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 outside of Russia to abort ship! They'll have to drag me out of here kicking & screaming, though. After nearly seventeen(!) years, I'm comfy here, damn't. And as long as I have at least a couple friends who still keep up with me here, I will try to hang on.( Collapse )

Currently, I'm 37 years old, though I often feel either much younger or much older than that. It doesn't help that I'm a baby-faced oompa loompa at the mighty height of 4 feet 10 and a half inches, meaning people tend to treat me as if I'm younger than I really am and make lots of obnoxious comments. I'm also proudly queer (I'd say I'm probably about a 5 on the Kinsey Scale -- "homoflexible", if you will), and regrettably, eternally single. I can count the number of people with whom I've been on even one date using only one hand, and none of the relationships, if you can call them that, lasted longer than a month or two. Basically, I take "late bloomer" to the next level. Well, that, and my upbringing caused me to build a pretty high wall for anyone to jump over when it comes to romantic intimacy, though I am working on this issue now. All that said, I do also sometimes feel old in my shoes, because I've been through a lot in my life thus far.

I currently receive ssdi both for Chronic Migraine and some mental health issues -- overall, I've been diagnosed with recurring Major Depressive Disorder, Complex-PTSD, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Social Anxiety Disorder, Panic Disorder, & mild/borderline OCD (I kinda feel like I should get some type of dysfunctional merit badge for collecting so many), though not all at the same time. For instance, I feel I've pretty much overcome the Social Anxiety Disorder diagnosis. I also have some mild autistic traits to varying degrees of obviousness, I've been told, but supposedly not enough to be officially diagnosed as existing on the spectrum. To be fair, females are traditionally way under-represented & under-diagnosed in the autism community (especially adult ones, as they have often trained themselves to socially "pass" by then, which I definitely can relate to), but I did have one counselor who told me that the ASD symptoms I was presenting with were actually part of my C-PTSD. Some of her reasoning for that made sense to me, but some of it also felt like a reach, so make of that what you will.

Moving on: up until 2014, I was attending school part-time at Portland Community College, with the goal of transferring to PSU to obtain a liberal arts degree, but there's been a pause button hit on that while I focus on caring for my health, both physically & mentally. It's taking significantly longer than I would like, and in time I may find that I need to adjust my expectations -- setting my goals instead as merely returning to part-time work, perhaps, but for now I just keep putting one foot in front of the other & hoping for the best. If I am able to eventually graduate, then I will most likely either become a tutor or ESL teacher, but there is also the chance of me going in a completely different direction like training to become a peer support specialist. Either way, I'd like to write in my personal time too as that is my real passion. My dream is to publish my own memoir, maybe some of my poetry, and possibly a self-illustrated book for children.

On a painful, but significant note: I grew up with a mother who had a severe & mostly treatment-resistant, rapid-cycling form of Bipolar Disorder (type 1) + a decades-long addiction to narcotics. Tragically, she died suddenly in 2012 at the age of only 55. We were estranged when she passed, but I never stopped loving her, and I miss her down to my very core. I also have a father whom I haven't seen in over a decade, and who lives several thousand miles away. In my opinion he's an alcoholic, albeit a pretty "high-functioning" one, though I'm sure he would disagree, and in the end it's not really for me to decide. I only know I remember dropping pennies into wells as a child, wishing he would quit drinking, and that kind of speaks for itself.

All of the above is not to say my parents & I didn't have any happy moments together growing up, however, because we absolutely did. My mom taught me how to dance, & read to me every night. More than once, I made her laugh so hard that she peed her pants. The world feels immeasurably emptier--and a lot more boring, frankly--now that she's no longer in it. My dad, meanwhile, passed down to me a deep love of music & a sharp sense of humor. Once he even painstakingly built me a dollhouse with individual wooden shingles, tiny strips of wallpaper, & hand-made furniture that must've taken him forever to create. I could name a long list of other positive memories I shared with them over the years, making the moments they were abusive and/or unstable extremely confusing for me emotionally, to say the least. But I'm learning to empathize with & forgive them a little bit more every day for the pain they caused me & my sister, and for the dammed-but-leaking trauma I carry with me to this day. I still keep my guard up to protect myself, but I try to let the resentment & bitterness go for my own well-being. I'm working on healing these wounds as best I can through therapy, music (I'm currently learning the piano & relearning the violin), art, writing, & various 12-step fellowships such as Narcotics Anonymous & Al-Anon.

