rachg82: (personal slogan)
People have been commenting about my lack of an "About Me" post for a while, so I thought I'd finally create one. Just in time for everyone to abort ship in favor of twitter and tumblr! They'll have to drag me out of here kicking & screaming, though. After more than fourteen(!) years, I'm comfy here, damn't. All About Rachael )
rachg82: (baltar six operahouse)
I thought it was time to create a master list for my fics, so here's where I do that. These will be separated by show & listed in the order in which they were written:


One Eye Pointed Upwards

Sunlight on a Broken Column

The Candle in His Hand

Leaves Got Up in a Coil and Hissed


Doing Time


Cradle and All

Battlestar Galactica:

Bend Down and Whisper

The X-Files:


Three Wishes

Shouting Into a Hurricane

Lift Your Head Up in the Wind
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Hello, people. I know I haven't posted in a while -- I just haven't felt like going to the trouble, especially because there are so few people left now to read it, let alone people who actually comment. But I finished a new poem, mainly inspired by the 5-year anniversary of my mom's death (this coming-up Monday), and I thought I might as well share it along with some quick highlights of what's been going on with me.

-I performed at a talent show at the Alano Club here in Portland this past Saturday, reading this poem, and got a great reaction. I even made one woman cry! (I probably shouldn't be so happy about that, haha) I feel proud of myself for doing it, because it took a lot of guts in my opinion, and it reaffirmed for me my dreams of becoming a published writer. So all in all it was a positive experience.

-I went to an orientation last week at the 13 Salmon Family Center (a day shelter for homeless families provided by Portland Homeless Family Solutions), and my first shift will be in April. They don't require a huge time commitment -- they just ask for volunteers to do at least one shift a month, which can be anytime. The two positions I'm interested in (I can go back & forth) are the afternoon host & the kid-time host, neither of which last more than 3 hours (which is important to me as I don't want to overwhelm myself). The duties are super simple, and mainly include hanging with the families, playing with the kids, and putting together snacks. I'm still a little nervous about it, though, but also excited. Portland has a huge homeless problem that's only gotten a million times worse over the last decade or so, largely thanks to the huge influx of people moving here from out-of-state, and I just want to do something to help. Plus, it will hopefully provide me with a greater sense of purpose, being unemployed & on disability myself, and maybe in the long run could provide a stepping stone to at least get back to doing part-time work.

-I have an appointment tomorrow with a weight loss program at my doctor's office. It's only an orientation though -- just a chance to talk about what the program has to offer, and what the costs would be. I'm still totally undecided as to whether I'll move forward with it, but I felt like it was worth my time to at least look into it. My last time on the scale was a rude awakening; I am literally more than double what I once was. It's not even about wanting to look skinny again though. I mean, yes, I would like that to happen, but mainly I'm just tired of being tired. I feel so heavy, like I'm dragging around another person with me everywhere I go, and in a sense I guess I am. So I'm curious what they would have to say, especially in light of the fact that some of my meds are probably exacerbating the problem (both the fatigue & being hungry all the time). I'm not really at a place where I'm ready to change those meds yet, but I'd like to know if they have strategies I could use to fight those side-effects until I am ready.

-As I said above, it will be the 5th anniversary of my mom's death on 3/27. My emotions have been pretty volatile for most of this month, and I've been left feeling very drained & raw. It's hard to even write about it, honestly. I just feel like I'm constantly reliving that devastating day, and so it's been a challenge at times to stay grounded. I had a ridiculous meltdown over nothing yesterday, and while talking about it later my counselor was like, "Do you think it could be that you're just deeply sad?" And it was like, well, considering how much my heart physically hurts right now, I'd say probably yeah. It sucks.

Part of what's been making it hard is the fact that it's been FIVE YEARS. It just feels like some messed-up milestone--half a decade without her existing anywhere on this whole planet--and it's so depressing. I can usually get myself to feel some peace around her passing now by remembering she's no longer struggling, but right now I just feel like the most stubborn of shit. It's a little scary, too, because it's only the second anniversary I've actually gone through since her death without the use of Klonopin. So even though the emotions might be totally normal, they FEEL super intense. But I'm handling it, and I haven't used or self-harmed, so I'm calling that a win.

