The Darkness

I have been physically, spiritually, mentally sick and scared. Everywhere I go energy is turbulent and nervous, almost like a roller coaster ready to take an infinite plunge.   When I got home from the office my house felt foreign.  I shook off the weirdness, grounded myself and went to the fridge for a much needed beer.  Before I could pop open the tab I heard a snapping sound coming from the living room.  I thought it was the furnace and didn’t think much about it until the persistence of the annoyance got my full attention.

I walked into the room and that’s when I saw it. A dark shadowy mass grew by the front window.  The blinds were closed and the room was getting dark, but it was there.  I couldn’t run from it or repel it either. I couldn’t wish it away or deny what I was seeing.   I steadied myself and called upon any and everything good to help.  My intuition calmed and I ran straight into the darkness.

Chaos and fear strangled my core, and a G-force of energy had such power I realized at that moment I may not survive.  In my mind’s eye I witnessed ineptitude of empty words and broken promises.  There was a lashing of degradation in the name of righteousness.   I felt the wrath of a psychotic explosion that had long severed ties with civility and empathy.   I heard the cries and waded in sorrow that came from those that had been victimized by something they couldn’t explain and didn’t see coming.  I wanted to turn away but couldn’t.   An illuminating flash burned my eyes as my knees hit the floor.  I saw in myself prejudice and indifference I didn’t know I had.  The darkness tightened its grip. I refused to yield.  An inner rage came from the depths of my being that I didn’t know existed.  I felt the darkness delight and consume my energy within it.  And for reasons I can’t explain, I laughed.  I saw it’s reflection on myself and knew I’d been deceived.

“You’re so empty and shallow,” I said with steadiness and ease.  “You are nothing to me.  You’ve shown your deluded sense of self no longer exists. Have you forgotten?  You have my pity and nothing more.”

When I opened my eyes the house was still and I was alone.  I felt invigorated, ready to continue the fight with a heightened awareness
that I would no longer be complacent or live in fear of forces that don’t define who I am.  I believe that when light shines on darkness
the darkness does not comprehend.

 

Author’s Note:  Thanks to Jennifer Gilles and Mike Casali for their
support and friendship.   Let’s put our light out to the world.

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Abby

Warren had just gone to pickup our lunch when I heard the front door open and someone walk in.

I called out, “I’ll be right with you.”

I got up from my desk and went over to the reception area.  No one was there.   The front door to our building was still open.  I looked outside to street traffic and the brick apartment building across the street.  As I started to go back inside I got a glimpse of someone going around the building heading to the reserved parking area.  Curiosity got the best of me; I jogged over to see who it was.

A teenager sat inside an old gray Honda Civic.

I walked over, waved, and said,” I’m Jackie Vaughn.  Did you come to see me?”

“You’re the detective?”

“What can I do for you Miss?”

“Well, I, um.”

“Do you want to come inside?”

“I don’t know if you can help me.”

“Let’s go to my office so we can talk about it.”

She started crying taking me totally off-guard.

“Hey, what’s wrong?” I blurted.

She wiped away tears and stared out of the driver’s window.

“I’ll help you if I can,” I said, wishing Warren would hurry back.  He’s much better dealing with young people and folks in distress.

“I had a story all worked out,” she said. “I was going to tell you I lost my grandma’s necklace and needed you to find it for me.”

“Okay,” I said.

She unlocked the passenger door and I got in.

“There isn’t a missing necklace.  I did some research and read online that you use psychic abilities to help solve cases.”

“You’ve got abilities too.  Am I right?”

“I don’t know what I have but it scares the hell out of me.”

“What’s your name hon?”

“Abby.”

“You’ve been dealing with this quite a while haven’t you Abby.”

“I can’t tell anyone.  My parents are deeply religious and will have a fit,” she said.

“Are you seeing things, feeling things?”

“Yes , and I don’t know what to make of it most of the time.  It’s hard to sleep and I’m tired of keeping all of this inside.”

“My parents never really understood but they were supportive.  My aunt Tess was everything to me.  She let me know it was all okay and that I needed to embrace that part of myself.”

“How did you do that?” Abby asked.  Her big blue eyes grew wide as her expression softened.

“You’ve got to set up boundaries.  When you want to be left alone say, this is my space.  No one is welcome.  Visualize yourself surrounded in white light.”

“That’s all?”

