Posted in Coping Now, My Artwork

My Reading List May 2019 & Loving Program Again (Mini Life Update)

Jewel of my Eye THUMB - 1.30.19


Heyyyyy guys!!! Welcome back to another blog post! I decided to feature a thumb up above to offset the fact that I don’t have a thumb specifically for this post since it’s neither a book review nor any kind of review, rather just the ever growing list of all the books (and movies!) I have currently checked out from the local libraries. 🙂 I actually have quite a few of these old thumbs that I never uploaded as I stopped blogging for a while there so, you’ll probably eventually see some of those coming on out! This one I just happened to make this year. 🙂 But more from previous years will come as well as more for other related blog posts (i.e: fanfics post, original writings, projects post etc.).

But! Let’s jump into this, shall we?

First, I’m gonna talk BOOKS! I have 3 separate piles (I mean, they’re all one GIANT pile but from 3 separate occasions) of books that I’ve taken out–four if you include the 5 I had to drop off today because I couldn’t renew them again (darn it!). THOSE books (from that list) include:

  1. Bad Girls Don’t Die by Katie Alender (paranormal)
  2. Silent Alarm by Jennifer Banash (school shooter)
  3. Flip by Martyn Bedford (someone else’s body)
  4. Lost by SJ Bolton (murder mystery/crime solving focused on 2 characters)
  5. Girls Made of Snow and Glass by Melissa Bashardoust (fantasy)

The book I am CURRENTLY reading is actually:

Stravaganza: City of Masks by Mary Hoffman 

🙂 I’m still only about 100 pages into it, but it’s a trilogy and I REAAAAALLLY want to get back into it soon, finish it then review it and pick up the rest of it (meaning the next 2 books) soon too. Sigh. One day, self, one day. (Also, curse you Youtube addiction!!)

Okay, with a few more sips of my coffee, I’m going to let you guys in on the first oldest pile of books in my possession (excluding the ones from the Thomas Crane Public Library in Quincy that I still have in my possession after nearly two years that I still want to read and have to read and actually pay back but shhhh, don’t tell them that, I’ve been avoiding them for two years so they may not remember me (they totally do)) (also, I found Ash in the library today and I am SO HAPPY, if you don’t know and you couldn’t possibly because I never typed and published it, but I read that book a few years ago from TCPL and it was AMAZING. Loved it sooooo much, so glad to see it near my home now!!) What was I saying? Oh right! Longest had books thus far (which means I need to read them sooner rather than later!)

  1. Speak (Graphic Novel) w/ artwork by Emily Carroll (survivorship, artsyness)
  2. 27 Hours by Tristina Wright (fantasy, monsters, romance, same sex relationships)
  3. Beware That Girl by Teresa Toten (mental health (I’ve been actively avoiding this but it turns out this book deals with some of this, damn), secrets, dark pasts, psychological thriller)

These books are due….

June 5th 2019

Damn. Didn’t realize that…. GWAH! More TIME CRUNCHES nuuuuuu!

Anyways…

The NEXT ROUND:

  1. Rush Home Road by Lori Lansens (memories, love, motherhood, understanding, forgiveness, home)
  2. Never Enough: The Neuroscience and Experience of Addiction by Judith Grisel (nonfiction, addiction, psychology, recovery, neuroscience, the brain, behavior, in some respects memoir but also research)
  3. Diagnosis Death by Richard L. Mabry (book from a series (of which I have not read hehe), physicians, fiction, grief, suspected murder, death, dark secrets, mistrust)
  4. Are u ok? by Kati Morton (mental health, education, nonfiction, recovery, getting help processes, FAQs)
  5. The Fall Guy by James Lasdun (psychological thriller, secrets, obsession, revenge)

These books are due….

June 7th 2019

(damn)

NEXT ROUND! (as my wrist already begins to ache and I have to change songs again :P)

  1. The Elevator by William Page (fantasy, adventure, time travel, monsters, romance, high stakes: death before being born :O)
  2. Waiting to Surface by Emily Listfield (intense job, grief, bad news from a detective, double life?, death?, uncertainty, fear, hope, mystery, disappearance, crisis, navigation, loss, “learning to live in a world without answers”, finding love again)
  3. I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh (plot twists, car accident, loss of a child, painful pasts, investigators, hit and run)
  4. To Be Where You Are (A Mitford novel) by Jan Karon (series (which I haven’t read haha), families, celebrations, retirement, Kavanagh’s (characters), multiple character arcs, a story within its own little world–legit there’s a map of this town in the inner flap)
  5. Hurting Girls by Kim A Mac Innis (murder, vigilantes, dark thoughts, rage, killings, justice, fiction, war against women, violence, thriller)
  6. Sweet Tomorrows by Debbie Macomber (a series novel (final book), romance, inns, “letting go of fear, embracing the future, following your heart”, Rose Harbor Inn)

I just got these ones today so for now they are due back….

June 11th 2019

BUT WE’RE NOT FINISHED HERE!

I also have some movies out from the library 😀

  1. Pet Sematary (1989)
  2. Pet Sematary 2 (1992)
  3. Demolition (2015)
  4. White Noise (2005)
  5. Midnight Special (2016)

These are due between:

May 20th – May 22nd 2019

SO! With my books precariously piled, my movies collecting some dust, I think it’s time for me to get off to the races with my literally cold feet and try to watch one of these movies (PS first, naturally) and get this post up so that my wrist hurts less and so that I’m still moving forwards in some manner!

Overall as a life update…

  • I finished my one-shot fanfic! Here it is on AO3 because the page breaks were kept rather than on ff.net: Not This Mind and Not This Heart, I Won’t Rot
  • I THINK I might have a job now, I have to finish my TB screening and get my fingerprints checked but after all that I think I might have gotten this job I only applied to last week which would at the barest level be driving people with disabilities to social and community activities. The pay is good and all. Plus it looks like work that would actually apply my peer mentor-y-ness, my degree and learned behavior from program
  • Speaking of program, I’m back in love with again
  • Also I may be on a vacation to Germany with family in July so that’ll help, I’m sure.
  • I also decorated my graduation cap yesterday at school! (Pics to come later)
  • I’m blogging again so that’s cool
  • My Youtube addiction is kinnnnda kicking my ass, so I really want to try and get better with my time management and everything. Let’s hope this week is better. I may be home alone for a bit this weekend so that could give me some time too.
  • Also, I found out that the DVD player on my laptop no longer works so that sucks. I wanted the full experience with headphones and watching movies on my laptop but I’ll have to either use the TV or my Mom’s computer instead 😛 Poo!
  • I filmed a video the other day, a little haul, but haven’t actually edited videos in a WHILE
  • Commencement is the 31st this month (you can see my countdown tracker on the side of this site)
  • I’m hoping to work more on fanfic stuff soon
  • As well as more blogging
  • And more interacting too

For now, I think that’s it!!

I’m off to go be productive elsewhere! I’ll let you guys know when I have more information about the possible job and all that jazz. 🙂 Driving isn’t nearly as frightening as I’d been thinking up until now! I count it as a win whenever I’m not in an accident and nobody dies. XD

See ya guys in the next one!! ❤ ❤ ❤

PS I thought this post would be fun, interactive and also accountable for my own sake, as now I have a clearer picture when things are due and what I want to achieve before those deadlines!

ALSO ALSO: I just passed 3 years on WordPress yesterday! YAY!

 

Posted in Coping Now, Important Concepts

I Just Realized: I Haven’t Been on a Vacation in Almost 4 Years

Journaling THUMB


**Trigger Warning**: Discussion of Self-harm

I’ve been on Twitter today, if you follow me there (@RecoveryRaquel), so you may know where this post is coming from but I just felt so floored by this revelation that I had to process it somewhere and maybe part of me is trying to self-soothe with a blog post too and actually more importantly to distract myself from what’s upsetting me at the moment (which is largely not being able to focus to read a book and then beyond that the growing pile of books I have to read, sigh).

But all of this started yesterday.

My friend Vanessa at program during the DBT lecture group where we were returning to discussing interpersonal effectiveness skills (and of which I just got two new [SCENTED] Crazy Aaron’s thinking putty (orangesicle and chocolatta, suuuuuuper good!!) so I was more focused on that then what I felt was a boring group lmao) asked about what do we do when we have to tell staff that we’re going to miss program (for whatever reason).  This additionally translated into taking time off from program which also meant vacations.

And I sat there and I thought,

Damn, I’d like to take a vacation from program. What would I do if I took a week off?

And largely I think I’d probably just read and write and Deep Dive (which would be less than productive or good, which is also what I’m managing to avoid by writing this now which is better) and browse Twitter and do artwork and things to that effect. It probably wouldn’t be all that much, to be honest.

And now it’s really, really worming its way into my skull.

Like the last last Friday I had a really bad headache when I woke up so I went into program at lunch (noon) versus 9a. Then last Friday I just woke up significantly late and got there at 11:30a.

And it’s a problem because I can’t make it become a pattern but now I’m just really realizing that I’ve been going to program for a little over a year now and that’s a 3 day a week commitment that…maybe I don’t have to do. But I wouldn’t know because I haven’t tried anything–like take a week off, go somewhere else, get a job, juggle school, etc.

Maybe it’s on my mind more now because June (my family therapist) has been asking me what the next steps are from after program. Maybe it’s because I’ve needed to find a job now that I’m done with school. Maybe having school before was more out of limbo than where I’m at now.

I don’t know, not for sure. But it got me thinking of vacations.

And I was thinking about it even today when I couldn’t get my eyes and my mind to read my book that when was the last time I took a vacation?

I know it was Florida, and while I was sunbathing this morning out on the sunny porch, I remembered that it had come out in August when I went with my Mom there and there were more islands (turns out, spoiler, it was Fort Myers) and I remember noting the difference between fancy hotels and hospitals, so then I thought it was 2017 and then maybe even 2016. But 2016 didn’t make sense because I was out of the hospital for 9 months. So then I was confused.

I remembered that the night my Mom and I got there it was about 11p and it was raining and we accidentally went over this very tall, intimidating and triggering bridge with the water underneath it and I got incredibly upset. I was crying and incoherent (I realized if I had lived there all the time this would have been the place I’d attempt to end my life) and we got into the hotel and the bedroom and I curled up on a ball and rocked back and forth for 20 mins listening to Colbie Calliot’s “Brighter than the Sun” which I’ll link here:

Once I cried, I felt better but it was still such a pronounced shock of what life was like pre-mental health conditions and post-mental health conditions.

I knew I had taken photos of some of my time there, and I KNOW I have uploaded them SOMEWHERE (but where I can’t seem to find, sadly), so a few minutes ago I was like, what about that vacation thingy again? after I was ordering my next Tools4Wisdom planner on Amazon, browsing other sites and shops for journals after I finished doing today’s work of job applications and browsing through ads.

So, I went on my deviantART and didn’t find it there, tried searching my blog with the term “vacation” but also didn’t find it, so then I went digging through my folder files and I found it.

Spoiler:

My last vacation was almost 4 years ago (in August).

That’s……depressing.

I mean, I really don’t have an interest in traveling, it’s never been one of my dreams, but damn. I didn’t realize it had been THAT long ago. And it bothers me a lot.

Maybe more because I know I can’t go on vacation now, not so soon, not yet.

And then that’s when I find myself in a love and hate relationship with program. Because program is limiting me while it’s making me limitless. Having such a powerful support system when I need it (and yes, I haven’t often been needing it which is a whole other discussion, to be honest) rivals against my living my life and furthering my career and doing what’s best for me rather than just what’s comfortable.

Which in turn reminds me of what IS limiting me: my mental health.

I don’t drive much because I’m scared of getting in a car accident, someone getting killed and the like.

Then in turn, (if) when I get a job I’m going to have to drive to more unfamiliar places (until it becomes familiar) which is something I’ve ACTIVELY avoided for years. But it’s how I’m gonna have to live so I can earn some money, pay bills, further my life and everything.

In fact, I finished editing my resume yesterday and started to apply to some jobs. I got a phone call today about an interview for one of them, which is awesome (it’s on Th). But it’s a little farther away than I realized when applying but it’s also just part-time like 10 hours a week so that’s not bad at all. I am excited for it!

But back to my many emotions: I hate that I can’t look for jobs that will further my career because I can’t earn more than $2k or else my state insurance will be dropped and then I won’t be eligible for program. And without program… I don’t know who I am. Or what I am. Or what to do.

June has been saying that I over-distract myself with blogging, reading, reviewing, art, etc. And it’s true. I know I’ve been over-distracting myself for a year to avoid situations like these where I’m confronted with all of my many emotions that apparently have just been lying dormant over the last year with my increased recovery time and stability factors. Because I’ve created such a baseline of stability as my new normal I forget at times of my medical history (specifically of course the psychiatric portions). I think not only do I sometimes put others on a pedestal, I think I’ve been putting MYSELF on a pedestal.

Which I was rudely knocked off of Monday evening when I’ve been encountering a new problem since 2-3 months ago: I complete my diary card every night when I’m alone in my bedroom around 9 or 10p (which tracks my moods and behaviors). Upon doing this, I’m reminded now that if I hadn’t pulled (my hair) during the day, and my diary card asks about my pulling, that I’m reminded “Ah, yes, I do do that! I should do it now!” Or just the reference of it when I can’t sleep a few minutes later makes the idea more upfront and tangible where I think if it weren’t on my radar at all, would have made the behavior obsolete or at least not as “go-to”.

Which, of course, was exactly what happened to me on Monday when it came to the self-harm.

Part of the issue I’ve had with my self-harm is that I’m very much a “monkey see, monkey do” person.

When I was first hospitalized way back four years ago actually, I saw another client with self-harm marks and it reminded me that I could also do that. Which probably isn’t the best.

So sometime last year when I started at my day program, I saw another individual pick at their scalp and have scabs over it (although they often wear a hat to hide it) but sometimes they would pick at it during group and I would see it.

Which then led me to adapting that behavior too.

I think that’s what I REALLY hate about recovery: mental health conditions don’t have an end date. They don’t come with “cures” or time limits or death dates. They just continue and linger, or hide under the surface, or have half-lives and form and reshape and turn into other things.

They’re persistent. They grow and change and adapt. Sometimes a little too well.

