Ambien Shame

So I was all sorts of excited last night because I got some Ambien from my doc.  I’ve been sleeping so poorly lately, and aside from the normal “dealing with child” stuff, I can’t figure out why.  My birth control has been wreaking havoc on my hormones so maybe that has something to do with it.

But anyway, I took my Ambien last night, looking forward to falling asleep fast and NOT needing to eat ten times and get up to pee fifty.  And then I made a classic Ambien mistake.

"Other complex behaviors (e.g., preparing and eating food, making phone calls, or having sex) have been reported in patients who are not fully awake after taking a sedative-hypnotic. As with “sleep-driving”, patients usually do not remember these events. Amnesia, anxiety and other neuro-psychiatric symptoms may also occur." (source)

“Other complex behaviors (e.g., preparing and eating food, making phone calls, or having sex) have been reported in patients who are not fully awake after taking a sedative-hypnotic. As with “sleep-driving”, patients usually do not remember these events. Amnesia, anxiety and other neuro-psychiatric symptoms may also occur.” (source)

I got up.  I thought I had time before it “kicked in” to grab a quick glass of milk.  I was feeling a tiny bit empty and wanted to coat my belly with something.

Apparently it had already kicked in.  Most of the rest of what I will recount was told to me by my hubby this morning.  I don’t remember much of it…and what I do remember, I thought was a dream.  I woke up to a cup of fruit snacks next to my bed this morning, with only the vaguest idea of how they got there.  Hubby said I asked for them.

Anyway, I brought J* out to sit with hubby around 10 pm because she just would not sleep. I got my milk, and polished off the rest of the dark chocolate Hershey bar I had left in the fridge.  Then I guess I went to the bathroom… and puked everywhere.

thought I maybe had a dream about throwing up.  Had no idea I had actually done it until hubby came home for lunch and asked if I was “feeling better.”  Not only did I puke everywhere- homemade chili and chocolate.  Somehow I even got some on the tub next to the toilet. I told hubby I felt bad he had to clean up after me and I didn’t even know it. He said I cleaned most of it up myself.  (I don’t remember.)   With what, I asked disgusted, wondering if I was going to find a pukey towel in the laundry.

Wipes, I guess, he said.

Where did I put them? 

In the trash can I guess…

I hope I flushed them…  I tentatively went in to take a second look at the bathroom.  I’d already been in there numerous times today and noticed nothing amiss, so between the two if us, we must have cleaned up okay…

A spot or to on the floor towel we use to soak up water by the tub.  A dribble on the outside of the toilet.  That’s all the evidence that’s left.  That and a resolution to only take half a pill tonight, and under no circumstances, get out of bed.

And the mild feeling of shame, like a drunk, post blackout.  Heed the drug warnings, people!

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365: The Journey to “Less”

I wish I could remember where I saw it, so I could give some credit to the author…  Even if she didn’t come up with the idea herself, she certainly inspired me.

Well, that, and the fact that I have been feeling increasingly overwhelmed, burdened if you will, by all my possessions.   As I once told my husband, albeit a little less eloquently, “We’ve got too much shit.”  Not only is this probably the case with most people, it never becomes more evident than when you are packing to move…or unpacking after a move…still…   Two and a half years later…  And yet, often times I have a hard time letting go.  My internal dialogue is usually a variation of one of three themes;

1) I may need it at a later date (we all know this one)

2) It was a gift from so-and-so (Guilt is such a useless feeling, and yet so persuasive…)

or  3)  Well, just throwing it out would be a waste; I should find someone who can use it

So as I lay curled in a semi-face down fetal position last night, riding the thankfully ebbing waves of a migraine and trying not to puke, I began to think, once again, of all the shit  I have.  Not necessarily talking “hoarder” level here, just a lot of knickknacks and long unworn clothing and, well, just stuff we really don’t need.

Especially in this tiny apartment, I sometimes feel buried by stuff, tied down by stuff.  If you wanna leave a place, you have to figure out the hows and wheres and whys and how-much of moving all your stuff  too.

So I decided to give this unnamed writer’s ide

a a try.  The concept is simple.  Get rid of/throw away at least one item a day.  At the end of a year, you have gradually, and in a non-overwhelming and non-invasive way, whittled down your collection of useless stuff.  I don’t know if she has any rules.  I’m just going to start easy.  Today, I got rid of a couple of bottles of toiletries I don’t really need.  Like, I said, you only need to do one a day, but I figured any extras I can get rid of on any given day would just be a bonus.  After all, why hold onto it if I know I don’t need it?

Anyone else have difficulties letting things go and wanna do this with me?  (Moral support, people and baby steps.)