Suffice it to say, I could write a whole book here about my loud, little life -- from my family, to growing up in the suburbs of Portlandia during the Dream of the '90s, to the Arts & Communications magnet high school I attended (pretty much a microcosm of the city itself in the best possible sense), to my niece & nephew whom I completely adore, but it would take too long. Instead, I have a few links to give anyone who wants to peek more into my life a better chance to do so:

Below you'll find my "Year in Review" posts. I do them just about every year, and I did one for almost a whole decade in 2009. They're made up of quotes from all the entries I wrote during that time, and I still look back at them myself sometimes just to recognize patterns in my behavior & to be grateful for how far I've come when I look at the big picture. There's also a lot of fangirl flailing in the latter years. It's gotten me by countless times, even through the darkest of days.

Decade in Review Parts I and II
2010 in Review
2011 in Review
2012 in Review
2013 in Review
2014 in Review
2015 in Review
2016 in Review

P.S. If any of you would like to view the soundtracks I created for some of those years, just visit my sometimes I make soundtracks tag. Please let me know if any of the links are broken, and I'll try to fix them asap. YouTube is a cruel mistress. Same goes for my Vid of the Day tags & so on.

P.P.S. Almost all my entries are friends-locked now, but I'm leaving certain things public (e.g. my fanfic, poetry, certain memes), and I will more than likely add you back if you leave me a comment letting me know you'd like to be friends. I will actually make an effort to read your posts & comment on them. Reciprocity is greatly appreciated, even if it's only displayed every once in a while.

Finally, since I know most of you are TV junkies like me, here's a list of all the major shows I've watched & enjoyed:

(and if you'd like more information on the shows I actively recommend, check out this tag.)

-The X-Files
-Dr. Katz: Professional Therapist
-Mystery Science Theater 3000
-Aeon Flux
-My So-Called Life
-Buffy the Vampire Slayer
-Freaks & Geeks
-Arrested Development
-Sex and the City
-Gilmore Girls
-Veronica Mars
-Battlestar Galactica
-Bones (S1 - S5 I'll always remember very fondly, as well as a few select episodes from S6--it's the show that got me into fanfic writing--but beyond that it got pretty cringe-worthy for me, unfortunately. I haven't watched it in many years)
-The Daily Show
-The Colbert Report
-The Nightly Show
-Broad City
-Parks & Recreation
-Party Down
-My Mad Fat Diary
-Friday Night Lights
-American Horror Story (Seasons 1 and 2 are my solid faves. After that it gets pretty hit-or-miss imo.)
-The Wire
-Orange is the New Black
-Breaking Bad
-Fargo (season 1 at least -- haven't seen s2 yet)
-House of Lies
-The Bridge (the American version -- haven't seen the original)
-The Walking Dead
-Brooklyn Nine-Nine
-The Fall
-Grace & Frankie
-The Jim Gaffigan show
-Nurse Jackie
-True Detective (season 1 -- haven't seen s2 yet)
-Crazy Ex-Girlfriend
-Bates Motel
-Stranger Things
-Six Feet Under
-Penny Dreadful
-The L Word (if you bear in mind my love/hate relationship with it. The finale was TERRIBLE, and the series had a disappointing amount of biphobia overall, but it had its good/great moments too, and it served an undeniable need in the lgbtq community.)
-and, lastly, the first three seasons of Rizzoli on Isles. Er, I mean Rizzoli AND Isles. Wishful thinking, excuse me. You may also hear me refer to it as "Gay Bones," because let's face it, that's basically what it is.

