A place for comments, critiques, and member discussion about Shiny Thief, book #2 of the PATB series.
Let me throw some mm goodies at you, and then dive right into some crazy life stuff that I’m going through atm. For those who just can’t handle reality and my long ass rambling—although it’s good news, promise—you don’t have to delve too deep. I know the world is tough and we can only handle what we can handle. It’s all good.
There are things that we want, and things that we need. Sometimes they end up being one and the same.
All my life, I’ve known two truths: my best friend Jaeger is my true mate, and I’m destined to marry a princess I’ve never met for the sake of my kingdom.
Prophecy’s a bitter pill to swallow when you’ve tasted true love and are told it can never be. But I wouldn’t be worthy of my beautiful omega if I were willing to let selfishness be the ruin of my people.
Because as it turns out, prophecies are never quite what you think…
Alright, so some news. Some crazy, cool, kick ass news. I may have figured out why I’m sick and how to fix it, like, permanently!
So, if you’ve been following along for a while, I’ve been ill since, well, fuck, since I started as an author. Two years before that (so a little over 5 years ago) I was hit with this mysterious illness. Got a fever that wouldn’t stop and it knocked me from working a very active job where I ran wall to wall in this large retail store getting shit done, warehouse stuff—you know, being a basic, active human being—to being bed bound and wondering if I was dying. I got a Lyme positive on a test 2 months after, they started me on antibiotics, and two years later after doing everything I was supposed to do, broke buying meds I couldn’t afford without a job, uh, not much changed.
My health had deteriorated to the point I was being kept alive by cortisol and aldosterone supplementation. It wasn’t consistent, though. I would have these windows, weeks to months, or sometimes just days of being human. It was like there was a little switch inside where if it was flipped, I functioned. My muscles worked—they hadn’t atrophied or anything—and I could breathe, think, function. And when the switch was flipped the other way, I was a zombie version of myself.
There was no way to know when it would hit again, why it would hit, or what the hell was causing it. During one of those longer moments of ‘okay,’ I actually tried to go back to work, only to have it happen all over again. Running around doing normal stuff like a person, only to feel like I hit a wall and collapse a few months into the job. Except that time, no Lyme positive. They started questioning if the first positive was even legit—I guess false positives are a thing with Lyme.
I started writing around this time cuz there was nothing else I could do, and really, I needed a mental escape. Reading used to be that for me, but facing what I was certain was a slow, excruciatingly boring death, I needed to create my escape, places far more interesting and hot that could distract even me from my circumstances. Not many people hit their mid 30s expecting to die shortly after. I needed a fuck ton more than the sweet romance I kept stumbling across, especially when the docs started calling my condition ‘chronic fatigue’—a death sentence for getting help.
Seriously, I swear they might as well have said it was all in my head the moment they stuck that label on my file. It terrified me and pushed me to start looking for different answers instead of Lyme. What I had wasn’t responding like Lyme, and two years of antibiotics hadn’t done a thing.
The turning point was moving into my current apartment and seeing my health improve overnight. We figured out the old apartment was moldy. A water heater had burst on the ground floor, then there was water under the kitchen tiles… Oh, and (this sounds so fucking stupid looking back but I knew nothing about mold at the time) I had hung up and dried out these beautiful gourds one autumn in the kitchen, and then left them there until we moved, covered in dead mold. Because fucking brilliant, yeah?
So they started me up on allergy shots, where my immune system, which already targeted my thyroid with an autoimmune, had over-targeted so much, I was allergic to over 20 different things (many of those things related to mold and the cats and their prey they would drag into the house.) But hey, it was a plan, yeah? Allergy shots for the win. Except I kept hitting a plateau. I’d get better but I couldn’t get healthy. Still exhausted, still pushing myself at every turn just to do anything. Meals, clean house, errands? Don’t make me laugh.
Last year, around this time, things seemed to fall into place. My PTSD had a breakthrough—as in, gone, cured, just left with old patterns of survival software to clean up—and my health was looking better. The winter meant all the mold was dormant, and although this new apartment was much better than my old, the backyard is full of mold. Like, I can’t walk out there without having a reaction. But it was good that winter. I got Hellcat done, I was gaining ground, energy was happening. Then summer hit, I bought a bed frame infected with ‘something’ (we still have no clue what but we lost two rooms of the apartment to it,) and I was hit with Multiple Chemical Sensitivity, aka, living out of my car, in a mask, unable to breathe the most basic of scents without my body flaming up so much, I would lose motor function and find myself in extreme pain.
