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Everything posted by Teros

  1. I went to work this morning for a super short day. The resident's were either asleep or didn't want to talk so it was a few quick notes and then back home. I was about to go food shopping with ladyfriend when she got the call... ....her uncle had just passed. We went next door, flood of calls started coming in. Lots of group hugs and crying. They are going to have a memorial service for him in about a week or so (he was really into theater so they are going to play some songs he sang and clips from shows he did). Coroner came and checked vitals. Chaplain is stopping by. Ladyfriend had to get out of the house so we decided to go thanksgiving shopping right now so I'm just waiting for her to finish getting ready. She didn't want to leave the house 'wearing a snotty sweatshirt' which I get. We're going to try and make this a really good Thanksgiving since this was her uncle's favorite holiday. The show must go on, as they say. I didn't care about whole 30 - I chugged a bunch of eggnog. In other news, I have a meeting with new job#1 tonight to get paperwork all sorted out. Tomorrow morning, I have a meeting for job #2 to get a contract and paperwork all set. Based on this, I might be starting at both new jobs next week but I'll see.
  2. Lots of updates. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Food/Exercise: Slacking a bit this week on the workouts, but I'm not beating myself up over it. I'm still getting in more cardio but I missed 1 day this week and because of scheduling, might miss a 2nd. For eating, I had some Parmesan cheese but that was it. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Job: I was feeling kind of low this week. I went to work on Wednesday and I got a call from Job #1 from last week. They finally got back to me and.... I'M HIRED. I am meeting up with HR to get my picture taken and a contract signed, as well as ironing out the hours that I'll work. The pay is good too, over $40+ hour. Just 1 full workday would replace all the shitty jobs I have currently so this is insanely good. Two hours later I'm doing an interview for another job and it seems like a good deal as well, but then I get a call.... and the OTHER job I applied to last week ALSO is hiring me. I had told each other them independently that I was only looking for a few hours....JUST IN CASE this perfect storm happened and well, it has happened. I can work for each job for a dozen or so hours, which will put me around 24 or so hours. The 2nd job is paying $43+ so if I do the math and average their pays, at 24 hours, or 3 full days, I'll be making $1,008 bucks, which is pretty awesome. Coming from a supermarket job that pays $14/hour, this is a massive $ hike. I mean, in order to make $1,008 week right now, I'd have to work 72 hours. Some perks about each: Job1 - after being with them a couple of months, they will PAY to get my certified and trained in EMDR therapy, which is an intense and EXPENSIVE and HIGHLY SOUGHT AFTER therapy. Me being EMDR-certified makes me even more marketable and means in the future, I can put that on my resume and get paid even more money than I'm already going to be getting. Job2 - The owner seems really chill and the clients are going to be mostly college kids with anxiety/depression, so it's relatively easy work. They really needed a make clinician since a lot of their clients are men and men tend to want to work with a male therapist so I'll just be talking with dudes and doing easy therapy sessions. Also, the owners do the intakes, assessments, and paperwork for getting clients, do I don't have to juggle a bunch of other bullshit like I had to do at the previous job. The funniest part about getting both these jobs? I googled their address.... they are 1 building away from each other. And I mean that literally. One is on '1 **** Street' and the other agency is on '2 **** Street'. I drove there today and the buildings are maybe 20 feet away from each other. So I am basically going to the same damn place every work day. Even more coincidentally, one of them is ONE DOOR AWAY from my old therapist from like 7 years ago who doesn't practice anymore. I'm excited and nervous and so damn happy that this actually all worked out. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Mental Health/Shitshow: Her Uncle's health is failing at a rapid rate. He won't eat. Morphine has been upped to try and make him comfortable. I brought up setting up a Go-Fund-Me for the medical costs, since her uncle was such a big deal in the arts and theater scene. He had a lot of friends in this little state of ours. I ended up writing a post because it was really hard for her emotionally to talk about it because it, "felt final". Well, I can say that after less than 48 hours, over $8,000 has been raised to help with the medical stuff. Holy shit, right? The lawyer came by and THANK GOD the will has been figured out and it all goes to Ladyfriend. Ladyfriend's manipulative treacherous mom does not get the house. Her mom does not get the car. Does not get the collectables for selling. And she can't evict and force 5 people to become homeless. She gets NOTHING. So it sucks that this situation is happening, but a massive amount of anxiety tied to it is now alleviated with the funds being given to handle medical stuff and her mom getting nothing. Pair that with not one, but TWO new jobs and shit it starting to go in the right direction. Plans for Thanksgiving are being ironed out. I decided I wanted to make this easier so I'm using crockpots for a few things. We have 1 crockpot, my sister has a crockpot, and her uncle has a crockpot so that gives up 3 crocks to work with. My sister is handling the turkey. Ladyfriend and I are doing the rest. We have planned out: -Crockpot #1: Green Bean Casserole using the mushroom soups and a bunch of diced and fried mushrooms -Crockpot #2: Cheesy Corn and Turkey Bacon Casserole -Crockpot #3: Polska Kielbasa with apricot preserves and mustard -Sweet Potato and Pumpkin Au Gratin -Mashed Potatoes -Roasted Brussel Sprouts -Honey-Maple Glazed Carrots -Stuffing -Gravy Desserts: -Candycorn Fudge Cookies (I cut the candy corn flavor by making vanilla fudge with it and then using it as a glaze) -Texas YumYum (It's a pudding and cheesecake hybrid pie. I'm thinking of doing butterscotch pudding) -Apple Pie (Classic) The desserts can be made the day before. The 3 crockpots can be thrown in the night before and they'll be ready. That means we're basically just making sweet potatoes, potatoes, brussel sprouts, carrots, and stuffing. Sweet potato au gratin, brussel sprouts, and carrots need to be baked. Mashed potatoes, stuffing, and gravy can be cooked on the stovetop, so it's a ton of food but not a lot of stressing out to get it all done.
  3. Update time. It's tiiiiime for updates. Food/Exercise: I had my weigh-in and I've lost 10 pounds in the past few weeks. I'm not craving any junk food anymore since it's 100% out of my system. As soon as I get this good news, my sister wants me to try a cookie and I do; and then LEAVE so I don't have another one. I swear, it's impossible to be around her and not have constant junk food be an issue. I had some balsamic chicken and veggies the other night and my body was SCREAMING for a glass of milk (which is not whole30) and I figured I'll try it. I chugged the whole glass and then started dry-heaving. The milk was expired.... I have ZERO interest in having dairy anymore after that experience. Just thinking about it makes me want to gag. I guess that's a good thing: one less thing to ever be a temptation for me. Orange juice is a bit too much in terms of sweetness: like it just tastes....off....somehow. So my taste buds have totally changed over the past few weeks. I'm staying strong with this. I didn't even have junk on Halloween and that has always been a binge-time every single year. Thanksgiving is coming up and I'm hosting with my ladyfriend who is having the nightmare family situation. We thought about it and just *cancelling* Thanksgiving wouldn't solve anything so we're going to do things right and make it as good of a Thanksgiving as possible. We have some ideas of what we're making but I want to make some non-boring options (how many times can people have corn, potatoes, and turkey and some pumpkin pie? I want something better than that.) As for exercise; I've been sticking with 5-ish times a week and doing cardio every time I go after I do my weight-lifting so overall, this part of my life is going well. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Job: I currently have 4 follow-up jobs that are going on. One of them requires reciprocity in a neighboring state which might be a huge pain in the ass but I'm looking into it right now. The other jobs, I'll be hearing back in the next 2-3 days. I'm hoping one of those work out so I won't have to deal with the reciprocity legal paperwork bullshit hoops I need to jump through. However, what *is* nice about that job is it's day-based, as opposed to hour based. Any other job, if someone cancels, I don't get paid. This job is salary so if I'm there for 8 hours but 3 people cancel on me.... I still get paid 8 hours. I might have great news in the near future regarding this. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Mental Health/Shitshow: No reason to recap the past weeks. In a nutshell, this past week has been about trying to get a lawyer to do a zoom call with the uncle to see about having a will drafted up. Based on this, it will get signed by Friday so her uncle has to survive one more week for there to NOT be a nightmare involving losing the house and 5 people being homeless so fingers crossed on that. I was holding ladyfriend last night and she was crying in my arms and was a big, snotty mess. I told her that this is going to suck, but that she's strong and she can get through this. I hate seeing people suffer like this - it makes me feel helpless. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ In other news, I rented a game called Doki Doki Literature Club and... Based on the cover art, it looks like some random anime-type of thing: While it looks like the next scene above is going to have some sort of tentacle hentai going on, it's actually a *HORROR* game. And the fact people don't seem to spoil it online makes a huge difference. I want to talk about this but at the same time, I don't want to spoil it, either. I'll say that it starts off being some sort of text-based drama type of thing which seems not interesting at all, but as it progresses and you get invested (like a trash reality show), you get this looming sense of there being something wrong. Under the cutesy vanneer of these young adults (it makes a point to mention that they are college girls but anime stuff always makes the girls look younger than that), you can tell that something is wrong and you're continuing the story because you KNOW shit is going to hit the fan. ...Then when it does... Once a certain scene happened, no lie, no exaggeration, I yelled out loud at the screen, 'WHAT THE FUCK!? WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK!? NO!' I had to stand up and walk around the room for a minute and then sit back down. It legit shook me more than any modern day horror movie has done; and I'm not being over-dramatic here. The last thing that surprised/bothered me was the movie Hereditary, and I've seen like a dozen horror films since then. Then I saw there was a 'New Game' option and the game got so meta. I kept reading through the text and going, 'No no no..... wait, no way...oh God' as I was playing. I'm saying out loud what I think is happening and trying to piece it together. Then I had to return the game to the library. I 10000000% have to rent this game again and play through it. I honestly think I would call this the best game of the year for me.