And as a bonus, just so you know what I look like, here's a pic:

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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Before I jump into what's been going on with me over the last month, I have something I'd like to share with you all regarding those "migraine glasses" I wrote about a few entries ago (i.e. precision-tinted FL-41 lenses). I was hoping to be able to get the money together on my own to try them, but it hasn't worked out that way. I really, really want to try them, because light is one of my biggest migraine triggers (particularly fluorescents), and it often hurts even if I don't actively have a migraine. And because the studies that have been done with them look pretty promising. Basically, I'm tired of being in pain when there's the possibility of (albeit limited) relief. I realize I have other triggers too, but light is a huge one, and one of the most unavoidable as fluorescent lighting is found pretty much everywhere. So I've started a fundraiser to gather together the necessary funds for me to get a pair, and I'm trying to turn the results over as they're out of my control. I already shared the link at Facebook, and so far I've gotten one super-appreciated donation, but no one else has given even five bucks, nor have they shared the link, which I also asked people to do. I'm hoping maybe some people just haven't checked their feed in the last day or so, and that more will help as the week progresses. But if you're reading this right now & you have time, please take a look at the link below & read my description of the issue, then donate anything at all that you can afford, whether it be $10 or $100. And regardless of whether you can donate, sharing the link to others would be just as helpful. I really want to get the word out so I can receive as much help as possible. (So far I have $50, which leaves $180.)

Anyway, here's the link: Help Rachael Fight Chronic Migraine

In other news, I have a few other things to quickly cover:

-The review of my SSDI has been completed, and they decided my disability is continuing. So for now at least I am safe, and incredibly relieved.

-My volunteer position at the homeless shelter has been taken away due to issues with space, but I have been trying to increase my service to the community in other ways as well. For one, I traded in my position as greeter at my home NA group in exchange for becoming secretary -- the person responsible for setting up the meeting & running it. I'm also going to begin facilitating the dbsa group I attend on the 4th Monday of every month. Both of these things would've felt way too overwhelming & intimidating to me a year ago, so I'm proud of myself for seeking out & accepting that responsibility. It makes me feel like I'm growing as a person, even if it's happening so subtly that I generally can't see it on my own. Eventually I also plan on inquiring about volunteer opportunities at the Q Center (the lgbtq+ center where I go for my NA meeting & DBSA group), but some of that depends on how many hours they would expect, how flexible the shifts would be (in case I get a migraine), and whether I'm able to get those glasses.

-In other exciting recovery news, I'm going to do a speaker's meeting on 3/25/18, which means I will go up in front of what should be a decent-sized audience & tell my story. I've already written what I'm going to say, and it'll probably be about 20 minutes long. Because it's me we're talking about, that was of course my struggle -- just trying to get it under 20 minutes. I'm pretty pleased with what I've written though, and I'm looking forward to having the chance to share it with others. I might post it here too, if anyone is interested in reading it.

-The six-year anniversary of my mom's death will be this month (on the 27th), and that's been weighing heavily on my mind & heart this week. It doesn't help that I've also been on my period, but yeah, my emotions have been very intense. I would say I hope it won't be like this for the entire month, but I sort of know better than that by now.

-They're going to be offering a new 6-week-long course on emotional regulation & stress management where I go for counseling, and I'm planning on attending it if they still have space. I figure I could always use more skills in that department.

Anyhoozle, that's pretty much it this time. Again, please take just a moment to follow the link above, donate what you can, and/or share it with others!
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Well, it's the start of a new year, and you know what that means! Time to gather together my memories of 2017 (which was mostly a dumpster fire of a year, politically speaking, but not altogether horrible for me on a personal level), and mush them together as one big Year in Review post. I realize that next to no one will read this, what with how very few of my friends still check this journal on a regular basis, but just for myself I would like to keep this tradition going at least one more year. It helps me learn from the hard times & celebrate the good, and fortunately there were more good times this year than bad.

In retrospect, 2016 was all about me climbing out of the deep hole of numb despair, helpless fear, and compulsive habits of self-harm & substance abuse that I'd fallen into over the previous 6 years. 2017, in contrast, was mostly about me attempting to stay out of that hole, and to continue moving forward on level ground. Looking back, I think I did pretty well with that. I didn't intentionally cut, scratch, or burn myself once. I never again found myself methodically planning my own suicide. And despite how many awful panic attacks I was faced with (turns out there's a reason benzos have such an infamous reputation in the recovery community -- the rebound anxiety of abruptly quitting them is brutal even months later), I never reacted by popping so many pills that I wasn't sure I would wake back up if I happened to fall asleep. I never again found myself writing a hasty suicide note because I couldn't bear to go to the hospital one more time just in case I had gone too far. I had brief periods where I felt like giving up, but I never did. Today, I keep my home clean. I actually do laundry. I wash my freaking face. I don't go weeks without showering or 6 months without vacuuming. I've learned a whole new instrument. I have friends. I'm trying online dating. I'm volunteering (albeit only once a month, but everyone has to start somewhere), working the steps, and being of service at meetings. I even found the most un-churchy of churches to attend. Things are better, and I have hope. I know it's a work-in-progress, and that my next major focus needs to be on diet & exercise, but things are going in an upward direction now, rather than a continually tumbling snowball of destruction. That means something to me.

