MEDS 2


1mednation1

Written previously, but freshly revised.

MEDS 1

So maybe I don’t need fixing?  Maybe I’m perfectly normal except for a few bipolar episodes a month.  Maybe I’m perfectly normal except that relationships are hard to manage under the waves of my high and low bipolar episodes.  Unfortunately these episodes can last throughout the days, weeks, months and years.  These episodes are rapid, can appear without sudden warning and sometimes when I’m outside looking in, I wonder about the duality of everything, the possibility of borderline personality disorder and about the strife everywhere in life.

As a result six months later after ongoing therapy I told the psychiatrist I would finally be ready to give medication a try and to my surprise she wasn’t super elated about it.  I wonder if that meant anything aside from her not caring about making a difference in her position.  The first medication she prescribed was called Lamictal.  The interesting or unnerving thing about this medication is it’s actually considered an anti-epileptic (anticonvulsant) drug, if you can believe it.

This nutty psychiatrist prescribed Lamictal to me based on my bipolar disorder (to delay the episodes) and because she believed I could use additional assistance for weight loss.  In any case, I was determined to give this a shot, so I took it with dedication for 3 months.  Naturally, during the course, I went through many side effects and even if they lasted a mere day I wrote them all down.  It was 2 decades almost exactly since I’ve taken any medication.  Here’s how my brain and body reacted:

General sensation of always being sick
General weakness
Fatigue (Extreme)
Sluggishness
Flu like symptoms
Unbalanced (Clumsiness, loss of balance control)
Forgetfulness (like experiencing memory loss)
Emotional Lability
Body Aches
Tender Breasts
Back pain
Nausea
Loss of appetite
Headaches
Stomach pain (Cramps)
Extra menstrual pain
Indigestion/Heartburn
Taste alteration (Either food taste better or disgusting)
Sweat increase
Sneezing
Nosebleeds
Ringing of ears
Itchiness
Insomnia
Body sacs (like Folliculitis)
Frequent urination
Diarrhea
Constipation/Bloody Stool
Can’t remember dreams

At first all the side effects above were consistent for the first 2 weeks.  Then after the 2 weeks were up many of the side effects began to taper off as my body started to adjust without flu-like symptoms.  However, these are the side effects that remained on a regular basis:  An overwhelming desire to eat more Carbs than usual, extra Perspiration (even if I sat/stood still) and Headaches, Headaches, Headaches.  But WAIT!  There’s more.

In the beginning the one side effect that bothered me the most was the drowsiness; the feeling of perpetual sleepiness and overall weakness.  Every day I was completely exhausted.  During this sensible time, I was fighting with myself and wondering once again where my workout motivation disappeared to?  Lamictal exhausted my entire system where for an entire month I couldn’t even get a single workout in.

The most prominent side effect (for me) that I can’t even explain, (but I’m sure somewhere there’s a terminology for it) tampered with who I am as a person.  I’m not stupid enough to NOT believe changing or altering your brain/body’s chemistry wouldn’t affect your personality because it most certainly does.  To me, this is one of the scariest things about taking a psychiatric pill, aside from consciously knowing you’re putting something extremely foreign in your body.

Lamictal affected one of the most personal parts of who I am – I could no longer write.  I had zero desire for it.  I felt like an entirely different person because of this.   All my life I’ve written for school, tried my hand at screenplays, poetry, short stories and as you know blogging.  So I’m like how could this be?  No desire to write.

This was changing me in ways I wasn’t even ready for and I was doing my best to be objective about it.  I would try sitting down at the table, hand caressing pen to paper, so I can come up with a single sentence and nothing would come out.  It’s like the thought process couldn’t process a single thought.  It’s like words meant nothing to me anymore and neither did the desire to express myself.

I felt severely inept and like I didn’t have any emotional response when it came to writing which blew my fucking mind!  What kind of sorcery was this?  This was when I decided I didn’t want to be on Lamictal anymore.  It was a shock to my system that my brain and body reacted rather extreme.

