Tag Archives: be kind

Ding-Dong KO

Ok, so sometimes my addictions, turn into a Multi-player Mortal Kombat round. I’m just as proud of myself, if the worst one of the ‘enemies’ is the one knocked out, as I would be winning a duel.

Sometimes it really is about picking your battle, and knowing that if only one was knocked out, then at least I didn’t die, and I’ll make it another round.

I am doing a lot better than I used to, but my addictions win more often than I would like. It’s a battle I’ve been practicing at for over 7 years and I still loose occasionally, but the little voice of inspiration said that I make it look too easy, and I need everyone to know it’s not.

The text conversation at the beginning of this post, was from the middle of a 5 hour shift yesterday. I was working front desk and it was a little slower for a change. Usually not a bad thing, so I never complain when it’s slow. The one exception caused my message to Nathan, I didn’t say a word to other staff because of embarrassment.

I was feeling weak, and probably could have used help, but it might as well have been the conversation I had to have over a shotgun which I couldn’t get out of my mind. I simply couldn’t have that conversation, over goodies, and with people that don’t really care about me to begin with. They care that I show up, do my job, and when shit hits the fan that I can handle it. They simply don’t want to have a conversation about, “hey, can you hide the goodies from me, my brain is torturing me already, …please?”

So I didn’t say anything.

An hour in, I had already looked at the box of Ding-Dongs over a dozen times. The brand new unopened box of Godiva chocolates had almost had as many views, but because it was unopened I wasn’t certain it was for staff, and kept telling myself someone would come pick it up any minute.

At one point I got so flustered that I got up abruptly, and quickly walked to the mail room, forgetting there’s a camera in there. As soon as the black globe caught my periphery, I froze in blush. Quick thinking, I gestured like I was looking for something and left. Only problem was, I noticed the box of brittle, I’d forgotten about, on the mailroom counter as I turned to leave.

I stood in the empty hall trying to figure out what I was doing, why, and what I needed to do. On my way back to the desk seat, I grabbed my seaweed pack and consumed it crunchily instead.

I drank a full bottle of water.

I amused myself on my phone for a little bit.

Then I noticed one too many glances in the directions of goodies again. At that point, I was lone staff, because the other person was delivering day-sheets throughout the building.

I got up and paced the floor. I refilled my water bottle and glanced at the brittle again on my way past. I grabbed my celery and sat to eat it, not quite even having gotten to hour two yet. I thought ‘better not eat it all, just in case’.

It was a little limp for not having eaten my sticks for 3 days. I’m burnt out on celery and it’s lost any appeal it ever did have, even the peanut-butter is losing any appeal to my taste buds. I ate about 6 celery sticks, each dipped once in peanut-butter. That was more than enough. I closed lids and left it sitting right in front of me.

Approximately 30 minutes later, my text to Nathan (above) went out as I was losing my resolve. Almost 3 hours into my shift, the Ding-Dongs were looking far too tempting. How was I going to make it another two?

I decided if I couldn’t managed a TKO, then at least the worst option should go down in flames. Instead of: gluten, and red-40, and chocolate, and sugar, and chemicals (all things found in Ding-Dongs that are bad for my system); I chose to go for the least impact, especially since the Godiva box was unopened and questionable. So Brittle won, and Ding-Dongs and chocolate were knocked-out!

Me and brittle. Mmmmm.

When I went to retrieve a piece, I got a big chunk with two smaller ones stuck to it. I decided I’d eat the two small bits and save the big one for later.

As my last two hours ticked by it was: celery stick with pb, pause, brittle, pause, celery stick, pause, brittle, pause, celery stick, pause, brittle and so on. Every few minutes a nibble of something. I also worked on a non-vital computer task to distract myself.

It worked. I ended up eating only brittle beyond my regular celery and seaweed I take everyday.

