deadbeforethedayisgone

I know it’s been a while since I have posted anything, and there’s a variety of reasons. I’ve been dealing with a lot lately. Changes, for better or worse. A torrent of good news and bad news leaving me overwhelmed. Luckily, I’ve been doing the opposite of what I typically do (which is wallowing in my own self pity while accomplishing nothing in the process.) I’ve been trying to focus on what’s best for me – for my health, for my happiness, for my future. I’ve been keeping a decent writing schedule and working on a new rough draft. I’m trying to nurture my body back into a state that I can properly function and not be quite so frequently sick. I’ve been trying to make sure that I do things to make Angel happy, instead of everyone else coming first 100% of the time.

But you know what sucks about this? I’m not used to it. And since I’m not used to treating myself a little better, it’s resulted in a mental assault on myself. Because I feel like I’m being selfish, and I don’t deserve to want what is best for me. I keep trying to push through, because I know I’m getting close to having my old self back – the version of myself that’s less broken, less corrupted. The Self I need right now. But it’s breaking through that barrier that’s tearing me apart. I know I’m almost there, but I know I’m fighting myself on it. I want to give up. Today was especially rough.

I started to doubt myself. How will I ever make it? In life? Against illness? How will I ever publish a novel? Why should I think I’ll ever sell another piece of art or get paid for another photo shoot? I’m not strong enough for this. It kept pounding in my head with each heart beat: I can’t do this.

Suddenly, I didn’t know if I could go on, period. Or if I did, if I could keep going with my life. Maybe it was time to give up on my childish dreams and finally grow up and join reality.

Until, I read this quote earlier:

 “Like a dandelion up through the pavement, I persist.” – Wentworth Miller (please see his Facebook post here)

That post, by a man I already admire, really struck me. But that quote? Oh, that quote. That fueled the fires inside me.

So my goal? Stick to my writing schedule. Crank out chapter after chapter. Continue to work hard at the things I want. Because I persist, despite all the things that want to stop me.

This is the year I get to take control back. It hasn’t been easy, and I’m sure it won’t get easier any time soon. But I will persist.

Expect more soon.

~Angel

“In the face of such hopelessness as our eventual, unavoidable death, there is little sense in not at least trying to accomplish all of your wildest dreams in life.” – Kevin Smith, Tough Sh*t: Life Advice From a Fat, Lazy Slob Who Did Good.

kevinsmith

All week, I’ve devoted time when I get home to writing. I had a migraine, and still made myself power through outlining three chapters. The next night, after finishing my taxes, despite having another migraine, I started writing a few pages of a chapter. Not the word counts I need to have if I want to do this for a living, I know. But the point is that I’m making a routine for myself again, despite what my body wants me to do.

Why have I been so determined, even when I have been in rough shape the last several weeks?

I have been wanting to read Kevin Smith’s memoir for a little while now, and after meeting him in Reno, it’s become a mission I have been set on. Finally, I got my (signed) copy and dove right in. That’s where I found the quote above. And it hit me. I met him during a very bad disease flare. I finally got his book, and was reading this quote, during ANOTHER bad disease flare. It resonated with me. The more I thought on it, the more I read it, the more it became something I felt I needed to read.

It isn’t as though I haven’t had similar bursts of motivation, or even inspiration based on a similar concept. But it’s the fact that someone I admired so much, that brought so much happiness when I was so miserable, had written this quote, and I had read it while yet again miserable…

It sparked the motivation I needed.

I will die. Everyone does. And what scares me more than the idea of dying, is feeling like I’ve wasted life and talent and drive. I can BE the person I want to be. I just have to DO IT.

So I’ve been writing, and keeping up with Wandering NerdGirl, and trying revive Hail to the Geek, Baby (which I haven’t had time to post on in FOREVER), and rebuilding my photography portfolio to take it in a direction I’d like it to be in. I’m working on cutting out soda again (UGH) and eating healthier options so my body is treated better. I’ve been working on myself and working at my dreams. And it feels pretty damn good.

Speaking of taking pictures for my portfolio…:

Some pictures my best friend, Brittaney, and I took the weekend before.

So, yeah. I’m doing things. And stuff. And trying to get somewhere again. Because I’m tired of talking about things and not doing enough of them. Health and depression can back off. It’s time for me to everything I can, while I can.

~Angel

bowie

“I know I’ll wither, so peel away the bark
Because nothing grows when it is dark
In spite of all my fears, I can see it all so clear”

So within a week, I’ve had some health ups and downs.