So when I expressed to the nutty psychiatrist that Lamictal has changed me to the point where I don’t feel like myself anymore and I can’t even write anymore which is something I love doing, she says nonchalantly, “I never heard of this.  This doesn’t seem possible.  Let’s try something else.”

To be continued.

-Pennington

Other Entries


Hello.

These are some of the latest entries I’ve written on the other half of my blog.  One is pretty new and two are older work.  I keep thinking I can’t move forward until I feel in some way I can move in a chronological fashion because this is the way I’ve always worked when it comes to blogging and writing in general.  But now I’m up in the air, trying to remain open.

I apologize to everyone who comes over to check up on things around here.  I’m sorry for disappearing.  I’d be lying if I say I don’t write every day because I do and that I haven’t created new blogs because I have (they’re not fitness related).  All in all I’m going to do my best to come over here and create newer entries even if it means I have to go backwards and post the past first.

I believe, over the course of time, I’ve gotten used to hiding.  Hiding from everyone and everything in the world.  Isolation has made me a private person.  This is something I’ve been struggling with lately.  How much should I share on my newer blogs?  I don’t know.  I always write from the heart because really that’s all I know how to do.  So, here are a few pieces of me for you to click on.  Hope you enjoy.

1. Crossfit Weekend

2. The Reminder

3. Open Canvas 2

Thanks for reading!

-Pennington

Under Constant Consideration 2


Under Constant Consideration Part 1

Dr. Endocrinologist referred me to a nurse educator who I believe holds dykeish (is this a word and did I spell this correctly?) qualities because she made jokes (that I didn’t think were that funny) yet blushed with tears flooding her eyes like she was on a date with me that lasted two hours according to her notes.  She even googled her address in front of me.  Then showed me the trail and mileage of when her and her daughter walked from home to school on their journey to lose additional weight. Odd, no?

Anyhow, she explained in more detail about diabetes, showed me videos and we went through the correct ways to use a One Touch Verio.  Lastly, she informs me that I can get rid of the diabetes since it’s in the early stage.  Then goes on to assume I eat white rice and beans because I’m Hispanic.  I said, “No I’m Italian, and that’s where diabetes came from; you know the pasta.”  She chuckled.  I think we left off great after that date because she said if you ever want more education, just make another appointment to come see me.

*

Then there’s this psychiatrist who’s in the wrong field for the discussion subject of choice were forever about weight loss, even though at our last session she says,”Stand up.  Oh, you have lost weight” as she orders me to step on a hippopotamus scale.  She thought it her duty to give unsolicited nutritional advice in her horrible fucking Dolph Lundgren accent:  No peas.  No carrots.  Zero carbs.  Don’t eat carbs at all.  This includes sweet potatoes!   Maybe one day when you lose all the weight you can eat carbs again.  Don’t weightlift anymore.  Weightlifting makes you bulky.  You’ll never lose weight that way.  Only cardio!  Jump.  Walk.  You know what I’m saying.

Every session felt like I watched a bad sitcom with my presence in the hot seat as this insensitive cunt tried to tell me who I was based on 3 fifteen minute conversations we engaged in.  Then she tried to question my purpose in life, inquire if I ever soul search and spoke about people who sleep past midnight aren’t normal.  She took the cake by getting angrier than I was because doctors diagnosed me diabetic and it didn’t matter if it was the beginning stages.

There were many things that amused me about her terrible character, but what got me is the fact that she works in a mental health industry yet treats (many) patients (according to many who work in the building with her) like shit and never bothers to read anyone’s chart because she believes she’s too good to do so.  The thing with putting people in boxes is it isn’t accurate even though on the surface it seems the people you deal with are all the time, which I expressed to her.  Then I never saw the cunt again.