  4. *phew* Update time. This will be in sections because there's no way anyone can read all this. Food/Exercise- I have been plugging away with whole30 for a solid 2.5+ weeks right now and PHYSICALLY I'm feeling better. Cravings are finally not happening (as opposed to every hour when I'm on a binge). I had some minor slip-ups with having some cheese on some eggs but past that, I'm doing great in this regard. My workouts are pretty solid, I think. I'm going to the gym roughly 5 times a week and I'm trying to stay 'uncomfortable' with my lifts and keep challenging myself. For instance, the leg ADDUCTION machine (the one where the pads are on your inner thighs and you are closing your legs) just hit 190 pounds the other day. Leg squats and calf raises are at 280 pounds. Rowing machine is hovering at 120 pounds. Doing extra sets of cable crossovers to try and build a better chest (chest/arms are where I think I'm lacking the most). And I'm adding some 20 minute walks into the mix after a heavy workout as well. The food/exercise stuff is going surprisingly well. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Job- I had a phone interview about 20 minutes ago and I'm going to have a follow-up face-to-face interview on Wednesday evening. I also have 4 other jobs that are pending responses so maybe the ball can get rolling into something tangible in a week or so. Fingers crossed. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Mental Health/Shitshow- breakdown/recap of the past 5 weeks and the nightmare that it's been: Week 1- Ladyfriend's DAD's heart is failing. Brought to the ICU, intubated, and knocked out with drugs. Family panic and anger ensues. Week 2- I'm fired. Week 3- Ladyfriend's DAD went up to Boston because of shady medical shit happening at the ICU. He's now over 2 hours away. Week 4- Ladyfriend's UNCLE gets told he has pancreatic cancer and and it's already spread to lungs and other places. He's put on meds and barely sleeps. Starts talking loopy and having paranoid delusions and they think it might have reached his brain. Ladyfriend's MOM has some sort of issue where she can't see and is babbling. Ladyfriend has me go check on her MOM and has some sort of ischemic stroke-type of thing (most likely anxiety-heart induced due to the back-to-back of DAD and UNCLE shitshow. I stay there and EMTs arrive and bring her to the hospital. They run some tests and there is follow-up for it still happening but she went back home that night. Week 5- Currently the start of the week but we'll see what fresh hell is happening. The entire 5 weeks there was arguing and fighting. Her mom wants to control everything and me/ladyfriend/W(uncle's boyfriend) realize that ladyfriend's mom *WANTS* her dad dead and how she's talked and acted. She's trying to make plans for controlling the Uncle's house (which currently houses: Me/Ladyfriend/Tommy9-Toes/W/W's sister/Uncle). Her plan is to take control of the house, sell it, and, guessing, kick everyone out. Her uncle doesn't have a will or anything in writing and with him being delusional, who even knows if that's doable in legal terms to draft something up. There are talks of palliative care since her uncle could be around for a few *WEEKS* before dying. Ladyfriend's mom was talking about selling her+dad's house and getting a little condo of her own. Basically, the drama here is her mom wants her dad dead and was planning on selling thing off less then 24 hours after he went into the hospital. With her uncle now having a couple weeks to live, she's making a power-grab to get TWO houses, sell them all, everyone else involved in this either fucking dies or becomes homeless, and she walks away with a a half-a-million bucks. It's said that in times of trouble, people show who they really are. I always hated ladyfriend's mom and thought she was manipulative and bossy. Now with this, it's a massive 'I-told-you-so'. Ladyfriend has gone so far to think that if her dad even lives through this, he might not be safe around her mom. Maybe her mom will 'lose' her dad's medicine, or if he has another cardiac event, she might take a little too long before calling emergency services. It's been chaos and lots of heightened emotions and a complete shitshow. Every day is some sort of new and horrible development. With the eating, exercising, and job pursuing, I've sort of become a foundational rock in these times (despite dealing with my own depression and worthlessness). Throughout this whole thing, most of it is falling on ladyfriend (and the blocking of her mom from fucking ruining everyone's lives but her own). Ladyfriend is on the very of a mental breakdown and therefore is leaning on me and I'm here for her (I convinced her to see a therapist and she just got a work leave-of-absence for a couple weeks, thank god). This situation isn't going to get better in the coming weeks. I'm preparing for the worst and maybe I have to write it out so I don't think about it so much. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Worst Case Scenario: -Ladyfriend's dad ends up dying. Horrible shockwaves all around. Ladyfriend's uncle ends up dying. More horribleness. Because of ladyfriend's mom's involvement, she gets two houses out of the deaths and sells them both and evicts 1)W, 2)W's Sister, 3)Tommy, 4)Me, 5)Ladyfriend. Ladyfriend's mom wants someone to take care of her because she's a fucking invalid and can't actually live on her own; so with this huge lump sum of money, she will get a decent place for herself and if anyone of the 5 above people want to be her bitch, servant, live-in helper, they can live with her. Most likely, her mom will want ladyfriend to now take care of her. Ladyfriend said she'd rather be homeless than that. Hell, even dealing with her own mom for more than 5 hours is a massive emotional drain (that was BEFORE these events...). I'll end up moving back with my sister. Maybe ladyfriend will join me and we'll pay some rent. Ladyfriend feels that her mom is dead to her, so she basically lost all 3 of her family members in the course of 2ish months. W is....somewhere? W's sister is....somewhere? Maybe they get a place together. Tommy is.....somewhere. And her mom hoarded all the money but lost her daughter in the process. Meanwhile, I help ladyfriend cope with all this while living with my sister (who is all the family I have left and is currently dying of cancer and has an 'optimistic' 5 years left....) and dealing with my own depression and trying to get a job and it's the literal worst holiday season ever. Fun times. Now that's out of my system....what's the ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Best Case Scenario: -Ladyfriend's uncle is aware enough to have a will drafted up where the house goes to ladyfriend. Her mom's ploy of hoarding the houses/money is partially foiled. Her dad makes a partial recovery (his heart is at 20% function and people can live ok at about 35% according to cardiologists). Her uncle passes after the holidays. During this season, there is a transition: ladyfriend's mom and dad move into our current side-apartment of the house. Ladyfriend and I move into the main house. W moves into the other side-apartment with his sister. Tommy is around like a 3rd wheel with ladyfriend and I. Ladyfriend's mom and dad's house gets sold off and the $ from that goes to the uncle/big house and pays of the mortgage; thus Ladyfriend and her mom have half co-ownership of this big house. There are renovations made and people continue as-is, paying rent to keep things afloat. After the renovation of the mom+dad house and then selling is done, the renovations for the big house that has everyone in it together gets worked on. Maybe it takes a year and the bulk of it gets done in the upcoming spring/summer. Once that's dealt with, the whole house can decide what is happening. When her dad DOES go (if he makes it through this, all it will take is a bad flu, covid, or overexerting himself to have another heart issue and die. He's a cat with 8 lives spent after this...), Ladyfriend will sell the house and people will get small cuts. W and his sister will get a few thousand and they can get their own place or so whatever they want to do. Tommy will get a teeny bit (he's just a family friend and also doesn't contribute much to the $ for the rent and he said he can leave whenever so....whatever?) The bulk of the $ will get split in half with the co-owners: Ladyfriend and her mom. Ladyfriend and I will move with my sister and we'll use some of that money to pay for my family's house. Her mom has half a house-worth of money and can fuck off and do whatever. She can't live on her own (but she'll try...and fail) and eventually she'll get shacked up in a residency somewhere. A couple years from now, my sister will pass and our family house will now default to half her husband, and half me + ladyfriend. We can keep it that way (it's a duplex so it's 2 small houses connected via a hallway) or if in the future we want to sell it and split up (or if my sister's husband dies) then we'll sell it, move out, and head elsewhere. And somewhere in all of this, one or both of my little goober dogs will also die since they are so old, so I get one of the following animals: -A raven -A bat -A couple rats -A cat -A dog -A chinchilla -A prairie dog -A racoon -A small river otter -A couple guinea pigs -A miniature pig -A miniature horse -A few frogs/potato fairies -A de-glanded skunk -A genetically engineered miniature bear who I name Fudge and feed teddy grahams to as a snack. I also get the job I want as a therapist, put in my hours to get my LICSW license, and then when I have my own business, I can work remotely and I fuck off and move to a different state and maybe live on a tiny ranch/farm and I can paint and grow veggies and have some animals, start a podcast and a gaming streaming channel, make some friends, and FINALLY at the age of 40 I actually don't fucking hate my life. I'm guessing the future is somewhere in-between these scenarios or it could be something totally different but I felt the need to get all of that out of me. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Next steps for this week: -Ladyfriend needs to file her paperwork for the leave-of-absence that her therapist was able to vouch for. -I have an interview and possibly upcoming other conversations and job postings -Staying on track with eating/working out. Trying to convince ladyfriend that this is part of taking care of herself so we try and do this *together*. If not, I solo and do these things. -Cleaning the apartment and prepare for possible movement/eviction/whatever -Convincing ladyfriend's mom to clean and empty out the house for upcoming switch/selling -Read my social work casenotes book -Maybe do something that doesn't make me hate life utterly. Maybe something creative like my army or skyrim story/build to post on here. -Attempt to read other threads on NF if there is any spare energy after the above are taken care of I'm going to get back to cooking, as that is what I was doing when I had that new job phone interview thing earlier. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ This week's menu is: -Ground turkey and mushrooms with pink vodka sauce on spaghetti squash -Chili with tons of black beans, red lentils, ground beef, onions, peppers, tomatoes, and spices -Turkey burgers with broccoli and sweet potatoes -Italian chicken thighs with fried zucchini and green beans -Leftovers (Greek chicken thighs, Indian curry beef stir-fry) Done writing
