money · moving

All I want for Christmas….

Someone heard our pleas, prayers, posts, and whines! It’s not even Christmas yet, and we have found a place to live! Mom & Dad have rented a house not far from where we are now, about a mile away, actually, and there is room for all of us. The close location makes them happy–they were so worried about being too far away from their church, as well as Max being far away from school. This also means we don’t shouldn’t have to pack quite as severely as if we were moving farther away. Of course, my Dad doesn’t really believe that, and is packing us as if we are moving across the country. Which is funny, since 75% of the boxes we’re for using this move are banana boxes, with holes in the tops.

The new house, at least what I’ve seen of it so far, seems nice. It’s yellow. And kinda…well, pointy. Tomorrow I’m going over to explore and get a better look, and I’ll take some pictures, so you can see what I mean.

As of today, the plan is that we’ll all split the rent & utilities: the folks, Jolene, Hattie & myself. It’s been agreed that I will be saving up, in hopes of being able to move into my own place. I’m hoping to do that by my birthday, in March.

The big problem now, of course, is packing. It’s interfering with my actual life -you know, surfing the internet, reading, watching the telly, doing my nails, reading some more, snacking, and whining because I have to get all this crap in my room put into some boxes before my father has a conniption fit. I did pack my books, but that was the easy part. Books are simple-they’re all the same basic shape, and don’t need to be wrapped or cushioned. I’ve moved a lot in my life, and have packed boxes of books over & over & over; I can do it in my sleep. It’s the other, random stuff that is going to be a pain in the tukkus. Once I get going, it’ll be fine. What I really want for Christmas is someone else to do the packing, and moving for us–and that Dad would be somewhere else during the whole thing. He’s getting on everyone’s nerves, and the day of the move is going to be hell.

be quiet


On a different subject, entirely: I saw Dr Jeff last week, and am now taking a new antidepressant combo, and have a referral to a therapist. He was concerned about me, and very nice about the whole thing, didn’t make me feel ashamed or wrong in any way. I appreciate that. He also told me that if  I ever begin to feel as if I cannot fight the darkness again, I should call him, immediately. He promised to give the office and service orders to put me through if I call. I was pretty impressed that an GP would do that. This is one of the many things I like about him.

Here’s another lovely thing to whine about:  two years ago, I informed the Department of Education that I was now considered “fully and permanently disabled,” which meant that I was eligible to have my student loans forgiven. I filled out paperwork, had my doctor sign it, and sent it in. It never arrived. We went though this four or five times. My neurologist has left his position (he’d originally signed the papers), and the PA couldn’t do the new paperwork. So the Department of Education decided I was in default, and sent my loans to collections. Because I needed one more thing to worry about, I took the new paperwork to Dr Jeff last week, and he’s filled it all out, signed & sealed. I talked to the collections company today, and they were so sweet–frankly, I was confused. All I have to do now is either fax or email that paper, and they’ll be off my back. Let’s hope this works this time!


Okay. I’m off to bed, where I’ll stay awake for the next two hours reading, I’m sure. Goody for me!

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Internet · Michele · money · moving · realizations · seizures · Shel

Questions Worth Asking — And Some Answers

A while ago, someone sent me a link to a page entitled ‘25 Beautifully Illustrated Thought-Provoking Questions.’ I glanced at it, thinking “Hey, that’s nifty,” bookmarked it, and went on with my life. Today I stumbled upon it again, and a few of these questions hit me right between the eyes.
The last few weeks have been rough, and I’ve spent a lot of time feeling sorry for myself. Complaining, whining, bitching, whatever you want to call it, I’ve done them all-in spades. (There is a reason I called this site “Read Between the WHINES!”) Not enough money, bad health, bad weather, too many stupid commercials, nothing good to eat, blah blah blah. The worst thing was, after two-and-a-half years without a seizure, I had a whopper of a fit. Ended up with a huge headache, sore muscles and a nasty bitten tongue. Poor Jonna.
Then, as I was scrolling through these photos today, this question struck me.

Of course, I am aware that others have things much worse than I do. I’ve always been aware of that, but sometimes I forget. When I began having seizures at age 15, I took it in stride, and never made a big deal out of it, partly because my friends didn’t. If my friends had flipped out, I might have, but not one of them did. I’m sure there were people in our small town high school who thought I was a weirdo, but I was not aware of them. My mom always took it the hardest. And when I began seeing specialists at the OHSU Epilepsy Center, and met young people who had never been able to have any kind of normal life because of their seizures, that was reaffirmed. I was able to do almost everything that so-called normal people did: I worked, I had a home, a life. I never had to wear a helmet, or be confined to a wheelchair. For a long time, I even drove! (Looking back at that, I am amazed at how careless I was with others lives!) Many people who have the type of seizures I do (tonic-clonic, formerly referred to as grand mal) often lose control of their bladder and/or bowels during a seizure. I have always been extremely thankful that this has never once happened to me!
So yes, I am aware that others have things much worse, in many areas. I am struggling financially, but what that really means is that I don’t have spending money, and cannot afford to move. I am not homeless, nor will I be; nor am I going hungry. My family is always here for me, and I for them; so many don’t have that. So, I cannot buy a new book, or get a manicure. I have a perfectly good library card, and a drawer full of nail polish. So, I can’t afford that gym membership. I’d probably never go, anyway! I have perfectly good walking shoes, and the neighborhood behind us has sidewalks.