-I was going to write about TV too (I finally finished Six Feet Under & have a lot of feels), but I think the above is enough for now. Lastly, here is the poem I wrote this week. It's not much, but it's the first creative thing I've completed in months, so I'll take it!

Before the Fall )
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So I realize there aren't really many people left here who probably even watch Bates Motel, let alone want to read my random thoughts about it, but I've been pretty okay, very obsessed with it these last few weeks, and I need somewhere to flail so I don't just start talking to myself about it on the streets or something.

We all go a little mad sometimes (spoilers through season 4) )

I'll leave you all with a Vid of the Day (remember when I used to do those?), which focuses on Alex & Norma. Enjoy!


Dec. 29th, 2016 01:20 pm
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I owe you guys a post about the holidays, but I have something else to share first. I haven't tapped into my creative side in months, and I decided this week to try to rectify that. It's pretty crappy (as far as I can tell), but it's still something, which is better than nothing. I could continue editing it to death, but in the past I've gotten some of my best feedback when I left things raw. So I'm posting this poem-ish thing as is, and hopefully it resonates with at least one of you. It's kind of dark, but that's because the holidays stirred up a lot of grief & anxiety for me. Ironically I'm feeling better today, but maybe that's because I expressed myself here. Yay for angst? Heh.

Pinpoints of light )
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I'm feeling disappointed today, because my migraines have been kicking my ass for the past three days (ever since I got out of treatment, though I'm not sure if the two are connected -- maybe the stress of coming home & being alone again is getting to me? I don't know. They have been getting better later in the day, which is not how the bad ones normally go; enough to where I've been able to attend meetings in the evenings & connect with people, but that's not the same as being surrounded by supportive friends all day long & feeling sheltered in a safe environment. I feel lonely now in comparison, yearning just for someone to even watch TV with me, and I would call someone, but talking hurts when I'm trying to recover from a bad migraine, and the people I met in treatment who understand chronic pain are still patients there, meaning I'm not allowed to contact them yet. All that said, it might also just be hormones, because it is that time of the month, and the weather changing doesn't help either), and I really want to write or vlog about my experiences in detox but I just don't feel up to it (too much thinking -- focusing is hard when I'm in pain), which is frustrating & hard to deal with as well (not being able to do what I want due to migraines is one of my triggers, especially when it goes on & on for days. It makes me feel so trapped & powerless, which only leads to me feeling like beating my head against a wall, self-harming, or using. On top of that, my migraines were so much better while I was in the hospital--I was taking half as much excedrin as usual, which I ascribed in part to them increasing both my propanolol & verapamil--so even if this flare-up is temporary, it still feels like a big let-down that they're worse again right now). I also wanted to go see my sister & the kids tonight, and despite the fact that the migraine has at least improved to tolerable levels, I know I will only worsen it if I go over there. I am going to try to take a short walk in a minute, but anything beyond that would likely be too much. So I'm pretty much stuck here doing a whole lot of nothing for the time being, and I have to just accept that & try to make the best of it. I'm planning to Netflix & chill, but unfortunately only the literal version. I got into The Tudors there, and I've also been sucked into Stranger Things, so I'll probably spend the rest of my day jumping back & forth between both.

Complaining aside, though, I do at least feel up to sharing the poem I wrote while in the hospital (well, the rough draft anyway. I don't have a copy of the final draft, but I'll try to remember how it went). Among the people I befriended, there was a woman who encouraged me to try writing again, and her situation inspired me enough to break free of the writer's block I've been experiencing for the better part of a year. As background info for the topic: she lost her twin brother to suicide, and that stuffed grief/loss-of-identity-as-a-twin seemed to me to be a huge part of what drove her to drink. The purple skies are a reference to an experience she had doing music therapy & using visual imagery for meditation, and the title is a reference to a dream she had once (leading her to think of cranes as her spirit animals, which sounds cheesy to some of you, I know, but no judgment here as I personally think of black jaguars as mine for similar reasons). I felt very insecure after writing it, but it made her cry, and she--along with everyone else in the unit with whom she shared it--told me my writing was good enough to be published, and that bolstered my self-esteem quite a bit. She also wrote me a note afterward, which said:

"You are an absolute angel. Thank you for blessing me with your talented piece of writing. It is rare when one has eyes that can see deeply into the soul, and put words to it!"