So over the last year I’ve had to come face to face with several notions:

  1. I have not scratched myself probably for almost 2 years
  2. Minus one time I cut myself but that was almost a year ago and was an isolated incident
  3. I finally accepted that my lip biting was a problem (self-harm if I bleed; anxiety/OCD behavior otherwise)
  4. I finally accepted how my hair pulling can be self-harm and it grew more into a problem (when I decimate my entire brow into nothingness)
  5. I accepted that I have an Internet addiction (more predominantly Youtube, or maybe that’s still some denial lol)
  6. I accepted that I over-distract to the point, and this is probably important to define, that it’s UNHEALTHY. That I’m using it to AVOID everything (like jobs and moving forwards and things to that effect (the roles of adulting as it were) or when I watch Youtube when I eat my meals because I’m afraid of being alone with my thoughts/ruminations (which don’t happen as often anymore minus Monday))
  7. About 2-3 months ago I started to pick at the dry skin inside my ear canal and am keeping the skin in a plastic baggie for what purpose I have no idea other than it looks cool and I could maybe get a diagnosis out of it if I went to the doctor (I actually have two bags, even. :/) But only once has it been self-harm (bleeding about a week ago) Largely an OCD behavior
  8. Scalp picking. This has been newer and transient. But when I bleed, when I really go into it, that’s self-harm. Like it was on Monday night.
  9. (Self-harm Trigger Warning) There are peculiarities that I’ve run into as well: I like the smell/taste of blood, I like the feeling of pulling out a scab/dry skin, I like collecting the scabs/skin, if I have urges during the day I wait until it’s nightfall and I’m alone to pick/pull, I don’t like the pain during the picking but I appreciate the dull ache afterwards
  10. I’ve been segmenting myself into parts and time spaces rather than as a collective whole: I clamp off my memories from childhood, high school, college, psychiatric, etc. I make it a rule of mine and a designated point not to review old memories, thoughts, feelings, etc. In an effort to not trigger myself into realms of self-sabotage or because I’m afraid of what happens when I do (which has been rarer these days).
  11. I can kinda remember time before mental health conditions (normalcy) and time after mental health conditions (in normalcy I could achieve anything; in post-MHC’s I can still achieve anything and it’s even more impressive)
  12. I still struggle with acceptance portions and identifying as the diagnoses. Like I don’t believe I have “full” BPD rather traits/tendencies of it. Then again, I also didn’t think I had any OCD left but that’s not the case either (the intrusive thoughts/images, compulsive behavior like pulling/picking, etc.)
  13. I’m a stickler for correct/accurate terminology versus slang/inappropriate language (“died by suicide/took their own life” vs. “committed suicide”) to the point where I’ll be triggered and irritable if used inappropriately
  14. I came to realize some other unhealthy relationships with people (just Luna, actually) that I had to cut ties with and move on from too
  15. I think I struggle with knowing when to get support from something versus when re-exposing myself is detrimental and triggering all over again (which had never happened before with my recovery)
  16. I don’t have to give ALL the details to something, I can break it up into smaller, more concise bits (clearly have a problem with that lol *points to length of this blog post*)
  17. I struggle with thinking I have to handle everything by myself when I’m struggling/not doing so hot because I’ve been able to do REALLY WELL for a long time
  18. I struggle with understanding when something is just a boundary (not going back in my memories) versus avoidance/over-distracting (I will also note here that June has said that my activities are good and necessary and everything, it’s merely a problem when I’m using them to avoid and escape reality)
  19. I still have access to my past history (as I am a whole person, not just who I present as today) and largely the glorification I have regarding self-harm/suicide. Especially details
  20. I have a problem with taking LEAPS instead of small steps (which I’m aware I’m already doing with jobs and everything now)

 

Well, I feel I went off track there for a bit!

But I guess this is all just to say that I probably have new things to talk about in therapy and some direction with program moving forwards.

Back to vacations… I’d like to take one. Maybe even if it’s not official or maybe after I have a solid job for a while or maybe just a week off of program. Maybe I can just go drive somewhere new within reason and spend the day out. I don’t know. Something though. Because it’s been a long time, and maybe I need to push myself a little more than where I’ve been resting in my nest.

Maybe I can do a pros/cons of it actually. And read books and watch movies and eat food and write blog posts and fanfic and so many things to dooooo.

 

But I’m gonna go for now. I’ll bring up these issues tomorrow at program. I guess I just have to get back into the grind of what’s actually happening right now versus jumping ahead so much. I’m even a little tired now.

Welp, that’s it from me.

I guess I’ll see you next time? I hope so.

I guess like life there is no official conclusion to this post, just more things to think about.

Thank you for reading.

Stay safe.

❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤

 

 

Posted in Book Reviews, Coping Now, Creative Writing

“Pet Sematary” (1983) | Book Review (April 2019)

Book Review THUMB


CHOSEN BOOK:

Pet Sematary (1983) by Stephen King


THEMES:

Death, paranormal, Wendigos, horror, suspense, thriller

**Also, beware, spoilers ahead!!**


TRIGGER WARNINGS:

Substance use (alcohol mainly), suicidality (methods/attempt), pet death, sex, trauma, mental health references (“asylums”, psych hospitals and “crazy”)


RECOMMENDATION SCORE:

4/5 Resurrected Beings


SUMMARY:

Louis Creed, a medical doctor moving his family (wife, Rachel; 5 year old daughter, Ellie; 2 year old son, Gage; and pet cat Church) from Chicago to Maine meets Jud Crandall and his wife Norma across the street of their new home who later inform him about a Pet Sematary a ways behind his house. The Pet Sematary is where kids of the past have buried their pets, often being killed on the busy street (Rt. 15) separating their houses. Rachel has been traumatized by her older sister’s (Zelda) death when she was young which colors her vision by wanting to shield Ellie from the concepts of death and how brutal it can be.

On Louis’s first day at work, a young man named Victor Pascow warns him about the Pet Sematary before he dies. Later, Louis has a “dream” in which Pascow warns him of what’s beyond the deadfall by the Pet Sematary, saying that Louis is not to cross the boundary, that some doors must not be opened and that terrible things were yet to happen. It turns out, amusingly to me and with dismay to Louis, that this “dream” wasn’t a dream, rather he had actually followed Pascow’s ghost into the woods and mud and pine needles as he discovers the next morning.

When everyone but Louis is away in Chicago for Thanksgiving, their cat Church is sadly killed. Jud, then, shows Louis the Micmac burial ground beyond the deadfall which has the power to resurrect the dead although whatever comes back is changed from how they were before.

Later, when Gage is unfortunately killed on Rt. 15, Louis has the compulsion to bury him in the Micmac. Jud warns him of a tale where a human was buried and how they were more like an evil zombie when resurrected than a human being. Still, Louis is desperate to have Gage back that he sets out to rob him from his coffin.

Rachel and Ellie being in Chicago as this takes place, have bad feelings and Rachel makes the trek back to Maine.

Once Gage is resurrected, he goes to Jud to taunt and then kill him.

Rachel arrives at Jud’s house and Gage mocks her in the voice of Zelda, before also murdering her.

Louis wakes up to the aftermath at Jud’s home, killing both Church and Gage then bringing Rachel’s body back to the Micmac, thinking his problem was that he waited too long to resurrect Gage.

A coworker named Steve finds Louis crossing the deadfall where monsters like the Wendigos are and Louis’s hair is all white and he’s under a trance. Steve leaves.

The novel ends with Louis in the kitchen and Rachel approaching him from behind.

 

My personal thoughts and take on this (which you’ll also read more of later in the Quotes section):

I wondered what happened to Ellie after, her life beyond the events, how Louis explained anything, if at all, before he was also killed.

The trance from the burial ground had managed to discourage Rachel and Jud from interfering even though they try to anyways. I don’t get why Louis aged a lot with the white hair at the end and what significance that particularly had, maybe I’m just missing something. I felt conflicting emotions over this book–I wanted a happy ending for them, a resolution, something, and I really fell in love with them early on. I wanted the best for them ultimately while also wanting to see the shit hit the fan and everything that would come out of that. But, it’s Stephen King, so, what else can we truly expect? XD

The part that really freaked me out in particular was the long paragraph of Death towards the end. All the different methods of dying really freaked me out lmao.

I found the book to be suspenseful in bursts, dragging out the details then a lot happening then dragging it out again.

It was a struggle for me to read this book but when I got into it it was good, my concentration abilities were limited often, but I could read a lot for an extended period of time and really got sucked into it, which is awesome.

I was also often reminded of the novel I wish to write and how creative one can be in fiction. It was very inspiring in that way and the resurrection idea with things not being the same after was fascinating.

I would recommend this story for anyone who enjoys thrillers and not so happy endings.

I also look forward to completing this review, the first two movies and the remake. 🙂


QUOTES:

First portion from 3/21/19:

  1. The contents page which was split into three parts.

My Thoughts here: I begin to ponder my struggles with creativity these days post-mental health conditions. My struggles with creating places with new rules and the balance between imagination and researched/education. The free range of creativity versus the exactness and accuracy. Even just creating fully dimensional characters, plot and OC’s (original characters).

2. “Death is a mystery and burial is a secret” – p. 1

MT: A few things here:

How life is preserved in books–how you can find something new in old familiar pages at different points in your life, how experiences are still new and unique and variable no matter what. How life is unpredictable, essentially.

What this book can say on death and dying and how some of these messages are timeless. And spooky of course. Says a lot about philosophy and life and having gratitude for what we do have.

Also, my own novel “The Cards We’re Dealt” and what I want to publish one day. Thoughts on what I and what I want to create, how to do it, how to write it, where to start, etc. Probably starting with writing the manuscript, knowing the steps to take throughout and finding a publishing agency and such. I’d also like to create something with my artwork and projects. 🙂 Actually reading this novel at the start spurred creativity for my own novel (that I since haven’t worked on but still) which is interesting and fun. 🙂 ❤

3. By page 3–and I should preface this here to say that reading books for me and slightly in general has become very difficult to do with my attention span and you may be able to see that through how rocky the start of these selected quotes (or reminders as it tends to also be) are. I don’t know, I think I lost my discreteness over time, or maybe I’ve just ballooned up the process into a lengthy and hardworking notion. I feel that now I read as three distinct characters: The Reader who is getting lost in the make believe world; The Writer who notes word choices, metaphors, descriptions and such to involve in my own writings; and The Analyzer which tries to see the foreshadowing elements and understand the plot and what is happening and what it all means. It’s definitely not the same as watching a Youtube video and being able to skip ahead to the juicy bits. It really requires me to have to manually get through the information with my fading memory and attention span. Probably why I haven’t done it nearly as much as I’d love to, these days. Having the extra layer of reviewing the works probably adds to this stress and surmountable problem, actually. But for the foreseeable future, I will continue with this work, because I do enjoy it and in some ways, I’m not yet ready to give it up–but by this page I had thoughts about my own fanfiction plots and OC’s and wanting to write a romance AU fic which I’ve since written down in my notes as something to balance out all the heavy, hard hitting plots of mine these days. 🙂

4. “…Louis savored the silence.” – p. 5

MT: I’ve read not many actually Stephen King novels before, I know we had to read “The Shining” in high school and I didn’t fancy it too much, but with this novel I actually really grew to enjoy it (and I read the graphic novel of “The Dark Man” actually before this which helped in many ways, I believe) and the way that King writes and portrays information. Particularly with this description, I enjoy how simple yet impactful it is. It’s a nice word, too “savoring”. 🙂

5. (Gage saying his first word) – p. 5

MT: This is where I began to fall in love with the characters and it churned thoughts of my own characters and plots.

6. “(Louis to Ellie) ‘There. (cleaning a wound) And it really didn’t hurt a bit. Fess up, Ellie'” – p. 7

MT: I thought this was a little abrasive and insensitive, which is a manner that Louis has at times. He’s human after all and sometimes we can be invalidating even when we are not intending to be.

7. “(Jud to Louis) ‘I’ve seen a lot of life right here in Ludlow.'” – p. 11

MT: This reminds me that I should check in soon with an old neighbor. Also, interesting to be reminded of how neighborhoods grow old and change too with the passage of time.

8. “One the road a semi roared by, its running lights twinkling like earthstars” – p. 15

MT: I’m a sucker for stars, planets, galaxies and universe quotes and metaphors and aesthetic. 🙂

9. “(L to J): ‘I’ll take it under advisement'” – p. 17

MT: I think this is a nice phrase, something I’d like to use in a deflection or a way to end an opposing opinion. It’s concise and still polite.

10. “(L’s thoughts about Jud staying up late on his porch) Perhaps they stand watch. Against what?” – p. 18

MT: I thought this would be nice to include as the foreboding nature was present even so early on in the story. So much later build up happens and there were hints all along the way.

11. “(about Norma’s arthritis) She would not surrender to the pain; there would be no white flags. Let it take her if it could” – p. 19

MT: I just really loved this visual. It’s so strong, poetic, and inspiring in some ways. The idea of not letting pain win, in this case physical but also emotionally. It says a lot about resiliency and perseverance, I think.

12. “You learned to accept or you ended up in a small room writing letters home with Crayolas” – p. 19

MT: I’m pretty sure this is a dig at psych hospitals. It’s also not the last. I was slightly offended but forgave it time and time again. That’s why my score settles on a 4 and not a 5, also. I mean, it’s a fair criticism in some ways, but I hate how intertwined mental health and art/storytelling can be because it’s so often stigmatizing rather than educational. It’s so often damaging and ridiculous, especially in the horror genre, which is far too bad. It’s also not rebutted or cleared up either, just passing judgment then moving on as though nothing significant had occurred. It’s a fine line, I think. Choosing to use mental health in an artistic conversation while also being fair and not passing on cruel remarks or lasting damage. If nothing else, it’s disappointing to repeatedly rehash old tropes and persistent myths. It’s also probably a good indicator on personal responsibility within the field itself. (Knowing when to use content warnings if something explicit is described, those who choose to be explicit rather than implicit, talking about the issue with words rather than skittering on the topic but never naming it, etc.)

13. “(L’s thoughts about Ellie going off to school) We’re really going to get old. It’s really true. No one’s going to make an exception for us. She’s on her way…and so are we” – p. 21

MT: I feel like in retrospect this quote is especially sad knowing everything that winds up happening later. Also, as the time I’m writing this review portion is happening (last Friday of April) my headache is returning and I still am struggling to read the notes I have on this particular page flag. I think it says something along the lines of an existential awareness and finality’s.

14. “…They looked over the river, its lush hem of trees, the roads, the fields…” – p. 24

MT: Some of these I’m going to skip and use my own opinion of what’s relevant and what I can probably do without for the sake of time and having your attention. 🙂 You’re welcome! XD But this description of the area reminded me of my Recovery Home ideas/project and TCWD (my novel) and wanting to write for that story at the time, too. That’s all 😉

15. “(L to R) (it was true that he was fine), although his hart was larruping along at a good speed in his chest. He was more used to prescribing physical exercise than he was to doing it” – p. 27

MT: Thought that was an interesting word choice, something different than I’ve seen before. Also, I’m squeamish yet beyond fascinated by hearts. I just think they’re really cool, they make sounds and everything. So along with galaxies, I’m also a sucker for anything heart related. XD Maybe one day I’ll even just talk about this at length in a separate blog post… that would be interesting and cool. I know I’ve briefly mentioned it a few times before but yeah. Especially anatomically correct human hearts. Damn son. That’s my shit. XD ANY WHO! (Also, it shouldn’t come too much as a surprise from my fanfic “A Little Unsteady” which if you don’t know you should totes check out my first part of all about my fanfics here on my blog through the Search button! :D)

16. “(They’re all walking towards the Pet Sematary which is a bit of a hike) ‘I’m fine,’ he called back a little aggressively. Pride probably would have led him to say the same thing even if he had felt the onset of a coronary” – p. 28

MT: Why do men do this (what is the origin of these matters, of thinking admitting to health problems (both mental and physical) is weak rather than life-saving at times)? Also, this is a detail I probably ought to include in my own fics and OC’s. Since it is so common for men. And I’m often writing in the perspective of one. Or, at least, a demigod for fanfics but also prevalent in my own writings. Just interesting, to me, I think. It also reminds me of how if I get lost I’ll just ask someone for directions but even this form of asking for help can be difficult for men. I guess I’m wondering about the societal and cultural factors involved with these issues. Interesting….

17. “He and Rachel exchanged an amused glance and stepped under the arch, instinctively reaching out and grasping each other’s hands as they did so” – p. 28

MT: I like this description and it reminds me of how I’ve initially begun my own novel. 🙂

18. “(Rachel) had never been easy around the appearances of death (not, he supposed, that anyone really was), probably because of her sister. Rachel’s sister had died very young and it had left a scar which Louis had learned early in their marriage not to touch. Her name had been Zelda…” – p. 29

MT: This is a continued quote but for here, I pondered (thinking it was Ellie who died and not Gage based on the trailers I had seen of the remake) how grief would impact Rachel and Louis’s relationship, the matters of Ellie’s (presumed) death as it were and my own characters dealing with the news of death and grief. And I quote my note: “Sad.”

