2020-09-28 Staring Down the Barrel of a Loaded…

… Dishwasher. 🤣

I didn’t hear the alarm go off this morning and when I heard the shower turn on I seriously thought about pretending to still be asleep through the morning routine. Allergies are kicking me in the ass this year and the 2am flair up that causes me to wake up with severe congestion and watering eyes has got to take a hike. I didn’t want to get out of bed.

But I did.

It’s my last Monday at my day job. That’s worth doing a happy dance over right? I suppose, if I could only get into that groove. I think I need caffeine.

This past weekend was pretty good. But I’m not in any mood to look back. Yesterday is yesterday’s news. The better plan would be to look forward… to the good, good life that’s unfurling before me.

3 more days of work and I’m piecing out on that gig. ☮️

There are also 3 more days left before the first issue of The Good Life Review lit mag goes live (if we can make it on time). I’m going to be a busy bee today loading content into pages. I’ll celebrate when that’s done. I’ve also been (in classic Miss SugarCookie form) procrastinating writing our “letter from the editor,” so that’s gotta make its way onto my daily to-do list pretty soon now.

Looking past this week, we wasted no time planning a bit of a post-employment getaway. We’re still in a pandemic, of course, so we can’t fly anywhere and Jim doesn’t have any more time off scheduled anytime soon, so we’re just going on a mini road-trip over a weekend in October.

He had a “staycation” not that long ago, but for me a staycation does not cut it because the house is really my job and if I can’t get away from that, I’m not going to get any real R & R. Plus, his son also decided to stay over all week and my daughter was here most of the week too. Which leads to messes and sinks full of dishes. Nope. I need to get away from the house to truly get away.

What else? October!! 🍁 The temps are dropping and the mums and pumpkins have made their ways to all the front porches. The trees are turning and leaves have started to fall. Though Autumn can be beautiful, it’s my second to last favorite season. Probably mostly because the beauty is so short lived and there’s always some random freeze reminding me that winter is just around the corner. Winter being, of course, my least favorite season. ❄️

Good gravy.. I’m feeling so brain mushy today. I think I just really need coffee.

Slow Playing the Day Away,
~Miss SugarCookie

2020-09-23 Random Facts About Having 4 Cats (Among Other Things)

  • Having four cats means you have to scoop litter boxes everyday.
  • This morning I started crying in my kitchen. I was loading the dishwasher when Alexa started telling me about memorial plans for Ruth B.G. as a part of my daily news briefing. I had not really grieved the loss yet. It just happened.
  • I have 6 days left at my job. And I’ve already logged like 24 hours this week. 🙄
  • Having four cats means there are cats everywhere you go in the house (mostly because they follow me around though).
  • Today I put on dirty clothes to carry out my morning routine cuz I wanted to wear my favorite sweatshirt and have been procrastinating doing laundry.
  • I had tickets to see Elton John in June of 2020. This was cancelled, of course, because of the arrival of the end times. Today I learn from the almighty in-box that the concert has been rescheduled for March 2022. Yeah. Not a typo. 2022. Hope he lives that long.
  • Having four cats means you don’t get a good night sleep unless you kick them ALL out of the bedroom. And sometimes you don’t get good sleep even then.
  • I’ve got some poetry that’s going to be published starting this week. A publisher that accepted ALL of the six poems I submitted to them. I keep thinking I should do more self-promo on social media. But that feels too much like having bronchitis.
  • I’m back to using my tiny SE first gen. Yesterday my daughter showed me how to increase the font so I can read without my glasses. That’s when you know you’ve officially arrived at old age.
  • Yesterday my daughter was tested for a thyroid condition. Her brother has Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis and since that’s hereditary, we thought it would be good to rule that out for her. The results were swift and good. She doesn’t have it!
  • When you have four cats you spend a fair bit of your day loving them up. And as a consequence you don’t get other stuff done. I mean, like laundry and dishes and making the bed. And whatever else you can think of to blame on the cats.

That’s a wrap. Or a sub sandwich. Or.. better yet.. a Cheeseburger!

