Saturday, September 29, 2012

Serenity...

"Boredom is the feeling that everything is a waste of time; serenity, that nothing is."
-Thomas Szasz 

I've been trying to settle on some sort of symbol for "serenity" for a new tattoo.  A friend asked if I'm getting it for something to aspire to, and I suppose all of my tattoos are always reminders of things to aspire to or remember/keep close, but the most important reason for this one would be that I for the first time maybe ever, I feel this lovely sense of calm and serenity that I always want to remember.  It's incredibly freeing and euphoric.  I think it will also serve as a good reminder that I was once here and can get back to this when things inevitably get harder as life progresses.  It's all about feeling like you are where you belong.  This comfort and coziness in all that is around you.  

My mom always said when things were right, they aren't so hard...  I guess this is what she meant.  It feels so nice and I think it's deserving of a permanent reminder.

So...  any ideas?  So far I've looked into different flowers, possibly a swan...  Maybe a sloth with sunglasses on?  ;-)  Who knows...

xo,
Rachael


Friday, July 6, 2012

Happier Times

Since I know I have at least one blog reader who keeps up with my posts, I guess I'll update.  ;-)

So much of what was ailing me during my last post has faded.  A big chunk of that being the chronic pain I last wrote about.  I went to a new specialist to get a second opinion on my endometriosis.  The pain had gotten to the point that I was ready to try the reversible menopause shot treatments (highly toxic) that I had always been against or to have the serious discussion about if it were time to start "trying" before removing my lady innards.

My new doctor checked me over and said nothing looked right and things weren't adding up.  To most people this would probably be bad news, but for me it was instant relief.  You've gotta understand that I spent 7 months in intense pain, going to appointment after appointment being told everything "looked fine."  I really started to feel crazy.

My new doc told me she could remove my IUD since it clearly wasn't doing what it was supposed to, or leave it in for the MRI she wanted me to have regardless to see if it was in fact in the "right place."  The "right place" isn't just anywhere inside my uterus, as my previous doctor kept reaffirming, but instead - in the middle of the uterus.  Not dug into the right wall of my uterus.  She told me they couldn't tell with an ultrasound, but the MRI would show exactly where it was, OR I would know if she were to take it out in a matter of days because the pain would go away.  I told her the only reason I had it was to make me stop having my cycle, but I had bled every day for 7 months since I had it put in, so she could feel free to take it out.

It was removed and with that, my right-sided pain that I was taking heavy medications for was lifted along with my hope and general outlook on life.

My new doctor has a plan for me and we have "backup" for when the endo comes back.  Things are looking up and she has renewed my faith in someday feeling mostly pain-free.

On top of that, I became engaged!  April 29th, Dan set up an incredibly massive surprise for me in our apartment.  I came home from a bridal shower to an empty driveway and a note on the door telling me he had to run out, but to enjoy my surprise inside.



I guess this is where it became blatantly obvious that I'm a very lucky gal, because I thought nothing of the sweet card on the door or hanging notes inside at first.  Dan does very sweet, romantic things for me often, and I honestly didn't know what was going on until the "lets be together forever" note and seeing the new mix CD hanging from the last string.  Pressing play, as instructed to do so by another note, prompted audio from Disney's version of Robin Hood to begin playing (we watched that together our first sleepover - he put it on without knowing it's one of my all-time faves from childhood).  That's when I really knew and I broke down and sobbed into my hands as I heard Little John telling Robin, "what are you waiting for?  Just marry the girl, already!"

video


While crying into my hands I realized there's no way Dan could have left me to go through this alone, so I turned around and there he was, down on one knee with a ring.  I couldn't see the ring because of all the crying, but after about a million, "is this for real?  Is this a joke?"s, I of course said yes.

The ring is just perfect for me.  Rose gold with rubies and a beautiful diamond.  Classic and unique.  I adore it.  Inside it reads, "Now and forever, Rabbit."

