Archive | May, 2012

Turning Points

28 May

Last week was a bit rough at first.  Had things taken from my bedroom, some of which was pretty expensive.  Out of frustration, I had posted on my facebook page “Should not have to hide things……”.  One of my brother’s friends in a way to be semi serious and semi funny commented and said “He’s an addict. Just cut his hands off.”  Apparently that hit my brother, stuff was returned with a simple apology.  Nothing at length.  He then sent a text message the next day and had said he had sold his chaise lounge chair and that he would give me the money from that sale.  I simply replied with an okay.  The next text hours later said that perhaps he would need that to make his car payment since my father and I have both cut him off.  I simply replied with an okay again.  Turning point for him as I thought my stuff was gone for good.  Also a turning point in that he has appeared to go to work this past week 3 days (he called out one day).

Friday morning I was going to work out of our Columbia office as I wanted to be in Bowie to take photos of TDMs daughter for prom.  I was driving to Maryland and apparently my car and brain thought that going straight to Bowie was what I was supposed to do… force of habit!  After almost getting all the way to Bowie, I made my way to the Columbia office.  Worked for a few hours and then headed back to Bowie.

So what did I get to do Friday, something that ranks up there on things I am most compassionate about, photography.  As E got ready for prom I took photos of her getting her makeup and hair done.  Did the photos of the flower exchange between her and boyfriend.  Then off she went to a friend’s house to be with the rest of her party, we would follow an hour or so later to take more photos!

So in that hour, I was on the computer downloading some pictures, TDM was sitting on the floor next to me and we were just chatting.  The discussion of other things to do to keep my hands busy when I am anxious in lieu of cutting came up, she had some really good suggestions, and just listening and talking about the whole cutting thing, something started to click in my head about how incredibly stupid I am for doing what I was.  (TDM never called me stupid for doing what I was doing, she was simply helping in figuring out other things that I could be doing when feeling anxious).  I’ll get back to this in a little bit.

We then traveled to E’s friends to take group photos of the kids and their dates.  Feel like I got some good shots including a family shot.  Hard to go wrong when you are taking photos of an incredibly beautiful young lady.  Took over 600 photos, after deleting some ended with a little over 400.  I need to start not taking so many, but I am still learning and feel that for every 20 shots I may get 1 good one, I am starting to get a little better and a little more confident.

Then went to dinner with TDM and family minus E.  Nice time.  Then back to the house to download more photos.

So back to the “clicking in my head”… as I was taking photos the whole time in the back of my head I am thinking about what I am doing and how much I enjoy taking photos and get a “high” off of it.  Also in my head was how unwise I was starting to feel about the cutting.  The short conversation earlier with TDM about things to do in lieu of cutting played over and over in my head and I started to realize that this is not something I need to be doing.  I am working on myself and in doing so need to start stop doing stuff to harm my own being if I am ever going to truly get better.  Goal – NO MORE CUTTING.  Goal – GETTING BETTER.

Saturday morning I woke up and wanted to continue the feeling I got from taking photos, so I headed down to DC.  I went to the Butterfly Garden at the Museum of Natural History, something I had been wanting to do.  Of course, going on Memorial Day weekend, probably not the brightest of ideas, it was pretty crowded.  But nonetheless, I had a great time and got some pictures.  Butterflies have always been one of my favorite things to take photos of.  The quote “Just when the catepillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly” I find more and more applicable to my life.  No matter how bad things have been or how bad things sometimes are, there is still beauty in this world.



23 May

90 days ago I told myself I would no longer use pain medication. Today marks day 90 of being clean. Something I am proud of.

Weird thing when I got home. My father asked me if I had any pain killers as my brother was in pain. Now my father knows about my addiction, but doesn’t “get it”. I say something like I have a headache and he tells me to take a vicoden or percocet. So I stopped sharing with him about my journey. The part I am not happy to admit is that I did have a stash of pain killers and so I threw him a bottle and said “here”. My sweet friend tells me it is not uncommon to have a stash even when trying to get clean, I felt a bit less like an idiot. Still not the brightest. I have others stashed places and I know in my heart I just need to discard them. One day.


Monday’s Start to the Week

22 May

Yesterday as I arrived at work, an email came out from our Division President stating to call in to the conference line at 10:30am for a Company meeting via phone for an announcement.  Well, that was at 8:15, so the next 2.5 hours were stressful and anxiety was through the roof all over the place.  Then in walks the CEO of the company, followed by the corporate CFO and the head of the legal department.  By this time we know something huge is about to happen, but aren’t quite sure what. 