Thank god I’m not some shrimpy insecure person.  Thank god I don’t allow other people’s opinions to affect me or my life decisions.  Thank god I’m not a newcomer and have been weightlifting for over 13 years and swear by it.  So, I’m a professional yo-yo dieter, but I’ve also had my share of steady weight loss, conditioned fitness and extra curves that come with it.  I’ve always been proud, but I believe some people want to come in your life and not necessarily lecture or cast dirty spells on you, but they want to destroy whatever good you hold for their own reasons.  I swear that’s what it is.

*

An angelic bird, close partner and an acquaintance each whispered to see a podiatrist.  Once again I had to verbally fight for a referral to see a podiatrist and prayed for the doctor to be a woman for I could use thoroughness and words of light from maternal grace.  Well, I got a woman and one of the first things she mentioned was, “If you didn’t have diabetes, your insurance wouldn’t cover the orthopedic shoe cost.”  (Life, working in mysterious ways again.)  Goes on further to say:  With the shoes, both your ankles should feel stable; you’ll be even and wobble less since you’ll have built in arches.  You’ll experience less pain as you walk.  It’ll be good for you.

What this all boils down to is I’m still under construction.  This is probably why I haven’t written much on any of these blogs lately because I’m not in the best mindset and part of me doesn’t want to display the pessimism in every single one of my entries.

It’s disappointing, this long journey I’ve been riding on, how I continuously see this trend of people (doctors, therapists, psychiatrists, endocrinologists, etc) who are in these fields to assist and inspire people to live better healthier lives physically, emotionally, mentally, etc, but fail to do so.  How is it and when does it begin for some people that a job just becomes a job and not what it was intended for?  I guess I believe in practicality and being above and beyond with sensibilities like empathetic (empath) abilities along with a higher vision for existence depending on the occupation.

Still, I don’t want to take nothing away from the two people who did give me hope of course – the dyke nurse educator and podiatrist.  The first gave me positive pep talk, smiles, and probably touched me a few times too many since she thought we were on a date, but she came off focused, direct with the right balance of sincerity, care and concern throughout.  Or maybe she was just being extra nice to me because she enjoyed my presence?  Who really knows?  It doesn’t matter because she was one of the nice ones who did her job and assisted in the best way she knew how.

As for the podiatrist, she mentioned that the good thing about my foot/ankle dilemma is it’ll get better over time, not worse.  The little that she did say carried weight.  I needed to once again get the surge back, the kind where I can remain on the optimistic wave, so I can keep fighting and more importantly never give up.

-Pennington

hiding


art-crespella
I’ve been trying to get out.
I’ve been trying to unearth the right time.
I’ve been talking to dead fish by the river.
I’ve been talking to the celestial body, reigning orb of night.
I’ve been trading places with shadows.
I’ve been in hiding.

I’ve been throwing things out.
I’ve been investigating my patience.
I’ve been talking to ducks by the Brooklyn bridge.
I’ve been talking to the brightest star, singeing god of land.
I’ve been trading in shades of light.
I’ve been in hiding.

-Pennington

Mother


destroying_mother_nature_by_williamorihama-d7ag83t

The fable of the world doesn’t exist.
Ask the hologram of his kiss.
The dreams we dreamt evaporated.
Ask the schemes of the advocated.
The blindfold is fool’s gold.
Ask time; it never grows old.

And although nothing can stay
I wish you were here today.

The moment arrives and befalls.
Like the highs and lows of cholesterol.
The things I wish for are transient.
Like the ambiance of accidents.
The faith in my chest is insoluble.
Like consolation in the uncontrollable.

And although nothing can stay
I wish you were here today.

The memories spin on its own axis.
And feelings give way to its blackness.
The wind whispers your sweet name.
And I’m allowed to say hi without blame.
The seasons change vast and fluid.
And warm and cold weather are reputed.

And although nothing can stay
I wish you were here today.

