Overdose

Chemical drugs are not and have not ever really been a part of my life. (Thankfully.) At one point we found out that my brother was smoking marijuana, and that was enough to send the entire family into orbit. Although I disagree with using marijuana, at least it is plant based. I’ve argued time and time again that is the the “starter drug” or the beginning of something more. That’s the bridge between cigarettes and anything “harder”.

Recently, my friend who was thinking of divorce, found out that the girl her husband was “talking to” overdosed. Whether it was because of him or something bigger, it still happened. She was taking prescription pills. I’ll be the first to say that I have an extra bottle of similar pain killers in my home. (I’ve had three knees surgeries and a few skin cancer surgeries.) However, I do not take these recreationally, and they’re locked in a safe.  That was the first time that something like this hit me as being “in my backyard”.

From my small hometown, to big cities, and everything in between drug use is an epidemic. I just wonder why…?! What’s the point? It’s dangerous and expensive. I can’t see how or why people would put such harmful things into their bodies on purpose. Half of the time the more exclusive or “expensive” drugs are cut with other products to make them more affordable. How insane is that?

Last night, while eating dinner, I was on the phone with a co-worker about a work related problem, and my boyfriend was watching a video on Facebook. A girl living about 30 minutes from us took a video and shared it to her Facebook – and it spread life wildfire. In a matter of hours the video had thousands of views and comments. After finishing my call I also watched…and I’ve never seen anything like it before in my life.

We’ve all seen the show Cops or other pictures on the news of someone who has overdosed. I’ve never actually witnessed someone during the stages of an overdose taking affect. In the video, an older gentleman was stopped at a red light, and never moved again. A girl walking down the street thought it was odd and went to go check on him. At first his head was rolled back and his eyes were open. He was breathing but was not responsive. Throughout the three minute video she shook him, screamed to get his attention (obviously called 911), and eventually held him upright as he fell. His eyes eventually rolled back in his head and he was completely out. His skin was grayish and his eyes were huge with dark circles under them. I’d never seen someone look that way.

The more I watched the more I realized that this woman could very well be the last person to see this man before his death. Bless her for being a good citizen and her doing her part, regardless of the outcome. Various times through the video she screamed that he had “track marks” but she couldn’t find needles in the van. Many drugs are suppressants and work to slow your heart and body down. This man probably did the drugs before leaving and then they just began to set in during his drive. Lots of comments flooded the video as people watched. They ranged from blessings for he and his family to curses because of his stupidity.

While I do feel badly for him and his struggle with this issue – the fact still remains: he could have and likely would have killed himself and/or someone else had this happened while he was in motion. What is the probability that he will get clean if he survives? What is the probability that he is paying for his medical attention and then the counseling he will receive? …the sad reality is, I’m betting that it’s us who pay from beginning to end. The hardworking people who get up early rushing off to work…and those same people staying up late with their children working on school projects.

I couldn’t eat after watching the video because of the sadness of his situation, the problems he has caused himself, and the potential harm he could have done to others. People assume that when they make decisions to do drugs or drink excessively that they are only impacting themselves. That couldn’t be any further from the truth.

They Can Keep It: Day 16

I was perusing Facebook last night when I came across a video by Tech Insider describing the ocean depths. Having only been near an ocean a handful of times in my life, the video was quite intriguing:

I didn’t realize, or likely didn’t really think about, the ocean being this deep. I knew the Titanic was down there and I knew about a couple of the fish species like the fangtooth and dumbo octopus. I did not know if you tipped Mt. Everest upside down it still wouldn’t reach 35,700 ft marker. Holy cow! At the end of the video they’ve estimated that humans have explored only about 5-10% of the the Earth’s oceans. That’s a literal drop in a ginormous bucket. They’ve also estimated that there are at least 10,000 species of sea and plant life yet to be discovered.

