A Little Slip Of Hope

7:10 PM Posted In , , Edit This 0 Comments »
Over the weekend, a really good friend of mine bought be a present. I didn't know what to expect when I was told I was getting one. So I was surprised when I was handed a small slip of paper. When I looked to see what it was, I saw it was a lottery ticket. A mega millions ticket where the estimated jackpot is $94,000,000. You're probably thinking big deal? Right? Well, you're wrong.

This lottery ticket expresses hope to me. Realistically I know that I have a snow ball's chance in hell of winning. I know that I don't deserve to win that much money either. But to me, this lottery ticket gives me a little bit hope. I have a little slip of paper that could possibly change my life. I have a chance that might enable me to make my dreams and the dreams of others come true. It may be a minuscule chance, but a little something has to be better than nothing?

You know what means more to me than the chance of winning? Yesterday was my first day of expressing how I truly felt. I was honest, raw, emotional, I was every thing I wanted to be! I was given this ticket on my first day of being me. It almost felt as if it said "Congratulations on making it through your first day. For just being you." This ticket gives me hope, it shows me that even though the odds are against me, I could just win. The odds are against me in most aspects of my life but there is a chance that something, somewhere is going to give. That I will win a battle!

I'm already winning a battle too. I'm fighting against being so unemotional all the time. I'm fighting against not being who everyone wants me to be. It's difficult not throwing on a fake smile or hiding how I really feel. Right now though, I'm dead dog tired, it's been a long and emotional past few days. But I feel I've made a lot of breakthroughs. I have reached inside myself and in a way that has helped me to reach out with others.

Me and my little lottery ticket of hope are going to hope. We're going to hope that my life changes, whether or not I win. We're going to hope that I am able to consistently make changes that positively impact me first of all, others second. I've put other people's needs in front of mine for so long now it has caused damage. It is time for that to change, the change is coming for me. I'm not going to be the same girl who I was last week. And next week I am not going to be the same girl who I am this week. I am going to change, evolve, and become the woman I want to be.

I also never thought of the 28th of a month as a particularly lucky number, but now I do. I just remembered the reason why I think my Grandpa waited until April 28th to die. April 27th is my half birthday and he was the one who celebrated it with me. I would get a little card or a phone call wishing me a happy half Birthday. It was our little thing, our little secret that no one else cared about. And even though he couldn't call to wish me a happy 18 1/2 birthday, he stayed alive for it. He waited until early in the morning of the 28th to die. I honestly think he knew how much it meant to me. Even though I couldn't be there with him in his final hours, he knew. I don't think he could let himself die on our secret day. And on my lottery ticket, the first number is 28. It feels like a sign to me.

I'm going to save this lottery ticket no matter what.


Becoming Erika

8:10 AM Posted In , , Edit This 0 Comments »
After being awake all night from a bout of insomnia, I've made a lot of decisions. A lot of final decisions, meaning no ifs, ands, or buts. Starting today, I'm going to be me. If I feel happy, darn it all I'm going to be happy! If I feel sad, well I may just shed a tear or two and be sad. If I'm angry, I'm going to let all of that rage flow through and out of me. If I don't feel good, I might say something because I'm tired of putting on the happy face when I feel like I am going to fall over. I want to start being the person I feel on the inside.

I've tried to embrace this idea before. Sometimes it lasts for a couple of days, a couple of weeks, or at best, a couple of months. But this time around I'm going to try hard so that it sticks. I've got a lot of baggage that I need to work through and eventually let go of. I cannot let pain and hate impact my life as much as it does. I can't be afraid of the past or the future. I have to move on with my head held high, telling myself every day to "Just be me." A person cannot be expected to be brave every single day of their life. Why do people expect me to do that?