-Pennington

Bedevil


art jenny liz.jpg

It’s your birthday month.  Will someone bring on the Bacardi rum?  I no longer feel the sun since you’ve been gone.

 

I want you to trouble me, puzzle, muscle and rebuttal me.  I want you to disturb me, discern, immerse and return to me.  I want you to haunt me, taunt, flaunt and want me.

 

I think I found love with you.  I spoke to mourning doves about you.  I swear I found a home with you.  I even ask the honeycomb on my altar about you.

 

I think I found wholesomeness with you.  I’ve been at homelessness without you.  I swore I kissed the skies when I was with you.  I even ask my thighs why they cry now that I’m without you.

 

You put a love inside me I can’t get rid of and at times, you were my antidepressant drug, the one I sometimes dream of handcuffed, strangely enough.

 

I’ve been cold since we both disappeared.  I haven’t found my heart in two years.  Won’t you appear with your childlike light in my sullen atmosphere?

 

I had a boyfriend who cared about me but he came with his own limits, his own gimmicks and every minute he’s attempting to disguise low spirits with a million cigarettes.

 

He’s nothing like you and you’re nothing him and that’s just one problem.  You barely came with conditions or superstitious wishes, but you were the warmth and blood to my heart even when it rocked bottom.

 

And I look to the sky and I ask why.  I look far and I look wide and the answers were because I cried honesty rather than decide to spend the night with pride.  You made me work for forgiveness like I was some damn spy.

 

What if I asked you to send for me?  What if I asked for your body?  What if I admitted to my monstrosity?  What if every fear we own were given to prophecy?  Would it change the divinity of possibility?

 

I can’t forget the first glance that cemented our song and dance.  I can’t clean the scent of your home from my hands.  I can’t eradicate the taste of you from my throat glands.

 

What if I still loved you beyond this distance and chip on my shoulder?  How am I to know when my heart froze that last time in October when my entire life as I knew was over?

 

And if I show up at your door, will you come?

 

Trouble me.

Disturb me.

Haunt me.

 

-Pennington

Thai Terminal


friends

Written previously, recently revised.

We welcomed each other first with high spirited voices talking into our cell phones and waving from across the street like lost little kindergarten classmates.  Then we greeted like sisters with tight long bear-hugs in the same way we always have because there are a few things in life that never change.  I could hear her wailing happiness beating from her gut than her chest and out into the public and onto my ear.  I smile in her hair with immediate joy but reserved the sound of my joyfulness.

Xyza is an undercover mentor, a maternal-like figure, full of flashes of hippie love, extraordinary kindness and massive angelic light that illuminates from her aura.  I’m also an undercover mentor, half in age, full of loyal compassion, extraordinary hospitality and thoughtfulness that leave the innocent light on in the darkness of which I grow.

In the center of this embrace I reflect over our countless meet-ups and how it never fails, my constant awkwardness in the hub of sharing love and how despite iself, I’m genuinely able to digest her white magic, even if it leaves me depleted afterward.  Xyza looks tenderly beautiful with her strawberry blonde shoulder-length bob.  I compliment her on the new length when she declared, “I had a vision of myself twenty years from now, me with long gray hair and a flower in it off to the side.”

I love the visions she shares with me.

We settle in a Thai restaurant not far from her parked car.  Upon sitting, the server asks, “Are you tourists?”  “No”, we replied.  Xyza turns my way inching up her nose until it crinkles with a question, “How come everyone thinks I’m a tourist?  I was born in New York, but live just outside the city.  I guess.. because I travel a great deal.”  I nod in agreement and chimed, “Your aura never has that grounded feel from being in one place too long.”

But, with me it’s totally different; I’m a New Yorker who’s considerably considerate whereas I allow people to hit me with their bags as I stand overt with an introverted atmosphere on the train or bus.  Unlike Xyza, my roots are established in New York and it’s on display when I talk about my suspicions concerning the worldview.  I may come across as myopic, but I consider myself to be purely grounded.

