’m able. We’ve made decent choices in life to get us where we are financially, living a middle class existence but even still have middle class bills so though we bring in more than some each month, we put out just as much, leaving us still struggling to stay on top of things. Yes, not the best choices and expensive bills. We could have done better. Hindsight..

We actually were doing better just a few years ago, finally paying off bills minus the mortgage and car and living in a nice house that we updated with blood, sweat, and tears as well as a lot of money. We didn’t bat an eye at an evening out for dinner or having a wild Christmas as we worked hard to get us in that place in life. (Or rather hubby did but my disability helps since my health was destroyed and so I guess I earned it by taking one for the team many many moons ago).

Yes, I spoil my children as is my right to do so and my money as well. It is not your business or anyone else’s why I do what I do or how I spend what I spend and most are long term consequences of growing up poor and living on the streets and not having the things my children now do so damn it, I earned that right!! And people who judge and think spoiled actions are the cause of certain behaviors from a child with disabilities can fuck off and try raising their own child with disabilities or maybe do a little research and realize that regardless of ‘things’ the children get, those with the same disabilities still act in kind. It’s the hand we were dealt and I know I’m not alone in this struggle as many many families have children with the same hardships and behaviors regardless of how their raised or the money they have. I’ve LEARNED that and it’s not hard to do a little research realizing the same so you can get off your high horse and quit assuming their, “simply spoiled..”

When you punch a 5 year old in the chest, leaving a red mark for hours, don’t you judge me. When you make your own decisions leaving yourself struggling financially, don’t judge me because we have and you do not. When you complain about having to pick up your own dog’s shit once a week saying my own dogs shits are bigger than her dogs shits… WTF? When you say that you want to live near us so you can help with our burden and don’t want to be a burden on us yet you move out leaving a room full of trash, not cleaned, furniture in our backyard and don’t bother to take care of your mess…. WTF? When you think your phone bill to me, that I pay for on my account, is not as important to pay as your other bills, constantly putting it off and paying late, leaving me asking for the money… WTF? (That’s all I’ve got for you, kid, cause you’ve grown up and become a man. Proud of you). When you call your son’s a pregnant wife a “fucking whore” just because and leave out pictures of his ex wife on purpose, someone you also hate… WTF? When you rant and rave during your son’s wedding, causing a scene and ruining the moment… WTF? When you look at my happy little ultrasound picture of the baby inside me and you say, “Looks like she has a penis nose…” WTF? When you purposely come out into the garage while my child is in a raging meltdown just to bate and record him, egging him on, WTF? When you ask whether I’m your sister or you landlord when I’m asking for money you owe me, WTF? When you lived barely paycheck to paycheck, sleeping on couches, cars, ect cause you didn’t have a home of your own and then you tell me living at my home is like living in a Palace and you’re grateful but then when money is due and you move out, not wanting to pay up and then complain about the living conditions, WTF?

I’m just sitting here with a heavy fucking heart thinking about, dwelling on, all the things family has said and done to me over the years and it just blows my mind. Yet we sold that beautiful home of ours to buy a run down giant fix me upper with tons of room and no storage so we can have a place for family to stay, mainly my mother who can’t afford to live on her own, and gave up our great neighbors, children’s friends, and a comfortable fat financial situation to live in a home at the top of our means, with credit cards and loans maxing out to do the necessary fixes to this crappy house and all I can think is hindsight…… Why the fuck can’t hindsight be foresight and work just as well in my disabled foggy ass brain? Cry me a river, I regret it all.

Now I sit here dreaming about winning the lottery after knowing where all the ungrateful family stands, wishing for that sliver of financial security again and a nice pot of gold so I can give what you gave and finally stand up tall against those who’ve thought it cool to simply take advantage cause we were in a good financial position and rather than working with us, you decided to work against us and act like an ass during the process.. That would be nice. My son says I’m too soft. Well I’m not so soft anymore. I’ve hardened my heart or will be after it’s done being broken and I finish my pity party, pull up my boot straps and start moving forward again. I dream of winning the lottery, knowing it’s not reality and like Murphy’s law, when your down on your luck, I already had the almost winning ticket with one number off on each one, like a taunt and a poke… and yet I still keep dreaming.