19. “…Zelda had died from spinal meningitis. Her mortal illness had probably been long and painful and ugly, and Rachel would have been at an impressionable age. If she wanted to forget it, he thought there could be no harm in that” – p. 30

MT: At the time of reading this I felt that this may not be the best of approaches as it opened up more issues than addressing the situation could cause. Which, in some respects, was accurate for how things later played out. So, you know, maybe not avoiding things all the time matters? They always have a way of being brought out into the open again, anyhow, those nefarious little bastards.

Second portion from 4/13/19:

20. “(L to E about death) ‘God or Somebody. Clocks run down–that’s all I know. There are no guarantees, babe’ ” – p. 36

MT: I didn’t mention this in another quote but around this section I began to wonder how the process of grief of a child while having another child in existence would be. Here, I was struggling to get back into the book and I found this concept baffling. It reminded me of how we learn and grow with books. Also makes me think and wonder if it’s possible to read all the books in a library, and to ponder how many bookstores and libraries there are all over the world in existence today. Food for thought, that’s for sure.

21. “Now, even if (death) could not be changed, it could at least be wept over” – p. 37

MT: Death is a tricky thing to come to terms with, and I think as humans we come to accept it in differing waves. I don’t necessarily know when I started to become aware of death and dying but it’s always been a fear of mine and something that spooks me out. It’s been something I’ve been so laser focused on over time which probably shouldn’t come as any surprise as to why I later developed Harm OCD. (As you may remember, I only developed mental health conditions as a young adult, not before).

I think it still predominantly freaks me out. I don’t think about it consciously nearly as much as I used to and I barely write as much about it as I used to too. But the idea that life will one day cease to exist for me is so bizarre and unnerving. When I’m not symptomatic (which is most days these days) it’s devastating and hard to swallow whereas when I am symptomatic it … feels like freedom (but not freedom at the same time). Because there’s still so much I want to do and achieve and create and manage in my life. And the end of life is the end of all experiences, something I’m really not ready for.

You know it always kind of freaked me out that death could happen suddenly at any point in time. It still does. For years I didn’t drive much as I was afraid to get into a car accident. I still don’t, not all the way. But I’ve gotten tired of being limited by it. I think the biggest thing I wonder about is whether or not my online presence would be notified if I passed on. And how exactly people would find out and such. I don’t know, that’s just something that came to my mind even now, right this minute, on the last Friday (4/26) of April. Just thought I’d share that with you, too. This also probably explains why I got so freaked out at the dying page-long paragraph at the very end of this book. XD

Third portion from 4/14/19:

*22. “He held her and rocked her, believing, rightly or wrongly, that Ellie wept for the very intractability of death, its imperviousness to argument or to a little girl’s tears; that she wept over its cruel unpredictability; and that she wept because of the human being’s wonderful, deadly ability to translate symbols into conclusions that were either fine and noble or blackly terrifying. If all those animals had died and been buried, then Church could die and be buried; and if that could happen to Church, it could happen to her mother, her father, her baby brother. To herself. Death was a vague idea; the Pet Sematary was real” – p. 37

*MT: At the heart of this story, it’s about death and dealing with it, successfully or unsuccessfully. I feel like this is what I often grappled with in my writings and nowadays I try to grapple more with living lives worth living and overcoming adversity and triumph and hardships to enjoying the pleasantries about life (because they do exist) while we can because we really don’t know when our time will be up.

Do you ever think about what would have happened if things in history had been even just slightly different? If someone who tragically died had survived instead and what larger differences they could have made in people’s lives because of that? I think about that at times. I also think about all the stuff I’m going to leave behind when I poof too (like material things) but I hope that some of it, like my blog here and my Youtube channel and my Twittery-ness will be left behind as I move onwards.

In fact, I don’t necessarily believe in an afterlife which I always found amusing as I write about it a lot. Which is pretty much the basis for my own future novel, actually, too. But besides material things, I hope that I’ve been able to positively impact people in this world, online and off, so that they have a little piece of me to remember me by. Until they inevitably perish as well. Oh boy, this is getting morbid!! Definitely a lot of existential awareness happenings from this book. XD

But lastly, this basically reminded me of my fanfics ALU, S and D&D. And a few others, too, for what I said about life and meaning-making and triumphs. 🙂

Also, the *here on this quote and future ones will be to remind myself of which quotes I’d like to record in my book review blogging journal as I’m largely typing up the majority of this review rather than handwriting it and killing my wrists. Gotta be nice to my aging body!! I will also be noting when I complete this review over multiple days (the summary, recomm. score, title, etc. began April 25th; everything else up to this point was written April 26th) in my MT portions purely for tracking purposes. Okay, that’s enough from me. 🙂

23. “Eventually her tears would stop. It was a necessary first step on the way to making an uneasy peace with a truth that was never going to go away” – p. 37

MT: Death surrounds us just as life does. There will always be people behind and people before. We’re just having to make sense of this unmistakably difficult path in life. We’re only giving one life, which always boggled my mind, as I’d often be able to write and create other individuals and know them more than sometimes my own self. Sorta like living vicariously through other people, ahaha. I’m also wounding down for the evening as I have to wake up early Saturday morning and go see Avengers: Endgame with my Mom. I’m getting tired too and want to do some new reading before the night is over, so a few more quotes for now and then I’ll be jumping off.

24. “All at once he’s my friend” — p. 38

MT: This is a stylistic note, I’ve had someone critique me before on a fanfic for how much I use Italics and Bold font and how they can be the opposite of emphasis, and this was particularly interesting to see how other authors use it. I’ve always used Italics for thoughts and then bold for emphasis and such. Sometimes I’ve used it more creatively for speech patterns, but yeah, this was the first time I saw something de-emphasized by using regular font types (not Italics) within an Italics portion, and is something I may begin to adapt more into my own style, but also maybe not completely. I should probably learn the usages of them and when to use versus not. (Then again, some rules are meant to be broken) 😛

25. “(about marriages and finding out differing opinions about the other)…And then you trod lightly, if you valued your marriage and your peace of mind; you tried to remember that anger at such a discovery was the province of fools who really believed it was possible for one mind to know another” – p. 39

MT: The biggest observation I have with this particular thought pattern is how alone we really can be even when together. And how, maybe that matters, too. I think the idea of romantic relationships being a together thing versus separate is odd and interesting, all right. Sorry, my brain is becoming mush, but I guess it’s just fascinating how single people are like one man parties facing the world whereas couples are a team facing it together. Not that I have much experience in the latter arena however. That’s a whole other bag of worms that I’m not ready to open yet. (Even if I want to be).

Okay, for today, I’m taking a break! That’s all I’m going to do. I’m not even far into this review and I may have to push it out for a few days longer than I would like. I’m just under a time pressure because this book was due back almost a week ago and I still have it in my possession. But I have a life to live and lead so it is what it is. I need to go take something for this nasty headache. But I’ll see you all later, which for you will be in a few paragraphs from now and for me will be about a series of a few days. 🙂 ❤


Hey guys! Welcome back!!

It’s currently a few days later, April 28th 2019, after I was emotionally wrecked from seeing Avengers: Endgame the day before, I’m still grieving somewhat but not nearly as much yet. I have to still take down some notes for things (2 new fic ideas) and try to get on writing them while also re-watching the movie with a friend from program on Monday evening. I really want to get through this review as soon as I can, even though I know it’s going to be a long journey (and my haste is that the book is overdue but I’m behind in this reviewing process) not to mention I have 3 other books almost due back. Sigh. I guess we’ll see how it all goes, that’s for sure. Any who, I’m going to get back into the review now with that out of the way. 🙂 Enjoy!!

Cont… from 4/14/19:

26. “(Rachel talking to Louis) Rachel cried at him, and what her eyes said to him was Talk about the parallels all night and all day, if you want to…” – p. 41

MT: What stood out about this description to me was the manner in which not only do we hear Rachel’s dialogue but it’s paired together with her body language, which I felt was a really nice and special touch. It’s something I’d like to include more explicitly within my own writings too. 🙂

27. “(L to R) ‘Let me ask you something. Because I know that anything–literally anything–can happen to physical beings. As a doctor I know that…'” – p. 41

MT: This part I found as unsettling realizations of death. It reminded me of when I took that Population Biology course last semester in school and we had to learn about all the different diseases and I remembered asking in class whether it was normal to feel like never wanting to leave my house again. XD The fact is that, there are a lot of diseases and things we can die from out there, but we never grew up in a bubble, we always grew with them, and yes, something may–and anything might–one day kill us, but we’ve always lived our lives with that risk known to us and we can’t allow ourselves to be sectioned into a stupor because of that fear of dying. We have to live, after all. So we take the risks, weigh the benefits over the costs, and we, well, we live. Because of life’s fragility and the strength of the human body. Death will one day take us all, but probably not from that asteroid landing on your house or that piano crushing you from an eight foot high drop. It’ll be okay. Even in the end, it’ll be okay. (And here is where I think of Avengers: Endgame again and am left to ruminate about the circumstances left at the end of that movie. *sobs* “You can rest now.”)

28. “As he swept, he reflected on the last thing (Rachel) had said and on the enormity of this difference of opinion, which had gone undiscovered for so long. Because, as a doctor, he knew that death was, except for childbirth, the most natural thing in the world. Taxes were not so sure; human conflicts were not; the conflicts of society were not. In the end there was only the clock, and the markers, which became eroded and nameless in the passage of time” – p. 42

*MT: I found myself agreeing with this perspective of Louis’. I also feel that death is a natural part of the circle of life and that Rachel is incorrect in thinking otherwise. Reminds me of that quote from Mumford & Sons “After the Storm”:

You must know life to see decay

Death and the end of journeys is a part of the journey, no matter how much we wish it weren’t so. There’s a sense of heavy acceptance in that, when you can find the time to accept it. Gosh, this review is somewhat more difficult to complete after the Avengers movie than I was anticipating. I don’t think I was prepared to get so emotionally wrecked after it, but I suppose I wouldn’t want it to be any other way (at least I can continue to process it while I wait for time to come and pass and for me to re-watch the movie and finish this review at the same time). Any who. Yeah, that’s what this part reminded me of and no matter how much we hate the passage of time and death itself, the harder we’re sorta making the process for ourselves. Life begins; Life ends. Whether we like it or not. Getting there is half the battle. Getting through it and accepting it, is the other half. At least we have things like art and self-expression to help us cope and move through the inevitable. Finding light in the darkness, meaning in the meaninglessness. Togetherness in what feels so irrevocably alone. Be good to yourselves and good unto others. We never know when it’ll be the last time to do so. ❤ xxx

*(starred because I can refer back to this particular sense of thought in my own fanfics, stories and art. 🙂 )

**29. “(J to L) ‘He mourned his dog and finished his mourning and got on. Which is what we all do, I guess'” – p. 45

**MT: Another message brought to you by me after finishing this book and processing it in this review and then after having watched and processed through Avengers: Endgame. Mourning and grief are a part of life. And even when we’re not ready to, we mourn and continue grieving as we live on with our lives. Because even in grief we can’t stand still. Time continues to move on despite us not wanting it to or feeling as though it shouldn’t. Time and Death don’t care. They will do as they please. And we just have to pick up the pieces and decide who we are going to be. Will we remain frozen or will we move on? And it’s an ongoing process. It hurts and it’s painful and we move on anyways because life keeps going, the world keeps turning, and we don’t ever forget those we lost. We carry them with us every day. And the reminders of them, the memories of them, they get a little dusty and they get a little harder to remember and we still love them just as much as we did before they passed and maybe even a little more after their passing. We make meaning out of what cannot be explained to us. We make them proud. And we go on until we one day are reunited. Very poignant, indeed.

30. “So they had gotten down on their knees in the kitchen, he and his mother, and they prayed, and it was the praying that finally brought it home to him; if his mother was praying for Ruthie Creed’s soul, then it meant that her body was gone” – p. 48

MT: So, my attention span is waning again so I’ll be wrapping this up here to switch over to writing fanfic instead. I thought this was an interesting quote to include because of the whole soul vs body idea. How we are all just visitors within our human skin, and when we leave this world our bodies are left behind but our spirits float freely back into the universe. 🙂 Also this is some inspiration for me for some of my fics: D&D, S, ALU, SWC.

I think I will keep this book around for the rest of the week, working on the review a little each day or so. Sigh. I think I have to get somewhat offline now though. You’ll probably see me in a review or a blog post within this week on this blog before you ever actually see this completed post. Just FYI. 🙂


Hello again.

I’ve been Deep Diving heavily today (5/2) and so I feel pretty shitty but I’m actually gonna try and make this day somewhat okay rather than how horrid it’s been in terms of Deep Dives thus far. So, I’m going to be continuing this review now. Hope I can make a good dent in it and continue that tomorrow and over the weekend so I can finally bring it back to the library. That, and move on with a few other books and watch the next movies so I can review them and get those all set and done. Without further ado, let’s get back into this!

Fourth portion from 4/15/19

31. Word choice: lingeringly

32. “(Nurse to L) ‘Your basic college hypochondriac. We’ll see her two dozen times this year. Her visits will be more frequent before each round of perlims…” – p. 54

MT: Personally, I feel this is a little dismissive of an approach for those living with this type of mental health condition and also attempts to place them within the category of manipulative rather than anxious and health conscious (even if it’s sometimes overly health conscious). I don’t know enough about this disorder or malingering disorders, but that’s the impression I got from this little quote.

33. “She went but not before he caught her deeply sympathetic glance and interpreted it. This young man, who was deeply tanned and well-muscled…was going to die no matter what they did. He would be just as dead even if their ambulance had been parked out front” – p. 57

MT: This is Pascow, just as an FYI. I thought this particular body language cue and interpretation for us readers was intriguing and something I’d like to also include in more of my own stories and fanfics. 🙂

34. “Horror rolled through Louis, gripping his warm heart in its cold hands, squeezing. It reduced him, made him less and less, until he felt like taking to his heels and running from this bloody, twisted, speaking head” – p. 58

MT: I also just really liked this description for reasons you can probably guess 😉 Horror is an interesting genre for sure… I don’t know if I could write it well necessarily but I know comedy tends to be a harder thing for me (I can include humor in my fics, of course, it’s just a full comedic piece I find is difficult for me, then again, I’ve never really tried it out either. :P)

35. “Louis sat back, vaguely aware that all his clothes were sticking to him; he was drenched with sweat. Darkness bloomed, spreading a wing softly over his eyes, and the world began to swing sickeningly sideways” – p. 59

MT: In this scene, Louis is actually about to pass out before he changes his position and lets the feeling wash over and through him. It kinda helps to remind me of ALU (the fanfic I’m writing where Loki repeatedly passes out) and also TCWD, for things that I want to include in that novel as well. 🙂 Just fun to read about similar descriptions from someone else’s mind.

