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Showing posts from 2018

Everything Changes.

Not more than an hour after I posted my last entry, everything changed.

My husband came home, and asked if I had gotten a call from a Cleveland number on my phone. I had, but I was on the other line with my sister, and it wasn't from the usual area code, so I didn't answer. So, they called my husband instead (he's third on the list of people to call, and my sister also had not answered the call). The call was from a transplant coordinator at the Clinic. They were calling to tell us that they had accepted a liver for my mom, and she would be going into surgery the very next day. I was beside myself. I felt guilty for not answering the call, but also remembered how I wasn't going to feel guilty about things like that anymore. I called my brother, who immediately broke out in tears, and he told my sister, who also started crying.

The next day, the coordinator called me at 7am, to let me know that the time of surgery was scheduled for 9pm on Tuesday. My husband had rearra…

Be Honest.

I went out to breakfast with my dad today. He had a vintage vanity that my sister was giving to me; I love everything about the vanity, so I wasn't going to let her just get rid of it. So my dad packed it into the back of his big ridiculous truck, and waited for a day that Kurt and I would be able to lug the damn thing up the stairs. We celebrated with various eggs and breakfast meats.

I called to get an update on my mom, as I do every day around mid day, and sometimes in the evening. I got a nurse today I had never spoken to; he had a very deep, matter-of-fact voice. I asked how she was doing, and he said she was stable, and about the same as before. Then, out of nowhere, he said, "you know, she's just going to be like this until she gets her liver. We're keeping her stable so that she can do that. But she's not going to improve until the transplant happens."

And for a goddamned second, that stung. But almost immediately, I appreciated his honesty.

My mom ha…

Thoughts.

I don't cry much. I've always felt the need to appear like I always have it together.

I was thinking about my mom last night. She's been laying in the hospital for a few weeks, again. I haven't seen my mom outside of a hospital room more than a handful of times this year. Things are getting worse before they're getting better.

I thought about how I haven't been able to go to my mom's house to pick her up and take her for a drive. We missed the farmer's market in Barberton this year. We didn't go to Amish Country to see the giant Cuckoo Clock. She got to see the seasons change from either windows on the 10th floor in downtown Cleveland, or from the screen of my phone.

There have only been glimpses, brief moments of the outdoors. Otherwise, it's all indoors. In a bed.

I cried the kind of tears that come from really deep within. Those grief tears. Those tears where even if you try and stop them, they keep coming.

I really needed to cry like that.

Feeding What Hurts.

Yesterday was my first food centered holiday since making peace with myself.

I had dinner with my best friend and her family. We've been friends for a really long time, and have similar hurts. We've been discussing our pasts in really raw terms, and it has been immensely healing and helpful for me to be able to open up like that. So, what better way to celebrate than eating homemade comfort foods. I got a little bit of each and picked through it while we watched Planes, Trains, and Automobiles. I had a piece of pie. I ate too much spinach dip.

But I didn't leave feeling too full while simultaneously feeling empty. I didn't have to endure attacks on my weakest parts being disguised as kind hearted joking. We ate, we laughed, we talked a little when our husbands were downstairs, and we had a good time.

I've always struggled with the holidays, because of my family dynamic. We've always been poor, so holidays became just another day a long time ago. Even as adults…

Things I'd Like To Be Writing About (once the funk lifts)

Writing is always the first thing to go to the wayside when I'm in a major funk. Depression is stupid, and adjusting to new meds is even more stupid.

So, when I'm ready, this is what I want to write about:

Malls (history, architecture, the death of the third place, personal stories that may feature Rolling Acres Mall the most)

Cannabis (personal anecdotes, medicinal use, cannabis tourism)

Mental Health (living with PTSD, what happens when I find myself triggered, what works, what doesn't)

Music and Pop Culture

SNL (I watch faithfully every Sunday morning, have for a long time)

I find myself wanting to blog again, because nobody reads blogs. But that doesn't mean that we have to stop writing, does it?

Quick Chicago Trip Wrap-Up

Our trip to Chicago was successful. We split an AirBnB with my friend Glen and his wife. We stayed in an area close to the Empty Bottle, since the show we were going to was there on Friday night. We also went to a bigger festival that Saturday night, after a great breakfast, and then a lot of record stores, music stores, and a bit of photography. Our roomies were a lot of fun, and the shows were great. I'm glad we could figure out a trip out of Ohio. And it always rules to be able to see The Hold Steady two nights in a row.

I also got to see two incredible malls. On the way home from Chicago, I was able to stop at Concord Mall in Elkhart, IN. The mall is notable for two things: the incredible closed Carson's wing, with all the wood paneling and dark colors, and for it being the mall of my longtime friend, Absurdist Writer and Lunchables Connoisseur, Jon Konrath.
It was cool to be inside of a mall that was so significant to someone that I know. I got a bunch of photos, and wi…

Everything Good Can Be Bad.