Peace,
~Miss SugarCookie

2020-09-22 The Benzo Trap

How do I feel about benzodiazepines? The title says it but doesn’t do justice for calling it out as the devils candy that it is. It’s evil.

It’s a quick fix. An over prescribed band-aid which might have valid clinical use in a limited capacity for something, but not sleep. I’ll skip most of the backstory cuz that’s old news. All you really need to know is that I was taking it (started taking it) for sleep issues. And kept taking more and more “as needed.” Which is a dangerous way to give direction with a drug that has physical addiction properties.

I weened off of it really slowly, because the side effects of not taking it were terrible. I’ve heard people say that the withdrawal experienced is different for everyone. For me, it was this fucked up feeling in my head and an inability to focus. Oh, and I also my teeth hurt. Which was so bizarre but now that I know that it’s connected, It’s a classic tell. Which is to say, that I’m still experiencing these things to some degree now and again. Seems to be exacerbated by stress.

Yesterday was rotten. Which is why I’m writing this today. It’s been 27 days since the last dose (which was a tiny sliver of the prescribed amount) and I’m still feeling the side effects. It’s such a trap.

I started taking it for sleep issues and then kept taking it just to feel normal. When your brain is tricked into thinking “just a little dose and you can feel better” .. that’s when you know you are caught in a trap.

I mean, I’ve never been addicted to any drug before so I had no idea. And I’m sure it’s small potatoes compared to the heavy hitters, but it doesn’t mean that what I’m experiencing isn’t that bad.

My internist tells me it takes up to 6 weeks for that shit to clear the systems of the body. So I’m over half way there but good-freaking-gravy!! Just evil.

I was originally thinking I’d be right as rain by September. Then the step down was so slow that I wasn’t able to cut it completely until the end of August. So the new done-done looks like it’s going to be October.

Like I said, yesterday I was stressed. I felt my classic teeth hurting by 8:30 am, before I even started working. Then I had to endure all day through trying to get things done. Then, as if to add insult to injury, I could not sleep.

I had a flair up of allergies and was very congested. I ended up taking a Doxylamine succinate which did the trick eventually. But wow.. I did seriously consider the Xanax. Incredible!

Today is a new day and I’m glad I did not cave. And so far so good on the symptoms. My teeth don’t hurt and my head feels ok. My hormones are still bonkers but that’s a whole different story. 😜

The countdown is still on.. 7 more work days (if I don’t end up working the weekend again). Hopefully there will be no lingering side effects of quitting THAT! And when it’s done, it’s truly done done!

That’s it for today’s benzo/sleep/mental health update. Time to get to work.

Happy Taco Tuesday,
~Miss SugarCookie

2020-09-21 What’s the Truth Behind All the Drama

Last night I had a dream I could not shake. I mean.. I dreamt the dream and woke up multiple times and then fell back to sleep into the same scenario twice.

I’ve got a big assignment due for school. Something that’s going to take months of work and I’ve shown up to the scene empty-handed. I’ve procrastinated past the point of no return and have to ask for an extension. I ask for a day, when what I have to do can still not ever be done in a day.

I get a finger wag and stern talking to from my advisor. Her ass is on the line with this too somehow. I lie to her.

I tell her it’s almost done. That it just needs some polish. That I want it to be awesome and don’t want to wing it.

That last bit is true. I want the outcome to be a success. I really don’t want to wing it. It’s just not who I am. Or at least not who I want to be. Maybe that’s the issue my brain is struggling with. That I feel like I’m faking everything I’m at right now and not doing anything well. Ugh!

Anyway, then my advisor and I part ways and what do I do? I head straight to where the social action is instead of getting to work on my project. Why did I do that??! I was so anxious and nervous and still opted to procrastinate further.

Then I wake up and fall back asleep and it’s a day later and the stakes are higher. I’ve already asked for an extension and I can’t do that again. I’m so terrified of meeting with my advisor again who is basically one of the sweetest women I know. I’m banking on her using that sweetness to hold it together when I tell her I’m still not ready. It’s progressed past my having any control and I’m at the mercy of the Universe.

I’m crossing fingers that I’ve stacked up enough karma points to get me through this moment. My reputation is at stake and I’m positive I’m about to be called out as a fake.