Last Monday, I had my follow up for my biopsy. Good news! It showed no cancer! I have other issues to tackle with why I had to have the biopsy, but at least cancer is currently off the table.

This Monday, I found out I have Trigeminal Neuralgia.

I had a very BAD end of last week, and then HORRIBLE weekend, and by Monday I knew I needed to see my doctor. I wasn’t sleeping (and am still not sleeping) because of how intense the pain is. To give you an idea of the pain levels: this disease is nicknamed the Suicide Disease, because people would kill themselves from the pain before anyone figured out what to do to treat this pain. It was hard to describe, but I read where someone described it as a combination of the worst migraine of your life and the worst toothache. I can agree and elaborate on this: The misery of the worst migraine, the insanity you feel with the worst toothache, and the feeling of someone using a hammer to break your jaw. That. That sounds like an adequate description.

I’ve built up a decent pain tolerance over the years, somehow. And this shatters that tolerance and leaves me curled up and miserable.

And, you guessed it – this is a manifestation of my disease. Sjogren’s decided to welcome more unpleasantness into my life.

But here’s the thing… Obviously, it hurts and it sucks. Yet, what seems to be bothering me even more, is that this is disease progression. This is me still not having anything under control. And it’s just a reminder of what my doctors have said:

There is nothing we can do to stop the progression.

You’re a ticking time bomb just waiting to go off.

I’ve had to explain to everyone in my life time and time again that I’ve been wanting to travel and do so much these past few years, because I want to do it while I can. There may come a day that I can’t handle my go-go-go travel style. What’s worse now, though, is that this day may be coming a lot sooner than I anticipated. My last three trips, I’ve had something come up health wise. Obviously, Reno was the worst. This all scares me.

I know my disease is still young and still evolving, but it’s so strong so early on. I can’t imagine what full-force will be like.

It’ll be a fun follow-up with my Rheumatologist, I’m sure.

But, I won’t let this stop me. I have plans, and goals, and dreams. Despite the brain fog, I will write. Despite the pain, I will progress. Despite exhaustion, I will travel. Until it is absolutely impossible, I will continue. Even though it feels like I am withering, I won’t give up. It isn’t in my nature.

Hopefully soon I’ll have more updates that don’t involve my body being stupid.

Hopefully.

~Angel

light

I’m not a single bit surprised that 2016 is off to a rough start. It’s almost a tradition at this point: go into it hopeful, get knocked down so fast my head spins. Because by “rough start”, I mean that it has been made very clear to me that this coming year will make or break me. And I refuse to let it break me, no matter how hard everything is trying to. All good news fades. All steps forward seem like they haven’t mattered. I am no closer to anything than I was before. If anything, I’ve fallen back several steps.

But, I push forward:

+ I’m working hard at my Wandering NerdGirl blog, in hopes that my nerdy adventures can be more productive. Cons, Orlando, other nerd-tastic events… I’m on it.

+ I’m writing again, period. I was so down and depressed Tuesday, reading about the market and what agents and publishers don’t want right now, blah blah. I’m a very critical person on myself, so of course I instantly decide everything I write is garbage and I should give up. But for some reason, one of my favorite story ideas popped into my brain, and I had a lot of interesting new ideas for it. Since it hasn’t actually been written yet, it will be a good exercise in writing again. I’ve spent so long in editing and rewriting hell, I haven’t had much time or opportunity for new creation. I’ve mostly been jotting notes down and what not, or writing a few specific scenes that some to mind. But as soon as I get my thoughts together, I’m running with it. I’ll hammer out my first draft, as intimidating as that feels right now. I won’t lose my dream. I’m going to write this book for me, and see where that takes me.

+ I have been drawing. Well, the last day or two I haven’t been. But I will excuse that because I have started a huge, new painting of Poe Dameron’s helmet from Star Wars: The Force Awakens. It’s all pretty exciting, considering I was very close to just getting rid of a lot of my art stuff to save space.

+ I have my eyes on new projects. Bigger projects. More projects. I have plans to go beyond what I have done and make something new all the time. New shoots, new types of projects, new ideas. It’s all very vague to you guys right now because I’m not jumping in with both feet just yet, so there isn’t much information to share. Just cross your fingers that I make the time to pull it all off.

+ My collection is growing. My collection is a tiny beast, but it is my tiny beast. I know I’ve been slacking on the Collection Haul posts, and if you’d like to see them again, I could start back up this month or in February. There have been quite a few additions. And as stupid or trivial or whatever it sounds, one of my goals for the year is to really build my collection up. I take great pride in my Batman stuff. Someday I’ll have a massive assortment of various Batman items properly displayed.  For now, it steadily grows.

