Sober is my Strength

I think for me; learning to let go of the idea that I have to do everything just right, is something that’s strengthening me as a person.

It is a slower process than I would like.

I’m accepting the fact that there is no hard-core plan for how my life will go; and it will never be perfect.

What it can be, is inspiring. It can be worth it. It can mean something. It can be happy.

I don’t have to have a full plan in place; that’s not realistic anyways, with so many unknowns that go on every day.

I DO want to be; at my last breath; able to feel like it’s ok to go. That my life left a good mark on the world; that my children can be proud of the person I worked to become.

To not be afraid of the work it will take to get there.

Every day I try. Lately, I’m remembering that there are no limitations for my growth, except the ones I put on myself.

I will never be a cookie- cutter “normal” person. I will always have a passion and fire that people will misunderstand and a good percentage will not prefer. I will always go against the norm by nature and ask questions about life that most wouldn’t. I will always struggle with certain things. I will always wonder who runs the show; if anything does….because I’m going to the customer service desk if there is one…know it.

I will always seek the answers. I will always seek my truth.

I don’t know; but I think the fact that I can be positive mostly without trying; for longer periods of time than I used to be able to; is a very good thing.

Sobriety is my strength at this point. I know this.

The more you try, the easier it gets. It’s a fact with absolutely every, single thing in life that you choose to do.

The questions I ask myself about life; are what am I going to choose to try at?

The answers change sometimes; but the goal is always the same.

To truly love my life, and who I am. To live without regret, and fear of the unknown. To feel whole in my soul.

I feel stronger in myself, than I have ever felt in my life.

I am grateful.

Thank you for engaging in my story. I appreciate you.

Love yourself.

J.Rounds ©2018 ~Peaces of ME

Cancer Gene Screening…for my children and for me.

So, as I said a few weeks back; I went to the Doctor.

Because cancers and heart- disease run in my mom’s side of the family; and I do not know my real father, and his medical history; my doctor asked me if I wanted to take a hereditary cancer screening test.

I took it.

My doctor said that the test could determine if there were any hereditary DNA changes, that could increase the risk of me developing cancer later on.

I initially felt disturbed when she asked me about taking this test…also scared. I think really it’s the responsible thing to do for myself, and for my kids. I have to wait another month until I can get the results, but it’s not anything I’m going to worry about, until they tell me I have to.

It’s hard getting older for me for many reasons.

I fight it every day. I also make peaces with it.

Love yourself.

J.Rounds ©2018 ~Peaces of ME

Hurting inside, and needing it to stop.

I’m just glad I’m in a spot in my life that I know what I need, and what I don’t need.

It will suck to break the comfortable feeling of believing I had a person who wanted to be beside me forever.

We had plans together. We made tentative business plans and everything. We have a dual bank account ffs.

But it is worse to feel alone when you are with somebody, more than anything else…and that’s what I’ve been feeling for months now.

I have tried. I have tried to look past the betrayals, lies, insults about how I am because I don’t trust, all of it.

You know why I don’t trust you. The fact that you act like you don’t know why is infuriating to me. You’ve never been fully honest with me about you, and who you are.

Never…and I sleep beside you every night.

Money doesn’t matter to me. Stuff doesn’t matter to me. My time and love and attention and loyalty, and effort does though, because it’s something that I don’t give to every person, OR freely.

I expect the same in return.

When it is openly walked on, it makes me want to kick in heads.

When someone tries to invalidate my pain that they caused me; it is almost unbearable at points.

I feel like I don’t know you anymore, and that I never really did.

And I know it’s because you’re not the man I fell in love never were.

You just want to be that man, but won’t take the steps to become him fully.

I’m writing about it in hopes this feeling will leave me.

Because it feels like I’m weak; and I know I’m not.

I’m just feeling hurt because I feel mad at myself for trusting someone I shouldn’t have. I feel mad for believing that I was important enough to fight for, when I knew that I really wasn’t.

I wanted to believe you.

And you let me down every, single time for things you knew would destroy us.

Why am I not worth your love?

Because I know the truth now, and I won’t let you live in your sickness.

That’s not good enough for me, and it never will be.

{What is Love}

It’s never a good thing when personal relationships that you value, don’t hold what you need emotionally, for you to continue living in them physically anymore.

I can’t be upset with myself for outgrowing this relationship.

