5-Day Song Challenge: Fifth & Final

The five songs I’ve used in this challenge surprised me. The only one I knew I’d use was Slow Cheetah. The rest happened a day at a time, and none of the other songs I planned to use made it into the five posts – including today’s. That’s one of the interesting things about music moods for me – I never know what I’ll be in the mood for from day to day. And this time, rather than relying a planned lists of songs to type about, I decided to wing it from day to day and let my mood guide the choices.

Which leads us to today’s selection.

Song the Fifth:

Float – Flogging Molly

Flogging Molly’s Float is on my mind for two reasons:

  1. The theme: struggling with depression and indifference as time inevitably marches on. Trying to make sense from the senseless and grasping for reasons to persist. For obvious reasons, it speaks to me. Rather, it speaks me.
  2. The timing: totally going to a Flogging Molly concert tonight, and I’m stoked. Fucking. Stoked.

Have a listen.

The Lyrics:

Drank away the rest of the day,
Wonder what my liver would say,
Drink… That’s all you can.

Blackened days With their bigger gales,
Blow in your parlor to discuss the day,
Listen… That’s all you can.

Ah but don’t, no don’t sink the boat,
That you built, you built to keep afloat.
Ah no don’t, no don’t sink the boat,
That you built.

Sick and tired of what to say,
No one listens anyway,
Sing… That’s all you can.

Rambling years of lousy luck,
Ya miss the smell of burning turf,
Dream… That’s all you can.

Ah but don’t, no don’t sink the boat,
That you Built, you built to keep afloat,
Ah no don’t, no don’t sink the boat,
That you built… That you built to keep afloat.

Singled out for who you are,
It takes all types to judge a man,
Feel… That’s all you can.

Filthy suits with bigot ears,
Hide behind their their own worst fears,
Live… That’s all you can.

It’s all you can.
It’s all you can… do.

No matter where I put my head,
I wake up feeling sound again,
Breathe… It’s all you can.

Tomorrow smells of less decay,
The flowers create this blooming fray,
Be thankful… That’s all you can.

Ah but don’t, don’t sink the boat,
That you Built, you built to keep afloat.
Ah no don’t, no don’t sink the boat,
That you built… you built to keep afloat.

Ah no don’t, no don’t sink the boat,
That you built, that you built to keep afloat.

A ripe old age,
A ripe old age,
I’m a ripe old age,
That’s what I am.

I’m a ripe old age,
A ripe old age,
A ripe old age,
Just doing the best I can.

A ripe old age,
A ripe old age,
A ripe old age,
That’s what I am!

A ripe old age,
A ripe old age,
A ripe old age,
Just doing the best I can!

The best I can!

~

Fighting hard to not sink the boat. Hoping like hell that tomorrow smells of less decay. I’m doing the best I can. Are you?

5-Day Song Challenge: Day the First (Or: Slow Cheetahs are not faster than me.)

The awesome Rob at The V-Pub invited me to do a song-a-day challenge thingy. And since I love songs. And thingies. I decided to participate. Plus, it gives me extra incentive to actually show up every day for five days straight. What! To think I once posted every day for like forty days. Who was THAT person?

Anyhoodles. I love – and agree with – what Rob says about music: “It’s something that speaks to individuals in different ways. It’s universal and paradoxically personal.” Yes. That. Yes.

So. Yes. Rules. How I love thee, rules. (Did you hear that? I just snorted.)

Rule Thingies:
Post a song a day for five consecutive days. (Oh shit.)
Post what the lyrics mean to you. (Optional. Sweet. I like options. And crawfish. Damnit, I miss crawfish. Oops.)
Post the name of the song and video. (Not optional. Come on, dudes. This is supposed to be the easy part.)
Nominate 1 or 2 bloggers each day of the challenge. (Fuck.)

Today’s Song

Slow Cheetah – Red Hot Chili Peppers

Yep. Gotta start off with my current favorite Peppers song. (Peppers favorites shift for me. But right now, it’s Slow Cheetah.) Have a listen and take a look at the lyrics, and you’ll see why.

The Lyrics:

Waking up dead inside of my head
Will never never do there is no med
No medicine to take

I’ve had a chance to be insane
Asylum from the falling rain
I’ve had a chance to break

It’s so bad it’s got to be good
Mysterious girl misunderstood
Dressed like a wedding cake

Any other day and I might play
A funeral march for Bonnie Brae
Why try and run away

Slow cheetah come
Before my forest
Looks like it’s on today

Slow cheetah come
It’s so euphoric
No matter what they say

I know a girl
She worked in a store
She knew not what
Her life was for
She barely knew her name

They tried to tell her
She would never be
As happy as the girl
In the magazine
She bought it with her pay

Slow cheetah come
Before my forest
Looks like it’s on today

Slow cheetah come
It’s so euphoric
No matter what they say

Everyone has
So much to say
They talk talk talk
Their lives away
Don’t even hesitate

Walking on down
To the burial ground
It’s a very old dance
With a merry old sound
Looks like it’s on today

Slow cheetah come
Before my forest
Looks like it’s on today

Slow cheetah come
It’s so euphoric
No matter what they say

Slow cheetah come
Before my forest
Looks like it’s on today

Slow cheetah come
It’s so euphoric
No matter what they say

~

I’ve added emphasis to the lyrics that resonate the most with me and, therefore, mean the most and hit me the hardest.

I’m not one to look up song meanings. I’d rather listen. Feel. Soak. On my own. I don’t want someone telling me what the takeaway is. Not even the singer/songwriter. Music is so deeply personal, and lyrics are so often the poetry of my soul.