On top of all that, a man who thinks he’s rules the roost, taking money away from my mom’s spousal support, 4 of 5 hundred court ordered and yet he takes and she has no backbone or knowledge to get it handled, depending on me to help her while I sit here bitter knowing that she rarely helps in turn and yet on top of that money, he owes her 2100$ (ish) in tax money he stole, $1200 in the stimulus check wrongly deposited into his account, and half of a check sent from the escrow on the house they sold… He thinks he can continue to control and dominate her financially while getting away with it and ignoring the court’s order and so far he has. She just needs to file the paperwork which is actually not easy to find due to crappy court system but I’d already started it for her and she’s too intimidated to get it done, again, waiting on me. If I don’t help her then she’s stuck with very little funds to live off which means it falls on our shoulders in the end. That will change. Mark (his name, haha) my words. That WILL change. Only scumbags take money from others…. Seems a lot of those around.

I’m not perfect. I make my own mistakes, I’m a sucky parent, mostly due to being disabled and having severe fatigue and body wide pain keeping me laid up on my back most days and brain fog with sensory issues leaving me seeking peace and quiet due to brain overload and I feel the heavy guilt every single minute of it. The guilt weighs me down and drags me to dark places knowing I don’t provide enough of the emotional support my children need even though they are indeed spoiled, making it up in one area but leaving deficits in others and I hate myself because of it. If I had one wish between money and health, I’d choose health every time cause I have enough skills and knowledge to do great things and yet I sit here, a blob, doing nothing but day dreaming of winning that damn lottery.

This crisis with the virus has really given prime opportunity to see how family reacts and how seriously they take the health of others, namely myself who suffers too many health issues placing me at high risk. I found it to be the old folks, who are also suppose to be at risk, who could care the least, living with the mentality that they if they get the virus, oh well, not stopping to realize that those actions can directly affect me, or not caring in the least… Yup, I know where everyone stands now. A bitter little pill I’m left to swallow. Daydreaming about living in another state, Oregon maybe, and buying a little homestead with lots of trees, where I can live in my own little oasis in peace away from all those who don’t truly value family and put their needs above themselves, a trait ingrained into us military folks… So I sit and dream…..

Mixed Emotions… The Virus Experience

I’ve discovered, during this virus situation, that my obsessive need to control my situation has led to intense bouts of anxiety and a ping ponging mix of emotions while living life in lock down and practicing social distancing. One minute, I’m perfectly fine with thoughts of this virus situation being overblown while the next minute I’m freaked out and obsessively trying to avoid catching it. I’m living with a roller coaster ride of emotions and ultimately, it boils down to my need for control.

Uncertainty sucks. With little being truly known, or simply being kept from us, about this virus, it’s hard to know how seriously to take it. I rarely get sick, but when I get sick, I get seriously sick! My immune system is actually pretty good considering how many health issues I battle but when struck with even the flu, it’s pretty serious for me. I do NOT want to catch this virus. I’ve heard everything from it being like HIV to being similar to the flu. From being immune to having it settle in the body and reactivating. Those living with ME/CFS know all about viruses living dormant in the body and choosing to come out and attack you from within. Though we don’t even have certainty with the cause of ME/CFS, the thought process is out there regarding a virus being a possible culprit. Are we adding another, even more damaging virus to the possibilities that already exist for us, living dormant in the body and breaking us down over time?

Those of us who struggle already with health issues that keep us living a normally functioning life understand just how precious life can be and just how serious we need to take this virus, regardless of the mixed messages about it. Those who are healthy will never truly understand our fears, our precautions, our anxiety… they don’t live day to day fighting to simply get up without pain and/or fatigue to manage even self care on the daily. Never has the above been so apparent than it is now, while dealing with a potentially devastating virus. Seeing how family members respond and how they either seek to protect themselves and us during this time or act carelessly around us has been very enlightening.