Planning the wedding has been mostly a pleasure thus far.  I have my dress and my bridesmaids and I'm ready to go.  :)

It was about time for a happy post, eh?

xo,
Rachael


Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Chronic Pain is Pretty Fucking Painful

My endometriosis pain has gotten to yet another new level.  It's made me start looking into a bit more on the subject of chronic pain vs. specific endometriosis pain.  If pain management is the way to go for now, I need to know more about it.

I came across this article I found pretty interesting.  While it's pretty obvious why people who are constantly in pain would find themselves dealing with depression, it's not as clear that they may be lacking a fear most people have that keep them from hurting themselves or worse:


"The natural and deep fear of pain, injury and death stops people from hurting themselves, and this includes people who have high desire for suicide. It might not be as hard for someone who has already had to contend with a lot of physical pain.”

Interesting, right?  I never thought about it because I haven't really thought about hurting myself seriously since high school (except for very rare occasions sprinkled throughout adulthood).  There's always something to be said about the tattooing and piercing experiences being therapeutic because it's so much easier feeling physical pain than emotional pain, but what if you're dealing with both all of the time?

No pain at all starts to sound a hell of a lot more tempting than constant physical pain and depression.

Adina said that for the person with chronic pain, suicide would stop their pain and that would be a huge relief.  But it would cause so many others a new/different pain.  It's hard to remember that at times, also.  That even though there's only a handful of people (my family included) that would notice if I were gone, it would be enough for me to continue to suffer through this because I couldn't bare the thought of hurting my family or Adina.

That's me.  Living for others.  I hope it's worth it to just one because currently it's not feeling so worth it for me.

xo,
Rachael

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Ventilation

I feel like I'm drowning.  Each time I allow myself to start feeling optimistic about how things are going up here, something happens to chop that feeling right off.  It's pretty amazing how specifically I can pinpoint these events-- Me super hopeful and excited about things/the future and then something falling apart immediately after.  It's hard not to feel frustrated and hopeless.

I've been told that I shouldn't let myself get so upset over things that aren't in my control or that aren't my fault, and for some reason that's exactly where my head goes whenever something goes wrong.  I am quick to blame myself.  Even though my health issues are not my fault and this hospital bill out of the blue is not my fault and friends disappearing and reappearing when it's convenient for them is not my fault, but I always find a way to make it my fault.

I convince myself that I'm not good enough or smart enough or a caring enough friend to have my old friends want to make an effort toward staying in my life.  Same with marriage- Not good enough or pretty enough or thin enough.  My medical bills were not my fault, but I guess I should have tried finding out how much everything was going to end up costing before I had the surgery done.  It was my choice to move to CT from a good job with great health insurance, and buy a new car without knowing about CT Property tax.  These are things I can somehow put on myself instead of blaming my insurance company, doctors, friends, etc.

I can honestly say that I've reached a new point of stress in my life that I don't think I've ever felt before. I've worked so hard at keeping flawless credit and staying out of debt and feel like the bottom just broke out from underneath me.  I'm drowning.  One of these hardships has a domino effect on my mind and my thought process and my anxiety.  The hospital bill makes me think about the job I left and the surgery I had before that I didn't pay a dime for because of the great insurance I once had, which makes me think about not having my cushion I've independently built up for myself,  which reminds me of how hard I've been working to get to a point where I'm happy career-wise in CT, which reminds me of how much I've done and given up in general which makes me think about what I gave it all up FOR, which in return makes me think, once again, about not being where I had hoped we would be.  It's all quite depressing and nerve-wracking.  You get to a point where you can't breathe anymore.  I can't find anything to look forward to.  I can't find any positives to balance out the tremendous amount of negative.  I knew my year was planned out for me already with other people's weddings, bachelor parties, holidays with family (I now have to use my own vacation time for)...  nothing for myself, really.  Nothing for my relationship.  That was tough enough to swallow every day, and now all of this?