A few years back I had the privilege of getting to spend 7 months on the island of Maui for internship purposes. I am absolutely, positively in LOVE with sea turtles. It stemmed for having my pet painted turtle and just grew. I think they are the coolest creatures. When I went to Hawaii, that was essentially my first time near an ocean let alone going into one. Let it also be known, I can’t swim. I’m fairly certain I’d sink. But I was in Hawaii! I had to go in the ocean. Was I afraid? Hell yes. The waters were clear though so it made it a little easier to face that particular fear. Once I got my “sea legs”, which basically meant being strapped to every flotation device possible, I conquered the ocean! Now it was a true conquer, I’ll admit, because if I freaked out my feet could still touch the bottom but then I got it into my head that I wanted to see a sea turtle. In order to do this, I would have to swim (float) further out. So again, I had my boogie board, my flipper fins, my floaty noodle and strapped myself to another human being who could swim like a fish and we went further out.

I wasn’t ready. You see there’s a certain point in the ocean you come to, past the the beautiful coral shelf, where land just drops away. Like literally drops and you see nothing but dark waters. That is SO scary if you don’t know it’s coming. So we’re swimming along and the ocean floor is just gone. Like what just happened! Where did the floor go! We need to go back! And then you look back and just see this massive wall and literally wondering how is this physically possible! Before I could completely lose my mind, a sea turtle came swimming past in those darker waters. I got SO excited! It was so beautiful! I couldn’t help but think that I was that uninvited guest invading this beautiful animal’s territory. So I took in the moment, committed it to memory and then I was done and wanted to go back to where there was sand under my feet.

Human discovery is great. It often leads to great technological advances or cures for diseases. I can’t help but think though that some things should just be left to nature. The deep depths of the ocean and the 10,000 species down there probably don’t want to be bothered. I don’t need to know what dwells that deep. We can let them be.

What do you think?

Fortune Favors… Day 15

I’ve scoured my phone looking for fortune cookie fortunes I saved. I only found two…. which is odd considering the amount of Asian food I eat. I usually try to take a picture of the awe inspiring quotes that are supposed to solve world peace. Ever notice that whenever you read those fortunes they always, somehow relate to your life in some way? That maybe that’s what you needed to read in that exact moment? Like this little piece of paper is the elixir to solving all your problems!

Maybe it is, maybe it isn’t but it’s always a bit of fun and gives me an excuse to eat more Asian cuisine.

 

Love in Shades of Purple: Day 14

I woke up this morning doing what I normally do; make a smoothie, get dressed, pack a lunch and go to work.

I checked my WordPress feed to see what the daily word prompt word would be and surprise, surprise it’s my favorite color! I looked around to notice that I’m wearing a purple shirt, my smoothie as a healthy gross looking purple color, I’m texting M and her person option color is purple and my office has mini bags of purple skittles in a bowl for people to enjoy.

That got me thinking. You know how most people associate the color of love with pink? I’ve always seen shades of purple. The first time my husband graced me with flowers he automatically assumed I preferred roses. I think roses are pretty, sure but I have always been a Gerber daisy kind of girl. Every time I see one I have to take a picture of it. If they were native to my area, they would be all over my yard.

Back when I was getting married, we had to decide between real and fake flowers. Real flowers are great because you can throw them back to nature once you’re finished and they’ll biodegrade naturally. Fake flowers don’t have that option but you can keep them forever and look back on your wedding day. I ended up going with fake flowers because of the second reason. My bouquet wasn’t purple (unfortunately) but it was still beautiful none the less and I got to have the girls have Gerber daisy bouquets. They matched well. My husband was against purple in our wedding. Like adamantly did not want it; wouldn’t even try on a purple vest. Our colors ended up being emerald, which is my birthstone and second favorite color and slate.

