Black Mirror



As someone who has to deal with migraines at least once a week, I find myself Netflix and chilling a lot. No, wait. That means something else. I find myself in search of binge-worthy television shows while I rest on the couch a lot.  Yeah, that sounds much better.

I recently finished Nurse Jackie and Shameless and enjoyed them both very much. Must be the addiction aspect that I found so intriguing. Being a recovering addict and being married to a recovering addict and seeing how far addiction can take someone well…it’s humbling.

But last week I wanted to try something a little bit different. I wanted a new genre so I thought I’d give Black Mirror a try when I saw it was trending on Netflix.

I’ve only watched the first few episodes and I’m already hooked. I had absolutely no idea what to expect so when the first episode came to a conclusion, and then the second episode began with a new cast, I was a bit confused and turned to IMDB for answers.

The storyline reads: “A television anthology series that shows the dark side of life and technology.”  Yep. That was exactly what I just watched and enjoyed. And yep, it was pretty bleak but in a get you thinking kind of way, not a geez, now I’m depressed kind of way.

I scrolled down and found the review section. I don’t know about you, but I tend to ignore critic’s reviews. I rarely agree with them. Maybe I’m just not classy enough. I mean, I’m the chick that just finished binge-watching Shameless after all so that tells you a lot about my taste. Devin skipped watching Shameless with me. Too many sex addiction triggers. Or maybe he’s classier than I am?

As I read the user reviews, I found that the majority of reviewers agreed with me. They also enjoyed the show (and helped me understand that each show was meant to stand alone).  The rating on IMDB was 8.9 out of 10. Again, I agree. I thought the writing was good and so was the acting. I love that the series creator, Charlie Brooker, sees that sometimes technology can be seen as a drug in our current society. (Of course, I may be bias because of my hubby's addiction to porn which was fueled by the Internet.)

Brooker says, “If technology is a drug – and it does feel like a drug – then what, precisely, are the side effects? This area – between delight and discomfort – is where Black Mirror, my new drama series, is set. The 'black mirror' of the title is the one you'll find on every wall, on every desk, in the palm of every hand: the cold, shiny screen of a TV, a monitor, smartphone."

My only disappointment is that there are only nineteen episodes. Really? Say it ain’t so! That means that I’ll be looking for another good show to watch soon. But even more interesting was that Netflix liked the concept so much, they picked up the last twelve episodes. So, maybe they’ll add another season or two before it’s all said and done.

Do you have any good show recommendations for me? Do you like to binge watch shows or do you like to pace your shows out?


Slowly Remerging

Hello my blogging buddies. I hope you've all been doing well and those of you that are participating in the A-Z Challenge aren't too exhausted and have been having lots of fun and made plenty of new connections.

I've had a rough few weeks so needed to take a break from the blogging world and do some self-care. My migraines got a bit out of hand and work was slammed. I was exhausted by the time I got home and didn't have the energy to blog. I'm just now beginning to feel like myself again and ready to remerge from the cocoon of my comfy chair.

Thankfully, the recent increase in migraines coincided with a visit to my migraine specialist so she hooked me up with a round of powerful steroids, an increase in my botox injections, and an adjustment to my migraine preventative, so I'm hopeful things are headed in the right direction once again.

On another positive note, my job will also be keep me an extra day through the rest of the year so...I think I'll have to keep my blogging schedule the way it is now. I'll post either on Fridays or over the weekend. No more Monday posts for this chick.

I saw this on Facebook a few weeks ago and it really resonated with me:


I felt it spoke volumes of truth about marriage/partnership. No one in this world knows you the way your spouse or partner does. They see you at your best and they see you at your worst. If they are truly meant to be your partner in life, they will see you through the end and walk beside you through it all. They will not envy your achievements but share your joy. They will not judge your faults but help you find your way through to betterment. They will hold your hand while sitting beside you on the couch, walking through the mall, or sitting across from you at the dinner table...but most of all, they will lend a hand through life. 

So while marriage is not always beautiful, it is one of the most beautiful things that can happen to you when you've found the right person to share it with and I hope you all have or will soon because we all deserve it.

What is your favorite thing about marriage/partnership? What is your least favorite thing? If you're not with someone, what do you hope to find or avoid in a partner?



