Over half of these are for my mental health and stability.

And I’m sharing this to say, that is okay.

Also, the A/P on the bottles are one way I help myself fill my pill sorter correctly. I do that as soon as meds come from the pharmacy when I check that the right pills are in the bottle (always check, the pharmacists are human).

Share your story, speak your truth.

Another New Normal

Time to figure out another new normal.

Yesterday was the last day of the partial hospitalization program that I’ve spent the last 6 weeks in. Now I’m about to start a PRP and figure out how to structure the majority of my days without the benefit of full day program 5 days a week telling me what to do and when.

I’m going to miss it honestly.

Group therapy is hard to find outside of that sort of program, they don’t stay together because people don’t show up, and each time I end up in a program like Partial the one thing that works the most is group therapy and when I leave, I miss it terribly.

Last night I made a series of bad decisions with good intentions, plus had a lot on my mind about “what’s next” and ended up laying awake most of the night. Two hours of sleep does not make for a well rested Tina. I think I have therapy at 9 but then I realized the reminder never came out yesterday. I think we may have talked about her not being available this week . . . did we cancel . . .fucking concussion. I hate morning appointments because sending my therapist a text message ass early AM saying “did I fuck up times” is not on the list of things I like to do.

Also, I could use the appointment.

At least I ended up at the gym last night, even if it was from 11pm till midnight. I should know that 11pm gym means I won’t sleep. But I had made a commitment to myself. Figuring out how to make it all fit is hard work.

The intake for the new program is Friday. I’m not sure what it’ll look like but it’s only half day and I only have to go 3 days a week. I’ll pick from a list of groups/classes to see what fits me. None of it is therapy based. I’m not sure how long I’ll be there. It could be a few weeks, it could be indefinitely.

I’m hoping to get back to United Way at least one day a week. I miss them there. Slow and steady though. I’m trying not to take on more than I can handle. People keep mentioning NAMI to me as something to get involved with as well. I’m also looking forward to the meet up I’ve started. Lots of options for volunteering in a fulfilling fashion that would keep me going mentally, and help me with healing and processing at the same time. Not many for financially supporting myself though. It sucks that I can give my time away to all of these places but to do things in a paid capacity I need at least a bachelors degree.

Also . . .

I found myself saying, yet again, yesterday. “That particular thing you ask me to do is hard for me because of this particular thing that happened in my past so please be patient with me.”


Special Snowflake Trauma Girl is triggered again.

This wasn’t even a trauma thing that happened when I was younger, it was just a thing, but because of that thing on a top of other things, it makes me super anxious when . . .

Damn I’ve had a fucked up life.

It’s Not Fair.

And that’s not some kid temper tantrum saying I don’t like this.

That’s adult me saying fuck this. so many people had NO RIGHT to do most of what they did. And life should not have shit on me so many times, but it did, and I handled it the best I could.

I’ve spent too many years feeling like I’m too much when the truth is my life was too much for me to have to handle and it wasn’t fair TO ME and I kept handling it so anyone who can’t handle me needs to walk away (holy run on batman). I’ve stood up and handled this shit for almost 38 years now. I deserve people around me who can handle who I am, as I am Right Now while I’m doing what I can to get better.

And that’s the newest new normal I guess.

Damn . . . I hope I have therapy this morning.

Welcome to my life as I journal in a public forum, please remember the exits are here, here, here, here, here, everywhere! (I need to watch Aladdin again)

Text message just came in, I do have therapy this morning, thank goodness.


People give memes a bad rap. I admit that I sometimes rely on sharing “too many” of them in fits of depression or mania. It’s a form of self care.

Looking through my memories of the past 9 years, often I can see patterns where my moods ebbed and flowed. I know which memes were meant for who and why even when I didn’t tag anyone.

Sometimes it was a form of vaguebooking to everyone else but for me, even 9 years later it pulls up a distinct emotion that makes me smile or tear up when paired with the memory, if I have the recall of the moment. Or, sometimes even without the exact moment or reason that I shared it, it still speaks to me, or speaks to me for a different reason all of these years later. Memes gain popularity for a reason, even if they are “dumb” or “silly.”

You, do you, and I’m going to keep doing me, cause looking back at the barrage of grief memes I shared in the months after Parker died, that was some seriously needed self care right there and it’s amazing how I was “allowed” the time to be sad or manic then, but it’s frowned upon when it’s “just” depression or mania.

Fuck all that nonsense. I’m doing the business of staying alive and not leaving others to grieve. Memes are sometimes, literally, the difference between life and death. Sometimes they are the only way someone can reach out and say I love you to someone else. Sometimes they are the only way someone can find the words to express what they are feeling.

And sometimes they are just a REALLY good mom joke (or fart joke) that has to be shared.