Thirty minutes of conversation and I’ve been following Xyza’s lead because she’s paying so I never lay a finger on the menu.  The server comes over to nudge us politely – then Thai Chive Pancakes, Vegetable Spring Rolls and a glorious Mango Salad along with unsweetened ice tea lands sweetly before our eyes.  I continued following Xyza’s lead and didn’t touch a single carrot slinky.  I sat glued in passivity to the tales of my friend.

*

I listen to her speak about her ex-husband and how she’s pretty sure a demon owns him.  I listen when she said she knows of two men who have transcended beyond the physical and how they both married wonderful women, but not perfect women.  (It made me wonder, what constitutes a perfect woman according to a sixty-year old woman.)  I listen on in when she said she doesn’t want to play the romantic game from a male’s physical perspective, nor does she have any desire to play the woman’s perspective which is to trap a man in a relationship.  Of course, I agree.  I believe life is too short to live conventionally.

When Xyza decides to come up for air, I volunteer my own discourse.

I speak about isolation from the world and if canceling my gym membership is the wrong thing to do because at least this is a place where I can maintain some social skills.  I speak about having elevated to a place where physical sex is no longer an obligation of mine, nor is it ever a want.   I speak about the tiny things that make me happy like being by the water, the vision of living in a beach house single with two pets:  A husky dog and a petite cat.  I speak about not understanding the point of being in a relationship with men when being the opposite gender I’ve yet to connect and remain on the same wavelength.  I always feel superior.

*

We understood each other the way women and friends frequently do and we continued to eat, sip, laugh and talk the summery night away.

-Pennington

Under Constant Consideration


lit

I sit and prick my finger with the thinnest needle I’ve ever seen.  It feels as thin as a loose-leaf page between my fingers.  This needle reminds me of the first time I tried to grasp what was taking place on the table after I let the alcohol dry and stomach lbs of anxiety to push a simple white surrender button that has no problem piercing me at its own inorganic intention.  That bee-stinger reminds me of my family’s hang ups every time I glance over the medical history list and check off every sick inheritance.  It’s one more thing to put on the death record.  The son of a bitch needle reminds me of where my life has been and where it’s going.

I think about who I’m becoming?  I think about the coincidences that tie into another coincidence like a necklace and how I never believe much in coincidences or in necklaces that are meant to break with the purpose and strange intent to try and shake up my faith.  I believe in life’s orchestration and in every gift given by higher sources.  I think about my faith, motivation and temperament.  How much fight I have in me?  How to keep positive mantras by the altar of my heart and how to deal them out as needed, as well as how to go about feeding my spiritual backyard with water when it’s looking dry as a bone due to inner turmoil.

The small round dot of red reminds me of a ladybug.  I believe the ladybug is searching for answers life can’t always give while I’m still breathing, punching and kicking alive.  The ladybug is on a quest for numbers in low ranges and metabolic disorders to be of order.  I’m checking my blood sugar, but I call her ladybug because it verbally and visually sounds prettier than the faults I hold as a human.  The New Year brought me diabetes and I’m not sure how to feel about this progressive disease that had a lot to do with taking my mother’s life.

What does the bigger picture hold?

*

The surgeon says, “Are you aware diabetes further affects the ligaments.tendons in your foot and how your foot heals from surgery?”  I don’t take advice from anyone who butchers human bodies for a living because even though what they do for a living can be helpful, there’s something inhumane about cutting into human bodies.  Let alone, the discord for why surgeons lack brainpower, logic sense, human emotion and emotional intelligence.  I can’t tell you the countless times I’ve been in his cold office and every single time I’ve felt like I was touched and centered by a black-hole; the entire light of my thirty-something being vanish in a space where I was beginning to be invisible to myself.