  5. Jeez jeez jeez where to begin... Ladyfriend's dad is still in the ICU but because of conflicting information regarding his care. Some say he's doing fine. Others say that he isn't. Some say he was off oxygen for 20 minutes. Others say 4+ hours. The time he was off the oxygen happened to be the same time someone was visiting him and KNOWS that he was on oxygen, and more. It amounts to every single day thinking 1) He's doing good. 2) He's totally going to die. 3) He's doing good. 4) He's totally going to die. Now, people can have good days and bad days as they heal: there are ups and downs. That isn't what I'm referring to. What is being *REPORTED* doesn't make sense based on the person you talk to. As in, the nurse says one thing, a cardiologist says another, the 2nd cardiologist says another, the night-shift doctor says another.... to the point no one even knows wtf is happening to this poor guy and they couldn't even agree on a TREATMENT PLAN. It got so bad that ladyfriend and her mom both started to threaten legal action (oh, there was also a punctures leaking IV bag which had a huge puddle which means that it was like that for literally hours without anyone noticing) and it turned into a big ruckus involving the head of the departments and a meeting and ladyfriend's dad getting moved to a different hospital up in Boston. While this is happening, ladyfriend's uncle gets some news: pancreatic cancer and it's high stage and it's spread to multiple organs. What's that? You want more bad news while I was fired during this whole shitshow? How about her mom repeating words and going blind and ladyfriend having me go check on her mom because she might have had a stroke during all of this and I stayed with her mom until the ambulance came by. (turns out it was an ischemic.....something that mimicked a stroke.) All of these things combine to have my ladyfriend having a breakdown (I don't blame her) but she also likes to pretend she is 'fine' and not talk about it; instead bottling up emotions. Because of this, I feel even more helpless to do anything with this situation and by extension, more lonely. This lead to a free-fall for how I've been feeling. I feel like a failure at everything. I can't lose weight or stay on a diet (I know, word-police hate 'diet' but it's just what I'm eating, whatever). I can't keep a job (and again, it was from a supervisor thinking that supervising was an inconvenience which defeats the whole fucking point of her hiring me....). And now I'm wrapped up in this family drama where literally all 3 family members were in the hospital at the same time. Everything is just.... BAD. And my pug with the piss-blood is going to have an appointment to check on him today so he *might* be ok but we'll see. I hit rock bottom with all of this and told myself I have to eat whole30. I have to do something, ANYTHING that shows I'm not a failure. So last Wednesday (18th) I forced myself to go through withdrawals and stop eating junk food. For days I was tired and could barely move but still forced myself to go to the gym. I mean... I might have been slumped on the floor afterwards but I didn't care: I needed some sort of win here. I was so angry and antsy and wanted to break and kill things. All the while ladyfriend has been saying, 'I'm fine. I'm fine. I'm fine' and then a couple days later I hear her crying in bed and I'm hugging her and talking to her. She keeps it all pent up and then has a meltdown. I heard yesterday some hurtful shit with all of this. She starts telling me, "I realize that I have to do all of this alone" and it royally pissed me off. Like I haven't been doing loads of laundry every day, loading the dishwasher and putting stuff away, cleaning up the living room so there isn't garbage on the floor and heaped on the couch, breaking down and taking out the recycling, vacuuming, etc? I've lived solo- all of my clothes for the entire week is 1 load. I do 7-8 loads a week with her. I cook food with 2 pans and then put them in portioned glass containers and then can wash the pans. That's 15 minutes of cleanup. I'm doing loads of dishes 3-4 times a week. 90% of this shit isn't *mine*. But I do it because, hey, I'm working less hours and she's having a tough time. I don't make a big deal about it. But to not even notice or care? Fuck that. Then the 2nd punch is when I mention therapy and she goes, "Why? It's not like it does anything. They'll say, oh that sucks, and that's it." Back to back, I'm discredited for the help I've been trying to do and then insulted about my career. I don't go to her and say, 'What's the point? You just hire maintenance people to fix shit and you don't actually do anything outside of being a glorified receptionist. You had a 'meeting' about where to eat pies for pie-day....literally a day that the staff want to buy a bunch of pies from catering and eat them and after an hour meeting, no one even asked, 'hey, this meeting was about WHERE we should host this....where should we host it?' Yet she claims she has better work ethic than everyone else around her and no one else does anything. Ok, well if you're making so much money and no one even gives a fuck about your job, blowing off your powerpoint presentations and ignoring the 200+ work orders you put in, maybe, like, be OK with leaving before 5pm when your boss and others in your department leave early? Maybe like....take care of yourself? It's not like this is new behavior btw. I could see if home-life sucks and she buries her head into work and becomes a work-a-holic because it at least helps not obsess over the shit happening in her life.... but this is behavior prior to the shitstorm that's erupted. So I'm trying to help take care of her, while I'm dealing with my own depression/worthlessness. Twice I've had some cheese (it was in some eggs that I didn't make) but besides that, I'm sitting at day 9 of a whole30. No take out. No delivery. No candy. No chips. No added sugar. No carbs (outside of the natural stuff in veggies- like I haven't had bagels or that kinda bread-stuff). I've been stopping myself for over a week now from giving in and just binge-eating junk. Halloween is in a couple days: I'm not having anything during it. I also have been reading a book about how to write effective casenotes so that the job shit doesn't have a repeat. If I don't write the correct 'verbage' (according to the non-supervising supervisor), and that's the only thing holding me back, then fine, I'll become a master of speaking like a clinical douchebag. I'm not even sure how much I wrote about the job firing. In a nutshell, I was told multiple times that the reason I was being let go was NOT because of my skill and working with clients. She said that in our conversations I've been right on the dot with how to work with someone and how to treat them and that all my suggestions and observations were perfect and that I shouldn't get discouraged because I should be in this field and the skills I've shown can't be taught..... the reason for being let go was because my clinical case notes sucked. And that was something I was working on every week to improve. It went from taking a week to do notes, to within 48 hours, to the same day (which is what it should be so time-wise I made improvement), and for the "VERBAGE", I was writing down more clinical ways to say certain shit. Like, you shouldn't say, "Talked to client about what was bothering them and their self-value." Rather, you write it like, "Spoke to client and gave psychoeducation regarding the client's self-worth and use cognitive-behavioral therapy to challenge their irrational beliefs." It's the same exact shit. One just sound like it's super super important. Oh wow, I gave PSYCHOEDUCATION. You mean, I taught them something? Yeah. Big woop. I used COGNITIVE-BEHAVIORAL THERAPY, meaning I asked them about their logic for why they felt a certain way. (Side note: The whole concept of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy that this whole profession has a huge boner for is that you are looking at their thoughts aka 'cognition' and how they are responding aka 'behavior' to try and replace those things. If I said, "I'm a failure at everything", that is the thought of 'I'm a failure'. The behavior is, 'I go to the gym all the time and I am eating healthy and I'm doing lots of house chores'. So the concept of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy is saying, "Hey, you *think/cognitive* worthless, but *act/behavior* is not worthless, so those don't add up. You're actually not worthless." That's the whole premise. It's not hard to understand: it's basically reality-testing and getting the person to notice that their thinking/cognition is incorrect with what they are doing/behavior.) This is not rocket science. This is not super difficult. It just requires things that you can't teach, like 'LISTENING' and 'PAYING ATTENTION' and 'GIVING A SHIT' and 'NOT BEING JUDGEMENTAL' those were the 'unteachable' skills that non-supervising-supervisor was referring to: having the ability to ask questions and deduce information. But, because I don't hype myself up and make it sounds like I'm the 2nd coming of Christ in my notes with buzzwords (psychoeducation, cognitive-behavioral therapy, foster a therapeutic environment, build rapport) and write plainly what I *am* doing (listening, giving advice, sharing info so the client