“You’ve got to be firm and confident.  Being fearful and upset doesn’t help, in fact it will make things worse.”

“I don’t know if I can do that.”

“You can do it.  You must do it.  I wouldn’t totally count out your parents either.  I get a sense that they love you very much and are good people.  It will take them time to understand and adjust but I think they’ll come around.”

“What if they don’t come around?”

“You can’t go on like this.  Give them a chance.  They know something is wrong.  I wouldn’t be surprised if they know you have abilities.  This didn’t just come about.”

“It’s gotten worse lately,” Abby said, pushing away blonde bangs from her face.

“There’s a place called Camp Chesterfield.  It’s north of Indianapolis, you can drive there in an about an hour.  They have psychics, spiritual development, and healing.”

“Will you go with me?”

“Let’s see what your parents say and go from there.  Okay?”

“Okay. Thank you.  Can I call you Jackie?”

“Please do.  It’s going to take some work on your part but you’re going to be fine.”

As Abby drove away I was sad, nervous and excited for her.  I hoped I said the right things to ease her burden a little.  She called me a few days later to let me know that her parents were supporting her.  At first they weren’t completely on board with going to Camp Chesterfield but a trip was planned.  I was happy for her but couldn’t help thinking about how many kids were struggling without the support they needed to cope with their own psychic gifts.

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July 4th

The cloudy, rainy day captivated my mood perfectly.   My assistant, Warren and his wife Genji, invited me over for a cook-out.  I didn’t have the heart to back-out so I sucked it up and prepared some Pico de Gallo Dip that Loren taught me to make. Determined not to drink too much and knowing Warren would make sure I was okay to drive, I only took a couple of beers.  I don’t mind socializing but being the only gay person at the party I knew conversation with his other guests could get strained as the day went on.

When I arrived I was surprised by the number of people there.  Warren introduced me to some of his cop friends, and a few of the neighbors.  Although his wife Genji is an Asian immigrant with limited English, she mingled fluently and made sure everyone was comfortable.

After I made the rounds I took a seat in the back-yard.  As I sipped beer I couldn’t help noticing a Caucasian woman with a long brown pony tail roaming around.  Fit and trim, dressed in blue pants and a nicely pressed white shirt no one reacted or made any attempt to get out of the way as she walked by.  My heart raced as she came closer.  I try my best to block spirits but every now and then they appear despite my best effort.

“You see me right?” she asked.

I nodded.

“There’s a man in the kitchen I need to get a message to.”
I shook my head no.
“You have to do this.  He’s suffering.”

I took a swig of beer and looked away hoping she’d leave.

“That’s my partner.  He thinks my death was his fault.  I need to tell him it wasn’t. Can you do that?”

I didn’t know what the hell to do.

She ignored my hesitation and said, “Tell him that Tracy says his golf game sucks and he needs new clubs. It’s a personal joke between us.  There wasn’t anything he could’ve done to change what happened to me.”

Realizing she wouldn’t leave me alone I got up and went to the kitchen.  Several people where mulling around and I heard her say, “That’s him, the bald headed guy in the black t-shirt.”

I walked over and said, “Hi, I’m Jackie a friend of Warren’s.”

He smiled and replied, “Steve Lockhart.”

“Steve you’re going to think I’m nuts but I need to speak to you about something.”

“Okay, you alright?” he asked.

“I will be in a minute,” I said.

I led him into the living room and we both sat down on the couch as I tried to find the right words.

“I’m a detective and a psychic.  I know this is going to sound crazy but I have a message from Tracy.”

His face flushed, “from Tracy?”

“She said your golf game sucks and you need new clubs.”

He appeared dazed for a second and then burst out laughing.  “My God. Tracy?”

“She’s insisting on letting you know on what happened to her wasn’t your fault.”

His face grew dim.

She said, “Tell him that I’m okay.”

“She says she’s okay and doesn’t want you to suffer any more.”

Tears welled up in his eyes.   “I’ve always blamed myself.  We were investigating a domestic violence call and the situation got out of hand.   The perp came from the kitchen firing shots before I put him down.”

“She says you were the best partner she could have asked for.”

“Thank you.  This means a lot to me,” he whispered.

Tracy smiled and as she touched his shoulder she faded away.

Steve wiped his eyes.

“She’s gone now.”