I discovered that most of my anxiety revolves around control. I simply do NOT have control over my own life and this virus when living with other members of the family and finding myself having to depend on each and every one of them to keep both themselves and each other safe during this time. I’ve dealt with control issues since I was a child. I simply cannot control every factor of my life and have the assurance that those around me will have my best interest in mind. Trust is hard to come by and I’m learning that truly, you can only trust yourself and that’s a sad reality that’s become glaringly obvious during this pandemic.

Trust is a fragile emotion, easily broken, and hard to build or maintain. I have little trust, reassurance, or control and that causes my anxiety to flare and my emotions to bounce all over the place. It is what it is and it’s just who I am. I’m not a very emotional person and tend to compartmentalize quite well. This makes me appear cold at times but it’s simply my mechanism of handling emotions that I hold close to the vest and keep guarded quite tightly. I’m not cold. I just handle my emotions differently. Childhood had a major impact on making me who I am and how I handle things. It is what it is..

When dealing with a situation like this, it becomes apparent who really has your best interest at heart and who doesn’t. That doesn’t help those with anxiety and truly highlights that obsessive need to control and the obvious little control we truly have. Each and every person in the home has the same job of protecting each other and themselves during this time. Each action affects those in the household. We’re not simply responsible for ourselves in a situation like this, we’re responsible for each other. Each action having a ripple effect that touches those around you leading to possible consequences that can be deadly. Think about that for a minute. It’s a good opportunity to see who is taking things seriously, who is flaunting their control in your face, and who could care less about your life when it comes down to the bottom line….

Maybe they don’t realize the psychology of it. Maybe they don’t realize the very basic need that exists to survive and how paramount trust is right now. Are they so shallow and self absorbed that they don’t even realize the reality of it? Poking fun and taking risks just to laugh inside themselves and thinking it’s all a game? Maybe this virus isn’t as bad as some say. But maybe it is. I don’t have all the answers. I can only live and react with the information given and give this experience a trial run of a SHTF apocalypse situation, with much self evaluation and garnering insight about those around me.

I have time on my hands at the moment and being a deep thinker, this situation has truly given me a look into my world during a crisis and rather than simply reading about it in one of my post apocalyptic story books, a chance to actually live in a SHTF situation on a small level, giving me more insight into both myself and that of my community. I just wish others would take this time to reflect on how fragile life can be and how important building trust and community really is. Those of us with health issues that dominate our lives already know a little about this. We know about isolation. We know about the need to rely upon others at times and how fickle people can be. Now we have a chance to really know seriously or not those around us take things. How important they place our life and health and how well we can trust they’ll have our backs, making sure not to expose us to something that can be more devastating to us than most.

I wonder how those people would feel if the shoes were on the other foot… How paranoid would they be if they’re own lives were lorded over by someone else. How they would react knowing the risks to themselves and having someone else take that risk so carelessly. Deep down inside, I’d be lying if I didn’t admit to wanting to show people exactly how that feels. I’m not cold, I’m just tired of people being so damn self absorbed and careless with their own actions. Tired of seeing others think it’s all a big joke failing to realize the domino effect they put in place with their own actions and how failing to realize how important it is to protect each other and build that trust, is the real foundation to a deeper relationship with others.

I don’t have all the answers. I don’t know what the truth of this situation is. I only know I have anxiety over the severity of it, the need to control those around me to keep my own life and my children’s life safe in the event that this virus is as bad as some say and the realization that some of those closest to me don’t have our best interest at heart. That’s a hurtful discovery. But at least now I know. It just makes me think, that if I had money and a bug out shelter in the event of a large scale SHTF scenario, my circle of peeps would be quite small. Trust. It’s important. Maybe think about what truly matters in life.

The Corona Covid-19 Virus Experiment… My practice run

Is it real? Is it fake? Is it as bad as they say it is? The virus situation has caused a lot of mixed emotions… I find myself ping ponging between intense anxiety about contracting the virus and complete calm wondering if the whole thing is being overblown… So much misinformation and lack of total transparency. With so much time on our hands while we socially isolate and spend time as a family, this situation has led to a lot of deep thinking and pondering about life and what if’s…

With this experience, I’ve decided to just treat the situation as completely real, very dangerous, and go along with the government mandates of social distancing as well as wearing masks/gloves in public and washing my hands so much I have to soak them in lotion.. I’ve also decided to use this experience as a bit of an experiment.. a test per say of an apocalyptic event with SHTF. How well does my family respond? Can I trust them in this kind of situation? Will they have my life in mind and the life of my children if it came down to it? Can I trust them to have my back and put our family first?