trusts me and understands I have their best interest at heart, etc) it makes it sound like I don't deserve $Top Dollar. It also apparently means that in court, it doesn't sound 'good enough' as well if there is a subpoena. This all leads to my notes being the reason for being fired so if they want their special puffed up language that the non-clinical PEASANTS can't understand and I just need to be more verbose in my linguistic skills, then I'll start intentionally sounding pompous as fuck, I guess. The kicker when the non-supervising-supervisor was talking to me that day, she was talking about how hard this profession is and how it takes a toll.... ....I was having a blast. I was able to joke around with clients, get them to laugh, get them to open up about trauma, bring them to tears, and then wrap it all up again so they left with a sense of catharsis, learning, and understanding and thanked me as they handed over the ludicrously overpriced $114.87/hour that I'm apparently worth. What I keep in mind at all times is the heart of therapy. The theme, if you will: Everyone wants to be heard, everyone wants to be understood, and everyone wants to be loved. They want to know that what they are feeling makes sense in the context that they are feeling it. Going through grief and crying? That makes sense. Being nervous and almost excited about something in a tragedy? That makes sense. And it's all because when you talk to someone, you get to the heart of who they are. You are not your skill color. You are not your religion. You are not the checkbox on a voting ballet. You are not your sexual preference. You are not your body parts between the legs. All of those are different shades that show a *part* of you, but that is not you. You minus a toe is still *you*, the essence of you. And zooming out even more, we all are the same. Put a person into a situation where their wife left them after 15 years and they end up getting drunk and shitfaced: makes total sense. Cutting yourself to try and control the pain on the outside as an outlet for the pain/release on the inside: makes total sense. People are extremely interesting and multi-faceted, but they also are all JUST people. Give the same circumstances and the same starting characteristics and we all might be in the position of the drug addict, the homeless, the incarcerated, the lonely, the angry, the vindictive, the manipulative, etc. And knowing that universal truth, the truth that we are all the same, means that the treatment ends up being very similar, ie, everyone wants to be heard, understood, and loved. For the non-supervising-supervisor to say that this is HARD? Lies. For my teacher-friend to tell me about burn-out from clients? Lies. This is talking to people about what is going on and genuinely caring. That isn't hard. I love people and want to help them. So they're flawed? Who the hell isn't? So they made mistakes that brought them here? So? It just means they have the self-awareness to realize that things aren't the way they want it and aren't sure of how to get in the right direction. And therapy is about hearing all that and seeing what the right direction is for them. That isn't hard. That isn't demanding. That isn't causing burnout. That's just being a caring fucking human being. I don't think I'm special in this regard, which is why it's so baffling with I hear stuff like this. And the response might be, "well they've done it for longer so it must get tiring" and to that I say, 'HOW?' It just means you heard a similar story a thousand times which means it's even easier and takes even less effort to help point them in the right direction. What am I missing here? The hard part of the job was writing a note where I was ego-boosting myself because it feels like lying and I hate lying. It's like on a job interview and you do a basic job but then have to make it sound way more important than it is and pick out 'strengths' that you have when they are just normal human attributes. "You have listed here as having good critical-thinking skills.....ok, so you can hear information AND think? Great. We need that on the team." So now that all of this has been caught up, the last bit of info is that I went on linkdin and indeed. Applied to a job that's 12 minutes away and 35 minutes away. Spoke to a recruiter and I have an interview with the 35 minute away job so....speaking of puffing myself up, I'll have to do that later today. My plan is to hit up the library, the supermarket, do some cooking, and then head to the interview. With that, I gotta get going and I hope that the next few days will have things turn around. Since I've been doing pretty accurate whole30 for over a week, I should be on the cusp of the 'Tiger's Blood Phase' and with the two jobs, I might have something good to report soon as well.
  6. So last challenge I was building up momentum and then the following happened: 1) The job that I was learning about and getting used to - fired. The supervisor didn't want to supervise. There's probably a whole rant at some point coming but currently I'm too depressed to go more into it. Basically she said that my notes didn't have the right SW 'verbage' and after talking about how hard an extra 30 minutes of looking through notes was for her, terminated. 2) My ladyfriend that I've been with for a bit: her dad had a massive multi-part heart attack and has been in the ICU and they're figuring at this rate (since he can't even breathe on his own for more than 20 minutes) that a DNR will be put in place and he'll die soon. I've caught her twice crying in bed and I'm trying to be there for her but considering my own depression, I'm running on fumes. 3) One of my old doggos is pissing a lot of blood. Maybe a UTI, maybe worse. Unknown. X-ray probably soon according to the vet. 4) Oh and because my ladyfriend's mom is a complete invalid, there might be an upcoming house swap which means cleaning out a hoarder's house (I had to do this when my mom died a couple years ago and the fact I'm going to get stuck into doing it again....awful). Needless to say, what was looking pretty good about 2.5 weeks ago has now completely fallen to shit. So much for that 180 degree turnaround that I was working towards. I can't help feeling like a failure in literally every aspect of my life and because of this domino effect, I've been dealing with a major bout of depression which is why I didn't post on my last thread for over a week. Saw this was up and I'm forcing myself to write something, ANYTHING to try and get a foothold on my current mental health. Hell I even tried to get in touch with a therapist and the one that I contacted: they're retiring so they aren't taking me as a client. ....cool. Maybe I'll elaborate on each of these if I feel better. Maybe not - I'm sort of just making babysteps to just post this as it is. Oh yeah, I need goals right? Those will be some other time, too.
  7. So a few updates. The new job has picked up. Maybe a bit too much. I went from 1 client to 8 (with two of them liking the sessions so much that they want to come EVERY WEEK which is pretty uncommon) and I'm trying to juggle writing all the notes, getting the billing information collected and processed, and then I keep getting other info I need to do like a w9, get a personal identification number, and other stuff for even *starting* the job. It feels hectic and I don't like being pulled in multiple directions. I'm trying to take care of this while dealing with the other jobs. (I'm pretty sure I mentioned I quit the hospital, but that still leaves me with this new job, supermarket, and the nursing home that I'm doing). Items aren't being pended so the supervisor can't see and it (so she manually has to type in someone's name) and is telling me I need to do it. I straight up clicked the button in front of her yesterday and showed her that it's not showing up. She goes, 'huh...weird. I don't know what's going on' and then proceeds to email me about making sure the things are sent....like 3 hours later after she literally watched me do it. Making sure there is insurance all set and all these other stupid things are fraying me a bit. There's a lack of communication and maybe I just need to sit down with someone and go through step-by-step. Still, this is a cakewalk compared to the hospital so although I'm annoyed, I'm keeping shit in perspective. I'm going to make a template for future casenotes. That way I can just copy/paste that format into the note and fill in what we talked about in session. I'm figuring the more I do this stuff, the easier it will get. I'm already getting a bit better at collecting insurance but I still end up having questions: like ok, they can't sign off on paperwork if I'm doing Telehealth so.... do I just email them everything and hope they send it back to me? Weird shit like that. I don't really know what else to talk about right now since this has been the bulk of what's going on. I haven't done any art. I talked to the director at the nursing home to see about the mask: she never got to check with the family to see if they want *his* mask ( I brought mine home to finish) so I'm hoping next Monday, I'll know what is going on with that. Gym is still going well. I did cardio on the weekend and I did arms/back on Monday. Today was supposed to be leg day but I had to deal with these stupid notes for work so I was up at 5am doing that, then going to work at the market. Now that I'm home, I'm finishing up the other notes and the last thing I want to do is go back out and go to the gym so I might push that to tomorrow morning since I have no clients until later in the day. My breakdown that I'm working towards is like this: Sunday: Gym (Cardio) Monday: Gym (Back&Biceps) + Nursing Home Job + Nursing Home Job NOTES. Tuesday: New Job Wednesday: Gym (Legs) + Supermarket Job + New Job NOTES Thursday: New Job Friday: Gym (Chest&Triceps) + Supermarket Job + New Job NOTES Saturday: Gym (Cardio) Ultimately, I'd like to get into a rhythm of doing this and in the very very near future, cutting the Friday: Supermarket job hours out. That's next for the chopping block. So I need to realize that right now it's annoying and a lot to deal with but it will get easier. As I have continual clients (instead of new clients) I won't need to do the billing stuff. I won't need to write up the huge intake notes. I'll just have smaller session notes and it'll get easier. Just... a little more to grind through.