I think life is about spending time on the things that matter to you, and trying to fix the parts of you that keep you down as a person.

Putting effort into a relationship I want so much; doesn’t mean much of anything in the end; if I have to be compared to other people and live in a relationship where the other person isn’t even there emotionally, because he chooses not to be.

I am not a burden. Nor am I a pastime, hobby, or your personal scapegoat for the things and problems that haunt you; and always have.

I only wanted a life with you that was TRUE, and truly meant something.

I’m choosing to care about myself enough to know that it’s not something that I can live in anymore.

I only wish it could have been, what you said it was, and what you said you wanted.

But then I know that actions are what matters. Not just saying and wanting it.

And I don’t understand how you can blame me, for your dishonesty. And I never will.

There still will never be another you.

I hope all the goals and dreams you have for yourself will come to fruition; and that you will find the kind of life you’re looking for.

I myself intend to keep moving forward with my own as well.

Maybe I’ll see you someday on the flipside.

Love yourself. Because no one else can, if you don’t. You know I know that by learning it the hard way. It’s worth it to change your outlook on things. I hope some day you will.

Here’s the dramatic sign off.

Goodbye T.

J.Rounds ©2018 ~Peaces of ME


Employee of the month to management?

I forgot to document this, so I’m doing it now.

Last week I got employee of the month!!


Yeah. 🙂 It was a goal of mine; and wouldn’t you know it, I met that goal without even knowing or realizing it, until one of my bosses pointed out the fact.

I was stoked, because I really love my job, the animals, and the people I work with. I’ve been putting in my full effort since I started, and I intend to keep going.

It may sound ridiculous to some…but I’ve never had a job that felt so rewarding.

It motivates me; and although it can be kind of chaotic sometimes; I’ve learned a lot about dogs that I didn’t know before, made some good friends, and I ADORE every, single one of the dog kids I get to take care of. I just couldn’t ask for any better thing to do for money, besides working for myself…and that will come.

Point is; it makes me happy. 🙂

I like being happy.

There is a management position open that I have decided to apply for. I have to put a resume in.

I don’t know if I’ll get the position or not; but I was told by a lot of staff and my boss, that I should apply.

Another one of my goals is to work my way completely off of SSI again; and I know I can do it, if I get this position.

I’m staying positive and hopeful about it.

I’ve decided to put in my resume, and see how it goes. I figure if I don’t try for it, I’ll be disappointed anyways; I’m not axing my chances with things anymore, out of fear of failing. Instead, I’m putting in the effort and taking the chance.

The time is now to go for it; and I know no matter what happens, I still have the best job ever; to me; none the less.

I can’t really lose.

Good things come to those who put the effort in.

I am glad that I believe in who I am, and what I can do now.

Me being a late bloomer; would be the biggest understatement ever.

Wish me luck!!

Love yourself.

J.Rounds ©2018 ~Peaces of ME

Focused on the DO

Today I’m focusing on focusing.

One of my biggest issues is DOING, because I’m easily distracted. I have to focus on focusing, or I won’t get anything done.

I don’t know why I’m like that; I am also changing it day by day with actions; because I don’t like that I’m like that. I’m sure it will continue to get better, if I keep moving forward and trying every day.

People do it all the time. I’m not special in that regard. I get what I put in.


I’m happy to be feeling generally positive. A little anxious, but it’s normal. A lot to do to get to where I want to be with my life; and where I want to be with T, and our life together.

There doesn’t seem to be enough time to do it all.

Daily I work on the patience part of it, as well. It can be hard, but I know that change and goals take time to come to fruition. I can’t compare my time line to others.

Today is going to be a day that I will have to work at anyways; I cannot lie. I’m fine with that because it feels good to work…it’s my side projects; but I have a lot on my mind this morning as well…so in that way too, I will have to work.

I’m am going outside, and I’m going to enjoy the sun and take photos 🙂

I don’t know where I’m going with my photography; but I do know that I have the drive to make it a permanent extension of who I am as a person; in many regards.

My issue has always been financial (lack of). Also focus. (Focused on wrong things). Also time management. Also thinking I couldn’t do it. Not doing it.

I have to focus always….even on my days off…. to get to where I need to be, for me.

I’m just glad I can still be positive, and I have the motivation to try to spread that positivity. I have the belief in myself now, that I never did before.