I don’t need someone to tell me that Slow Cheetah is about being: lost, adrift, alone, aimless, pointless, worthless. And fucking numb and over it all. It’s…euphoric. Right? No matter what they say. And I sure as hell don’t need someone telling me that not what it’s about. Even if it really isn’t. After all…everyone has so much to say, they talk talk talk their lives away. But this song…is deeply personal to me. And for me, it has become about survival in spite of myself, no matter what they say.

Because this is one of the many songs I attribute to saving my life. Even on days when I barely knew my name, this and countless other songs spoke me in the dark. Made me feel seen. Understood. Part of something – even a dark something – and therefore less alone. Not alone. I’ve had a chance to break, so I took that chance – even against my will – and I’m still. Fucking. Here. And no matter what the fucking predatory depression says or does…I’m not alone.

No matter what they say.

One of those standard update thingies.

So. Great progress in some ways. None at all in others. Let’s get to it, so I can get it off my chest. Kind of like the pain in the everything bra that hits the deck as soon as I get home every day. I can feel it there, driving me crazy, all fucking day. So maybe I can get some mental shit off my chest, and I’ll feel a bit of relief? Doubtful, but let’s try it anyway.

House Stuff

The house goes on the market tomorrow morning. Sign in the yard, MLS, Zillow, the whole nine. Well. She said Zillow usually takes three to five days to pick new listings up. But after that, it will be available for any google search. Sweet biscuits.

She said houses are selling fast in my neighborhood, but agreed with me that having only two bedrooms and one bathroom will make it harder than most to sell. That’s fine – I anticipated that from the moment I bought the place.

She offered me a full percent less on her commission than I anticipated, so I didn’t even negotiate that. I was gonna try to knock her down half a percent, but she did way better than that on her own.

She also named the exact list price I was going to suggest (I’ve been researching comps for ksofmusemeweeks). We both know it probably won’t go for that, but it gives me room to negotiate without fearing dropping below my bottom line.

So tonight, I do the final touches: tucking stuff away in closets, mopping everything one more time, water the plants and put the hose away, clearing the back deck, tidying the storage room, etc. Then I’m gonna take a much needed superlong soak in the tub and hit the hay.

She’s meeting me at the house at 9:00 AM in the morning. She said we’ll do all the paperwork then, photograph and video everything, then go ahead and toss the sign up. Weeeeeeeee. Here we go!

Job Stuff

Fucking sucks. Still no feedback from slowass corporate about the jobs I applied to in hopes of staying with my current company.

Still nothing but dead-ends on the couple hundred apps I’ve done thus far in my search. (That isn’t an exaggeration. If anything, it’s an underaggeration. Yeah. That’s a word now. Suck it.) Now and then, I get serious nibbles or even bites. A couple times, I’ve all but been offered jobs (talking only about ones that would pay enough to live there)…only for them to fall through at the last minute.

There’s time yet, as the house is only now being listed. But…I’m still nervous as fuck. I’m not sure what the hell I’m going to do if the house sells and I’m still stuck down here with the same shitty prospects. Do I gamble it all and drive my ass up there? Hoping employers will be far more amenable since I’m in situ? (And risk losing it ALL in the process?) Or do I sign a fucking six month lease on an apartment here and keep wiling my life away, waiting for change.

For now, I shall focus on the sale of the house, continue applying my ass off and bide my time.

Mental Health Stuff

I still wake up wishing I hadn’t. I struggle mightily with things I want and think I need, but feel they’re far from my grasp. Perhaps eternally so.

I’ve had some mopey days. I’ve had some weepy days. I’ve had times I’ve had to hide in the bathroom at work, so I could cry it out and compose myself.

I still think I’m a pointless waste of space, an inconsequential non-blip on the universe’s radar. I still wonder what the fuck the point of it all is.

I fight hard not to dwell on that, because I don’t have the answers. I know I have it better than so many do, but it doesn’t really help to know that. It doesn’t ease the pain in my soul. God, I sound like such a whiny little bitch. Yet, it’s how I feel.

I’m fighting. I’m not giving up. I’m not giving in. I’m not. But. Motherfuck, some days it all feels so fucking impossible.

~

So. Good things ahead. New things ahead. Things I’m nervous about. And things I’m still struggling with.

Overall. Trending upward. The trick is to keep it that way.

 

I don’t wanna work…

I just wanna bang on the drums all day.

Okay, not really. But I really don’t wanna go to work tomorrow. That’s usually the case, especially on Sunday nights, but damnit. The feeling is especially strong tonight.

Could it be because I spent Friday marathoning Game of Thrones to get caught up, so that day and night flew by? Perhaps. (Speaking of GOT, the season finale was tonight. Hot damn was it a good one.)

Could it be because I spent Saturday (all day and most of the night) wallowing in bed, feeling sorry for my self, crying off and on? Perhaps.

Could it be because I spent most of the day today working on house stuff to get it ready for market? Plus laundry and dishes and assorted other chores? Perhaps.

Could it be because I’m feeling like a lazy bastard and am dreading Archie coming back? (She’s been off for a week for health reasons.) Perhaps.

I’d actually like to curl up in bed with a good book right now (Murakami, I’m looking at you), and read into the wee dawn hours. Yes, I said read. I think my brain is ready to read again. We shall see!

When the weekend passes by in a daze, the last thing I want to do is go to work. I feel like I haven’t had a weekend at all – do you know what I mean? I should have gone to the park (I’m sorry, you know who.). I should have gotten my bike out (uhm, again, sorry). I should have done a lot of shit. But I was in an epic wallowing funk and couldn’t snap out of it. Couldn’t. Wouldn’t. Semantics. I can identify some of the causes of my sadness, but I know the things I can identify aren’t enough to cause just how deep down I got. I suppose it’s just another depressive episode. S’alright. It’ll pass. They always do.

Anyway! Anyway! Guess what!