Then there’s my primary doctor who’s younger than I and mentally more fucked than I am says it’s in the controlled phase, don’t worry so much she blurts carelessly.  Is she telling the 29 million Americans with diabetes not to worry too?  Yet in the same session casually mentions how her supervisor said you would be a good candidate for bypass surgery as if I resemble a hippopotamus of sort.  Anyone who hacks into human bodies for a living with a scalpel is god-awful fucking people.  No thank you I know how to lose weight on my own even though these gargoyles of depression won’t get off my shoulders and every painful step and every stretch of my Achilles heel is a partial reminder where the mess of my life went awry.

So I asked for a referral to see the endocrinologist, which took me a year plus to get because I didn’t become a candidate until the diabetes clock decided to tick its way in because a 40lb weight gain in a 2 year span doesn’t constitute as a person having a real problem other than depression or hatred in America.  So, do I consider the diabetes to be a blessing in disguise? Well, I certainly believe it came on time!

Now Dr. Endocrinologist doesn’t dish any hope at all, but he talked openly about his country, how poor he was as a kid and how he’d go hungry and learned the power of discipline through starvation unlike the Americans who have every convenience and option rolled out for them like a red carpet.  He went on to say I know I’ll get diabetes eventually because it’s hereditary, but I do my best to prevent it by not eating all the wonderful fatty and carby things I would love to eat now.  Then he wrapped up with a spiel of willpower and the difficulty most people have when it comes to willpower.  And I kept looking at him, like do you know who the fuck I am?  Then I realized no this is your first meeting and he talks like his because he doesn’t know me from a hole in the wall, so I don’t hold his appalling lecture personally.

He goes on to say 50% of your pancreas is shot and will never work the way it once did.  Then right away I felt like a dying tulip on the side of neglected roadkill sitting on the thought of my pancreas dying a whole ten years prior according to him.  The only thing I did agree with is the way his eyes lit up with sinful fire as he said, “What is wrong with your primary doctor?  It’s crazy for her to mention bypass surgery for 3 reasons: 1. That’s not a solution.  2.  Most people lose 50% of their weight the first year, but gain it ALL back because most people aren’t disciplined. 3.  You don’t even know the basics of endocrinology.

To be continued..

-Pennington

Updated Aspects (Training)


Shanna comic

The other half of this blog is here entitled Updated Aspect (Life) if interested.

Lately I’ve been having trouble getting into the gym to get in more cardio work.  Lifting has never been a problem once I enter the gym with my mind in the zone, scowl and broad shoulders.  Still, the emphasis is cardio because I have a lot of weight to lose by my standards.  This bad habit started when my ankle broke and when I isolated myself from the world.  I tried going back to the gym to be the fitness buff I was, but nothing was the same.  It was me against trauma, coming to terms with mental illness and recovering from the worst year of my life.

Nevertheless I needed to feel a rush; I needed to balance out the chemicals in my brain somehow.  I wanted to feel alive again.  I wanted to feel my body in motion, so I learned pretty quickly how to workout at home.  I looked at the upsides of home workouts:  not being bothered by anyone or anything.  Working out at home was safe and therefore it became my retreat.  I never thought I’d make fitness at home my full-time job.  I never thought I would pay a subscription to stream videos.  I also never thought I’d canceled a gym membership after being a gym-goer for 13 years.

Of course a month and a half later my headspace was in a much better place after I canceled the gym membership, but it still took a year and a half for me to get back into the gym a few times a week.  Still, a dilemma hovered big as an elephant – getting to the gym on a regular basis seem to be a problem.  This is also something I’ve never had before.  I started feeling like one of those average people.  I’ve never felt gym ordinary before.  I’ve always been the one to rise above the starting point.  Again, nothing is the same.  I’m in no rush to lose weight, which is very unlike me.  I used to drop 8lbs in a month, month after month like I was going to compete somewhere on stage.  Not this time.