In the ring we have Valentine Ding-Dongs, Godiva Assortiment, Apple Pie Peanut Brittle, and Treasa with her green shit. And let the fight begin! …. Oh Treasa is taking some hard hits there, but she stays standing every time. Oh, she’s fighting back, 1-2, oh, the right hook…. Now APPB has sided with her, oh my folks, who’s going to win this battle royale! … And the winning team is Treasa with greens and Apple Pie Brittle! …Crowd goes wild!…. Aaaaa!

Sorry for the corney ring-side joke, I grew up on things like that.

Anyway, my point is, I didn’t say anything to anyone except Nathan, and he even only got a couple of texts. But for me it was 5 hours of torture, mostly mental – granted, and a very strategic battle to overcome the worst damages of losing altogether. It’s hard to know what’s going on inside another person’s head, and it’s even harder when they have 20 years of experience hiding it. I’m not perfect at anything, but I highly doubt the other two people that worked via the front office yesterday, had any clue I was even having a mental battle, let alone that the two culprits to trigger it were within reach all day.

They were oblivious to my mental torture, because I’ve spent 20 years either fighting it silently, or withdrawing from the world. When I withdraw, I’ve either lost the battle and given in fully, or I sleep it off and hope I wake to less triggering things. I’m glad to report that these days, my withdrawal periods are few, fairly well distanced from one another, and short lived.

So if you’re struggling with an addiction, even if it is “just food”, know it’s hard. It sucks, and takes everything you’ve got to function as normal as possible, but it’s worth it. On one hand my addiction won’t kill me with one oopse (overdose), but it’s so many places in life that it’s super easy to get and often people readily supply the worst versions for me. I don’t even have to pay anything for mine to be triggered. And those people that say it’s just food… They have no clue the chemical storm that an addiction stirrs in your brain, regardless of what the trigger is. I would also add that known reactions to chemicals used in some foods, are indicative of some of the same known reactions to some recreational drugs. Sugar has been compared to hard drugs like cocaine in numerous studies on brain function. So, it may be just food, but it’s still very much an addiction.

It’s time that everyone get some slack for how hard we’re all working to overcome challenges, especially when many of us are very much addicted to “just food”. An addiction is hard no matter what “it” is. If you’re fighting at all then you deserve a damned medal.

Be kind to yourself and give yourself some love for it.

Also, find people you can confide in. I have my Nathan, but he gets tired of hearing of some the same things repeatedly, we all do. You need enough people to confide in that they don’t get sick of it, but don’t utilize having more options as a reason for complaining more. Keep in mind everything you talk about and focus on brings more of it, so if you focus on the battle too much you’ll just get more battle. So, regardless of my embarrassment, I still do my best to talk about my battles as little as possible, in an attempt to reduce their frequency. It is working, just very slowly.

Those of us fighting the good fight, we rock. Anyone that wants to put you down or belittle your efforts can take a hike or KMA. We are fighting addictions of a wide variety that didn’t exist 100 years ago. We have a bigger challenge than most in older generations would even consider. Appreciate your own efforts and thank your body every single day, that you have a chance to try again. Give your own self some love for all the things you survived, and apologize to every organ sincerely explaining your doing your level best with all the challenges that come your way.

Know it could be worse, there always something that’s worse. But also know that you are winning a tough battle and that makes you amazing.

May you triggers always be conveniently out of reach, literally or metaphorically. May you know you have loving support if you need it, and the ability to discern if it’s better to distract yourself and attempt to attract fewer battles. May you have confidence in your ability to overcome and succeed in all endeavors. May you love yourself for all that you have managed to accomplish. May you know you’re on the right track. May you know you are loved and supported by God in all that you do, and everything you need.

Om Shanti

Coloring fun and presenting

My little Katherine has decided coloring is fun.

Ian likes to draw me pictures. Sometimes I can tell exactly what they are, sometimes it’s more abstract or one of his mazes based on a game he plays.

Katherine however, has decided that coloring is the way to go, and she’s quickly learning to color inside the lines. She went from full page scribbles one day to actual colored images the next. I caught myself saying, “when did she start doing that”, to acknowledge I had just seen one of the full page scribbles 2 days prior.