Howeverwp-1490617892904.jpg, I’m a woman and I try to have my way in some capacity. I wanted flowers to go down the aisle. I scoured craft stores for petals that would match our color scheme. They were all either too bright or too dark. It was quite frustrating. So then we started thinking if we can’t have loose flowers maybe we can find big flower buds and cut off the stems so that they can rest on the ground. Well that was difficult too. The next best place to get ideas was YouTube; searching for terms like fake flower ideas for weddings and subjects of that nature. We came across tutorials on how to make paper flowers and my friend, who is super artistically inclined, tried to make a few of them using construction paper. The end result was my dream come true! The flower in the picture is the example flower but I was so happy with it that we made it happen. I didn’t get to have purple in the aisle flowers but we did have raspberry filling in one of the tiers of our cake so a girl will take what she can get considering that was and still is the happiest day of her life.

Now, two years later, it’s not *as* hard to convince the man to get purple things. The purple curtains are a no go but the purple sheets are fine. Purple wildflowers are also okay in my yard landscaping plans. I hope to slowly but surely convince him of letting me paint at least one wall in the house purple… we’ll see what happens.

I’m not a writer, I’m a reader: Day 12

I’m right behind my co author today in talking about tough situations. In this politically charged world we live in, there are certain topics people just don’t want to talk about. Today I’m going to briefly touch upon one of those topics and my personal feelings. As a disclaimer, I don’t mean to make anyone upset but if I do, I’m sorry in advanced.

A mutual friend of my co-author and I is adopted. She’s a black child adopted by white parents. When we became closer she told me her story. She told me she wasn’t almost adopted because the system did not think white parents could raise a black child and that the only reason they ended up being approved is because they knew a friend of a friend in the system. It broke my heart.

Another coworker of mine, 4 years married, met her husband after getting a divorce from a physically abusive relationship. She has two children and they were the reason she wouldn’t leave the marriage. It took her child calling the cops and telling them he was afraid to come home to his dead mom one day for the divorce to finally happen. Now with her new husband, the subject of children came up. She decided she didn’t want to have children at her age because of the risks so they decided to adopt. They filled out the papers and got real excited, especially the husband. In the end, they would not approve him to adopt because he had gotten 3 divorces prior even though he was financially stable and has been taking care of his wife’s children as his own. She told me he was devastated.

My husband has been in the foster care system as a child. He was in the system for about 7 years. He’s told me good stories but he’s also told me bad stories. Ultimately he feels he didn’t have a healthy childhood and hopes that if we ever have children he can give his child what he didn’t have.

I looked up a sample adoption form to see what it entails. It seems pretty straightforward. They want to know you age, gender, schooling history, marriage history, criminal history and annual salary. One of the sad things on there is that you have to choose an ethnicity to adopt. You can’t just have no preference. It shouldn’t matter in my opinion considering the thousands of children waiting to be adopted. 

I understand why the vetting process is high for something of this nature. You don’t want to place a child in a broken home. They already think their life is meaningless because they’re biological parents didn’t want them. But for people who are willing to open their hearts and their arms for a child, how much should ethnicity or your personal divorce rate really matter? 

I want to touch on abortion. The reason I want to touch upon this subject because people who are thinking about it are often told that they should put their child up for adoption because it’s the better route to take. Now I think that’s very noble but sometimes I think how noble is it really? Not saying all adoption systems are bad because that would be an ignorant thing to say but if I was in that boat, and I wasn’t instantly adopting my child out to a relative, I would seriously question if that’s the best option. I’m sure it’s hard enough that the mother can’t or doesn’t want the child in the first place and then have to make that decision? It’s rough.

To end on a happier note, when I checked my Facebook this morning I saw an uplifting video of a man who immigrated from Libya after losing his wife who fostors terminal children. A lot of times people do not want to take on that burden of their care. He decided he didn’t care about things like that and he wanted to make sure that these children were loved to the end. Simply amazing.

My Bestfriend’s Husband

Life has been a little crazy for me lately. One friend told me she’s getting a divorce (yay!), we went to a funeral, and another friend just told me she thinks her husband’s cheating. Here’s the thing: he wasn’t…and she has. I’m her BFF, was her MOH, have spent more nights out partying with her than I care to admit, and I told her she should’ ve never gotten married.