I Needed A Laugh


Sometimes life throws us a few curveballs at once. Sometimes those curveballs hit us right upside our heads.
  • My migraines aren't going the way I hoped but I've got a backup plan so there's always hope. 
  • Devin was letting his slips get inside his head but he's on a better track too.
  • I may have to face the fact that it's time to cut ties with certain family members and that hurts my heart. No optimistic twist on this one.
So to this I say: Sometimes all you can do is give life the middle finger and then laugh. That's what I choose to do this week. Let's laugh together, shall we?

I love me some Modern Family!








And who doesn't love Beverly Goldberg from The Goldbergs? She's hilarious!









Here's to a better week everyone!


M is for Migraines: A-Z Challenge

Rob Z Tobor illustration

Migraines.

They suck.

I’ve had them for twenty-five plus years.

Migraines.

They suck.

I travel five hours each way to see a specialist every three months.

I had a local neurologist too. I dumped him.

He ramped up doses of medications rather than finding the reason behind the migraine.

My specialist discovered an underlying auto-immune disease that may be the cause.

Migraines.

They suck.

I take herbal supplements.

I’m on a break from prescription medications except for triptans to treat as they occur.

Some days the triptan works.

  Most days they don't.  

Migraines hit every other day now.

Time to revisit a preventative treatment medication again.

My liver has healed.

Maybe.

Migraines.

They suck.

Everyone thinks they know that one little tid bit of information I don’t about my migraines. They read how to CURE them.

There is no cure.

It’s okay.

They’re just trying to help.

I politely smile and nod my head in the right places.

I’ll listen to my specialist’s advice.

I pay her good money.

Migraines.

They suck.

But my life doesn’t.

Life is good.

I have a great husband.

Fantastic kids.

Live close to the beach.

I have a roof over my head. Heat in the winter.

A/C in the summer.

Running water.

Food on the table.

Money in my pocket, even if it jingles when I walk.

At least there's something to jingle.

Life is good even with migraines.