36. “You could go to school for twenty years and you still couldn’t do a thing when they brought a guy in who had been rammed into a tree hard enough to open a window in his skull. They might as well have called a plumber, a rainmaker, or the Man from Glad” – p. 68

MT: I thought this description was also interesting and it highlights some of the dark humor that is so necessary for some professions to deal with all the shit that they see and go through. I think it also enhances the feeling of helplessness that some cases are just not going to work out the way you’d hope them to, and how at times, those events can be inevitable. (*shudder* Now I sound like Thanos D:) Not everyone can be saved, after all. Whether they don’t want you to or they just can’t be. It sucks, and life is a fickle creature. That’s probably what makes it and death so terrifying for many in it. :/ Let’s move on before I start getting more existential awareness. XD

37. “Louis pushed back the blankets and swung his feet out onto the nubs of the hooked rug, ready to tell her he’d skip the eggs, just a bowl of cereal and he’d run…and the words died in his throat” – p. 72

MT: I actually giggled like an evil giggle at this part since this is where Louis realizes his “dream” of Pascow the night before WASN’T one and that there’s all sorts of dirt and pine needles from his feet because he had actually been through the murky woods and towards the deadfall when he was supposed to be asleep. Hahahaha. I loved the reveal of it. 🙂

38. This is more of a reminder to myself but I read this really great book a couple years ago, I think, called “You Came Back” by who I forget and it was before I started to do Book Reviews but yeah, I’d love to take it back out and review it sometime 🙂

39. “But for those to whom Pascow was only a casualty, he had already been dimmed” – p. 85

MT: I felt this particular quote is very poignant and important. So many faceless people die in the world every day and it’s just not possible for us to connect and relate and mourn for all of them otherwise that’d be a terrible existence to live in (being constantly upset for the loss of others). Instead, we mourn for those we know and knew of the most because we believe we knew all the facets and corners of them and when they’re gone they leave behind noticeable holes. And we’re left to piece together the broken halves that are left and find a life worth living and meaning in that life thereafter. We hurt deeply for the people we think we really knew. And it doesn’t mean that we’re heartless to those faceless people, we just take a few moments fewer to remember them by. The people closest to the individual grieve the most, those who weren’t move on as though nothing spectacular really happened because for them, it didn’t. But we are also connected on a human level to that of grief because we will ALL experience it one day, whether it’s us or those we know or those we look up to, etc. Death comes for all of us, after all. And I think this quote can also apply to the people in this life who go on to do such amazing work in terms of activism and advocacy and art, becoming and leaving behind legacies sometimes greater than their very souls.

Fifth portion from 4/16:

40. “Crossing the lawn and feeling the frost crunching under his shoes, he heard the telephone begin to ring” – p. 100

MT: Gaaaaaaah, I really just like this frost description, tis the only reason I’m including it XD It’s just such a nice, small detail to add in one’s writing.

*41. “Just like your family’s supposed to be different, he thought now. Church wasn’t supposed to get killed because he was inside the magic circle of the family…You could stand up in front of a medical colloquium and cite leukemia figures in children until you were blue in the face and still not believe it if one of your own kids got a call on the phone” – p. 102

*MT: This concept reminds me of what I’m writing in my fanfic “Distorted & Disordered” a mental health based story. It’s that idea that until it happens to you, you don’t realize–you can’t comprehend–what’s happening as thoroughly as you could if it was happening outside of your circle. So like, when the signs are there of any physical or mental illness, you’re more likely to disregard them than to think it’s happening to you. Or even how teenagers think that terrible things won’t happen to them because they’re “invincible” until it does or it happens to someone they know. 😦 It’s harder to see the signs sometimes when it’s playing out in front of you, that’s why they say hindsight is 20/20. That’s also probably why it’s so difficult to predict who is going to be the next murderer or plans get thwarted before they ever began. Sometimes fantasies play out differently than reality. Can we really ever say we knew something would happen before it ever did? It’s easier for us to realize what could have happened differently after the main event has played out, it’s harder and less tangible to have this easy map of understanding if the idea was stopped before it ever began (think terrorist attacks, mass murders, serial killers, the severity of natural disasters, etc.)

I think denial and other emotions can play a hefty role in these circumstances too, thinking it can’t happen to you because you’re a good person or whatever. It’s sad, it sucks, and sometimes it DOES happen to you, for seemingly no reason at all. Life’s hard, peeps. Be kind to yourself and those around you.

42. “(Norma) had recovered nicely from her heart attack, and on that evening less than ten weeks before a cerebral accident would kill her, he thought that she looked less haggard and actually younger. On that evening he could see the girl she had been” – p. 133

MT: I find this quote to remind me of how we age and change in that age and how we can get these glimpses into ourselves and others from how they used to look or even just imagining what they used to look like which is often different than how they are appearing to us now. Like, imagining that bald guy being twenty years younger and how things in his face have changed (wrinkles, moles etc.). How his appearance today isn’t what he always was. If that makes sense? I don’t know, that’s just something that fascinates me these days. Also kinda like how you can’t tell someone is suffering from a mental health condition by looking at them, as how they present today may be different than at their worst years ago. Just my thoughts. 🙂

43. “(J to L) ‘Maybe I did it because kids need to know that sometimes dead is better'” – p. 144

MT: Just got off from another Deep Dive as the lighting where I’m sitting has faded and it’s a little harder to read my notes from these flags. I think I’ll be wrapping up for tonight soon though, maybe try to get to 180. Any who, I think this quote here is important, a giant crux for what this novel is all about. Sometimes when we try to mess with the effects of death, mostly fictionally based to be honest, it doesn’t work in the way we wanted it to and it comes back to bite us in the ass. Like Tony Stark said in Avengers: Endgame — “You mess with time, it tends to mess back.” Messing with the laws of death and life also tend to get a bit grumpy, as is the case for what happens in this book, as well!


Heyyyy guys!! So, I’m back–another day, another chance to continue working and plugging away at this very long book review! Hope your attention span has been keeping up with all my nonsense 😉 Let’s jump back in shall we? Oh, it’s also currently 5/3/19! I’ll be eating dinner soon but I hope to get out another 100 pages this evening (I already Deep Dove earlier :P) I’m also excited and revitalized to do more reading soon! And getting the DVDs of “Pet Sematary” again so I can actually watch and review them all on here too 🙂

44. “(J to L) ‘A little dead. Like they had been…somewhere…and came back…but not all the way'” – p. 145

MT: So, this is another good quote to summarize up this entire novel lol. When placing animals (or sometimes people as it were) into the Micmac burial ground, they don’t return the same as they were before, rather instead muddled and dark and inhuman. That’s probably a good way to describe it: inhuman. They know things that others in life couldn’t know and it’s creepy and critter crawly, if that makes sense. Yeah, those are my thoughts here. 🙂

45. “(J) ‘Maybe [Ellie] will learn something about what death really is, which is where the pain stops and the good memories begin. Not the end of life, but the end of pain. You don’t tell her those things; she will figure them out on her own'” – p. 145

MT: I thought this quote was very interesting, showing us another differing opinion on death and its process as Jud can understand it from all his years of living and as a nice juxtaposition from Rachel’s fearful approach of it. Again, I think death and its concept comes and goes in waves. Sometimes it’s really overly suffocating and terrifying and other times it’s relieving and poetic, even. It all depends on where you’re at and where you’re going and what you believe comes after or doesn’t, as it is in some cases. I think it’s also interesting that Jud suggests not to tell Ellie directly, rather that she will come to these conclusions herself as maybe all of us humans do. As though it’s something only which Ellie can understand and come to approach on her own, by herself. Which, in some ways, is how it is for all of us. Death is fascinating, basically. And cruel. Or maybe it just “is”. *shrugs*

46. (Jud) “‘That place…all at once it gets hold of you…and you make up the sweetest-smelling reasons in the world..but I could be wrong, Louis…. Bringing the dead back to life…that’s about as close to playing god as you can get'” – p. 146

MT: So, even here I found that Jud spoke with dismay and panic, as he’s not sure why he brought Louis to the Micmac burial ground for his cat.  He realizes it was probably the power of the burial ground working into him in order to get the chance and opportunity to capture a new victim. Jud is also realizing that the burial ground once its claimed a new victim, will put thoughts into them later to come back and return to it with another new body (someone had showed Jud the burial ground and so when the opportunity presented itself, Jud showed Louis). Powerful shit, man. This is also relevant for how it gets in the way of everyone (Jud and Rachel) from getting to Louis and stopping him from resurrecting Gage.

47. “(Jud in response to Louis’ question about burying a person in the Micmac burial ground) ‘Christ on his throne! No! And who ever would? You don’t even want to talk about such things, Louis!’ (L) ‘I was just curious.'” – p. 147

MT: Honestly, I just thumbed this quote because it reminded me so much of Tom Riddle AKA Voldemort from the Harry Potter franchise when he goes to one of his professors and asks about horcruxes and plays it off as merely being curious when instead he’s planning to cut his soul into multiple pieces to gain more power down the line. Also, in some ways, I find this similar to asking someone “You’re okay, right?” Like it just offers them an answer (yes) without completely asking them and letting them say yay or nay–as opposed to simply asking “Are you okay?” which allows them to say either yes or no and explain or not. Just my thoughts, clearly, 😉

48. “And later, at home, something else occurred to him about how Jud had looked at that moment. He had looked like he was lying” – p. 147

MT: Dun dun dunnnn. Of course, I’ve told you how this all plays out later from earlier portions of this review but man this definitely got me more invested in the story and wanting to know what happens next!!

*49. “(Louis remembering how he thought he looked like shit after Pascow died but he actually was all right) It was enough to make you wonder how many people were going around with dreadful secrets bottled up inside” – p. 154 – 155

*MT: I thought this was also of particular interest because it really highlights what I said earlier about age in some respects and also how we can’t tell someone’s medical (physical/mental) diagnosis by simply looking at them. A lot of us can appear as “normal” while hiding difficult and dark perceptions of ourselves and our lives internally. Sometimes the way we present ourselves to strangers is different than how we present to those we know (like how a stranger may not recognize that you’re being quiet is a symptom of your thinking whereas a great friend could notice and point it out/ask you what’s wrong etc.) Just something to keep in mind, I think. :3 Also, fanfic inspiration can come from this too. (Note to self!)

50. “(Rachel after Gage was choking) ‘But he was close [to dying]. Louis, he was so close.’ Suddenly he remembered her shouting at him in the sunny kitchen: He’s not going to die, no one is going to die around here… ‘Honey, we’re all close. All the time'” – p. 159

MT: I felt this quote from Louis was so hard hitting, like a punch to the gut, because it’s so true. We’re all close to dying all the time and we have to be somewhat conscious of that to try and be nicer to ourselves and those around us while also balancing out the need to buy milk or get pads or get gas for the car etc. Like, even with that knowledge that death can come at any moment–external or internal–we still have to wash the dishes, do the laundry, clean the house etc. Those little mundane things we don’t always want to do, they still often need to get done even if we’re in the throes of an existential crisis. It’s one of the bane mentalities of life, I suppose. The little things we sometimes take for granted that will still be there when we’re dying, when we die and when we live. Even with advancements in technology, we’re still gonna need to see the medical doctor or put gas into our vehicles etc.

This actually kind of reminds me of a story I wanted to write following some characters as they do their normal everyday routine–as a nice break from all the death and dying and obstacle making that I tend to write about on the daily. Maybe I will include some of these factors into my fanfics, like D&D and ALU and S. That might be nice. 🙂 I can also introduce some stories that haven’t quite made it to pen and paper yet too! (IFIC) Anyways….

51. “He didn’t know if it was over or not, but it felt over; perhaps that would be enough. And for a while, at least, it was” – p. 160

MT: This is my last entry for tonight as I fell into another Deep Dive, whooops. What stuck out to me in this quote is the inclusion of the author knowing ahead of time what is bound to happen to its characters. I’ve used this in my own fanfic writing when it comes to foreshadowing and even inserting myself into the story (D&D this has happened a few times: when I mentioned the options of alternate universes where Loki asked for help and when the voice of recovery speaks to Loki) and I thought this was also a nice exchange to be mentioned in this novel. It’s just a little tug at the end of the bed, you know, by something you cannot see. It grips you and taunts you and it seems like there’s nothing there and then, poof, someone had been there all along! :O Okay, I will write more of this tomorrow… Until then!


Hi again! It’s currently far into the afternoon on Sat 5/4 as I’ve had a pretty lazy and unmotivated day thus far. I’m hoping to salvage the rest of the evening with some new reading, this review and staying offline and maybe even go through some of my journaling and 5 year journaling, if I’m lucky. And my resume. That too. Any who, back to the review!!

52. “(Louis about Jud crying from Norma’s death) ‘That’s good, Jud, she would want you to cry a little, I think. Probably be pissed off if you didn’t'” – p. 171

MT: I thought this was so sad and touching. Grief affects us all in many ways and it’s absolutely okay to express that mourning and repair the holes that we are left behind to tend. I also really fell in love with them so as a reader I go through these emotions with them as well. 😦

*53. “Louis was aware that it was not uncommon for two old married people to go almost hand-in-hand, a month, a week, even a day apart. The shock, he supposed, or maybe even some deep inner urge to catch up with the one gone” – p. 171

*MT: I marked this quote mainly because I felt it could relate to some of my own stories and fanfics, although I don’t think so actually but hey, it’s still nice so I’ll include it here. It might be something I can explore in the future with another story or poem or something. :3

54. “(L to E) ‘Faith is a great thing, and really religious people would like us to believe that faith and knowing are the same thing, but I don’t believe that myself. Because there are too many different ideas on the subject. What we know is this: When we die, one of two things happens. Either our souls and thoughts somehow survive the experience of dying or they don’t. If they do, that opens up every possibility you  could think of. If we don’t, the end'” – p. 175

MT: I thought this premise was pretty interesting particularly for TCWD and some of my fanfics. I personally, as I believe I’ve mentioned earlier, don’t believe in an afterlife even though I write about it all the time XD I was raised Christian but I identified more as Atheist in my teens and beyond; I haven’t really sat down to think about where I fall into things now though. Probably between atheism and agnostic. I like thinking of the Universe as a thinking and creating being as for my version of “god”. Hence why I also make it a point not to capitalize ‘god’. Maybe I even believe more in Norse mythology, I don’t know, I’m not super educated on the topic and I’ve not explored much of it either. I’m like that with cultures too, it’s too mind boggling for me to really open my mind to at the moment. Probably one day though. 🙂

55. “(L to E cont.) ‘I believe that we go on. But as to what it’s like, I have no opinion….I believe that Mrs. Crandall is probably someplace where she can be happy'” – p. 176

MT: Legit marked this as a good question, what do I believe in? lol Maybe one day I will choose to sit back and think about it. I feel I’d relate more to spirituality than religion myself though. Then again, I’m not super educated on spirituality either. 😛 Boy, oh boy. XD

56. (page 179 **Trigger Warning for suicide methods**)

57. “(R to L) ‘I had started to think [Zelda with spinal meningitis at age 10] hated me because my back was straight, because I didn’t have the constant pain, because I could walk, because I was going to live'” – p. 180

MT: Honestly, I can really relate to Zelda here not because of spinal meningitis but from scoliosis. Back in high school I used to relate to other people like that, actually until I realized one of my classmates also had scoliosis and they weren’t letting it take over their lives and their identity. That was the day I stopped letting my condition control me and what I did and didn’t do. It really helped actually because it got me to question that if OTHER people weren’t so hung up on it, why was I? Then I got the surgery and all that jazz and it became history. 😛 You can actually find this post here. If you’re curious, that is 😉 Even I haven’t read it but hey, whatevs. XD Next quote!!