+ I’ve been trying to figure out how to get back to college, and exactly what I want to do when I get back. I was going to start again Fall 2015 but my financial aid decided to be complicated. So maybe Fall 2016 or Spring 2017. Who knows. Going back genuinely frightens me at this point. But I would still like to try.

 

So, you have a basic rundown of my game plan for the year. Obviously, subject to change. But hopefully, this year I rise from the ashes and become closer to where I was before.

 

~Angel

I have been very, very cautious when it comes to thinking about what I want out of 2016, because last year as soon as I set my goals for the coming year, it all came crashing down around me: I was losing my job, my aunt was very sick, and then to top it all off, the stress triggered a bad flare in my body and I literally spent New Years in the bathroom vomiting and running a fever. The beginning of 2015 was a hard one. I didn’t feel like I achieved anything. I was uninspired and stuck most of the time, and I hated it. And considering how rough the last month or so has been health wise, 2016 could go either way.

Here we are, the end of a very chaotic year, and I have found something: I want to draw again. And by “I want to draw again” – I mean that I AM drawing again. Instead of just whining that I feel the need to work on some art, I AM. I’m sketching and prepping for some new paintings and practicing to get myself back into the swing of things. And for once, I feel good about it. They’re good drawings, considering how out of practice I am. And people LIKE them. They want the sketches to keep coming. It’s bizarre, to me at least. Mostly, so far, it’s been a lot of character sketches from Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

No: This is NOT my art.

No: This is NOT my art.

So, bring on 2016.

I will write as much as I possibly can.

I will work on my art purely for the happiness it brings to my own heart.

I will work on my collection and appreciate everything I have so far.

I will try to keep this train wreck body from completely derailing.

I will help the world be a better place.

I will not, most of all, let 2016 be the year I am defeated. Not by myself or anyone else. I will keep going. I will gain new ground.

So, let’s do this. Bring on 2016.

~Angel

RAGEAGAINSTDEATH

Typically, I make some sort of Thanksgiving related “Thankful” post. Today, I show how thankful I am for what turned around a very bad weekend.

There is a giant reason that this blog is called “Misadventures of a Misfit” – Frequently, my best laid plans fall apart. Hope for the best, expect the worst, settle for something in between. More often than not lately, these plans are damaged by my wonderful body deciding to do something terrible to me at an extremely inopportune time. I was hoping to come back from Reno with fantastic tales of comic con, and loads of pictures of me super excited and looking like a major dork. But instead I come back still battling my body from what can best be described as the worst flare I’ve had since the initial, horrible flare that put me in Barnes hospital for 3 days and started this autoimmune (mis)adventure.

For a few weeks now, I have been very scared that I’ll have to have a hysterectomy after my procedure. I’ve been very scared to find out I have a cancer I wasn’t bracing for.

This weekend, I was very scared I was going to die.

And as weird as this statement sounds, the weekend was saved by Jay and Silent Bob.

I had just gotten into the con, and my first thing I needed to do was get in line for my picture with Jason Mewes and Kevin Smith. Jason was going to be there for the con itself, but Kevin however was literally there that one day for that one dual photo op with Mewes. I have a lot of admiration for Kevin Smith as a writer and as a creator and person in general and knew this may well be the most I’ll ever get to do in terms of meeting him.

Now, I will say this – I had not felt particularly well this day. But I also hadn’t felt well for a while, hence why I had gone to an ASAP appointment with my surgeon and tests and now the procedure in two weeks. So I wasn’t phased really. It was what it was and had been. I had things to do.

Unfortunately, just before I went up for my photo op, when I had just a few people in line before me, something went wrong in my body. Suddenly I was dizzy, and realized I was going to be ill. Apparently, my blood pressure dropped, my O2 dropped, and ultimately I dropped. To top off this horribleness, I vomited as I went down. Hello, hundreds or so people around me. I am Chronically Ill Girl, and you are not used to my horrible body.

To make this portion of the story as short as possible: I was not well, the Wizard World staff took very good care of me, until the EMT came, checked me out, and had me wheeled away to the first aid station, where I was urged to go to the hospital considering everything going on with my past medical history as well as my current concerns. In reality, I should have agreed for them to call the ambulance. But I was already heartbroken that I’d missed my one shot to see Kevin Smith, and I wasn’t about to miss seeing Adam West and Burt Ward on top of everything else. I got cleaned up and changed and went on with my day.