A week from tomorrow, I’m calling a realtor to finafuckingly list the house. It’s taken seven damn forevers, because I’m not the sole owner of the house. But now things are finally in place, and the place will be all tidied up and clear of almost every stitch of furniture. (Trust me, the place looks better with no furniture than staged up with what I had. Shit I’ve had since I was 17. So yeah.)

Yay! I’ll be one big step closer to moving on.

I’m also gonna spend any spare time I get at work this week on applying to new opportunities. Something may yet come through with my current employer, but I’ve put all my eggs in that basket for about a month and a half now. I need to start casting my net again, see if I can catch something other than more disappointment and headaches. Something has to give at some point.

Annnnd. That is all. I have a bit more tidying to do in the bedroom before I can actually relax enough to sleep in here. I hope y’all had a kickass weekend!

P.S. If you watch Game of Thrones, I’d love to hear your reactions from the finale, or hell the season at all. Thinking of doing a post, but I’m not sure I have enough to say for an entire post. We shall see! Without being spoilery yet, I will just say….I fucking knew it about Jon! Called it!

Losing Steam

I’ve been off all psychiatric drugs for a while now – at least six weeks. I can’t handle the side-effects or expense anymore – and, frankly, they hadn’t really changed anything. I continued riding (fairly) high and optimistic for a while. It’s easy to begin thinking there won’t be another downswing (I had even more of them on the drugs.). But there has been. There is. These last few days have been hell.

I recognize that a lot of it is circumstantial. (Caution, whining ahead.)

  • I’ve come off an intense anxiety-fest over what could be wrong with my body. (Never thought in the history of ever that I’d be happy to have ulcers.) Coming off shit like that strangely and oftentimes leads to low moods for me.
  • I found a dead sparrow in my bedroom when I got home. It’s a complete fucking mystery. It can’t have flown in as I was leaving this morning…because I enclose the cats in the bedroom and kitchen areas before ever opening the front door. It’s not a mystery as to how it died…but how it ended up in the bedroom? Beats the hell outta me. I cried for a good half hour after finding it this evening. I also thought weird shit that I don’t even believe in – like what kind of fucked up omen is this?
  • My mortgage payment spiked up to $300 over what it’s always been. Because of recent historic floods, FEMA remapped my neighborhood. Fuckers. So my mortgage company kindly bought a policy for me, without consulting me. I’m not in a big fancypants house – it’s quite a bit smaller than average (that’s what she said). So I don’t understand why it’s costing so much. Needless to say, that shit wasn’t in my budget…and I’m kinda fucked if I don’t get out from under this thing soon.
  • The job situation has stalled out. I haven’t heard anything on the ones I applied to with my company, so I’m tossing resumes at new shit again. Got a tentative job offer today…for Colorado Springs. Dude. That’s nowhere near where I’m looking to go. I don’t want to reconsider my PNW. May have to at some point, unless I want to settle for any ole thing and continue living paycheck to paycheck. (Not something I can afford to do anymore – nor should I have to.)
  • These fucking headaches are the pits, and my usual go-to OTC stuff is not an option anymore. Small price to pay for not having cancer, doncha think? Can’t make a doc appointment yet, as their office is closed for vacation.
  • Other personal shit that is taking more of a toll on me than I realized, I think.

What else can I whine about? I don’t know. That’s more than enough for now. Suffice it to say I’ve been a tearful, moody mess for the last couple days. A lot of it is circumstantial – which sucks, really, because resolutions are kinda far off. Either way, an actual human hug would be nice. Then again, so would winning the lottery, but we can’t have everything.

Anyway, sorry. I don’t even actually want to talk about any of this shit. At all. Just needed to vent, I suppose. Not giving up. Just having a shit time of it right now.

Goodbye Mother

Conversation History

April __, 2015

Stephanie: Happy Birthday
Mother: Who is this?

You vanished from the state. I didn’t know where you were.
But I never thought you’d delete me.

S: I thought this was Jane Doe’s number. I apologize.
M: It is but i dont recognize your number!

You fucking deleted me.

July __, 2015

M: Happy birthday
S: Thanks.

I wonder who identified my number for you.
It only took you two months to figure it out.

August 31, 2015

M: Would loue to see you sometime and hopefully restore our relationship i loue and miss you very much
S: We can get together sometime if you want. I don’t know where you are these days, so just let me know when you’re around. Maybe we can do lunch.

September 2, 1015

M: I Am free wed ? thur next week the 9th ? 10th pick where to meet ? time
S: How about Wednesday?
M: Wednesday is fine how about ____ right by me so i dont have to drive far
S: I’ll meet you there at 11:30.

September 9, 2015

M: R we still on for 11:30 tomorrow?
S: Yes. Still want to go to ___?
M: Unless u want to somewhere else doesnt matter
S: No, that sounds good to me.

I knew you had a motive. I knew it in my gut.
Sweet lady at work convinced me to do this lunch with you. You didn’t know that did you?
I didn’t want to come. I knew it was too good to be true.
I was right.
You thought I could get you a fucking job.
You wanted a favor. That’s why you reappeared.
I told you we were under a hiring freeze.

You cried crocodile tears, and spoke of a desire to reconnect.
I remained stoic, because I didn’t believe anything you were saying.
You said you wanted to renew our relationship.
I said I’d like that. I stuck my neck out and said I need you to call me.
You said you’d call me every week.

I wonder how long it will be this time, before I hear from you again.

October __, 2015

M: FWD: (baby picture) ____ (your brother’s) baby girl!
I never knew they were expecting.
S: Thank you.

June 15, 2016

M: I loue and miss you so very much please call me sometime

I can’t fucking do this again.

June 16, 2016

M: Did something change since we met for lunch a while back?
S: No, that was nearly a year ago. I’ve come to terms with the way things are.
M: What’s that supposed to mean? I have tried everything i can possibly think of to restore a relationship with you not laying blame at all just doesnt seem u are interested i truly dont have a clue what i have said or done that you cant or wont forgive me for
S: I’m not sure why you brought blame into it, when I responded in a calm and non-accusatory manner. That’s interesting. What I meant was that you said you were going to start calling me once a week, because you said you wanted a relationship with me. That was almost a year ago now.