10:30 comes, we all call in from our offices.  Our Division President is resigning effective in 10 days.  There was complete silence.  None of us saw it coming.  Fortunately he is resigning under his own power and is not being forced out, which is what has happened in other divisions.  I am thrilled for him and his new opportunities (starting his own business), but am selfishly sad for myself as I have spent 12 years working for him.

The unknown, there is talk about us separating our division back into Maryland and Virginia instead of us staying combined.  That would mean a ton of changes.  Most of which are uncertain. 

My biggest concern at this point is that 3/4 of what I do for my job is directly for the Division President.  And with someone new coming in, will they want the same types of things and where does that put me from a job perspective.  I am trying not to over think things and realize that whatever happens is going to happen regardless of me freaking out or being calm. 

Got home last night and took my preassessment for my next class which starts on June 1st.  Got a C on the preassessment, so I have a lot of work to do to study to get ready for that exam.  This class is 8 credits and consists of one huge exam and 4 papers.  With the news of work stuff, I realized I really need to kick it in high gear to finish my classes.  I have 10 left and really need to try to get as many in this semester as possible. 

Onto the brother issue.  He and dad got in a HUGE fight last Thursday and Joey left the house.  Hasn’t come home since.  He called me on Sunday to ask a question and didn’t sound so great.  He said he would be home that night.  Well he didn’t come home, he didn’t return my calls or texts last night and I could not reach him today (Tuesday) until after 1pm.  He finally texted and said he was okay.  This was after I had called 4 ERs looking for him and had tried to track him down via his facebook friends.  If he had not had such a horrible track record of disappearing and ending up in the ER from crystal meth overdoses or reactions, I probably would not have been so freaked out.  Once he sent the message saying he was okay I told him I was pretty pissed at him for not responding to my messages.  He didn’t really have any sort of response other than he would be home tonight (which I doubt).

Tonight’s plan once I leave work… try to relax and go to bed early!!


21 May

88 days.

Quite a week

17 May

It has been a week.

It had some positives. I will reflect on those first.

Sunday, Mother’s Day in Philly walking with 20,000 people, simply amazing. A hard journey but one that brought comfort at the time of tears. The Kauker/Lawrie family and I laughed together and cried together as we remembered our moms. Kristian was interviewed by Fox right before the walk and was asked if he was mad at Komen or Planned Parenthood over the recent debate. Kristian’s response: “I am not mad at Komen. I am not mad at Planned Parenthood. I am mad at cancer for taking our mom.”. He couldn’t have said it any better!!! I finished the whole 5K, something I was not sure I would be able to do because of the way my knee was feeling, but I did it. I didn’t even think about my knee during the walk. I was surrounded by teammates who were walking with a common goal, to find a cure, to remember lives lost, to honor the survivors and to walk with the warriors who were currently battling.

After the walk I headed back to TDMs in Bowie to stay the night and study for my final exam. I stopped and picked up a card for her on the way. Going through the Mothers Day cards was something I had not done for a few years obviously. I found one that said “Like a mom”. Was a little hard to go through the cards, but kind of healing at the same time. Had a good evening with TDM and family and got studying in for my final on Monday.

Had a really good night sleep Sunday night. Monday went to take my final for Organizational Behavior and Leadership. Passed my final. Very pleased. Finished the semester having taken 14 credits and finished with a 3.8. 10 classes left to complete my Bachelors. A year is my goal, an aggressive goal, but obtainable if I buckle down and really focus.

Tuesday back to work. Was crazy busy day. Worked 11 hours. Found out that the new person they hired for the Purchasing Departmrpent not only has no knowledge of our computer systems but also has no Purchasing knowledge. This frustrated me as I was overlooked for the job because I had limited Purchasing knowledge, although I am learning quickly thanks to one member of the dept who has mentored me. I also know our system like the back of my hand, better than the VP of Purchasing as a matter of fact.

Wednesday was a 10 hour day. A frustrating day. Dad called around two to tell me he was going to Micky’s for the night and that Joey was leaving for work, so could I please come home right after work to let Syd out. Of course, not a problem at all. I leave work and as I turn the corner to pull onto my street, what do I see. My brothers car in the driveway… Hmmm… Supposed to be working until 10pm…. Am I surprised, uh not really… Am I pissed, a bit. Come in says he didn’t feel well. Ok, good “excuse”. I take care of Syd. I then go out to meet a wonderful friend for coffee as I needed out of the house and really needed a hug after a few rough days at work. I get home around 10ish and Joey comes to my room and asks for a phone charger for the car. I hand my spare to him, he then states he’s going on a date and leaves. Am I pissed now, uh YES. He gets home sometime around 3am as I am awoken by the door slamming as he got home.

