A brief note to a friend

A small note to accompany a gift for a recent grad off to college that I don’t want to forget. I’m writing it out on my phone, heaven help me.

It’s not perfect. 

But then, it isn’t supposed to be…  Perfection is clear cut lines and rigidity, but life is neither one.

Sometimes, inside the issue, fully submersed in the challenge at hand, all we see are the rips and tears. The chips. The fraying edges.  And we think, “It’s not good enough… I’m not good enough.”

But it’s there.  Flip the perspective.  Some stories are meant to start at the end and finish at the beginning.  Turn things around and edit them, clean them up.  Often, when you step back and look at the odd ends and mistakes, you see it.  And you realize that it was beautiful all along.

It’s there.  No matter how carefully you measure, how determined you are to count, one piece isn’t going to fit the way you want.  But that’s where ingenuity lives.  The more you work with uneven lengths of subject matter and scraps of ideas, the more creative you have to be to use them.

So it won’t be perfect.  And that’s okay.

Depression, suicide, and the ripple effect

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Sorry for the radio silence.  I’ve had a week.  Insomnia kicked into high gear and that makes me pretty useless.  I know there’s probably a lot of bloggers talking about this subject, in light of Robin Williams apparent suicide, but I wanted to speak a little bit about suicide and the effects it has on people.  This will be triggering, so let me say off the bat:

DEPRESSION LIES.

DO NOT listen to the voices in your head telling you the world would be better off without you.  THEY ARE LYING TO YOU.

**YOU ARE WORTH IT.  YOU ARE WORTH EVERYTHING.**

If you are feeling suicidal or depressed call a crisis hotline, make an appointment to speak to a therapist or someone who is medically trained to help.  You are important.  If you’re afraid to be alone with your thoughts because you might do something drastic, go to a hospital and check yourself in.  It is the scariest thing you’ll ever do, admitting that you need help, but do it anyway.  The voices in your head are lying.  You DO have family and friends who love you and care.  I don’t know you, but I care.  If you are on the edge of letting those dark voices overwhelm you, seek help now.

DEPRESSION LIES. YOU ARE WORTH IT, YOU ARE WORTH LIFE.

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Please, if you might be triggered, don’t read on because I’m about to talk about suicide, suicidal feelings, and depression.  Again, if you struggle with depression and might be triggered, make an appointment to talk to a therapist and be proactive in taking care of your own mental health.

***************

I believe it was 2008 when a friend of mine finally succumbed to suicide.  This wasn’t even a friend I was particularly close to, he was a guy I had grown up around and had had a massive crush on during the teen years.  But he was someone who was like furniture in my life – a decorative throw pillow, a knickknack, a piece of art on the wall – someone who I saw regularly but didn’t necessarily interact with that blended into the landscape of people in my life.  One day he drove his car into an underpass on the highway, a note found in the wreckage.  He had been severely depressed and on medication, and was being monitored by a doctor, but the medication he was taking was amplifying the suicidal thoughts and is believed to be the reason he finally took his life.  He had been married for 6 months and his wife had gone through a miscarriage in that time.  He had a lot of responsibility and pressure to be this exemplary pillar of the community.  I was exactly 5 days older than him.  At 27, that’s a lot of expectations and life changing events.

His was the first death that actually impacted me.  I had lost relatives, sure, but most I was too young to be close to or they were extended members of family I never saw.  But him?  That shook my core and I sobbed.  It was unfathomable to me that someone I knew was gone, intentionally, purposefully gone.  My heart broke for his wife, for his parents, for his brother – for the community who knew him.  People say that suicide is awful, heart-wrenching, tragic.  The ones who don’t get it get really cynical and call it selfish.  Disgusting.  I have a really hard time with that.  While I understand the thought process behind it, I can’t really agree with the sentiment completely.

I’ve been in that dark place myself, holding a knife in my hand, wondering if it was sharp enough to do the job.  Because if I was going to kill myself, it had better work.  And I didn’t want to be Deb in Empire Records, sawing through my skin with a Lady Bic.  It needed to be quick and then I needed to be dead.  Even when I’m suicidal I’m pragmatic in my thinking.  Though that might be the reason why I keep meaning to get my knives sharpened but never find the time to do so… But I get it.  I know how hopeless, helpless, worthless, useless, alone that place it is.  I’ve heard my demons berating me, telling me that I don’t matter, that my family and friends wouldn’t even show up to my funeral if I died.  I’ve heard the lies they tell, really, really convincing lies.  And you absolutely, 100% believe it.

I just make everyone around me miserable.

I can’t do any good.

I don’t have anyone who understands.

I can’t keep doing this.

I can’t wake up tomorrow and get out of bed and put on clothes.

I can’t keep putting one foot in front of the other.

I can’t deal with anything more.

I’m not strong enough to keep going.

They’d get over it eventually.