It was shit, but at the same time, it was another piece to this puzzle. Around this time we figured out something else monumental: the dopamine connection. My dopamine levels were bottoming out whenever I had a reaction, aka, Parkinson’s. I started supplementing dopamine precursors, such as L-Tyrosine and Dopa Mucuna, as well as adding in neuron repairers and dopamine receptor growers, and I saw huge improvements. I regained mental functioning and motor skills within months. Naturally, I thought the moment winter hit, shit would be perfect with the mold going dormant in the area. But still, plateau. Again. Exhausted, couldn’t do simple shit like stand long enough to cook or clean or focus. I had all the supposed pieces but nothing was working.
Fucking plateaus. Infuriating bullshit, yeah? Well, I think the last two weeks have revealed the answer. Finally. (Dear fuck, I really hope so. @[email protected])
I came across a few different articles on Parkinson’s that led me to realize the low dopamine was at the bottom of the stream. What that means is, it was the symptom of something else, not the cause. I was treating the dopamine problem, but I hadn’t targeted and stopped why the dopamine was dropping. Then I read this and it all clicked.
There were two huge clues (and so many small ones) when looking back that spelled it all out in connection to the low dopamine. The allergies and multiple chemical sensitivity = olfactory response to neurotoxins. Every time I smelled mold, my dopamine flat lined. I could walk into a moldy building while being full of energy and excitement, and in minutes be so weak I couldn’t lift my arms or walk. But apparently, there are two ways to get this response. One is through those olfactory senses when inhaling, and the other is through the vagus nerve, a nerve that also controls the heart (mine kept racing,) lungs (shortness of breath,) and digestion (yeah, I didn’t. My stomach has been fucked up for years.)
What this means is if there are neurotoxins in the gut, the vagus nerve connects to the brain and will also flat line dopamine. AKA, even if I was breathing the cleanest air, in a mold free, allergen free environment, if there’s something giving off neurotoxins in my gut, I will still get sick.
Yeah, the fucking plateau is literally inside of me. @[email protected] No wonder I couldn’t escape!
I should have put it together earlier, because gut problems are absolutely linked with allergies. That over-targeting thing usually happens because the immune system is freaking out with a battle in the gut and once the immune system is on high alert, it starts targeting more and more. There were just too many symptoms, too many false answers, or half answers, and it wasn’t until I realized Parkinson’s could be a result of both these systems being hit with neurotoxins, that it made sense. None of it was unconnected (which is kinda crazy on its own.)
Saw my doctor, who was also super excited when we noticed how garlic (a known candida killer) was giving me some of my life back every time I made garlic soup. I had made the soup because my broken tooth kept getting infected, and right around Halloween, suddenly I gained ground again, health, and it slipped when I ran out of that damn soup. So she put me on a heavy duty candida killer this time around. Candida produces acetaldehyde and gliotoxin, both highly toxic that can lead to neuron degeneration. Gliotoxin is actually produced by the same mold I was constantly being hit by, so I’m likely extra sensitive to it.
To be clear, the treatment it is both helping and kicking my ass atm. I’m jumping from hours of exhaustion, brain fog and really shitty muscle pain as the die off overwhelms my system, to feeling energetic and myself again. I don’t know how long this is going to take. I only just started treatment and I’ll be upping the dosage Tuesday (kinda terrified the side effects will get worse then,) but this does seem to be the answer, finally. Already, I’m less sensitive to my environment—well, when the die off isn’t killing me. XD My allergy response is less. Mold = back pain instead of immediate zombifying. I haven’t needed adrenal support, and the low grade fevers I was getting and the unstable feeling like I was going to shake apart before I started this treatment has stopped.
I really—even with all my complaining—don’t care about the pain or shitty symptoms of the die off. This is all going to pass, babes. This is the answer. I’m going to finally crawl my way out of this damp, musty grave, and I’m getting my life back. This was the last piece of the puzzle and now I have a plan. Avoid neurotoxins, heal damaged gut, and retrain the vagus nerve (you can improve vagal tone with a modified TENs machine used as a cranial electrotherapy stimulator, which I’m ordering this weekend.) It’s all there now, and I’m not trying to clean the mess at the end but stop the leak in the first place. This is a fucking win!
If I’m lucky, if I fix everything ‘upstream,’ the Parkinson’s symptoms will stop completely. I have no guarantee of that—and I have very effective dopamine supplementation if that’s not the case—but if I’m not bombarded with neurotoxins, it stands to reason there would be no dopamine lowering response. I guess we’ll see. My biggest fear was spring hitting and all my symptoms coming back with the mold waking up. If I can get the Candida overgrowth dealt with, who knows? It might all be shiny. <3
An amazing woman turned me on to the whole Bullet Journal thing, and it has been awesome to help me keep track of all this health stuff side by side with my creative stuff. I need an organizational method that works for me, and so far this has adapted to all my needs. I also need to get away from the time suck of the Internet. Talk about flashy, distracting black holes of creativity and happiness.