So I’ll share some pics I snapped of her new skills at the end.

I however, have used my slivers of spare time to produce a presentation. It will count as a 1 credit hour continuing education credit for dental hygienists. I will speak for roughly an hour and then field a Q&A afterwards. My topic: massage therapy for self-care/career longevity, and client assistance/retention. I think I have finished the power-point portion, though I still need several more run-throughs to feel comfortable, so there may need to be edits to accommodate better flow. Essentially though, I’m down to just practicing my speech. It’s scary but exciting. I have one week to practice as delivery will be next Wednesday evening.

It gives me jitters just thinking of it, because the DH association of Kansas City has approximately 1,000 members and potentially all of them could log on to the presentation. The largest presentation I have given prior was my veteran’s day assembly in 2018, and approximately 120 people were present for that. If all possible members attend, I will be speaking to a much larger group than I’m used to. Fortunately, because of Covid it is presented via Zoom, so I won’t see all of their faces at once. Whew. Still nervous, but less than if I was going to speak in an auditorium. I haven’t done that since my art history presentation in college (there were 250+ in that course and I totally rocked it). So, I may not speak in front of large groups often, but I’m no stranger either. I totally got this sh*t.

All fun aside, I am very honored to have had this requested of me. I appreciate very much the level of trust that is being placed in my abilities, skills, and knowledge. It feels very good to know that professionals of another field respect me enough to essentially do a short class on how my skills relate to their field. I’m thankful for the opportunity and experience and send prayers that everything flows smoothly and I remain fully articulate and meet or exceed everyone’s expectations. Cross your fingers that it goes well for everyone.

May you see the good in your children and find wonderful fulfilling additions to your work load. May you be surprised and delighted in as many ways as possible. May you enjoy creativity, especially when your kids demonstrate it. May you give yourself a little credit once in a while for the good things you do. May you know your skills and knowledge are appreciated by those around you. May you find that many other people respect you. Above all may you have fun, knowing God loves and supports you in all that you do.

Om Shanti

Keeping my word: update 2

*image sourced from Pexels library, is not Atutmn*

My visit with Autumn in the hospital was very good and very needed. She is a beautiful woman that has been hurt many times in her life, and in horrible atrocious ways. I think more than anything that is her biggest hurdle to being well.

I took her a $15 orchid from Hy-Vee (midwestern grocery chain). She cried because they were beautiful and unexpected.

She cried several times, because she explained that she honestly had a wary reaction to our offer to help, along the lines of: ‘what do they want from me’.

It took me explaining my journey with mental health caused by thyroid disease (which I now know probably has it’s root cause in a chronic viral infection) and how much I have had to go through and deal with and figure out on my own. I explained that when I begged God to help me pull up and fix everything, that I had promised to return the favor to others, and she was simply my first encounter to fit the bill.

I also explained to her that for both mine and Nathan’s hospital stays 8 and 10 years ago, there was no one that helped us navigate those times. I simply said “everyone needs someone sometimes, and Nathan and I didn’t have that someone when we needed it, so when I realized she didn’t have anyone, I was determined to be there for her”. She cried again.

We connected on similar childhood journeys and the battle with depression, including many of the symptoms that leave a person feeling crazy and like no one understands. She was amazed when to her comment of “sometimes the world seems so flat and two dimensional”, my response was “like everything looks like cardboard cutouts, like paper dolls”. I explained that I now know that is a symptom of brain swelling combined with exhaustion, your brain literally compresses your view into a more easily processed flattened image, it helps conserve energy and enables processing when the physical structure of the brain is literally under pressure. I told her my last bout of that was when the virus flared 3 weeks ago, and it made driving home very difficult. She cried again, and I cried too.

She was so relieved that someone really truly understood what she was going through. That she wasn’t alone and that there was hope. I told her I’m not perfect, I still have bad days and fall downs, but I will take my occasional fails over the constant struggle of years and years past. I reassured her it isn’t the easiest fix, and can be really hard to maintain, but is totally worth it. She wanted to live to try, and that is huge.