It's so hard.  It's such a rough area right now.  I keep thinking about how many times I've really been shaken since I've been in CT and it's been several.  I keep saying it feels like a joke and I'm waiting for someone to jump out and say, "JUST KIDDING!"  Or that it feels like a test-- someone's just pushing me to see how much it will take before I break.  I think I'm breaking.  I think this is it for real.  I can't stop crying.  My jaw is twitching on its own.  I'm constantly on edge.  I constantly feel like I'm on the verge of a panic attack.  It's too much to take.  The amount of times I've had to pick myself up off the ground and try to get back up and keeping going since I moved up here is ridiculous...  I don't know how many more times I'll be expected to do this.  On top of all of this, my physical pain has gotten really bad again...

A huge part of me wants to throw in the towel, curl up in a ball (preferably under a rock) and just take some time off work and lose it for a while...  It's bad.  Thoughts and feelings I haven't felt in so long.  I'm not going to be able to afford therapy or any other medical expensive, luxury expenses, etc. for a long, long time.  Guess it's a good thing I don't have a wedding to plan or any children on the way.

Amazing how much life can turn around in a day...

xo,
Rachael

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

To Vacay or Not to Vacay (and most importantly - WHERE?)

I realized tonight, a lot of times, my immediate reaction is "no."  Not like "no, I don't like that" or "no, I won't try that," but more "no- my situation won't allow it."  I've had to learn to let go of so much that I find it easier to set myself up for the disappointment ahead of time.

Dan asked me tonight if we could talk about going on a vacation.  While it sounds nice and mushy, there's a bit more to it than that.  It isn't a, "let's sit down and plan out a trip to a place we'd both love to go to."  It was a, "There's a Groupon travel deal that's pretty sweet."  "Where to?"  "Cancun.  All-inclusive."  While I would love to do one of those beachy resort vacations with Dan at some point, I've also kind of thought it'd be fun to do one of those with a big group and do a more romantic "check that destination off your bucket list" kind of vacation with Dan by ourselves.  Maybe that's why my thoughts immediately went to the "can't do it" zone...  Portugal was incredible, but was a family vacation and other people's engagement trip.

Here's the real deal-  I work at a very inflexible place with very little vacation time.  I live far away from my family and friends.  I get very little time to get to go see them and it's very rare that anyone ventures up this way (once a year maybe if I'm lucky).  So a lot of my vacation time needs to be set aside for things like holidays that I don't get normal time off for.  That makes REAL "vacation" time super precious.  I don't know if I want to spend my real vacation time in Cancun instead of Napa or Europe or planning our future instead.

That leads to the next brain blockade.  My future.  2012 is already planned.  There won't be any new exciting life changes in 2012 that I need to save my vacation time for, and that's a real bummer.  Cancun, all-inclusive resort with watered down drinks and mediocre food?  Sure...  Why not?  What else am I going to spend it on?  (That's the "fuck it" part of my brain talking...)

I know that sounds really bratty.  I would be happy to go anywhere with Dan.  I really would.  And if that's where we can go easily, and there's not going to be other places/vacations we're going to plan out, then I'll take it.  I guess maybe in my head, I'm just wanting that adventurous life to begin this year, and maybe taking a good travel deal is worth it.  I don't know...  I just don't know.

What I do know is that I need more relaxation and yoga and letting go of things I can't change.  What I need is a damn weekend with Emily.  She's like a wise guru, that one...  Throw her mom in the mix, and I may very well be cured.

*sighs*

Always,
Rachael

Friday, January 20, 2012

Your 2012 Resolution Will Not Trump My 2011 Resolution.

I've been toying around with this entry for about 2 weeks.  It started out incredibly negative and full of anger.  The second draft was less angry, more introspective.  This draft is one I'm contemplating not even publishing because I'm feeling kind of over it, but here it goes...

