• so please, tell me it’s alright, in this uneasy mist

    CW: female body discussion, medical issues, anxiety, fear. If these topics may trigger or upset you, please hold off on reading this. Take care of yourself.

    When I was 19 years old, I went to the gyno for the first time through the state to get free birth control pills. For the initial visit, they do the full checkup, including a Pap smear. The doctor that did it was also the parish coroner, and his bedside manner reflected this. He wasn’t mean, or cruel, or abusive – but the amount of words out of his mouth to me could have totaled about 20 or so, from when he walked in the door. His hands were like ice, even with the gloves on. Speculum, scrape, check other things, and out the door he went. The nurse sighed and shook her head, apologizing for him, saying that they always had a lot of patients on these initial visit days and so he just moved really fast to get through them all. When he left, I cried. I don’t know if I’d call my visit traumatic, per se, but it was definitely not what I expected for my first gynecologic visit.

    Two weeks later, I got a call from the clinic. They’d detected abnormal cells in my Pap smear. MY VERY FIRST EVER PAP SMEAR. The followup biopsy found that I had “precancerous cervical dysplasia”, which meant that if I didn’t take care of the abnormal cells, they could develop into cervical cancer. I had a LEEP (loop electrosurgical excision procedure) done, and after a couple years of normal checkups, it was all good and I’ve had normal annual exams ever since.

    Fast forward to yesterday.

    My doctor informed me that my annual pap smear detected abnormal cells, and even though it may be nothing, my doctor wants me to go in for a pelvic ultrasound and a biopsy. The ultrasound is scheduled for today, the biopsy is in a week and a half. The doctor said that these cells are normal to see in women my age, but they still want to err on the side of caution and do the followup testing to be absolutely sure.

    As I just stated, this is not my first rodeo with abnormal Pap smears. Hell, this isn’t even my first rodeo with abnormal annual checkups. A few years back they found some odd things in my annual mammogram, checked it out, and it was nothing. I know from going through all this that there is no point in worrying until they tell you it’s something to worry about.

    But I’m more anxious about this now than I was at 19. It’s hard not to worry. I’ve had anxiety-inducing dreams for the past couple of nights, and last night I kept waking up from bad dreams. I don’t remember them all, but I woke up feeling fear and anxiety, sweating, heart racing, the whole bit. Every time I’d reach over and pet Daisy and Mia, and fall back asleep within a few minutes (thanks, Ambien).

    I’m hoping it’s nothing. I’m praying it’s nothing. Just because I don’t want to go through all of the mess and constant doctors’ visits and spending tons of money even though I have good insurance. I’m not even worried about the body parts, honestly. Like I’m 46, they can just take the whole kit and caboodle out of me and I’d be fine with that. We’re not having kids, I know I’m forever going to be a pet mom. It’s more stress at the financial side of things and how it’s going to affect all the plans I have for the next few years.

    But again – there’s no point in worrying until they tell me there’s something to worry about. I keep repeating that, hoping the mantra will eventually stick and the anxiety will be carried away on those words.

    Let’s hope that happens soon.

  • now I’m bottom of the pile, a dusty photo

    now I’m bottom of the pile, a dusty photo

    I see all these people creating things – art, writing, etc. – and want to do that. I want to create something. I want to write, I want to create something beautiful and meaningful. It’s been so long since I’ve felt that way.

    But it also seems like nothing I create is “good enough”, and I hate feeling that way.

    I see so many talented people creating things all over social media, especially in the K-Pop fandom. Hell, some of the best friends I have are INCREDIBLY talented writers and artists. And I support them wholeheartedly, and adore the work they do! I am not jealous of their talent in the least. I love it and want to show the world and talk about it with them.

    Then I look at what I create, what I write and what I do, and I just feel so…lacking. And logically, I know that my friends will also support and love the things I make, and they will hype me up just as much as I do for them. I just feel so LESS THAN, and I hate it. It saps my creative spirit and makes me want to not even bother. But the desire is THERE and it is STRONG.

