The Battle Begins

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So it looks like I’m being discharged shortly, I can’t wait to go home.  I’m feeling a bit better and can keep food down with minimum pain, and I am most certainly looking forward to stopping at Panera and grabbing a bread bowl with cheesy broccoli soup on my way back to the house.  As always, despite my bitching, all of the nurses, aides and doctors were wonderful here.  They were even wonderful the couple times I lost my shit because I was in pain/tired/or just a bitch.  Just another reason why I keep coming here for treatment despite it being 45 minutes from home.  Anyway, I am escaping!  Leaving!  Running home!  I can’t wait to see my kiddo and all the furry minions at the house.  :)

One part I’m not looking forward is getting my medications.  I am no longer going to be getting my Remicade infusions, I am being switched to Cimzia, which is an inject-able.  It’s not necessarily as strong as Remicade according to my GI doctor, but I’ve already built up a resistance to Humira and Remicade so I’m running out of options.  The nurse I have is looking into where I need to get the prescription from, and my GI already started the battle for it with my insurance.  Cimzia before insurance, is approximately $3,000 before insurance for 1- 200mg dose… and I need 2 doses for the first month.  My healthcare also will not cover it the drug with out “strong documentation” that all other drugs have failed me.  *sighs*  I always hate this part of it.  The last time this battle played out (beyond the one with Entocort, which I won pretty quickly) was when I went on Humira.  It took months to get my health insurance to approve it, and by the time they did?  Humira stopped working for me.   Yeah.  So I’m thrilled.  Beyond that I’m staying on my prescription for 6mp as well as taking favorite of all drugs : Prednisone (are you guys ready for mood-swings and moon-face???),  I can’t wait.

I don’t know.  I’m doing my best to not be stressed out about it.  Just focusing on getting home, getting relaxed and finishing getting well.  I want to be in top shape for my kiddo’s 7th birthday in a couple of weeks.  Wish me luck, and Crohns be damned.

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Because I’m here… and you’re there.

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I admire many people.  I look up to them.  I look up to some very wonderful people, some that fit into today’s standards of “normal” some who dwell outside of it.  I admire these people for the effect they’ve had on my life and for a connection we made either repeatedly or years and years ago.  I admire these people because they exist, because I can relate, they can relate or because they are there.  I look up to people I haven’t seen since a cold night a decade ago, or the other night sharing a thought just because.  I admire people for what they are, what they’re living through, and what they can share, and what I can share.  I admire and look up to you.

Maybe I admire you because of a song.  Listening to an old song, in a cold garage together taught me that I can get through it.  It taught me about shared pain derived from very different circumstances that weren’t very different after all.  It taught me that I can fight through anything, that a song can save me.  You taught me that I am alive, and that I have to fight to stay that way, and sometimes it’s a simple as a song.  I learned that music can save my life, even if I can’t save yours.  I look up to you even now, because I understand what happened, and you understood me.  Things that we didn’t share personally, things that were not the same, often could be linked between us with music.  It’s a simple connection that can save a life, and as you learned, could destroy it.  I admire you despite the noose in the garage, and I admire you because of what you taught me.

Maybe I admire you, maybe I look up to you, because you fight.  Because you defy what your own body has limited you to.  I admire you for doing what you want to do, what you set out to do, purely because life has told you “no”.  You do it anyways, I can understand that limitation, I know what life has limited me to, or rather tried to limit me to.  I admire you because you fight it anyway, and even though the world says “it’s impossible”, you refuse to embrace it, and do what you want anyway.  I look up to that, because the fact that you fight your own body every day means that I can too.  It means that I don’t have to give in, and stop trying.  That I can accomplish things despite it.  That I can go ahead and move on, even if I’m scared to.

Could it be that I look up to you because I know the very feeling that I can see in your eyes?  Could it be that remember that feeling, that dive straight to the bottom, and I remember the fight to STAY at the bottom because self destruction is ever so fun.  I remember that fight.  I look up to you because you thrive, even though you shouldn’t.  I look up to you because I’m different, and you’re different, and yet we’re still here.  I look up to you because I remember, and I have my own pain.  That feeling I can see, that emotion, that haunts your eyes, I’ve had it too.  I’ll have it again. The reason may be different, or maybe in reality it’s the same.  I can relate.  Maybe I can relate to the ENTIRE THING, or maybe it’s a small thread of what had been, would could’ve been, what will happen.  I look up to you because you exist, and you’re still here.