I know there are going to be some people out there who will not be happy with this. They will say "What's up with your mood?" Well world, however I am acting when you see me is what I am feeling. I'm going to learn how to wear my heart on my sleeve. I am going to see that in tears there are strength because with each tear, I'm letting go a little piece of pain. With less pain, I'll be stronger emotionally, physically, heck maybe even mentally? Eventually I will become the person who I can be proud of. It won't matter what other people think because this is my journey.

And I have a fabulous new friend to thank for helping me to start this journey. For inspiring me, for encouraging me, and for helping me to believe that it's all going to be ok. I'm not that great with emotions or with words, I don't even know why I have this blog. But I think this blog is a good thing because it captures these moments in my life. It takes my random thoughts and records them. I hope that many years from now I can look back and read this. I'm not going to remember this experience unfortunately. That's kind of why I have this blog I think. More importantly, that's why I have friends, to remind me of who I really am. And one day to remind me of how far I have truly come.

Here's my first raw moment of being me. I'm crying which is something I wouldn't normally do. I just have a few tears streaming down my face. It's ok though, it's all going to be ok because I'm being me. And it's the 28th and every month I miss a family member who passed long ago. He was the person who I was closest to in my family. And the funny thing was, we weren't even related by blood. But he saw me as one of his own grandchildren. He told me his life stories, he helped to make my life better when he didn't have to. We were unbelievably close. We were so close that when he died, it was his wish that I did the eulogy.

The other night I was in World Market with my Mom. I wanted to see if they had any sugar free candies (I keep hoping for a sugar free Galaxy bar). As I passed an aisle, I saw that they had little fruit flavored candies from France that came in a metal tin. La Vie Pastillines to be precise. Grandpa always had lemon flavored ones and he kept them in the side storage compartment on the passenger side of the car. I remember getting in the car and the first thing he would do was open up that small tin. I know the acidic bite on my palate mixed with a hint of sweetness and lemon extract all too well. I remember if I had more than two, I would have those little burn spots in my mouth. He also loved Werther's Original caramel candies. The funny thing is, I never liked them. But I pretended I liked them because I wanted to be like my Grandpa. Every now and again I'll get a craving for one, I can taste it in my mind. I remember the sound of the wrapper as I opened it, quietly crinkling under my small fingers. The smoothness of the cold, hard candy against my tongue. How it slowly melted away and coated my throat. How the last little bit always ends up getting stuck on a tooth and I had to pry it off with my tongue.

I don't remember a lot about my childhood, but most of my memories are those that were spent with my Grandpa. And I'm thankful that I remember them. They are moments I can never get back but cherish for as long as I can remember. I think he would be really proud of me if he could see me today. I may not have a college degree or a fabulous job. But I'm standing up for myself, I'm becoming the young woman he would be proud to say was his granddaughter.


Listen Up Lupus!

7:48 PM Posted In Edit This 0 Comments »
Dear Lupus,
I know that you love taking residence in my body. As much as I detest your presence I am unfortunately stuck with you. I wish you would just pack up and leave, in the same way that allergies do every spring. I know my body is all warm, comfy, and let's face it, dysfunctional. I understand that it's a mansion to you and you rule the roost. Well guess what? If I had my way, I would have kicked you out on the street eons ago.

Since we have to live together for as long as we both shall live, we might as well have some ground rules. First of all, you are no longer allowed to give me crazy lesions in my mouth and throat. I know you love destroying my mouth and my dentist loves you for it. But you need to stop, now. Second of all, bug off with the rashes. I truly do appreciate the fact that you do not take residence on my face. But the fabulous rash I'm rocking on my arm is really making me rethink wearing that short sleeved shirt I was planning to wear on Saturday. Of course you just don't care. How about my joints? If you want to make the joints in my fingers hurt, let's try one hand at a time. That way I can still do things with the other hand. If you want to make my knees feel like they are going to disconnect from my thighs and calves, do it on a day when I'm not working. Oh and enough with the dearn twitching! I really do not appreciate the sudden and very random electrical pulses that flow through my body. I look like an idiot when it happens. I know there are some things I can't get rid of, like kidney infections, digestive difficulties, and heart issues. Just give me a break on everything else.