*58. “…that grief which the psychologists say begins about three days after the death of a loved one and holds hard from four to six weeks in most cases. But time passes, and time welds one state of human feeling into another until they become something like a rainbow. Strong grief becomes a softer, more mellow grief; mellow grief becomes mourning; mourning at last becomes remembrance–a process that may take from six months to three years and still be considered normal'” – p. 193

*MT: I don’t know how well this depiction of grief has aged, so if any of YOU happen to know, I’d love to hear about it in the comments! I reallllly have to get back into blogging and the blogosphere as I haven’t done that in a few years actually. It would be very nice, wouldn’t it? Sigh. It’d be a better use of my time rather than Deep Dives that’s for sure! But any who, yeah, I wonder about this layer and multi-faceted approach to the grieving process. It actually reminds me of a book on grief that I have that is illustrated. Haven’t finished it yet though 😛 Like most things, honestly XD

I like that idea of mourning turning into remembrance, I’ve written similarly about this in my fic “Somebody Who Cares” which also has a prequel that I have yet to write called “It’s You, I Breathe” both inspired from Michelle Branch songs. 🙂 And probably even this newer fic I’ve started in the last week “Not this Mind and Not this Heart, I Won’t Rot” also has some grief aspects within it as well. I think finding meaning out of the depths of death can be very healing and helps us to move forwards the best that we can. What do you think? Also, we’re almost 200/374 pages in! Woohoo!

59. “Okay, that’s out of the way and it might even do some good, Louis thought, not knowing that marbles were really not the problem, and chills were really not the problem, that a large Orinco truck was going to be the problem, that the road was going to be the problem…as Jud Crandall had warned them it might be on that first day of August” – p. 199

MT: Cue this is when I realize that it’s Gage who dies and not Ellie as I had been led to believe from the remake’s movie trailer. Whooops. I also thought it was some sad foreshadowing, similar to what I include in my fics at times too. 😛

Sixth portion from 4/17/19:

60. “Louis was unable to see the condition of either his wife or his daughter; he ate his breakfast and his mind replayed the accident over and over and over, except in this mind-movie the conclusion was different. In the mind-movie he was quicker, and all that happened was that Gage got a spanking for not stopping when they yelled” – p. 204 – 205

MT: I think those of us with mental health conditions especially and also those not in that category can relate to this a lot. I know that’s how I get to be when the OCD is acting up and I’m a lot more symptomatic. So yeah, I think this is a good depiction of it. :/ (Since we’re so absorbed in what our mind is showing us that we can’t function or relate to the world around us as well)

61. “(L to his co-worker) ‘Right!’ Louis said. More force in reply seemed to be indicated here. He wasn’t sure why” – p. 206

MT: Louis here is still in shock after what happened a few days previous to his son Gage so much so that he’s finding any sort of social interaction abysmal and uninteresting. He’s incapable of being there for his family that has survived this loss and exhibits some of the depressive spectrum symptoms like being numb and indifferent and disconnected from reality and what he is being left with. Sucks. There’s also a pretty good layer of denial and apathy here as well.

62. “And suddenly Louis knew what she was going to say next, and for some reason he dreaded it; yet it was coming, unavoidable, like a black bullet of a large caliber from a killer’s gun, and he knew that he would be struck over and over by this bullet in the next interminable ninety minutes, and then again in the afternoon, while the wounds of the morning were still trickling blood: ‘Thank god he didn’t suffer, Louis. At least it was quick'” – p. 211 – 212

MT: I thought this was a very incredible and interesting description. It’s just so detailed and so rich in language and I really appreciated that and I felt that I could feel Louis’ dismay at hearing these words and how cynical and worn from time and life he feels at this point in time. At least, that’s what I thought reading it and now reviewing it! 🙂

63. “He sat with his face in his hands, not wanting them to see [Gage] anymore, his tear-stained face, his loss, his guilt, his pain, his shame, most of all his cowardly wish to be dead and out of this blackness” – p. 221

MT: I actually don’t agree with this depiction of thinking that suicide is a cowardly act (it’s neither cowardly nor courageous) as it is more about escaping the deep and often scathing pains of life when it seems as though there is no other way out of the darkness  that is life and pain (and often symptomatic experiences of mental health conditions). I don’t know, that’s just some of my thoughts, although I’m not intrigued enough to try and debate it further than that. I think life can come with a lot of pain and we learn in varying degrees how to tolerate that pain and some of us are more equipped to handle this pain than others. Whether that’s from how we were raised, our biology, our ins and outs and all the intricacies of life, it’s complicated and there’s no one set reason. I think putting down the people who’ve tragically taken their own lives as “cowards” or implying that those who have thought about, planned or attempted are also “cowards” is just twelve steps backwards. Like, that’s not going to cheer up or inspire anyone to choose to keep living, and it may even just set another person off the edge.

64. “When it started not to hurt, it started not to matter” – p. 224

MT: Thought this was also rather poignant. This and the next quote.

65. “‘Ellie, don’t cry anymore. This isn’t forever'” – p. 224

MT: I felt that it’s so sad and heart-wrenching that Louis knows this grief won’t last forever. That Gage will fade away into a single set of memories, and that they’ll forget what he sounded like and how he smelt and all that goes into life and then the absence of it.

I think the first quote is also interesting in terms of grief, because does it really not matter anymore when it no longer hurts? Or does it just change into a different relationship? Because maybe it doesn’t hurt and it still matters, rather than shifting into not mattering at all.

66. “That’s when Gage will drop off whatever Hot One Hundred there is that exists in little girls’ hearts and starts to become Something That Happened in 1984. A blast from the past” – p. 224

MT: So, see? Louis knows what’s up. Grief, as it happens, comes and goes. Maybe not fully and completely but it does lessen into a dull ache. Louis knows that Ellie will eventually move on and experience life without Gage as though in some respects he hadn’t been there to start with. He’ll become a distant memory of something that once was but no longer is. 😦 More a passing thought than a deep rooted presence in her life as time and her own life move forwards.

Seventh portion from 4/18/19:

67. “[The Zombie of Timmy had mentioned all the bad things about a bunch of men and Jud is telling Louis] ‘But there was good in those men too. That’s what I mean; that’s what folks always find it so hard to remember” – p. 244

MT: This reminds me of a very good video that “Of Herbs and Altars” did about this concept that human beings are multi-faceted with both good parts and bad parts, that we are a mixture of the two rather than purely one or the other, that it’s okay to like parts of a person even when they’ve committed horrendous acts against humanity. I really recommend her video here

68. “‘The thing we saw that night, lookin up into that red sun…that was a monster'” – p. 245

MT: TCWD reminder as well as other fics because what really is a monster? What makes a thing or a human a monster rather than just ordinary? I don’t know, I need to read more about monsters before I can figure that out for myself XD

Eighth portion from 4/22:

69. “(J to E) ‘And he may be dead now, Ellie, but you can keep your memories of him'” – p. 252

MT: A bit frank manner of placing grief but realistic and true all the same. It also reminds me of a quote that your learning is yours alone and that nothing will ever truly erode it (unless you get amnesia or something :/) Your memories, then, are also yours alone. ❤

70. “Louis looked away. There was nothing he could do for [Ellie], not yet. She would have to swim in her grief as best as she could. His thoughts were too full of his son” – p. 253

MT: I think this part really highlights how difficult it must be to have had other children while also dealing with the loss of a different child. As a parent, I imagine that must be so difficult, because the children are not the only ones grieving, you are too. It sucks. 😦 Even when it’s a parent and such. Damn.

Gah, my wrist is starting to protest, I might have to set this aside for the evening soon. :/

71. “And if Louis’s eyes seemed distant, his manner a little cold, people supposed he was thinking of the past, of the accident, of the Gageless life ahead; none would have suspected that Louis had begun to think about the strategies of grave robbing…only in an academic way, of course; it was not that he intended to do anything” – p. 254

MT: I thought the idea of a ‘Gageless’ life was an interesting way of putting it and gah, oh how Louis was lying to himself! At this point there was still 100 pages left and I wanted the shit to hit the fan while also wanting the best for everyone in the end! Which we didn’t really get 😦 I also think I’ll be finishing up very soon, I think my attention span is waning and my hand brace is a little too bulky for my liking 😛

72. “The day we were out with the kite. You remember how Gage was that day? How vibrant and alive he was, reacting to everything? Wouldn’t it be better to remember him that way? Do you want to resurrect a zombie from a grade-B horror picture?” – p. 259

MT: It comes up later, and I think I tabbed it, that Louis start to think and feel that letting Gage rest in the afterlife was more of a dishonor than trying to resurrect him and get some of his boy back, which is of course flawed logic that is stilted to one side and is probably the Micmac burial ground getting inside his head. Sigh.

Also apparently I wrote that this part reminds me of creativity and imagination in fiction. You’re welcome 😉

73. “All the textbooks he’d read on the subject of death told him that the bereaved’s first strong impulse is to get away from the place where it happened…and that to succumb to such an impulse may turn out to be the most harmful course of action because it allows the bereaved the dubious luxury of refusing to come to terms with the new reality. The books said it was best to remain where you were, to battle grief on its home ground until it subsided into remembrance. But Louis did not dare make the experiment with his family at home (resurrecting Gage)” – p. 262

MT: Thought this was particularly interesting about grief, not sure if it’s outdated now or not, but I thought it was worth mentioning! Of course, Louis is trying to get Rachel and Ellie to leave so he can bring back Gage but things don’t wind up working out as planned. It’s also sad to know that this is where everything was pointing for towards Louis and that this is one of the last encounters Ellie winds up having with both of her parents. 😦 Gosh darn it, to no happy endings!

74. “[Louis having second thoughts on his plan to free Gage] Instead of trying to reopen a door that had swung shut, he would latch it and double-bolt it and throw away the key” – p. 268

MT: I thought this was a nice throwback metaphor to what Pascow had warned him about earlier – not opening closed doors and all. 🙂

75. There’s a book I read two years ago called “The House of Small Shadows” by Adam Nevill that I, well, in part don’t remember where I wrote the review, but also that I want to review and share with you guys here. But yeah, I remembered it at this tab.

76. “But would that not be the same as murdering his son? Killing him a second time?” – p. 268

MT: Louis knows that this isn’t true but he decides to ignore this train of thought and resurrect his son anyways. Which really doesn’t make much sense because if Gage comes back as a monster (which he does) he’ll have to actually kill him a second time anyways. Zombie Gage will inevitably be killed again rather than Metaphorical Gage being saved and welcomed back with open arms. 😛

77. “(R to L) ‘[Dreams of Zelda] The last few nights since Gage died, when I go to sleep, Zelda’s there. She says she’s coming for me, and this time she’ll get me. That both she and Gage will get me. For letting them die'” – p. 270

MT: I thought this might be foreshadowing for when Gage comes back to be like Zelda, which, is kinda what happens in fact. Man, this sucks. I’m pretty sure Gage talks like Zelda at first before being ‘Gage-like’ and ultimately killing Rachel. :S

78. “God was saving [Gage] for Rt. 15” – p. 272

MT: I don’t think it was god, actually. I think it was those cosmic shifts in the Micmac burial ground. They’re the real culprit here, as predicted by Pascow and Jud (since Jud is the one who showed him the grounds and therefore planted the seedling into Louis’ mind).

*79. “[Rachel responding to Louis about whether they would have institutionalized Gage if he had mental deficits like with Zelda] ‘It wouldn’t have been the same. Gage was…. well, Gage was Gage. He was our son. That would have made all the difference'” – p. 272

*MT: D’ohhh, also this reminds me of some fanfic stuff I can use this concept in. Particularly Odin with Loki in D&D, ALU, CtP. I like this idea that it’s a different relationship from parent to child than as sibling to sibling. Like, the dynamic there is inherently different. 😛 I would hope that Odin would share this same sentiment for Loki.

80. “Ellie seemed distant and a trifle odd. Several times that morning Louis had looked up and seen an expression of peculiar speculation on her face” – p. 273

MT: I mean, Ellie was right about Church being dead so is it much of a leap for her to feel the same about Louis? She knows something is up and she’s a pretty smart six year old (children are often more perceptive than we realize). But this will be further explored later.

81. “‘Ellie, come on. You’ll be fine.’ ‘I’ll be fine, but what about you? Daddy, what about you?'” – p. 276

MT: See, she knows something is wrong and her ability to know these things is never fully explored or explained. But it’s still sad all the same.

82. “Ellie’s lips trembled and grew white. Then she allowed herself to be led into the jetway. She looked back at him, and he saw naked terror in her face” – p. 276

MT: So sad and sickening, honestly. This is the last time she sees her father too. 😦 Gwah, why couldn’t he just not have tried to resurrect Gage?! D:

83. “And if the loss is too great–or if he comes back as Timmy apparently came back, as a thing of evil–I will kill him” – p. 279

MT: I don’t understand the point of trying to resurrect your son if you were planning to kill him again if he wasn’t as sweet and innocent as he once was in life. I mean, you can’t really be that picky, you know? Also, this reminded me of Thor: The Dark World with the whole “betray him and I will kill you” idea. XD

Also also, I wish Louis could have been aware of everything he was bound to lose by going through with this plan. Gah, Louis, whhhhyyyy?! “Did you do it? – Yes What did it cost? – Everything” (That’s an Infinity War reference if you couldn’t tell 😉 )

Okay, so I made it to page 280 and that is where I’m stopping for tonight! Thanks for reading again and until tomorrow where I will hopefully finish and finally PUBLISH this review. 🙂 Now I have to wash the dishes and maybe try to read then play some games. Sigh. Lots of work. Lots of it. PS I only have about 20 flags left, so we are almost in fact finished!


Hey guys! I’m back again! It’s currently 5/5 in the later afternoon and I am almost completely finished with this review, so let’s get this going until the end and with my coffee in hand, it should go well! Hooray! This took a LOT of work over multiple days so I hope it’s been an enjoyably long read and that we’ll all be able to sit back and catch up on several old book reviews that are both current (2019) and old (2017). YAY! Here we go!!! ❤ ❤ ❤

84. “(E to R) ‘[Paxcow as Ellie thinks of him] said that he was sent to warn but that he couldn’t interfere. He said that he was… I don’t know… that he was near Daddy because they were together when his soul was dis…'” – p. 283

MT: So what’s happening here is that Ellie had a nightmare on the plane with Rachel back to her parents in Chicago and can only recall Pascow as Paxcow and Rachel can’t place the reason why that name is so familiar. (She eventually does but hot damn). I thought this was so hard on Ellie because she’s still just a little girl and can’t begin to fathom all that is about to happen. She’s smart though, for whatever reason, she knows shit is gonna hit the fan soon. :/

85. “He ate at a corner table, watching people come and go, wondering if he might not see someone he knew. In a vague way, he rather hoped that would happen. It would lead to questions–where’s Rachel, what are you doing here, how’s it going?–and perhaps the questions would lead to complications and maybe complications were what he really wanted. A way out” – p. 290

MT: I thought this was also telling of how he is having doubts about his plans that are being heavily influenced by the power and magic of the burial ground and he’s wondering if this has to happen the way it appears like it will. It’s kinda heartbreaking because you know that he’s going to make the wrong decision with how much is still left in the novel. 😦 He’s kinda doomed to do the wrong thing, pretty much, and as a reader you can’t do anything to stop it from happening. Sucks. He was a good guy, too. He just lost his way a bit. Sigh.