I admire you because of a flower.  A simple wildflower.  I admire you because you taught me that something simple can change a life, can move you forward even as your clinging to your past.  I admire you because that simple goddamned flower made me realize that life is still there, even as I was fighting against it.  That stupid flower died, and I kept living, long past the smile it brought me.  I admire you because you live for the simple moments, the smiles, the simple connection that everyone else deems insignificant.

I admire you because you can express yourself in ways I cannot.  You have paint and canvas, you have pencils and napkins, you have screams and songs.  You have things I do not.  I am limited to words, and sometimes the words refuse to come even thought my fingers ache to create them.  I can look at the mess you’ve made with paint, glue, and graphite.  I can look at things, I can hear things I relate to even when I can’t create myself.  Everyone gets blocked, but I look up to you because you create differently than I do.  Perhaps it’s envy, but maybe it’s also needing to know that other people are still creating.  I look up to you because I can write, but you can create in color and depth.  I can create words that stir my soul (maybe others?) but my words are limited to what I want to share.  You share them with the world, while I hide mine.  I admire you because you’re not me, and I can still find myself in something you’ve created.

Maybe I admire you because you have the balls to leave it all behind and start fresh.  I could do that once, and I did, but now I have roots and cannot.  Maybe it’s because I don’t want to, but I do enjoy watching others restart what they’ve made.  Maybe it’s because you’re not afraid of change, because I’m not either, because we embrace it.  Maybe I look to you because I no longer desire immediate change, but can appreciate the need for it.  Living vicariously?  Not quite.  More like remembering the feeling.  Remembering the past, and watching it replay through someone else.

I admire you because of our past.  Because of your past.  Because of my future.  I admire many of you for reasons you’ll never understand, and while you may not want someone looking up to you, you don’t have the choice.  It’s my choice to make, and even though it may rock you to your core, you don’t have to let it.  Or maybe you should.  You should let that realization that the choices you make, the way you think, or maybe what you did a decade ago has indeed impacted someone else.  Maybe it’s me, maybe it’s someone you’d never suspect.  But regardless, I admire you.  For reasons I understand, and reasons I do not.  For reasons that maybe I’ll never know.

Growing Up or Growing Into?

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It’s Saturday Night y’all!  The boyfriend is hanging out with his brother, and my kid is asleep.  Logically the next step is brew some coffee and write some bullshit.  So yeah.  Here I am.  On the internet.  Three minutes ago I had a realization, something that hit me so hard, so fast, that I immediately felt that need to get the words out of my head.  I can’t find my favorite pen, so blog it is.

I am a New Sarah.

Over the past 15 years, I have reinvented myself several times.  No one Sarah was completely the same.  Some Sarah’s were no good, some Sarah’s were too work-involved, some Sarah’s were at the bottom of the bottle, and some Sarah’s were domesticated housewifes.  So here we go again, I finally realized that I am a completely new Sarah again.

This new Me has been evolving for roughly 3 years.  The Divorce from “He who shall not be named” threw me to rock-bottom.  I wasn’t the best person, I wasn’t the best mom, and I wasn’t a good friend.  Honestly, I didn’t even like me.  Not even a little bit.  Actually, if Present-Day-Me met Me-From-3-Years ago, I’d slap her.  Or me.  Whatever, you get the gist.

I had to have a couple of major blows to my life to straighten out.  Those blows sucked, but I finally got it figured out and apparently just ran with it.  Usually my reinventions are somewhat similar.  Some sort of aspect stays with the next Me, thankfully, this time, the only thing that has stuck is my fuck-you-I-can-do-this attitude.  I think I’m just so amazed because of it.  Looking back on 3 years ago, I am borderline ashamed.  I have moments of deep shame, but then I remind myself that everything I did, caused, or went through, kicked my ass enough to learn from it.  Nonetheless, I am glad to say goodbye to the Old Sarah.  I am glad to kiss that life goodbye and stop glancing over my shoulder to make sure it’s not following me.