  8. For the past 7sh months, one client at my Nursing Home job has been doing really well. Originally, I was told that despite not having the correct insurance, because the nurses were having issues with him, that I was able to see him. We bonded instantly. I did his intake and we were talking about how frustrated he was and how he felt directionless and I brought up art. His eyes lit up and wanted to see what was possible. I told him the following week, I could bring in an assortment of art that I've done and could go from there. I brought with me a few painted minis, some stuff I made out of milliputt/clay, a couple paintings, and a few paper mache masks. He was so excited. 'Ohhh woooooow you.... you're great at this! Hey, have you been to the art festivals around here? You could sell this stuff for a couple hundreds bucks I bet!' I told him that none of this stuff was really hard and, if he wanted, we could make some art together. "I'd love that!" he cheered. Fast-forward about 3 months and there is a family meeting with the staff. The director of the nursing home asks if I can sit in on the meeting and I said I totally could. It became this...I don't know how to describe it... The nutritionist was talking about making some changes and then the director pointed to me and said that I went 'above and beyond' to work with this client and the results have been amazing. The activities person started beeming and saying how he's in the side room, working on art stuff every single day and they have all these projects that he can work on. Painting bird houses, paint by numbers, ideas for more things he could do: it was like something inside him woke up and there there every day. He felt purpose. His demeanor changed completely : hasn't argued or fought with the staff once since I started working with him. The client's son was there and said that working with him made a huge difference. It was like... a whole room recognized what I was able to do for this man. And he was previously in the military (had PTSD as well) and this little old man who is skin and bones stood up and stuck his hand out from across the table and shook my hand with as much strength as he could muster. It was a manly shake. He said he respected me and thanked me for helping him. I don't do this job for the accolades...but having this room full of people *see* what I was doing was just.... words can't describe it. I was proud of him and proud of myself at the same time. Sometimes you don't realize just how much you affect someone until a moment like this. I kept working with him, every week. We were building up the masks, adding layers of paper and glue, talking about what was going on in his life and the next steps for the mask. I cut out the eye-holes, nostrils, and mouth. All he kept saying was, 'Oh wow.... oh Woooooow! Look at that! This is gonna be great!' as he looked at both of the masks we had. Started painting it and got a couple layers on top (you need to paint a few times because the paint soaks into the paper). Two weeks ago he asked if I could help him with a paint-by-numbers because he wanted that all finished up and then next week, masks! "We're gonna finish these masks! Don't forget. MASK! MASK! MASK!", he cheered. Then last week, things took a serious turn. I go in last week and I see him laying in bed, eyes closed, making little moaning noises. His entire family was there, all surrounding the bed and glossy-eyed. His time had come. His health had been failing for over a year now, but once he started the art stuff with me, it was like he got a life-extension and was feeling pretty good most of the time. That Friday though, his health declined rapidly. The nurse had come in and checked some vitals. They were going to tweak his meds - to make him more comfortable. I talked to the son that I had seen back a few months in that meeting. I asked if I should go. He told me not to, that his dad would still probably be able to feel my presence. So, I stayed. I sat by the edge of the bed. Made a little small-talk but it's not like people are there to socialize but at the same time, the other four people there had never seen me before so it felt a bit awkward so I told them what I was doing with the art with their dad. Eventually, I left and I told them that if they wanted, I would be back next Tuesday (today) and I was going to work on the mask. I felt that it would be what he wanted. I knew that would be the last time I saw him. I went in today and there was a new patient about to get set up in my client's bed. My client died soon after I saw him the other day. There were no family there, but I checked the art room and the paint-by-numbers pictures were gone. However, the mask was still there. I wrote a note to the director (she was in a meeting), asking if she could check and see if the family wanted the mask. If not, I feel like it should be something I finish for him, along with finishing my own mask. I just needed to process this for a few days and sort of sit with it, you know? Once my client started on his art journey, it livened up the entire nursing home. The director would call him 'Picasso', the activities director would beem about what he was working on. The little woman who took everyone's menu orders would stop in while we worked together and would talk about how nice the projects were coming along. The guy who washes the floor and calls me 'Ay Boss!' would let me know the client was in the art room and waiting for me. It's a small place so there wasn't anyone who *didn't* know what we were doing. When I came in today, it seemed....colder. Less smiles. And this was before I even checked his room to see what I knew had happened. A strong handshake and a salute to you. You'll be missed. I'll finish the masks for us buddy and they'll be as cool as you were expecting them to be...
  9. So Tuesday has come and gone. I asked about the whole 'full time' thing, as well as spoke about a new client that I just had. It was explained as such: There was a full-time spot for *adults* and that's the spot that Danielle currently has. The one the woman I hate and saw is taking a full-time kids therapist (something I have zero interest in doing). The company received a grant for how to integrate kids therapist along with the connection to doctor's offices. In other words, they just got a shitload of money to hire *ONLY* kid-therapists. Because of this, they are overloaded and she has to hire three new people for this project alone. Once that grant runs out (in a year) they will use that grant-money to hire more people and have the business grow. They don't want to depend on trying to get grant money, but this was a golden opportunity for the business to start getting some good $ and expand (in the future). In other words, Danielle has the main hours for adults. I have the extra hours/clients for adults. Everything else is going to be kids, kids, kids. And if they are supposed to hire 3 new kid full-timers, that means they are going to enroll some 240 children into their services (40 kids/week, seen every other week means 80 kids per hire....3 hires = 240 kids). The thought of working with 80 children and nothing else made my stomach turn. I have zero experience with this, nor do I want to jump into that with both feet, you know? It wouldn't be fair to even attempt that. A key note here is that this grant lasts a YEAR. Which means this is going to be the focus for the near-future. So I could struggle and have a couple of scraps of clients for the next year and when the grant runs out, *THEN* they can use that money and hire me full-time and I can work with adults or.... I can look for greener pastures. So that's what I'm going to do. Another thing that was said in the conversation that made me feel.... off.... was talking about the poor and impoverished. I had a client that I wanted to work with but they were on Medicare for insurance. I was told that they took this particular brand of insurance but they actually don't do that, and the woman that I was talking to on the phone was distraught, "Oh, I wanted to work with you. I've been on this wait list for over 3 months and nothing is happening. I trust you and you know what's going on with my mom and this is just awful". I felt awful. We have someone who needs help, someone who provides help, but because of insurance b.s, it's not happening. So I want to know: The answer I got was underwhelmingly shitty. You see, because I am not independently licensed, who *I* can work with is directly tied with my supervisor. And *she* is not working with medicare/medicaid. My follow up was, well, can *I* get that license? Can she get that license? I mean, people that are on medicare/medicaid are the poorest of the poor and therefore are usually the people who need mental health the most. During my interview, I was told that this company was all about "helping the community". That was a selling point for me. Then I get told that medicare/medicaid don't pay well, and so she isn't going to 'deal' with the hassle of getting certified with that. There is 'bullshit' tied to helping that population. Let me get this straight. The poorest and most needing of therapy don't PAY well and it is annoying to get that certification, so it's just never going to be done? And since any contacts I have made are within that population (two internships with the homeless/addicts/people with ptsd, etc), the clients I can get here, though rare...wouldn't even be able to be seen by me. Her response was, roughly, that she tries to help 10% of the clients that pay less, but "I gotta eat" and I she stated she charges "$100/hour." Helping the Community. 10% Poor people are a hassle. The sadness is real. She brought up how bigger agencies can get work with the government and have government contracts, meaning *they* are able to work with the poor, but not *this* company. I guess they are busy getting the kids-integration but not the poor. I think the thing that bothered me the most was the whole '100/hour'. I mean, if someone was passionate about helping the community, you would think the pricetag of $100/hour is a bit...high? I mean, I was ecstatic with getting less than half of that $$$ and the contract I'm in means I'm getting 20% taken out of taxes and that's still a crazy amount of money to me. It seems...spoiled. I work at a supermarket as well and make $14/hour so someone telling me that they care about the community and are unwilling to make less than $100/hour just seems fucked up. Am I wrong in this? Afterwards, I had a new client so I worked with him and then my day was over so I went for a little drive. Now that I know where I stand (handful of clients and virtually no progress in my field for the next year), I'm going to contact that job in Massachusettes that wanted to talk to me again. When I did that original interview some 2ish months ago, she told me that they work almost exclusively with the 'lower income'. And the thing is.... they were going to pay me $42/hour (as opposed to my $50/hour at this current place but which had more $ taken out for taxes) so.... are they actually making that much less? Or maybe I'm getting a bigger share at the Massachusettes job? I've been thinking a lot about this and about something else that happened at the nursing home job. Not ready to talk about it yet but I will.