So many questions that have netted some sad answers and put me in touch with a harsh reality I wish I hadn’t discovered. Scratch that, I’m glad I know. I’m just not happy with the outcome, but now I know. Who can I trust if SHTF and our world collapses and people need to band together to have each others back? Most people don’t think about that kind of situation but history often repeats itself and the world is fragile and fraught with dangers and possibilities even while life goes on and people are absorbed in their own little bubbles unaware of how precious and precarious life can be.

Things can change in a heartbeat and it’s important to be aware of that and know how you and your friends/family, even neighbors, would respond and react in those situations and this virus experience has provided a nice little window into exactly that… How do your friends and family respond? Can you trust them to take this seriously and do what they need to protect you and your family while protecting themselves? Or do they act recklessly putting you and your family of danger? Something to ponder…

I am happy to report that many in my community have risen to the occasion and stood up to help their neighbor. So many working tirelessly to help get hand made masks to people, food to those without, whatever needs that are not able to be met are being taken care of by many in our community of helpers that have stood up to help those in times of crisis.

This is good to know. It is my hope that if the world really went to shit and we were left to fend for ourselves that our community would band together to protect each other in time of need. Of course there will always be those who rise up to take and seek to dominate and control. I just hope there are more of us and less of them if something did happen in our country and we could indeed band together to keep our area going and protected and strong enough…

This little window into an apocalyptic event situation has been enlightening and disheartening while also encouraging and sad. I know who has my back within my own circle and I have a little glimpse into how my community might respond to a bigger event. I know which family members take my life and the lives of my children seriously, seeking to protect us and keep us out of harms way while also seeing the ones in my circle who only put themselves first and show no care or caution to me and my children. I was surprised by the outcome.

I also learned beyond the virus, who in my circle still stands to maintain obligations and agreements during financial crisis and who has kept in mind all that’s been done to help them on my own families dime. Money matters is a delicate topic that can make or break many. What I’ve discovered about family in general, to include other situations besides my own, is that some family seems to think that because we are family, bills are not as important or pressing as would be with a typical creditor. This is disheartening as we all have bills to pay and even though some are in a better financial position than others, that simply means there are bigger bills to pay as most of us spend more rather than save as we should and live below our means. A lesson we should all learn from. Hind sight…

It’s been an interesting mix of results. Family A might have my back with the virus but not with financial matters… Family B might pay those debts but could care less about exposing us to the virus… Which family member has loose lips and which guards our meager resources? Which member helps to secure needed supplies? Which member makes sure to secure their own supplies so they don’t come looking to drain my families?

An interesting experiment during this virus crisis has opened my eyes to how family would respond during a SHTF event, answering those lingering questions about my circle of people if the world did go to shit. I can’t say I’m happy about the results but I am happy to have an idea of who would take our lives seriously and who would have our backs. What does the future hold with this current situation? Will life eventually go back to normal or are we forever altered in how our lives will be from here on out? It’s hard living with this uncertainty and not knowing what life will look like even months from now. For now, I will continue to play it safe, keep my eyes and ears open and gather as much data as I can. Better safe than sorry, right?

Covid-19 VS the Flu

This is how I see the virus situation in relation to the flu, if as bad as they report. The flu does kill a lot of people each season but the difference is that the flu spreads slowly over the flu season.

Of those exposed, only 8 to 11 percent contract the flu with well under 1 percent that die. So the exposure and contractility is low in addition to it being spread out over time. This keeps the hospitals from being over run by those sick with the flu. Cdc.gov/flu/about.

If the reporting is true in regards to Covid-19, the exposure rate of this virus is extremely high compared to the flu with those contracting the virus and becoming symptomatic also being much higher.

