Tuesday, March 29, 2011


i'm annoyed at some people about things going on in my house. i have stated once that things that are mine, are MINE. in other words, you ask if you can use them. in my world, that means asking BEFORE you use them, not saying after, "oh, i needed _____ so i used yours, OK?" i'm in a bad mood, and smart enough to know that its not this or that person's fault. so instead of confronting the people with whom the issues have sprung, i am deciding to write it down here, where hopefully a second look will give me new perspective on it, and maybe later, when i am not in a bad mood altogether, and when i am able to have a level-headed adult conversation i will attempt it. right now though, i cannot.

so it's off to the kitchen to think about what i want to cook myself for dinner.

Monday, March 28, 2011

panic attacks

so i had a panic attack last night. i took medication ,which knocked me out, and was subsequently late for work. obvioulsy there is something going on. gotta get through this...

Sunday, March 27, 2011

family seders are the best

so a roommate of mine made a purely innocent comment regarding mom and how her cooking was amazing. i can't for the life of me remember the exact words, and in reality the exact words don't matter. she doesn't know me that well yet and so i approached her and asked her to not make any more comments about mom. she apologized, but as she apologized she said that all she was trying to say was how family seders are the best, and this year will be the first time away from her mom, and she doesn't know how she'll get through. while i can certainly understand that, and to a point empathize, it still stung very much. because i've been at seders for the past twenty years without my mom. i just thought it was thoughtless. not maliciously thoughtless. not meant to wound, but simply caught up in her own world and oblivious to how the words still kept stinging.

i'm trying here. i really am. maybe i am just being overly sensitive lately. but it seems like there are issues at the moment.

Saturday, March 26, 2011


so the recent attacks have absolutely affected my mood. i have no energy or motivation over the last few days and am sleeping entirely too much. i've been lax in running or exercising each day and writing on here each day, so i'm not actively taking steps to minimize the effect. but today, i just went running, and i am now writing on here.

it's not so much anything consciously about the attacks. i don't think. at least, i have analyzed all of my thought processes and feelings and nothing keeps popping up. but, i did have a dream the other night. i don't remember much about it, except that there was an RPG in it. which usually doesn't indicate a good healthy dream.

also i have forgotten to take my medication a couple of days so that definitely has an effect. but i'm aware of all of these combinations that have put me in this mindset and will attempt to get out of the current headspace i'm in.

i'm still adjusting to the new roommates. being in this mood doesn't help. there are times i just want to scream at them and everyone else about the littlest shit. it has nothing really to do with anyone personally, i'm just in this mood where i am not good to be around people. so that's not good. it's really not good considering tomorrow i start work at a new school. it should be interesting.

i have to now adjust to new work partners for the next three months, which may be difficult. but right now, everything seems difficult, so i am just in a pessimistic mood.

on a good note, i have now lost 54 pounds. so that's pretty good.

Friday, March 25, 2011

terror in jerusalem

for those of you who haven't heard, there was a terrorist attack in jerusalem on wednesday. one woman, a british citizen, was killed, and more than 50 were injured. it was the first attack in jerusalem in a long time. also, more than 100 rockets have been fired from gaza into southern israel lately, which of course includes ashdod. in fact, two impacted in the city proper, in one of the longest rocket attacks so far.

we had a trip to jerusalem the next day, which was ok. the weather sucked, and i was less than motivated, but still we went, and still i love the city.

to say that i am not impacted by the recent attack in jerusalem and the rockets in ashdod would be a lie. i've been in a position in which rockets or mortars could kill me, but this time around, i cannot get in my amtrac right after and go find the sonsofbitches responsible. i'm basically helpless and powerless. i don't like this feeling.

i didn't run the jerusalem marathon for reasons that encompass more than the attacks, but it definitely played a part. i didn't want to have my dad and my family worry. i don't regret not running. but it is a shame. anyway, things here have gotten more interesting with the real threat of rockets raining down on me, or to use a phrase i coined 6 years ago, "fiery death from above."

but the facts are these: i love this country. i love the people, the land and the  culture. and i'm standing tall here. in my opinion, the time is right to take out the ability to fire rockets into israeli territory. but i'm no policymaker, nor am i in the IDF. neither of those realities is about to change. but I go on.

