Memento Mori

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Seattle, Washington, United States
Professional Darling

Thursday, December 15, 2016

A Year in Review, and a Future Worth Going After


† In Victoria, BC. 10/07/16 †

You know 2016 didn't seem like a good year for anyone. A lot of our favorite celebrities died, I know of numerous people that have had health problems or just not having a good time of it at all. Here's my story.

The start of the year had me starting a new career as a Nursing Assistant. Something I always wanted to get into. I love the elderly and I love taking care of people. I attended school late in 2015 and managed to pass the course but sadly didn't pass the state exam due to an error on my partners fault. I still ended up working at two very different places in the meantime. The first place I worked at was very upscale. So upscale it was almost like a hotel. The "clients" were nice and the people that worked there were nice but the working conditions weren't so nice. I guess I never realized how underpaid nursing assistants are. You're lucky if you make $12 an hour for very grueling and hard work. You know it wasn't really the money, it was management. They constantly barked on the walkie-talkies to do this, do that, do this, do that. They would give you an entire floor to yourself and each floor had at least 15 residents that needed full time care. I lasted about a month and a half before I called it quits. I just couldn't handle management. The second place I worked at was a facility that was much simpler, and to be perfectly blunt, a dump. I thought I could make a big difference in the lives of the people there, but it turns out, I didn't have time to make a difference. It was once again, run from this resident to the next and so on, and so forth. I made it there a whopping 3 weeks before once again, I just couldn't take it. Part of it was me, I was thrown into something I wasn't ready for. Part of it was management. Part of it was the pay. I was making $12.50 an hour when I was used to making $20 and hour. It just didn't suit me at all, and I was sad when I figured that out. My dream job is still to be a nurse, but I don't think that will ever happen.

Eventually things did get better on the employment front. After I cashed in my 401k and lived off that for a while. I interviewed for many legal jobs through a temp agency. They all had the same thing to say. I wasn't conservative enough. So I conservatived up. *lol* I landed a temp gig at a medium sized firm at the end of April and they kept extending my contract. What initially was supposed to be a week turned into almost 6 months before they decided to buy out my contract with the temp agency and made me a full time employee. Finally some stability and some decent health benefits. I've been here since and at first the working conditions were great. I got along with all of my co-workers and unlike the job I got fired from, the attorneys were actually nice. About a month or so before I was hired on full time one of the other assistants started treating me differently. I'm not sure why and I actually pulled her aside one day and asked her. What I was hoping would be something positive, a way to resolve a difference or maybe I would be let in on what I might have done wrong, instead I got three short sentences that I still have saved in my drafts folder at work. "Okay we're good. No Drama. We're just working." and that was the end of that. There are days where she is nicer to me than others and for that I am thankful, but the rest of the time I just kinda sit here in obscurity. It's sad to me because she is a really great person and continues to be, but hey, not everyone can like you. I hope that one day she'll treat me the way she once did, but if not, there's nothing I can really do about it. Just sit here, do my work, and don't say a thing. I look forward to the day when we get our partitions and I can just do my own thing and not worry about anything else. Put my head down and do the work.

More on the work front, Ben finally got out of the pit that was Radio Shack and now he is working for a different company. Still retail but he comes home a lot happier and seems to enjoy it, which is a good thing. I'm sure he'll post a year in review as well so for more on that front, go and check it out.

My health has been up and down this year, which is probably on par for Bipolar. I went un-medicated for 6 months at the beginning of the year and I was doing great...until the last month of course and I crashed hard. Most of it was due to the fact that I didn't have any insurance and then after that I had crappy insurance. I ended up paying out of pocket for a visit with my psychiatrist and got on a cocktail of meds that did absolutely nothing. Because my insurance was so bad, they wouldn't cover a lot of drugs that I needed or we had to find a way to work around it. The insurance thing got so bad I was prescribed a typical anti-psychotic (old school) because none of the atypical (new school) drugs were covered. I won't mention which one, but it came with some pretty significant side effects and I knew it was pretty heavy duty. Needless to say I didn't fill that one. Once I got hired on full time though, I did get better insurance and I fought to get put back on my Latuda which I did win. I'm still not on a perfect cocktail, but it's enough to keep me stable enough to keep going. I just wonder when I will get to that point where I was three or so years ago when I felt fucking amazing. I did manage to go another year without being hospitalized -- which is monumental. That makes two years and a half years hospitalization free. So although the meds aren't working the greatest, they are working enough to keep me functional.

At the end of August Ben and I celebrated our one year wedding anniversary. The year went by super fast. You know what they say time flies when you're having fun. I can't believe that the time has gone by so fast. At this rate, I'll surpass my first marriage in no time!