With the numbers we have so far, and this is ever evolving, of those symptomatic, 80% experience mild illness while 20% experience moderate to severe illness. This is largely different from the flu rates. In addition, from reports I’m reading, the 20% who experience moderate to severe symptoms are the ones who end up in the hospital, taxing our hospital system. Of those 20% the death rate is between 1 and 5 percent depending on where you live.

So to recap, with less that 12% that contract the flu and less than 1% who die from the flu in addition to the slower spread over the season, this current virus could be much worse on our system and on our people due to how quickly this spreads and how high the rate of hospitalizations and death are in such short times.

Also the flu typically lasts 3 to 7 days. This new virus apparently lasts 2 weeks or longer with some having permanent lung damage and taking 6 plus weeks to gain strength back.

It’s odd how it largely affects the elderly and those with chronic conditions, vastly different from the flu which is dangerous for our young.

So if the situation with Covid-19 truly is a pandemic, the dangers to our society and hospital situation is largely that 20% who require need of the hospital and that need seems to require much longer times in the hospital compared to the flu as well as how large the exposure rate it compared to less than 12% with flu exposure.

Stay safe. Please share your thoughts in the comment section as I’m curious to what others feel about our current situation and if my post seems accurate to the situation at large.

The Day the Toilet paper sold out…

I realize how fragile our society truly is. How many of us live with fear just under the surface hidden by a false sense of security or calm. The day the toilet paper sold out speaks volumes.

Our country was sold out on the backs of hard working people to a group of corporate sponsors and money hungry vipers. Cheap labor overseas, corporate farms, pesticides, vaccines, yes vaccines, cheap polluted medicine, and parts from other countries that fall apart in short order.

It was good once. Barbie dolls were passed down to our little girls, foods fresh from local farmers and furniture that lasted for generations. We were healthier without as many chronic conditions polluting our bodies.

We’ve become a cesspool of toxic poison and broken parts all in the name of few at the expense of many.

I’m awake. Are you?

Our medical system failing in time of need, compassion going out the window, our world is waxing cold all the while people horde the toilet paper in a crisis and leaving a populous confused. Who would have thought… toilet paper?

The mad dash to empty stores of basic necessities during the calm before the storm shows how fragile our society is, the fear under the surface, the paranoia of what’s to come. Jesus, come quickly, our world needs to change, to be cleansed from the greed and uncertainty, the pain and the sorrows. We need to reset.

I don’t know what tomorrow brings. Will I survive the virus? Will there be food enough to feed us in the coming weeks and months? Will the fragile world fall apart and be broken into pieces or will we pick ourselves up by our bootstraps and say no more? No more greed, hate, broken systems,leaving people to suffer.

Fix our health care. Fix our government. Bring back our workers, farm to table, real goods, the way it use to be where we can be proud of what we bring to the table. Fix this!

No more wolves in sheep’s clothing, smearing the truth, the way, and the life. Bring the light back and let us see through the darkness. Let us see. Wake up!

Quit hording the toilet paper!!

Failures of the medical system….Why They Hit the street, taking medicine into their own hands

(The title may seem misleading at the moment. By the completion of this article, it will make more sense. This is a work in progress. ) While working on this article, I’m publishing early to allow for comments and ideas if anyone is interested in sharing to highlight the issues with our medical system. I can only share my own experience and what I’ve witnessed. So if you have anything you want me to mention that needs change, please comment so I can look into it and possibly add to the article.

Our system needs to change. It’s not working for millions of people and lack of awareness of the brokenness of our system isn’t helping. Repeating the same mistakes isn’t helping. Even with studies highlighting some of the issues leading to this disfunction change is not occurring.

I want to change the system. I want to bring awareness to some of the problems within our medical system and highlight some ways to bring change so we can avoid making these same mistakes that lead patients to taking things into their own hands; to avoid leaving patients in pain, limit their suffering, offer support and fix the errors that lead to confusion, dismissals and lack of care, especially to patients who don’t fit into neat little boxes. And maybe to bring attention to the fact that too many of us are suffering from chronic illnesses and conditions that aren’t as rare as they purpose.