After all, if you fake it till you make it, that’s what you are right??!! Just a fake?

Waking up to real life brought me some relief. I was released from any obligation to continue playing out that scene. Still, it left me laying there haunted. Why brain??… WTH??!!!


Today is my second to last Monday at my job. 8 days to go.

This morning as I was driving my son to school, which is about 50 minutes round trip. I was thinking about leaving my job and team and started to tear up. What is wrong with me? I should be happy, yet was overcome by sadness and fear of regret. This is what I want right?

I look over at my son, asleep in the passenger seat. Is he the project I’m failing at? Have I been Faking parenting him for 16 years and coming up hot at the end of his days at home and not ready.

Isn’t he the reason I’m quitting my job? And Jim and Z and our family life. Or is it so I can selfishly spend my days working on my fitness and my art. What will I choose to do with those extra hours in my day?

Will I check the Gradebook for Coop and be on his case when he starts to slip? We’re a month into school and I’ve only checked once. Epic fail.

Will I get down to work cleaning the toilets and scrubbing floors like a good Cinderella or will I just binge on Jazzercise and Electric Literature?

Time will tell.

As he got out of the car to go into the school, I felt another wave of sadness wash over me. He felt so distant as he said goodbye. I felt like I’d neglected him this weekend because we barely spoke and I was focused on work and prepping for a social gathering.

I pulled out of the parking lot and started to tear up again. Again, WTH?

Then I looked at my phone .. and tapped on my Fitbit app, swiped my finger down to refresh. Swiped my thumb up to scroll down. And there was the answer. It’s exactly 7 days till I get my period. That means prime time for the emotional swells. Mystery solved.

I continued my drive home thinking about poetry. How people won’t want my words because who wants to hear anything about spoiled white Cinderella in her broken castle? Made me think about my ex-husband, oddly enough. And the fact that he inadvertently gifted me books of material during our life together. If only I had a desire to visit that time in my life again.

But no. Like bronchitis.. ain’t nobody got time for that!

As my time today on the treadmill nears it’s end.. I toggle to my work app and see people wishing someone a happy birthday and I start to tear up again.

Yeah.. this ones gonna be a doozie!

On that note… my time is up.
Happy PMS Monday Ya’ll,
~Miss SugarCookie

2020-09-08 The One About Shiny Objects and the Meaning of Life… with Kittens!! 🐱

(Spoiler alert.. this post is mired in introspection and peripheral questions. Which I’m apparently incapable of avoiding to get to my point.)

Today I’m attempting once again to answer life’s ever burning question which is, of course… What’s the meaning and purpose of it all?

I’ve been quite distracted lately. Running like that chicken in whatever direction the shiny objects happen to be dangling. I’m flitting this way and that until I’m spent and fall into that all-too-familiar 5 hour deep sleep.

Then I wake, unrested and unsettled but ready to begin again. No rest for the wicked I suppose. But how wicked am I anyway. Must be pretty damn wicked to have inherited this hamster wheel.

I often think.. if I just had more time, I’d get it all done and finally be able to relax. But it occurs to me that at the core, I like the chaos. Could that be true. Is my default operating mode stuck in high gear because that’s just part of who I am. What would I do if there were no shiny objects and I woke after a perfect 8.5 hours of sleep to a day where I had balanced amounts of work and play pencilled into crisp 1 hour time slots in my day.

What if my day was clean and smooth and the meal and rest breaks were appropriately dispersed throughout. And all the dirty dishes did themselves. What would life look like then? And would that make life better or just different?

Would I start making regular trips to the hardware store to pick up wrenches to throw at my perfect plans. Would self-sabotage ensue?

Hmmmmm. It seems as if instead of attempting to answer that burning question, I’m just adding 20 other question to the pile. Such madness.

It’s true that lately (like the last two months) I’ve had more to get done and more responsibilities than I’ve had in quite some time. It’s kind of been exhausting and the health issues and not sleeping well just make getting through each day more of a challenge (not to mention the world stuck in a swirling vortex of doom). I’ve felt like a failure for dipping on commitments I’ve made. Then I spend too much on the guilt that follows. But that’s not the point today.