I'm learning to live with you, Lupus. I'm appreciating my good days and understanding my bad ones. I give you as much rest as I can afford while leading a somewhat normal life. I'm trying to do everything I can to accommodate your lengthy visit. We might as well go to Vegas and get married at this point. I don't want you to rule my life and I tell people that you don't. Truthfully, you do. You own me, every dearn part of me. I wish you didn't, I wish I could be normal like I used to be. I also know I am extremely lucky and I should be thankful for each day I'm alive. Some days I'm not, I know it sounds rude and inconsiderate to you. But some days you make me wish I could just go ahead and die. Somewhere though, deep down inside of me, something forces me to keep going. Despite the complications you inflict on me, I am better than you. I will not give up just because you make me miserable. I will not give you that satisfaction.

I want us to get along. Do you think one day we could be friends? If you start to be respectful of me and my body, I'll respect you as a disease. Life is about compromise you know? You think you could start to compromise with me? I hope you are listening to me and I'm not wasting my time. I'm just hoping for the one day when I'll be completely OK.


I love crabcakes, chocolate tarts, me!

12:50 PM Posted In , , Edit This 0 Comments »
I had an absolutely amazing weekend! I've been working so hard here lately to get my life back. I have a job, even if it is only part time and temporary. I'm trying to figure out a new career path that will work with my body instead of against it. I'm also figuring out what my body can and cannot handle. Being outside, even in the shade, with sunscreen, for two days in a row makes my body very unhappy. I'm extremely photosensitive the sun literally makes me sick. It started with a lovely rash on my chest on Saturday night, pointed out by a friend. I was too busy being social and having fun to pay attention to it. Now my body is feeling really grossed out, everything is aching down to the core. But that's the price I pay to act my age!

I also want to say that I have the best friends ever. Everyone says it but I really do! I'm so thankful for the few people I share my life with. I've been a social butterfly before, had tons of friends, but then when they going gets tough, they up and leave. But I know now that if the going ever gets tough with me again, my friends will stand by me. I also hope that they know I will always be there for them. I will take whatever issues I have with myself and shove them away to be by their side. I have one friend in particular who has been extremely supportive over the past month or so. Each time we hang out, I get to know her more. She likes to think of herself as "the cool Mom" but I think of her as the cool friend with a heart of gold.

This weekend it was all about the food. I talked about food, cooked food, tweeted about food, it was foodyliscious! It reminded me of my good ol' days, working in kitchens, my life revolved around food. I was never tired, never sick, and everything seemed to be perfect. I dream about foods I wish I could eat again. But I know every food I eat has consequences and I have to weigh the pros and cons. I saw a delicious recipe for a chocolate tart and just about fell out in the kitchen. I also have the urge to one day make it to New York and eat my way through it. It will probably be 20 years from now when I have money, when I'm fixed up, and I may even have someone to go with me at that point. A girl has got to have dreams right?

I love my friends, I love my life (even when I say I don't), I love this blog. It's all so random but it's me and I'm about as random as they get. Crabcakes anyone? I love the fact that after a couple of years of being sick, most days I'm feeling better. I love that I am trying to be more social and I am actually feeling ok with it. I love that I'm getting used to my body and even when it's constantly attacking itself. I love that my life with lupus is never normal, every day is completely different with challenges I never thought I would face. I love knowing that one day I'm going to really be able to live and be free. I love that I have hope for a future, a future that wasn't supposed to be.

Most of all, I love the fact that I'm slowly becoming the person I want to be. It may not be the person I dreamed about in the past. It may not be what everyone wants me to be. But my happiness depends on me and not on anyone else. I am making my own happiness and I love that.


P.S.- Even though I love my life, I still want to crawl under a rock. I need a bucket of anti-inflammatories to pull me out of this one.