These aren’t TEMPORARY PROBLEMS. DON’T GIVE ME THAT BULLSHIT THAT SUICIDE IS A PERMANENT SOLUTION TO TEMPORARY PROBLEMS BECAUSE YOU AREN’T ME AND YOU DON’T KNOW HOW REAL AND LASTING THESE PROBLEMS ARE.

JUST LEAVE ME ALONE.

I DON’T CARE

I DON’T FEEL

I CAN’T FEEL ANYTHING ANYMORE

I JUST WANT TO DIE

I WANT TO DIE

LET ME DIE

I prayed for a car crash.  I prayed that an 18 wheeler would run a red light and T-bone me and kill me instantly.  I prayed to fall down the stairs and break my neck.  I prayed that the guy with road rage in traffic would pull out a gun and shoot me in the head for forgetting to signal and accidentally cutting him off.

So I get it.  I get why someone would look to suicide.  Because when you’ve hit rock bottom and you don’t bounce, when the well you fell into is so deep that you can’t even see the pinpoint of sky above you, I can see why suicide would be a relief.  The human psyche can only take so much before it just. can’t. anymore.  That’s why I have a hard time getting on board with the “disgusting” adjective.  When I hear that someone died via suicide, I don’t feel disgusted by it.  I feel pity.  I feel sympathy.  I feel a deep sadness.  Because unless you’ve been there, you don’t know how bad it can be.  When you’ve stopped feeling anything at all, at that point, it’s sheer desperation.  And anyone who knows exactly what I mean, my heart hurts for you.  I’m not going to condemn someone who literally had exhausted all their mental resources to trying to work through and push on and stay alive by calling them selfish and disgusting.  That’s unfair.  They were so trapped under the dark, sinister voices lying to them that they couldn’t see perspective.  They couldn’t see what you see looking in, they couldn’t see that they weren’t trapped in their mind, they couldn’t see hope.  Pity them for it.  Don’t condemn them.

In 2012, my uncle shot himself in the head.  My little sister’s mother killed herself a month later.  My grandmother died months after that.  My cat became gravely ill and died a year later. In 2013 two of my students lost their father to alcoholism.  My boss was close with that family. She also lost both her dogs, one to old age, one to disease.  She lost her aunt.  So much death.  Too much death.

I’m still feeling the effects of 2012.  My boss and her husband are just now starting to deal with their losses.  I still feel the effects from my friend’s death.  Death, suicide especially, linger with your friends and family.  Even people you don’t really know well – the barista who knows your drink order will wonder where you’ve gone, the family who lives two doors down will wonder, the people you pass at church or work will feel sorrow that you’re gone, the person on the forum or blog where you comment a lot.  The ripples extend further and longer than people are aware.

Everyone is mourning Robin Williams’ death.  As they should.  His death would have been tragic regardless, but it’s especially difficult when someone you think of as having everything, a comedian who makes people laugh killing himself.  But depression doesn’t discriminate.  It doesn’t care who you are or what you do for a living.  It doesn’t care how much money you make or how great your life is or how many friends or family you have around you.  It doesn’t care about you.  Robin Williams was a brilliant comedian and actor and his works touched many lives.  How many people pulled out their copy of Good Will Hunting or Hook or Mrs. Doubtfire or Jumanji and sat and watched?  And cried.  How many people posted RIP Robin Williams on Facebook, on Twitter, on blogs like this one?  Because he was a public figure his ripples extend around the globe.

So don’t say, “Oh how selfish of him!  How disgusting, leaving behind his family like that!” Because when you’ve reached the point of suicide you’re numb to everything around you.  Say how sorry you are for him family.  Send them your thoughts and prayers.  Remember his legacy.  Celebrate his body of work.  Don’t condemn.  It is tragic.  Use it as reminder to reach out to a depressed friend and let them know you’re there.  Use it as a catalyst to call your doctor and make an appointment to begin treatment.  Every life touches another and all those horrible things your brain says, that my brain told me, ARE LIES.  You do have an effect and your life influences the lives of others.

RIP Robin Williams.  You will be missed and I’m so sorry.  My heart to his family, his friends.

Just an open book, but don’t mind the missing pages

So I’ve noticed I’m getting a few people following this blog, to which I say, “Hello fellow lurkers! Welcome!”  I will take a brief aside and post a quick disclaimer.  Let’s just say that my computer has issues with capitalizing words.  If you ever see a lowercase i masquerading as proper grammar, blame my keyboard… and my lack of proofreading.  Also, my mind tends to race ahead of my fingers, so I have a really bad habit to dropping words – important words – so if something seems amiss just know that my brain is automatically filling in the proper word even if my fingers aren’t typing it out.  Interestingly, while I’m crap at proofreading my own work, I’m killer when proofreading other people’s work.  Give me a red pen and I’m in grammatical heaven.  Anyway, back to your regularly scheduled blogging…  I’m that weird person who can be nearly 100% honest online, to complete and total strangers, but I often can’t state my feelings out loud to people I care about.  I use journaling online as a means of “downloading my brain,” to steal a turn of phrase however I’m not nearly as dour and miserable in real life as my online posting would have you believe.  Just ask my friend at beautiful-scars, she’ll tell you.

