Small Tokens of Appreciation

I think I’m a kind person. At least I try to practice kindness in all that I do and say. I’ve never really believed it when people told me I was doing a good thing by taking care of my mother. I couldn’t because of the thoughts (perfectly normal thoughts, I might add) I had about her and always planning her funeral. My family always expressed appreciation for me taking care of my mother. Mostly it was because they were glad it wasn’t them and they were half laughing up their sleeves at me in relief because it wasn’t them. Even when close trusted friends would tell me I was a good person, or anything nice really, I couldn’t allow myself to believe them or worse, I thought they were setting me up because they wanted something from me. I’ve been struggling for so many years against this current of self and perceived disapproval it seems absolutely normal. On my last job my office coordinator would call me and the first thing out of my mouth was “What did I do now?” She’d ask me why I always asked that when she called and I replied; “It just saves time.” That’s pretty much sums up how I’ve always felt at work, at home and in life in general and abstract.

First off my coworker and I have received 100% in our customer satisfaction rating for 11 days in a row. The first week three other offices received this rating as well and we had a single digit response so I didn’t see it as much of a distinction. It’s easy to get 100% when only 7 people are responding. Well, that was my thought any way. Last week my office was the only one with the 100% rating with over 40 respondents to the survey. We are very motivated to keep that number to the end of the month and maybe to the end of the year. This office was always in the low 90’s before I joined, and it would creep down 1 to 1/2 of a percent between weeks and I automatically assumed it was because of me. It was all my fault. I just didn’t know how I could be any kinder than I already am.

The most precious token of appreciation came on Wednesday when a lady came in (due to HIPPA laws I can’t explain more than that), we will call her M, and left a little bag at the front desk for me. I was in the back doing the mad scientist part of my job and when I came out to the front to look for clients my coworker handed it to me. He told me at first he thought it was a “Pee Party”, which is our code for a urine sample, but instead there were three different sized raffia pumpkins nestled inside. It was so sweet and so completely unexpected. It affirms my belief I am where I’m supposed to be and doing what I’m supposed to do. I haven’t been singled out for appreciation in dogs years, it was overwhelming. I still well up at the gesture.

The conflagration of appreciation has made me realize how unappreciative I’ve been to you, my readers and to the people who serve me. I am so caught up in my own head most of the time I forget all the people who have helped me get to where I am totay. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you, one and all. I want to share with you the pumpkins of gratitude I received this week as a thank you for the support and the and expressions of solidarity and triumph. I am going forward now with more of an attitude of gratitude I’ve been too busy to muster in the past months. Thank you M.

Thank you!

Almost a Year

I had a dream this morning, half awake and half asleep kind of dream.  I heard my mother call me from her room.  Not her normal morning call but more of a genial kind of invite.  My mom was in her room and my sister S. was asleep in her bed while C was asleep down the hall.  I walked into my Mom’s room and she was sitting on the far side of the bed while S slept.  She was a solid vision, no apparition, do diaphanous edges, but solidly real.  She came around to the end of the bed and I sat with her.  I could feel her arm, literally feel. her. arm.  I held on and hugged it.  I apologized to her about not taking care of her the way I wanted to take care of her.  I wanted to do better by her, but I just physically couldn’t and I couldn’t seem to rise above the fray in my mind which exhausted my body.  (you know depression).  I don’t remember if she accepted it or not, but it didn’t matter.  I was able to say it to her.  S. woke up and saw Mom but couldn’t hear her and C. came into the room and could hear her but not see her.  Mom was happy.  There wasn’t the roiling discontented aura she had in life, I think she was at peace.  We wanted to know if she had seen my brothers J. and D. but she hadn’t.  She didn’t want to face them.  We encouraged her to see them.  We didn’t believe they wouldn’t want to see her.  I think I fell out of the magical level of sleep and into a deeper sleep because my dream degraded into something more surreal than pseudo-reality.

