To Flash or Not to Flash

In an effort to amp up my blog and transition from scholarly writing to creative writing, I found NaBloPoMo, which offers daily writing prompts.  I am almost scared to use the link because NaBloPoMo’s motto is to get ya writing every day.  That is right, every damn day!  I would love to do so but I am still trying to finish up my last college semester, so let’s not be rigid and cut a girl some slack until next month.  But without further ado, the prompt for today is:

 

What is the dumbest thing you and a partner ever fought about?

 

Hubs and I don’t have the perfect “Leave it to Beaver” relationship but I am really struggling with this topic.  We get along pretty well but when we fight, it is usually about pretty serious shit, like money or sex.  He is passive and I am aggressive, so I guess that means we have a passive-aggressive relationship.  However, in 21 years of marriage I can only recall a handful of serious conflicts so I guess that means we are pretty compatible.

 

BUT…..

 

I think the most hilarious disagreement was about whether or not I should be using the built in flash mode on my camera to take photos outside.  Yea, I’m not kidding…

 

I had bought a new rama-zama camera and was practicing some portrait shots of him in the harsh sunlight (worst time to take pics).  As I snapped the shutter, in his know it all voice he said, “why are you using flash”?  (of course he was also looking at me as if I had a dick hanging out of my ear too) To which I replied, “to get rid of the shadows on your face”.

 

He wouldn’t budge and had that all annoying look about him and began speaking to me as if I was a little child playing with my first Fischer Price camera.  I mean, he has taken some pretty bad ass landscape shots but c’mon ~ I had just gotten back from a photography class, which means I really did know it all.  (insert some sarcasm and humor)

 

I continued to listen to his gabbing, picked up my camera, and snapped another shot of him without flash, walked up to him, and said “LOOK at this”!!  Sure enough mama was right; his face was as dark as a funeral procession while the one taken with the flash was of course superb.

 

Silence ensued for awhile

 

And then….. “Hmmm, not a bad photo of me, huh babe?”

In my mind, I was thinking um… #winning😉

I am often shocked at the things other couples fight about and am truly grateful for our awesome relationship.

Until next time (maybe tomorrow)

 

College Grad, Ya Don’t Say!

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This has been my life for the last 3 years (laptop, textbook, and Yeti)

I began my blogging journey with the intent of simply journaling my grief journey, unaware of the connections I would make, and how many other parents were struggling like me.  It is very comforting to know that we are never truly alone although we often think so.

 

Suicide survivors are a special breed!  We band together whether it is over coffee, lunch, or even right here on the blogosphere.  I am always amazed at the strength of others and then I look back and realize that I too was strong – I just didn’t know it at the time.

 

I have not been the best blogger over the last few years but I have spent much of my time soul searching and going to college full time.  It seems like yesterday I re-entered college and other days it seems like a lifetime ago.  I will be graduating in three weeks with my bachelor of science in psychology and a chemical dependency minor.  I am so proud!!

 

I went to school to learn about drugs, substance abusers, and why they do what they do.  I wanted to understand why my son resorted to using every drug known to man and why he chose to kill himself.  As I devoured every word in every textbook looking for answers to my situation, I really didn’t learn a damn thing about my son.  I’m not sure what the heck I was expecting, like his name would be within the pages of the textbook stating something like:

 

“Hey Mom, I chose to shoot heroin to numb my pain”.  Well folks, that just didn’t happen!

 

I did however learn about human behavior, pharmacology of all the drugs he did, how to deal with someone that might be suicidal, how to screen people with potential substance abuse disorders, and many other useful psychological “things” that I’m sure will be helpful to me throughout the rest of my life.

 

Aside from academics, there is a plethora of things I learned about myself.  I learned to have confidence, not the kind of confidence that one exudes when walking into a bar on Friday night but confidence to be who I really am.  I earned confidence in my writing.  I love to write and I never felt confident because I felt one must have a degree to write well.  That is false!  I learned to write academically, which I do NOT enjoy – but it has given me confidence to now write creatively and I am excited as hell to flex that muscle.