Today was a perfect day.  The Boyfriend had to work, so we had a Noodle and Mama Day.  We relaxed together a bit this morning, and after a quick breakfast hopped in the car and headed out.  We ran a couple of errands and then had lunch together.  After lunch, we went straight to the local farmer’s market and bought mushrooms (Noodle), Onions (as a complement to Noodle’s mushrooms), and peanut butter cookies (Me, duh).  Then we went shopping, we roamed around a couple of stores, causing a bit of trouble and looking for deals.  At Target I learned that my kid can con cookies off of ANY bakery in ANY store ANNNNND go back for SECONDS.

We came back to the house and set up some venison chops to marinate, and went right back outside.  It was a gorgeous day, and I don’t think either one of us could stay inside another day.  I had bought her a big jug of bubbles, so I sipped my iced coffee and she blew and chased down and stomped hundreds of bubbles.  A good grilled dinner and some relaxing, and she’s tucked into bed asleep.  I managed to clean the house before I ended up on my computer.

What made me realize the change in myself is that as I brewed my cup of coffee I realized I was/am completely happy and content.  That moment, as my coffee brewed, I thought back and realized how different not only I was, but how different I felt compared to a few years ago.  I finally learned how to live for me (and my daughter) instead of to someone else’s standards, or how I thought I was *supposed* to be.  I finally learned to love ME and my life, all the little quirks and troubles.  I learned to be happy with myself and enjoy the little things, and do it sober.

Things are not perfect and this life has had some pretty shitty moments, but now I realize that it will never be perfect, but I can make it as damn close as I can, and enjoy the ride there.

 

It feels good to stop looking into the past.

My Bitter Moment of the Day

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Today I am home with the kiddo, her tummy is upset and she didn’t get a whole lot of sleep. I picked her up from school yesterday, before she even got her jacket on she started complaining of her tummy hurting.  I didn’t think too much of it, “my tummy hurts” has become the most recent excuse to avoid trying something new at dinner.

Halfway home, her banter about how her day went cut off and a meek “I have to go to the bathroom” came out of the backseat.  “Honey, we’re about 2 minutes from home, you’ll have to hold it.”  “Okay” she said and the rest of the car ride was quiet.

We pulled into my driveway, and she opened her door right away.  As soon as she had two feet on the ground she bent over and threw up.  My mouth just dropped.  “See mom, that’s why I had to go to the bathroom.”  Pretty talented if you ask me, when I have to puke, I can’t hold it for 4 blocks.

So we got inside, with me hoping she just ate too much at snack time and she made it 2 minutes before she puked again.  She puked on and off all night and didn’t sleep too well when she did manage to sleep.  I got up with my alarm this morning at 4:45, checked on her and let my boss know that I couldn’t come in today.

I’m sitting on the couch, with a half asleep child laying next to me.  PBSkids on the tv and Noodle barely paying attention unless I go to change the channel at which she bolts awake and tells me “Mom! I’m watching that!”

She’s feeling a bit better this morning, the puking has stopped for the most part and she ate some dry cereal.  She’s just out of it and wants to relax.  Which is fine with me, we’ve been relaxing on the couch together and I’ve been getting some of the laundry done.  We’re going to try something light for lunch in a little bit.  Hopefully that goes well.

This last week has been rough on me for a multitude of reasons.  I haven’t been feeling well to top everything off, which just makes for a cranky me in general.  So each day, on my way to work I think about how everything has turned out.  I’m happy I suppose, but the grass is always greener.

– Regardless of my feelings now or anything else, I am glad I divorced A’s dad.  He wasn’t good for me, and I’m not so sure about for A either.  I am glad I took that step and I will never regret the action to have a safer, happier life.-

Life is stable over here finally.  Both Ryan and I have good jobs with steady paychecks, he likes his job which makes getting him up in the morning that much easier.  Noodle has a school in which she (and I) love, she has wonderful teachers and is thriving.

It just bugs me.  Up until a few months before my divorce, I was a stay at home mom.  In my family (this does not pertain to you, it’s not meant to offend you) it was important to me to be able to stay home with my kid(s).  I could have never predicted that my marriage would turn out the way it would and I’m lucky I’ve been employed since then, but shit.  I finally have a job with normal hours (I’ve been there for 2 years next month) so that makes life a little easier, but I’d still rather be at home and taking care of my kid.  I never thought I’d end up in the work force full-time, I always assumed that until A was out of the house, I’d be a part-timer so I could focus on her and our home.