I’m trying really hard to stay on track while dealing with this next level of health stuff. With BuJo, creating the structure for each aspect seems to be the time consuming part, but once it’s in place, it’s like any proper system. It works as long as someone is there to fuel it.
I’m really looking forward to being more productive as a writer and getting these novels completed and out there. There has been so much I want to do since getting my brain back. I just need some damn energy to go with it. I actually started revamping the Demon Virus short as I plan out the visual novel I want to make once I get those PATB novels done—sorry if you’re missing it under the free downloads. I should have it back up there soon enough. I’m just a little distracted by my health.
Let’s face it, I’ve been distracted for a long time. My biggest goals the last few years have been to find ways to not obsess over getting better, to not stress, to learn how to cope with not being who I believe I am when it comes to my health. Chronic illness is life consuming, and it takes a lot of energy and intention to spin that around to something positive so that life can continue with happiness and hope. Finding gratitude and every silver lining, learning to let stress go and ignore the things you can’t control, and then let go of the guilt of ignoring the things you can’t control—this shit is hard… and so worth it!
It’s hard fighting my old PTSD wiring, and worse, it is impossible fighting every voice on the Internet who pops up to say for whatever reason, I’m not allowed to be free of stress and pain, that I’m supposed to cling to that shit. People do it all the time. They judge others who try to break free. They can’t help it. They see someone do something different and they need to reaffirm why they’re doing things their way to the point of beating down anyone who speaks up.
Every time I post something remotely enlightening about freedom from pain, it’s not agreement that comes along, but voices who want to argue about it. No joke, every fucking time. It’s actually amazing to watch people logic themselves into why they need to suffer merely because I announced they didn’t have to, but, you know, I was talking to myself because it’s Facebook and they were triggered because ego is triggered at the thought of freedom from pain. It’s seriously amazing.
Here’s a list of just a few things I’ve been doing to stop my stress and I’m sure someone will be pissed off with something. I stopped listening to the news and Internet news even though Trump is president and he’s in the middle of an ethnic cleansing at the southern border. I refuse to read most authors posts on Facebook because they keep causing drama over pointless shit. Unless it’s an email I care about, I don’t even bother opening, sorting, and deleting them, but let my mailbox automatically delete after a certain amount of time. I don’t answer my phone for anyone but 2 specific people. I stop following people who talk about depression or illness like it’s their identity, something that defines them instead of a chemical imbalance that is altering them, because I have no interest watching someone sink down a drain of despair without them fighting to be free.
I am done being sucked into the toxic world I can’t control, with my eyes wide open like if I somehow watch it all, I will be able to prevent any of it. Hello, PTSD, I am done. Time to be free. Saving people from there pain is just as quick a way to drown as drowning in pain, and no, I don’t feel guilty for not showing up anymore. Without pain, I didn’t learn to be free from it. It was what drove me to find my freedom, and let’s be real, it was a fuck ton of pain, the last 5 years plus 30 of PTSD. I’m good. I don’t want to sink back into that place just because other people enjoy the suffering.
Life is going to happen whether it’s perfect or not, and we don’t get a do over or reset. It doesn’t have to be the end of the world if you have a false start or fuck up or your body just isn’t up for the same challenges other people are. It doesn’t have to mean a damn thing. If you never compare yourself to another person, another dream life you had, you will never be dissatisfied with what you have. And no, I don’t need to cling to dissatisfaction like it’s supposed to drive me to be a better person—fuck that irrational logic of holding onto pain. I am done being unhappy wishing for something that may never be. It’s just so much easier to be happy with what I have. And when I’m content and happy with what I have, I absolutely attract more happiness, creativity, and love my way.
We don’t get to choose a lot in life, but we do get to choose how we feel about it all. It’s probably the only real choice we have, so might as well choose with intention. We can enjoy this moment now, and the next, and be satisfied and not have to feel guilty for being satisfied with less when others have more. It’s okay to be happy.
I hope you’re all having a great December so far. Depending on what holidays you celebrate, or if you’re working in a tough environment, or traveling, etc., this time of year can be really stressful. It can remind us a lot of what we don’t have instead of what we do, and who we’re missing instead of who we have. If you find you’re alone this time of year, or even surrounded by a ton of people, I hope you remember the one person you’re going to be with from the day you were born until the day you die, and do something nice just for you. Someone has to remember you, and who better to do it than you? ^.^ (You’re like, right there. Come on!)