I want to share my story and my son’s story as well to highlight the difficulties and challenges that have led to a breakdown in patient care. My story is not unique. I’ve discovered so many of us who suffer the same. This should not happen. We need change.

Textbooks are great for basic knowledge. But textbooks lack an essential component to doctors who treat or come upon patients suffering with unique symptoms or simply chronic conditions. What I’ve learned, simply by joining patients groups for various diseases and disorders, is that no two patients are completely alike and that textbook knowledge doesn’t come close to understanding what it is that patients suffer with on a daily basis which leads to a great misunderstanding and often dismissals of patients concerns. For example, I was once told, “MS doesn’t cause pain,” by a physical therapist. Join any Facebook or community group and see for yourself how many MS patients suffer with chronic pain, as well as how many have been told what I was, “MS doesn’t cause pain.”

We need a website set up for each disease or condition. A database that patients can access and share their symptoms that can be cataloged and graphed. It can have oversight and a team set up to verify information, diagnosis, ect. A separate site can be set up for those undiagnosed to share symptoms and other information. There’s a lot to go into it but it can be done and managed with access given to researchers, doctor’s, patients in some form or another. A section set up for patient chat with the understanding that researchers and doctor’s can have access to read, monitor and understand the day to day life of patients who suffer with whatever they specialize in so they can draw a better understanding beyond what the textbooks teach. Researchers and textbook writers can then take this information to expand upon the current information being taught in medical school. We need to get rid of the idea that doctor’s should always assume patients are horses, ignoring the zebra standing in front of them. We have way too many zebras in our world today and many of us are not being seen, heard, understood or taken care of.

This is a work in progress. I plan to edit and add to this blog as I go until I determine how I want to proceed in shaping and sharing my story. I thought about simply saving it as a draft but decided to publish it for now to allow input from anyone wanting to share their ideas, struggles or their own story.

It may take me a while to bring this to completion but it’s my goal to do just that. Being disabled is tough. In addition I’m taking care of a child who has his own disabilities.

Parts may be written offline and incorporated later. Eventually, I’m looking to publish this work and advocate for this change our medical system needs.

Dying… One day at a time

I’ve been sick a long time. As I’ve navigated the medical system trying to solve all the pieces to the puzzle, I’ve been left adrift at sea, floating aimlessly towards the waterfall taking me over the edge and to the other side. Unfortunately, doctors don’t seem to see the waterfall in front of me.

My body is falling apart. I have so many health issues taking my body in different directions but one in particular is driving me downwards on this spiral towards death that I feel deep in my gut, my heart, and my mind and yet I don’t think the doctors and specialists have an inkling of how serious my condition is or even a true understanding of what I’m suffering. I can only feel it as I fight the system, begging them to figure out what is tearing my life apart.

It’s not my ME/CFS causing this spiral. It’s not my connective tissue tearing me apart. Fibro doesn’t escalate. In 2015, I began to experience body wide vibrations which feel akin to holding onto an electrical current that pulses through my body at various intensities. It’s not left me since it first began though at times it’s barely perceivable. It’s either an issue of the muscles or the nerves but not one answer has been forthcoming. At it’s strongest, it’s been felt by others in my thigh muscles, where it seems the strongest.

In addition, my legs became like jello with heavy weights and difficulty in moving them. That feeling is not as bad as it use to be and seems to have gotten better. I’m left with fatigued muscles and a perceived slight weakness in my legs. I developed weakness in my hands as well. Not terribly, but enough to notice as I drop things much more often and don’t seem to have as much strength as I use to. I had a tremor at that time which has since disappeared only to rear it’s ugly head every now and then. Shaking in my legs that are visible and annoying that comes on out of nowhere to simply disappear once again.

I do have something neurological plaguing me. My feet lack sensation. My legs and hands go numb or tingly and I’ve had burning sunburn feeling for months in my back, a warm liquid sensation down my legs, burning patches on my skin, cold ice sensations in the back of my head and random neurological symptoms that come and go out of nowhere. The pain is body-wide. The pain and fatigue rule my life like no other. Pain in my muscles, my joints, and what I can only explain as a raw nerve like pain which predominates in my lower back, hips and legs.