Speaking of past marriages. I have returned to the Catholic Church again and have been enjoying my time going to mass, meeting new people and I even joined the choir. I've also decided to start the process to get my marriage annulled in the church as well. I contacted my ex-husband and he wasn't too thrilled to hear from me to say the least. He also said, "Why should I care?" and repeated several times that he was an atheist and that he "stopped believing in fairy tales." Okay I get it, your an atheist, but you know what, you don't have to be mean about it. My religion isn't a fairy tale to me and I think that if you can believe in something, and it gives you comfort, then how is that wrong? He wouldn't give me his address so that I could give it to the church so that he could be mailed the paperwork but what he doesn't know is that the church will try to find him and they might succeed. All he really had to do was get the paperwork and ignore it. Nothing more and nothing less. I am however staring down a two year wait to get the final verdict. Until then, no communion. I'll just have to live with that and I'm prepared for it, even though not partaking is difficult sometimes.

This past October saw another participation in the Out of the Darkness walk for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. This was my fifth year and I managed to raise quite a bit of money. Although sadly I could only make it around the course once as I was recovering from another bout of pneumonia. This is such an amazing cause and I am so thrilled to participate in it once again.

At the beginning of October I celebrated by 35th birthday in style with a wonderful long weekend holiday to Vancouver Island and Victoria with Ben. We got a killer deal from the Victoria clipper. We stayed in a beautiful suite in a really nice hotel, went and saw some fabulous exhibits at the Royal British Columbia Museum and the cherry on top --and a check off my bucket list -- was having high tea at the world famous Empress Hotel. The tea was amazing, the food was amazing, the ambiance was amazing, all of it! It will one the list of one of the top 5 best birthdays in the world.

No much going on in the social front. I've pulled back this year from the clubs as some of you might have noticed. I've been trying to get together with people at events outside of the club and even hosted some of these events myself. My The Craft viewing party at Central Cinema was a hit and I have a lot of interest in this weekend's Goth-Skate at Seattle Center for Winterfest. I'm not pulling out of the clubs because I don't enjoy going...okay that's not completely true. I feel like it's the same old thing at all the venues that cater to the darkly inclined so I don't want to go as often. I wish there was a refresh in the community. I did go to a 90's Dance Party at  LoFi and had an amazing time. I'd like to branch out more like this in the new year and try and pull myself out of the comfort zone and into different scenes. I did do a lot of one on one social outings with some great friends and I'd like to continue to do that in the future.

Earlier this year I was contacted by another person I had lost touch with, that was my fault completely. You see years ago, I was a different person. Different in good ways, and different in a lot of difficult ways. I was selfish and stubborn to name a few. Well this person decided to contact me when they heard that I was doing better. She followed my other blog (since retired) and she knew I was doing well. I'm not sure what it was that she saw in my blog, but she contacted me, and that I am grateful. We're repairing our friendship now, and that is a beautiful thing because I considered her my best friend for years. She sees the differences in me and I'm very happy for that. I am a different person.  It was before this time that I had a strong desire to contact another previous friend of mine and try to mend fences, in the very least, I do want her to know how sorry I am that I did wrong her, and that I did the things that I did. I can't count the times that I started that FB message or email and then talked myself out of it. Who wants rejection? I was so scared that she'd just tell me to fuck off and to never speak to her again. About a week and a half ago, with a little advice from a friend, I bit the bullet, put that fear of rejection and pride aside, and contacted her. The conversation at this point is slow moving, but I didn't expect it to go fast. I mean, how do you talk to someone that you haven't spoken with in two, probably three years? I'm grateful that she is speaking to me, and hope and pray that she will give me another shot. In the least, I want her to know how sorry I am. I won't deny that part of it isn't guilt, because it is, but it isn't the complete driving force. The driving force? I just fucking miss the hell out of that girl. I miss all those great times we had. Shopping, going to movies, talking, laughing, watching MLP. I miss it all. She was a great friend, and I fucked it up, fucking royally. I hope that our FB messages continue and that we work something out. I'd love to take her to dinner and just talk, like we used to. I continue to hope and pray that something good becomes of all of this. And if there comes a time that she says she just wants to be left alone, then I will and at least know that I tried and that there is no fault but my own. I will forgive myself for it, because I will need to in order to go on. Until then, I just keep hoping. I miss you A.

So what is in store for the future you ask? Well it appears that I'm kinda just stuck in this career path and you know what, that's alright for right now. Perhaps when I get back to Vancouver I'll pursue a career as a nurse, which has been what I wanted to do all along. I definitely need to get back on track with my health. And it's not a matter of the typical, "I'm going to lose weight!" It's a matter of, "I need to make these changes in my life for the good of my physical and mental health."  I was reading one of my old journals the other day and imagine my surprise when it was full of things I was doing to make myself feel good. Eating right, exercise, sleep regulation, proper medication, self-care, therapy, art therapy, journalling...the list goes on. So I'm going to take it one step at a time and I'm going to start from this day, instead of waiting until the new year. Excuses! Excuses, seem to be my middle name.

Thank you all for being a part of my life. It means more to me than you know. So here's to a happier, healthier, and more productive 2017. May it be a year of change, of hope, of faith, and most important of all, of love.

-Gennifer Holland