He nodded and as we joined the others I wished I could let go of the guilt I feel about Loren’s death.  For a few seconds I let go of everything and lost myself in the spectacle of fireworks lighting up the night sky.

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Gay Pride

Much to my chagrin Warren insisted on having a booth at Gay pride to advertise our detective services. He was so enthusiastic about it I couldn’t say no. I must admit that at my age (forty-three and holding) being out in the community hasn’t been a priority in the last fifteen years and I had no idea what to expect. Well, I knew there would be drag queens, and men parading around in their underwear. I was surprised and glad to see so many young people taking advantage of a day set aside to celebrate who they were. There were older people too but with the extreme heat the younger folks fared better.

When a gust of wind sent the tent next ours flying, it took our tent with it. We were able to get everything back in place without injury or loss of too many pamphlets. I wanted to go to the beer tent but after a few looks from Warren I refrained. I had the last laugh when I saw Warren talking to older gentlemen who insisted on giving him a hug as he tried to talk him into visiting his church.

I missed Loren so terribly I could hardly stand it. Seeing couples walking hand in hand sank my heart over and over again. It’s been a couple of years since she died. I can’t find the words to describe that pain. When I woke up the next morning to watch the news about a mass murder killing at a Gay bar in Orlando I was overwhelmed and shocked by the horror of it. While the underlying feeling at gay pride was happiness and joy, I had a feeling something like that could happen here in Indianapolis. I didn’t say a word to Warren but the truth is it could happen anywhere. My heart goes out to the victims, their families and the community. I have to believe that when something like this happens somehow, someway, something good will prevail. If I don’t try and hold on to that belief than there’s no point to anything.

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Memorial Day

I went to the cemetery in spite of a nagging feeling I should stay home. I learned a long time ago to trust my intuition but for reasons I can’t explain every now and then I ignore it. I took flowers to Lauren’s grave then took the long drive on Route 231 to Rensselaer. When I was young we learned that the place was named after a merchant in New York who came to the area after his business failed. My dad used to joke that the place was for folks looking for second chances. I grew up on a farm just outside the city limits. The last census tallied 5859 people there and as a kid I was determined not to be one of them. I knew I was different and different isn’t cool if you’re stuck in a small town with small minded people.

After I visited my parent’s grave site I took the back roads to where our house used to be. It burned to the ground years ago but I still feel drawn to the property. Farmers had planted seed in the ground and green sprouts on small hills led me there. Instead of driving by the barren lot I had the urge to drive up to where the house used to be. Surprised the land hadn’t been tilled up I drove over to the lone decrepit grain bin and got out of the car. I didn’t have to close my eyes to hear my parents laughing or envision my Stingray bike propped up next to the house. The nearest neighbor was five miles away so I didn’t feel weird meandering around remembering life there. After a short time I headed back to the car. When I sat down a wave of sadness brought tears with it. I didn’t fight it until full blown sobs made it hard to breathe. As I headed back to the city I felt more alone than I had in a long, long time. I heard Lauren’s voice say, “You can’t go home again.”

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The Emergency Room

Yesterday my assistant’s wife called to tell me he was in pain. Warren isn’t one to complain so I hurried over to his place and found him grimacing on the couch. He was surprised to see me. I told him Genji was concerned and asked me to come over. He explained he couldn’t get into to his doctor’s office until Monday and had some lingering chest pain.

We took him to prompt care. The physician couldn’t find anything wrong and suggested a trip to the ER. When we arrived at the ER the place was filled with the old, young and disillusioned. I couldn’t help wondering what was wrong with a health care system when ill people are required to wait in agony hoping sometime soon their name would be called.

I began “tuning” in to people and for the first time in a long time couldn’t block everyone’s feelings. Two young women sitting against the wall had an unrelenting need to constantly monitor their cell phones. They looked hung over and tired. I sensed they we’re battling the flu and it occurred to me I’d brought Warren to a germ fest. Another man in his mid-thirties kept fidgeting. When our eyes met I felt so much sadness I had to look away. It was as if I heard him thinking the anxiety and pain was overwhelming.

A thin elderly gentleman, with flattened unruly hair, crinkled unmatched clothes and an aroma suited for solitude spoke out to the man sitting across from him. The next thing I know they were praying together. Nervousness was mounting in the room and I felt every bit of it. To pass time I’m ashamed to admit I fantasized about different ways to get hold of the prescription meds. The smash and dash method seemed most applicable since the drug dispensary was password protected. As hard as I’m working to stay sober I miss being numb to the world.

