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Today my CNA referred to me as handicapped. I was offended! I thought, You're gonna tell me that bc I sit in a wheelchair I'm handicapped? After further thought I'm like, oh hang on, there's a little more to it than just being in a wheelchair. There are weeks when I can't get up. There are days when keeping my food down is a joke and coordinating thoughts is nothing but tiring. Yes, I have in home nurses and aides. There are quite a few limitations but in my mind I don't think of myself as handicapped. I think disabled, but not handicapped.

Honestly, the two words are about the same in definition. It's the stigma of handicapped that gets under my skin. There is no dignity w that word. It feels like a stripping of abilities and value. Saying I'm disabled only recognizes limitations but handicapped says to me that I have lost my ability to count in society.

Maybe it's just me. Maybe I think too much. I just know the two words feel different when used.

In another shock, my other CNA asked me how I can be expected to have faith in God the same as a person not sitting in a wheelchair. (crickets) Dear CNAs, Y'all realize my life isn't over, right? You do realize there are people who have it worse?

Losing a body part is not the same as losing yourself. And despite depression or hating my life from time to time, I still have a bit of fire in me that won't allow me to give up! Sometimes I lose sight of things but mostly I remember that I have hope. I have a future!

My final thought is this. Sitting in a wheelchair hasn't weakened me, nor has it made me stronger. It just is. It's a page turned not an ending.



Wow. Since the weather changed to 'bury y'all in snow' I've done nothing but sleep. I can't wake up. I'm not in a lot of pain but I can't wake up... or keep my food down. This happens from time to time though I'm not certain why. I get nauseated and nothing sounds good except toast or saltine crackers.

I'm in bed, too lazy to reach and turn on the heated blanket. Lazy! I'd rather roll right back over and go back to sleep. Lol

My ideal evening would include pot roast, garlic bread and beer with some painting to cap off the night. However, it's reasonable to conclude that crackers and hydration are on the menu. Turning in early is a certainty.



Gracious! These people are going to drive me crazy! First off they don't show up but when they do, they can't take me anywhere or run errands bc 9 times out of 10 they have no car insurance! The last CNA sent had no license and no insurance. You know the level of irresponsibility of that? My goodness!

So today the woman showed an hour late w no car insurance, so she couldn't even go to the store for me to get a few items. Then she complained that it would take her too long to do the laundry so she asked to go home instead of stay and work. Soooo, no shower, no laundry, no mail and no meal prep. What are they doing other than charging my insurance for work not completed? I'm so mad today I can't see straight.

You know what I don't get either? I don't understand these young people who don't know how to use measuring spoons and cups. It is foreign to them. Completely foreign.

I'm so irritated right now I can't even see straight. Before this is over I'm going to be huffing lavender straight from the bottle!

Ok so therapy went fine. We talked about the triggers from my upstairs neighbor who finally moved. He's gone but the upset is deep. It was hard listening to him scream for hours deep into early morning hours. That's over which means I may get some peace from my neighbors here on out. I hope so.



hate life renewed energy Sundrip

I Can Keep Going was drawn by Robert (19) with writing by Michelle (12).

What stands out in this piece for me is the brick wall on the shoulders of the largest figure. We are feeling a lot of pressure right now.

I like how Michelle processes things: This is how I feel. This is the reality. This is supporting truth.

I've not been suicidal but life has felt like a burden, emotionally and physically painful. Several factors played into not getting enough sleep so that was a problem, too. Each day is a struggle that feels like a losing battle but the reality is I've made progress and I'm moving forward in many healthier ways. I slip up, like the other day with self harm, but I also put in place safety plans and try to find ways to help myself. Lavender in the nose and on my feet has helped tremendously, so has the art sketchbook. It feels like a losing battle but it is not. I know I can keep going, and I will.

The art piece was created in watercolor and is 7.5 x 10 inches on 98lb paper.


words fma

Content: Suicide. Blood. Emotional angst.

Cruel Words was painted by several of us. What strikes me is how affected I was by the suicide of the CNA's friend.

In the drawing there are heads blown off the people in the trees. That's a first for drawings and hopefully the last. I know the kids inside were very affected by the suicide. Having her cry in our arms that way was very heavy.

I fired my regular CNA who had cruel words for me. Anxiety is already high for us, we don't need to worry about the mouth of our CNA and what she will say that'll hurt.

The grumpy CNA is pregnant with three weeks left. It is entirely possible that her change of attitude is purely hormonal, however, the irritability and weariness she caused couldn't be tolerated. It is also true that I can't justify asking an 8 month pregnant woman to lift my wheelchair and take me to the doctor. I feel horrible asking her to do my laundry or run the sweeper. The girl is tired and irritable! Dang!!!

I like her but the change in her isn't safe for my personal issues, ya know? I talked to her about why I fired her and she said she knows she's hormonal and understands. I even told her it's about time to take maternity leave because she can't be at my house when her water breaks. lol. I can't handle that. I don't know nothin about birthin no babies.

Firing my CNA was the right thing to do. I was walking on eggshells in my own home and that can't be. So, on to the next chapter in the CNA Saga.

The art piece was created in watercolor and is 7.5 x 10 inches on 98 lb paper.