I’m still missing my mark. 🤔

I’m about three long weeks away from cutting a big chunk of responsibility out of my life indefinitely. For the last two months I’ve been spending an FTE effort on work. It’s a job I agreed to do 10-20 hours of work for each week and instead of capping the amount of work in my queue, they just shovel piles of work in my general direction.

And like the good girl I am I just take it and like everything else in my life I attach my self worth to my ability to get it all done in top-notch fashion. If I dip or fail or don’t get it done in time, I take it too much to heart. I worry my reputation will be tarnished and for the love of all the cheese in the Universe I still care too much about what others think of me.

How old do I have to get before I can really start not giving a fuck what other people think of me. Is that just another part of who I am that’s never going to change? Will I be able to make that transition after I’m really done working and moving into this next phase of my life?

Again with the digression into introspective questions? What is with that nonsense today? I’m still missing my point. What was my point again?

Ahhhh, yes.. The answer to the meaning and purpose of life.

In the last two weeks I’ve been distracted. I got a new kitten from Jim for my birthday. 🐱 The timing of that was perfect, romantical, sweet and also terrible.

I don’t have time to take care of this newest member of my family. Having a kitten is a lot of work. They have a ton of energy and demand attention. I can’t just sit at my desk and get stuff done. He’s constantly exploring all around and frequently walks across my keyboard. And to make matters worse, he contracted a nasty virus shortly after his arrival (or possibly because of the travel and exposure to external things) which has caused us to not only worry but also keep him in quarantine (from our other cats).

So to spend time with him and make sure he gets acclimated to his new home we’re quarantined in that area of the house too. We are spending lots of time upstairs in the quadrant where my daughters room is and the hallway outside of that which is connected to my office.

Then, like the good cat mom I am, I feel guilty about not spending enough time with the other cats. So we’ve been letting them into our master bedroom at nights to compensate. Which leads to a lot more distractions during those 5 precious hours of sleep. See how that’s all just a viscous cycle?

Finally getting there my friends, to the point I’m aiming at. That the point of life is to engage fully with all that distracts us. Because what would life be without that? Boring, listless, mundane?

The point is not the hamster wheel that goes nowhere. The point is the shiny object that makes the wheel spin faster. Those ideas and events, people and animals, words and opportunities that make our hearts beat a little faster and keep us from sleeping. After all, it would not appear shiny enough to distract us if it was not something we want, deep down at the core of us.

I already love that kitten, who we have named Gustav— Gus for short. I love being distracted by him and know that he will not be a tiny kitten for long. I’ve actually been distracted by him about 8 times while trying to write this. It might be the reason why this post has been so all over the place and distracted. 😂

So that’s my story today, which really feels like a long winded excuse of why I’m not getting the things I should be doing done and placing a fair amount of blame on Gus. Thanks Gus. ❤️

On that note.. I’m out of time. Such is the nature of life.

Peace, Love, and Kittens,
~Miss SugarCookie

2020-08-26 A Dreamy Reminder about the Path I’m On, and Why

Might have had a dream about you last night. Which was really a dream about me where you happened to make an appearance.

Engaged in conversation about nothing in particular you gestured to the patch of grey hair that has appeared just above the hairline around your ear. Yeah, we’re all getting there together and no person is immune to the human condition.

I’m sure you were trying to make me feel better about all the ways my body reminds me that I’m getting older, no matter how young my spirit feels. Or maybe you were letting me know that you’re still with me, In case I lose my way again and am in need of your lighthouse guiding me back to our path. A trail you’ve been blazing for as long as Ive known you, your steps digging a trench so deep you’ll never be able to climb out.

Maybe that path is not the way to our shared true north but a viscous circle of madness. Perhaps your purpose was not to save me but the other way around. And I have failed so far to rescue you.

It occurs to me now that while certain outcomes for ‘us’ are no longer within the realm of possibility, I may have more power than ever to help guide you out to sea. The world being on fire, there’s no better time to find a boat and venture out.

Or perhaps it’s never meant to be. I have lots of other important business to attend to anyway. Giving love, writing poetry, and raising my babies. If there’s one gift I can give them it will be the knowledge that they should go their own ways and follow their hearts passions.