    How do I get it back? How do I find that space again? Do I carry my camera everywhere? Do I just grab snapshots with my phone wherever I can? Do I block time to just write, and whatever comes out goes up? Do I force it, fake it until I make it? How do I get back into that mindset and STAY there?

  • if this can no longer resonate


    I can’t tell you how much I heard that word back in high school.

    Keep in mind this was the early/mid 90s so gatekeeping regarding music was insane. If you couldn’t name the deepest B-sides of a band’s catalog, you were instantly branded a poser and relegated to the depths. Or if you said that you liked music videos, you earned a sneer and some derisive rant about how MTV is killing the music industry.

    I can’t tell you how many times I had that word thrown at me as a teenager. I’ll never forget one time that two “friends” of mine – who I legitimately thought were good friends – decided to make up some band and rave to me about it. I was actually interested to hear more, and when they dropped me off at home, told me they just made it up, and said that I was just a poser who went along with fads because others told me to. They sat in front of my house laughing while I went inside and fucking cried because I legitimately thought I was connecting with these two people I thought were cooler than cool.

    To this day, when I get into something, I constantly feel like I have to prove that I really enjoy that thing to others. “LOOK, I REALLY DO LIKE THIS THING, I HAVE DONE SO MUCH RESEARCH AND LISTENED TO SO MUCH STUFF.” I think it’s one of the reasons I tend to hyperfixate on things when I first get into them, so much so where it can seem like an obsession. Then it just kind of fades into the background over time.

    I see people who write and make music and draw and paint and sculpt and take pictures and I just want to be one of them SO BAD. But any time I start getting into something, I’m reminded – somehow, some way – that this is probably not the spot for me. I have this constant sensation of “you’re just a poser sitting on the windowsill looking in”. This is how I feel when I write or do photography. I enjoy doing them, but I’m always so scared to show it to the world because I’m just waiting on that one person to come along and tell me, “YOU DON’T BELONG HERE.”


  • i want to recognize your beauty’s not just a mask.

    I had a really good weekend. Ran errands and spent Saturday with D. Yesterday we had lunch and played games at the house with K and N. D has so many board games that I finally was like “screw it, we have a fellow couple who likes games and such so let’s just do the occasional game day with them”. That and now that we have a fellow nerd couple to hang out with, which is nice.

    I actually managed to go the entire week and journal my food by using the BB app. I normally end up doing very well and then I fall of the wagon once and feel guilty and don’t bother journaling it because I don’t want to face my poor choices. But last week I decided screw it, I need to be better with staying honest with myself, so even if I didn’t write it down as soon as it happened, I always wrote it down later. One of the biggest hurdles I need to overcome with compulsive overeating is that I am never honest with myself. I always think I’m zoning out when I start the binge and then come to a realization later, but I’m beginning to realize that isn’t the case. I am actively choosing not to acknowledge what I am doing in the moment, even though I am fully aware of what is happening. I am not blacking out or zoning out or dissociating. I am choosing to not think about it. But then I always spend so much time thinking about it later, and feeling so much guilt and shame. I need to be more honest with myself in the moment. I need to acknowledge how I am feeling, and what is making me spiral, and LOOK at the feelings instead of turning away and to food. That’s the best way to be honest with myself.

    Saturday, I went shopping for some work clothes – I was looking for a couple of blouses and maybe a pair of dress pants. I found a few things at Torrid and tried them on – and I HATED them. At first, I was grumpy because I thought the issues were with my body – too tight, too lumpy, too squishy, belly too prominent, etc. So I got in the car and I was in a funky mood. I started talking about it with D and through that sharing right then, I realized that what I disliked was that the clothes I was leaning towards were styles that I used to wear when I worked for another company over 15 years ago – which I have grown SO FAR away from. My preferences have changed so much since then, and going back to it reminded me of a time that I’d rather not think of. Sharing that with D as I was feeling it allowed me to get out of that raw headspace and actually focus on how and why I was feeling that way, which brought me back from falling down the body shame hole. I should really remember how beneficial that was and use that tactic again.