…what the hell do I do?

I talk to this chick everyday on the phone while we drive to work. I cried on her shoulder during my divorce. We go to dinners as couples and are contemplating a vacation for the four of us. Now this.

Let me give you the back shory…her husband’s family owns a bakery -so he, his brother, dad, uncle, and mom all work together, aside from a handful of high schoolers who help out. His brother is currently married and has been for a good three years – to a girl they hired to work at the bakery. My friend and her husband got married at the courthouse so they could get a special loan on their home. They didn’t tell anyone they were married, not even their parents…well…I knew, of course. A year and a half later they had the “real” deal.

My friend has had flings with people from Craigslist, dishwashers at bars we went to, family friends, and even her husband’s relative. I’ve known about them all (or so I think). Her husband doesn’t know about any of this, so we think. My boyfriend is appalled and so are many of my friends. I just don’t know what to do at this point. I stood beside her at her wedding, for God’s sake.

The high school students are generally women. On several occasions my friend has told me that they text, call, and Snapchat her husband. At no point in time was she overly upset or worried by this until this last time. Tuesday my friend calls saying that her husband’s brother was found in the bathtub with one of the girls. …his wife went home early from work because she was sick. Long story short, they have been in this relationship for 6 months, the young girl tried to commit suicide over this man, and now he and his wife are “working it out”.

My friend’s husband was “friends” with the same girl. He was completely shocked when they told everyone the news. So, he’s been calling and texting her every day – even bought her flowers for Valentine’s Day, and she’s sleeping with his brother. When my friend found all this out she was irate. She left the house and wouldn’t tell him where she went. He called us crying (he’s never spoken to us on the phone before) begging her to go back home and talk to him. He swears he’s never even touched the girl but my friend is convinced otherwise.

Now my friend is saying her trust is completely broken and their relationship will never be the same. I told them that they should try counseling. (Been there, done that, and would do it again.) My problem is this: her husband has been completely open, honest, respectful, and apologetic about his inappropriate relationship with his associate. However, his wife, my friend, has not been honest with him. She has blown this out of proportion by lying, getting unnecessary people involved, and by stretching the situation to it’s maximum capacity.

While on the phone with her husband I was inches from telling him the truth about her past several times. He seemed so hurt, confused, and alone. I wanted him to know that he’s not the only one who has made mistakes and that we all learn and grow from our choices. On the other hand, I didn’t want to rock the boat anymore than it already was. My boyfriend tells me not to get anymore involved than I already am – basically don’t stick my nose where it doesn’t belong. My co-author tells me I should for sure say something. I care for them both and don’t want to see them get divorced about something silly or the past but damn.

What’s a girl to do? What would you guys do in my situation? Has anyone ever been in this situation that can provide feedback? Anything is appreciated as I try to be a good friend to them both.

Tea Talk. I’m not a writer, I’m a reader: Day 11

If we were having tea (or coffee if that’s what you prefer) right now, I would tell you all about how much I love this Beauty and the Beast reboot!

Last night I saw the film for the second time and I absolutely can’t get enough. I usually hate remakes, especially Disney remakes. Somehow they always fall short for me. I watched Snow White and the Huntsmen and then regretted that. I didn’t bother watching Cinderella and I was hesitant to watch The Jungle Book. However, Now that it’s on Netflix, I may just give it a chance because everyone I know who’s seen it says it’s really good. There’s actually a live action version of Jungle Book that was made in 1994. That was actually a great remake even though it’s not widely known. I am not a huge fan of clay animation. Sounds weird right? Toy Story was decent but not really watch over and over again type of film for me. The two exceptions to the clay animation genre is Finding Nemo and Kubo and the Two Strings (not Disney but still).

There are quite a few films that I consider Disney that aren’t actually Disney. Anastasia, The Road to El Dorado and The Indian in the Cupboard are a few of those films. Fantastic movies just under a different production umbrella; Twentieth Century Fox, Columbia Pictures and Dreamworks.