So with all that said, let's get to it!

P.S. This post will obviously consist of quotes from throughout the year, but there will also be pictures & a few vids. Enjoy!

I hope you find your peace, falling on your knees… )

So that's it! Goodbye, 2017; hello, 2018. Sometime in the next few days I will try to be back with a soundtrack, but for now I'd like to wish you all a very happy new year, and thank you for still being here after 15 long & verbose years.
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It's been a long time since I posted, and even longer since I shared any type of creative writing with you guys (I think like half a year?), but I recently completed a poem about my stepbrother, and I'd like to make it public as I have with most of my other poems/fics. I would promise to be back soon with an update about other life happenings, but all I can say is that between grief and the fact that my disability case is being reviewed (and thus could be abruptly taken away), I am pretty well off my game. So I may be back quickly or I may go another month. I have no idea. I will try to make it sooner rather than later though.

Can't you see? This boat is sinking )
rachg82: (Default)
For anyone observant enough to notice my mood status, the reason I'm currently sore is because I had the super-duper-fun experience of having one of my big toenails removed yesterday. (Sorry. TMI, I know. But if I had to go through it, I'm taking the whole world down with me.) Turns out it was indeed infected again, and as it wasn't clearing up with antibiotics, and as the nail was still stubbornly ingrown on both sides, they decided to just take the sucker out. Again. I handled the actual procedure like a pro, but the level of pain since then has been awful -- much worse than when they only removed part of the nail last time, and much, much worse than what the internet tells you to expect (what they should say is, "Just imagine your foot somehow caught on fire, and then afterward tiny gnomes came by with little daggers & stabbed the shit out of it"). They did give me something for it, and the pain is a lot better than it was last night, but it still hurts, and overall this whole mess is making me feel very, very sorry for myself.

Anyway. That's not why I wanted to post today. I've been meaning to talk about TV stuff forever, and I figure now's as good a time as any:

-First up, The X-Files. I heard the news this week about it returning for a 10-episode run, and my reaction was (and still is), "Uhhhhh…shit. I mean yay, right? Yay. Kind of." So a qualified yay, I suppose. It's a stark contrast to how I felt before the revival though. There were a couple episodes from that which I enjoyed, and it did inspire me to write two new fics, but those final two episodes were truly terrible (the conspiracy retcon made zero sense, the islamophobia was embarrassing, and how the fuck was Cancer Man still alive?! God damn't, Carter). So while I'm always down to see Mulder & Scully again (especially if it inspires new fic from my blocked muse, and especially-especially if we get any decent shipper scenes), I am already cringing at what Carter might do next. Give me some time though, because I'm sure as it gets closer, I will become more excited again (totally against my better judgment at this point, heh).

Prayer circle that we get to see Gillian's real hair this time though. Good God, that wig -- Jesus, take the wheel!

-Moving on, I am simultaneously totally psyched and ridiculously sad over the fact that Bates Motel is ending on Monday. When I thought about it last week, I actually surprised myself by shedding a tear, haha. I never even got into the fandom or anything (though I still really want to try writing a fic at some point), and I only discovered the show last summer, so it's kind of absurd to be all woebegone about its departure, but maybe that's kind of the point. I wish I'd had more time with it. Of course I can still rewatch it whenever I want, thanks to Netflix, but it's not the same as looking forward to new episodes. I will miss Vera killing me dead every week, and I will miss the campy craziness, and I will miss going down spectacularly with my ship. This show has given me so much happiness over the last few months especially, when I really needed it, and I will probably cry again when it's over.