M: The last time i texted u about going to see (your brother’s) baby n i never got a reply back i just dont understand is all
S: I don’t see any texts like that in our entire conversation history.
M: Well i sent one after she was born about her baby shower
S: Okay.

M: I wanted a relationship with you for a long time and i have tried repeatedly to make the effort but i cant do it alone
S: You never sent the texts you’re saying you did. I have the entire conversation history. You said you would stay in touch with me regularly, after I hadn’t even known what state you were living in for a very long time. But then I didn’t hear from you again until last October when you sent me a picture of a baby I knew nothing about. There was no invitation, and there has been zero communication after that. I don’t understand where this is coming from.
S: Why did you ignore me in the grocery store?

Fuck it. Let’s see you lie about this one.

M: Wow ok well i did send you the texts dont know why u didnt get them and i tried calling u all the time but u want to lie about it sorry i bothered you i give up goodbye
S: Okay.

Ah, complete evasion, I see.
I’m glad you couldn’t see me.
I’m glad you couldn’t see me sobbing during this entire exchange.
I’m glad you didn’t see the ass-kissing texts I originally wrote and then deleted before sending.
I spent most of my life letting you guilt me and make shit up and put it all on me.
I always let you do it.

Now I see why.

I stood up for myself this time. I asked you to answer for some things you’ve done.
And now you’ve told me you’re giving up.
Every fucking time I try to heal, you do this.
Every fucking time. Just when I think I can move on without crying about you anymore…
You show back up and guilt me.
But this time I didn’t let you.
I won’t let you do this to me anymore.
I may not have had the nerve to type it out in text.
But I’ll say it here.

Goodbye, Mother.

Accountability

I never held you accountable for anything. The closest I could ever come to addressing these things with you was to cry and beg or else just harden myself a bit more, distance myself a bit more.

Would you like to know what I’d hold you accountable for, if I thought I could have a conversation with you – without it turning into evasion, denial and volleying blame back and forth?

No. Your answer is no. So I’ll tell you here.

Do you remember when I told you my marriage was ending? It took me months to tell you. Do you remember what you said? “I can’t believe you’re doing this to me and your mamaw.” Thanks for the support, mom.

Do you remember when I asked for your help? I hate asking for help. I never ask for help. I’m starting to realize why I became that way. I was having surgery. I stuck my neck out, asked for your help. Could you please take me in for surgery? Could you please help me get home after? Would you stay? Do you remember your response? “I can’t afford the gas.” I cried. I didn’t let you hear it in my voice, but I cried. I told you I’d pay for your gas, even though I was out of work at the time. You said, “Why don’t you drive over here after your anesthesia wears off, and I’ll make a pallet for you on the floor.” You lived three hours away at the time. You got offended when I turned the most generous offer down.

Do you remember telling me that I need to get over being molested by my father and his friends? I needed to get over what happened with my brother? He was a kid, too. I know damn well where he learned that from. Do you remember telling me, as I cried and shook, that I was too old to let “something like that keep you from a relationship with your father”? The same man who beat the shit out of you, burst your eardrum and brazenly bragged about his many conquests? The same man who had stood trial for attempted murder when he raped and beat the shit out of his “girlfriend”? The same man who was with his best friend the night his best friend murdered his parents and his little boy? I know they were together, because I was there. They got wasted together before disappearing. The next day, there was a manhunt for the best friend.

Do you remember?

I do. I remember that and a lot more.

For many years, I longed to have the kind of mother I thought I had in childhood. I longed for her to come back. I realize now I will never have her, if I ever did.

I’m sorry I can’t grovel and take the blame and subject myself to your untreated issues anymore. I’m sorry I can’t shoulder responsibility for everything you want me to. I’m sorry I can’t hang with your rollercoaster mood swings anymore.

I’m sorry I wasn’t good enough for you to stick around.

I’m sorry I was worthy of your goodbye.

So it’s my turn now. It’s my turn to say,
Sorry I bothered you.
I give up.
Goodbye.

 

What are you so afraid of?

Have you ever considered what bears and grocery stores have in common? I have. It’s fear. Bears and grocery stores have fear in common.

Some people are afraid of bears. I’m not. I have a healthy respect for them, and I know proper procedures to prevent bear encounters and protocol should I ever encounter one anyway (though I’m sure all of that knowledge would elude me at such a time). But I do not fear them. Not exactly. I mean, I was wary enough to avoid cooking when I stayed in Shoshone National Forest, or in GNP or Yellowstone, places like that. I was afraid to cook, but that was mostly because I was afraid of myself – of not being cautious enough or missing spots during cleaning. I was afraid I’d fuck it up. I didn’t actually go to sleep in fear. I happily climbed into my tent and into my sleeping bag, falling asleep nearly instantly after long days of hiking.

I’m not afraid of bears.

Some people are afraid of grocery stores. I’m gonna go ahead and assume you’ve figured out how I know. I am afraid of grocery stores. But I believe it’s less about being in public (which is a whole separate issue for me) and more about whom I may encounter there. I don’t live in a huge metropolitan area, which makes the chances rather high for running into people whom I’d rather not run into. Even so, it’s happened a disproportionate amount of times. Sometimes I’ve been so shaken up that I’ve left the store without making my purchases. I believe there was only once that I had a buggy full of groceries, and I left in a panic. But I’ve seen people I’d rather not with high frequency. My anxiety and fear ratcheted up to the point where I’d drive to the grocery (after allowing myself to run out of pretty much everything), then sit in the car in the parking lot for several minutes to an hour before finally driving away without ever getting out of the car.