She also left a quote at the bottom by Walt Whitman: "I am bigger than I thought. I did not know I held so much goodness."

So, yeah, it turned out to be a really special thing, because it clearly touched her (she told me she would save it for the rest of her life), and it made me feel so, so good as a result.

Anyway, here it is:

In the beginning... )
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I'm sorry for going AWOL on you guys for so long, but I've been going through a lot these past few weeks, and I spent the last nine days in medical detox/inpatient treatment where there was no internet access. I plan on posting an entry talking about that later (hopefully by tomorrow, if not today), but in the meantime I wanted to recognize my LJ's 14th anniversary, which took place on 9/12. 14 years is a hell of a long time, and some of you have been with me from the beginning, so I wanted to celebrate that by taking a look back. Usually I do this sort of thing with quotes, but this time I decided to mix things up by choosing subject headings from over the years which made me either laugh or at least smile. I've also included a few photos throughout to keep things visually interesting.

Here's to 14 years of friendship )
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I owe you guys a RL update, but I'm too drained right now to get into the hot mess that currently is my existence. Luckily, I have a shit-load of pictures to share, which involves zero emotional effort.

Saturday Market: Your ultimate source for bongs and bongos since 1973 )

And that's it! Except as a bonus treat, I also have this super short clip of an awesome dancer/boneless man:

P.S. Okay, one more vid -- only because it makes me laugh. "Portland's the town to find out that your spirit animal is a dad." Sounds about right. Also, I consider it a victory that I've managed to avoid white water rafting for 34 years. My dad tried to get me to go every summer, and I was like, "NOPE." Heh.

P.P.S. That thrift store was one of the three that rejected my clothes last week. Specifically, this was the place with the 1800s mustache chick (she was OWNING that mustache) who told me my collection wasn't "funky" enough. #foreverbitter
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I am always up for a time-wasting meme, so let me jump on this high-school-reminiscing bandwagon:

Join me in the wayback machine to the year 2000 )

Just for funsies, here's a shot of me & some of my junior class back in '99:

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It's only the beginning of April, yet the temperature has been hovering between 80 and 85 degrees here in Portlandia since yesterday. That's well over twenty degrees above average for this time of year. But climate change is a myth, y'all! Ugh. I have this mental image of me walking outside in twenty years & just bursting into flames. We'll probably all have to make our way around the city inside giant, UV-protected, air-conditioned hamster wheels.

Anyway, I have quite a bit of RL stuff piling up to cover, but I want to start my day out with something easier. So, wasting time with memes it is!

Days 17, 18, and 19 )

Next up, that musical meme I created. Six random-ass songs that start with the letter C )
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Title: Lift Your Head Up in the Wind
Fandom: The X-Files
Author: rachg82
Rating: PG-13
Characters/Pairings: Mulder/Scully
Word Count: roughly 2,649
Spoilers: I'd planned this fic before the revival happened, and it was my take on the spoilers I'd heard at the time. Then the new season came & went, and my writer's block stuck around. I decided in the end to leave my version of events unchanged by the episodes which aired, so I suppose in a way this could be construed as AU.
Summary: Finally, this is that sequel I promised way back in November for Shouting Into a Hurricane, though you could easily get away with reading it all by itself. It's basically a story of grief & love expressed in five acts.

Note: As with my previous stories, this ficlet's format is largely free-verse. Not to be obnoxiously ~different~, but because it's simply what comes most naturally for me. The cadence of how my words "sound" in the reader's mind is very important to me as a writer.