Go Eat A Hot Pocket Already!

5:39 PM Posted In , Edit This 4 Comments »
I hate my body. I hate, hate, hate, hate, hate, hate, HATE myself. Everyone tells me "You're lucky to be alive." On days like this, I don't care if I'm alive or not. I hate the fact that I have days that I really look forward to, like a special occasion. It's on those days that my body has to screw up, act up, and be an all around pain. It's on those days that if anything can go wrong, it will go wrong, forcing me to have to cancel my plans. I hate my body for doing this to me because it used to be normal. Believe it or not, a long time ago, I used to not be sick and I remember those days. I remember what it felt like to go through an entire day, not feeling pain or being sick to my stomach. I remember what it was like to not have a full body ache where I feel like I can't think or put one foot in front of the other. I just want to be able to do what I used to do but I can't because I have the world's stupidest body.

What makes matters worse is when people talk to me like I'm three years old. When someone says "Are you sure you feel like going?" It makes me second guess myself, it makes me think that I actually cannot do something. Words are powerful, they affect people physically, mentally, and emotionally. When someone talks to me like I'm three, it affects all aspects of my being. I know I have the memory of a gold fish. I know I look like I'm 12 years old. I know that most days I feel dirt and on my really bad days I feel worse than most people will ever feel. But what makes matters worse is when people talk down to me. If you know me and talk to me, don't talk down to me. I will never, ever talk down to you so please treat me with the same amount of respect. I am not a child, I am a full grown adult who unfortunately lives with illnesses that restrict my life. But these illness do not make me mentally incompetent. To exacerbate the situation, people get mad at me when I get an attitude about it. Well, excuse me but I guess that makes me a toddler who talks back!

I know I sound like a whining brat right now. I just wanted to go to Super Target so bad. I didn't have any money to spend there either. I just wanted to hang out with my sister and our friend Michelle. I think Michelle is tons of fun, she lets me come over and play video games that I don't have. She talks to me about cooking, how cool is that?! I was so looking forward to seeing this amazing Super Target that I heard so much about. I was wondering if it was maybe two stories? I was wondering if it carried more things than the normal Target that is in my area? I was so curious and excited and then my body had to go and act stupid. What made it worse was being talked down to. I might have been able to go if I had just been talked to like an adult. Maybe I don't deserve to be talked to like I'm actually the age that I am? Who knows, it's one of those things I'll never understand.

I guess it's a good thing that I stayed home. My stomach is killing me, I have a tickle in the back of my throat. And because my stomach is upset, I'm afraid to cough. I'm lightheaded and my head hurts. So maybe it's a good thing that I didn't go? I will spend my night here, at home, in my bedroom like I do every other night of the week. I can't go out and act my age because my body won't let me. It doesn't matter how many pills I take, I'll never be normal. I may look completely normal most days but on the inside I'm not normal. I will never be able to say I'm healthy because I live with illnesses that can be treated but never cured. I will never be the same girl I was before I got sick. My life is forever different and I just wish it could be different for better reasons than this.

