This morning I had to sit and tell a psychologist all of my problems. My anger, irritability, depression, insomnia, all of it. I had to tell her that I have never been this way before. Sure, I went to a therapist when my beloved dad passed away, but he dealt with grief issues. I have never needed to take anything to help my mood – ever. Part of me feels like a failure for having to do so mow at age 45. There is a larger part of me that knows this condition is not here to stay, it is simply part of “the new normal” that I have to learn to adapt to.
Being hit by a car ruined my life in many ways. In other ways, it has forced me to take stock of myself. If there was a choice, I never would have been hit in the first place. Going to doctor after doctor, rehashing my history time after time is inconvenient at best, aggravating at worst. The really difficult part is that I have no short term memory. Things that do not get written down do not happen. Texting me something works only about half the time. I have come to realize that I have to carry a notepad and pen with me at all times.
I have also learned that my fuse is now non-existent. I have no filter now. This is part of having post concussive syndrome a traumatic brain injury (TBI) and post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
So, part of my new normal is knowing what I can deal with and what I cannot. Being honest with doctors and all the other specialists that I see helps. What also helps is that they tell me that what I am going through is normal. There are ways of coping. I am starting to learn them.
One of my biggest coping techniques is to go for walks when I get angry. The other one is to read. Getting back to my blog is my other big outlet. I only have a few friends, so socializing is not always an option. The hardest part about getting to my new state of normal is accepting the new me. I keep remembering a time when I could do several things at once, when I remembered everything I was told and could get tons done without breaking a sweat.
Those days are over.
When I get down about this, I have to remember that one of the doctors told me that accident could have been fatal. I cannot afford another blow to the head because of my fractured skull. Life is precious. Each day that I get up, I have to thank the universe I am still here adjusting to the “new normal.”
This past week the internet was bombarded with posts about 99 Things We Love. The challenge was to type out 99 things you love in ten minutes. I tried this twice failing miserably both times. That is when it dawned on me. I have more fun being sarcastic. We all know people who are overly privileged who have never had to work a day in their life. We have all heard them complain and wanted to tell them to shut the hell up! So I had a thought about posting 99 Problems (some of them are dumb, you will see)
1. I hate having to take a shower in the winter because the bathroom is cold
2. I have a problem with the lack of Starbucks around here. Where else can I hear someone take five minutes to order a latte?
3. I need a free phone because I have no money, yet I see folks on welfare with smartphones. That’s dumb.
4. I wish I could find a way to smell again.
5. The store stopped their 6-8 am coffee deal. Where the hell am I going to get coffee for only 42 cents now?
6. I don’t like sleeping alone, yet I hate people who hog the bed and steal my covers
7. I want to be successful, but people usually don’t give jobs to people with major health problems
8. I have a sign over my head. It says “please tell me it is cold outside” because I obviously don’t have any idea it is cold out.
9. I like to read and I hate when I run out of reading material on a Sunday because then the library is closed.
10. I think folks who confuse Atheists and Satanists are stupid. How many times must I tell folks that there is a huge difference between the two?
11. I hate that people think I am cute only because I am short.
12. I hate being called “midget” I am not a midget. I am four feet ten inches. That makes me neither a midget or a dwarf. It makes me short.
13. I hate that my blog gets so many spam comments
14. I hate being lonely.
15. I hate knowing there are perfectly healthy people out there living off the U.S. while folks like me can barely survive.
16. I hate hearing people order fancy coffee drinks – you do know you sound stupid right?
17. I hate that the biggest person possible always sits next to me on the bus. Why is that? I bet I have another sign over my head.
18. I hate that some folks might take this seriously. If you are one of those people you need help.
19. I hate dealing with bureaucrats. Enough said.
20. I hate when I order a Whopper with cheese and ask for no onions and I get onions.
21. I hate that people spend more time texting than actually talking
22. I hate people who want to call me “Nance” after knowing me five minutes. My name is Nancy dammit!
23. I hate people who push and shove. One day, I will trip someone who does that.
24. I hate dirty old men. They make my skin crawl.
25. I hate women who flirt with my man and pretend to be my friend.
26. I hate when I buy a soda, open it have some and then forget about it. Then it is flat and nasty. Ewwww…
27. I hate that we have a huge homeless population here in the US that no one is doing much about
28. I hate republicans who want to cut benefits to those who truly need them
29. I hate that nail polish chips
30. I hate that I run out of instant coffee. Coffee is life.
31. Why must nail polish chip?
32. Speaking of chips, I like potato chips, but I hate that I want to eat so many of them.
33. I hate feeling the way I do
34. I hate that folks who are mean get ahead more often than those who are not mean.
35. I hate peas
36. I hate peas and carrots together, but I love carrots. Is that weird?
37. I hate mothers who yell at their kids for no reason
38. I hate when I feel stupid
39. I hate crying when I have no tissues. Then I have to wipe my nose on my sleeve. That’s gross.
40. I hate men who fart and burp right in front of me
41. I hate people who have great lives telling me how bad and lousy their life is. Wanna trade? I bet you don’t!
Okay, I said I was going to do 99, but you get the idea. This post is really all about perspective. Think about it. Is your life really that bad? I bet you have it better than you realize.
Here is the song that inspired the post. Enjoy it.
“I look fat in these pants” a woman in her late thirties announced to me yesterday. For the record, the pants she had on did not make her look fat. I asked her why she felt she was fat and her answer was not surprising. She told me she feels fat because her upper thighs touch when she stands still. “Models legs don’t do that.” She complained to me.