Warning: This piece does deal with a major character death (but not Mulder or Scully! Don't worry), and I'd like to dedicate it to the memory of my mother. The 4-year anniversary of her death just passed on Easter, and writing these words was a form of catharsis for me.

Seven times I went down; six times I walked back )
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I am still putting off a post about RL matters, but I promise I will try to update about all that soon. In the meantime, let's distract ourselves with a meme again, y/y?

Day 2 - 10 likes and dislikes )
rachg82: (Default)

i love you because...
a february love meme
my thread here

I usually don't do these things, because I always feel weird about basically begging for other people's love, but then I realized by not doing it I'm kind of closing myself off to what my friends might have to say. So, spread the love! (Hmm, that sounds dirty)

My thread is here, btw. Also, I'm working on both another entry AND a sequel to my last fic, but it's a toss-up as to which will get posted sooner. I'll just leave y'all in suspense for now.
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I'm in the midst of writing an actual update, but in the meantime...

There are former LJers who would like to return, but their friends lists have been deserted.
Let's all welcome them back with open arms and show them that LJ is very much alive!
rachg82: (Default)
Darling, don't you close your eyes )
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It's about that time again -- time to look back at 2015, say goodbye to all the memories, and attempt to gather from them some semblance of meaning. For my new friends, an explanation: this post will contain significant excerpts from entries I wrote or vlogged throughout the year, kinda like a wordy time capsule. LJ has put stricter limits on entry lengths though, so I had to split this one in two. Turns out I had a lot to say in 2015. (note: there'll be pictures as well)

Gathering these quotes together, I couldn't help but think to myself, "Goddamn, the last six years have been brutal. I'm still here though. How am I still here?" It's really kind of remarkable. I have to believe 2016 will be easier in SOME way. I have to believe it so I can keep putting one blind foot in front of the other in the meantime. I realize life is full of ups & downs, but seriously, I have had enough downs since 2010 to last a lifetime. Day after day after day. That being said, there were also some positive developments in 2015. Somewhere along the way, I decided to try to commit to living -- not just until a certain date, like I usually did in the past, but for good (until the universe decides to take me out, basically). That doesn't mean I don't still get suicidal, because I do, and sometimes it reaches dangerous levels, but I think it matters that I at least try to tell myself it's not an option anymore. As Dar Williams sings in "After All," "And when I chose to live, there was no joy -- it's just a line I crossed. I wasn't worth the pain my death would cost." So I try my best these days not to consciously let myself go down that road, thought-wise. The intrusive, compulsive thoughts & graphic mental images still come on their own, uninvited, of course, which sometimes makes me feel like I'm being stalked & attacked by my own brain (the black dog of depression, as Churchill once said. It bares its teeth & nips at my heels every chance it gets, waiting for vulnerable moments to drag me down with it to Hell), but I make a concerted effort to let those ugly thoughts & images simply pass by without me being taken along for the ride.

Similarly, I threw out everything in my home that was sharp this summer, and I've only self-harmed once since then. There was a time when I couldn't go two weeks without cutting. And while I became extremely isolated this year--in part because of not working or attending school, in part because of overwhelming changes in my mental health which I'm still struggling to find successful coping mechanisms for, & in part because my migraines worsened--I didn't get admitted to a psych ward even once (in comparison, I was admitted once in 2013 & *three times* in 2014), I survived a lot & did it while tapering down off a high dose of Klonopin (a highly-addictive anti-anxiety med for those of you not in the know). I did it while I was hallucinating from stress. I also went back to my roots & began to express myself creatively again, writing more fics & poems than during any previous year. I began listening to Al-Anon podcasts again, opening myself up more fully to what that program has to offer. I stopped missing so many psych appointments, enough to where even my counselor noticed it & remarked upon it. So there are some good things to be said here in retrospect.

On the other hand, this year was incredibly challenging. That's painfully clear, reading all this. After a while, I began to feel like life was trying its very hardest to chip away at me until there was nothing left. Every time I began to find my footing, the ground beneath me was swept away again. Today, I really don't know what to expect next. I keep thinking things can't get worse, and then they do. But I'm still here, and I'm just trying to focus on The Next Right Thing. Trying to let go & get out of my own way. Trying to act as if I have hope -- to act as if I can handle what's around the corner when I'm honestly not sure. I think at this point that's all I can ask of myself.