  • this ain’t about regret

    It’s been a couple of days since I posted. I was trying to journal every day but I got sidetracked. For assorted reasons. Last night I had every intention to, but I ended up taking off my nail polish and that turned into A Thing that took like two hours (I had to soak dip polish off my fingernails, and that takes FOREVER). Now my fingers look all bare and stubby, and I discovered that my right big toenail is all bruised. I guess I dropped something on it at some point, but I don’t remember doing that? It hasn’t hurt or anything and it doesn’t feel any different, it just looks funky. I’ll probably let it be for like a week or so, or until I get tired of looking at this gnarly toe and decide to paint it.

    I’ve actually been feeling pretty positive over the past couple of days. I worked from home on Friday, paid bills and had enough money left over to get some clothes. I really need to go shopping today and get a few clothes for work – I have jeans and such but I’d really like some work pants and a few more blouses. As much as I like wearing dresses – and I REALLY like wearing dresses – there are some days during the summer that I’m like NO I DON’T WANNA SHAVE so I end up in jeans, which are even more hot and stifling. Also, the jeans I have are just a smidge too tight, so the entire day I end up feeling really uncomfortable about my body, which always makes that day not so great.

    Anyway! Positive, yeah. One thing that I’ve been really looking forward to – and it’s coming up closer – is my trip to Atlanta to see Stray Kids live. A couple of coworkers and I are heading up on Saturday morning, spending the day on Sunday checking out a few places and then going to the concert, and then heading back here Monday morning. Since it’s over a long weekend, we didn’t have to worry about taking PTO and requesting off, which is nice! I’ve been really obsessed with listening to them over the past couple of months, which is hilarious because I thought I was going to lean hard into BTS after watching the concert in Vegas, but I ended up asking for recommendations on more stuff like Daechwita (from Suga/Agust D’s solo record), heard SKZ, and was pretty much like WELP THIS IS ME NOW I GUESS. I still leaned hard into BTS, but Stray Kids a LOT more. I’m pretty sure my husband is sick and tired of hearing K-pop blaring from YouTube and my phone speakers. LOL.

  • my head hurts.

    Ugh, been feeling just like general “bleh” this week.  Not sick or anything, but just mehhhhhh.  My sinuses have been acting weird (not congested, but achy?), I have a constant headache, and I just have no energy.  There’s a lot of reasons that explain all of these (and no, it’s not COVID), but I hate it.  I hate not having energy or focus.  And I know it gets more difficult as I get older.

    The past couple of months, I’ve been fighting a lot of frustration with my body and how I’m feeling.  Went on vacation, then got COVID and was laid up in bed for about a week, then had to roll right back into work and deal with a lot of deadlines and timelines all in two weeks, then having to finally do home stuff on weekends…I don’t know.  It’s a lot, and yeah, I know I’m whining.  But through all this, the most frustrating thing is finally coming to the realization that my body does not “bounce back” or come back from exhaustion nearly as well as I used to in my 20s.  And it is PISSING.  ME.  OFF.

    A lot of frustration comes from the fact that I COULDN’T enjoy these things in my 20s.  Having a good job that allowed me to take vacations?  Going out with friends to try new food and see new places?  Having weekends off and a nice place to live?  I didn’t have that in my 20s. I lived hand-to-mouth, barely able to afford groceries.  I worked retail jobs where I was forced to go into work with strep throat and stomach flu.  I couldn’t take the time off for vacations, much less afford them.  My schedule and bank accounts wouldn’t allow me to go out with friends.  And now that I can enjoy all these things, I’m too damn tired to?  It’s extremely frustrating, and feels more than a little unfair.

    Again, I know I’m whining.  I know there are people out there that have it worse than me, and I hate that for them.  It’s unfair to them too.  But this is how I’ve been feeling lately and I really, really dislike it.

    And I just want this headache to go away.

    I don’t want to leave this on a bad note, or a cranky/grumpy/whiny one.  So I will say that I am grateful for the things I have now.  And I am grateful that I get to do them at all.

  • seriously, don’t blog on ambien.

    Ambien is a hell of a drug.  I really need to just go straight to bed after taking it.  If I force myself to stay awake I tend to have random conversations or even post things that I barely remember.