  10. Where to even begin? Last challenge I was full of piss and vinegar and I felt like my old self again: I finally had the starting of a new job that was FINALLY doing therapy work which is what I spent f*cking years grinding towards. A lot of life shit happened: love of my life got cancer and is now gone, mom died, sister got cancer (and still fighting it), and you know, the whole epidemic clusterf*ck to layer onto everything else. Sprinkle in a shitshow of over a dozen different potential g/f and their disasters in life which compounded the problem as I was working multiple jobs and going through a master's degree and internship. But I finally had shit under control and was ready to GET. SHIT. DONE. Then a job in the field....filled with lies and not nearly enough hours (a year ago)(Nursing home). Followed by another job in the field....filled with lies and not nearly enough hours (8 months ago)(Hospital). Followed by another job in the field....filled with lies and not nearly enough hours (past 2 months)(Counseling Center). It's obstacle after f*cking obstacle and I was bright-eyed and optimistic when I was starting the Counseling Center. Fast-forward to today and UGH. I need to do a 180 here with my fucking life. Nothing is working out like it's supposed to. I should be losing weight. I should be getting hours in the field and making money. I should be advancing my career and improving my physical and mental health. And where am I at? This all culminated last Thursday and boy-o-boy is there a tale here to tell. So I was working job #4 on Thursday and the one client I had did a no-show so I was sitting there with my thumbs up my ass just waiting. It turned into posting on here (my last post of the previous challenge). What I didn't write was what happened after that post.... Quick overview is that I was bitching about the stuff listed above. You're all caught up. I'm frustrated that I signed up for this job and they were super excited to have me on board and were talking about how the clients would come POURING in, Oh my goodness! I was going to have so many clients! Cut to Thursday and it's been over a month and I have literally *1* client. I should have 15-20 by now. As I write about this, I leave and head to my car and I see someone walk out of the same building as me a few seconds later. I squint and holy shit, I know this person. Rewind some 3ish years ago, when the whole future-wife got cancer/working multiple jobs/internship/mom died/trying to get through school bullshit was happening: there was a woman in my class that was so empty-headed that it hurt me. She never remembered homework. I was the one reminding her about upcoming assignments (we were in multiple classes together). She didn't know how to set up stuff on her computer so I showed her. She didn't know core concepts in the field and I taught her. I didn't want to: like, yes, I am a helper hence the field that I was in, but it was an ANGRY sort of helping because her incompetence made *me* and people in the field look bad. Like, you're so f*cking bad at this that I feel embarrassed to be in the same field as you level of stupid. Flash to right now.... there she is, exiting the building I was just in. I call her name because I'm wondering what in the flying f*ck is she doing here. She is so excited to see me. 'Oh my gosh! How are you! You work here!? That's amazing! It's going to be so GREEEEAT that someone I know is here!' I asked her what is going on. She just had an interview with my supervisor for a full time position doing what I do. I ask some follow-up information. Well they are looking for more people and she wanted to know how it was working there. What, the 1 hour every other week and who blew me off so I've done literally nothing in two weeks? It's just f*cking peachy. And she starts going on and on about how great this place is and she's hoping she gets the job and MEANWHILE THEY WON'T EVEN GET ME ANY CLIENTS. I just.... I... Inside my brain: Outside: You hire me and because I'm iffy on fulltime right away and want to ease into it, I get a different contract. And then tin that contract it says they are supposed to get me clients. And then after 2 months they want *me* to get clients while they get, what, 1/2 of what I make? And there's no one here. And THEN I see, THIS. FUCKING. WOMAN. telling me about how she's looking to get a fulltime position? Steaming. Fuming. The rage is real and it is sharp. I was swearing the whole drive home as I relive the past 5 minutes of conversation. So rather than get me more and more clients and then once I had 20+ and then I decide to pull the trigger and go full-time, they instead abandon me and just try to hire someone else for the role? I tell myself to stay calm and just drink some juice, go to the bathroom, just chill. I have zero chill. As soon as the door closes and I put my bag down, I grab my phone and message my supervisor saying that because of the lack of clients, I'm thinking I should just go fulltime and put in hours at the Doctor's office (originally the fulltime spot was half in a dr. office and you would work with clients there and basically refer them to yourself. So a couple days in a dr office and a couple days of clients that you bring in to do counseling with. When they hired me for what I'm doing *now*, they basically nixed the dr office stuff and said they will get me clients to fill in for part-time....and that never actually happened. After I shoot off that text message, I get a reply saying that something like that would be an in-person discussion. Fine. Let's discuss. Tuesday will be when we are having a little chat about all this. Then something happens. Like a goddamn miracle. Suddenly, they have new clients that are showing up. There are 3, no, 4 within the next 24 hours to follow up with. Oh look, they booked one already on Tuesday morning, another on Thursday, and an email to follow up with a parent for another. And there's 1 more on top of that. On Tuesday, I'm still talking about the full time position. I've realized that this profession does not give a F*CK about it's workers and I need a couple thousand hours in the field before I can take my LICSW and then have my own business. So this is the start of the 180. Instead of going slow, I'm going to just say 'fuck it' and go full-time, get my hours done. Grind for like a year and a half. Get my upped license. And then I'll do WHATEVERTHEFUCKIWANT. Oh, and I QUIT THE HOSPITAL. I had my dentist appointment on Friday. I have another one in 3 weeks and then after that, I can QUIT the MARKET TOO. And lastly is the weightloss. I've been doing heavy lifts for over a year now and I've lost.... zero pounds. Can I do 100+ pound rows, 100+ pound bench-presses, leg machines that are maxed or close to it? Hundreds of reps when the trainer wants to challenge me and I BEAT her goddamn challenge and it pisses her off? Yes. But I have lost ZERO pounds. What is the point of being the Hulk if I just look like some fat f*ck? So another 180 I'm doing: Cardio. Instead of lifted being the focus, I'm going back to being a cardio bunny. I'm going to still do some lifts but what's important is burning those hundreds of thousands of calories. And before anyone says, 'Oh jeez, you can't burn ___' or 'you re-eat the calories' or whatever other gym factoid people wanna say: doing whole30 and daily cardio was what had me lose 120+ pounds. Well I've gone back and forth with whole30 but I feel if I make this cardio commitment then I'll also do the whole30 commiment. So how's that? Applying to go full time because F*CK that woman. Quitting a job and about to quit another one. And completely revamping my exercise and about to go nazi-esk strict on my eating. Because I am SOOOOOOOOOOOOO DONE with looking and feeling and acting like this.
  11. Honestly I don't even know what messenger I should use at this point. This new job wants me to log on to facebook to find clients and I haven't been on that f*cking thing in like 2 years and I'm not sure if I even know the login information. Come Tuesday, we'll see. Making a new challenge thread right now so I'll update that. Mmmmhmmm. How hard is it to get a job that ISN'T a load of bullshit and the work is the *only* thing you have to actually worry about? New challenge incoming....
  12. So I'm currently at my new job, waiting for a client who is not going to show up (22 minutes late). I figured I mine as well stay the full hour before I ditch. I fell off the wagon. Hard. I had a really really bad bout of depression. I didn't want to move at all. I was stressed out about the hospital job and was looking forward to quitting it. But I also was looking forward to picking up clients at the new job (the one I'm at currently). And it all sort of bubbled up to the surface on Monday. Monday was a holiday and it was my last scheduled day for the hospital job. I should have been estatic: just a few more hours and I never have to come back here. But the problem is that this new job....is fucking empty. I was promised back in July that there would be TONS of clients and people would come rolling in. Then 2 weeks later I was told that it is less in the summer but before the end of August, I'll have a full 15-20+ clients a week and I'll be doing great! Then August came and I was told that when the school year starts in late August and the season changes, there will be more people because of the upcoming holidays and impending stress of the fall-into-winter season. Then last week I was told that there aren't any clients yet but I could join a random facebook group and try to start hunting for clients to get. It says in the paperwork/contract that I signed that *they* were getting me clients. I have one. ONE. And she didn't even show up today so I'm sitting here like a jackass with nothing to show for it. I'm so fucking frustrated. I had two jobs that wanted to hire me and I waited and took the closer local one because it seemed like a better fit. What good is the 'fit' of the atmosphere if I literally get 1 hour of work EVERY TWO WEEKS and they expect me to somehow find my own people to do sessions with. Explain to me what the fuck is the point of you charging these people $100/hour and me getting half that (and then contractor taxes takes a bunch of that so it's more like $40) if no one even show up? I would glady take less pay and, you know, get hours that count towards my license and can make money. The whole point is that I do the actual work of sessions with a client and that's how I get the $50, and THEY figure out the insurance and book clients so that's how they get their $50.....but they want me to find clients now as well? If I do the sessions AND find the clients..... Despite this, I talked to a woman who is related to someone I work with at a different job and she has been begging to work with me. I told her because of insurace coverage, that I can't, but if the company expands and takes more insurances then I would let her know. Well 2 weeks ago I was told that HURRAY, we now take 2 more insurances. One of those was 1 that the woman had. So I was so happy - I called her up, told her that we expanded and are taking her insurance, I believe, and that I needed to get her insurance card information. I could forward it to the department that processes this stuff and we could see about it. The woman was overjoyed. Kept thanking me. Saying this would help her so much because she knows she needs mental health. I forward the information: I'm told that we *don't* take *that* insurance, because it's a sub-type that we don't do. So you're going to tell me, 'We take United Health' and then I find someone with United Health, then collect the information and I'm told that we don't that that *TYPE* of United Health? What the actual fuck is happening? I get to call back to woman who is now crushed and explain that, no, we don't take the specific type of that insurance. I collect some more info and as we're talking, she's telling me that she has been on a wait-list for over 3 months and no one calls her back and she's so miserable and she trusts me and knows that I know her situation and wants so badly to work with me and I have to just feel shitty about it. I want to work with her. She wants to work with me. But the government is like, 'Nah, instead she can rot for months and get no help'. I fucking hate this with every fiber of my being. This woman clearly does need help and my hands are tied because this company doesn't have the right sub-type of insurance. I started thinking back to the other job: the one that I turned down and how they said they work with the poor and that there's tons of people that need help. Might be a crap-shoot but I'm going to contact that and see if they are still looking because where I'm at now sucks. I like my supervisor. She's nice and helpful and very knowledgable and between that and this job being 20 minutes away and having my own office, it felt like a slam dunk. Once I thought this job was going to be 'the' job, my attitude changed completely and then I was coming and posting on here. That black cloud that hung over me for years suddenly went away. But the past week and a half-ish, that cloud came back. This feels fucking hopeless. I went and got a goddamn bachelor's degree, and master's degree, and license, I pay these fees for malpractice insurance and it leads to: August 2022: A nursing home where I'm told that I can work with all these people, but then because of insurances I'm able to work with a grand total of 5 people, and 4 of those 5 people score so low on the BIMS (an orientation/dementia scoring tool) that I can't work with them... so I get to work with ONE person in a nursing home of 40. I get lucky and the nurses say that someone else needs special attention and I advocate to work with them and I get to...but that's still just 2 people a week... January - being lied to about what the job even is at the hospital and I'm just harassed by E.R. pages, doctors who don't know how to put in consults, and medication prescription shit. I'm a receptionist-monkey just juggling a bunch of shit. This isn't therapy or social work: it's a fucking desk jockey job where I print papers and feel stressed out because of how EVERYTHING is an emergency. July - This new job where I'm near home and told I'll get AAAALLLLLLLLLLL these clients and I'm sitting here at the start of September with a single client who just no-showed me and I'm told *I* need to find my own clients, but the one that I did find I can't even fucking work with. I'm giving this place one more week. And I'm contacting the other job I didn't take to see what is available. I don't want to jump through that other place's hoops only to get 1 or 2 clients though so I just feel so incredibly defeated. I need some sort of guarantee in writing that I'll get at least a dozen clients or something. My creativity is completely shot so I haven't worked on any of my vampire cannibal monster army. I've just been playing Skyrim and eating my feelings and feeling so fucking worthless right now. So this past Monday was all the above shit sort of rolled up into one goddamn pity-party for myself where I feel like a fat useless twat that spent so many years and so many thousands of dollars for this education with nothing to fucking show for it. I'm going food shopping tomorrow and I'm doing an actual whole30 instead of these half-assed things that I give up on. I need to turn something around in my life because right now I'm just drive-into-a-fucking-tree levels of depressed. That's why I haven't posted on here. I notice that ON-ME and OFF-ME are two different people. OFF-ME is the depressed version that eats junk, watches youtube, and plays videogames. ON-ME is creative and wants to do art projects and post on the forums and socialize. I guess I'm frustrated enough with the client no-show that it kicked me in the ass to post this. I'm packing my laptop up and heading back home. I'm going to write up a food shopping list and do some cleaning to at least feel somewhat useful today. At least I went to the gym and hit new PRs for some things so maybe I'll write that real quick: Hip Adduction (The legs opening machine): 260 lb. (maximum on machine) Hip Abduction (Legs closing machine): 170lb. (+10) Leg Press: 280lb (+20) Calf Raises: 280lb (+20) Sumo Squat: 280lb (+20) Leg Curl: 100lb (4 sets so +1 set of 10) Leg Raise: 100lb (4 sets so +1 set of 10) Alright, 12:56 now. I'm out of here.