So post-divorce I’m a working mother.  It’s just aggravating and I can feel my knuckles go white on that drive into the office.  It’s hard especially when shit at the office has been annoying me.  So I’m driving in to a job that makes me want to lobotomize myself, because of which my daughter goes to school 2 hours early and stays 1 hour late (6:30ish to 4:30ish) (which I realize isn’t as bad as it was before my schedule change but still).  I drive in to a job that I automatically lose 1/3 of my pay to the extra hours at daycare (the ex was ordered to pay half of school/daycare costs and child support, but that hasn’t happened since I was divorced in ’09). I drive into a job that I normally like, where I make decent pay (despite A’s school fees) but because of it, dinner becomes a chore, daycare spends more time with my kid than I do, and weekends are so jammed up with shit from during the week that there isn’t a whole lot of time for fun.

The topic has come up with Ryan that once he gets his raise in a couple months, that I can stay home.  Trust me on this one, there has been numerous times this past week that that seemed like a great idea.  It’s hard to think it’s not.  However, the grass is always greener.  Even if Ryan makes enough for a comfortable living, we’d still lose the money that my job brings in to supplement and save.   I wouldn’t have money for the extra things for the kids and wouldn’t be able to put money in our “going-on-vacation-finally” fund or “get-the-hell-out-of-my-house-kids!” fund.  Two things that I definitely like putting money in.  Plus with this economy, I don’t think I could walk away from a job I (mostly) like that is pretty damned stable, and rely solely on one income again.  You never know what could happen, and I know I’d regret leaving my job if Ryan ever lost his.

 

The grass is always greener, I’ll just keep repeating that.  In the meantime I’m off to get the kid in the bath and find something for lunch.

Expectations are a Bitch and a Half

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I am the ultimate pessimist.  I am.  I’ve been a raging-skull-punch-you-on-the-way-down pessimist as long as I can remember.  I always explain it like this: Hope for the best but always assume it won’t happen because life sucks and you should just get a helmet.  Sometimes, always expecting the negative in a situation bums me out and irritates people but you know what?  Screw off, there is a perk!!  If you expect nothing to happen, or plan for worst case scenario, when things do go your way it’s even better!

Ie:  Holding out for a new position at work.

Expectation: My ass getting canned and THEN denied unemployment.

Reality: Received promotion and desk with sparkles in it.  (You can’t beat sparkles.) (Stop laughing.)

Being a pessimist has almost become a safety blanket for me.  It’s just one more way I protect myself from getting hurt or upset when shit hits the fan… you know, because I expected it to, so I was prepared.

The only catch is is that people are not included in this mess of a safety net.  For some reason, my hopes expectations of people are just as high as I have set for myself.  This includes everyone, I’m talking from my neighbors to my boyfriend, from my kid to the little shit who lives 5 houses down.  Everyone.  Yes.  I’m talking about you.  I’m talking about family, I’m talking about doctors, I’m talking about co-workers, I’m talking about that kid who changed my oil last weekend.  I’m talking about the lady who owns the laundry mat all the way to the got-damned President of the United States.  I’m also talking about the person who is criticizing the fuck out of me for my run-on sentences.  Yes, you too asshole.  I have high-ass expectations for all of you.

“Oh but Sarah, you can’t expect that out of me?!  It’s to harrrd!”

Bite me.  You’re talking to a Single-Mom (not-even-child-support. Nada from the Dad.) who has been suffering with “Moderate to Severe” active Crohns Disease for 6 (5 diagnosed) years.  I went from working 2 restaurant/bar gigs AND odd jobs to an office job all the while trying *not* to die or live in the hospital.  Throw in some domestic abuse, a failed marriage, and sprinkle some good old anxiety and depression on top.  If I can do it, you can do it.

My life isn’t easy, and it’s not the hardest out there, but if I can live up to my expectations of what a person should be, how they should act, then so can you.

It’s not even that my expectations are phenomenal or anything, I always thought they were run-of-the-mill.  Yet, time and time again I am informed that I expect too much.

Too much?  Maybe.

I expect you to not be an asshole.  No seriously.  Just stop being an asshole to everyone.  How about instead of copping an attitude at everyone who looks your way, you can try to say something nice to them or *gasp* try and help another human being with something.