Alas, children are stubborn and often don’t listen to their parents anyhow, so I can’t be held responsible for their choices.

I digress.

Whatever the reason, it was sweet of you to show up last night among the chirping squirrels and broken Keurig coffee makers without cups endlessly spilling water onto the counter and floor.

Thanks also for showing up when you did, in real life. My life has turned out tremendously better since I met you.

That’s all I got for now.
Stay Frosty,
~Miss SugarCookie

2020-08-25 Reading Past Repetition to Get to the Good Stuff

There’s no way I’m not going to not be tired today. That’s what less than four hours of sleep does to a person. 

Impossibly, it was not because of performance anxiety over the two hour training session I’m supposed to conduct today with a group of folks I’ve never met before. Incredibly I could not fall asleep in the first place, which has rarely been my problem. Impractical as it is, my issue was caused by my mind wandering around poetry. 

I was reading a lot of poetry before going to bed. Add that to the growing list of things I can’t do in the hour before going to bed. 🤷‍♀️

Thankfully that was all it was and had nothing to do with the results of the 3-D mammogram and breast ultrasound that occurred hours earlier. That mess had already been discussed and swept away. Thank the Universe, that topic was open and shut quickly. Grateful today to be lamenting sleep woes in classic SugarCookie broken record repetition style instead of thinking about how my life will never be the same. 

***

Last night I had to send out lots of declines for the lit mag. I don’t like that part of my new gig. Turns out I dislike being the bearer of bad news more than I dislike receiving it. I’ve got declines rolling back to me now quite regularly and I open those emails and just kind of shrug. I update the spreadsheet I’m using to keep track of my submissions like it’s just a business transaction. I don’t feel the sting of rejection and I wonder why not. It’s curious. 

What’s even stranger than that is my reaction to instances I’ve opened my email and found an acceptance. “Congratulations,” they say. We want your words.

This from my most recent acceptance letter.. “What powerful pieces! We particularly loved ‘Mining the Gap’ and are thrilled to say that we are going to publish it…”

This makes me feel all warm inside for a blink or two and then my heart returns to its typical rhythm. Not quite as subtle as a shrug but also not the spinning on dance floors one might expect. Why is that?
Is there something wrong with me? Do I disbelieve what I read? Am I incapable of being moved? Or do I not trust the sources? “Powerful?” Really? No way.

Maybe it’s indifference because I intend to keep submitting my poems regardless of the outcome. Perhaps it’s similar to writing them in the first place. The feeling I get from writing is pretty satisfying. Then really working whatever that is over and over until it feels finished is next level. I get excited. I turn the music up and dance a jig in my underwear in the kitchen all by myself. I love it when I read one of my beautiful babies and get that same rush and tingle. 

This morning I was at it early, revising a poem to prepare it for the world at large. When I finished and read it through without stopping, I welled up with tears. I mean, the topics of my 20’s and 30’s are old news. How incredible is it that I can still get choked up like that? That’s the stuff. 

Perhaps publishing is not the goal, but part of the motivation to revise? Perhaps I get enough satisfaction from self-publishing and don’t really need more? Perhaps these are the things I tell myself to steel my mind— to prepare for all the inevitable rejection. 

In any case, here’s the latest SugarCookie poem which is currently on display at wonderful online publication called Prometheus Dreaming (Poetry Volume 2, Issue 2.5): Mining the Gap

I’m grateful to this publication for wanting my words and including them among so many other wonderful poems I’ve read there.

That’s gonna be it for today folks. Thanks for playing along. (Time to go take a nap now – ha!)

Peace and Love,
~Miss SugarCookie

2020-08-23 The Saturday AM Update

I woke up at about 6:30AM and for the first time in a while, I’m looking forward to the day.

Something about a long string of days that involve stuff you’re not looking forward to that really messes with a persons groove. I’ve obviously been in a funk. I’ve obviously been a broken record, stuck on repeat and really.. ain’t nobody got time for that! 😜

But I can feel a change in the air this morning. It’s still August and hot out but the leaves are starting to turn and fall. I’m counting down the days left working for the MAN (23 💃💃💃) and feeling great about my decision. I’m waking up thinking about my family and what were gonna be able to do together this weekend instead of all the work crap that’s always looming over me.