Today I am spreading more than usual positivity on myself….because I need it 🙂

I’m admitting it fully because that’s OK.

I am eleven months, and eight days sober; and very grateful for that. I am grateful for my family and for T and for my friends that never left me, and believe in me.

That is a GOOD thing.

Love yourself.

J.Rounds ©2018 ~Peaces of ME

Sober Suits Me

When I looked in the mirror today; I saw myself.

I am many things; but a warrior of heart, I truly am.

There are not many things that I have on my list, of things I’ve done right in my life; but I made a choice to change that a bit back, and really work hard towards some personal goals; my sobriety being one of them.

I am 11 months, and 3 days sober today; and so is T.

Sober life is still a daily thing to live…and always will be for me. I do feel like though; if I never drank again…that would be more than just fine with me.

I don’t much think about the good times of my partying days anymore like I used to; because I choose to focus on the fact that it ruined my life more than anything else. I ruined my life.

That thought keeps me from sliding backwards. I’m not about to do that again at all.

I guess my real point is; is that it’s quite the opposite feeling of when I was 25 years old, and had just gotten my first DUI, after driving home from the bar with my girlfriend.

At the time, I could not imagine my life without alcohol, and didn’t want to. Didn’t think I had a drinking problem AT ALL. Truth is, I was on the corner drinking hard alcohol with my boyfriend, when I was 13 years old. So………yeah.

If I could have seen the future of the course my life would take; I’m positive I would have not believed it; and would have fucked my life up anyways. Maybe not; but probably. I don’t think I ever had the proper life skills to not F it up, to be completely honest. That might sound sad to some; and I’m fine with that; because it’s the truth.

I still knew right from wrong though, so I can’t fully blame it on that… Still, yeah; I really had no clue about anything; and I chose to live in chaos until I couldn’t anymore.

Not smart.

The one thing I know about addicts; is that they cannot be reached, until they want to be reached. This is almost always after there is nothing left to salvage of the persons esteem or life.

A desperate clinging to the drug of choice, until the drug of choice has betrayed the addict for the last time, and it is either VICES and DEATH…..or LIFE.

The addict mind will always be an addict mind. But you can teach your mind to focus on things that are good for your life, instead of bad.

The choice really is YOURS to make, and I think that’s what’s so hard for people with mental disorders and addictions to understand; because we often have felt/do feel powerless…controlled….like we had/have no choice OR voice in the matter.


IN FACT, YOU; are the only one that can determine what your life will be.

I am sober today, because I choose to be. I choose to listen to my inner loving voice, because it protects me from my addict voice; and that voice is not something I want to engage with…it causes me to hurt myself and others.

My addict voice had my loving voice locked away for a long, long time; and it was not until I turned the lock on my addict voice, that my loving voice was set free…and started to love me again….and I started actually living for the first time in my life. I forgave myself. I loved myself enough to believe I deserved some things that were GOOD for a change.

And the change started…

I’m proud of myself, and of T.

I’m proud of every, single addict that ever stopped themselves from themselves…and chose to LIVE instead of dying slowly.

You are an inspiration and motivation to me. Thank you.

Keep loving yourself.

J.Rounds ©2018 ~Peaces of ME

Guns or Our Children? Views of a Bipolar Mother.

I struggle to believe that the world has come down to choosing weapons over children’s/people’s lives and well-being…but it seems more and more to be the case.

I have been very vocal about my opinions on it on social media; as well as my political stances on other nonsense that seems to be going on in my country absolutely every, single day.

I feel compelled to spread REASON, amongst SO many that seem to not have any.

Do you get as tired of the way the world is as I do; and if not, why?

It seems everyone says speak your voice. But when you do, people act as if you are being too dramatic or fanaticle.

How is that MY issue that you don’t want to see reality?

It’s my issue because kids are DYING. I have kids in school. How is modifying gun laws and gun practices even a choice for gun owners??

Has the world gone mad, and am I in a dream?

Adults acting as if their rights are more important than the children we are all supposed to be raising properly.

If I can be ok with not being able to even own a weapon because I have documented mental issues; and by society’s standards I’m a “risk” because of it…….. If I can’t even own a gun to “protect” myself when I’m not a threat to anyone; then why aren’t YOU ok with not being able to get every, single version of gun that you want; if it would potentially save lives as well? Why do you get to put your needs over the kids getting shot by other kids in their own classrooms?