Or shit, if I don’t share it to 20 of my closest friends I’m gonna get some bad luck that I just cannot handle. Have you even SEEN my life, I can NOT have that on me!

But seriously. Looking through my memories and seeing the things I shared, without a tag, that I know were about certain events in my life, or people in my life. Reliving those memories for just that second. It’s an amazing moment especially since there is such a shortage of pictures for so many years of my life.

Share the meme, write the overly worded post with no real content that makes you feel good. Do what you have to do to heal or cope or move through your life. I know I am. Life is too damn short to worry about what others think you should be doing.

Or shit, if I don’t share it to 20 of my closest friends I’m gonna get some bad luck that I just cannot handle. Have you even SEEN my life, I can NOT have that on me!

But seriously. Looking through my memories and seeing the things I shared, without a tag, that I know were about certain events in my life, or people in my life. Reliving those memories for just that second. It’s an amazing moment especially since there is such a shortage of pictures for so many years of my life.

Share the meme, write the overly worded post with no real content that makes you feel good. Do what you have to do to heal or cope or move through your life. I know I am. Life is too damn short to worry about what others think you should be doing.


Dreams are weird.

Parker doesn’t show up in mine often, but she has twice in the last 3 months and both times she seems like she belongs there during the dream and when I wake up I’m not sad like a lot of people talk about, I’m contemplative. The dreams helped me figure something out, or move someplace in grief or in growth that I’ve been stuck. It’s like she’s shown up both times to tell me, it’s okay, you can move forward again. And of course typing that makes me cry.

When I started dating I had this feeling that ghost wife would always be this third part of my relationship, and lately I almost felt like a bad widow because while I still have definite grief moments, my relationship is twosome and doesn’t include a ghost.

Thank goodness, right?

And what kind of an incredible person is Wonder Woman for entering into a three way relationship with a ghost as the third partner.

I’ve been setting the widow title down more and more, setting it aside in favor of just being Tina, a person who is helping herself heal from years of traumatic events, a person who sometimes screws up, but is allowed those mistakes as everyone else is. I’m resilient as fuck. I’m one of the most loving people you’ll ever come across.

My widowhood is another piece of me. As is my motherhood. Defining myself based on other people got me in trouble emotionally when my stay at home wife and mother status became widowed, empty-nester. Then what do I do?

I’m still figuring out what’s next and honestly that’s what we’re all doing. It’s a full time job right there.

Anyway. I woke up from the dream realizing that even though I’d been doing it for awhile, I didn’t need to feel guilty about setting down the burden of widowhood. It’s not like I get to go back and be with her again. She’s not an option and honestly, the person she was frozen in time as, wouldn’t be a good fit for who I am now, as strange as that is to say.

Her growth was cut short, and mine wasn’t, and it’s my job to keep moving forward, and that’s what I want to do anyway. I’m happy with my life. She would be so proud of me for saying that. For that matter, I’m proud of me for being able to say that.

And BOOM, tears for the third time writing this.

Damnit Parker quit that.

Seeing her in the dreams is nice. I have a weird mix of beliefs when it comes to ghosts and spirits and heaven and where exactly she is but I do think it’s her in some strange way telling me what I need to hear. And what I already know.

And even if it’s just my memory of her showing up in dream form, that’s fine too, it’s nice to see her face again and hear her voice. I do really really miss her.

Widowing isn’t easy, isn’t that what I tend to say?

Where are my damn tissues.


Why can’t I participate in group settings? Why did I go from seeming like the most social butterfly to actually walking into a group and being frozen? Why can I chat just fine one on one but as soon as there are three of us the anxiety is so loud I can’t speak?


I found one of many areas that being vulnerable is a struggle. I’m petrified of messing up in a situation where someone is there to witness it. Even typing about this is one of the harder things I’ve spoken up about.

It’s one thing if I’m having a conversation one on one with someone. They are less likely to notice my slip ups, my lack of knowledge, I can steer the conversation to things I know and understand and I can cover up the words that medications have taken from me. I can cover up my lack of a memory. I can cover up all of my million weaknesses that I constantly feel like I have to hide.

But put me in a group of three people or more, and suddenly my insecurities become much louder and I have to fade into the background because that third person can focus on what I say wrong, or worse, both of them can. There is an audience for my failures and those can and will be used against me at some future time. They can gang up against me. The tables can turn at any minute and my closest ally can become my enemy.

This isn’t just anxiety talking, it is from personal history.

“It’s pick on Tina day”

“It’s easy to pick on you cause you give the reactions that everyone wants”

“There’s so much of you to pick on”

And I KNOW it’s all in good fun. But it only takes one social slip up. Or God Forbid, one noticeable thing when I’m standing in some public space. Or a typo maybe, something that people can pick up on that have people talking about how horribly I spell or write.