What makes life good for you?

~~~@

This post is part of the A-Z Challenge.  Wanna see more?

Life As I Know It - For Now

source

“What if this round doesn’t work?”  I asked my neurologist.  I watched as he prepared the 400 units of Botox and the electrode machine he used to detect the muscles in my scalp, neck and shoulders.

“Then it’s time to take a break for six, maybe eight months.  If this many units won’t work, then you need to give your body a break.  Most likely, it’s creating anti-bodies that are fighting off the Botox.  The last several rounds haven’t worked and you need to give your body time to get the Botox out of your system and we’ll try again.”

“Six months?”  I said.  I felt deflated.  I experienced the break Botox provided, the freedom, from severe Migraines over a year and a half ago and I wanted that freedom back again.  I wanted to return to work, I wanted to return to life.

“Don’t worry, Elsie, I’m confident this dosage will work, it’s fifty cc’s higher than your last treatment.  You should see a difference in two or three weeks.”  He said and set to work injecting the Botox into my scalp.  I used guided imagery to remove myself from the pain of the injections and soon the procedure was completed.

He was right, I was seeing a difference but it wasn’t positive, it was negative. Again. My Migraines were at a level they hadn’t been at since I had to end my career in 2007. 

In 2007 my Migraines were every three or four days and lasted two or three days each.  The pain varied from manageable; where I could sit up, talk, write and maybe cook dinner for the family or unmanageable; where I could only hold the television remote in my hand, use the wall for support to get to the bathroom, make myself a bowl of cereal, or snack on junk food and wait for someone to get home to help take care of me.  These unmanageable cycles ranged from a few hours to a day or two.

2007 has come back and my Hooligans, it’s been back longer than I’ve let on to most of you.  It’s been almost a year that the Migraines have been escalating to every three or four days.

It’s quite frustrating but I have been through this before and I know eventually with the help of my neuro, and perhaps an additional doctor, I will find relief again.  I will find the right preventative treatment and things will calm back down once more.

I hesitated sharing this with you today because I don’t want people to feel sorry for me when I don’t feel sorry for me.  I can honestly look around and see other people suffering everyday with diseases and every day life far worse than my own.  I have a family that loves me and I have a roof over my head.  I am grateful for that.  Things could be so much worse.  Things have been so much worse.

Why am I choosing to share it now?  As a way of explaining my semi-absence on Blogger these last few months.  I used to check on blogs every morning or every evening, even when I didn’t post a blog myself. I haven’t been able to do that because the Migraines have kept me behind at home leaving me less time to blog, less time to write and things have had to be prioritized.

We all say it to one another – real life has to come first and for me that’s what happened.  I felt I owed you guys an explanation why I'm not around as often and why I don't always answer my comments the same day.

Don’t you dare tell me to feel better or any other sappy shit!! This is purely informational - not whiney Pat or Dan

Denial and Detachment

Edited to add at 2:30 p.m.:  This was a scheduled post from last night.  I woke up with a Migraine and it's gotten progressively worse throughout the day.  Please forgive me if I don't get back to your comments or your blogs until tomorrow.  Thanks for understanding my rockin' Hooligans!  

**Potential Trigger Warning for SA partners**

2008

“I’ll sleep in the spare bedroom tonight.  You’ve been snoring.  I have to get some sleep.  Sound good?”  I asked already knowing the answer.

“Yeah.  Okay.”  Devin replied, not looking away from his computer.  He had two now.  A Mac and a PC. I never really questioned his need for a second desktop.  I knew his PC had been crashing lately.  When I allowed myself to think it through, I knew it was because he was getting viruses from the porn sites he was visiting. So, I tried not to think it through very often.

I walked further into the bedroom to see what Devin was looking at and tensed at the sound of him clicking quickly out of a site on the screen.  He opened up a different website but had one minimized at the bottom of the screen.  I couldn’t read the name of the site and allowed myself to dismiss its importance to the deceit and lies that were becoming the norm in my marriage.  I knew it was a porn site, I didn’t have to physically see the site, I could read the guilt in Devin’s eyes. 

I said nothing. I added another brick to the wall that I was building in my wall of denial.


Instead I kissed him but got no response in return.  When questioned, Devin replied, “What do you want from me? I feel detached.  Detached from you.  Detached from the kids.  Detached from work.  Just fucking detached.” 

He tells me now that there are chunks of time he can’t recall, wasting away at the computer.  That moment though, he recalls vividly.  It pains him because he literally felt detached from life and wanted to stop looking at porn and couldn’t stop looking, page after page, site after site, and to comfort himself he drown himself in even more porn.

I vividly remember that night too.  I lay in the extra bed wondering what he meant.  Detached?  As I lay there battling with insomnia I heard him stumbling around in the bedroom, I heard the creak of his desk chair.  I worried he might have a low blood sugar and finally went to check on him.

I walked quickly around the corner into our bedroom to find Devin on a vulgar porn site, and with (what I learned years later) an IM box open while he was looking for his webcam that he kept hidden from me.  He quickly turned the monitor off.

I said nothing. I added another brick to the wall that I was building in my wall of denial.

2012


It is now me that is learning a healthy type of detachment.  I was in a very unhealthy form of detachment just a couple of weeks ago.  The pendulum had swung from one degree to another.  I was enmeshed in Devin’s recovery, then backed off to a healthy level but still had a problem not “mothering” him.  I decided to detach myself from it completely.  Give it all to him. 

That is what I am supposed to do.  However, I was beginning to detach completely from him.  The survival skills I had learned while I was an addict kicked in.  I put up walls.  I should be a mason.  I’d rock and roll at it.

The only problem is, the walls got so big and encompassed so much, that I began not to care about anything pertaining to Devin.  That is not a healthy place to be.  Not to worry.  I didn’t stay that way for more than a week or two before I realized that when he told me something I should be happy about or even mad about I didn’t care. Instead, I was throwing it into the same place where I store his recovery. 

I saw my rockin’ counselor and she assured me that I wasn’t as bad off as I thought I was simply because I recognized the unhealthy detachment.  That I could be detached but still love my husband and remain mentally healthy too.  I needed to remain somewhere in the middle.

The best part is now, there are no more nights spent apart from my husband.  Turns out he has sleep apnea; okay, that’s not great but at least he has a c-pap machine and I can be next to the man I love every night.  There is no more clicking out of the computer screen when I walk into the bedroom.

Oh, and the PC?  That mo-fo made it’s way to the dumpster December 7, 2010…along with the webcam and various other items Devin turned over after disclosure...