I don’t care if you want an automatic weapon or the right to buy it, or not.

Your rights are not more important than a childs. My child’s. I learned that the hard way; a different way; but that is STILL the truth of the matter.

*Your rights don’t matter compared to a child’s life, their safety, or rights.*

It’s time to listen to our children more, and engage with them…..put down our phones and realize our kids are raising themselves emotionally….and that’s not right. They NEED love. They NEED safety. They NEED direction and positive reinforcement. They need their parents and adults that CARE. They need a safer world to live in and schools to go to that provide needed safety.

And I’ll keep saying that, and speaking out about that fact.

Just like it’s not important that I get to own one, because I’m bi-polar, you as a gun owner, can get real and sacrifice as well.

It’s just not THAT important. NOT in a world like today.

Do you want to keep your children safe or potentially bury them do to a kid getting a weapon they shouldn’t have, and coming in to your kids school, and shooting it up?

THINK about it. These are KIDS with war weapons, the weapon of choice in mass school shootings.

One of the things we have to do is get gun owners to realize that NO ONE is saying that you CAN’T own a gun.

But you don’t need to own an assault weapon of any kind, unless you can prove you have a NEED for it; and pass any kind of vetting there is to get one…..which should be tons of red tape, and hard to get anyways.

At one point does reason enter in to this gun situation?

Fyi. I’d love to go to a gun range and shoot an automatic weapon. That would be fun.

But I have no issue NOT doing it, because I know that at the end of the day…that doesn’t mean anything to be able to have the right to do that VS. someone’s life…. Because I’m bi-polar.

I won’t feel bad or offended for wanting my kids to have a chance at the future!!

Gun people, get a fucking handgun and a rifle and be a sane person. Can YOU pass a psychological exam? Why do you need an automatic weapon? Who is coming to get you, that you feel you need an automatic weapon to defend yourself; when I don’t need anything but my voice and reason?

My rights aren’t important, because I’m bipolar? Its not important, because it’s not YOUR KID that is the victim?

Stop bitching about how many guns you can get. No one cares; I know I don’t.

Kids are DYING.

I don’t want it to happen again, OR lose another child for YOUR GUNS.

Guns are part of the problem; as well as the attitudes of a lot of you that carry them.


***Stricter penalties for anyone owning illegal/undocumented weapons, and being caught with them***

Gun show rules changed. No immediate sales of guns to anyone not already having had a proper psych evaluation and documentation of it, added on to background check.

I don’t care.

Gifting registry started and documented/ran the same way. (Make it work)

Legal documentation for EVERY gun owned by American citizens everywhere. NOW. We need to get an accurate record of that. Also the reason for having high-powered weapons, if you have them.

Every, single purchase and sale of a gun documented, with extensive background check and waiting period. NOW. Longer waiting periods.

All new sales of automatic weapons and magazines holding too many bullets, made illegal to common public…NOW.

***Age to buy gun raised.***

Any new special permits granted for owning an automatic weapon; only granted with extensive regulations, background checks and permissions…also reason for owning. This includes people that already have them, as previously stated.

You should have to be psychologically evaluated too.

If my rights are infringed upon, and my kids lives not important… Then it should also be a hassel for you…FULLY.

For me, the list goes on and on for what you should do.
It shouldn’t be easy for people to get war guns. Especially when they are children with problems; getting and using these guns… on other children.

Throwing more guns at the situation and arming teachers doesn’t do anything but create more potential for school violence and moral issues for some teachers; they will have to choose between teaching and their beliefs.

Kids lose.

Teachers shouldn’t have to carry weapons to protect their children. We shouldn’t be expecting them to either.


I’ve been beside myself about this particular issue, because I have two school-aged children; and I also know the pain of losing a child tragically.

That is not a pain you want to carry.

Instead of throwing more guns at the situation; why don’t we invest in the future of our children and change the gun laws to make them SANE; and hire a mental health team for every school, so maybe on certain days the students sit in a class with trained mental health professionals; vent out frustrations; and learn how to cope with life in a world like today. How would that be a bad thing? Clearly you could help students and children in general, also get the ones that aren’t doing so good, a safe place to be able to talk about it, AND A VALID attempt at the help they NEED.