So here are some new rules that I am implementing in my life. If you are someone who is in my life, LISTEN UP!
  1. I'm trying to be the best person I can be. It's incredibly hard. It's much harder than you think to be me. A lot of people think my life is easy because I am sick, switch bodies with me and you'll quickly change your mind. It's hard to look and act normal especially when you feel less than normal.
  2. I'm sorry that I'm sick so much but I cannot help it. If I could, I would! I hate the way I feel most days but I have to suck it up with a smile on my face. And some days, like today, I can't smile because I'm beyond sick, get over yourself and cut me some slack.
  3. When you talk to me like I'm a toddler, it hurts me. It is degrading and I don't deserve to be treated like this. You may not even realize that you are treating me this way and when I point it out to you, don't act all offended. Especially when I've already pointed it out to you numerous times.
  4. I don't complain unless I absolutely have to. I complain when I feel like I am at the point of no return. I complain when my life has gone to complete crap and there is nothing more I can do to fix it in a decent amount of time. I try to stay positive but it's difficult when everything around you caves in and you have no way of getting out. Every day something goes wrong with me, something that may not be able to be fixed. Or if it can be, I don't have to the resources (like money) to fix it (just ask me about my mouth that my body is attacking, seriously). Today is one of those complaining days.
  5. You will never understand what it is like to be me. Just like I will never understand what it is like to be you. Unfortunately you do not have the ability to switch bodies with me. You don't have the power to walk in my shoes. Don't say you understand because in all honesty, you don't. So please don't try to compare your life to mine, it will never compare. Please don't say "You're sorry..." about a certain issue I'm enduring. Because 99.9% more than one thing is wrong with me at a certain time. I'm just not going to say anything about it because I don't want to be a Debbie Downer.
Well, I'm feeling like a frozen Hot Pocket which equals death. If one has ever consumed a Hot Pocket, you know what I'm talking about. If you eat a Hot Pocket, be prepared to not feel your taste buds for three days. Be ready to call out of work three hours after consuming the Hot Pocket. Buy toilet paper and Pepto Bismol along with your Hot Pocket. If you have a death wish or need to lose a few pounds before a date, eat a Hot Pocket. In case you've ever wondered what the atomic bomb would feel like in your gastro-intestinal tract, eat a Hot Pocket. I feel like I've just eaten a Hot Pocket, except I haven't because I'm not that dumb.

If I Couldn't Fail?

4:51 PM Posted In , , , Edit This 0 Comments »
So... I know I went AWOL and I apologize to all of my faithful readers. It isn't that life has been busy, I simply have not felt like writing. I think that most bloggers have their own periods of absence because that is the way life works. I haven't been inspired to write, or to even create art! I've been pretty down in the dumps until recently. Drum roll please... I have a job! Now before you go jumping on your bed, hitting your head on the ceiling, and ending up with a concussion, let me tell you the deal. It's temporary and I'm a floater, I come in to work as needed. I'm working at a local business that is right down the street from where I live which is convenient for me. I'm hoping that somehow, someway I will become permanent because of my lovely work ethic. I worked my first day on Friday and I was surprised that I was able to last for 7 hours!

I've had a quote in my mind for the past few weeks. I think about it day in and day out and right now it means so much to me. "What would you do if you knew you could not fail?" This quote is by Robert H. Schuller who was an American televangelist who created the Hour of Power. Now I am not a fan of church on television, but I'm a big fan of this quote. What would I do if I knew I wouldn't fail? I would pack up shop, go down to Panama and do mission work. I would take odd jobs to make ends meet, I would then spend the rest of the time helping others. I would work at churches and schools in the area, helping the youth to become everything they can be. I would tutor, build, inspire, care, I would do it all! Now I'm not worried about failing at the mission work, but I'm worried about my health. I'm worried that my health would fail, that everything would go to pieces, and I would be too sick to stay down there.

One day though I'm going to make it back down there. I have a lot of stuff I have to get worked on first. I need to get everything fixed and under control before I take such a big risk. I can't leave the country with my life constantly changing. I need to get sealed, sewed, covered, capped, replaced, and so much more. It seems like every day something in me is falling apart or breaking, every day it's something that may not be able to be fixed. And every day I'm expected to keep going with a smile on my face when I'm facing failure. Every day a little part of me fails and I have to be chipper about it. I don't have a choice but to go on without complaining too much. Seriously, the only time I really complain about my health is on this blog.

Some days, well most days actually, I want to scream because I want life to be fair. I want to be normal, happy, healthy, I don't want my crappy genetics and auto-immune disorders. I want to be the person who can get by with a couple of Tylenol every few months. I want to be able to get by with just brushing my teeth without flossing or mouth wash. I want to be able to forget about the sun when I go outside. I want to be my age instead of feeling like I'm middle aged! I want to be normal, or at least what I think normal should be.