But enough of all that, and on with the path down memory lane!

Life will find a way )
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I need something quick & easy to distract me from the funtimez of packing my whole life up, so an end-of-the-year meme it is!

Which TV shows did you start watching in 2015?

The Fall, Maron, Grace & Frankie, Six Feet Under, Treme, Master of None, Bring It, Fear the Walking Dead, & VEEP.

Which TV shows did you mean to get into but didn't in 2015? Why?

I did mean to give iZombie a chance, but I just couldn't motivate myself. Same with Orphan Black.

Which TV shows do you intend on checking out in 2016?

I might give Six Feet Under another shot, depending on my state of mind.

Which TV show impressed you least in 2015?

That I actually watched? Probably the third season of Orange is the New Black.

Which TV show do you think you might let go of in 2016 unless things significantly improve?

I'm not really at that point with any of my current shows.

Which TV shows do you think you’ll never let go of no matter how crappy they get?

The X-Files. Hands-down.

Your main fandom of the year?

Once more with feeling: The X-Files!

Your favourite film you watched this year?

"When the Levees Broke." A truly excellent documentary--incredibly thorough & ambitious in scope--and one which touched me on a very deep level. I was crying so hard at one point that I had to actually pause it. I'm so glad I watched it though, even if it was hard at parts to stomach, because now I feel like I have a much better understanding of what happened, and what is still happening there.

Your favourite book read this year?

Yeahhh, about that. I didn't actually finish any books this year.

Your favourite TV show of the year?

Of all time? The X-Files. Currently on air? The Fall. Brooklyn 99 has proven to be consistently delightful as well.

Your biggest fandom disappointment of the year?

Does having to get rid of my cable count? Because it seriously interfered with my fangirling.

Your biggest squee moment of the year?

Hearing that The X-Files was coming back, easily, followed by the news of Gilmore Girls' return.

The most missed of your old fandoms?

I do miss the Bones fandom, back when the show didn't suck monkey balls.

The fandom you haven't tried yet, but want to?

I think I answered this question in a previous meme, but I'll play along. Probably Rizzoli & Isles. I don't watch it anymore, but I would be interested in writing fic for it possibly.

Your biggest fan anticipations for the coming year?

Five words: I still want to believe.
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So I'm up early this morning, and I decided I needed a project to occupy my mind while I anxiously await meeting with my prospective new roommate later today. I haven't done a yearly soundtrack since 2011 (2012 came along with all its grief, and I just couldn't stand to put together a list of depressing songs right then. After that I simply got out of the habit, I guess), but it feels appropriate to do one for 2015.

There are 33 songs here (fitting, since I'm 33 years old) -- some of them were chosen simply because I liked them, some because I listened to them a lot, some because they represent something about this year to me (bonus political tangents included at no cost to you! Topics will include the Black Lives Matter movement, the legalization of same-sex marriage, and gun violence/terrorism), and others because they were shared with fics I wrote. As a heads-up: I'll just be linking to the songs vs. embedding them, so your browsers can thank me later. Also, these are in no particular order except for the final choice.

P.S. Even if you don't have time to listen to these, let me know in the comments what you think of my choices & feel free to share some of your own picks too.

Life has a melody )
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I have a lot of RL stuff to talk about, from recent adventures with panic attacks (back like a blast from the past), even worse money problems (just when I think I can start to get my bearings, the ground beneath me gets swept away again), family issues, health issues (guess who's taking antibiotics for the fifth millionth time this year?), and my neurologist trying to dump me as a patient because I'm too much work, but I only have a little time before I need to go see my therapist (still the intern -- my normal psych returns next week, thank God), so all that will have to wait. Maybe later today or tomorrow, just depending on how I feel. For now, I wanted to finish up my 30 topics for 30 days meme, since that's easy.

Days 20 through 30 )

March 2017

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