When the admitting line hadn’t moved in two hours Warren went to the front desk. He came back and said, “Come on we’re leaving. This place could kill a person.”

On Monday his doctor prescribed weight loss and a bland diet for a few days. I’m not sure what’s going on with me. I can usually block energies easily. Worrying about Warren could have made me more susceptible and a vulnerable energy magnet. I told Darcy about it and she picked up a stone at the New Age store. She told me to carry it in my pocket for a few days to thwart off negative energy. I took it out to show Warren and the rock fell out of my hand and shattered on the floor. Apparently I need to work on cleansing my energy or at least gain some control over it.

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New Year’s Resolution

Generally I resolve to exercise more and try to eat better. By the third week of the year I’m in line at a fast-food drive-through. Next, I haul out whatever gizmo I’ve purchased to guilt myself into better health out from the corner of the basement. I’m lucky not to have weight problems considering the most exercise I get is taking the stairs instead of the elevator and parking a good walking distance from wherever I’m at, unless I’m on a case and in a hurry.

My doctor has been harping on me to get the usual female tests and I’ve put it off as long as possible. Since my mom died of breast cancer I finally relented and got a mammogram. Tests came back and results showed a lump. A biopsy was done and I got the results already. I had tried to prepare myself for the worst and thankfully the tumor was benign. At forty-eight years old I’ve outlived my parents. As an only child there isn’t anyone around to share memories with. It got me thinking for the sake of my own sanity I need to start a new tradition and try to make some new memories. I called the local food bank and talked Darcy into volunteering with me. We unpacked boxes and dished out food to about a hundred people.

I didn’t know what to expect but everyone was so appreciate and nice it made me feel good to be there. So many people are struggling to meet the basic living needs. I read that the state had cut programs for the poor and can’t help wonder how many more people need help and don’t get it? I think I’ve got a better perspective now and hope I can make a difference this year.

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The Gift

My doctor knows I’m a detective but we haven’t discussed the psychic part of my life. I don’t talk about that with anyone except for Warren. I often get psychic visions but not as often when the pills and booze are flowing freely. I’ve been a bit irritable with the reduction of medication. I called the doctor and she agreed to up the dose a little. She wasn’t going to do anything at first but when I had a fit she changed her mind. After I hung up the phone and calmed down I realized I had overreacted. I don’t know what’s worse being hooked on prescription meds and knowing you have no control or battling the withdrawal.

I’m glad I had the dosage increased because the next day I received a call from Loren’s mom letting me know that the family was in town visiting relatives for the holidays and wanted to stop by. I haven’t seen any of Loren’s relatives since her funeral. They live in Colorado Springs and don’t come to Indiana often. I was apprehensive. Loren’s parents and younger sister arrived on time. There was some awkwardness at first. I served coffee and some cookies I picked up from the bakery. After the nicety’s Loren’s mom asked if they could have a one of Loren’s photo albums. I couldn’t deny them that. I don’t go in the bedroom Loren’s things are in so I went upstairs and opened the door and retreated back to the kitchen. I was a little embarrassed because the room was such a mess with totes and boxes scattered about but I think they understood. While I was waiting downstairs I remember wishing I’d picked up some Kahlua for my coffee.

They came down a short time later with a couple of photo albums. I asked if there was anything else they wanted, and her mom said, “No”. She started to cry but thankfully pulled herself together otherwise it would have been a sob fest. She pulled out a jewelry piece from her purse and handed it over to me. I’ll never forget the look on her face when she said, “We thought you should have this.” It was a gold chained ID bracelet, with Loren’s name on. “She had this in junior high and wore it in high school.” It took me completely off-guard, especially since her family barely acknowledged our marriage. I don’t know exactly what I said and I’m sure I surprised her with a heartfelt hug. I’m wearing the bracelet now. Every time I see it I smile. It’s one of the best gifts I ever received.

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The Premonition

I was at the courthouse finishing up some research. I went out in the lobby and got this déjà vu feeling. I sat down and waited a minute but didn’t get a vision. I spend a fair amount of time at the courthouse so I brushed off the sensation and headed to the parking lot. This tall lanky guy passes by and I get a strong sense that something is wrong. If I approach too gung-ho he’ll think I’m a whack job and call security. I was ready to blow off the feeling when I see him looking at me. My car is in his direction and as I’m walking over to it in my head I hear, He’s a bailiff. Then this guy walks over to me. I get the universal hint and realize I can’t dodge him.