I feel like i've made a breakthrough in my own writing.

I have lived a life that is full of situations and people that make for great stories. I've run around with bands, broken into buildings, stayed the night with strangers from the internet,  things like that, and the stories I come up with are always hilarious.

But with some of the other stories (which are also good), I struggle with telling them, because in telling them, I look like an asshole. And I'm not comfortable with that, so I just don't tell the story, or I tell them in a way that comes off as defensive. And I don't want to be defensive anymore.

Over the past eight years, I have gone through some insanely tough restructuring of my life, and how I live within it. And during that time, there were some situations where yes, I was in the wrong, and yes, I acted like a total asshole. I've been the other woman. I've used people. I've lied a lot, because it was less painful than telling the truth…

9/11/01

I've never really written about where I was when the towers fell. I wasn't actually in NYC, so writing about it has always felt so navel gaze-y. But it's been seventeen years, so I also feel like at this point, it's just a good story.

I was in college, and had an early public speaking class. I had given a speech about the movies of Kevin Smith, because of course I did. I also did one on John Waters later in the semester. After class, I walked back to my car, and turned on my giant Motorola cell phone, which incidentally was my first cell phone ever. Back then, you didn't leave them on all the time. I got into the car and turned on Howard Stern. My mom had left me a message to call her back. But I listened to Stern for a minute, and he was frantic. The first tower had been hit at this point, which my mom relayed to me when I called her back. "I think you should just come home, something weird is happening in New York," my mom said in her message.

So I drov…

Out of Focus.

My mom was approved for a liver transplant and added to the national list about two weeks ago. She's been sick and shuttling between the hospital and a skilled nursing facility close to the hospital. She wants to come home, but she can't. She doesn't have the constant supervision that she currently needs. While everyone else in the family thinks her constant care should fall to me, I can't do it. There's always this guilt trip because I'm not working, but the thing is, I AM working. It just doesn't pay any money. It pays in things like me being able to look at myself in the mirror and not hate myself. Or, I'm writing again.

Small steps and deep breaths get me through those moments, those conversations.

I started yesterday with every intention of getting shit done.. I have a writing job that I need to wrap up. I have website updates for a client that I need to finish. I woke up early, felt great, and then the phone rang.

It was my mom. She could barely …

Late Night Revelations.

I can't sleep. You'll see that this is a common theme. So it's time for me to tell you about something:

I'm really proud of myself.

This is what happens when you go into a therapist's office and autopsy your entire life and belief system. I've been on the slab for a few years, cut wide open, removing each part, examining it, weighing it, taking notes of anything remarkable. And I've had to go through the proper burial.
But, I've also already been reincarnated into this newer, less anxious, more creative, still nervous person who I am now. Only, instead of having new skin, I am stapled and stitched back together. I can feel my guts rattling around sometimes, those ghosts coming to knock, but I'm alive and I'm really different.

I had to learn that it's ok to do things for myself. It's ok to change things that don't work for you anymore. It's ok to fail, and it's ok to try new things. It's ok to tell people no. It's ok…

Musicals as Movies, Birthdays, and More.

Tuesday ended up being pretty eventful. I got up a little later than usual, because I  had stayed up too late and forgot to take my sleep meds until later. I try and take them around midnight, because if I don't, the hangover the next day is horrible. One of the fun features of my PTSD is my complete lack of ability to sleep. My anxiety is at its absolute worst at night. I lay down at night, and my heart starts racing. My brain doesn't shut down. I feel paranoid and scared for no reason. So I've been taking Ambien on and off for years. It's the only thing that works for me. Anyways, I took it late, so I slept in a bit.

My sister's birthday was Tuesday. She's in her late thirties now, and pregnant with her first kid, a girl. My sister has always wanted to be a mom, but was also always waiting for the perfect time to do it. Life has pretty much shown us all that there's really no such thing as perfect timing. She's excited and I'm happy for her.

She …

Feeling Stuck.

I used to write daily, in my Livejournal. I would make time every day, before and after work, to go through and read what my friends wrote, and to also write something of my own. Even if my day was dull, I wrote. Writing always made me feel better, especially when I was honest about what I was feeling. Writing helped me process everything.

And then I quit writing. I was in an abusive relationship, and he told me repeatedly that my words didn't matter. Nobody cared about what I had to say. So I believed it.

Since leaving him in 2010, I've been in various phases of recovery. Not all of it was good, either. But recovery never seems to be a linear thing. Change takes time and work.

My last therapy session was last week. I did a lot of writing while I was going through the program, because writing helped me process all of the dark, awful things that I had been carrying around for so long. But now the structure of therapy is gone, and I know I need to keep processing.

I sit here a …

Hi There!

I am very bad at keeping websites updated! 

Until then, find me over on instagram @flannelkimono and @j.anshutz

I'm also on Twitter @flannelkimono

The picture above, Heavy Metta, will be a part of 24, at Summit Artspace starting April 13!