i will continue to go on. it's gonna take more than a couple of grad rockets from gaza to send me home.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

full day

so today was a full day. went to school and volunteered for a bit, then participated in the amazing race. i had a fun time trekking around ashdod with my apartment. it was cool to get to know them a bit better and bond. the principal and teachers and the kids were excited to see me back at ofek. so that was really nice.

i'm heading to jerusalem for st. paddy's day and to hang out with friends this weekend, and then going to jerusalem next thursday for a day trip with the group and staying for the race on friday. soooooo excited!

i went running tonight, and did some minor exercises. i also weighed myself. either the scale i use broke while i was away, or i lost almost 8 pounds in a week. while it's possible, i doubt that's the case. i'm going to double check tomorrow at school.

it's been a great day and a half so far. it's now 1240am and i am going to attempt to goto sleep. night all!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

i'm baaack!

I returned to Israel tonight. I'm so thrilled to be back! It was Tuesday, so we all went to Pigal for another round of "Bad Decision Tuesday™". It was awesome. It was definitely what I missed when I went back. We returned to the apartments and played durack in my old apartment. (I moved into a different appartment this time around). It was a great night!

However, now, it's 335am local Israeli time. And I am a little drunk, and a little jet lagged, and it's now time to be unsure of whether I should have returned. I don't say this as if I decided I wanted to wonder, I say this as an acknowledgement of where my mind has decided to go right now. Even after having a great night with my friends, friends who welcomed me back and were genuinely glad for me to be here, I am still plagued by self-doubt and prophecies of doom. I don't know why my mind goes there. But it does.

So I'm here to cut the thought process with a dose of logic: I returned home and wanted to come back right away. I loved LOVED my time here and wanted to continue it. I missed my friends, and they missed me. I have returned to a place that I enjoyed immensely, and am surrounded by people who genuinely missed me, which is amazing. I have an opportunity to spend another five months here and have a great time all over again. There is NO reason for self-doubt and worry. No reason to think that this was a bad decision. This is where my recovery continues. This is where it happens. Good, bad or indifferent, this is where I am because I took a chance and decided it was worth it. If it doesn't work out, then that's that. But I can look back and know that I tried. I lived. I put myself out there. And I'm committed to this.

It's going to be a great five months.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

still alive, getting things done here in new york

well, to nobody's surprise, i am not happy here in new york. long island is not where i want to be. i didn't like it much as a teenager, and don't like it now. i moved away for many reasons, and not liking this place was one of them. so i'm working on a plan to get me out of here.

i've settled on binghamton and albany for college. now all i need to do is get accepted to one of them, and things will get moving.

been cleaning here and there in my room, getting my things organized. it's amazing how much shit i have that i just don't need. i've done without for five months, some of this shit just needs to go away. definitely have a lot of clothing to donate.

anyway, kinda in a blah mood, gonna watch a movie and goto bed.

Monday, March 7, 2011

i woke up on wednesday of last week and wasn't sure i was able to stay in israel for another five months. the question of wasn't feasibility, it was mental ability for me. i woke up depressed and down, and wasn't sure that i could make it another five months. i was worried that if i stayed, i might fail, and therefore tarnish the great feeling i had about the first five months. i worried that i really can't do it. so that, and the fact that i have shit to take care of at home helped me make the decision to come home. but truth be told, the things i have to take care of in new york could have been put off. i could have just said, fuck it. too bad. but i didn't. and so, now i'm here in new york.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

back in ny

i've started looking for a job. also researching schools, and am pretty sure i have narrowed it down to albany and binghamton. now the key is to get accepted somewhere. 

i don't know how i am adjusting so far. it's been just over a day so far, so it's not really enough time to see how i feel being home. i do know that i miss israel something fierce. i miss my friends and the culture and the weather. i miss the whole environment there, and that sucks. but it does remind me of how well i did while i was there.

now i just need to make my situation here better and make some good things happen. 