She has had a much harder adult life than I have and that led to some of her current woes. The infection itself started when a drug dealer abducted her and forceably shaved her with a dirty razor. That was the precipitating event that was ended with a police standoff and her being admitted to hospital care. That was one of many horrendous stories she shared with me and Nathan. My heart goes out to her, no one ever deserves to be treated like that.

Regardless, I promised her that I knew several things we could try if she made it out of the hospital. Things that would help with her depression and possibly other health concerns that have been sidelined by trauma and the MRSA infection. Even some techniques that combined with her psychiatric care might help release some of the traumas’ damage. I will not replace the pros, merely supplement.

I also told her if I had known about her job loss, I could have helped with that too, but now we’ll have to wait for her to get better. See, like me she was working with an elderly woman doing home health. Where I go and come from several people, she had one lady that she worked with all the time and that lady had passed away causing her to lose her source of income. I told her that I am connected to the elder care network in this city so well, that if I had known I could have found her work quickly. She cried more.

She was simply overwhelmed that Nathan and I are so willing to help her in what seems to her as huge ways. She said “To think I went to a cafe so many years ago to read a book to escape my father’s abuse.” I told her “I know, sometimes you never know when you meet someone as to what it will mean later”.

Please do keep sending prayers. I may have given her just enough of a nudge of encouragement for her to pull through, but only time and God will tell.


On another note, a friend of ours from college, living in Iowa, is going through a rough journey as well. He could also use prayers. He has more of a support network, but he has small children like me and as you’ll see below and equally scary prognosis as Autumn.

These are challenging times, and the virus of the news is really the least of the problems. The news still wants you to think it is the worst, but I really don’t think it is. I keep reminding people that if someone has health problems slowly taking their lives and corona polishes them off, then corona gets the sole blame. I will not be one bit surprised if at the end of the year, the heart disease, cancer, and other death stats are far lower than they typically trend. It’s how they are padding numbers to make the stats scary.

Beyond that, we are experiencing a global shift and the survivors will be the ones that take care of themselves, but also help humanity find oneness and healing.

If you get stuck in fear, anger, or divisiveness it will likely cause you much more immediate problems. The more time you spend in negative thought patterns, the more likely you will suffer and may not survive. I know this is my biggest challenge, but it really is for everyone, especially with the external input we have available at this time.

You must honor yourself and your needs as much as you are able. You must quiet the mind as much as you are able. You must look for your inner being as much as you are able. And when all else fails look for the flowers or cute kids or adorable animals to distract yourself and find moments of positivity. It is difficult, and I too struggle to do so at times, but coming together and aiming for positive solutions is the main solution for everything.

I half want to write a post expounding on why medicine is scared over this or any virus (the lack of post-contraction treatment beyond symptom relief); but I halfway don’t, because it would cause me to focus on things that piss me off and which I have no solution for personally. I want medicine to solve the problem, but acknowledge there are mechanisms far beyond my control preventing the corporate desire to want the ability to cure chronic viral infections.

I know focusing on that topic for too long would be detrimental to me. I may still work on that post a little at a time. It needs pointed out and expounded on, but if I am to do that I will have to do so in manageable ways that help maintain my own energetically-sovereign-self. We shall eventually see if I can do it or not.

May you find ways to maintain your energetically-sovereign-self and stay buoyant in these challenging times. May you take care of yourself enough to survive the shift. May you see ways to help others do the same. May we all reach for oneness and helping humanity progress for the better. May you see the value of acceptance of others and oneness, and thus enable humanity to improve and survive the shift as a collective. If you are certain it is your time to go, and none of this is possible for you, then may you have the easiest quickest gentlest transition possible. May we all know that God loves and supports all of us and wants all of humanity to grow in positive ways. May you see that God really wants us to genuinely care about those around us, regardless of blood ties or any other superficial ties. May you share the light that helps us all get through our days just a bit easier.

Siva Hir Su