Today is "get rid of cat that pisses on bed" day. Just kidding...maybe.

Today is “get rid of cat that pisses on bed” day.
Just kidding…maybe.

A Few One Liners About Social Media, To Sing You Off To Sweet Sleep

Just a few random thoughts that have been poking at my consciousness like splinters, presented in a passive-aggressive way for your entertainment…

All of your “selfies” look exactly the same.  Stop it.

Maybe it’s not your opinion that people object to; maybe it’s the combative and assholish way you present it that pisses them off.

That pic of you fresh from the gym/car dealership/proctologist/whatever– you know, the one where you’re staring into space, or looking sideways and making duck lips at the camera…it was very unique and illuminating.

You’re so vain…you probably think this post is about you.

This post is about you.

Dear close friend or family member, I have to be more understanding and try not to get my feelings hurt when I know you’ve been online, but you’ve ignored something I posted specifically for you; you must just have your hands full “sharing” all those played out memes and “inspirational” photos.

I love watching grown ass adults act like adolescents on a social media site, don’t you?

And speaking of “grown adults,” watching some of the older crowd navigate Facebook is like watching two monkeys try to fuck a football.

I’m just here for the Scrabble.

This time last year…

This time last year was a bad time for me.  I lost my grandmother and my cat in the same week.  I didn’t make it back to my home state for my grandmother’s funeral…and I buried my cat, my longtime buddy, in a blanket in the park.  My grandma died in a hospital after succumbing to injuries from a fall.  My beloved Neeners died in my lap on the way to the vet’s office for what was to be a second opinion.

I still have a strange feeling of unreality when it comes to my grandma’s passing; maybe it’s from lack of closure because of not being able to be at her funeral.  Most of the time, my grief is sort of a dull sadness that resides in the back of my mind.  The other day, I happened on a photo of her holding my daughter when J* was about three months old, and I suddenly felt the grief rear up, along with the familiar disbelief– denial– I’m really never going to see her again?

With Neeners, my grief is tainted by an unshakable guilt– why did I not do something for her sooner?  Even if I couldn’t save her, maybe I could have at least spared her pain.  What must she have thought of me when I had to give her the medicine that made her sick to her stomach?  Did she think I was torturing her and she didn’t know why?  I feel like I failed her somehow, even when I try to tell myself I did the best I could.  If we had had the money to get the tests she needed for a more accurate diagnosis, sooner…

It’s too late for me to do anything about any of this.  I could try to end this post with some wise thought or platitude about how time marches on and we all die sometime.  Really, my only point with this post was to sort of remember my lost loved ones on this sort of anniversary week of their passing… and hoping that “honoring” them somehow keeps them from being forgotten.

Things Not To Say to A Grieving Person (Me, At Least)

Obviously, when it comes to death, everyone handles it differently.  Though the stages of grief may be similar, every person’s individual experience with grief is unique.  Differerent people find comfort in different things.

Death can be a touchy subject for many, myself included, and that means finding the right thing to say to a grieving person can be hard.  In the wake of losing another acquaintence from high school, I have been reflecting once again on society, people, and the role of social media in the grieving process.  Many people are clueless when it comes to tact, even in their everyday life, but especially in times of other people’s sorrow. Often, even well meaning people unwittingly say the wrong things.

My personal policy is ‘when in doubt, keep your mouth shut.’

Unfortunately, a lot of these people don’t have any doubts about the stupid things that may come out of their mouths.

As I said before, everyone finds comfort in different things, so to say that all grieving people would be annoyed or insulted by these things would be presumptuous of me.  But I will say, when I’m grieving, I do sometimes want to smack people who say certain things.

So here are a few things I try to make it a point not to say to someone who has lost someone else.

1) Who died? – Especially with the emergence of social media sites and “smart phones”, people seem to have forgotten some very basic manners.  If you must look in on your friends’ grief when they post about losing someone, there are waaaay more tactful ways to ask about their loss then “who died?” (Yes, I actually saw someone say this, this morning.)

2) They’re in a better place-  Oh, really?  That’s nice.  Personally, I prefer being above ground to below ground.  Oh, you meant Heaven?  Well, that’s sweet of you to say.  Really a nice thought… except, I’m an atheist, so…yeah, that doesn’t comfort me a bit.

3) At least they’re not suffering- Yeah, you may be right.   Maybe their long battle with cancer is over, or they no longer have to fight their addiction…  Or maybe they were just out with friends last week, having a grand old time, smiling and laughing, enjoying their life until it ended, perhaps suddenly and unexpectedly.  You know… not suffering.  