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

decision made, or at least made for me

so I am leaving as previously scheduled. there are things back home that I cannot take care of logistically from here, and it makes it unfeasible to stay here. i'm really disappointed but i have absolutely loved being here for the previous five months, and will absolutely cherish the memories and the friendships i have established here. i will miss them and this city and this wonderful land. my country, my israel. it won't be my last time here, and until i return, it will forever be in my heart. it's a bittersweet departure, but it's not a goodbye. it's so long. i will miss it, but i will keep it close to my heart and use my happy memories to bring me up and smile in the future.

להתראות אשדוד! להתראות ישראל!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

of decisions and the future

the five months have come to an end, and i am scheduled to be on a flight leaving from tel aviv at 430am friday morning. however, i'm not sure i want to leave. i have the opportunity to do another five month program here. so the decision now is whether i come home, or i stay here in ashdod, and live here for another five months.

i guess it will be good to first look back at the five months here, and summarize how the experience has affected and changed me. after that, perhaps look to what i'd be in for if i returned home right away, and then debate the difference in staying here longer.

five months ago, on october 4th, i arrived in israel. i knew nobody here in ashdod, knew nothing of the culture and had no command of the language. i had a vague idea of what i'd be doing here, but nothing concrete. october 2010 was five years since i returned from iraq. 29 years old and feeling so much more ancient, i was here in an attempt to figure out a way out of the limbo my life was in. i had recovered at home from my brain injury and my ptsd/depression as much as i could have. i had reached an impasse in my recovery, and it was time to go out into life again, and see what would happen. i was the oldest on my program here, with the youngest being a 19 year old from canada. five months later, he is one of my best friends here. i made friends with everyone in the program. while i may not always have gotten along with everyone, and not all friendships are strong, i made new friends for the first time in years. i fit in here with them, and i genuinely feel liked and appreciated, which is exactly what i was seeking. for many many years, i felt "different" and separated from people my own age. of course at times, i took actions which further separated me. but looking back, it was a preemptive defense. here, i forced myself to at least try to be part of the group. and once i tried, i found that 1, while uncomfortable at times, i could still do it, and 2, people wanted me to be part of the group. the realization that people liked and respected me, whereas i thought noone could, was mind-blowing. it sounds silly, but i seriously felt so much different and alone before, that i had just about lost all hope of being accepted. so in a social recovery sense, the past five months have been nothing short of revolutionary for me. i feel like i fit in with everyone here, and that i can "do this" again. in a work sense, i continued my recovery, honoring my commitments and obligations. i got so much out of my volunteering, both in school and at the women's shelter, that it was great to do it. the teaching experience was amazing, and confirmed that i would like to be a teacher. of what age and what discipline, i don't know, but being in a kindergarten here and teaching english as a second language was amazing. difficult at times, sure. but amazing. in a life sense, i am reinvigorated. i feel young again and vibrant. like i said, this five months have been nothing short of revolutionary. 

so, now what? if i go back home, as scheduled, the future plans are pretty simple. i need to go back to work, to make some money. i applied to a job here in israel, from april to july, so i might come back and work that, but if not, still be working at home. in the fall, i am returning to college. where, and for what, are unknown right now, but college is happening. the reality of the situation is different. and that is what gives me pause. i will return home to live with my family. i love my family, and while they know that, i also know that like i said, my recovery while at home is complete. to go back and live at home would be at the very least, a pause in my advancements made here, and at worst, a step back or relapse. when i am living at home, it reminds me of high school, when i hated things. i don't like long island, it's way too expensive. i don't have friends there, which is now a point that doesn't hold much water, being i can make friends, but i just don't like the whole culture and environment of long island. but, it makes no financial sense to live on my own on the island either. basically, i don't want to live there for social, economic and work reasons. i have decided that when i go to college, it won't be on long island. for all the reasons above, and others, i think upstate somewhere is where i'll go. it also affords me the ability to go somewhere and start new. on my terms again, like this trip to israel has allowed me. i don't feel that i have that ability on long island, and it scares me to think how detrimental a return home could be if i get depressed again. i can't state enough that it has nothing to do with my family. i love my dad and my sister, but i am thirty years old and healthy now. it's way past time for me to be at home. so, the question then remains: what to do in new york (or the surrounding areas) between the time i get home and the time i leave for college? and there's really no good satisfying answer i can find. 

(end of this post because i have to go….)