So, it’s been almost a year.  10 December 2017 feels like five years ago and yet it hasn’t even been a full 365 days.  So much has happened this year, considering what I was dealing with there are days I am amazed I get out of bed at all.  There is still a part of me that is a recalcitrant depressive but it has always been there, I’m learning how to work around it and move forward.  The post Rectal-Cranial Inversion talked about how I “accidentally” hit June 6 as my start date for phlebotomy class.  Had I stuck with that date I would have taken my test about the same time I took my test and I probably would have gotten my externship the same time too.  Having the benefit of hindsight I realize the June 6th start date would have been a better time for me to go to school because my head, some days, is still solidly inverted but mostly not now.   I wouldn’t have needed Red Bull to keep me awake through class, but it tweaked my anxiety to the point I couldn’t trust myself.    For the externship I changed my buspar (anti-anxiety) and then dosed down my bupropion, my puppy-upper than can also tweak anxiety.  Once I did that I didn’t panic and my externship people saw a noticeable difference.   I’m planning on dosing down again in the new year to see if I can finally be free of some of these meds.

So, yes, I passed my test; 96/100.  Not bad at all.  I finished my externship with glowing reviews.  I’ve gotten my certification and card from NCCT and I’m going to work with someone today about my licensing.  I feel I am ready to go out on a job interview and nail it.  At least I have the chemicals straight in my head so I don’t blather on like an idiot through the interview.

On the darker side of life I am still dealing with some of the little, annoying aspects of the depression.  Like not taking care of myself.  I have food but I don’t want to cook it, I’d rather go without or take a couple of spoonfuls of peanut butter and be done with it.  I’m working as a Lyft driver so I’m having to have to be more social than I like and than still wipes me out.  I need to shower more, but who doesn’t.  To help with pushing out my bandwidth I have started courses that will put me back on the path to getting my bachelors degree.  I’m going for a basic interdisciplinary degree so I can include my history credits from 100 years ago but then I’ll be able to put on my resume I finished university.  I might even go further to get an MFA in writing.  Again, my dreams writing checks my body may not be able to cash.

I’m happy though.  I mean for the first time, in a long time, I’m happy.  I’d be happier with more money, but God has always provided when the world wouldn’t.   I don’t think I’m ever going to mourn for Mom, not the way some people do when they tear up when you mention their mother.  There are still parts that are angry with her but after the dream not so much.  It’s done and I’m moving forward…..one step at a time.

Bad Bad Ju-Ju Go Away…

Come again some other day. (Perhaps I should preface that with NEVER)

It was a long weekend, and far too short at the same time. I eested mostly on Sunday because of what happened on Saturday. What happened on Saturday you ask….

  • Got up and walked to the bank to get cash in case what I had in my checking wouldn’t be enough.
  • Arranged for the tow on the Geico app and waited inside for about 1.5 hours and then went out to stand by my car….in the driveway.
  • Had a nice chat with the neighbor for about 30 minutes until the tow truck driver showed up (Finally!!!)
  • J. hooked my baby up to his truck. He tried to turn it over, you know, just in case. We chatted about birds and UFOs.
  • Got to Priemier Nissan in San Jose.

So far so good, right…..

  • Started to climb down from the cab of the truck, it the first step, I was out too far for the second step and missed the step. Luckily, the Lord was with me and kept me safe, though my arms got one heck of a stretch and my back slammed against the inner door frame. Ouchie!
  • Talked to Doc at Nissan and he was honest with me and said his team probably wouldn’t even get to plug it into the computer so no use waiting in the lounge, so I decided to go home by their shuttle.
  • The shuttle driver wasn’t coming back. I growled to myself. I still have a problem asking people for help….in this case pride literally went before the fall.
  • As I was gathering my stuff to go to the lounge to call around up DRIVES Doc with my car.

Sunday I got a call from him that said on a cursory look at the diagnostics there doesn’t appear to be any problems with her. He wanted to keep her until today so he could make sure.

Now I know I have a part in all this bad ju-ju. I consciencly decided I didn’t want to take ANY of my meds. There wasn’t a coherent reason other than I didn’t think I needed it. And I skipped again on Sunday. I couldn’ sleep last night, almost called in sick to school (in a two week course is untenable) so I got up, med-upped, donned my scrubs and went to school. I’m out now and waiting for the shuttle. I did okay sticking people and I was a good sport and let people stick me. However none of this explains why I’m tearing up. Stress is really kicking my a** right now.