My gait changed on me several years ago. It’s like the signal in my mind did not match the signal in my body. My mind tried to walk at normal pace but my feet did not operate at that speed and I took a few falls. My legs don’t seem to want to take the fast large paces I’d been accustomed to as I now walk with a short slower shuffle. It’s odd. When I try to walk faster, I can trip over my feet. The pain in my hips, thighs and butt has been severely intense requiring around the clock pain meds in order to function. I can’t stand long nor walk far without the pain increasing.

I developed faciculations about two years ago. Predominately in my thighs and butt muscles. Last year around August, I started dropping weight. In addition, my butt muscles atrophied. They’re gone. My round bulbous fat booty is no longer. My skin sags off my backside and I’m flat and unsightly back there. The fasiculations continue. On occasion, they have moved to my mid spinal area on the left side. I developed pain there shortly after. My back muscles feel weak. My shoulders and neck are weak. It’s hard to sit or stand unsupported. I’ve not had many fasiculations in the upper body though recently started them in my right arm in the back with a single muscle that flared up in pain. Will I atrophy there next?

Back in 2015, I developed cognitive dysfunction. Words were coming out backwards, memory issues, and brain fog. I told my hubby something was wrong with my brain. They found lesions. Only three small lesions, two in the frontal lobe and one in the occipital lobe but tiny and nonspecific. No answers were forthcoming. Though my speech has gotten better, my voice box is not the same. My voice had become more horse and deeper than it had before around the same time as my memory issues hit. Recently, I’ve had a few minor episodes of losing my voice momentarily. I developed a cough around two years ago. I am a smoker so there’s that.

I suffer from internal spasms. Colon spasms, diaphragm spasms and esophageal spasms. I can choke on my own saliva. This too got worse a few years ago. It seems to come and go like a roller coaster ride but the difficulty in swallowing is more consistent, there are period where I can ignore it as well as periods where I can hardly eat. Last year, I started dropping weight. I lost over 15 pounds in a few short months and from then, 135, to now 110. I have difficulty with my appetite. I don’t often feel the sensation of hunger. My bowels don’t often feel the sensation to defecate though I feel it at the sphincter area, not in my abdomen. Sometimes eating causes pain and or nausea. It’s hard to eat much and I get full quickly.

I just recently had surgery both exploratory and a hysterectomy. The doctor found endometriosis and removed it along with adhesion’s on my liver which were removed. The shocking part, during exploratory, he watched as my bowels danced in front of him, on their own accord, something he’d never seen in his many many years as a doctor. Even under anesthesia, my bowels had a mind of their own and they spasmed over and over again. I can only be thankful this was seen so that I can get a write up to share with my gastrologist who has yet to dig deep into my digestive issues. I feel no one has really taken me seriously thus far. Symptoms of pseudo-obstruction or volovus which I’ve mentioned yet no scans were ordered for me..

My surgeon, upon meeting with me during recovery, immediately mentioned my need for a neurologist. I’ve seen three already…. He gave me a suggestion and I realized it’s one I’ve researched prior and tried to see but was denied a few years ago. Maybe now, with his recommendation and write up, she’ll accept my request. Will I finally get answers to the neurological part of my health issues that have plagued me for so long?

Is it one progressive condition or two separate conditions due to the length of symptoms over 20 years and recent seriousness or change over the last 4 to 5 years.. I don’t know. I do know I’m progressing. I feel my body dying and yet the doctors around me are oblivious of my plight until I’ve hit the anger stage and simply told them straight up, “I’m dying.” That’s a huge risk given how often we’re accused of being ‘hysterical’ “somatic symptom disorder’ or simply ‘overly anxious.’ But I’m simply done caring what they think of me mentally, something that bothered me greatly before. Now, I just want some damn answers. I need help. I AM DYING. The roller coaster ride has had a downward trend over the last several years and the progression is noticeable.