Prevention. Mental health awareness. Investing in the things that MATTER; instead of money, right to bear arms, and making excuses for the reasons you feel it’s more important to own warguns, instead of protecting the children of this nation from themselves.

I feel the real people that we should be protecting them from… Is a government and society that doesn’t care what happens to them, or what they feel. People that just want their guns.

This is a new level of dysfunction, that we as society promote daily.

I can’t live with that fact anymore; or the fact that my children’s school could be next.

You will not see me quiet down about it; until people start to get some moral fiber again…and our kids don’t have to fend for themselves when adults should be doing it for them instead.


I’m glad to know there are REAL talks going on about this finally. And that there are brilliant minds that will change the future of our world, for and with positivity and diligence.

Because it’s going to happen…and IS happening.


Even if it’s just one person at a time; together, we can make a better future for our children possible… AND safer…and stop the cycle of dysfunction for many, from even occurring.

Those children can’t get their lives back. And it could have been prevented. All of the shootings could have been.

J.Rounds ©2018 ~Peaces of ME


#safeschoolsforkids #revisedsecondamendment

Blog for the Props of it.

I’m a bit flustered, as I go to the Dr. for my check up tomorrow.

I’ve needed to go for a while now.

I am scared; I won’t lie; but T will be there for support.

A little flustered with the paperwork for a new patient appointment though.

Writing down the things you know, that run in your family, is scary.

Not knowing your biological father and his history; [your history]; on his side, is more than scary. It’s scary sobering.

I don’t know anything about my father; except that he is going to die in jail, if he hasn’t already. He is a coward; and deserves to be where he is.

I don’t forgive him for anything.

I also am almost positive I have other siblings; a half-sister for sure; but I’m not expecting to ever meet her/ them(?)

Point is

I think of how long I told Dr.’s offices my step-father’s medical stuff instead, by default; just so no one would have to know that I didn’t know my real father; or had one, that didn’t want to know me.

I don’t know that part of my potential medical ailments; because I don’t know my father… or his family.

I am glad today that I do not know him; and I do not want to know him; as much as that sucks to say…it really doesn’t anymore for me.

He is not a man I want to know.

Tonight I marked N/A in my father’s spot for medical history.

Because it’s my truth.

I gave myself props for seeing it for what it was worth.

I also gave myself props for getting through this BS paperwork; which also, by the way; asked my sexual orientation and gender orientation as well. (both I declined to say; because it’s a baited question; used for profiling; that should be illegal, in my opinion.)

Anything else I need to find out about myself, will be way of a 23 and Me DNA kit, books, and Google search; if they tell me I have something wrong with me.

I guess I’m starting to realize that certain things are not important to pursue; and others are.

I hope tomorrow will go well for me. Generally, I tend to get more anxious than I should; so I’m trying to go with that one tonight….and not be.

That’s good enough for now.

Love yourself.

J. Rounds ©2018 Peaces of ME

My synthetic medicine journey… to none.

Sometimes, it’s constantly reminding myself that “this too shall pass“.

It’s really all I can do…and enough to do it.

I am well aware that I am not on synthetic medication anymore. Sometimes that still scares me; even though the effects and side-effects of taking the medicines….scares me more.

I remember when I made the decision to stop taking them.

At that point my cholesterol level had shot through the roof because of the bipolar anti-depressant I was taking (Latuda); and they had to prescribe me another medication to lower it. I was also on a mood-stabilizer as well; (Trileptol) a common anti-seizure drug that my son actually was taking back in the day for his Epilepsy. It is also used as a mood stabilizer for bipolar.

I was having headaches that lasted for days. Parts of my body were going numb at random times, that lasted for days and weeks. I have a bum shoulder; broken twice in the same spot, that causes me chronic pain daily. The meds made it feel worse. My joints felt worse, to the point that it hurt to walk sometimes. I was having auditory hallucinations whenever I did not take my meds at the exact same time. I was STILL up and down, up and down anyways. I was miserable; unable to hold a job….and stuck in a life of NOTHING.

The meds were not fixing me. They were in fact, hurting me….making me worse. It was actually quite terrifying if I have to be honest about it. You wake up feeling worse than the day before…and it’s like, how is this helping me?

It’s not.