86. “As he started the Honda’s engine, he thought that perhaps Jud was right about the growing power of that place, for surely he felt it around him now, leading (or pushing) him on, and he wondered: Could I stop? Could I stop even if I wanted to?” – p. 291

MT: There was another couple of quotes in this book that reminded me of my own relationship in regards mostly to suicidality but I skipped a few of those and am only highlighting this one here. I feel that this is like the crux of my own experiences with suicidality and in fact also with mental health conditions. The doubts of what if’s, of better days ahead, of wanting to be found out, of an awareness of how others could thwart my plans, of wondering if stopping were still possible. I found this relatable even if different. It’s like the doubts are there and I wonder if I’m in too deep that I feel obligated to hurt myself by that point. As if it wasn’t enough to talk the talk but to walk the walk, too. But, maybe that’s just me. 😛

87. “Just above his head, the tree forked. He suppose he could–Without allowing himself to think about it further, he reached into the fork and pulled himself up” – p. 298

MT: Again, another pretty relatable approach to me here. I felt that whenever I just pushed aside my doubts and wavering thoughts and just committed to acts of harm to myself that I could go a lot further than if I just took another moment to pause and really think about my decision. Which I suppose is something I utilize more in recovery these days, that I take those extra moments to really do a mental pros/cons of the situation rather than acting impulsively. 🙂

88. “Have you ever thought, Louis, that you may not  be doing your son any good service? Perhaps he’s happy where he is…maybe all that isn’t the bullshit you always thought it was. Maybe he’s with the angels or maybe he’s just sleeping. And if he’s sleeping, do you really know what it is you might wake up? Oh Gage, where are you? I want you home with us” – p. 302

MT: See, the sound of logic was approaching Louis, it was calling for him and everything but the power of the burial ground was too strong. Which is so, so tragic. Because even when he’s using his logical, rational mind he still is a hurting man who wants his future to be so much like his past with his son alive and well again. Sucks x1000.

89. Word choice: galloping.

90. “‘Gage,’ he said and began to rock the boy in his arms. Gage’s hair lay against Louis’s wrist, as lifeless as wire. ‘Gage, it will be all right, I swear, Gage, it will be all right, this will end, this is just the night, please, Gage, I love you, Daddy loves you'” – p. 310

MT: Shit man, that’s still just a sad and heartbreaking scene. Fuck me running. The mark of a great piece is how much you can connect with its characters so much so that their heart and pain becomes your own. T_T 😦

91. “[Rachel’s thoughts] But [Louis] was lying about something. It was in his eyes…oh shit, it was all over his face, almost as if he wanted me to see the lie…see it and put a stop to it…because part of him was scared” – p. 324

MT: Gosh darn it, Rachel, why didn’t you push for the answer more! *cries* You poor, poor fool. 😦 I wonder if there was an alternate universe where Louis did crack and let Rachel in and didn’t follow through with resurrecting Gage. Hmmmm..

92. “[Oz] was in the water you drank, the food you ate. Who’s out there? you howled into the dark when you were frightened and all alone, and it was his answer that came back: Don’t be afraid, it’s just me. Hi, howaya? You got cancer of the bowel, what a bummer, so solly, Cholly! Septicemia! Leukemia! Atherosclerosis! Coronary thrombosis! Encephalitis! Osteomyelitis!” – p. 339

MT: Okay, we’re almost done now! My left wrist is starting to bother me now though, gwah. But this is that page long paragraph I was telling you about which is the part that really started to get under my skin and freak me the fuck out. Lmao What do you think? It kept going but hot damn. XD

93. “He understood everything. The leash…the leash was going into the darkness… he was moving fast along it no, hand over hand. Ah, if he could drop it before he saw what was at the end! But it was his leash. He had bought it” – p. 355

MT: This is actually a theme from earlier in the novel which I don’t recall if I had mentioned but Louis takes these responsibilities onto himself by owning what shit had happened. So, for this case, he’s owning up to the fact that killer Gage was his responsibility to handle with care and reprimand the outcomes. Just like Church was originally his responsibility as well (which he kills again anyways). He may even suspect that killer Gage has struck gold across the street where Rachel’s rental car is.

94. “What you bought, you owned, and what you owned eventually came home to you” – p. 358

MT: See, more of that theme here, even. I don’t think I completely understand it myself, actually. I guess it’s talking about responsibility and owning up to the shit that comes after your decisions. That if you bought something it was yours and yours only to take care of. It was your decisions and your responsibility, your essence that trailed back to you, not anyone else. That’s my best guess, at least. 😛


ANNNNND… that is officially it!

That’s all I have for you peeps for this book review. Man, it took a while and it was largely because I had SO MANY tabs in this book that I decided handwriting it would kill my wrist which is why I typed up the majority of this review in this new post so as to save my wrists just a little more. I have PLENTY of other reviews to get out to you guys, largely old ones in various journal piles, so I’m actually quite looking forward to that!

Not to mention, I have other new books to read through and then ultimately review for you guys as well. I’m also thinking of launching my House MD reviews (probably covering every 3-4 episodes), TED talk reviews, documentary reviews, potentially music video reviews, interview reviews etc. Lots of reviews, that’s for sure! I also have old film reviews I can dust off and then get up soon!

I know the most of this is coming out in May but I did read and begin this post in April, which is why it’s titled the way that it is. I also have fanfics to work on and other non-review blog posts as well as Youtube videos for my channel to work on too.

Plus I have to officially send out my resume to jobs and hopefully land something soon for a way to provide further structure and monetary output into my life. My parents are currently out of the house but I’m probably gonna curl up with a book now and start the next review’s process!

Additionally, since we now have Netflix, I will be reviewing “Bird Box” and “The Ritual” as I’ve read both those books and want to review the movies themselves. “Demolition” is a movie I want to find again to help me review it because I have a personal link with that movie from a few years ago.

Any who, that’s all from me for now! Hope you guys liked this review! It was longer than usual and my reading attention span is shotty at best but hopefully it was interesting and I can’t wait to get the movies and review them soon, too! 🙂

I’ll try not to be too long in getting out my next post!

 

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR READING!!

Leave me your comments down below. ❤

Later, I’ll have to notate my stars in my journal (let alone get back on track with all of that!)

See you all next time! 🙂

 

Posted in Coping Now, Creative Writing, Film & TV Reviews

Mourning Review (and Processing) After Avengers: Endgame | !!Warning: Spoilers!!

This is not a film review.

This is a mourning and processing review.

This is spoiler filled so if you don’t want that, you better click away!

This is me in sorrow. This is me in pain. This is me feeling loss to a world that is painful. To a world that doesn’t entirely exist on its own but feels like it does so very, very much. This is me coming to understanding. This is me grappling with such immense loss…loss of characters so influential, so heroic, so life-changing and life-saving even. This isn’t exactly me saying #ThankYouAvengers ’cause I’m still kinda pissed. I am mourning. I have been deeply affected by a world of heroes that were never in my control. I wish to mourn and share my ache with those of you who are just beginning to watch the same film I did and possibly take something different and foreign and yet all the same emotions and thoughts from it. I stand with you. We will make it through this…together. Whatever it takes. With love to 3000. Let’s begin.


***SPOILER WARNING***


….

!!!!

Natasha Romanoff.

Tony Stark.

Steve Rogers.

These are the ones we lost.

Tony’s death is the one that sticks out the most for me. I feel like my soul has been shredded to pieces. I am emotionally wrecked. Like a sinking ship. A deserted island. I’m in shock. I don’t want it to be true, but it is and it sucks and life feels so much less meaningful now.

And it’s not like I could have ever done anything about it, you know? I was powerless. Just as powerless as you.

And I know, I know part of the journey is the end. And they did win, this time, they won. But it still hurts. It hurts very deeply and very badly.

I’m never gonna look at cheeseburgers the same way (and Morgan, right? When she said that and Happy spoke to her, I cried all over again).

And the funeral, man I cried then too.

The moment when Tony passed–if the movie had ended right then and there I would have legitimately BAWLED and SOBBED–but it didn’t so I had to clear my eyes and get rid of the snot from my nose as I started to cry again in other parts.

And then Steve at the bench, having grown old… God damn it, then I was crying too.

And even when Natasha sacrificed herself for the soul stone, I shed a few tears then. But it wasn’t like with Iron Man, you know? It just wasn’t.

Iron Man was my second favorite character (the first being Loki, as if that’s much of a surprise, ahaha). I wish I could have seen Loki fighting in the final battle. That’s something I want to write into the story line from a pure fan fiction point of view. I also want to write a fic where Tony and Loki re-unite (FrostIron for sure, is that any surprise, either? XD) in the afterlife. Probably something I can just put my energy back into and try to move on as best as I can from these cinematic sacrifices.

I wish Vision could have been there, too.

And the movie was so much about trying again, trying to start over but always having that doubt in mind that things could have been different. Having the opportunity to have second chances–with Thor and his Mom, The Ancient One and Hulk, Tony and his Dad, Steve and Peggy–all of it, just … hits me in the gut.

I love, I truly do love that Steve got to live a life with Peggy and grow old but it’s so, sooo sad to see him go. To see everything as it happened, and without any end credits scenes just gutted me. My processing song for this post is: Sum 41’s “Crash” (fitting, I find).

I really thought it was going to be Barton that sacrificed himself, and it was a close call for sure, and when Nat just said “It’s going to be okay” and leapt…

And even their meeting after back in the present day (five years after Thanos snapped his fingers when AIW ended) talking about Nat and wanting her to be there… shit, man.

And then there was the whole time travel component.

And Tony had a family.

And at first it confused me that them saying they wouldn’t mess with the past and the present day at the 5 year mark would be intact was something I missed at watching the movie (i.e. My Mom explained it to me in the car later). Which makes sense as to why Morgan is still alive and everything (I loved that Pepper joined in within the fight, too).

I think it was really Peter begging for Tony to stay that got me.

I mean, I knew, I thought he wasn’t going to make it, but shit, I wasn’t ready for it. Not like this. Even with Cap I wasn’t ready for it.

And there’s just this void in me now. Like, I want to go see it again now (I already got tickets to see it again with a friend who hasn’t seen it yet for Monday evening) but it’s just so fresh even now.

And when Pepper told Tony that it was okay and “You can rest now.”

Dude, I’m just in tears.

I feel so shattered. I feel like a husk of a soul. Carnage.

And I teared up when everyone was there to fight the final battle, that was lovely and so awesome and inspiring and fantastic.

But that loss, man. That final, “I am Iron Man”. I mean, I was nervous when the movie started and Tony was so sickly and then for everything to come full circle and for him to wield the stones to vanish Thanos but that taking everything out of him…

I don’t think I realized how attached to these characters I was, until, it was too late. They were gone. And I guess that’s how life and death tends to be, isn’t it? Like I genuinely just feel like curling up in a ball and sobbing for the next year.

And when Cap at the end let Sam hold his shield. And to have passed that on. Oh god!

And they got to play Tony’s last message and everyone was there for him at the funeral. I swear, I feel like I’m not going to be the same. I mentioned the thing about the cheeseburgers, right? Because I swear shawarma and cheeseburgers I’ll never look at in the same way again.

There was comedic relief spliced into the story, too, don’t get me wrong.

It was shocking and funny to see how much Thor let himself go and how human he was because he’d chopped off Thanos’s head and then drank himself into a stupor after and got fat and when presented with his mother again he spoke to her at length (I kinda wished he’d done more with Loki though, to be honest) and tried to warn her about her own death to come but she knew, I think, and she accepted it.

It was a very meaningful exchange. It was interesting to see too what else happened after the Avengers movie had ended where it did, why Loki got a muzzle and how he disappeared when the Tesseract was out in the open. I enjoyed the hurt/comfort nature within this movie.

I also enjoyed when Nebula and Tony were playing with the paper footballs. And I thought it was well done how Clint started off the movie but his family were the ones to disappear. His growth, and really, all their growths were so touching and heartfelt.

I just wish things could have ended differently. And I don’t think I’m ready to accept them for how they are the way they are.

I’m probably going to be busy writing fanfics about this ending and AU’s where things went differently. In part to mourn and in part to move on and carry forwards.

I feel….more clear-headed now. I really needed to process.

I came into this Marvel Cinematic Universe in summer 2014. I fell in love with Thor and Loki through fan videos on Youtube and tons of fanfic stories (“Drown” by Ordis is my utmost favorite). I had the idea of my own fanfic story (the one I now proudly call “Come to Pass”) before I ever made another fanfiction.net account (I had a previous one for House MD but lost the password). I watched Iron Man 3 and Iron Man 2 trying to find the Loki scenes but couldn’t. Eventually I came across Avengers and for the first two hours, felt the scenes weren’t in there either, but then they were and I fell in love. That’s how I got involved into the MCU.

I had seen Iron Man before, not in theaters but on TV, and I always thought that Thor was just another one of those ancient Rome movies my Mom likes, and not actually a superhero movie.

I was a kid when I saw the original Spider-Man movies. The ones with Tobey in them.

And I saw Thor and I saw Captain America and I saw a couple of the Hulk ones and The Winter Soldier on TV and everything. I saw Ant-Man and Doctor Strange and The Dark World, Age of Ultron (I think, can’t recall for sure) on TV too.

I saw Civil War, Ragnarok, Infinity War, Endgame and Homecoming in theaters.

I saw Captain Marvel in theaters too, actually, to be fair.

But in 2016 I started writing my own fanfic stories and publishing them online. I think it was only just this year when I decided I’d write “Come to Pass” the one from when I first got introduced in this magical and life-saving realm.

I mean, honestly, this universe kept me alive for so long. Ragnarok, Infinity War, Endgame… I had to be alive still in order to see them and enjoy their presence and bask in their glow.

And now, with a clearer head and still with an ache, I will find time to write and write passionately. Because I loved these characters. I loved these stories. And life, life always moves on, moving forward no matter how much we want it to stop and stay the same, at times.

I’m sure I’m not over mourning now, in ways I know I’m not, but I may be able to write yet and I will probably read some fanfics to help me to cope and come to terms with everything.

Even with Tony and Natasha and Steve gone in the MCU, in the cinemas, they are still living on in each and every one of us. I don’t know how I’ll be able to stand re-watching old movies they’re in without thinking about their ultimate demise, but maybe that’s not the point. Maybe the point is that they still live, despite everything that wound up happening, they’re still here, they still live and breathe and feel and can be manipulated and explained and understood.

In many ways, they are timeless. Which is a theme you’ll see me talk about more in my book review on “Pet Sematary” (1983).

For now, I think it’s time I pick myself up and move forwards. I don’t know how or if exactly I will go onwards with the MCU. Maybe it ends here, and maybe it doesn’t. I’m curious to see what happens next.

And I will always love Tony Stark and Loki. My two favorites. And they’ll always be with me, moving forwards. And Steve got to be with Peggy, he got to live a life so full and beaming. He got to finish something he had once started.

And I guess, I will find new reasons to stay alive. Maybe to read all the fanfics out there, of others wishing for a different end. It’s amazing the power that fictional characters can have on us.

It’s not goodbye, it’s just… see you later.

Okay, I’m officially crying again but I think this is where the story of this Mourning Review ends.

Thank you for reading. Thank you for being. Thank you for existing.

And above all: Thank you Stan Lee for helping to create these masterpieces. This one is to you.

May we all find peace, meaning and trust in the process of this life. And hey, we can always go back and be with them again in other movies and videos and clips. They’re not gone forever. Just for a little while.

 

❤ ❤ ❤

RIP Image - Mourning Review

I do not own this image, I found it here.

Posted in Coping Now, General

Since My Disappearance…

Life Update Thumb


This blog post is brought to us all by the shuffling songs of my main iPod’s playlist “Other Songs”. (We’re currently starting out with ‘Landslide’ by Fleetwood Mac, which is a lovely random choice that I equally love and appreciate).

So, uh, it’s been almost 2 months since my last blog post–and even then it was an old school article so maybe even a few weeks before then was my last official blog post.

Sorry about that!!!

Having Twitter (and even then, I haven’t been super active there in the last week) has erased some of my desires for blogging and I also feel that with all the art juggling I do these days that it just kinda pooped out. I guess I’ve been looking at blogging as I have been reading a physical book: I want to do it but the task is so huge and daunting and requires so much effort that I just avoid (Internet addiction AKA the Deep Dives on Youtube) and distract and get busy otherwise.