This month I turn forty-five years old, and shortly after that, the anniversary of Michele’s death arrives. I miss her every day. If Shel was anything, she was positive, and she would want me to celebrate what I have, not what I am missing. Somehow, I think finding these pictures was her way of reminding me of that.


anti-depressant · Anyone? · breast cancer · Bubble Meds · Bubble Wrap · cancer · exercise · Fun · Major Depression · medication · Michele · money · Oprah · Scientology · stress · Tom Cruise

I’m Not Tom Cruise. I’m Taller.

A few days ago in a post titled ‘Bubble Meds, Anyone?,‘ I stated that I detest anti-depressant medications. I got several rather obnoxious comments about this (which I have been deleted, because I don’t want hate here), all telling me how evil and stupid I am to not recognize the wonders that are done by these medications. One commenter even compared me to Tom Cruise ranting on Oprah!

Let me say right now that the only similarities between Tom Cruise & I are height. And a sofa.
Anti-depressants, and medications as a whole, are a good thing. I know lots of folks whose lives are vastly improved by their blend of prescription drugs. Heck, if it weren’t for the varied anti-seizure meds I’ve been on since I was 16, I’d not be able to function. It’s quite possible that without those medications I’d be dead now. These medications save lives. I know that.
My issue with anti-depressants in the past has been simply that I’ve not yet found one that works for me. And of course, I want the quick fix. I’m not a patient person when it comes to medications–I want my pain-killers & cough syrups to work NOW!!! When the happy pills didn’t make me happy as soon as I swallowed, well, I gave up. I was young, I had time to wait for the bad feelings to go away. It wasn’t a matter of strength, so much as patience & time.
I’m not that young anymore. Many, many things have changed since the last time I had an episode of major depression. Back then I was living with my parents, I had no one depending on me for anything, my health was much better, and my stress level was lower. Now I’m living with my fiance and we are trying to start a business, my health is not good (although my seizures are controlled!), I’m in charge of a household. (Yes, I am!)
Stress, well, stress is high. My best friend, Michele, who just came through breast cancer with a smile on her face has been sick for the last few months. Two weeks ago they found Stage Four cancer in her bone marrow, the bones on her back, and a spot on her lungs. She began chemo last week. I want to be there holding her hand right now, but don’t have the money for my passport, much less a plane ticket to Toronto, where she lives. (Her mom is there, so she has help.) But can you understand why my stress level just flew up?
Anyway. My point is that I do not have anything against these medications or the people who take them. I’m not looking for a quick fix this time; I’m willing to be patient.
But if Tom Cruise shows up, telling me all I need are vitamins & exercise to fix my depression, there’s gonna be one less Scientologist in the world.
idiocy · money · moving · Steven · unemployment

Darkest Before the Dawn

Well this sucks.

Steven, my amazing boyfriend, has been out of work since about this time last year, when he injured his knee on the job. After months of medical leave & workman’s comp, and battling with the insurance companies, his time ran out, the hospital gave his job away, and he had to file for unemployment. They, of course, denied him. His appeal was denied today. For some reason, the morons over there seem to believe he quit his job voluntarily, even though he has given them proof of his injury, the paperwork from the hospital, everything, they turned him down.
For months he has been looking for work every day, and these stupid people tell him to go back to the old job for 7 weeks (or months, I was so annoyed I stopped listening), and then he’ll be eligible!
What the FUCK?!?!
Aside from just being incredibly stupid, amazingly annoying and downright idiotic, this throws our finances even farther into a black hole than they already are. The rent is covered, but paying the power & cable bill, not to mention putting gas in the car?! Forget it!
We’ll be moving soon from our palatial two-bedroom apartment to a luxurious one-bedroom. We’re lucky that the one-bedroom is just down the hall, so we won’t have to pack everything up. Of course, a big chunk of our things will need to be boxed and trundled over to my parents house, so my dad can complain about how there’s too much stuff in his garage already! Thank God for my folks.
The worst part of all of this is not that we have no money, or that we are being forced to move from the only home we’ve known as a couple. It’s the toll all of this is taking on Steven. Every day I see him sinking lower, and it breaks my heart. He is such a good man, a wonderful person, and he does not deserve this! Yet he feels that all of this is his fault, that he’s failed me. All I can tell him is that he has in no way let me down. In fact, he’s my hero. His desire to work & support our little family makes me so proud it brings tears to my eyes! I see his many talents, and I am amazed, and I wonder why he chose me. Money isn’t everything; love is.
This is why I know that though things are dark right now, the sun come out. Because we have each other, and love.