  13. + + + So these ghouls were phase 1. They are the footsoldiers, but they do not make an army. Up next is going to be tackling the Crypt Flayers. Taken directly from the codex: Crypt Flayers haunt the night, soaring through the sky like dark shadows above the battlefield. With keen eyes they pick out enemies in the gloom below, and their powerful nostrils latch onto the waft of fear. Swooping down with lightning speed, they snatch hapless victims off their feet, sinking their fangs into their captives even as they soar back into the air. Crypt Flayers are born when the blood of monsters flows freely on the feasting table. On such fell nights, an Abhorrent Ghoul King might bestow a horrific transformation upon his servants. The deranged sovereign mixes his blood with terrorgheist flesh and necrotic fluids, and those ghouls who sup on this concoction are twisted into new and terrifying shapes. A layer of writhing skin grows around the ghoul, and then from this fleshy sack a Crypt Flayer emerges into the realms. After being reborn in this way, the enchantments bestowed upon the Crypt Flayers take full hold, transforming them into dark predators. Growing huge and twisted, Crypt Flayers gain the added nightmare growth of leathery wings. Their claws elongate, spines burst from their backs and their eyes glow stronger to pierce the murk and gloom of battle. No longer bound to the earth, they take to the skies as airborne scouts and warriors for the court. Ferocious killers, Crypt Flayers wheel through the air above their king's domain, sniffing the wind for juicy hunting grounds. Those of who are seen as most noble by their cannibal kindred are called Crypt Infernals - taller and stronger than the rest, they lead from the front as shining examples to their 'men'. --- Those that are within the delusion of the Ghoul King are completely and utterly devoted to him and are swept up in his madness that spreads like a sickness of the mind. Those that are deemed worthy enough will drink the Ghoul King's blood, letting them gain more power and deepening that madness between the Ghoul King and his subject(s). The 'terrorgheist', well, that will be for another time. For now, my target is to tackle these Flayer models: There are two things that I really hate about them. #1 is their heads. They look sort of....idk....derpy to me. I feel like if they are going to sprout wings, they should have more bat-like features and a head-swap is in order. #2 is the leader of the pack has an extra set of little teeny baby wings. No bueno. I'm not using those. But this means I'll need a different way to distinguish the leader. I have some ideas I am kicking around but I'm not sure how feasible it is. First up is going to be the color scheme. I love the Kantor Blue that I used on my ghouls, and it only makes sense that the blue is incorporated. It says in the description that they get glowing eyes that are able to see better than average. I think this means that I'm going to keep their eyes instead of milliputting over them. This got me thinking though; I don't want all my army to have the same uniform color, but instead have a thematic colorscheme that ties them together. I also feel that the wing-membrane should be a different color from the skin-tone. In the battletome, they also have alternative color schemes and I noticed one of them had a chest that was one color as an 'underbelly' and the rest of the skin was a different color. Other thoughts in my head are that if they are soaring up in the air and are trying to dive-bomb people, they should be darker. My original plan for the ghoul-sqaud I painted up was debating between purple or blue. Well I think I know where I want to incorporate the purple. I'm thinking if I do a dark deep purple, like almost eggplant colored as the base skin, I have a solid color. Then I can have contrast and incorporate the kantor blue into the wing membrane. Having that dark eggplant purple skintone also means that I can paint glowing eyes and have a really cool contrast with the face being dark and the eyes being bright. (Color though... I'm not sure. If I do blood effects then I wouldn't want red eyes AND red blood on their face so red is a definite no-no. I'm debating green since purple and green have been 'villain' color schemes in culture.) For the 'underbelly', I could again have a chance for contrast by using the kantor blue and lightening it up, making it more like the ghouls skintone and tying them together more thematically. Then, there's the fact that the Crypt Flayers are thought to be the King's 'chosen', so that makes me think they should have either bone-chimes as 'badges' or possibly some random metal trinkets. So overall, my idea for color and tweaking is: I found some dollar cheap fake gold chain in my box-o-stuff so I'm thinking I'll add some 'drip' to some Flayers, and this is the rough idea for the colors I'm thinking. I'm also going to look into my box-o-bits and see if I have any dead bodies lying around or maybe I can make some bones/skulls out of milliputt. --- Also, I have some 'thank god' type of news. I went to the doctor's office and when I last saw him 3ish months ago, he wanted me on TWO medications after being on one wasn't enough. Well.... I never took the second one. I stuck with only 5mg of the first one (which is the smallest dose possible) and I've been eating better and better. Avoiding take-out food for over a month. No candy for a couple months now. I had my doctor's appointment and my blood pressure was 125/80. The head nurse said that was good and my doctor looked at the number and said it was 'EXCELLENT'. Then he started talking about the meds I'm on and I said, "....I never took the other one." I knew it. I fucking KNEW that if I just stuck to eating healthy that I could reverse this and maybe in the near future, I can be off of ANY med.
  14. The ghouls have arrived. Marching forward is one of the oracles, the civilization's healers who have a magnificent staff of glittering gold and threaded with a tapestry on top, or an insect's carapace tail with strips of butchered bloody skin caked together with filth. Beside him, one of the bodyguards decorated in filigreed silver armor and perfectly polished short-sword, or bug shell pauldron and a shiv made from filed down carapace. At the other end, a standard-bearer who has a marble effigy on a long staff, or a skeleton torso picked clean of any meat, using another insect carapace to be propped up. Nearby, one of the esteemed and entrusted 'herders' who is staying watch while near the youngling steeds that will grow up to be big and strong, or the insect nesting brood sacs that are covered with sticky film that get turned into resinous glue. Nearby, one of the honorable protector guard is marching file and rank with his glistening curved scimitar and his arm decorated with badges of honor, or one of the poisonous claws that the insects have being wielded and splinters of bone stabbed through his bicep. Behind him, another of the guard with his mighty warhammer, ready to battle any unhonorable foe, or a savage that is still chewing on a hunk of ripped flesh from a recent kill still dripping from his mouth. In all, they are 20 strong. The proud and noble defending serfs of this land, ready to rise up and protect their glorious king, or a band of blind savage half-naked cannibals wielding pieces of insect chitin bound together with tattered clothes and leather straps by using the sticky brood egg's coating and the burning sun to bind everything together. The ghouls have arrived. And they're hungry...
  15. Cutting out a lot of mindless youtube in the evenings is helping a lot with getting more hobbying stuff done. So I settled on a color scheme that I like: I'm going with a lighter blue (with a darker blue wash) and when I do *another* batch of ghouls, I'll go even lighter since these turned out darker than I wanted. I also will use a purple wash on another batch. I need to do a LOT of ghouls so my plan is to change up what I'm working on after I do a 'batch' of a certain unit type. Right now, I'm obviously doing the footsoldier ghouls and it's in a batch of 20. With the colors figured out, I just started assembly-line painting them, coating one, then coating the next, then looping back around to the first and doing details. I have a mob of 20 ghouls. This is some progress pics of how 1 ghoul gets done: Step 1 is the blue colors and then when dry, hitting it with a blue wash to make it look dirty and less uniform looking. Step 2 is when I pick out the cloth details. All of that is custom made milliputt that I sculpted onto each ghoul. That gets a mournfang brown. Step 3 is when I start painting the insect carapace pieces, like the shell and pincer/leg for weapons. Step 4 which isn't shown because I was so fucking excited that I kept going and didn't take pictures, is picking out the random bone fragments that they have stabbed into their arms and legs. This particular ghoul didn't have of those details, but there's a bunch that do. They use the bone fragments as 'medals of honor'. Step 5 is to do a brown wash on the bone fragments so they look like dirty and old bones that have been there for a while. Step 6 is the galaxy sheen coloring I do on the bug carapace. Step 7 is BLOOD. Step 8 is gluing them all onto the little round bases. Step 9 is adding some elmer's glue and sand to the bases to give it texture, and then painting the sand/rock. I'm currently going with a deep gray to sort of offset the colors of the ghouls themselves. Also I feel like their environment is in underground tunnels so it would make sense thematically to give them all 'tunnel/rock' bases to be on. Step 10 is covering all the ghouls with a hard-coat so the paint doesn't rub off. I went with a matte finish because a gloss would make them look almost wet and I think that wouldn't work. Step 11 is painting the rims of all of the bases black. I will be having finished product coming soon, but the bigger question for me is: what do I start working on NOW?