Speaking of art:

There was one week that I actually uploaded a video to my Youtube channel each day. And I’ve been writing LOTS of fanfics (largely just for my mental health conditions AU called “Distorted & Disordered”) which is something I have yet to completely talk about on my blog as that landed in Part 2 for all about my fanfics post. (Part of the reason I’m sure that I’ve been avoiding blogging especially for the projects posts ideas too).

But yeah, it’s been a while.

Today I found very old book reviews that I want to share with you guys soon. Life has been okay.

I actually meant to even blog last weekend (not this past one but the weekend before) because Galaxy my second Chinese hamster passed away, sadly. April 13th. Mocha’s knee has been bad again and she hurt her other back leg on Sat, we don’t know how or from what, and that made my weekend more depressing and somber. But I wrote and edited and uploaded a new chapter for D&D so that’s good.

I also got re-trained for NAMI’s Peer to Peer mentor class (as in, I’m re-trained to teach the course for others living with mental health conditions). This past weekend I listened to creepypastas as I reorganized and renovated my room. (Tidying, light rearranging etc.) I also tossed out some clothes that I’m not going to wear and put aside the winter clothes. This coming weekend I will switch over to my summer clothes. 😀

Avengers: Endgame is coming out this weekend! Super excited about that. I’m a little tired right now but I’m okay. I’m surviving, if nothing else. I’ve been reading “Pet Sematary” by Stephen King and I’m thankful that I finally found some of my really old book reviews because the one for “The Ritual” by Adam Nevill was presenting large amounts of problems (it took me an hour to find it) but I finally did so that’s what counts. Guess I just have to set aside all the frustrations I was having about not being able to find it XD

Sometimes I’ve colored too. I actually got super behind in my journaling and 5YJ. I still have to make up over a month of that, not too excited or happy about that though.

One of my bracelets broke this morning so that kinda sucks. I also have about 15 books out from the library at the moment. I’m practically drowning in books that I find it difficult to get back into. I’m okay once I’m engaged but ugh it sucks.

Still going to program 3x/week. I’ve hung out a few times with friends since we’ve last spoken. Listened to lots of music. Doing the DBT-I homework. Laughing. Enjoying myself. I got a thank you card recently and a gift card for Dunkin Donuts which was nice. Sending emails, doing LOADS of NAMI IOOV’s (I did like 5 in the span of 3 weeks). I have commencement happening at the end of May 2019. Gotta go up to get my cap and gown on the 13th of May, because I also want to decorate my cap and they’re having the party for that that day, yay!

The trees are flowering and blooming so I’m hoping to get some photos taken this week.

Also, speaking of photos, I have two photographs that I’m printing largely (not sure where yet) to be exhibited in my town’s library. More on that later (like a future post/the going’s on’s of that).

I was able to attend a job interview even though I didn’t wind up with the job (which kinda sucks) but since then I still have to edit my resume and start applying more.

For now, I guess that’s about all. Just doing a lot, keeping busy, all that jazz. I have to go eat dinner now but it was fun, I guess? I know I just have 110 pages left for me to read and I want to get some old reviews done for you guys. I’d also really like to re-engage with the community here more although I don’t know when I’ll have the time to do that exactly.

My Mom’s home, time to go.

Hope you’ve been well! Let me know in the comments how you’ve been and all that jazz. Honestly, I’d like to chat with you peeps again and I wouldn’t be surprised if I re-decorate my blog again too.

Until next time; stay safe!

❤ ❤ ❤

PS A couple weeks ago I thought about creating a new thumb for Documentary Reviews, TED talks, and other miscellaneous material, what do you guys think about that?

Posted in Articles, Coping Now, Creative Writing

The Reality of My Unhealthy Relationship | Article F18

NEW Articles THUMB = 11.29.18


I thought maybe I could skirt by the end of the semester without having yet another article written out about my unhealthy relationship to Luna but maybe that was a little too naïve and fruitful thinking on my part. I think decoding this relationship is an appropriate use of my thoughts to model the process I’ve undergone to come to the conclusion that this relationship was and is unhealthy in the hopes that maybe someone else reading this can uncover some of those same tendrils of darkness in their own lives.

 

An unhealthy relationship can take place in any interpersonal relationship–friends, family, romantic partners, co-workers etc. Understanding the root cause of them and what it is we are anticipating to “get” from one another is a really, really big part of the issue. In particular, for me this isn’t exactly something I mapped out clearly for myself prior to this point in time. Meaning, I had once a few years ago listed out in a journal what I would be looking for in a future romantic partner, but I never really thought about the values I look for in good friends and other encounters with people. This, I believe, is something where hindsight is always 20/20, so although I hadn’t previously listed out what I look for in my relationships now is a good time to start to help me navigate future relationships (because patterns will be patterns and I’m likely to repeat the same behaviors I did yesterday tomorrow).

 

We probably wouldn’t need to know about interpersonal effectiveness and conflict resolution if everything could be neat, tidy and in between the lines. But, life, as it were is messy and gray and complicated. Life dictates whether a relationship ends with closure or with a gaping hole. I, personally, would like closure in my relationships so that if I were to have to deal with an opened Pandora’s Box I could close it efficiently.

 

But that’s just not realistic. Because some relationships will end messy and hectic and it’s better for me now to prepare myself for these messy endings than to hide in wait for them to come to me. I guess my point is that it’s important for me to be proactive and skillful in my recovery and my interactions with the world, opting for the healthier choice when tempted with the unhealthy choice.

 

And it’s tough. It’s really, really hard and there are *so* many emotions that course through me because inherently I do want to engage with and interact with Luna but because of those very same emotions I cannot. At the worst extreme, the reality is that if I interact with Luna I’m going to wind up in a crisis and hospitalized. So far, my active use of DBT skills has culminated into having slowed down time between a near-crisis and an actual crisis. Twice I’ve neared crisis in November but managed with skills to back away before one ever took place. And by crisis I mean where emotions are high and I can’t keep myself safe.

 

No one and no thing–not even Luna–is worth getting suicidal over.

 

And it’s difficult because I wish it were different from that. But in reality, it’s just not.

 

In my session with June it was brought up whether Luna was ever really there for me. And I would say yes but when it really mattered, no, no they weren’t–but I *was* there for me. Besides, things are different now. I’ve changed so much in these last ten months, more than Luna even realizes, because they’re just not in my life anymore and I can’t afford to go backwards.

 

I’ve done so much work on myself, so much time in recovery and getting better, that to engage with Luna would only be pure self-sabotage and self-induced suffering. While my tolerance for my emotions is higher than before, I know that it still has a threshold (which if I exceed could thrust me into crisis).

 

…Lastly, if there’s anything I could say to Luna it would be that we had fun; it was pretty great when it was good. I learned a lot from you and learned how to cringe at my past Raquel self for the things that I did while unstable. I’m sorry that you had to see that and I think it’d be wise for you to work on establishing boundaries in the future for not only your sake but everybody’s sake. I’m kind of angry at you for the way things turned out, even if they’re all my emotions, and I know that it’s the process of grieving the loss of our friendship more than anything else. I wish things could have been different and maybe in some alternate reality they are.

 

But it’s time for me to move on now, and I know you’d understand even if to you it’s a passing moment and to me it’s the world.


Article written: 11.28.2018

Fun fact: I actually was originally including lyrics from Lauren Daigle’s “You Say” at the start of this piece but had too much to say so I took them out.

2/26/2019 A/N:

Hey guys! Welcome back to another super old article upload– I mean, better late than never, right?

Hope you guys enjoy this one! I actually was talking to David about Luna and everything that went down in our relationship this past weekend (I’ve only thought of Luna like twice or three times since this article was written). Accidentally triggered myself a few times talking it all out with David but I was so exhausted afterwards (I got home at like 11:30p) that I fell asleep soon after and spent all of Sunday watching our newly acquired Netflix account with episodes of “The 100”. Ahaha. I’ll try not to be away again for too long. Now that I don’t have articles to write I can spend more time and playing with the sand making castles for my blog posts, really raising the bar and making them more in-depth and hard work than I remember them being for a while there. XD

See you guys later! ❤ ❤ ❤

 

Posted in Articles, Coping Now, Creative Writing, My Artwork

My Public Thank You to the Counseling Center | Article F18

Articles THUMB


I swear that I’m aware that making such a public statement is bold and possibly not the greatest of outlets, but I think I can cover a good majority of ground with what I want this article to be about and I think it’s a prime example of where I’ve been in my recovery journey to where it’s coming to a close now. If you just so happen to be new: hello, welcome, this is my little corner and I hope you can make yourself at home. The semester is wrapping up, almost to a close now, and with that close a chapter of my story here has come to an end, in one of the best, if not the best, way possible.

 

I’m going to actually graduate. Like, really. As I’ve been ducking my nose into textbooks and writing up final thoughts on paper, I’ve actually made it to the point where my wings unfold and I fly free, very, very soon. And it’s absolutely amazing.

 

And, it’s very weird. To not be coming back to university at the end of January but having time off from school (almost indefinitely) and having to get a job is equal parts both exhilarating and terrifying.

 

It’s taken a lot for me to make it all this way here, as you’ve likely read in other issues, and with an ending comes a new beginning and it’s important, I feel, to recognize the supports, the many faces and the many people who’ve aided in my recovery and been like lighthouses in the dark skies I’ve had to overcome.

 

My therapist at program likened the process to that of grieving, and I have to agree, it feels quite a lot like that. I’m in a new transitionary period where my old safety nets require being swapped out with new ones. And that, naturally, brings me to the subject of this article.

 

I want to publicly award my deepest and most sincere gratitude’s to the amazing work the Counseling Center on campus has provided me for the better part of four years on and off.

 

If you didn’t already know, the Counseling Center is a fantastic resource for temporary individual counseling, an after-hours calling service (which I didn’t have for my first few years at this university) and a drop-in for emergency appointments (you have to fill out this questionnaire first and I swear if I can fill it out in full-blown Emotion Mind, anyone can fill it out).

 

I’ve gone in many a time for emergency crisis appointments, some in better states of mind than others, and I know like any other group of therapists that they’d downplay their efforts in helping me and I’d somewhat agree because it is my responsibility and my gift to myself to help me and do right by me (because who else will?) and I can still say with certainty that the Counseling Center genuinely helped me in more ways than one and was probably one of my biggest, if not my biggest, support in getting through these six years at university. The compassion, the marks of humor where appropriate, the breakthroughs and the guidance was nothing short of miraculous and left enough of an impact on me and my recovery journey that I’m publicly (and privately) thanking them for their services.

 

Because I really don’t know where I’d be today without them (and without myself for choosing to help me and reach out for their support). I’ve said before how the hardest thing to do is to choose to live and the second hardest is to ask for help. If you’d have to ask for help from anybody without the fear of judgment and what it all means, the Counseling Center is there waiting for you. They are there to help you, and if you let them, they will. It’s a two-way street and an open dialogue.

 

Most of my emergency appointments landed me in the hospital, I’ll be honest, and none of them were unnecessary. Sometimes our wants aren’t matched up with our needs (think Maslow’s hierarchy of needs) and if you ever do require a hospitalization, it doesn’t make you weak in any way. It’s a sign of immense strength to ask for help and to receive it. Because you matter, your life matters, you are important and you can’t ever be replaced.

 

Reach out, choose to live, ask for help and receive it from some of the most amazing clinicians on our campus.

 

I will carry these memories between both my ears and when things get tough I’ll cherish them as a time once had while life gradually and naturally brightens up again. I will create new safety nets and stronger support networks.

 

And I’ll move on, because that’s what we do. But I will never, ever forget.

 

Stay safe.


This article was written: 11.26.18

PD A/N as of 2/26/19:

Hey guys! So, I’m scheduling this post to be released the day after I typed this up! I also realized while re-reading this article that I have PHOTOS of the personalized thank you cards I did for each therapist who impacted me the most during my recovery journey which I’m going to share below with all of you. ❤

Hope you guys can take something from this article and my cards! I have plenty to talk to you guys about soon. 🙂 See ya later!! ❤ ❤ ❤


IMG_00006192
This one was for the therapist who I thought was named “Mike”. 🙂 I saw him about 7 times on emergency before.
IMG_00006193
This was to the therapist who had been there for me since the very start of my diagnosis journey. She was really, really cool. 🙂
IMG_00006197
This card is for the therapist whom I referenced years ago with the question about whether I truly wanted to recover or not and I answered honestly that part of me did and part of me didn’t. (article circa 2016)

Thank you again for reading. 🙂

PS Yes, the degree to which I was fancying these cards got progressively shorter as I was running out of time. I dropped them off at the front desk so I don’t know personally if they received them individually but I have faith that they did. ❤

Posted in Articles, Coping Now, Creative Writing

Treatment 101: OCD-Institute & ERP | Article F18

NEW Articles THUMB = 11.29.18


In preparing to write this article I had to do the one thing I’ve wanted to do for ages but never tried: reviewing some of my old journals and two red folders from my time three years ago in the OCD-Institute of McLean hospital. McLean offers one of the three major OCD facilities treating the disorder across the United States (and it’s a world-renowned program). The OCD-I is not a locked unit so I could actually leave the campus for dinner at Friendly’s with family but was expected to be back by, I’d guess 10PM, to sleep there overnight. Besides medication the most used tool for treating OCD is called Exposure and Response Prevention or ERP of which the goal is to expose the client to their distress related to OCD and refrain from using compulsions.

 

Because this took place three years ago, I can only describe what my experiences were like given my particular circumstance. I was first told about the OCD-I from the Counseling Center on campus as a potential treatment option for myself (at the time experiencing mostly OCD behaviors). Over the spring 2015 semester I transitioned to an OCD specialist therapist whom I saw twice a week for a year. I remember before I landed in my third hospitalization of 2015 I learned that the OCD-I had a three month wait list. The helplessness and hopelessness I felt at that moment was unbearable and led me to accruing more suicidal thoughts that I wanted to act on at the time. However, during my hospitalization I did begin to fill out the application and eventually sent it over to the OCD-I.

 

In fall 2015, I took a leave of absence from school as I got accepted into the OCD-I around October and stayed there for five weeks. Because it wasn’t a locked unit, we could have laptops and iPods and things to that effect (strings!). People who were dealing with OCD around cleaning or cooking were often the ones serving food and experiencing their ERPs firsthand. We had about four hours of ERPs each day and two hours of them on the weekends. We would often go out on the weekends into the Boston area to practice the skills we were learning at program to apply into the real world. The average stay for an individual was up to three months, but insurance often bottomed out before then. We would follow a set schedule–a goals oriented group in the morning while sitting in a circle, two hours of ERP and track A or track B specific groups, which for me, meant a mindfulness group on some days, intrusive thoughts group, expressive therapy, emotion regulation, and a motivation group.

 

I find it quite funny that I’ve found some DBT related worksheets from within these red folders that I didn’t realize would play such an important role in my treatment and recovery three years later.

 

My ERPs had involved exposing myself to methods that I had used in the past to harm myself, saying that I was going to use it to harm myself (which would produce distress) that I then had to shift gears completely from and “live my life. While living my life, I would have to practice mindfulness skills of defusion and practice staying in the moment. Living my life could include just about anything except sleeping and talking about suicide.”

 

If it sounds slightly warped and unethical, I did have to return the methods after the ERPs were over as they were keeping it behind the nurse’s station.

 

A few of my notable memories from this time period were some of the friendships that I made and rolling down a big hill out on the campus, “Fight Song” by Rachel Platten and “Stitches” by Shawn Mendes being songs that I danced to, practicing grounding techniques with one of the other clients, a client getting kicked out for stealing and a suicidal crisis that emerged from this consequence, my getting the chance to be my authentic self and make positive messages for the other clients, attending the OCD support group and a few notable lectures.