Anyway, back to Beauty and the Beast. Wow! I went into the film having all kinds of expectations. I admit I didn’t think the film would be that amazing. I’m always biased when it comes to reboots. Sometimes they are pulled off fantastically but majority of the time they flop. I’ve seen the original Beauty and the Beast (and it’s sequels) I don’t know how many times and it never gets old. I’ve listened to the soundtrack I don’t know how many times and it never gets old! I’ve even seen the old 1987 television show and that was pretty alright! I’m obsessed, I know. Just look at my VHS Disney movie collection.

The only cast I knew about was Emma Watson playing Belle and Luke Evans playing Gaston. I didn’t research any other characters because I wanted to be surprised. It’s like reading a book and imagining the characters a certain way and then when you see them later you cross your fingers and hope the cast matches your imagination.

I can’t put into words how amazing this movie is besides telling everyone they need to see it. It’s not your ordinary Disney remake. One of the things I did not expect was the amount of black actors and actresses in the film. They even showed interracial relationships! I hope I don’t offend anyone by saying this but it’s pretty rare to see a mixed race film. The fact they pulled it off so flawlessly in a Disney film was astonishing! I also liked that along with singing the original songs, they threw in a couple of their own. We also got to see a little back story on why Maurice raised Belle alone and why Beast grew up in a hardhearted situation that trickled into his adult life and led to him being cursed.

Have you seen this movie? Thoughts?

Halfway There! I’m not a writer, I’m a reader: Day 10

True story.

I was driving home from work one day a few weeks back and I usually decide between taking the back roads or the highway. I take 3 different interstates to get home; 422 to 271 to 8. On average, 422 never has traffic no matter what time of day I drive it. 8 usually has no traffic as well. Sandwiched in between the 2 is 271 that almost always has traffic in the morning and at 5pm. The only time I can expect no traffic is around holidays or if kids are out of school. All of sudden the highways are free, open roads and I can drive like a normal human (maybe speed a little, ssshh).

This particular day, I took a chance to drive the highway. Usually I like to check google maps to see if there are a bunch of red lines but I figured I’d left early enough that I’ll probably bypass it. It was a warm day, for Ohio anyway, and I had my sunroof shade open and I think I was listening to whatever was on the radio that day. I come upon the exit to 271 and instant stop. Traffic was at a standstill. So I did a little bit of maneuverability to shimmy up to the closest exit. I always keep other routes in the back of my head in case I’m trying to be somewhere fast. I’m okay with sacrificing open highway for traffic lights as long as I’m moving. Sitting in a hot car in the summer, in traffic, is the worst.

I get off the highway and onto this side road that turns into 8 eventually. This road starts as a bunch of schools, then groceries and once you cross the bridge it turns into an industrial parkway. There’s a place on the left that just has giant piles of pulverized concrete or sand with this tiny little gas station and then you have a bunch of different warehouses up an down both sides before it turns into the casino way.

I get to the point where the old Arhaus warehouse used to be and there’s stand still traffic again. At first I didn’t think anything of it. There is a stoplight ahead so I figure traffic will start moving soon as it turns green. Well the light turns green and the cars in my lane are still sitting. Then I notice cars on the other side are stopping as well. Automatic thought is car accident right? Which means I’ll be stuck a little longer. Well, the cars across the divide start moving and the cars to my right start moving as well but my lane isn’t moving at all. I begin to feel the symptoms of annoyance come forward because I just want to go home after my long day at work.

An opening appears for me to move around the line of cars that are stopped and get into the moving right lane. I take the chance and slowly crawl forward. I’m ready to continue my drive but I’m also curious to see what caused the backup. I get close to SUV that’s essentially parked and saw the most unexpected thing…

A skunk!! A very big skunk!! If I could have snapped a picture with my eyes, I would have! The skunk is basically pacing in circles. It was so unbelievable, I burst out laughing. My annoyance instantly evaporated. I quickly glanced around my surroundings wondering where the hell this huge skunk came from. This is basically an industrial wasteland. No forest or any sign of nature in the immediate distance yet here is this poor skunk. You can tell people, including myself, wanted to help somehow but at the same time not. That’s just one smell you do not want to take to work the next day. I continued my drive home thinking to myself that I hope the little (big) guy finds his way home. I also thanked Mr. Big Skunk for putting a smile on my face.