 

Bear with me as I finish my last three weeks of school and then I intend to get back to my regularly scheduled programming.

 

XOXO and E-hugs!!

PS: I would love shamelessly plug Amazon for their amazing textbook rentals, I would have NEVER been able to afford 1/2 the books without this service.  Muah…

They’re More Than Bell Ringers

If you’re like me, the sound of that irritating bell ringing coming from the doorways of your favorite retail establishments has the ability to send annoying thoughts through your mind. Maybe even a little guilt too! Why guilt you may ask? How many times has that bell ringer looked you in the eye, wished you a Merry Christmas, opened the door for you while enduring the harsh elements outside, and you didn’t put a dime in their bucket? Probably more than you care to report, and that is okay because I was one of them too.

Several years ago when my son was in active addiction I scoured the Internet looking for a rehabilitation facility that wouldn’t cost me my life savings. I found the Salvation Army  (read about the program by clicking on the link) and learned they had several facilities throughout the United States and they didn’t charge a dime.

This program is run strictly off of donations without any government subsidy, now that is amazing!!

Although my son chose a different path, I began to look at the Salvation Army in a much different light. I always put money into their bucket now, with the hopes that a young man or woman will find their way and have a second chance at a better life.

I hope that you will reconsider dropping more than a few coins into their bucket this season, knowing that your money is helping those that truly need it.

(I am in no way affiliated with The Salvation Army, nor have they endorsed this post, but I think it is important to understand that this organization has deep roots with the capability to help those in need).

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No stiffy, no problem!

Feminist Rant Against Insurance Company (not for the faint-hearted)

I am a pretty independent woman, countless people would say, “too damn independent”.   But hey, that is how I was raised. I think my mom wanted me to be different and have success by not growing up with the intention of EVER relying on a man (except of course for sex and even then new inventions in the personal satisfaction consumer goods category make it not even necessary. Except those little devices have no feelings and don’t offer emotional support). So that is what I have become… and it has taken a very special man to deal with my exuberant personality.

So…. I had an appointment with my gynecologist and when she asked if I was having relations I replied, “yes but it hurts”.  Thanks to early menopause I have a dry cooter, or the more technical term, “vaginal dryness”. Whatever people, having sex feels like my husband has grown spikes out of his pecker. She prescribed me Estrace  and let me know that this would help greatly. Read about it ladies, you too gents, because if your significant other isn’t experiencing it now, she probably will later.

Anyhoodle, I was excited to fill my prescription and start lubing the cootch in an effort to make hump days more enjoyable. My phone buzzed with an email that the cootch cream was ready for pick up and I buzzed over to Wal-Mart with stars in my eyes. The kind gentleman at the window smiled and said, “That will be $389.46”.   After sharting in my pants, I let him know that he must not have my new insurance card, to which he replied, “This medication is not covered on your insurance”.   (BCBSTX)

I am sure some of you are thinking, “Wow, first world problems”.  And I agree…but we were made to reproduce or at least practice reproducing so for F***’s sake ~ we should all be able to enjoy it.

I really feel sorry for the poor pharmacy tech because I launched some angry words at him. My first question was, “would my insurance cover Viagra”? He simply refused to answer my question! I proceeded to tell this poor young man that it is unfair. When men suffer from a limp pecker they can buy Viagra, Cialis, or whatever else there is now from a street level dealer to remedy the problem (if insurance won’t cover). Women must continue to suffer through the pain or give it up altogether. We all know what happens when we don’t give our lovely hubbies a little playtime, they will find it elsewhere. I asked for my prescription back and decided to put on my detective hat in an effort to find relief.

It took a whole lot of research but I found an online pharmacy operating out of Canada that would fill my prescription. I just had to fax or email the prescription and pay their nominal fee of $46.00 (that includes shipping).

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Un-freaking-believable!!! I know, I know, what a scam our US pharmaceutical companies are, right?

Then the box showed up and I knew I was in trouble…… OMG!! (Slovakia?)

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This shizz is still sitting in the box. There are no English instructions included and I am afraid if I use too much I will grow a cooter tumor and quite frankly I would rather grin and bear it during the grind.