“Ma’am I don’t want to be rude or impose but do I know you?” he asks.
“No, sir. We haven’t met,” I say. He smiled and walked on and I blurt out, “I think you may be in danger. Make sure you take precautions. I have the feeling that someone from your past will be coming forward and this person is dangerous.”

He started to say something but just stood there staring. To break the uncomfortable silence I said, “I’m a psychic detective. That’s just what I feel. Please be careful.” Then I hopped in my car and took off before he called the cops.

This morning I turned on the news and one of the lead stories was about a convicted criminal who had tried to attack a man at his home. The victim’s name wasn’t given but when the reporter stated a court appointed official I knew it had to be him. The perp didn’t get away it with the attack, maybe the warning helped.

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Solving the case of the Deadbeat Dad

Interviews with Jason Whitlow’s family weren’t helpful. In fact, it could have made things worse. I’m certain the minute I left his mother’s home he was alerted a detective had been hired. Both of his brothers were very protective and adamant how the ex-wife had been such a bitch and treated him unfairly. They did express some concern for the children but not enough to help my case. Co-workers seemed generally surprised by his disappearance especially since he didn’t provide a two-week notice. Members of his bowling team proved harder to deal with. None of them wanted to get involved in any way. My only option was to show up Friday night during league play. When I introduced myself I thought the captain of the team was going to have me thrown out. When I ordered a few pitchers of beer for everyone they begrudgingly let me stay and ask questions in-between frames.

Mr. Whitlow didn’t know any of these people very well. He had been assigned to the team before league play. They all agreed he was friendly enough, they knew he was a plumber, a divorcee and had kids. He was an average bowler who liked to socialize, and he kept a healthy bar tab. The bartender knew who he was but didn’t know much more. I spoke with one of the waitresses and found out she started work about the time he left town. The bartender smirked, which I caught right away. I asked about other waitresses I could speak with. He said a gal named Rita usually worked the week-ends but had quit around the same time Whitlow skipped town. After some prodding the bartender told me that Whitlow was a big flirt and had taken a liking to Rita who was also divorced. I didn’t need any psychic ability to put two and two together on this one. I got Rita’s address and made a trip to her apartment building to speak with the new tenant. She said she had received some of Rita’s mail and returned it. She thought the forwarding address was out of state but couldn’t remember.

I mailed a bogus letter to Rita’s old address and it came back stating the forwarding order had expired with a Las Vegas address label. I took the red-eye to Nevada and once there staked out her apartment building. Warren had gotten Rita’s DMV photo using his police contacts. Skinny as a rail her pinned up frizzed out bleached blonde hair didn’t dispel her need to try to appear younger. At six p.m. lover boy drove up in a company plumbing truck and I wrote down the information. I snapped some pictures and sent a report to DCS and the county attorneys. Relieved the case was solved I went back to my hotel and played the slots until I needed to go to the airport. Right before I got up to leave the slot machine lit up like a Christmas tree. I thought I broke the damn thing. Come to find out I had won five-thousand dollars. Needless to say I rescheduled the flight, and spent a couple of days in the sun. I’m giving Warren a Christmas bonus and am only charging my client the bare minimum on this one.

Note: All characters appearing in this blog are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

Thanks to Kathy M. for input on this case.

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The Case of the Deadbeat Dad

Our current case is providing a distraction and a good reason to get up and get going in the morning. So far we haven ‘t found anything substantial. The client is anxious and I get it. Her funds are low and with no child support just getting the necessities is a struggle. I know shopping for Christmas on a shoe string is depressing as hell. She assured me I’ll get paid once I find him. After our initial interview and seeing the three kids running around the house I gave her a very reasonable quote. I didn’t say so at the time but I’ll take installment payments if it will help out the family. I’ve got some more interviews scheduled this week. I want to talk to family members, neighbors, co-workers and some guys on his bowling league. The wife says this guy has a hell of a temper. When I do find him I’ll proceed with caution.