This is what Photoshop and fashion models are doing to society – destroying one woman at a time until we all think the height of beauty is being anorexic.
There was a time when women like Marilyn Monroe were considered the ideal. What is insane to me is that she would be considered a plus size model by today’s standards. This is appalling. Somehow we have got to do a better job of showing real people modeling fashions. Failing that, magazines need to be more accountable. Using Photoshop to make a woman unrecognizable via removing ribs, or even making something normal like upper thighs touching seem abnormal is the problem.
When are we as a society going to say “Enough! I do not want to live up to an unobtainable ideal!” Each day, I overhear women of all ages bemoaning their bodies because they see some celebrity who has access to the best clothes, lighting and makeup. We have allowed the media to control how we feel about our bodies and it is a shame. That is not to say all celebrities have it easy. Jessica Simpson got torn to shreds in the press for not losing weight fast enough.
The pressure on celebrities and on normal women to always be beautiful is incredible. So many women walk around having unrealistic expectations of what they should look like. I am fairly comfortable with my looks. I am forty five years old and have been through plenty. I am in pretty decent shape, but highly doubt any modeling agents will come knocking on my door. It has taken me a long time to like myself enough to not care about these magazines and their overly airbrushed images.
What would really be great would be more accountability. More realism, less bullshit. The best thing magazines could do for women is simple – stop putting women with imperfections down. Let us embrace ourselves as we are. No plastic surgery required.
In the US, Thanksgiving was yesterday. For many others it was simply another day that ended in “y.” I have often wondered why it is that we pick one day to place an emphasis on gratitude. Shouldn’t that be something to strive for each day, not just the last Thursday in November? To that end, I am doing another list. Below is a list of things that I am grateful for every single day. There are also items on this list that I once took for granted. Almost dying will get you to see things quite differently.
Things I am grateful for
Being alive. This may seem simple, but when you get hit by a car and wind up with a fractured skull, you realize life is truly precious.
My son. Even though he is not in my life, not a day goes by that I do not miss him.
Being held. Yeah, something about being held always calms me down.
Laughing with friends. There is no better cure for anything that ails you. #thatisall
Being in love with someone who loves you back
Watching a baseball game. To me that is so much fun. I love going to Yankee Stadium. I also want to go to other ball parks around the country.
Eating a meal I cooked. I love to cook.
Looking someone in the eye because I am telling the truth
Having some really good doctors and physical therapists who sugarcoat nothing.
My lawyer and his staff who are patient with me even when I am not all that nice.
My friends who say the word “wicked” all the time. Must be a New England thing. I will never get it.
Being from Jersey. It makes me automatically cool.
Having some quiet in the morning when I can have coffee and a cigarette without someone bugging me
Being random and silly.
Being hugged and kissed
Looking out at the ocean and feeling the breeze on my face
The art of writing.
Reading a story so well written I am reluctant to put it down.
The memories of my father
Writing something that touches someone else. That is the greatest compliment of all.
Having my limbs and most of my senses. I know many folks have it worse than I do.
The realization that there is so much I still can do.
Knowing that my first instinct is often right.
Knowing that above all else, love really is the answer.
So there it is. A list of things I am grateful for. I want to wish everyone a happy holiday season.
What are you grateful for?
So I see that my friend Gini has a post over at Spin Sucks about the things she loves. She got 82 The challenge is to get this done in ten minutes. The clock starts now!
1. My son Douglas
2. My boyfriend Gerald
4. Watching the sunrise
5. Hearing a random song that I haven’t heard in years
6. My lucky Giants sweatshirt
7. My Tino Martinez jersey
8. Word search games
10. A hot shower at the end of a long day
11. Singing “The Bitch Is Back” at karaoke night
12. My friends
13. Resting my head on my man’s chest.
14. Getting a phone call from someone when I really need it
15. George Carlin
17. Knowing that I have done things no one ever thought I could do
18. Freshly cut grass
19. The shore down in Jersey(not that stupid show)
20. Family Guy
21. Watching baseball games at Yankee Stadium
22. A perfectly cooked steak (rare)
23. Cookies that are right out of the oven
25. Making love to someone who means everything to you
26. A laugh that makes your sides hurt
29. Not running away from how hard life gets
30. Meeting friends in person who started out as online friends
31. Getting text messages from friends
33. Babies who smile at you
35. Memories of my past – good or bad
That was all I could do in ten minutes. That was tough.
At the end of our lives will it really matter how much stuff we accumulate? Will it matter if we live in a fancy house, drive the best car, or are the envy of all our acquaintances? Or is life really about something much more important? Is living the best life possible really all about love? They say love is the source of all our positive feelings. It has been my experience that when I come from love, life works much better.
On the other hand, when I am fearful that is when my ego, jealousy and pride run rampant. It has been said that all our emotions come from two main springs – fear and love. When I am locked in fear that is when I am at my worst. That is when I am open to suggestions that are not in my best interest. When I am coming from love, things have a way of working out that I never even considered. In the past few months, there have been rocky times in my relationship. There was fault on both sides.
My biggest fault was that I stopped coming from love and let fear grab me by the throat. The simple consequence of letting fear rule me was the fact that I almost lost a relationship that means the world to me. The choice was mine to make, did I want to remain in fear or did I want to try something different? Did I want to run the risk of losing something good simply to prove a point or was I ready to risk it all?
Love fixed things. Once I came from a place of love and kindness, he did too. Then it was as simple as realizing we did not want to give up. Love was what we were both looking for. We found it in each other and have decided not to let it go.
Lennon and McCartney were right “love is all you need”