-Next up, Six Feet Under, which took me well over a year to finish because I had to take a break from it for a while (the subject matter was too triggering for me while I was still depressed & already thinking of death enough as it was), but I'm glad I went back to it once that was no longer the case. Overall, the show started out good and finished off great. Not only did it have possibly the best series finale I've ever seen (its reputation for that is worth the hype -- it really is beautiful), but in general it got stronger as it went along, right up to the end. That's a rare feat. Most shows that get better & better still eventually reach a point where they begin declining again in some way. But Six Feet Under went out on top. I'm sure part of that is because they aired on cable, so not only did they have greater artistic liberty, but it also meant each season was shorter, so while it technically ended after five seasons, that really put it only in the third season of your average broadcast program. If The X-Files for instance had ended in its third season, it would've gone out on top too, though I doubt Carter's ability to write a decent finale at this point. Regardless, there's still something to be said for knowing when to wrap up a story vs. dragging it out forever. (*cough*Bones*cough*) So even though I didn't *want* it to end when it did, I admire their restraint in letting it bow out gracefully.

In the end, it actually turned out to be quite life-affirming for me too, which I didn't expect. And while it took me a while to warm up to the characters, I definitely care about them now. I still can't decide who's my favorite though. I think I relate the most to David, but Ruth is kind of amazing. So that's a toss-up.

-I tried getting into House of Cards, but I kept zoning out while trying to follow its dialogue & plot. I could not for the life of me keep track of what the hell was actually happening. Like, "Okay, so he's up to some political shenanigans because…why? Fuck if I know. Is this over yet?" So after a few episodes I gave up. I might give it another chance in the future, because maybe at a later date I'll be less distracted & able to get engaged by it, but for now it's not for me.

-Another show I'm debating giving up is Homeland. I'm only one season in, and I only vaguely care about what happens next. I could really take it or leave it. And since this is supposed to be when the show was at its best (right?), I don't think that's a good sign. Also, their portrayal of mania was laughably bad. Like BAD, BAD. So they lost a lot of points from me there.

Oh, and while I'm not sure if this is a popular opinion or not: Brody can suck it. Just saying.

-I also started Masters of Sex recently, and so far it's promising. Especially the chemistry between the leads. Very shippable, and very sexy. Since I'm not even a full season in though, I can't say much else.

-Finally, I binged 13 Reasons Why in two days this week, and while I was nitpicking it for a while at first (I think I perversely wanted to not like it since everyone else seems to love it, ha), by the end I had to grudgingly admit it was a good show. I won't say anything to spoil anyone, but I will say that I wish I had kept my eyes closed during the flashback scene of her in the tub. That kind of shit is still too much for me.

Wrapping this up, here's a tribute vid to Six Feet Under by one of my favorite vidders. There aren't really any spoilers -- it just gives you a taste.

rachg82: (Default)

I got six months clean this week from all non-prescribed, mind-altering substances (and from abusing any prescribed ones, which was perhaps even more difficult), and my sponsor surprised me with flowers again to celebrate. It was kind of funny, because she gave them to me at a meeting for queer women, so I got a few "is that her girlfriend???"-type looks. But it definitely made the day more special. As pathetic as it may sound, she is actually the only person who has ever bought me flowers.

I also finished step 4 this week (cue chorus of Hallelujah), and I'm pretty proud of that because it wasn't easy. Writing down my resentments, fears, and relationship history (basically all the could have beens since I've never truly had one), and actually analyzing them, turned out to be super depressing & anxiety-inducing. And, ironically enough, pretty triggering as far as urges to use or self-harm go. But I got through it, and I'm ready to start processing its millions of pages of hot-messitude with my sponsor, starting next week.

Also, now that I have a bit of sobriety under my belt, I'm going to look into what they call "H&I", which is where you bring meetings to people who otherwise couldn't make it to them, such as treatment facilities & jails. I really appreciated the people who did that for us when I was in detox, and I'd like to do the same for others. After all, as they say all the time in recovery, you can only keep what you have by giving it away. (Slogans like that sound super fucking cheesy, I know, but they are true in my experience)

Anyway, moving on to some other RL stuff: Health stuff, family stuff, and general life-related stuff )

Last thing before I go: thanks to a $35 arts tax I had to pay this month (which I didn't know to expect, having always lived outside of Portland before), I only have $20 left until the end of the month. I'm pretty stressed about it, and I'm not sure what I'm gonna do, so I thought I would at least ask for help. Even $20 would be a big deal right now. So if you can help at all, even if it's less than 20, please just follow the donate link below (and thank you in advance!).

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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 )
rachg82: (Default)
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 )
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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!

March 2018

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