I’m afraid of grocery stores.

This fear has caused me to spend more money than I can really afford (considering other shit I desperately need to take care of) and damage my health with fast food. There’s no risk I’ll run into anyone when I just go through a drive-thru and go home. But it’s not a healthy way to live, not for mind or body.

I went to the grocery store today. It sounds so simple, it’s nothing more than an inconvenience. Rightfully so. It’s pretty irrational to be petrified of grocery shopping. But I am. I have been. I went today, and I didn’t make a quick run, either. I started in produce and made my way around the store, selecting my purchases. I’ll need to go again tomorrow, as I didn’t take a list today (it was more about pushing through my fear and getting started with the basics). I got nearly everything I need. But I need a few more things. Perhaps I’ll make crawfish étouffée tomorrow.

I had a big day for me, really. I got up early (on a Saturday – what the fuck is the world coming to (I like to sleep until 3 PM or Sunday)), got dressed (that’s important to do before going out in public, or so I’ve been told), grabbed a bottle of water and hit the park. My foot still hasn’t healed (what the fuck, man), but I walked a trail anyway. Along a lake. It was so fucking humid, but it was lovely. It was lovely. The birds and the flowers and the water and the occasional breeze. Left there and went to a café (sort of), got a fruity iced tea thingy and a croissant. Then I went straight to the grocery store. I only sat in the car for about fifteen minutes (trust me, that’s good for me). When I got home, I didn’t stop. There has been zero bed or moping or bed moping today. Mowed the yard, fixed the new gravel that’s on the driveway, babied some suffering plants, and now I’m doing laundry. I need a shower so badly, but I wanna make sure most of the sweating is behind me before I do!

I kept a promise today. Promises are sacred to me. You don’t fuck with a promise unless you didn’t have a choice (and you pretty much always have a choice, so you better have a fucking good reason). I promised to work on myself today, push past the fear and do it. And I did. And I felt (feel) fantastic and optimistic afterward. I know optimism is a feeling like any other – it comes and goes with the days and moods. But for now, I’m enjoying it. And when it begins to fade again, I’ll have to push past the fear again. Today was one day. This is one weekend. I need to make it two. And keep going.

Because if I don’t – I’ll get to Oregon or Washington and nothing will have changed. I will go to work as I do here. I will drive straight home as I do here. And I will cry and mope and wish for adventure. And I will hold myself back. If I can’t push through it here, what makes me think I will there? I don’t want to move to the PNW just to continue the lifestyle I have now. What’s the fucking point of that? If I’m to live, I need to start living.

shawshank-redemption-movie-quote-dying-living-death-busy-quote

What else am I afraid of?

I’m not afraid of spiders – not majorly so. I have a massive fear of venomous ones. But little jumping spiders? They’re fucking adorable. The wolf spider I found in my garden made me scream like a little girl and literally run away. That was pretty funny. But I didn’t kill it. I let it be…and used gloves when I got back to it.

I was afraid of pubs. I pushed through it, and I’m okay there now. Not exactly comfortable, but okay.

I’m afraid of my nosebleeds. What do they mean? Dunno. But that’s the kind of thing I’m afraid of.

I’m afraid of my neighbors. Not in any dangerous sense, but in the sense that they’re there. Watching me. Judging me. Talking about me. Hell, I should just say I’m afraid of people and have done.

I’m afraid of attachment. I crave it, and yet I fear it. Because allowing yourself to be completely vulnerable exposes your soft underbelly. And some people like to stab those, repeatedly.

I’m afraid of the government, and all of its agents, because of the power we’ve given over to it.

I’m afraid of the threat of tornadoes. Always was, irrationally so. But now that one has hit my house, the fear is greater.

I’m afraid of heights, but not to a crippling extent. Not enough to hinder me from walking cliff trails in the mountains.

I’m afraid I’ll die alone. Nothing I can really do about it aside from keeping myself open to possibilities and otherwise keep on keepin’ on.

I’m afraid of missing out. Of never discovering meaning or purpose. Perhaps there isn’t one. And if there isn’t, then I’m afraid I’ll never be content with that answer. Again. Just gotta keep on keepin’ on, and keep myself open to new ideas and possibilities.

I’m afraid of suffering. I’m afraid of cancer and heart disease. Too much of it in my family, and it scares me. I need to live more healthfully and mindfully.

I’m afraid of my bad memory and what it may mean for my old age, should I make it there. Yet another thing I need to work on improving.

I’m afraid of touching crickets. When I’d go fishing, I could never bait my own hook. I could never get a fish off of a hook, either. I couldn’t touch the cricket. I’d try and try and try, then squeal and back away. Yes. I’m such a girl in some ways. In more ways than I let on here sometimes, I think. And you know what I mean. Soft. Emotional. Sensitive. Gentle. Nervous. Bashful. Afraid to touch bugs, but don’t want to see them dead. Those aren’t purely feminine traits, but fucks sake why am I trying to explain this. Anyway. Yeah. I’m more of a “girl” than I let on.

Hm. I think that’s enough for now. I’m actually in a calm, gentle, smiley mood. So don’t let all this fear talk fool you. I’m looking inward and taking inventory as I am wont to do. Today I don’t find it depressing. Today it’s like cleaning out the cobwebs and taking stock.

Now to see what tomorrow holds.

A Glimmer of Hope

That’s all you need. Just a glimmer. A hint of a glimmer, even. That’s all. It doesn’t take much. All you’re looking for is one tiny hint of a glimmer…

To survive.

Life isn’t easy. Heh. What a fucking understatement. Life is a pain in the ass, that’s what. Especially when you’re an emotional brooder. I am one seriously angsty, existentially pained person. And I’m not the only one. You ponder the same things, don’t you?