How many years was it not all in good fun. How many years was I petrified that I’d trip in school or screw something up, or slip and say the wrong thing and the other kids would use it against me for months and months.

How many years did I get made fun of for an elementary school speech that people still remember almost 30 years later. Something half the adults thought was great because it was memorable but I STILL haven’t lived down completely. Now, those that joke about it with me think it’s funny, but they don’t remember what it was actually like for me after that speech. They don’t really know how bad things were for me after that speech. They just remember it as a funny thing to joke about.

I was THAT kid in school, the one they make sitcoms about. And now, being vulnerable in that way, talking in front of other people, even two other people, is petrifying unless I am almost certain I know what I’m talking about, and mostly I feel like I have such a limited field of knowledge.

People tend to be mean without even realizing it. We talk behind each others backs. Even those of us with the best intentions do it and all it takes is one little slip before you’re the butt of a joke.

And something that’s meant in fun has me becoming that little girl stuck in the corner of Ms. Wilson’s chorus room again, avoiding the rest of the school by being teacher’s pet and cutting up 6 pack rings from the lunch room.

At least now in most situations I know that putting in a pair of headphones makes it possible for me to at least leave the house still. Because it used to be that when things got bad again, I was stuck in the house for months at a time.

The problem is, I had overcome all of this for a long time and now it’s back so badly and I’m not really sure what to do with it. I’m ready to walk away from doing something that I thought I loved because I’m afraid of people doing what they’re going to do anyway.

The fucked up part is, I mostly don’t care, but my anxiety makes me care too damn much.


Sometimes I feel like my life has been hijacked by my past. Trauma on top of trauma, constantly in fight, flight or freeze. I’m constantly preparing for the next time that I need to fight someone for what is right, run from a situation because it’s wrong for me, or just freeze because I can’t handle it. It’s all I know how to do. My body is hijacked by this trauma response.

Today did not go how I planned.

Prior to all of this I’ve barely done anything with Derby in weeks because it’s been too much.

Fight, Flight, Freeze.

I don’t know what made me sign up to work this tournament. I swore I wasn’t going to do this stuff unless it was for Charm or DC and for some reason I thought this was a Charm run event, and it is, but it isn’t, and the head official doesn’t know me and I was put in a position I didn’t know and it set off the day in a total panic mode.

Now I’m frustrated at myself and the situation and I want to run away from derby completely. I love the people of derby and I have so much support at Charm but at the same time I feel like I can’t handle even NSOing which is supposed to be simple. I want to skate eventually and I can’t even keep score without panicking during a busy jam. How the fuck would I handle being out there.

I’m being held hostage by my past and it’s not fair.

None of it is fair and honestly I want my fucking life back. I’m working so fucking hard to get through this stuff and I want to know when I get the joy back.

For that matter I want to know when the flashbacks stop. I know that everyone gets upset when they see an injury, but when do I stop seeing Parker and Draven’s face every time they take the helmet off someone with a head or leg injury?

How do I know if I pushing too hard or not hard enough?

How do I know if I’m asking too much from those who run this sport when I say that I want to take part in this whether it’s by NSOing or taking part in training to skate, but I want them to be trauma aware or simply to listen to what I can or can’t do.

When does my life stop being hijacked?

I’m learning to stop saying sorry for the emotional space I take up but instead to thank those who hold space for me, and it makes a world of difference in the way of gratitude but damnit, when do I stop feeling like those same people are going to get tired of holding space. When am I going to stop feeling so damn guilty for needing so much space.

It’s not fair, and I’m grieving for the little girl that went through so much in school, and the adult that went through so much, and for me now who is still trying to overcome 30some years of bullshit that I Did Not Deserve.

I don’t deserve to have my life hijacked anymore.

I want my life back.

I don’t want to be a hostage anymore.

Fuck I’m angry tonight. I just wanted a good derby weekend and instead I spent a lot of today in a car crying again and I’m tired of this shit.

I want my joy back.


This is your 8th of the month post. (TW: Talk of suicide)

Your, “don’t die”, you are worth it, you are loved, you are valued, this can’t take another life, post.

This month I decided to write it after having the most surreal moment a few days ago.

I was both intensely suicidal, complete with forming a plan and writing my own suicide note in my head and at the same time I was putting on my makeup to go out that night. I didn’t plan it that way, it just happened.

I was envisioning the “I love you, I’m sorry”, and other goodbye texts I’d send out, while putting on eye liner. I was wondering if I’d make phone calls while putting on lipstick.

And I just kept doing one more thing than I thought I could do.

I didn’t end up going out that night, my anxiety was just too high, but I did end up staying alive because I kept doing one more thing through the worst of the thoughts.