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Meds and me

The good news is my doctor doesn’t want to go over my journal entries. These are just for me to sort things out. I said I’d continue writing. I admit, it’s somewhat liberating. The bad news is the meds are going to be cut back with the next refill which is coming soon. I’ve gone cold turkey before and that bit of genius cost me a trip to the emergency room. Between the heart palpitations and the panic attacks I scared the hell out of Warren. Lowering the dosage over time is safer and I’m okay with that. The doctor says I’m dependent physically but can get past that and the psychological part too if we stay on schedule and give it all time. She gave me hell for drinking. I know I shouldn’t have gone out to the bar and vowed to do better.

It’s a cloudy, windy day and I need to go the cemetery. I haven’t been there in awhile. I hate to go and hate to leave. I just want to be near Loren for a little while. It’s a revolving door of pain and if one more person tells me it’ll all get better with time I swear I’ll forgo a response and will deliver a throat punch.

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Thanksgiving Blues

I’m supposed to give thanks this time of year. How do you do that when your heart aches? I’ll do the obligatory dinner at Aunt Sarah and Uncle Clare’s house but don’t plan on spending the night. It’s only a couple hours drive but Sarah can be persuasive so plans can change.

I didn’t put up a tree last year and don’t plan on it this year either. I try not to be a scrooge but with no family or kids around I don’t see the point. Loren and I had discussed fostering and maybe adopting but we never did. At the time Indiana legislators introduced a law to prohibit gays and lesbians from adopting. The law never passed. I believe that if you have to have to designate one day out of the year to contemplate caring about people than there’s something terribly wrong.

I’d love to be able to give Warren a bonus but the funds aren’t there. Instead of cash I’ll give him an extra week off. He’ll refuse and will be a pain in the ass about it but I’ll assure him the place won’t fall down just because he’s away.

This week I’m working on a case to find a guy who is behind on child support payments. Apparently he sold everything and moved. I guess I’m not the only one who’s lacking holiday cheer.

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The Morning After

I drank way too much. I’m not sure what time I got home. That doesn’t make me a bad person. I took a cab and I’m glad I did because parking was scarce. The bar was packed with lesbians heading for a basketball game. Loren and I went to a few games the year before she died. Her schedule at the restaurant didn’t allow much time for socializing but when we could go she went because I wanted to. God, I miss her. Wearing the wedding ring helps me feel close to her still. For the most part no one bothered me. The only annoyance was this chick with wild peacock colored hair, with one side of her head shaven. Somehow it wasn’t a bad look for her; she’s just not my type. I only have one type and that’s Loren, she’s gone and I want to be left alone. I’m sitting on a bar stool talking to Darcy and I could feel the wild haired chick’s eyes on me. It was really uncomfortable. I admit I was a little flattered but it was mostly creepy. Darcy thought it was hilarious until I gave the girl her number.

I need to go to the office later today. Warren said he had some ideas on how to drum up some business in-between cases. My gut tells me he’ll want to sift through some probate records. What a glamorous life I have.

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Getting Started

I’m writing this under protest. My doctor has “strongly” suggested that I engage in more problem coping outlets, whatever that means. Apparently working investigations and trying to solve cases isn’t enough of a healthy distraction. She asked me to write every day but when I bristled she relented. I guess writing this is better than going to more group counseling sessions, so here goes.

After my last doctor got busted for prescription fraud I doctor shopped awhile before realizing I was out of control again and had to do something. By out of control I mean battling depression, insomnia, nausea and anxiety by popping pills. I’m dealing with the death of my spouse and it sucks. Sucks isn’t articulate enough. What’s a single word that means devastation, heart numbing grief, complete life upheaval compounded with my addiction?

I have my share of okay days which means I haven’t lost it completely. My business is treading water thanks to Warren. He’s the best assistant and friend I could have. I know he worries a lot about me and his heart is in the right place. I appreciate his friendship but tend to lose my temper when he hovers. I need to dial back my anger when he bugs me about doctor visits and attending group sessions.

I’m supposed to write about feelings. It’s been twenty-six years and I still miss mom and dad. When does the hole in your heart ever heal? Damn, writing this I’m getting more depressed. I need to focus on something positive. I’m positive I want a beer and don’t feel like being alone. Darcy told me that there are half-priced drafts during happy hour this week. I don’t have the money budgeted but will take a cab just to be on the safe side. I need to edit out the drinking part of this before my next doctor’s visit.

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