I’m thinking about really catching up on lit mag business and taking my time reading through all the selections our editors are passing on through to publishing. I’m excited to get to be that person who tells someone else “yes, we love this! We want to showcase your work.. let’s do it!” And I’m excited about the first issue coming out and the updated design for the site and all the opportunities that will open up to generate interest. We’ve got podcast action in play and I really feel like that will boost us to next level.

That’s a lot to be excited about but it doesn’t stop there. I’m looking forward to re-engaging with my own personal writing endeavors. From the submission spree I went through in July, I’ve gotten a few accepts and a few rejects and though I know most will come back as rejects.. I’m still energized to follow through with more revision and submission and maybe putting together a chapbook or full length book.

I’d like to say I’m looking forward to reading and writing more but I’m not gonna try and force that. I think my mo-jo will return soon. I think it will happen naturally as the work garbage winds down and I have more time. I hope anyway.

What else?

Well as far as status goes I feel as if I’m going to be a good citizen and not contribute to any community spread of the deadly virus that’s all the rage this year that I’m gonna have to self-quarantine for the duration. Both my kids went back to school recently and so far this week we’ve gotten a total of 4 emails from the HS principal about known cases with students.

The students are not identified in these emails of course and the communication assures is that if there was known contact with our child, we would have been notified separately. We haven’t, but that does not mean it wasn’t possible. I’ve seen what the scene looks like dropping my son off and picking him up. Lots of teenagers standing or walking in clusters. Some with masks and some without.

Not sure what to make of all that and nothing I can do really except watch my kids for symptoms and keep having open dialogue about what to watch out for and to keep up on the regular hand washing and mask wearing and not touching their faces.

What else?

Yesterday marked the end of the first full week where I took zero lorazepam. I’m still struggling with the annoying withdrawal symptoms but it’s no where close to what I had when I tried to cut it out cold turkey,

I had my annual visit to the gyn this week and the PA I saw suggested I try magnesium for my continued struggles with sleep. I don’t listen to hip-hop but I’ll give it a shot I guess. Oh.. and she found a lump in my left breast so I’m going for a deeper diagnostic on that Monday. Not too concerned about that and no reason to dwell on it until the diagnostic is done.

What else?

Nothing. That’s enough really, don’t you think?

My step counts look abominable lately and I’m gonna end my walk today with a quick jog and that means I’m done writing.

Cheers to the Weekend,
~Miss SugarCookie

2020-07-13 Prognosis Pending

Mostly I’m just tired of saying I’m tired. Mostly I’m looking in the mirror and wondering if I’ll ever not feel tired. Or look tired. Some days it takes all the energy I have to appear awake and aware of what’s happening in the small, medium, and large circles I’m turning in these days.

This week it will be 5 weeks since I crashed hard. Had the worst day I’ve had in a great while and broke down and went to see a doctor. An internist. I could barely get through that experience. He set me straight but in the course of that visit he had me fill out some paper forms. Quizzes. One or two had to do with mental health.

It’s not the first time a doctor has suggested I was depressed. But saying someone is depressed is as nondescript as diagnosing someone with happiness. Here’s a 10 question quiz, and we’re going to add up your points and say “congratulations, you’re happy!!”.

I was in so much distress, I don’t remember a single question. I probably answered fairly negatively given the fact that the world is caught in a vortex of doom and I felt like a hot pile of garbage. The immediate action plan that day was to get me off the benzodiazepines and then start addressing the “other” issues.

Ok. Now it’s 5 weeks later and I’ve got my follow up appointment on Thursday this week. I’m down to a quarter pill (.5 mg Lorazapam) a night, with an off night (no dose) about every three nights. I’m ahead of schedule and have been pushing hard for that through some unpleasant side effects. I just want to be done.

Of course, the sleep issues have returned. Waking up early and not being able to fall back asleep. Jim says I need to try some techniques to calm my brain and it sounds like maybe meditation would help. But what’s the doctor going to focus on I wonder? The sleep? The depression? The progress I’m making with the meds and the side effects? Will he make me take those paper quizzes again? Will I score better now that I’m feeling better?

