What I Learned This Week

Sometimes, the truth is so much worse than you think, but despite the sheer amount of pain that it causes can be the key to setting you free. What they say is true: Freedom isn’t free.

Living in silence is not living; it’s oppression and fear.

Reaching out to find an answer is better than not ever knowing. Knowledge is power, and I am powerful.

When things are hard, go to your girlfriends and talk some mad smack, and then work through it. It’s the unwritten Burn Book, and it is magical.

Stop looking allowing people from your past take away from the now. You can’t take it back, and you didn’t know.

You are so much stronger than you think.

Finally, the sun will keep shining, time will keep moving, and as long as I take the time to breathe, I’m going to be okay.

I am in exactly the right place at every moment.

My Life This Past Year Pt. 2

As a part of my healing process, I started looking into the idea of spirituality. Brene Brown defines spirituality as “recognizing and celebrating that we are all inextricably connected to each other by a power greater than all of us, and that our connection to that power and to one another is grounded in love and compassion. Practicing spirituality brings a sense of perspective, meaning, and purpose to our lives.” 

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It was really difficult for me to open up to the idea of spirituality because I had always thought of myself as agnostic or atheist. I don’t believe in the One Might God, but I also don’t believe that things just happen randomly. Truthfully, I struggled with the idea of atheism for that reason: I don’t believe things just happen randomly; I believe in karma, and soul mates, some sort of order in the universe, but I don’t believe it is a/The God. So I created my own label for my religious beliefs: Spiritual Atheist. I’m sure that someone came up with that terminology much sooner than I did, but when I thought of it, it just seemed to fit.

It has been a real eye-opener for me in a lot of ways. I used to roll my eyes about people that would profess their love for God, and after this experience, I now have a better understanding of why; That is what brings them connection and purpose into their lives. Who am I to judge a normal non-ass hole person for professing their love for Jesus (and by ass hole, I mean the judgy kind). The church that they worship at is just a means for their connection, and if it makes them happy, why judge them? I am grateful that I had the courage to dip into spirituality, because it has taught me a deeply valuable lesson in compassion and empathy.

Re-adjusting to driving after my probationary period was over was incredibly scary. The first time I drove, I had a mini panic attack driving to the gas station 3 minutes down the road. Thankfully Patrick, my husband, was in the car with me and took over. As I felt my meds kicking in and starting feeling safe driving, it became easier. It took a lot of help getting there though; daily dose of Zoloft, therapy, and my own exposure therapy. It was around ~2-3 months for me to finally feel safe driving on a day to day basis, but I generally still won’t get onto the freeways unless absolutely necessary or I have had time to prepare myself, and usually, I’ll take more medication, juuust in case. If I feel crappy on any given day, I won’t drive at all. I never want to have to wake up in a crashed car ever again, so I play it safe.

I mentioned in the last piece that I started a new medication called Topamax. Ughhhh. Oh my dear God, it was the worst medication ever. My hands, feet, face were almost always tingly. It’s that feeling you get when your arm or leg falls asleep, but it just happens regularly, without warning, and all across your face and fingers.

 At first, it made me feel like I was having panic attacks, but I learned to get used to it. The foggy brain was the worst; It literally felt like a really dense fog just parked, very stubbornly, creating a black cloud on my brain. I couldn’t think, I couldn’t put sentences together, I’d forget tiny little details, and it made functioning completely impossible most days. On bad days my brain was only functioning at 30-50% capacity. Gratefully, I was able to have a conversation with my doctor about these side effects, assured me that they were really normal, and we decided to switch things up again. I am now on the generic of Lamictal, which is Lamotragen.

My education has had to be put on hold; I couldn’t focus on school until I find a way to lighten this heavy burden in my soul. Aside from the obvious issues regarding COVID-19, I am no longer able to be on campus as much as I had envisioned, and I’m having to figure out a path that works for me and my disability. I’d been in denial all these years about needing to do so, but I finally have to get my paperwork in order to be considered a student with a disability to have some of my needs accommodated. 

I am grateful that I have my current doctor’s support; my last two doctors would not have been as supportive and would have been incredibly grumpy about filling out the paperwork. Sometimes I wonder with specialists, “What the fuck am I paying to see you for then?!” Lawd have mercy!

I’m in the process of starting my own business and trying to get it off the ground. My goal is to help people with their sexual issues on a very surface level by getting to know them using a questionnaire I created, meant to take the discomfort out of the initial conversation. Ultimately my is to educate them on their bodies, providing resources and exercises to build their confidence and knowledge to give them a better sex life. It’s essentially like a sex coach. I’m also looking into getting a few certifications so that I have a can feel and present more confidently. If you’d like to check out my website, please feel free to click here.

As always, thank you so much for visiting and reading my work. I am incredibly grateful for your time. As well, I would love some feedback on my website and my idea. Please leave a comment below, or you can email me privately at phoenix.sexed@gmail.com.

Thank you. xo

How One Moment Can Change Everything; An Epilepsy story

Sunday, July 28, 2019 started like any other: I woke up, dreaded and bitched about going to work that day, I actually went to work, and then I went home. After I got home, there was something I had to go get really quick, so I hopped in the car, and away I went again. I had no idea that my life was about to change in what, to me, seemed like an instant. I don’t remember how far I got; the last thing I remember is pulling out of the apartment building and driving a little way down the road, and the next thing I knew, I was waking up to a desperate banging on the car window. A woman, I later learned was a cop, was banging on the window of my car, trying to get me to come back to reality and open the door. I opened the door to learn that I had had a seizure while I was driving and drove straight into a light pole.

I remember being really disoriented, and not understanding why or how I’d crashed the car, and thinking, “Oh fuck, I crashed Patrick’s car. He’s going to be pissed! Is he going to leave me because I crashed his car?”

Everyone keeps telling me, “Cars can be replaced, you can’t.”

It’s truly amazing, though, the irrational thoughts that were going through my mind as I was faced with this information. A lot of it is still fuzzy, although I do remember making a “That’s what she said joke” as they wheeled me into the ER. I remember trying to put on a brave face, and then I remember bits and pieces during the night. Apparently, I’d started seizing again in the ER, so they admitted me for observation and drugged me up to try and stop the seizures.

Mind you, this is not the first time I’d had a gran mal seizure: my first one was as a preteen, which we thought was an isolated event, but then I had one again in 2016, and that’s when I was diagnosed with epilepsy; I was 27 years old. Even though this was not my first, this was definitely the most traumatic. I drove past the pole a few days later and it was not only bent where the car struck it, but the full pole now leans. The cop who witnessed the event, and subsequently helped me, told me that it’s a miracle that the pole didn’t fall because of how much it was now leaning, or that I didn’t hit someone else.

I feel guilty because I destroyed his beloved car; I also feel somewhat guilty because I cannot drive, and I’m also now terrified to drive, so other people now have to cart me around.

But I’m so grateful that I am a place now where I have more knowledge on how to work from home, whereas in 2016, when I couldn’t drive, I didn’t have the same knowledge and/or coping skills, and/or nearly as strong of a support system as I do now. I am so grateful to the cop who witnessed the event and went out of her way to help me, the people who she said stopped and offered to help, the ambulance workers who had an amazing sense of humor and dealt with my stubborn ass, and the medical staff who took care of me in the hospital.

I am so grateful to my husband, who has been so supportive during this time; my family; my friends who have regularly checked on me and have sent endless amounts of love.

I am grateful to this blog for giving me an outlet for difficult feelings, and the community I’m slowly building here.

So from the bottom of my heart: thank you.