I started to think of all the meds my son was on when he was alive….and all the complications they caused for him; and the constant trying to find the ones that would work. The medications he was on that were supposed to help his movement disorder; that in fact in the end had the opposite effect, and actually made his movement disorder irreversible….because unbenounced to us, that med (Haldol) was making it worse every day…one of the side effects of it, WAS an irreversable movement disorder….also called dyskenisia.

We gave him Dr. prescribed meds for a movement disorder, that was made worse by the med that was supposed to make it better.

The guilt I still carry from that…is indescribably hard to deal with or relate.

It didn’t make sense to me anymore. Any of it. What was the point of being on medicines, that didn’t even work for me; and caused other serious health problems? This was not the first time for me with this. It had been a struggle for years with the different medications for me; and finding something that worked. I asked myself was I THAT messed up, that I could not find ways naturally to help myself instead?

The answer to me was NO…I was NOT that messed up. I needed to find new ways to control my bipolar, PTSD, anxiety, and pain. I needed to help myself.

At that point I made the choice to detox from the medication I was on; and to live free of synthetic pills and medication for good.

It is a choice that I do not regret in any way…although it is challenging in moments.

I would have had to depend on synthetics, and keep taking them…for the rest of my life. I was at risk for developing even worse symptoms and health problems down the line; and that’s just a logical conclusion I came to, based on the symptoms I already was having.

It wasn’t worth it to me.

It wasn’t a real life. For me, It was a life filled with pills, and hoping I could be fixed by them…but struggling despite. Nothing more. They did nothing to touch my PTSD or anxiety symptoms either. Made my body, joint pain, and anxiety… WORSE.

I was just done with it all; regarding synthetic anything in my body.

I started to research herbal remedies and read anything I could to help myself. I had many friends who helped me with that as well. To you guys, I say thank you.

I realized that just because I was bipolar, and had other issues going…it didn’t mean I had to commit myself, to a life-time of pills and stigma.

I could overcome it, if I tried hard enough.

I smoke cannabis to control many of my symptoms now. Soon, I will be switching over to the straight CBD oil…which is a derivative of cannabis…and has no mood altering effects.

I take vitamins and supplements, and try to get as much sleep as I can. I excersize. (At work, all day long)

I make a conscious effort to actively control my ups and downs. Mostly that just consists of not letting myself get to the levels of despair I used to feel.

I do that by staying sober, writing, seeking support from people who care about me; and actively trying to help people that struggle with the same kinds of things that I do.

Many people have things to say about cannabis; and it’s use for medical purposes. Many people have things to say about me, and my use of it.

That is not my issue. I know I am responsible with my usage. I do not need validation from anyone on it at all.

I AM NOT a doctor. And truth be told, some of the Doctors I’ve worked with…weren’t doctors either…even though they carried the title.

Three things I DO know for sure, based on personal experience…and the experiences of people close to me:

~Synthetic meds WILL eventually lead you to MORE synthetic meds, and more problems health-wise, when it is all said and done.

~Cannabis and CBD oil would have greatly increased my deceased son’s quality of life and pain. He would not have suffered as much as he did. I wish it would have been an option when he was alive; but sadly it was not.

~Supplements and cannabis have greatly improved my symptoms, health, and overall quality of life.

It works for me; and I really don’t care what anyone else has to say about it anymore, because I live a life every day that is full and responsible, and true.

Things I wasn’t able to do when I was taking meds to “fix me”.

Healing and managing mental symptoms and pain, is not about doing things the way people tell you to do them.

It’s about looking in yourself, and finding ways to nurture the parts in you that need to be nurtured…not suppressed.

I own my Bipolar. I own my PTSD. I own my chronic pain from injury. I own my anxiety. I own my choice of medicines I will put in my body.

It is my choice. It is also yours.

I still feel the ups and downs. But they are far less extreme now.

I do not regret my choice to stop putting unnatural things in my body.

Sometimes, it IS constantly reminding myself that “this too shall pass“.

But the difference is; I know that it will pass now, and that’s just part of how I’m made. I embrace the fact that I AM not normal by societies standards.

I also feel no shame for who I am as a person anymore; and I know that the best things in life, all revolve around embracing who I am.

I am ME. I am not a stigma that can be cured with a pill; and I don’t want to be.

I am 10 months, 5 days sober.

I am living for the first time in my life. My best is happening daily.

Love yourself.

J.Rounds ©2018 ~Peaces of ME