It’s fatiguing to talk. I can no longer sing without serious exhaustion. My body is tight and painful and never seems to truly relax. My thigh has spacisity. My butt is atrophic. My spasms persist. My inability to hold myself up without fatigue and pain has intensified. I’m uncomfortable in my own skin. I am in pain. I have lassitude.

The system is slow and uncaring. Prayerfully soon, I’ll get answers. Since surgery, I’ve had this insistent clicking/clunking in my sternum/chest area. My hubby can feel it and I can hear it. It’s bizarre! Is it my sternum due to my connective tissue disease or my mitral valve? Is it diaphragm spasms? The hiccups are constant but an issue I’ve had for a while now. The clicking is new. I’ll mention it to my doctor during my follow up. Just another annoying symptom to add to the list of many. Will I get answers? Will I ever know what ails me? I’m starting to think I won’t….

When the lights fade out..

There are just some people in life that touch your soul. A good neighbor once lifted my spirits and created her own little place in my heart. She was a special light that shinned brightly. Some people’s light stay with you in life. Whether you talk to them all the time or just on occasion, keeping up with each other through social media but never turning out the light on a friendship that was meaningful. She was that person.

Her big heart, compassionate soul, and love of her neighbors, a trait we’re losing in our day and age. I’ll never forget the meals she made and brought over, just so we could try something new and eat, leaving me recipes that still get used to this very day with a smile as I think of her. The ‘welcome bear’ given to us as a parting gift when we moved, once again, that still sits on my porch, HOA be damned, to welcome those to our door. She was a special neighbor. Her love for her husband and kids shinned to those around her. She had so much passion and spunk.

Never timid, outspoken, and straightforward, my kind of person. She was a fire cracker, a momma bear, and an advocate to those around her. She was never afraid to speak her mind and be herself through and through, no games, no deception, what you see is what you get and I LOVED that about her. She helped make some of the best two years at a place known for one of the highest divorce rates in the military. A barren land filled with cow shit and flies, we pulled together as a group and made something out of nothing and survived those years with warm and love surrounding us. Creating community and togetherness in a place many succumb to out of isolation and the stink that attaches on tight and can pull you into a place of dark depression. That truly was one of the worst bases to ever be stationed at.

It’s the people that make all the difference and she was one of those people. Not one to let the muck and mire get her down. Her family became my family as we looked out for one another and knew we had a trusted person if ever in need. But as is the military way, distance separated us but social media kept us together. We all get caught up in our own lives as time passes but the heart remembers as we touch base and root for each other in life.

That special light faded and went out way too soon, taking a small piece of my heart with it. I hope she realized how special she truly is to us. How touched we were by her and her husband. How deeply sad and moved we are by his loss, our loss, her family’s loss. She truly was, one of a kind, a gem, a friendship to be treasured.

I spoke to her a week before her passing and I knew things weren’t good. I didn’t realize how bad they were and her loss so quickly took me by surprise. My heart grieves. My husband’s heart grieves as we recalled all the good times we had. As we shared her memory with my family as we remembered her with love and fondness and celebrated her life (and her husbands, can never leave out that special gem too), but with a deep ache inside as this one truly hurt. I don’t make many friends. I don’t have a long list of those who really touch my heart and hold a special place. That list is short and she was on it. I’m socially awkward and a bit closed off emotionally. I’m too open and honest and that can turn people off. Maybe a good part of why she was so special to me as she too was like this but with a booming personality and without the social awkwardness I carry with me. As I told my husband, with her, I could be myself. With her, I never felt the judgement or irritation for simply being me. She embraced me as I am and I will never forget that.

She will truly be missed. Makes me want to reach out more to the few I hold close to my heart but may not know how much they mean to me. Too many walls and insecurities built around me, protecting me from the hurt so many have caused. I think I will reach out to them and tell them while I have them. Life is short sometimes, don’t waste an opportunity to let someone know how much you care. Hug your family. Hug your friends. Don’t waste time dwelling on the past, worrying about the future, but make time for today as we’re not guaranteed tomorrow.

My friend, your light shined so very bright and you touched my heart and left an impression that will never fade. Your memories live on and I will cherish them. Goodbye my friend. Till we see each other again.