The bright side is when I do go to the gym my adrenaline takes over and I forget about the time or when’s the last time I ate or what else I have to do after I stroll out the gym at midnight.  I don’t stop until I have nothing more in the tank – my usual – and I thank God that’s still the same to this day.  My mind-muscle connection is even more in depth, which I find both absurd and incredible.  I’m starting to believe for the first time in my life that less can actually be more.

I’ve changed my training style again.  I used to move around heavy weight all the time.  I toned it down.  I used to do a lot of volume.  I can’t say I toned that down.  Right now I’m focused on basic exercises (not unique ones) and variations of the basics.  I like working with my bodyweight.  I leave the isolated movements and core training for Ballet Beautiful and other Ballet-inspired workouts.  I do tons of unilateral sets since my accident – I still feel an imbalance within my body.  I do pump out high reps; mostly because I was always a 5-10 rep woman.  But how will my body react long-term when the switch has been/is 20 reps and over?  I also do strength-training at home in circuit-training fashion at least 2 times a s week.  Also, twerking which is a fun way to do cardio at home.

I notice other things I don’t do anymore in the gym I used to do is scout out who I wanted to compete with for poundages or on cardio machines.  At this moment, I don’t have the urge to compete with anyone anymore because I’m in my own groove and free in my own zone.  This is both good and bad.  Good because fuck everybody else in the gym – I’m here for me yet bad because you can always get extra drive and push yourself further when you and the stranger are knowingly competing with one another.

So, what about this gym ordinary thing?  I’ve been giving thought to what I have to do to make sure I get into the gym at least 2-3 times a week every month.  I shouldn’t be comparing myself to the 5-6 times a week of cardio I used to do especially because I’m not feeling it.  At the moment, I don’t want to live in the gym like I used to.  I want to perform more than the minimum, but live out of the gym.  But, what can I do differently?  What did I used to do before to get in the gym multiple times a week for hours at a time?

Well, for one I didn’t make excuses.  Two, I always made sure to established good work ethic every single time I stepped foot in any gym.  Three I would think about the professional fitness enthusiasts and how busy their lives are and just how they make time to get their cardio in multiples times a week.  If they could do it, so could I.  Four, I need to create a set routine, one I can’t easily get out of and also with at least 3-4 back up plans just like I used to do.

However, I think I kept this long enough.  Also, I’m open to suggestions.  Please don’t say running, jogging or walking because I’ll cut you with my ankle bone.  Walking still hurts me and this is one of the main reasons I go to the gym to do cardio because I can sit on a machine (bike) and burn calories away with minimal pain.

Happy training!

-Pennington

Reminiscing Mother


Me and Mom

1963-2014

My new therapist wants me to open the mystery door about my mother’s death because apparently I’m not depressed enough for her.  Ha!  It’s been a little over a year and a half and I still haven’t come to terms with how I feel about my mother’s death except I’m happy she’s no longer suffering in this cruel world.

Sometimes I go to the river by the busy highway and speak to her directly or through the universe.  I light candles for her in her honor every few months.  My partner and I get her blue flowers also as tribute.  At times, I believe, one reason why I cemented my journey and involvement with ballet-inspired workouts is because I remembered in her childhood she wanted to be a Ballerina, so I honor her by learning and performing ballet.  Last, but not least, I hung her last painting high up on the wall of a bridge over water over a plush purple night that looks a lot like the bridge I eerily live close to nowadays.

And I’m not sure if because death came and went, or because of my denial, but it’s pretty weird how the older I get and the more I stare in the mirror, the more I realize how much I look like my mother’s daughter.  I guess everyone saw it before me.  Maybe I wasn’t looking hard enough before.  Who knows?

The truth is I haven’t been able to sit down and stare longer than five seconds on any of my mother’s photos.  I’ve seen a lot of her different dimensions at different times and the longer I stare at a photo, the more all those dimensions pop out and the more I may have to relive memories that leave me open and scarred.