  16. After the battle, some of the survivors started to convulse. It appeared that the insects had a poisonous bite and those that were injured but weren't killed in the initial melee were infected. The infection would spread and as it coursed through their systems, would cause blindness. Most would recover from the infection and not die, but were left with severely damaged eyesight. The tools that were used for drilling and fighting were repurposed to crack open and preserve fragments and segments of the insect carapace. The outer chitin was bound together with strips of cloth and then the sticky coating from the eggs were used as a resin glue. Baked through the magnifying glass of the Aqshy sun, these mere rags soaked in glue became tougher than leather armors: now the Court had suits of armor to wear for battle. The eggs of the insects were segmented off into other sections of the tunnels and turned into birthing pens. They were to be raised as a continual food source and weaponry for war. ---- Here is a comparison of what the 'regular' ghouls look like: And here's what mine as looking like right now: Instead of the weird back fur, I chopped all that off and have cut up some tyranid bits to act as the insects from my story. Here's a bunch of them. I painted the bug carapace in deep blue and also deep purple. (1), (2), and (5) are all just a base coat of that deep blue. (3), (4), (6), and (7) are me experimenting with a galaxy colorshift paint on top. I wanted to give the shells a sheen and also have that sort of insect wing light refracting look. You can also see that I smushed milliput into their eyes before I did the painting so they all have almost vestigial eye sockets because of their time in the caves combined with the insect's venomous bite-infections. In pictures (1) and (4), I used milliputt to create leather straps to cover ghoul asses and also act as straps around the chest to keep the carapace 'armor' on them. I've been experimenting with different washes as well. The blue wash that I did on the already light blue skin made them darker than I want them to be, so I'll either have to use 1) less wash 2) a different wash 3) change the basecoat of skin to not have any blue to compensate for this. However, it's not a big deal because even though they are a whole civilization that will, through generations remain mostly underground, that doesn't mean they all have the *exact* same skintone, so as long as they have a blue 'gradient' of skintones, I think it works for them. I'm going to pick out all the cloth bits and paint them brown, the carapace will be a purple base coat and then the colorshift sheen on top, variations of blue wash, and then I can start adding blood and putting them on bases so that'll be my next pictures. I'm currently trying all sorts of colors and gluing bits and adding milliput sculpting all over the place between 20 ghouls so now that I have a rough formula for what I want to do, I can sort of batch-paint these guys and have a cohesive little mob of savage cannibals pretty damn quickly. So I wrote up my notes and the note was submitted through the account THEY gave me (which was a temporary one) so although I filled it out fine, it all had to be redone in *my* new account so after some back and forth about drop-down menus and what to put in certain spots, I had a solid note written up. Now that I have this under my belt, future notes will be easier. I made a step-by-step tutorial word document so I can follow that from now on to make it more efficient and easier for me. We talked about future goals in our session and I explained that I obviously needed more clients. She said with the fall, people will come rolling in. For some reason people take the summer 'off' from mental health and then all rush back in the fall: she even changes her work out between summer and the rest of the year because of what a shift it makes. (This would have been nice to know a month earlier so I wasn't freaking out about getting clients, but whatever.) Along with more clients, I stated that I wanted a variety of different cases: different age groups, orientations, beliefs, personality disorders, etc. I told her that I wanted to be able to master therapy and be able to handle any client that comes my way. I also said that I was interested in learning about all the major modalities, like CBT, DBT, Narrative Therapy, PTSD/Trauma Informed Care, etc. She said she has about 10+ years with trauma care and we got into a big conversation about trauma and how it is, quite literally, stored in the body. Yoga and weight lifting is able to reset the circuitry in the body and help it heal itself so I talked about how I was interested in also getting some sort of personal trainer license. She apparently had a yoga license and does yoga with some patients so this just got me thinking: I may indeed have one of my dream goals of being BUFF THERAPIST.
  17. Feeling good this morning. Checked in with 10 or so people and I feel like I'm socializing more. I really need to check in more often, because when I see a post from over a week ago and the topic has changed, I'm just like: We're talking about burpees now! GET WITH THE PROGRAM! Anywho, this weekend has been going well. The next 3 weekends will be my final 3 weekends at the hospital job. Dreading it but at the same time, I can think, "Yeah, only 2.5 times left....only 2 times left...only 1.5 times left" as the clock ticks on. I can only give so much of a shit. Other news: had my first client and was nervous as hell. I went so far as to not eat anything for 5 hours before the session. I thought to myself, "What would be more embarassing: to have a stomach hunger growl while in session, or to have gurgle guts because I'm about to have explosive shits?" The answer, is that I'd rather be hungry than about to explode so that's the choice I made. Afterwards, my supervisor came in and asked me to explain the whole case. I went to shut the door and she went, "oh no it's fine, everyone else left for the day so it's just us". Obviously, HIPAA compliance I can't explain a lot of what the session was, but it was related to anxiety and a lot of being pulled around many different directions and how to cope with that. My client never did therapy before so I explained it as if we were in a car together and I'm Siri: you are the driver and are in control, but you want directions for 'better mental health' or 'help processing grief' or 'anxiety reduction' and I'm telling you how to get there. Overall we work as a team, and there might be detours and backed up traffic, and there might even be a point where the destination changes to something else that you'd rather work on; but overall this is a road that we travel and learn along the way. I gave some 'homework' between now and the next session, as well as a charted route for what I think would work best and the client agreed and was really interested in it. I explained this all to my supervisor and I explained what I thought the deeper issues were and according to her, paraphrasing, I hit the nail on the head, knew exactly what was going on, the homework and the plan moving forward was great, and she loved the explanation I used for therapy and she might use that with new clients as well to help explain it all. So this was a bull's eye, 100% hit, perfect, whatever you wanna call it. As for my guts and my initial feelings of this job: I have this weekend to write up my casenotes and on Tuesday, I'm meeting with my supervisor to go over the system (how to input it all) and any questions I have with the system. She also intends to talk about what my future goals are, which there are many (first of which is getting MORE clients sooner rather than later to make up for the hospital job quitting). I also have my 2nd dentist appointment on Monday and after that, I *could* technically quit my other job since it hinged on getting this appointment done while I had insurance. But I think I'll hold onto it for a little bit until more clients come in. The next few weeks are going to suck with the hospital job but I have a handle on it. OH! I also saw this: It was alright. I think it's better than a few of the other recent movies I've seen (I watch a LOT of trash...). I didn't find it scary, though it markets itself as a horror movie. I won't go into spoilers: I just think that the crew should have been....smarter...than they were. I also decided to watch Morbius. So I ended up seeing two movies about vampires in the same week. I don't know...maybe the FleshEater Courts art project is starting to rub off on me. I can do an actual review of Morbius and Last Voyage in the next post (with spoilers), but honestly, despite all the memes and shit that Morbius got, it wasn't much worse than the generic Marvel movie and I actually laughed and had a good time watching it. I wish he actually said, 'IT'S MORBIN' TIME!' though.
  18. and that's the reason people don't go to the gym when they know they should. I've learned over the years to not give a shit but there are plenty of fat people who know and *feel* those thoughts are around. --- Hope you're feeling better soon. Kick covid's ass.
  19. When I start talking shit about myself and beating myself up over near-impossible standards, I try to remind myself that stress = cortisol and that = weight gain, so beating myself up will only make it worse and I need to just do the best I can with what I have....which is already what I'm doing. It helps me circle back around to realizing that being mean only hurts more, it doesn't motivate. I mean, you've been dealing with straight up burn-out for like, how many months now? You're doing your best and I hope you find something else to replace what job you currently have because it hasn't done you any favors as long as I've known you.
  20. There was a cheesy movie showing at a local theature and it was fun as hell. Then covid hit and they disappeared. It was a shame, I liked it way more than going to a more current movie experience because a bunch of people had already seen it and there was more engagement. Was wondering where you were and you're on the previous challenge list!
  21. The original bikes that I saw that were fat tire and hybrid were fine for off-roading but not ok to use on streets because of the speed (under 40mph) and because of the mirrors that were attached. The mirrors would be something that can be replaced, but unless I went through a lengthy process to essentially 'overclock' the motor to handle 40 mph, I wouldn't be able to use it for doing small errands like food shopping or visiting someone and staying off the highway. + --- For the books
  22. YUP. That's what I meant - it's justification I've told people what else was going on in the same breath of what they were doing so they were aware that it's in the 'queue' of what I'm doing but it's not going to happen right away. It helps put things in perspective depending on the person. I was doing that in secure-chats at the hospital. "Well I have two E.R. calls that are pending and related to abuse cases and there is the paperwork for a patient on 4b that needs wrapping up but I'll check in with so-and-so in the near future as I'm handling these other things." It can shut some people up...... some. - Fingers crossed for finding a different job
  23. Weather rarely cooperates for me during the summer because summer is an asshole. How's it going?
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