 

One of those lectures involved a client focusing on the whiteboard of their values while other clients played their intrusive thoughts. It was a harrowing and emotional experience and even though they cried, they kept their attention forwards and didn’t interact with the ‘thoughts’. Another involved what you would say if you had to give a last speech before you died and another was the memorable speech Alan Rabinowitz gave featured on The Moth titled: “Man and Beast” and the book “The Happiness Trap” which is about ACT.

 

And finally, there was a set of questions from the OCD-I’s surveys that always stuck with me:

 

“When I want to feel *more* positive emotions, I change the way I’m thinking” and “when I want to feel *less* negative emotions, I change the way I’m thinking.”

 

At the time, these two questions were the resounding hum of my treatment after I got released. And from there, well, the rest is history.


This article was written: 11.21.2018

PD A/N:

Hey guys! So it’s been a few days since my last post. I’m hoping to update you guys more at length soon! For now, I’m trying to just upload some of my last articles here to my blog and also shove them all onto my deviantART account lol. I have like 7 or so left that I just kept putting off and off to upload but last week marked my final 2 being officially sent in! Hooray! I’ll try to update you guys soon. I think I can finally start writing more of my fanfics this week; I made a bunch of new (7) get well soon cards today and I really, really need to eat dinner ASAP so I’m off to do that!

Thanks for reading!! ❤ ❤ ❤

Posted in Coping Now, My Artwork, The Congratulatory Category

One Year Hospital Free | & Get Well Soon Card Day #2

happy 1 year hospital free day THUMB - 2.15.19

Trigger Warning: some mentions of suicidality and self-harm


So, two things:

  1. I don’t know what happened with the alignment on this post’s thumb, but it’s not supposed to cut off at the top but for some reason when I download the image it just does that. Weird, for sure.
  2. This post is a day late because I got busy and went out of the house yesterday with my friend David (we went to see “Happy Death Day 2U”–which I plan on sharing as a film review and possibly, maybe seeing again for that review stuff.)

On the plus side, we got to share the most lovely of drinks from Marylou’s which is the s’mores frozen drink; tropical (insert many Oooo’s here) Swedish fish; gummy Starbursts; and brownie flavored Muddy Buddies (I just discovered the peanut butter treats this week at program and fell in love–they’re everything I never knew I needed in my life lol). We also got to hear an interesting romantic song about having a PhD in romance/in the bed, so you know, that’s cool. I don’t know what the actual song is called yet, but maybe I’ll try to search it while I’m procrastinating on this post. Ultimately though, we should probably get back to the previously scheduled program. 🙂

Oh! Actually, the last thing on this tangent that I wanted to mention was that I want to see the remake of Stephen King’s “Pet Sematary” that comes out in April by first, of course as one will do, reading the book (and reviewing it), watching the first movie (and reviewing it), watching the sequel (and reviewing it) and then finally watching the remake this year. Or maybe even later, I don’t know, I’m going to be balls deep in Captain Marvel and Avengers: Endgame when those come out and I AM considering purchasing DVD copies of Thor: Ragnarok and Avengers: Infinity War as those are two very prized loves that I have for them, as well as reviewing them too. So many choices and so many decisions… But, that’s the end of that tangent!


So, as for the meat of this post I guess I will naturally go where the words take me which I feel is going to be a bit of a life update and shenanigans I’ve been up to this week as well as talking about the direct topic of this post and why it’s being born. 🙂

So, if you’re new, hello, and welcome and you should know right away that yesterday, Valentine’s day, marked my amazing journey of being one year hospital free! Meaning, my last psychiatric hospitalization occurred back one year ago to the day!

You may be wondering: Raquel, how the hell did you achieve that? And I know, it’s a HUGE deal, really. And it’s awesome and amazing. I really turned my life around completely, like a full 360, because my natural state of being was instability and in the last year I’ve transformed it to stability.

A year ago if I spilled my coffee (as is something that happened recently enough in the last month and a half) I would have interpreted that event as yet another reason I should kill myself (as I’m so incompetent with coffee I must only be incompetent at life and adulting by extension).

But now?

Now it’s just some spilled coffee. Yeah, it sucks and it DOES, and it’s also just a blip in the road.

I’m not without bumps, bad days, triggers and the like. I just have a higher pain tolerance now. I’ve been able to reshape my identity, learn how to accrue positive attention from others (largely through artwork, project ideas, hobbies I enjoy, the MCU, being the center of attention at times, sharing myself authentically and true) and change a lot of things in my life.

Yes, my pride does get in the way sometimes when I do struggle, and I will still struggle, yet it’s different at the same time now. What would have been instability for three to four days lasts only 15 minutes now. Yes, my triggers do accumulate–vulnerability factors from two or three days ago add up gradually with other triggers that may result in a delayed reaction i.e harm ideations that I do NOT want to act on and won’t act on and such.

And the intrusive thoughts haven’t even disappeared either. They’re still there and ever so slightly expanding, I just react to them differently now. If I couldn’t change the fact that I get intrusive thoughts, I’ve learned in this last year how to change my relationship that I have with them. I may not be able to control the images I see in my mind’s eye, but I can change the filter between myself and them.

With scratching self-harm and suicidal ideation fading into the background, other symptoms have arisen for me to focus in on instead. Hair pulling or trichotillomania has come up often, lip picking which I file away as an OCD behavior unless I draw blood which I then differentiate as self-harm; scalp picking when I started to pull away from the trich (no pun intended); skin picking like callouses on my fingers.

Another thing that also came up was my unhealthy relationship with Luna whom I had to disconnect from while completing my final semester of uni and my unhealthy relationship with the Internet (more specifically Youtube).

Additionally, there are some people that I try to “check up on” routinely but that may have devolved into addictive behaviors without me realizing it and even borderlines on a bit obsessiveness. Athena is one example, and instead of checking on her multiple times a day, I’ve cut it down in the last week to just once a day. I also am working on the Canva cards for her and am sending them over to her every 3 days, which I’ll probably make a couple more tonight to get ahead and all.

But with Youtube, there’s this thing I call the “Deep Dive” which is when I say to myself “I’ll just watch one video” and four hours go by and I’m left wondering what the hell happened and how I ended up in this rabbit hole! I often feel pretty bad about it too, which doesn’t help.

I may still check too much on Twitter (multiple times a day) but if it is an issue, I’m not willing to accept it yet. For now, it’s largely just Youtube. And any time people suggest I just turn the Wifi off, I literally hiss and can’t imagine life, in ways, without the Internet. If that’s NOT a problem, I don’t know what is!!

However, for now as I am out of work and out of school (my diploma came in the mail this week!!), I do have to prepare myself for when I will get a job and I won’t be able to be that active and involved in the online communities. Baby steps, though.

As of right now, I find that fanfiction time, listening to music, listening to creepypastas while I play Kindle games or reorganize my room, using Twitter, answering messages and emails and blogging are acceptable forms of Internet usage.

Probably because I have the Internet and it’s so easy to consume mindless material, I’ve strayed away from reading novels and reviewing them and such. Besides, I got so stuck when it came to reading, either focusing in on coursework or feeling as though I had to perform to this higher expectation that I actually sat in the throes of not being able to read or avoiding it at all costs (books I mean, although it’s expanded somewhat and sometimes to fanfics and such) for many, many months.

However!!!

At program today, some of us walked to the nearest library and I picked up 2 graphic novels and 2 novels and I plan on doing some lovely amounts of reading this weekend and was even able to START reading one of the graphic novels to get my toes back into the swing of things. I am VERY excited. With a few extra days off and wanting to re-engage in all that I create and review, I could really increase my chances of maybe one day working with sponsorships and shit for my blog and maybe my Youtube channel!

Additionally, I have some older books I have to read and review and return, and PLENTY of newer-ish books I acquired to read and review and the like. Plus, I want to actually output some of the old book reviews and film reviews notes and such for you guys too.

ALSO, I re-purposed my shipping box from Canva into a Goal for the Day Box and have been achieving those little goals each day. So far:

Day 1: Film a video (M) [COMPLETED]

Day 2: Write a new blog post (Tu) [COMPLETED]

Day 3: Create a watercoloring image (W) [COMPLETED]

Day 4: Wash the dishes (Th) MOVED

Day 5: Cook a meal (F) MOVED

For the moved: Th I wasn’t really home much as I was with David for the evening and I went up to this place for a recovery story interview which was suuuper snazzy and fun!! And then today I didn’t cook but I plan to make chocolate chip pancakes tomorrow and continue to do the dishes today and through the weekend.

The Box, I will have to show you guys in an upcoming post.

I believe it was Wed that I also stopped by Target for chocolate chips and Muddy Buddies and incidentally got a few other things too, shhhh, don’t tell!! 😉

But yeah, I’ve been getting closer and closer to reading books again and I’m really hopeful that I can also spend some time writing for fanfics this weekend as well as other blog posts and videos and such.

 

Welp, I think that’s all from me for now! I really want to get offline soon and start reading more. I’m sure I’ll fall into plenty of other ideas soon too. 🙂

As for the main topic of this post: Stability has been utterly amazing for me and I can say that it definitely gets better. No matter how dysregulated you are with your emotions, you can reach a place of peace and stability, health and happiness. Recovery is possible. You can find a life outside of mental health conditions again. You can make it to a year self-harm free, a year out of the hospital, etc. I know that reshaping my identity has been huge for me (shifting away from being ill and being a suicidal blob having to prove my suicidality, to instead an artist and an advocate) and while I do still have low days, I know that it gets better and that I can survive them to get back to the better days. It’s absolutely awful when they’ve got such a tight grip on you, and I can also say that the lies they tell you are just that: LIES.

Being at a long-term day program has been immeasurably helpful for me. DBT especially has been amazing. I think in part that my time out of the hospital went by almost pretty quickly, and when I started to struggle again I would implement what I would normally be doing in the hospital into my present day out of the hospital regimen–so, coming up with regimens, cutting out unhealthy behaviors like ruminating while listening to music and pacing my room; making no time for the mental health conditions to be “chatting” with me like at a tea party (get that reference? ;)); not purposely re-triggering myself (if I got a nasty comment online I block, mute and delete the email and don’t return to it after); continuing my work with advocacy programs and opportunities; shaping who I am and what I value as separate from my mental health (a good way my family therapist June put this was there are so many people with the diagnoses that I live with, so what makes me different from them? That’s still a starting point to more journaling entries I want to explore in the future! And to eventually share with you all <3); creating art and listening to more new music and everything. Yeah, so much. Just…so much.

Even things like playing video games at night before I fall asleep is great and I guess just using skills every day even if I’m not always skillful (who is??) has been a major change. And journaling my accomplishments each day (mostly) and filling out my diary card, planner, five year journal and trich papers has made so much difference.

But, I’m getting off topic. Before I go, here are some of the ideas I have for my blog:

  1. Book reviews
  2. Film reviews
  3. Life updates
  4. Leftover articles
  5. Recovery based projects
  6. Art
  7. Goal for the Days  (w/ commentary)
  8. Old tags / New tags
  9. Revisiting old topics (A- Z challenge; song a day’s)
  10. Journaling based entries (like from my own journals into a blog post)
  11. Art therapy/Teachable moments
  12. Fanfics/creative writings

And for my Youtube channel:

  1. Life updates
  2. ART
  3. IOS
  4. Book reviews
  5. Film reviews
  6. Support Stands
  7. Vlogs
  8. Collabs
  9. Hauls
  10. Goals for the Day (weekly based)
  11. Lessons Learned Lectures (L3’s)
  12. Recovery based projects
  13. Article read-outs
  14. AND MORE!

I honestly can’t think of anything else other than wanting to share a haul of Target stuff and things and yeah, I’m tired ahaha. This has been a very long post…. I will end it now. 😉

Hope this was interesting and neat and fascinating for you guys!! It was for me and I can’t WAIT to jump back into reading now. 🙂

Have a good one!!!

❤ ❤ ❤

Oh, I forgot, today’s get well soon card for Athena:

GWSC Day 2 - Created 2.12.19
I Googled a picture of her doggo for this one. 🙂
Posted in Coping Now, My Artwork, Projects, Song A Day Challenge Mental Health Edition

Here’s to the Lives that You’re Gonna Change |SADIJ1 & Get Well Soon Cards

Song a day THUMB


Chosen song:

Have It All by Jason Mraz

Video:

Chosen Lyrics:

May you have auspiciousness and causes of success
May you have the confidence to always do your best
May you take no effort in your being generous
Sharing what you can, nothing more nothing less
May you know the meaning of the word happiness
May you always lead from the beating in your chest
May you be treated like an esteemed guest
May you get to rest, may you catch your breath
And may the best of your todays be the worst of your tomorrows
And may the road less paved be the road that you follow
Well here’s to the hearts that you’re gonna break
Here’s to the lives that you’re gonna change
Here’s to the infinite possible ways to love you
I want you to have it
Here’s to the good times we’re gonna have
You don’t need money, you got a free pass
Here’s to the fact that I’ll be sad without you
I want you to have it all
May you be as fascinating as a slap bracelet
May you keep the chaos and the clutter off your desk
May you have unquestionable health and less stress
Having no possessions though immeasurable wealth
May you get a gold star on your next test
May your educated guesses always be correct
And may you win prizes shining like diamonds
May you really own it each moment to the next
Oh, I want you to have it all
All you can imagine
All, no matter what your path is
If you believe it then anything can happen
Go, go, go raise your glasses
Go, go, go you can have it all
I toast you
My meaning:
I’ve already been listening to this song for over an hour today but I wanted to do something a little different and actually write up a blog post even though my attention span is fraying and fleeting. Regardless, here is a song a day mental health edition as I haven’t done one in a long time!
This song, I came across on the radio maybe spring time 2018. I really fell in love with it and it really imprisons everything about me and my life and my hopes in another person, which is always awesome, so we can continue to spread kindness and compassion everywhere we can!!! ❤
I mentioned this song before to my friend Diary and I feel it’s such a happy, positive, well-lit song that spreads hope and love and kindness in a world that is so often lacking in those qualities.
I hope that it gives you a smile and a feeling of being treasured and warm on the inside out. 🙂 ❤ ❤ ❤
Chosen emoticon:
😘😘😘 = kissing face!

Additionally, someone that I follow that I have written about in the past, a few years ago, is beginning, likely, they’re recovery journey from an eating disorder, and with it also happening to be eating disorder awareness week, I want to send them support, compassion and encouragement in this difficult time–in the hopes that they will later see them when they are ready or if they choose to at all return to social media.
So if you have any suggestions on words, phrases, quotes, song lyrics, color choices, patterns, pictures, etc. let me know in the comments down below; in a DM on Twitter (I’m @RecoveryRaquel); or in an email which you can contact me through my contact page here on this blog.
I’m thinking of creating a card for them every 3 days and will directly tweet at them on Twitter and also post here if that would be helpful or interesting for anybody. I’m going to not have their direct name in the image itself so it can be applicable somewhat to other people wandering through recovery.
My intention would be to spread kindness, positivity, hope, light, warmth and more. This person has done a lot for the online communities (maybe not always positive), and although they’ve lost their way a bit, it’s going to get better from here. I have hope and light for them, if even right now they don’t have it for themselves.
So, any ideas would be much appreciated!!
This is kinda like an online form of Recovery Reinforcer. XD
Maybe I will tag it as such later on in these card creations…I’m not sure yet!
Any who, I hope you guys are well!
I will be having a 1 year out of the hospital post on Valentine’s day! And hopefully a few videos up and out this week as well. 🙂
Thank you for reading/listening! ❤ ❤ ❤
Hope You feel better Soon! - Card 1 for Athena - 2.12.19