Why am I here?
What’s the fucking point?
What is my purpose?
Why fucking bother?
Who am I?
What does it all mean?
What is my place?
Do I have one?
Am I even real?
What does it even mean to be real?

I don’t have answers to any of those questions. Sometimes I wish I could stop seeking them. But I also don’t wish to cease the quest. Because questing is part of the answer of “Who am I?” I’m a woman on a quest. A tiny speck in the Cosmos on my own personal quest for meaning and purpose. And when it isn’t breaking me down and crushing my lungs, it’s thrilling, exciting. The search, the quest…when I stop asking questions; when I stop searching for meaning and purpose and truth and beauty; then I cease to exist.

I just wish…that I could stop turning suicidal when I cannot find satisfactory answers to the questions that haunt me. Drive me. Push me. Tear at me. Claw at me.

I feel incomplete. And since I know not how to become complete, I devolve into a mass of emotional futility. I begin feeling that I wish I could simply cease to exist. For if there is no purpose for me, for my existence, then it should be extinguished.

But I know. I know that is the depression talking. The downswing of bipolar. What-the-fuck-ever it is. I know that’s what’s doing the talking in those dark hours of my soul.

And that’s what’s talking to you. When you feel like you can’t go another step. Take another breath. Eke out another heartbeat. That’s what’s talking: your depression.

Maybe the people in your life who were supposed to build you up and love you failed in their responsibilities to you. Maybe they taught you that you’re worthless. Useless. A no-account failure.

Maybe you made mistakes in your past, and you’ve never forgiven yourself for them. Even as everyone else around you has forgotten or moved on. Or perhaps their punishments far outweigh your crimes.

Maybe you’re all alone. Or you think you are. But guess what? If you’re here, reading this right now, you aren’t alone. Not entirely.

Listen, I’m no therapist. I certainly don’t have the answers. I’m a mess my damn self. Anyone who’s been around here a while knows that to be true. I’m a work in progress, and I always will be.

But there’s something I do know for sure: if you don’t grasp those tiny glimmers of hope, then you’re in big trouble. No one can grasp them for you. You have to reach out and grasp them on your own.

But we can show you. We can show each other. We can point each other toward the glimmers. Toward the “light.” Toward survival. Toward life.

I don’t have much. Disregarding all the first-world bullshit, I don’t have much in the way of what I think makes a complete life. But you know what? I have to recognize that part of that is my misconception of what makes a complete life. There is no one right way to live your life.

I feel alone. Completely and utterly alone. And you know what? That’s fucked up. Because I have you awesome people here. All I have to do is show the fuck up, and people come and say hi and talk to me and to each other. That’s it. No one can force me to be here. I have to do that part myself. But people point me toward this glimmer. One amazing friend in particular hassles me to show up and write. Hassle hassle hassle. And you know something? When I do, I feel better. Every. Fucking. Time. And I feel less alone.

I still go to bed alone. I still don’t get hugs and affection. I still don’t have someone to sit beside me and play video games with, or read and dissect the same literature with, or tickle each other until we nearly piss our pants.

But I’m not completely alone. And to say so would be a slap in the face to you wonderful people here. This is something I have to remind myself of daily.

I feel worthless. Pointless. Useless. I really do. It hurts, and I’m crying even typing this all out. But then I get reminded sometimes that I do have worth, even if I don’t think I do or I don’t think it’s enough. Because sometimes someone shows up here and says my words touched them. Or they understand how I feel and are glad to know they aren’t alone. And I know that feeling well. I’ve visited some of you and read your words, and I think to myself…I wish this person wasn’t going through that but fucking hell it makes me feel such a sense of relief to know I’m not alone in this. It’s not just me. I’m not some fucked up anomaly.

Maybe you feel trapped and hopeless, like you’re stuck in your current situation with no way out. Or you don’t even know what you want or how to get there. I’ve been there. I know that feeling, too.

I feel like this is all very rambly, but I’m pretty much freewriting right now. Because I had a conversation today, with one of the most important people in the world to me. And he said he was tired. Tired of life. Tired of it all. Just. Fucking. Tired. And didn’t feel there was any reason to go on anymore. And I said, you have to dig deep and discover what those things are that make you want to keep trudging forward. He said he doesn’t want to trudge. I wish I could do it for him. I wish I could do it for all of you. But all I can do is share my experiences and try to give you a glimmer of hope. And I hope with all my soul that you reach for it.

Each and every day, I tell myself: find one thing. Just one thing. And let that one thing be your one reason to get out of bed today. To keep on keeping on. Everyone can find one thing. Just. One. Thing. I got that from this beautiful post that I used to read every single day. Now I read it once or twice a month or as needed to remind myself. Please. Please read it. It’s important for those of you who struggle with me. Or if you know someone who does, maybe this will help them as it helped me. Hell it saved me. I found it because I was googling suicide. I think I googled something like, “give me one good fucking reason I shouldn’t kill myself right now.” And that showed up. And I’m still here.

Let me tell you the sorts of things I cling to, some “big” and some “small.” I put those in quotes, because anything that keeps you going is a Big Fucking Deal.

The things I “trudge on” for:

  • You. Yes, you. The one reading this right now. The community here on WordPress.
  • My friends. I actually have friends now, thanks to this space. And you mean the world to me.
  • The smell of freshly cut grass. Oh I love that smell.
  • All sorts of smells: rain, ocean, sweat, flowers, pot, clean skin, mountain air, pine…
  • The feel of rain on my face.
  • Mountain breezes and cold glacial air.
  • The crunch of autumn leaves underfoot.
  • Thick, dank forest air and the clean sweat from humidity.
  • Laughter, pure and uninhibited.
  • A purring feline nestled against me.
  • Books and words and thoughts and challenged perspectives.
  • Popsicles on 105 degree August days.
  • The new Deftones album I’ve yet to listen to.
  • I want to thru-hike the PCT.
  • I want to jump out of an airplane.
  • I want to sit on the steps of Montmatre.
  • I want to walk the cobblestone streets of Prague.
  • I want to kayak Class IV and V rapids.
  • I want to fix up an old sailboat myself, learn to sail and take that bitch for an epic excursion.