Y'all want some more happy news? My Dad has talked to me (or at me) a lot here lately. On Friday night when I got home from work, I got invited out to dinner with my parents which never usually happens. He talked to me in the car, at the restaurant, and on the way home. Now were the questions directed towards me? Not really, but it felt like I was able to speak up. Did I say anything of importance? No. Did I tell him how 99.9% of the time he sucks at being a Dad? Nope. I just kept my mouth shut and stayed civilized because I do everything I can to be a good daughter. Maybe he will keep up this good trend? Maybe just maybe he'll become the Dad he used to be and less of the distant man who lives in my house.

I'm really excited about tomorrow, I'm going to the Virginia Holocaust Museum. My Mom and I were supposed to go last summer but we never got around to it. I have been to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington D.C. a couple of times. I have also visited the Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial Site in Munich, Germany. But I have never been to the museum here in Richmond, Virginia. The Holocaust fascinates me, intrigues me, it makes me want to learn more whenever I can. I have a hard time understanding how so many people could allow something like that to happen. I'm fascinated because Hitler made so many people believe in lies, in hate, in destruction, yet at the time they didn't know. They were blind to his agenda that gave so many people a false sense of hope.

I'll try to get back on the posting routine. I hope the adventures in my life will translate into interesting blogs. Thanks for reading!


Life Is Kind Of Funny Like That

6:14 PM Posted In , , Edit This 0 Comments »
Never in my wildest dreams would I have said I wanted a career in the medical field. I never would have dreamed of myself working at a doctor's office or a hospital. But I feel my experiences have changed my way of thinking. I've been seriously considering it and honestly at this point in my life, I can't see myself doing anything else. As much as I am interested in social work, I can't see myself doing it. As much as I understand world religions, I can't see myself telling others what to believe. Sure, I'm amazing when it comes to foreign languages but I just don't see myself teaching them. Maybe it's taken three years of some really tough life experiences in order to figure it out? I'm beginning to think that my time hasn't been wasted. For a while I've felt like my life has been wasted because it's taken so long to get me put back together. But maybe, just maybe that isn't true?

I'm debating between working as a radiology tech, phlebotomist, or having a job in medical administration. Of course all three I would have to go back to school for. Which I don't mind once I get a job and I have money to pay for college. I feel like this is the right career move for me. I feel like for once, I am making a choice that will lead me in the right direction. It will impact not only me but those whom I am able to help in the process. I'm not cut out to do any of the past careers I have thought I could do. But I'm fairly sure I am cut out for this. Of course I will have to wait for the excitement in my heart to die down. I need to be sure that this is what I really want before I act on it.

I had another job interview today. I won't say whether it went good or bad because honestly I don't know. Whenever I think something goes well, it turns out to never end well. If I think something went poorly, usually it ends great. Right now though, I just don't know. Also I'm worried about insurance because mine runs out when I'm 25. I can't afford private insurance on my own either. If I let my insurance lapse, I'll never be able to get insurance again with my pre-existing conditions. My Mom and I are trying to figure out if I can stay on her insurance after I'm 25 and what that entails. Would I have to be declared disabled?

In the grand scheme of lupus, mine probably isn't that bad. Does it look bad to my family and everyone else who surrounds me? Probably. I tell my rheumatologist that I am really tired but he still thinks I can work full time because I'm "peppy." Fatigue is the number one thing on my list. Then comes joint pain, then muscle pain, and toss in my cognitive dysfunctions and I'm a big bucket of fun! Well, once I get a job I'll see what I can do. If I can work, then I'll work and I will be more than happy to. But if I can't, well I can't and something will have to work out. Right now this and everything else in my life seems to be up in the air. Maybe things will work in my favor and one by one things will land in the right order. So that's what I'm hoping for.