Today, another crazy day at work. Found over $5,000 in overpayments to vendors that the Purchasing guys had made (but remember I am not qualified for the job). Submitted the necessary paperwork to recoup the money from the subcontractors which puts a flag up at corporate that we had overpaid and instead of boss being happy that we are recouping money, it made the department look bad that the error had been made, well I’m sorry, but if we paid money we shouldn’t have shouldn’t we want the money back… Um yes!! My father texts at noon to say he is home and to say Joey is going to work at 1 until 10. I respond with an ok, but I don’t really care. By 3pm I had had enough of the “guys” at work so I went to one of our communities and fixed their computer. I drive home round the corner and joeys car is parked where it was this morning. I just shake my head to myself and actually laugh before getting out of the car. I walk into the house at 4:45 and someone in the house has the f’in balls to ask me why I am home early… Really, did I hear that right?!?!?! I worked 8.5 hours today. Got home before 5 and am asked why I left work early?!?!?! Oh my. I chose not to respond and went up to my room. Unfortunately also found when I got to my room that money had disappeared. I remain silent tonight.

The week has been an emotional roller coaster. Exemplified by the fact that i started my period I am sure. Emotions are all out of whack from that too. I have shed many tears this week due to frustration, hurt, etc. There are other things that have happened this week that are actually still too raw to talk about.

84 days drug free as of today.

Mentally trying to prepare

12 May

Sitting in my hotel room in Philadelphia trying to mentally prepare for tomorrow. Not trying to over think it but at the same time the feeling of loss is quite strong, even now.

The first mothers day after mom passed I traveled back to California just a month after being there to bury her. Figured if my mom was in California that is where I belonged on Mothers Day. It was a rough time. I ended up taking way too much medication, was forced to throw up and then slept for two days. I was not trying to end my life, I was just trying to get the pain to stop.

Last year my Dawn and I went to the zoo in the morning and took photos and then I spent the rest of the day in bed. It was good to get out and do something that I love, I just couldn’t stay “up” the entire day.

In December 2011, I found that a group of friends were doing The Race for the Cure in Philadelphia on Mother’s Day. I signed up. Thought that there was no better way to remember my mom, by participating in an event that helps raise money and awareness for the horrible disease that took her life on Mothers Day, something a little different then the 3-Day in that it is on Mothers Day and is only a 5K.

While I still feel strongly in tomorrow’s event, my anxiety level is pretty high as well. I will leave the hotel at 5:30 tomorrow morning and find my way to the event. Supposed to meet Julie’s Tutu Crew by 6:30am, hope to find everyone without much trouble. Team shirts were made, so I think what I will do with my specially made one is pin it to my bag so that it can still be visible, making sure it is visible will be a priority in the morning.

Last night at Temple I took time when I got there to read thru some of the Kaddish Meditations, they do help me find peace in the words. There are two particular ones that have stuck out the last two times I have been there and read thru them (as I get there early and just sit and reflect).

Give Me Away (Kaddish Yatom)

When I die give what’s left of me away
to children and old men that wait to die.
And if you need to cry,
cry for your brother walking the streets beside you.
And when you need me, put your arms around anyone
and give them what you need to give me.

I want to leave you something,
something better than words or sounds.
Look for me in the people I’ve known or loved,
and if you cannot give me away,
at least let me live in your eyes and not in your mind.

You can love me best by letting hands touch hands,
and by letting go of children that need to be free.
Love doesn’t die, people do.
So, when all that’s left of me is love,
give me away.

And the second one is:

There are stars up above, so far away we only see their light long, long after the star itself is gone. And so it is with people that we loved — their memories keep shining ever brightly though their time with us is done. But the stars that light up the darkest night, these are the lights that guide us. As we live our days, these are the ways we remember.

In loving memory of my beautiful, wonderful, amazing and courageous mother, Zoi Olson



11 May

Anxiety setting in big time as I lay in bed trying to sleep. Heading to Philadelphia in the morning in preparation to walk on Sunday, Mothers Day in the race for the cure.

I can’t even put words into the feelings. At a loss to be able to explain even to myself.

Tears flow and I can’t seem to stop them.

The shirt for Sunday was made by a dear friend who has an amazing gift of making such meaningful things. The shirt holds the photo of not just my mom and I but also of three friends with their moms who have passed.