Basically, long story short(er), 2011 was a tough year for me filled with a lot of loss and grieving over losing old friends and acceptance, then I'd get a glimmer of hope, then the cycle began all over again. By the end of 2011, I had gotten myself in a pretty good spot as far as friendships were concerned. As cliche as it sounds, I knew who my true friends were and I was okay with it.  Hell, I was more than okay with it-  I'm more grateful than ever for the incredible few people who stuck by me through my move- those people who were there for me when I needed friends the absolute most.  THRILLED to have them in my life.

I don't really make New Year's resolutions. There are lifelong goals and things I'm constantly working on and I set them throughout the year, but they aren't so much "resolutions". There are challenges that crop up and I deal with and there are decisions I make to better things for myself and I work towards them. Last year, I had to work really hard on letting go of people that were very important to me. It took literally all year to make this happen...

This isn't the first time I have been used up and put in a position where I am forced to "clean house" and cut out people who are doing more harm to me than good.  I've had a couple other phases I can recall where I had to step back and say, "holy shit.  This person is really hurting me" and block them out.  It was really hard the first time because I used to be a total doormat and a sucker for those in need (emotionally wrecked people).  Those types of people will take and take and take until you tell them to go fuck themselves.  It became easier the second and third time because once I realize what's happening and that someone is using me, I'm out.  Usually.  It depends on the relationship I have with the people, I suppose.

In 2011, I was forced into a lot of new situations that were scary and tough because of my move.  One of those situations was to actually ask for help.  To reach out to friends, family and acquaintances for help because I was alone and scared and needed support.  That alone was hard for me to do.  I'm stubborn and independent and want to be able to take care of myself, but I couldn't last winter.  Or spring.  I needed help and asked for it for maybe the first time ever, and the people I counted on the most couldn't be there for me.  People I have been there for numerous times and have put myself through the ringer for couldn't be bothered.

It's been a very painful process to come to this realization, but a necessary one.  It was one of those (unfortunate) goals that popped up last year that I resolved to resolve.  It became my number one 2011 resolution.

That's why when one of those people decide that their 2012 resolution is going to be trying to repair their being absent and living in their own selfish world for the past few years, it becomes painful all over again.  "Too little too late" doesn't begin to explain how I feel on the situation, but it's nice, simple and to the point.  What once was a gaping open sore that had the scab picked at for an entire year finally healed over and became a scar.  A scar which reminds me when I happen to see it not to make the same mistakes.  I've gone to great lengths to not have to see that scar daily.  I've done all that I can without completely cutting ties so that I keep my sanity.  It's been great for me and really key in helping me move forward.  It's how I was able to get to the healthy place I am, now.

I intend on keeping my momentum moving forward.  This week has been so healing.  I overcame many incredible challenges at work, began a new yoga class, got some time with friends, and I've been inspired and feel rejuvenated.  I'm feeling confident and proud of myself for all of my hard work emotionally and professionally I've done in the past year.  I'm not going to let someone else's resolution get in the way of all of my hard work.  The sad part about it all is that because of the absence and complete lack of interest in my well-being over the past year, they have zero idea where my life is and how I've gotten here.  It's a real shame, but "how are you doing?" and "what's new?" have been too hard to ask in the past year, so why would it start now?

Hopefully my 2012 resolutions will end up being a bit more positive to report on next year.  I am feeling incredibly optimistic tonight after a great week.  I will continue to accomplish goals and surround myself with positive people who support me, and that will ensure things only go up from here.

xo,
Rachael

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Cheers: 2012


I'm doomed...

2012 is already scheduled to be a year to watch everyone else live out their dreams...  It's sad that timing (yeah, I'll call it "timing") has fucked me once again...  The more I find out, the more angry I get.  Everything feels so out of my control.  It's times like those that I make snap decisions and irrational moves (which is kind of exhilarating).