I feel like I need a miracle after miracle after miracle. I feel bad because I know there are people who are worse off than me. Maybe I shouldn't hope but I don't have a choice anymore. All I have left is hope that waivers when the wind blows. People think I'm so strong when I'm weak. Everyone thinks my faith is amazing when it's actually quite unremarkable. Lots of people assume about me, anything ranging from the good, the bad, and the flat out ugly. And most of it probably isn't true, I'm nothing great. I'm just your average gal with some not so average problems trying to make an above life for herself.

Oh, and I can't wait till August. I won't give any specifics on that. Except I'll get to see a person whom I haven't seen in what feels like an eternity (I'm talking years). We talk often, well not really talk, but we text message each other. And life has thrown us in separate directions but for one day it will be like old times, except better. Partially because we are both older and probably not as stupid as the younger versions of ourselves. It will only be one day of my life but it will probably be the highlight of my summer. Unless of course I get a job, I get to keep my insurance without filing for disability, and my mouth gets fixed. But even then, this still might trump it all. It's funny how one person can mean the world to someone. It's even funnier that I have a person like that in my life. And you know what the funniest thing is? I don't think anything will ever come of it because life will again throw us in separate directions.


It's The Simplest Things

9:50 PM Posted In Edit This 1 Comment »
After thinking about what I wanted to write about, I finally thought of it. First of all, I don't know if anyone else out there with lupus has this problem or if it's just me. I sometimes cannot make a sentence that other people understand. Now it's not like I'm talking gibberish and putting words together that don't make sense. My Mother often looks at me like I'm an alien because she doesn't understand what I'm trying to say. And the hard thing is that I know what I want to say, it all makes sense in my head. But when I say it, apparently it doesn't make sense.

I get frustrated especially when I don't understand something. For me it can be the simplest thing ever and my brain just will not allow me to understand. I have to go over it step by step by step. Forget about going fast and furious with me when covering something basic. If you speed along and don't give me time to process I can promise you that I'm not going to get it. Despite all of this, I have the ability to pick up foreign languages in about a week or so. I see music in a way that I have a hard time explaining. But the only way I know how is it is like I am seeing an old player piano, the keys move but no one is playing it. I see that for a lot musical instruments, 99% of the time I can play what I hear (and see). I don't know how I can or why I can, it's just the way my brain works. Can I do something as simple as read music though? Not very easily.

It's so weird because I used to be a public speaker a long time ago. And I would love to get back into the whole motivational speaking thing. I suppose I would be ok because I would have a very well planned speech in front of me. But what if there were question and answers? What if my brain decides to freeze up on me like it does and I can't process the simplest of things? Am I supposed to sign "I'm sorry but my brain is not working with my mouth and whatever I say probably won't make a dearn bit of sense to you?" Most people in the audience would probably not know American Sign Language, unless I was speaking to the deaf and hard of hearing in the first place.

It always seems to be the simplest things for me. Reading and comprehending directions. Trying to explain what I don't understand. Attempting to talk about how I feel. It is the simplest of things that shuts my brain down where I sit there unable to speak because I just can't. I know all of you will say "Go to the doctor." Seriously, this doesn't happen enough for me to justify a doctor visit. Besides? How would I explain it? I would get looked at like I'm nuts and that happens enough for me. So here I am sitting here crying because I can't understand the directions I am supposed to be following tomorrow when I go to a job interview. Sometimes I just can't get it and it's so frustrating because I want to understand. It would be one thing if I couldn't understand German while playing the piano and chewing gum all at once. But no, I can't understand directions because my brain just won't let it happen. And I can't explain what I don't understand.

Who knows if this post even makes sense? I don't know right now, I'm so tried and frustrated and I'm crying because I can't understand. And my sister is texting me telling me to look stuff up on VDOT. My brain is about to blow up and I'm supposed to navigate the VDOT website? Yeah, that's a genius thought.