I expect you to be polite and have manners.  (Half of you just choked.)  (Good.)  I am one of the first people to laugh at or crack a horrible blow-job joke.  I am.  However, I hold the door for people coming out after me.  If someone drops something, I try and pick it up for them.  If I bump into someone, I apologize.  Christ people, it’s not that hard.  You walk past someone you smile and say “Hey” or do that stupid head nod thing that people do.  Oh and two words.  “Please” and fucking “Thank you” <- I especially expect children to say it. (I had two little girls, aged 4, in my office today while their mom was with my co-worker.  They said Please and Thank You for every single crayon I gave them, they even said it to *each other* as they fought over who got to draw with the purple-sparkle pen.  If two little girls can say it, so can grown ass people.)

Work.  If you’re over the legal age to work, I expect you to work.  I don’t care what the hell you do, I don’t.  I just expect you to do it, do it well and not be fucking lazy.  I get it, people have lazy days, most days I decided I’d rather go back to bed before I even leave my bed.  That doesn’t excuse you from doing your damned job.  I’ve also done the dead-end job thing.  I know that if you work hard sometimes it just doesn’t get you anywhere.  My examples:  Jiffy Lube, all 3 greek restaurants I worked at, Elder-care (promotion wise), most retail, the majority of sales (small ticket items), etc.  You know why you should work hard?  Just in case.  Just in case you might get a chance at a different position or a promotion.  Because you should work to *earn* your money, not mooch it.  Also you have to work with other people, so this resorts back to “not being an asshole”.  Don’t make your co-workers days hell.  Work.  It’s called “work-ethic” and you should have it, more importantly we should instill it in our children.

I expect you to be educated.  I’m not talking about college, I’m not even talking about high school.  I expect you to know what’s going on around you in the world, to care what’s happening to other people.  I expect you to have an opinion, even if it differs from mine.  I expect you to pay attention to something beyond the new trinket you just bought.  There is important stuff going on in our world right now, I don’t expect you to be aware of everything, or know every minute detail, because I sure don’t… but I expect a decent attempt.  I want people to have a brain of their own, not to be a mindless sheep.  Why?  Stupid people piss me off.  So don’t be stupid.  Borrow a book, read a newspaper.  You know, Yahoo! has news and Google isn’t just there to look up porn.  Use your brain.

 

I’m not saying you have to be perfect.  I’m not.  I’m far fucking from it.  Sometimes I smoke too much, sometimes I snap at people through out the day because I’m cranky.  Sometimes while you’re talking I imagine strangling you so you stop rambling on about your new manicure.  I have lazy days and I have “Do I really have to put on pants??” days. But I try to be a good person, I try to be nice and courteous, I try to do my job to the best of my ability and I try to be aware and active in the world around me.  That’s all I’m asking of other people, just do it.  I’m a pessimist a million and one days out of a million and two.  I am an optimist when it comes to other people.  If you fuck-heads take that away from me, imagine how miserable I am going to make the world around me. (ha)

 

At least try not to be an asshole.  That’s a start.

Changing the Seasons

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Apparently the boyfriend’s and my anniversary is coming up, or past, or whatever.  I’m not sure and quite honestly I am content to let the boyfriend figure out when it’s supposed to be.  Regardless we’ve been together for about a year, give or take two weeks.  [Obviously I’m the best girlfriend ever, if I can’t remember our anniversary how am I going to bitch at him for forgetting… lets add in that I forgot what MONTH his birthday was in last week.  Trophy please.]  We talked about everything that’s happened in our lives in the past year and we talked about change.

Change.  Our lives have changed quite a bit in the past year.  Some of the changes were unavoidable and abrupt, while some changes happened with out us even noticing.  So as we sat with our coffee out in the backyard, I started to think about how much life has changed.  I thought about the way our lives have evolved, intertwining our families and aspirations for the future.  How my home has been molded into our home and how we’ve changed each other.

While of course, parts of us are still the same as they were before.  He’s still laid back enough that a house could drop on him and he wouldn’t care if he lost his ruby slippers.   Where as I’m still high strung to the point where I can have an anxiety attack big enough for the both of us.. or hell the whole county.  I’m still anal retentive about getting bills paid and the house clean, where as he realizes that the world will not end if it isn’t done right. this. fucking. second. The only change regarding our own personalities is that we kind of balance each other out.  He’ll help me clean when I’m being neurotic and I’ll kick him square in the nads when he has procrastinated on something too long.