I’m not a writer, I’m a reader: Day 9

I went into this post thinking I knew what I was going to write. Then I went back and reread my inspiration email and realized I must have read something completely different. The post today is supposed to talk about what you do when you’re not writing. For anyone who’s read my posts so far, you already know. I read when I’m not writing or working or any number of adulting activities. Today I’d rather talk about a friend who has triggered me to write today and ironically enough it has to deal with the daily prompt. If you ever need daily inspiration, that’s a great place to start; writing a prompt around a word.

So I have this friend. I want to say I use the term friend loosely because half the time I never know where we stand. You know how you have those people you consider friends and then you have the ones that are more acquaintances than anything? This friend falls somewhere in between. He started as my boss. Hired me at my first job out of college way back in 2011 when I had been unemployed for 4 months. I remember thinking he was such a nice person; always upbeat and happy. I worked this job for about 8 months and then I got an internship so I went away for  months. When I came back, I was back in the unemployed boat. I was unemployed for about month when my friend reached out to me again through Facebook and offered to cancel all his interviews if I would come work for him again. So I did. He ended up transferring to a different location and I didn’t think too much of it again.

Fast forward two and a half years and he’s working for a different company and, at that time, I was looking for a full time job. I was tired of working multiple part time jobs 50+ hours a week. I wanted a regular schedule. He offered me a full time position at the new company he’s working at and, again, I accepted. We’ve developed a pattern at this point. We made a great team so it was only natural that where he went, I followed because I automatically knew it would be a great working relationship. Everything I ever learned about being a manager, good and bad, I learned from him.

Series of events later and he and I are no longer working together. I left the job for various reasons. Unfortunately, one of those reasons was him. It’s amazing how power can change a person. I decided he no longer had my best interests at heart, as my friend, and it showed. Anybody that knows me, knows that I try really hard to fix a friendship if I feel its worthy enough. I didn’t want to leave the job on a rocky note so I met with my friend and we had a heart to heart about the events that led up to my decision to not only better my life for my long term goals but also so that we could stay friends. I cared about him a lot and it didn’t sit right to have a job come between us.

Fast forward to today and we still talk on occasion. His life though is not so great. He’s almost what you call a people pleaser. He tries very hard to make everyone happy without any regards to himself and his true feelings. Needless to say, I’ve seen it burn some bridges in his life. It also doesn’t help that his health is steadily declining. The most recent scenario in his life involves him saving his brother from losing his house by moving in and paying his mortgage for him. The time has come where my friend feels that his brother should sell him the house. Naturally, that makes the most sense especially since his brother’s credit score has been prospering because of him. The house gets reviewed and a price put upon it. The brother is not satisfied and demands more money… from his own flesh and blood…. who’s saved him all this time…. Family mean nothing?

I had a lot of things to say about this. I won’t go into detail but you can imagine where my thoughts went. One of my main points was he should move and get his own house and wash his hands of this ridiculousness. He’s torn because even though he agrees with me he still feels he should help even though he literally can’t afford it. Instead of letting his brother accept defeat, they sit in this limbo where he’s still paying this mortgage and his brother isn’t budging on his terms.

I just don’t understand. Sometimes the best way to get to a better outcome is to accept defeat. There’s that phrase that failure is not an option but sometimes it’s the only option. I believe my friend needs to evaluate his life and focus on the things that matter the most; specifically his health. He’s letting other people’s words, emotions and actions drive his decisions and they usually don’t end up in his favor along with working himself to death. His coping mechanism for problems is to bury himself in work instead of face them head on.

Maybe I’m being too harsh. I don’t know.