    Or, worse yet, eat.  :-/

    I know a lot of people have talked about sleepwalking on Ambien.  Luckily, that hasn’t happened to me.  What I find happens is I take it with plans to be in bed within an hour, and by the end of the hour I’m still up, but doped out of my gourd and doing random things.  Or, if I’m watching a movie/TV/YouTube, I pass out in the bed while watching it and either D wakes me up when he comes in and makes me lay down, or I wake up and like three hours have passed.

    Don’t get me wrong.  I love having it.  It’s the only thing that calms my brain and allows me to stay asleep for an entire night.  If I don’t take it, I tend to wake up hourly, and eventually I will just lay there while my mind is thinking of random things that I need to do, or say, or important conversations I need to have, or what I should have said to someone 15 years ago, or awful things that could happen…and so on.  This is the only thing that keeps me asleep the entire night.  Melatonin won’t do it.  Tylenol PM, Nyquil, nothing else has worked.  Ambien was the last resort.

    Tonight, I am going to wait to take it until the very last moment, right as I’m getting sleepy.  Then I’m going to go straight to bed.  C-PAP on, dogs next to me, under blankets, do not pass go, do not collect $200.  No sitting up, no watching YouTube K-pop videos, no Netflix, no phone, no blog.  Pill then bed.

  • i’m a rulebreaker

    Post #2 on Ambien. Whee.

    Seriously, this one won’t be long. I am exhausted and had a lot going on at the office today, so I’d just rather come home, eat dinner, poke around online, and then curl up with the pups in the bed.

    Dammit, I love it when a plan comes together.

  • scatterbrained

    That was how I felt today. Had a hard time focusing on things for work. I ended up being able to get some things done but the biggest hurdle was that a coding thing that I was working on just. Would. Not. Work. I hate when that happens. JUST DO THE THING I WANT YOU TO, DAMMIT.

    But I stayed on track today. The only time I sort of gave in was at dinner – we ordered Thai food and I got some spicy wings and spring rolls. I ate all the wings and some of the spring rolls and gave the rest to D. So technically I didn’t binge, but I didn’t eat great. I did eat my breakfast and lunch and the snack I had this afternoon were some baby carrots and ranch.

    My biggest issue is training myself to eat slow and allowing my stomach to digest food. It’s difficult. Re-training myself to not wolf down my food like I only have 30 minutes for lunch is no easy. Thanks, 20+ years of working retail jobs.

    I did focus enough to do some more research on blog themes and finally found the select few I like. This one is nice and simple, which is what I was looking for. I’d like to delve into the CSS and make some tweaks, but I’m hesitant to do so considering that it’s been years since I’ve fiddled with that sort of stuff. Doing that as a capital-J Job kind of took all the fun out of it for me. And I don’t want to invest TOO much time in this because this blog is not going to be for anything other than me writing. I’m not looking to make this a side hustle or any mess like that. I just want somewhere online that I can write to, and I have my other site for photos, and that’s it. No more fashun blogging or anything like that. Just me yelling into the void, much like it was back in 2002 or so.

    Sweet baby jebus, I’m old.

  • rule #1: never blog while on ambien

    But, you know, here I am anyway. Loopy on my nightly little blue pill that helps me stay asleep rather than allow my brain to wake me up at 2:00 AM and leave me lying in bed trying to tell my thoughts to SHUT UP. I’m not even sure where this site is going to go. I just miss the old halcyon days of Greymatter vs Moveable Type. I don’t miss the drama of LiveJournal, no sirree. But I do miss online journaling. And this time, I don’t plan on leaving out the uglies.

    Don’t get me wrong, I have fun, I enjoy doing things. But my mind is constantly battling many issues daily. I’m seeing a therapist regularly (on the good months, it’s once a month, but sometimes more), and I’m working with a 12 step program to help curb my issues with binge eating. Hell, writing this right now has me so on edge I’m about to go into the kitchen and eat something. I can’t though, today’s been a good day. First day abstinent. FIRST DAY. I tried before but this was the first time I was able to stick with it. Tomorrow’s another day with another set of hurdles but I’ll deal with that when it comes to that point.

    For now, I’m rapidly sinking into sleepytime land. Good night all.