There are so many reasons, y’all. And all you need is one. One reason. One little reason for each day. Maybe it’s the same reason over and over. Maybe it’s something small. Maybe it’s something grand. But all you need is one. And I know good and damn well everyone has at least one.

Find it. Ask yourself what you live for. What your simple and grand joys and visions are. Find them. And then reach out. Reach out for those glimmers of hope. And once you’ve found them and reached for them, pursue them. I will never kayak Class V rapids, until I learn how to control my kayak in Class II and III rapids and overcome my fear of great depths in water. I will never accomplish that sitting on my ass or crying in bed all weekend.

Life is a bitch sometimes. It’s just a point of fact. It would be so easy to pull a trigger and end it all. So. Fucking. Easy. But you’re still here reading, because you’re looking for a reason not to.

Know this: the only thing that 100 percent CANNOT be changed or undone is death. Everything is in your power to change or improve upon. Except your death. You cannot change that. You cannot undo it. You cannot try again. You cannot start over. And you will never get that first kiss. You will never climb that mountain. You will never see that open air opera in Rome. You will never land your dream job. You will never learn how to bake that cake. You will never have that cottage near the forest. If you pull the trigger.

Depression is strong and deceptive. You have to fight it. Fight for your life. The glimmers of hope aren’t going to track you down and save you. You have to extend your hand. Reach for them. Then tomorrow, you can get up and take one step forward. And another step the day after.

And before you know it, you’re no longer surviving.

You’re living.

Much Ado About Everything (AKA Damned if You Do(n’t))

I…

…don’t know what to write.

I have yet to read a book this year. I keep trying, but nothing holds my focus or interest. I keep trying to read blogs. Articles. Even the rare thought-provoking Facebook post. I can’t. Fucking. Do it. Same with writing. I can’t think of anything to write about. Part of me wants to write. (The part of me that’s here writing this.) The other part of me couldn’t care less. (The part of me that cannot come up with anything to talk about right now.) It’s maddening. On slow days at work – I shit you not – so many times I’m just staring at the monitor or wall. Just fucking staring. I want to read. I want to write. It’s like I can’t.

Is it the medication?

Maybe.

Possibly.

Probably.

Speaking of (psychiatric) drugs, I’m only on Lexapro and Seroquel now. I’ve been through three anti-psychotics so far…Geodon and two others I’ve already forgotten. All three fucked me up in a major way. I’m not having major negative (discernible) side-effects from Seroquel, but…but I feel even more numb than I did before I was on it. I smile and laugh and crack the occasional snarky remark. But, for the most part, it doesn’t reach beyond the surface.

pills
At one point, I was on at least 12 scrips at once (that I can recall) and felt worse than I ever have. Against doctors’ orders, I’m down to five plus an OTC antacid. And I still think I can do without Seroquel.
I am still taking the sleepytime drug (Clonidine), but I’ve ceased the anti-anxiety drugs (Vistaril and Klonopin). First, I was just too fucking tired and sleepy all the time. I’m already tired all the time – I certainly didn’t need drugs that exacerbate that. Second, and most importantly, at least one of them was causing panic attacks. I’m the girl that has maybe three or four full-blown panic attacks a year. Maybe. The rest of them are milder anxiety attacks. Like can’t get out of the car to go into the grocery store. While I was taking the anti-anxiety drugs (at 50 mg Vistaril 3x daily and 1 mg Klonopin 3x daily), I began having them daily. Daily. Sometimes more than once per day. If I was at work, I had to scurry off to the bathroom to hide in a stall until it passed. If I was at home, I exercised less control but would eventually tuck myself in the closet. The closeness and darkness helped soothe and calm me down.

I knew something was fucked. And it had to be the drugs, because nothing else had changed. Granted, I’m going through some life changes right now – and they aren’t minor. But I’ve been easing my way into those for several months now. There was no brand new catalyst aside from the steady increase in anti-anxiety drugs and doses.

All that to say, I’ve ceased those – though the psychiatrist doesn’t know. When I tried to share my observations, she insisted I was better off with the meds than without – to the point where she brought up hospitalization again, as though holding that over my head if I didn’t take the pills. So I lie and tell her I’m still on everything except the ones where I have pictorial evidence of bad side-effects (like the big, burny rashes). I even asked her at one point if she wanted pics of vomit. (While I am a smartass, I don’t often use it with willfully mean intent. But she was basically accusing me of lying to her and being treatment resistant – hence my offer.) So now I really am lying to her, and I fucking hate it. It pains me so to admit it, because I hate lying. I hate liars. I used to say liars and thieves, but really they’re the same thing. A lie is theft of truth. So to tell a lie is to become both a liar and a thief. Next time I see her, I’m going to tell her. Just flat out tell her, and by then I will be able to tell her that I’ve been off of them long enough to know for damn sure they were doing more harm than good. Hell, they were doing no good and only harm.

But what about publife?

Once I took myself off of the anti-anxieties, I was strangely able to appreciate my anxiety. I’d gone weeks with severe daily panic attacks. So now that things had calmed back down to being too nervous to go into the grocery store, rather than pulling my hair and rage-screaming, I was less concerned.

So much so that I was finally able to push myself far outside my comfort zone and go to a pub – not once, but three times. And one of them was alone! I even took myself to the movies and to a concert – solo!

But here’s the thing…the Saturday and Sunday immediately subsequent to two of those pubnights?

In bed. Crying. Sleeping. Contemplating. Crying. Sleeping.

You get the idea.