Will the doctor suggest I see a counselor or therapist again? Should I consider that?

Will I wake up at 5 again tomorrow with all these questions plus 47 more about work and the kids and school and the pandemic and the meaning of life and my purpose In it?

When he asks me how I’m feeling I’ll probably say that mostly I’m just tired of saying I’m tired. Saying any more than that will just take too much energy. Good grief!

I’m on the treadmill and looking in the mirror in front of me. At least my hair looks good. That seems familiar.

That’s enough already,
~Miss SugarCookie

2020-07-01 Change is Sometimes Neither Fast Nor Easy

About 16 days ago I decided I had enough of feeling shitty every freaking day and set out on a mission to figure it out and turn things around. i decided the first step was to do a substance cleanse and get my body free of chemicals that alter my mood, help me sleep or calm my anxiety. I was all-in and knew it was what needed to happen.

I vowed that I would cut that shit out for 15 days and then re-evaluate to see how I was feeling and add other mods into my routine. Give myself an uptick in good behaviors like hydration and eating more fruits and veg. But I found out pretty quickly that i couldn’t just make a declaration and it would magically come to pass.

Day 2 I felt like garbage and by day 3 I was throwing my hands up in the air in despair. I honestly didn’t know I was suffering withdrawal until I saw a physician and heard his assessment. That day was one of the worst I’ve ever had. And the relief I felt when I gave in and took a Xanax and went back to bed was all the proof I needed that he was right.

So instead of cold turkey, I’m taking it slow and reducing my dose in small increments. The prescribed plan is like 12 weeks but I’ve been working the numbers and charting my dose and symptoms and think I can do it it 8. That’s still a lot longer than the 2 weeks I was originally hoping for.

I’ve also not been able to cut out caffeine. But I’ve been charting my headaches too and have minimized my daily intake quite a bit. Like I said, it’s been about 16 days since I stomped my foot and declared these changes, and I have successfully reduced the caffeine to about 1 cup of coffee a day. It feels like a win to me.

Of course the third part of my substance trifecta was alcohol. I haven’t had a sip since June 13. It’s been the easiest part of my plan by far. I think the first time I really missed it was when I returned from Colorado and Jim suggested we have a few drinks while I fill him in on the details of my trip. I declined (but still spent a fair bit of talking about everything Z and I saw and did).

Despite the change-up In the master plan and slowing some things down considerably, I can still feel an improvement in my health. I feel better waking up in the morning and am not dreading the day like I was. I’m starting to be excited again about the things going on in my life instead of feeling so burdened by responsibility.

And I am actually sleeping better even though I’m not taking as much of the Lorazepam as I was. That’s freaking incredible. I’m just now rolling into week 3 of my 8 week plan but already looking forward to the day when I’m done-done with that shit!

All of this validates that change is sometimes neither fast or easy. But it’s always good to have goals and measures so you can keep track of how it’s going.

Also not to be dismissed is the need for a llama in the story. Something interesting, something to look forward to, something that’s providing internal satisfaction.. feeding the soul.

The llama in my “Take Back the City Tour” was the road trip I took with my daughter. It was very restorative to disconnect from work and get a change in scenery for a few days. The mental health variable in the grand equation of overall health is so important. Everything is connected!

Today is the first day of the second half of 2020. We are half a year into what will probably go down in history as one of the most trying years of the century. No human can escape the impact of the pandemic. No person in America is isolated from events that are changing the climate of our country.. politically, socially, economically.

There too, change is painful and a struggle. It’s a large scale example of what neither fast nor easy looks like. But as I have hope that I can find peace and health for myself, so too do I have hope that we as a society can take steps toward positive change.

I don’t have any answers but I know that “cold turkey” is not the Way.

I digress. I’m officially calling today the end of my “Tour” and will return now, somewhat, to my regularly scheduled programming. I’ll still be on the lookout for the next Llama or Ostrich. Everyone should make time for that!

Peace and Love,
~Miss SugarCookie