Nine years ago you saved my life. Unfortunately it also happens to be last time I saw you, too. To top it all off, until a year or so ago I couldn’t remember much of our seven years spent together, (or unfortunately the seven years that followed 🍷😵💊). But it’s all good – I remember now and I survived it. I’ve survived a lot, actually. And you know how? Every time it would become almost too much I would think of the strongest person I know – that’s you. I would think of what you had to endure and I endure. I think that’s what I want you to know most….that your life meant more than you ever thought possible and your fight saves me everyday – which is ironic because towards the end you mostly believed that you were so much less important and that you were weak. When you died, I was relieved for you because you couldn’t catch a break here on earth and I quickly learned to cling to every single moment before it ever becomes a memory. In other words, I understand why you had to go and I am so so happy you were here. I’ll keep trying to make you proud.
Love you with all my heart,
- Bumble and Bumble Seaweed Conditioner Was super surprised to find this at the drug store and for all of its benefits, the price – although high – is right. First of all it lasts forever because you dont need much – and since my hair is naturally coarse and devours conditioner by the bottle – that’s important. Also it feels like it soothes your scalp when you leave it on for a little bit and makes my hair feel lighter, not heavier, than it was B.B.B. (Before Bumble and Bumble)… so now I can skimp on my shampoo so I can splurge on this instead.Sephora.com
- Urban Decay Naked Eyeshadow Palette This is literally my version of all of the colors of the rainbow – because when it comes to eye shadow, I tend to remain modest A) because I go heavy on the liner and mascara and B) I cant ever imagine leaving the house with blue eye shadow on. Hard habit to break. Blame it on the fact that I’m a product of the 80s – my formative years. Stays on forever and travels well. Sephora.com
- Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel If this stuff was cheap I would bathe in it. I have alot of redness due to urticaria and allergies and this soothes my skin and it’s light like a gel but moisturizes like a cream. A little bit pricier than most drugstore moisturizers but you really shouldn’t have sticker shock when it comes to your skin. Get your priorities straight, girl! Neutrogena.com
- Maybelline ‘Master Camo’ Kit Initially I bought this kit (which is the perfect size to carry along for touch ups during the day) to hide my redness – my skin, along with the rest of me, is hypersensitive and very reactive. This helps me keep my glow, hide my dark circles, and I use the two highlight shades as an eyeshadow primer because they are shimmery and seem to really set my shadow. For a makeup junkie like me, anything that takes up less square footage in my makeup bag is a win/win situation. Maybelline.com
- NYX ‘Butter Gloss’ By far my favorite drugstore brand of makeup – (I would recommend you check out their ombre blush too!) I apply lip gloss like, 25 times a day, so the ideal gloss would not dry out my lips or stain them in all the wrong places and would have a really dope ‘youthful’ color selection. So without further ado, allow me to introduce my ideal gloss. You can thank me later.Ulta.com
I wish my little spiral notebook stored emotions because I’m really trying to muster up that anger and that disappointment that I felt this afternoon when I was dismissed by my primary care doctor who spoke to me like I was a little fucking whiny ass bitch with a toothache, looking for Tylenol 3. Been there done that whole routine. I don’t have the energy for the gym, much less a drug addiction.
Physically I feel like I am forty years older and the kicker is I got my Brain MRI results and it looks like my memory may be as well. It was a small victory for me, honestly. Just kind of hoping for that white matter for so you can show everyone else you’re not crazy. I mean…I may be getting there so that’s not like a definite. Anyways, as we were waiting for them to fax over the results, my doctor – who’s this short, very serious squirrelly little thing – he tilted his tiny head and looked up at me over his glasses and had the audacity to ask, “Do you think this could all be depression or anxiety related?”. You see, when you have a diagnosis such as PTSD on your medical resume, you have to accept that every single doctor that you see and trust enough to share with is going to look at a person like me very differently than say, a 37 year old stay at home mom that always brings the snacks to fucking lacrosse practice. They’re going to spend a little more time with them and actually hear their symptoms. Like such severe light sensitivity and brain fog that it’s impaired their ability to drive a car. We, those who share similar diagnosis codes, are treated differently. I can’t really describe it but if you’re asking me to, you’re probably a 37 year old soccer mom who wears pearls and in that case I’d say count your lucky fucking stars, bitch.
I did go through an incredibly traumatic experience that altered me and the course of my life and I would never have done it any other way because I now see it as a gift and not a curse. Not only that…I have very rarely let it show. I’m always smiling, always polite and the answers always ‘yes’. I still have dreams, still see him daily. Still deal with it. But prior to falling ill in December I was at the best place I’ve been in a very very long time. And actually, I remain positive and proactive, which is something I’m super proud of.
SO, UM, YEAH I DONT THINK I HAVE CHRONIC JOINT PAIN AND SHORT TERM MEMORY LOSS BECAUSE IM BOO-HOOING OVER A ‘BAD BREAK UP’ OR BECAUSE I NEED XANAX FOR LIKE, THIS SUPER HIGH PAYING JOB INTERVIEW.
From here on out I am going to do my best to drill something into my head that has really been helpful: I am the only one who knows my truth because I’m living in it. No one else will know more about you than you. Especially not some dull, uninspired family physician who’s probably popping Adderall for a non-existent deadline.
That’s been my mantra ever since I decided it was just easier for me to become my own Cognitive Behavioral Therapist and I read that someone like me is usually better off going along with their second thought rather than their first. So I pace myself in escalating situations by consciously remembering to stop and breathe long enough to repeat it in my head. Unfortunately, today I literally felt myself roll my eyes while repeating this phrase for the umpteeth time because it’s now officially reached the point when I am even sick of the sound of my own voice – or what’s left of it because I get to add asthma to the list of my diagnosis codes. So, instead…I wrote a list of things that I am thankful for today.
- Maxi dresses
- On Demand
- Lavender scented Epsom salts from Rite Aid
- Sea bands
- This you tube audio recording of an Alan Watts lecture called ‘The Art of Dealing With Pain’ https://youtu.be/HNeaZeFbhH0
- Tressemmé ‘Fresh Start’ Dry Shampoo
- Guided meditation
- Big Little Lies on HBO
- This learning experience (and the learned ability to see it as so)
If even numbers didn’t drive me up the wall my number 11 would be the fact that I had the forethought to memorize that phrase – ‘this is just a test’ – because that’s just about the only damn thing I can remember nowadays. Hello, Brain Fog. Welcome to the club. You may want to take a number.