Legit, that’s my wish this season. I hope each and every one of you does something beautifully selfish and doesn’t feel any guilt over it. Hell, doing something you normally feel guilty over without the guilt would be awesome. People are too cruel to themselves. Get enough sleep for a change, or eat something fancy, alone, and enjoy every silent bite. XD Buy yourself the gift you want instead of waiting for someone else to guess. Get organized; that’s my selfish ass thing, boring as it might sound.
Taking time to get my life together, no matter how long it takes, is lovingly selfish. Everything I go through in this bullet journal is me deciding what is important in my life and what is just useless stress, and then choosing to do the important stuff. The damn thing is like a commitment to self care at every step, and I’m so grateful someone dared to share it with me!
I’m going to assume that the next month will be a lot of ups and downs for me with this Candida treatment. I’m still writing, still updating the website, but I’ll be taking a Newsletter break to keep one less stressors off my plate. Hopefully, the next time you all hear from me, it’ll be with more good news and after getting lots of writing done, but until then, take care, luvs and be kind to yourselves in new ways.
<3 Sadie Sins
Wendy has a new book out and guess who made the cover!?!!!
…it was me. I made the cover. XD Look at the pretties and read it! <3 Threesome with a vampire.
Okay, you guys ever see those Disney turned realism paintings? I feel like this guy could totally pass for Prince Eric from The Little Mermaid. It wasn’t my intention, but he totally looks like it… maybe, sorta. XD
Not as much as this guy though, holy crap! @[email protected] Better hope no seawitch steals him away… >_>
Um… not much going on outside of writing. I’m making a list of terms and creatures from The Paranormal Academy For Troubled Boys world for reference as I write the series, which I’m totally loving. I was thinking since I kept using null-collars and null-cuffs in this world, I should probably just call magicless people nulls, but I wasn’t sure if it sounded too easy—yeah, cuz I care a bit if it’s like too obvious. @[email protected] But I think it works with the whole theme. Better than nonparnormals because this way you can address paranormals who just don’t have magic, cuz yeah, that’s a thing too.
I was also thinking in the rewrite, one of those weekends when Dorian is avoiding Wylie to prevent sparking (cuz he’s just too sexy for his own good,) I’d intro the outside world a little bit by having him portal out. And then have Wylie actually go on a hunt with the other shifters, cuz although it’s implied, I never actually show that shit. Did you know Fox can run halfway up a tree and do a back flip? I feel like we should all know that. XD I also never show the resolution of Leo’s conflict arc, I just let it get lost in all the other stuff. Leo has the first of his turning around when dealing with the whole Dorian thing, and it might be nice to see.
Leo hasn’t actually been at the Academy too long. He showed up right before Vincent, and he’s such a loner, and difficult personality, he’s only now starting to crack and relax into Academy life.
Sorry, I’m rambling like a mofo. My mind is clearly on the books and not on the newsletter. Hope life is treating you all well ^.^
Alexander Preston just moved in to dorm room 418 and discovers someone else living there; the undeniably attractive ghost of Christian Holmes.
A mystery, a murder, and a lost love; these are the events that conspire to bring Alex and Christian to the revelation that even across the realm of life and death, love can still exist.
When a rugby bad boy butts heads with a retired Marine, which alpha male becomes top dog?
Scottie Monk came out of the womb angry at the world. He’s selfish and bitter. “Bah humbug!” rolls off his tongue far easier than “Happy Christmas.”
Gray Baird has dedicated his life to public service as a Marine Corps officer and later as a police chief. The decorated hero finds it impossible to ignore autistic twins in desperate need of holiday spirit. He’ll be the grumpiest Santa in the world if it puts a smile their faces. And he’ll drag a reluctant Scottie along for the ride.
This December, Gray and Scottie collide while unexpectedly playing Santa.
One kiss under the mistletoe destroyed a friendship. Will another Christmas kiss remake it into something better?
Eli hasn’t been home since he left at eighteen with a heart aching from his best friend’s rejection and his father’s intolerance. But when his father reaches out, Eli figures it’s time to make peace with his family. He doesn’t expect to come face-to-face with Turner too — or to learn that the straight friend he’d foolishly loved is actually bisexual — but once the shock wears off, he knows exactly what he wants for Christmas.
Turner’s life isn’t everything he’d once planned, but he’s happy to be the shoulder his loved ones lean on. They keep him busy, which is just as well since none of his dates have really clicked. He hasn’t been able to connect with anyone the way he did with his former best friend. When Eli shows up for the holidays after years away, Turner doesn’t know what hit him. But he knows one thing: This time, he wants to give Eli a reason to stay.