Sometimes suicidal thoughts might take over if they are something you live with.

Sometimes depression might take over if it is something you live with.

And sometimes mania might take over if it is something you live with.

All you can do is one more thing towards staying alive, towards living, towards stability.

Don’t try to be a super hero. Don’t try to get it perfect. Just move one step beyond what you think you can do.

All you can do is what you can do.

It doesn’t mean just do what you want to do. It means take what you want to do and go one step further.

If you think you need to die, just stay alive.

If you want to stay in bed, get up and shower. If you just can’t. Then instead of sleeping, at least get on your phone and message someone and have some interaction for a few minutes.

But before all of that, just stay alive. The rest of this will come as long as you are alive.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline Phone Number

Text HOME to 741741


When Parker and I first got this house we got a few cheap cube units, and along with the cube units we ended up getting a decorative box that became our change box. It was on clearance and it kind of looked like a treasure chest.
Pretty quickly the buckle broke off, and I saved it for a long while, saying I was going to glue it back on, but of course I never did, so it was this plain brown box covered in pleather.
Countless times we raided the change box for money for cigarettes or a soda or to get something to eat because the bank account was in the negative and the stamps were gone.
Bus fare, mobility fare, a few dollars for Kidlet to get something because he’s a kid and should have some money for something.
We never could keep quarters in the thing and we knew we were doing well if we threw a few dollars in there for safe keeping.
Kidlet knew he could raid it when he needed something and I knew he raided it occasionally just cause he wanted something but he never took enough to cause any major harm.
So many times we’d be completely broke but at least we could scrounge up enough change to get one last pack of smokes so that we didn’t lose our minds that night, maybe it would keep us going just that much longer.
Life seemed so much different, priorities were different.
I’m still shit with money, being so so poor for so so long means I don’t actually know how to save because I’m afraid of it. Bipolar adds another twist.
But I keep cleaning out my purse and throwing money in the change box and the other day I was moving it and noticed the hinge had popped.
It had gotten too heavy to hold all of the weight.
This has never happened before. There had never been enough time without needing to raid the change box that the amount of weight was able to reach that level.
Last night I threw the box away and switched everything over to other containers.
Today at PHP I broke down over the change in my situation and how she is not here to see it. How it may never have happened if she was here.
We would still be counting change the day before a holiday to get enough cigarettes to make it through. Wondering if the lights were going to get shut off on a holiday day, or if they had to wait till a day later. Wondering if a heat wave was enough to make them leave the electric on.
But at the same time I’m afraid that nothing really has changed and that at any moment I’ll stop being able to cover the bills, that I’ll lose the help I have, and that the lights will go out or I won’t be able to fill the fridge or that I’ll be scrounging through that change box.
It’s horrible when every single positive has this ghost of the past hanging over it, this fear that at any moment it could all be taken away. That everything could change again.
I know I would survive it if it did go back to how it was. I’m a survivor, it’s what I do, Resilient as Fuck, and all, but I don’t ever want to go back to that. I wouldn’t wish it on anyone.
Change is such a hard hard thing to deal with. It’s incredibly heavy sometimes.

Check In

Every morning in the Partial Hospitalization Program we have a check in group where they go around, one person at a time and talk about the night before and where our moods and mental health are currently.  I feel like I can recite the whole page by heart now.

I find that when I wake up now, I almost automatically check how many hours of sleep I’ve had, and then start checking to see if that’s more or less than normal.  (Last night was a full 8 hours, which is more than normal, the 1/2 of an Ativan is working well, thank you for asking).

Then I do a check through my mood in the last 24 hours as well.  Depression (2/10), Mania (3/10), Anxiety (6/10, yesterday was pretty rough but not as bad as it’s gotten in the past), Irritability (4/10, but I was able to control it), Mood swings (6/10 but could have been due to being over tired yesterday).

I’ve love to see a chart for all of the moods while I’ve been in PHP, I wonder if that’s something they have.  I know that I’ve gone up and down over all of the scales but as a whole, I’m down quite a bit and far more stable.

But it’s scary because as of a week ago I wasn’t this stable at all, but I wasn’t quite as bad as I was when I started.  And who knows where I’ll be in less than 2 weeks when I discharge from this program and start another, less intense one.  The suicidal thoughts can come and get out of hand pretty quickly and it doesn’t seem to matter how stable I am when they show up, it just takes something knocking me sideways.

I could spend this time worried about the next time that happens, or I can enjoy the calm of stability and focus on learning more coping mechanisms and getting as much done as possible, resting as much as needed, gathering as many resources as I can in the next days or however long I have until the next storm that may or may not come.

I hope for the best, while planning for the worst.

And each morning I can keep checking in with myself to see if I ever catch a pattern, is there something that can give me a warning.