It’s important to me that I share this here, because for anyone else going through what I’m going through, I don’t want to give the impression that this depressed introvert was “healed” after a few nights of bravery. I wasn’t. I’m not. Though I am proud of myself for pushing outside my comfort zone and even doing something I’d never done before, I also realize that wellness is an ongoing process. That goes for mental and physical health and wellness.

Last time, I only talked about the good shit. But it’s important to show the other side. What happened after the Happy Hour High.

The extreme highs of forced extroversion (that was honestly quite fun and liberating – errr aside from pubnight #3 which was an epic fucking disaster), followed by quiet solitude…well, let’s say that combination resulted in major emotional backlash for me. So. On this journey of mental wellness, I have to eventually discover a way to at least minimize the extroversion hangover caused by going from being ON to being alone and exhausted.

I haven’t been back out since the failed third Happy Hellish Hour, and I’ve had a negative urge to. Until Friday. I could have done Happy Hour after work. But..I kinda didn’t wanna. Because while I now know that I can do it, I also found it far more fun when I was with people than when I went alone. Frankly, it’s depressing. It was awesome in a lot of ways, and I was so fucking proud of myself. But. It’s also me. Sitting alone. At a bar. Alone. On a Friday night. Out. In public. Did I mention alone? Yeah. So while I kinda wanted to go, I didn’t. 

Then again, maybe that’s the drugs, too. Fucked if I know. What I do know is that my slowass pace doesn’t mean I’ve stopped progressing.

I’m trending upward. That’s right. Slowly but surely, I’m trending upward. Speaking of which…

Inching along the Oregonton Trail

OregonTrail

I continue to make progress (albeit slow) toward getting myself up to Oregon or Washington.

The yard is landscaped just along the front of the house. Azaleas, some fast growing lantanas, and some gorgeous annuals in window boxes. The house looks adorable. Fucking adorable. It went from ghetto to adorable in a flash. It’s amazing the effect flowers have on a house’s appeal.

As far as the house goes, there are still some hurdles before it can be put on the market. The driveway has to be re-graveled. The laundry room floor has to be painted (the previous owner painted it, and it looks ridiculous). The kitchen floor needs some tiles replaced. Other than that, it’s down to scrubbing and little things like window blinds and light bulbs here and there.

Strongly considering figuring out how to do it For Sale by Owner. It’s the legal shit that concerns me, not the showing. My boss is flexible, so I could show it on evenings, weekends and the occasional midday during the week. I’ve learned that hiring a realtor will take all of the little equity I’ve got in the house. I can’t afford to lose that, so I have to find another way. Enter FSBO.

I’ll do my research and give it a go. 

On the job front, I’ve stopped applying for now. I’ve had several interviews, but I have a solid lead thanks to a VIP at work. When he found out about my plans, he asked for my resume and sent it to another VIP in Vancouver, Washington. He tells me it’s solid and to bide my time while I sell my house. So I’m gonna let that simmer for a while and pour all my focus into the sale. 

~

This post took three days to write. That’s how bad my “block” is. I know this is an abrupt conclusion, but I don’t really know what else to say.

Until next time, y’all are the best. I’m not neglecting you on purpose.  This “block” is maddening! Hope everyone is well and happy!

(Don’t) Forget to Remember Me

Do you remember how dependent I was upon you?
Do you remember how I couldn’t sleep unless I was in your bed, being your Big Spoon?

Every night.

Do you remember sweeping my hair back and drying my tears?
Do you remember reassuring me that it wasn’t my fault, the things he did?

To all of us.

Do you remember telling me you’d always be here?
Do you remember saying you’d never abandon me, because you loved me?

For a time.

Do you remember helping me learn how to read before kindergarten?
Do you remember telling me how proud you were that I could read at your level by second grade?

And that you were jealous.

Do you remember brushing my long hair?
Do you remember telling me how beautiful the curls were?

Then ripping through them.

Do you remember laughing when I tried to playfully coax you from your depression?
Do you remember telling me I would make a great comedian someday?

But not today.

Do you remember when I had a nightmare you died, so I called you sobbing in the middle of the night?
Do you remember telling me that you loved my big heart of gold, and you’d never?

Go away.

Do you remember when I screamed at him, to get off of you?
Do you remember how hard I tried to take care of you?

Of all of us.

Do you remember telling me to get over it?
Do you remember telling me I should forgive him and be by his side?

No matter what.

Do you remember promising me a special gift like you’d given the others?
Do you remember crocheting half of it and bringing it to me in a garbage bag?

Forever unfinished.

Do you remember the big green plastic cup?
Do you remember drinking until your eyes were glassy and your speech slurred?

Only water.

Do you remember all the sleepless nights?
Do you remember all the men from the Internet?

Unraveled.

Do you remember the intervention?
Do you remember saying nothing was wrong, but you’d never speak to us again?

How dare we care.

Do you remember being the only one at the wedding?
Do you remember having a tantrum and making it all about you?

Cried all night.

Do you remember telling me I wasn’t praying hard enough?
Do you remember telling me I was being punished for something?

Barren.

Do you remember telling me my vocabulary was too high?
Do you remember saying it was disrespectful to ever ask why?

Sheep.

Do you remember when I cried and begged you to respect me?
Do you remember when I cried and begged for you to come to me to talk?

Instead of gossiping.

Do you remember how I begged for you to love me?
Do you remember how much it hurt when I always had to be the one?

To call first.

Do you remember going away?
Do you remember where I am?

Lost.

Do you remember who you are?
Do you remember who I am?

Mother Daughter.

Did you forget to remember?
Did you remember to forget?

Me.

Do you know how much I hate it?
Do you know how long I spend sobbing in bed, every year?

Mother’s Day.

I hope I remember to forget.

You.

As easily as you’ve forgotten to remember.

Me.