Fish Face Insanity by Sundrip

My neighbor has Schizophrenia. A different neighbor says it's not a mental illness but that he has demons. She inaccurately applied Scripture, which I quickly corrected, but its still on my mind and still bothers me.

She has no idea what comments like that do to a person with a mental illness. Though I corrected her, its not my job nor is it my desire to be the grand educator. I don't want to sit down the ignorant and set them straight, I just want to fight my battle without their words spinning in my universe.

When she said he has demons I thought to myself, she should never find out that I have Multiple Personality Disorder! That for sure would make her think I have Legions of demons in me.

disolve by robert Sundrip

When younger my mother used to tell me that my demons were upsetting her. My mother knew I had DID when I was at least a young teenager. She knew Morton by name and called him a demon. She said I'm possessed because of being a bad person. That too has stayed with me. I fight with the thought, that I'm a bad person, but I no longer fight the fear of having demons. My mother's reason for saying it wasn't ignorant beliefs it was cruelty and abuse. My sister knew I had others, too. She used to call out a young one to play. I don't know if she still remembers that or not.

You know, I got to thinking, mental illness isn't for the weak or ignorant. A person with a mental illness has to be one of the strongest people around because we have to fight tooth and nail just to keep our head above water. Then you add life events with it and you've got yourself one serious storm. We are not weak for having a mental illness, not even close.

The drawings included were created in the last few days as a way to survive myself.


I yelled at someone today. I was frazzled and shaken by recent events. She applied a tiny bit of pressure and off I went. I must have looked crazy bc after I started talking to my regular CNA and burst into tears!

Right now I feel like I have to be very careful about what I do bc I'm raw. I'm more upset about my grandmother's death than I realized. It seems I have less emotional control right after I wake from dreams. Dreams are influenced right now by her death and by my neighbor's mental illness that has spilled over to other residents. The screaming is that of a horror show! So, when I awaken from whatever nightmare, I'm more likely to show my own mental health issues and humanity.

Last night in the dream I protected myself verbally from physical assault by the aunt w Leukemia. I reminded her that I am an adult and she will not put her hands on me. It was at "the house", the one that should be razed to the ground.

Lavender bear

I've taken night meds and feel sleepy. I've also got Bernhardt who smells of lavender. I should get enough sleep this evening. Let's hope for quality sleep, too.

Oh yeah. I remembered something I used to have that I definitely need to replace. I used to burn candles all the time! For security reasons I need some but for the flicker and calm, I gotta have it. It'll be payday soon and I'll narrow down what I want to buy lol Right now I'm like, I want. I want. I want. I'll narrow my list and we'll see.



I slept a lot and read a lot, slept more and read more. That's all I've done. My neighbor has been quiet the whole time! When I say I slept, I mean I slept hard, drooling and all on these lavender scented pillows. I added oil to them. It's a beautiful scent.

It's been a healing sort of day, the type that goes deep inside and is a gift of peace. I can't tell you how much I needed it! I feel refreshed. Like someone came in and cleaned my inner windows.

Who knows what tomorrow will bring, but today has been a gift that is much appreciated and on time.

Michelle I got some painting time in yesterday as did I. I hope to revisit my piece later. This day isn't over.



uprooted sundrip

I feel uprooted. Everything is different. My home is great but I've not laid down roots here. Most of my possessions are new because the old got thrown out. The only photo of my father that I had was thrown away accidentally. It is gone forever and it hurts.

My dishes, terrariums, plants, shoes, bed, sheets, furniture, everything is different and new. My frogs are new, fish are new. No dog or cat anymore. Heck, my laptop and phone are even new. I realized I have few things that I am emotionally attached to because I've not had them long enough. It feels like everything has new roots, nothing is stable, consistent, long term, dependable. 

I'm new. I've changed physically and emotionally. My eyes haven't stopped watering since the amputation. They water nearly non-stop. 

I feel like I'm complaining but all I'm trying to say is that laying down new roots at 47 is difficult.

Outlook sundrip

Art supplies are new. Again, these are observations not necessarily complaints. I love my new art supplies, especially the Winsor and Newton watercolors seen in the photos. Winsor Newton puts out a superior product that I totally love and yet there's a feeling of sadness because they don't have longer history with me. It would seem their only history with me is the hospitalization. 

It hurts my heart to think that what all the new things have in common is trauma. So I've got to try and change that view to one more positive, something like this: All the new things are associated with SURVIVAL not near death. They are evidence of life, of a future, of deep, deep roots that helped me walk to this very day. 



I woke in the fetal position and quickly stretched out of it. That position makes me go deeper into myself which can hurt more emotionally.

I'm anxious, in pain again and swollen. I'm so anxious I feel like I need to run. I've got a lot of tools in my survivors bag so I'll have to pull out a few to manage this emotional and physical chaos.

Yesterday I had visitors which was wonderful. Two elders from the Kingdom Hall came to pay a nice, encouraging visit to me then an old friend stopped by. We had tea then scarfed down spiced chocolates. We watered all my plants and chatted up a storm. I really like her visits.

I don't expect visitors today unless my neighbor comes down for a bit. She's in a lot of pain, too and needs support.

Soooo, today is rough but I've got some tools to make it a bit smoother. It's time to start implementing them.


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