I spent most of 2011 watching other people live.  I've explained this to many as me sitting in one place not progressing.  I'm staring into the mirror seeing my face age, and having nothing to show for it.  I haven't become anything new in the past year- not even a particularly better version of myself.  I'm just here.  Aging.  Spinning my wheels.  Contently, otherwise, I suppose...

I'm doing all that I can not to burst and let everything that's swimming around in my head take over, but it's tough.  You reevaluate at the end of each year and see how far you've come or mark the milestones and this year, I have none aside from financial victories and material items (new car, a few new disgustingly expensive handbags, etc).

It was 2010 that I moved for Dan, left my old job, found a new one, etc.  I lost a lot of friends in 2010-2011, and gained two close friends.  In 2011, I have become more confident and kicked complete ass in a job that rarely challenges me.  I'm not sure how proud one can be of that accomplishment?

When reading my new year's post from last year, a word that showed up a lot was "proud."  I guess if I had to choose anything to be proud of in 2011, it would be becoming aware that I can do most anything on my own.  I've been forced to figure quite a bit out, and I did each time (finances, health issues, depression, lack of friends, etc).  I know that if the snap decisions and irrational moves tapped me on the shoulder, I could keep up with them, if that makes any sense.  And that does give me some sort of pride/comfort.

I feel a hell of a lot more comfortable in this state than I did this time last year, and I feel more confident in my relationship.  That hasn't swayed.  It's just hard to see around all of the roadblocks that have been set in my path by others that I have no say in.  There comes a time where you have to make your own future plans and stop passively waiting and dreaming.  That's my hope for the new year-- I hope that I will grow a pair and make some moves.  Some incredibly irrational and impressive moves to shake this world of mine up.  After all-  we only have one life to live, right?


I often think of parenting and how I would raise a child/children of my own.  I think of how my parents raised my sisters and I and I'm constantly reminded of the values they instilled in me that I take a lot of pride in.  One shining example is simply manners.  Maybe it's because we were more Southern than the people I'm used to being around up here (though some of the kids I grew up with had zero manners and lived less than 10 miles away) or maybe because that's how my parents were raised and it's what they knew.  Whatever the case may be, my first reaction to ANYTHING that is said to me is wondering how my response will be taken by that person and how to respond without hurting anyone's feelings--even if it's work-related or opinion-based.  Unfortunately, a lot of times, that means me just keeping my mouth shut and never voicing my true opinions or watering them down to be palatable by the sensitive.  This is totally fine (and appropriate) in most cases.  However, I'm starting to find that the squeaky wheel does indeed get the grease and I'm tired of being fucked.  Maybe other people's feelings should be less of a concern than my own these days.  I want to find a balance.  I need to find a balance.


I'm not one for resolutions, but I reflect all year long.  The year wasn't bad.  It wasn't great.  There were wonderful moments and memories made this year, just no milestones to etch into a timeline.  I'm sure I'll have many more years just like that, but I won't be thrilled about it.  My goal is and always will be to find my raison d'etre.

Adina and I chatted over the weekend about life and where ours stand currently.  We both realized that we have no regrets and not many people I know can say that.  We live our lives regret-free, and I think that is heavily tied to always striving to experience new things and always be open to moving and evolving.  She and I have both always been this way, and I guess that's why I'm feeling so uncomfortable standing still.  Having to fake smiles and congrats is uncomfortable and feels like regret is lurking around the corner...  It's not my style.


So, to wrap up, cheers to an explosive 2012 - to LIVING and no longer standing still.

Highlights:
-SNL
-Buying my Mazda 3
-Louis CK
-SYTYCD w/ Adina & Mandy
-Portugal w/ Dan's fam
-Labor Day Party (Jess and John, Kevin, Eli)
-Hartford Apartment
-ETID/GWAR
-Twilight Zone Halloween
-Miss Kitty Portrait and Jenny w/ the Green Ribbon
-Visiting Em & J in Bmore
-Thanksgiving & Xmas w/ fam
-Parents visiting in CT
-Yoga

xo,
Rachael