The longer I stare, the quicker my eyes start to flood and the quicker I start to counter and strain to contain the waterworks.  I’m not a sappy person.  I don’t forget my cruel childhood, but death has a weird way of sitting you down and making you think about your mortality and everybody else’s even if you don’t want to sit down and think about it.  And even though I can be heavily into death itself and metaphysics and pits of darkness, it seems at the age of thirty-four death seems realer than ever.

*

Death has also made me think more about how ending memories are probably the most important ones.  This intrigued me because I’m all about beginnings, so for closing memories to leave a devastating mark haunts me.  What’s worse is I didn’t even get to say goodbye while she was conscious.  By the time I went to travel to the hospital to see her I was in a wheelchair with a very painful throbbing ankle in a heavy cast.  It was hell for my foot to not be elevated, but I believe I was numb inside from my mother’s death.  So much was taken from me in a matter of weeks from mobility and now her.

It was awful having the knowledge of how the doctors had to sedate her until she was finally gone because the pain in her intestines would be too much for her to handle.  And that’s what hurts the most.  I think about how hard her life has always been.  I think about all the times I didn’t want to be happy in my own life because I felt guilty because she was always out there suffering with an incurable disease.  My last memory of her alive was observing her writhing in massive pain.  I knew in the way she talked, it was psychologically different from anything I’ve ever heard her say.  In her words, in the way she spoke she was already gone.

It was hard to stomach mentally and it was harder to stomach visually how she could no longer go to the bathroom on her own and how the nurses were the ones bathing her in the room on her bed.  But on the last day I saw her I caressed her hair.  I remembered kissing her on her warm forehead telling her I’ll visit again very soon, but soon after I broke my ankle and I was already far far away from reaching her.

My mother was dying since I was nine years old.  I became desensitized to every near death and actual near death experience she’s ever has, so when this became the day, it was as if life played a hardcore prank on me.  It just seemed like every time she survived another one and another one and another one, but not this time.

Who knew that was going to be the last time I saw her talking or breathing?  Who knew that would’ve been the last kiss I gave her on her warm forehead?  I think some people have fantasies about how they want people to go before they die.  I always thought I’d see her one last time with my brother in the hospital room and we would both take turns saying, “We forgive you for everything.  We know you did the best you could.  We’ll always love you.”

But nothing ever turns out the way you expect in life and that’s just how it is.  So now I think about the other ending memories, the ones way before she went back into the hospital for a gazillion time.  I think about how even though I didn’t have the best relationship with her throughout my life, she did branch into a second mother towards the ending of her life.  She was a newer mother, better mature.  During that process, I believe a big part of her learned to really appreciate me because I was there to the end unlike my brother who stopped showing up to the hospital and didn’t even come to see her at her own funeral.

*

I’m left with the ending memories like how I did visit her more often in the hospice.  How I left the house with $50 bucks one day and took her to a street fair where I bought her food, had her play games until she won a stuffed animal and I went back home with a $1 in my pocket.  At the time, for a moment I was upset, but I quickly thought about how she wasn’t going to be around forever – so this is something I’m supposed to do and it was something that came out of my heart anyway.  Plus I wanted her to have a good time and not worry about death coming closer and closer.

I think about the ending memories and how I would take her out on pass for a few hours to enjoy new foods, to get her soda and cigarettes, to enjoy the sun and we would sit in the park and watch the hot guys play soccer.  I think about how for a very long time before I even thought about taking her out and seeing her often, for a time I stopped seeing her altogether.  I stopped seeing her for so long with the intention to make her suffer like she did me and when I came in the hospice room she hugged me tightly and cried so much.  I was still pretty numb at the time.  I’ve always been.

I never thought she felt like that about me – love.  Or how my friend (who now is my current partner) passed me a cigarette behind her back while we walked to the pizza shop out on pass and she scolded him lovingly, “Are you getting my daughter into smoking now?”  And that was the first time in a long time where I thought, “Hey, she must care about me.”

-Pennington