I know for sure that other aspects of me have changed.  I’ve finally become a homebody.  I realized last weekend that I hadn’t “gone out” in 4 months… and didn’t even know it had been that long.  I used to get antsy if I was stuck inside all the time, now I prefer it.  I’d much rather be out in the backyard with the boyfriend that at the bar or wasting money at a restaurant.  I’d rather get up at 8am on Saturday and work on the yard than feel exhausted since I was up until 3am.  I don’t know if it was because of his homebody demeanor or what, but something rubbed off on it.  Staying out of the night life has taught me nothing if not that I know who my real friends are.  Which is nothing but a benefit.  We both have learned who our close and true friends are in the past year, and the list has dwindled but friendships we’ve kept have strengthened.

All in all we talked about the people we were and the people we want to become.  I think we’ve got something good here folks, and I’m glad we decided to take the chance and get to know each other.  Who knows what the future can bring, and as long as it’s not dead bodies ie me having to bury him in the yard under the lilies, I’m good.  So I guess once I figure out our anniversary (or just make up a date) I’ll wish for many more years.  In the mean time, I’m happy with what we have and am grateful to have the family we have.

 

A Bitch Called Hope

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There’s this song by Blood for Blood (if you haven’t heard them and don’t like hardcore, don’t waste your time.  You’ll want to stab yourself in the ears.) called “A Bitch Called Hope”.  I used to relate to that song a lot, hell even now, more than 8 years later.  Hope is a hard thing to hold onto sometimes, but one thing I’ve realized through all of these years?  I need to have hope.  I need hope to thrive, to survive, and to strive for more.  With out hope I get nowhere… as I proved for a couple years as a teenager.

At the same time though, when you hope and pray for something, especially when you’ve worked your ass off for it, and whatever it is falls through?  It’s devastating.  Sometimes hope can almost destroy you in the end, and knowing that is what makes it so hard.  Hope is a bitch, a cold-hearted bitch, and that stupid bitch will screw you over if you give it the chance.  So sometimes I’m wary of hope.

I’ve always lived by the motto: Hope for the best, expect the worst and work your fucking ass off in the meantime.  I think that whole line of thought is what has gotten me labeled as a pessimist more than a handful of times, but you know what?  It works for me.  It keeps my ass in gear, my mind working, and helps me prepare for the worst in any scenario.  It allows me to continue to bust ass for something I want, but kind prepare for if things don’t work out as planned.  Almost mutes the devastation if it comes my way.

There has been so much going on in the past few years, quite honestly a lot of it got me down for a while there.  In the not to recent past I had almost given up hope that things would get better.  I saw nothing in my dead end jobs, nothing good coming out of being a single mother working sometimes upwards of 16 hour days.  I lost the motivation to love my life and improve what I didn’t love.  I did the basics for my daughter, made her life as perfect as I could, but as for everything else?  I shut down.  In all reality, that helpless feeling I had as I watched my life circle the drain broke me.  It did, it broke me far worse than the abusive marriage I was in, my self-caused train wreck teen years, anything.  That hope that I had clung to for so many years just disappeared.

When things were getting to be damned near unbearable, I finally caught a break.  I was offered a job, and then immediately offered my current job.  Then, like a brick through a bay window, that hope was back.  I knew that if I kept busting ass, life would get better.  You know what?  It most definitely has.  It’s never ending hard work, but it’s worth it.  Last Spring/late winter, one year ago, I was sitting at this kitchen table trying to figure out how to afford my gas bill.  I was barely making enough to afford food, much less my bills and medical treatments.  I was sitting at this table, praying for a hand up, a break, something.  I was headfirst into a bottle a lot of those nights, because at that point I didn’t even want to cope.  I just wanted peace.

Now?  Things are much better.  Not perfect, but enough to make me happy.  I’m still at a wonderful job, I’m in a wonderful relationship, and I’m working on my relationships with my family and a few old friends.  I realized that I need to keep busting my ass and fix my life, and since I was given that sliver of hope, it’s been a fight to keep it ever since.  It’s nice to be able to look back and reflect, the contrast between last year and this one…. it just proves that it was worth it all.  That things DO get better if you work for it, and having that little bit of hope just pushes you along.

Hope is still a bitch though, but hope is here to stay.