When I was walking away from my photo op with Adam West and Burt Ward, I was weaving through the booths, and saw that Jason Mewes was at his table doing autographs. I figured I could salvage some of that photo op mishap by at least meeting Mewes. One half was better than not at all, right? And at least I had hopes he didn’t know I was the girl that went down in the line outside.

And he didn’t know… Until my mother told him.

MEWES

So at this point, I’m feeling embarrassed all over again, and I’m ready to shuffle off with my autograph and hide in the corner, especially since I still felt horrible. But that’s when Mewes told me he felt terrible for what happened with me, and that I didn’t get to meet Kevin.

Then he took my number and gave it to his assistant at the table. And told me he’d help me meet Kevin before he left for his flight. Hugs and selfies and many “Thank you”s. I cried when I walked away. I couldn’t believe this was happening to ME.

Now, I’ve been very nervous about actually talking about this, because what was done for me was something I didn’t ask for or expect, and I don’t want someone to ever take advantage of the kindness of others. But still, this kindness meant more to me than I think either of them realized.

So, I went back to my hotel room to shower and rest and in general gear myself up for a few more minutes at con and to prepare myself to somehow meet Kevin Smith.

When 5pm rolled around, my mom and I were waiting in the hotel lobby, as instructed, with promise that Kevin knew I was there waiting for him. I was weak and dizzy and severely anemic, but absolutely determined not to miss this opportunity.

And then I saw him heading my way, iconic jersey and all, and I completely lost focus of how bad I felt as my brain took over.

kevinsmith

I got to meet Kevin Smith. I got to hug him, and take selfies, and he asked how I was feeling. And I GOT TO MEET KEVIN SMITH.

The admiration I have for him already on top of how absolutely freaking AMAZING it was that he and Mewes did this for me made my entire trip. Unfortunately, not long after this, I went downhill again. But for this amount of time, I was on top of the world.

Rage against death by making some art today.

It really sparked a fire in me. I want to create things while I still can. And if ever, for some insane reason, someone looks to me like I do to him, I will do all I can to help make their day too. Someday, even, I’d like to repay Jason and Kevin both. Because something so small and simple to one person, can mean the whole world to another. This was the highlight of my trip, and has turned around the doom and gloom attitude I’ve had toward my health. I can accomplish anything I want, and I don’t have to let anything get in my way. It doesn’t matter if I live ten more years or 60 more.

I will rage against death.

Time to make the best of what time I have. Time to make my mark.

~Angel

Edited to add: Based off of symptoms and blood work, it looks like this was all brought on by a very, very bad disease flare to rival that of the initial one in 2012 that sparked the whole Mysterious Sickness of Doom thing. So I’m still not 100%, but I’m recovering, slowly but surely. Two weeks until my biopsy!

be soft

Yesterday was bad. Yesterday was overwhelming, and scary, and I’m not sure how I made it out with my sanity. But, nothing of real note happened yesterday. No particular thing set off two very bad panic attacks. Instead, a build up of frustration and stress and the immense feeling of being absolutely powerless all melded together to leave me shaken.

I am a strong person, but I cannot always hold my head above the water. Sometimes, it’s all too much. Sometimes, I start drowning.

But I am also determined to survive, despite everything else. I have come too far to let myself fall apart now.

 

Between health, and life, and the world, and trying to find a balance between who I am now, and who I want to be, I am not coping well. Things don’t work out as we plan, and I completely understand this reality. But it doesn’t mean I have to accept that this is it. I’m torn between settling down and chasing my dreams with reckless abandon. It’s hard to do both at the same time unless you’ve already reached some success. And, unfortunately for me, I am not nearly as close to success as I used to be.

I worry for the world. I worry about people being absolute assholes to each other. I try to make a difference, but I can’t do it alone. You can read more on my post Give the World Your Best – because it’s pointless for me to go into the same details all over again for everyone that’s already read it.

I have three weeks until my procedure, and it’s making me a nervous wreck.

Yet, I have so much to make me feel better and distract myself so I don’t have to deal with anymore negative energy. The week after my procedure, I’m going to see Wicked at the Fox, and going to the Fox is one of my faaavorite things. This weekend, I’m going to Reno for a con. Next week is Thanksgiving so I’ll have some much needed down time from work. I’m sure there’s more I’m not thinking of. But I’m still scared and worried. I still feel like time is passing sooooo slowly.

Everything is making me feel like I have no control, and I don’t want to feel that way anymore.

So, I’m devising a plan. I am moving toward changes.

More will be coming soon.

~Angel