These past two months have been both the best and the worst in my adult life. They are the best because the major source of stress in my life has been lifted. However, they are the worst because another source of anxiety has taken its place. Now, I have to worry about healthcare.

First, I did qualify for subsidies on the health care exchanges, which is great! Now, though, I need to provide documentation of my current income and of my loss of previous coverage. In theory, I should be able to use my last Walmart check stub, but I don’t know where to go about getting it without my social anxiety kicking in. My brain knows the process I should follow – call to have the printout ready, make a time to pick it up, scan, send.

However, I still have mixed feelings about Walmart. I feel shame because I let them break me and drive me away – their goal for some time, I’m sure. I’m ashamed because I let them win. It took several weeks before I could even stand to go in there, even, and I’m back to shopping. But, that’s all as a customer. This would be interaction as a former employee. I’m balking because I’m afraid, both on an anxiety and on a personal level.

I’m also wondering how I should go about getting proof of my loss of coverage. Perhaps I was already sent the notice? If so, there’s a real possibility that I misplaced it or threw it away as spam. In that case, I would have to contact the insurance company in order to get a copy of the end of my health coverage. How long will that take?

In the meantime, I have prescriptions that I can’t fill. Not because I don’t have them, but because I simply can’t afford them. I’m rationing my remaining medication until I can, hopefully, scrounge up the money to fill the most important, but whether I will be able to is up in the air.

In short – reality is far from ideal, and our health care system sucks.


Played by the Banjo

I’ve adopted a dog – unless the owners show up, but with the way this dog’s fur was matted, she’s been neglected and so the previous owners don’t deserve her. Mom decided to call her Banjo.

When I first got Banjo to her temporary home, she acted like the classic traumatized animal. She’s a tiny terrier breed and so she’s easy enough to pick up and hold like a toddler. She demanded comforting while I was around.

After going inside the house and returning, she acted happy until she saw me. Then the scared demeanor returned and it was back to comforting and petting. I held her like a toddler while Chris was cutting grass until she wanted down. And, when we left with promises to return the next day, her whimpering made my heart break.

Yet, Chris’s grandfather reported that, when we were gone and when no one else is around, Banjo doesn’t make any noise. As Chris put it, she found her sucker.

I’ve been played by Banjo, darnit.

The function of music while writing

I have four articles to write today for the Banner, and likely will have to to write tomorrow. Last week, when faced with a similar workload, I discovered that listening to music, in and of itself, won’t necessarily help. When Spotify popped up with a cover of Anna ni Issho Datta no ni, a song I knew from ages ago when Gundam Seed first premiered in Japan, I decided a short writing break was in order. I headed to YouTube and found the original version.

I spent the next blissful hours typing happily away as nostalgia filled my core. Even when I finished my articles, I sat for another half an hour doing nothing but listening to the songs that YouTube pulled up from my childhood. No, not Backstreet Boys or N’sync. I’m talking about anime OSTs.

My first Japanese song ever was Just Communication by TWO-MIX, a song I hunted out because of Gundam Wing. This was back before YouTube even became a thing, so I searched fancies until I found the songs I sought. I was blown away and haven’t looked back since. Where others would be listening to MTV or the radio, I was burning CDs full of Digimon soundtracks.

Today, I’m trying the same thing. I pulled up the Digimon Adventure Tri version of Butter-fly (RIP Wada Kouji, you will be missed) and letting the auto-play take care of itself. I’ve heard Brave Heart and Biggest Dreamer, with Fire! from Digimon Frontier now playing.

I may have to make a Wada Kouji playlist, since he apparently was the voice of my childhood.