4) She/He’s lived a good long life-  Yup.  In fact, their life was maybe so awesome and good that they (and the people who loved them) will probably miss them like crazy, and wouldn’t have minded them sticking around for a bit longer.

5) Heaven has another angel- Um… like I said…atheist.  But even if I wasn’t, humans don’t become angels when they die, do they?  I thought angels were created by God before humans ever existed.  Maybe I’m being ungracious, and people are just saying things like this to find comfort in what is likely a very confused and upsetting time. But, again, to me at least, these types of sentiments ring a little false.  They offer me no comfort, and in some cases, not a little bit of annoyance.

6) The good die young- Yep.  But, then again, so do pimps, drug dealers, and, often, rock stars.  Chances are, the deceased was none of the above.  We all have light and dark.  The fact that there seems to be no rhyme or reason to who lives and who dies is part of what makes death so hard to accept.  And please, don’t say

7) It was part of God’s plan

Not to me, anyway.  I might not be able to restrain myself from smacking you and then telling you it was in God’s plan.

I have also heard some people say that they hate it when people say “If you need to talk…”

I personally don’t think that would bother me, unless the person saying it never seemed to notice my existence before my grief.  Some people just thrive on other people’s drama.  And maybe grieving people get tired of talking.  If you feel you must say something else, asking your grieving friend or relative “what can I do (for you/ to help)?” may be reasonably safe, and then leave them the option of what telling you what it is specfically they need (and it may not be someone to talk to…)

Basically, unless your grieving friend opens one of these avenues of conversation (for example: indicating they believe in Heaven, or mentioning that they are glad their loved one’s suffering is done) the best bet when addressing someone who is in mourning is to just say, “I’m sorry” and not much else.

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                              In Memory Of Greg Knapstein (1981-2013)

Service to Animals, Service to People

So today I took the first concrete step towards my future.  Hubs and I invested in my future, and put a down payment on my continued education.  Only it has little to do with the degrees I already have.  But it is for something I’ve always enjoyed, and that is working with animals.  As soon as the enrollment process is completed, I’ll be starting coursework with the Animal Behavior College to become a certified dog trainer.  But I don’t want to work at the local Pet Smart teaching people’s ill-mannered pets to behave (though no disrespect if that’s your passion!)  I’d eventually like to work with animals that help people– chiefly service dogs or police dogs.

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Service animals are no longer just seeing eye dogs.  Animals of all species are now being utilized for all types of disabilities, both physical and mental.  Cats, dogs, monkeys, ferrets, goats, and even pigs are being used as companions to physically disabled people, people with agoraphobia and other anxiety disorders, and even bipolar disorder.  To me this exemplifies a more holistic and harmonious turn in the treatment of many severe and often debilitating health problems.  Simply put, I love how animals and the bonds they forge with their humans can help surmount even the toughest challenges and just make people happier.  

Then there are the police dogs, the bomb sniffing dogs, the cadaver sniffing dogs, the war dogs…   These dogs truly are service dogs, and they are heroes!

And I definitely want to be a part of this.  I love animals…   People, meh…  I don’t care for people as a whole, although I do generally like being around people on a more individual level.  I have a lot of interests in my life– art, writing, music, forensics, sports, horseback riding, my family…  It’s hard to give time to everything in my life that I enjoy, and even harder– for me– to settle on a career path, but I think this is something that can make me happy…

Which in the end is more important to me at the end of the day than any other considerations like money or prestige.

orlando-police-dog-training

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The Cycle

“I asked you a question.”

He’s trying to control the conversation.  Don’t let him.  You have the power now.  He’ll never control you again.

“Say something…say something!” His lapse in composure is brief, but she sees the rage that she now knows must have always been there.

“What do you want me to say?”

“I want you to answer the question.”

A pause.  “How could you do what you did?  Those women…”

“Have you never been taught not to answer a question with a question?”  She’s never heard that note of condescension in his voice before.  Not in 8 years of marriage or the two years they dated before that.

I never knew him at all…who is this man?

“You still love me…”  His eyes pin her to the spot, like a butterfly mounted in a display case.  “You miss me.  You need me.  Don’t you?”

don’t need him.  And I don’t love him, not anymore.  But, God help me, I do miss him.  At least, I miss the person I thought he was.

“Answer me.”  Somehow this quiet command is more frightening than all of his rage.

I’m not scared of him.  He can’t hurt me anymore.  I’m not scared, I’m…  Defiant,”Why should I?”

“Because I have something you want.”

“You don’t have anything I want anymore!”  No!  Don’t let him see your anger!  If you’re angry, he wins.

He smiles.  “We both know that’s not true.  I know where your sister is.”

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