I highly doubt that the “stiffies” have all the luck, but seriously, I went to great lengths to get this medication and still have no idea what the packaging says or how to use it.  So frustrating.

DAMN INSURANCE COMPANIES!!!  It is my sincere wish that all of you responsible for making these decisions end up with a limp weenie and/or a cooter drier than the Sahara Desert.

Carry on now y’all!

Let’s Catch Up

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I started this blog 4 years ago as an outlet or diary if you will for my feelings in dealing with the death of my son. I have not been the best blogger that is for sure but the thought of it is always at the back of my mind.

So let us catch up with one another!

My life has been crazy. I made the decision to go back to school in March of 2013, received my associates degree May of this year, and now I am on track to attain my BS next December (2016) in psychology with a minor in chemical dependency. Now I am wondering…. what the hell was I thinking? Hubs and other family members are convinced that I am continuously psychoanalyzing them. (Well, maybe sometimes when they act like assholes.)

Master D is now in high school with full-blown puberty going on. When the heck did that happen? Right? I awake each morning wondering if my sweet son will emerge from the black hole or perhaps the alien that has recently taken up residence in his cave. I am convinced there is some sort of infestation living beneath the mound of laundry in his closet. How can such a good looking dude with a slew of hot chicks after him not worry about having clean clothes? I simply do not recall my brother living like that. I have found that closing the door to his cave rather than nagging works wonders.

Although I am on Christmas break from school, it is this time of year that I dread so much. As most begin counting the days until the 25th, I begin counting the days until the 26th ~ as the holidays are simply not the same anymore. Although I am not bitter and many do not know or see the pain, I have learned to fake it quite well. (Hollywood, call me!)

I always look forward to a new year though. For me it is a time of renewal and I am not talking resolutions either because I do not make them. I don’t want to set myself up for failure but rather I look for ways I can be a better person and that is what I am looking forward to after the 26th.

I have recently taken up photography and am excited to share some of my pics with you guys.  Follow me on instagram to see them ~ @ctollen

Thanks to those that have reached out to me over the last few months to check in, I have not taken much of a break.

 

 

Candy Crush Helped Me Pass Algebra and Curbed Anxiety

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Like so many others, I have fallen prey to the addictive game of Candy Crush!    What a time burner!!  Yet, I still find myself playing just to see if I can escape the growing chocolate, or move on to another exciting level.  This game has taken me as its hostage!  I find myself asking hubs to drive when we go out just so I can play in the car.  I have been known to spend an enormous amount of time in the bathroom (not relieving myself), but trying to find some solace while attempting to pass the next level or until I run out of lives.

I realized my Candy Crush addiction was out of control when I began to hiding my iPhone as someone came into the room; similar to a cheating spouse who has been text messaging on the sly.   I have even turned the obnoxious yet tantalizing jingle of crushing, smashing and “Divine or Sweet” responses off so that my family and friends have no idea that I’ve been conquered once again.

Now I am sure you are all wondering how this effortless yet addictive pastime could have possibly helped my anxiety (and pass my Algebra class), because I am sure that Candy Crush has created anxiety in many.

Attending college at 40-something years old is enough anxiety in and of itself,  but throw some algebra into the equation (pun intended) and it can become the perfect storm.  Algebra made me frustrated, sad, pissed off, panicky, anxious, racing heart, and any other adjective that might be fitting for the occasion.  Instead of hiring a tutor reaching for the vodka, I downloaded Candy Crush.  In all honesty, when I would feel frustrated, I began playing this game.  The excitement from matching up blue, red, yellow, green, and purple candies calmed me down for a hour or so little while and I was able to concentrate.  I am not trying to be funny here, this really really helped me.  Candy Crush allowed my brain to simmer down to re-focus on the task at hand.  As a result, not only did I calm the mechanism but my anxiety as well.  (I got a 4.0 in Algebra by the way)

I have not been playing as frequently (okay, maybe a little white lie) since I am currently on break but if the second half of algebra creates another bout of anxiety, I will once again be reaching for the gaming version of Xanax.