Occasionally though, I’ll get trapped in a mindset that I’m just a raging ball of negativity and apathy.  I know why I surround myself with the people I do: the positive, the upbeat, the dreamers, the spiritual (though not necessarily religious), as they help to balance me and keep me from sinking into my mental funk.  But I’m left to wonder what I offer to them.  Why would anyone seek out the company of someone who is miserable?  Why would these happy people want to be my friend?  Misery loves company, so the saying goes, but my friends are not people who are seeking a companion in misery. If anything, these are people who actively seek out positive outcomes to negative experiences – the don’t just look for the silver lining, they concentrate on it so hard that it becomes a blinding, shining beacon of light guiding them forward.

A friend texted me the other day, she was feeling particularly insecure and down and asked me to list five positive things about her.  Believe me when I say it was one of the easiest things in the world.  I got the text at 5:41 and at 5:52 I sent her my first response and by 6:00 all my texts were sent:

First, you are one of the kindest, most caring people I have the very great privilege to know.

Second, you fight against negativity and actively work toward a positive outlook. Even right now, when confronted with a negative mind space you are seeking positive reinforcement so that you don’t lose yourself in self pity.

Third, a little more superficially, you have the best hair and an awesome figure!

Fourth, you are intelligent and passionate. You have done more with your life in a short span than most people I have met. You keep seeking knowledge and continually work to be a better person and leave the world around you a better place.

And finally, fifth, besides being gorgeous, personable, intelligent and caring, you’re not afraid to love the things you love and thoroughly embrace your nerdy, geeky, awesome side.

Done.  All texted out and sent in under ten minutes.  That’s the sort of person I call my friend.  Someone who has qualities so readily accessible that I almost don’t even have to think to come up with five things I find admirable.  But again, it begs to ask, what does such a person get out of being friends with me?  I seem to be getting the most of the relationship.  Then she texted me back:

And now for you whenever you may need it in the future:

1) You have the strength, beauty and wisdom to inspire the children you teach year after year.

2) You understand, cherish and nurture the creativity within you in all aspects of your life. this makes you shine above and beyond many of those around you.

3) The people who have the honor to be welcomed into your home and heart are given the most loyal, kind and enriching friend anyone could ask for.

4) Your artistic and creative soul reveal such beauty, joy and pure radiance that is so contagious and inspiring.

5) You have an intense strength and understanding of who you are that seems so assured and powerful. It inspires me more than I can say.

I must say, hearing the opinion of someone outside looking in, I’m glad.  I’m glad that all the darkness in my head that tumbles out across the page lives here on the internet, and not in my actual day to day interpersonal relationships.  It may be in my head and it may mute the colors in my world and amplify my undesirable thoughts, but I don’t present that to the world as my defining characteristic.  Who knows, I may be the very definition of the tortured artist: the person who exudes creative energy and influence at the expense of some very real personal (mental) demons.  There’s always a price to pay, a trade off.  We do not exist on the planet without consequences.  There is a scale, and the more we’re weighted to one advantage, to a gift, to a place of being there is a balance that has to met in the form of equal disadvantages, fine print, and clauses.  However this weighting and measuring doesn’t happen all at once, sometimes the blocks stack higher on one side and the scale dips down low, lower, lowest still till you think the plate will positively break off and fall to the floor.  But then something will happen, something contrasting, and blocks fall off and it tips precariously in the opposite direction.  Very rarely in life does the scale sit level, perfectly weighted with the good and bad.

This is something that presses on my thoughts, that little bit of fear that I’m a fraud, that I’m not a good person, a nice person, that it’s all for show and really my heart is black and weighted to the negative.  I asked another friend a while back if she thought I was a sympathetic person.  Her answer was essentially that I don’t suffer fools, but that I am always sympathetic to the problems and needs of the people I care about.  I always seem to genuinely care about her and her health issues.  I mean, do most people sit and wonder if they’re adequately empathetic to the lives of those who they come in contact? 

I worry about that.  It is part of the reason why B and I have opted to remain childfree.  I work with children, so I’m not of the type of childfree person who hates all small humans and wishes to never be bothered by the needs of a tiny person.  Generally speaking, I like children.  I just know that given my temperament (and B’s), that being responsible for raising a child would not be healthy for either party involved.  I feel like I lack that gene that says here, be maternal!  I never wanted a baby when I was little, I didn’t pretend to be pregnant with a pillow stuffed under my shirt, I had no ideas of growing up and getting married and having kids.  I was the kid who passionately proclaimed that I would never get married.  I had plans.  And those plans did not include being responsible for anyone but myself and my needs.  Then I got married.  I married the masculine version of myself – or a masculine version of myself, my bestie, and my mom and dad rolled into one.  So that was as good as staying single, just with more companionship.  But marrying someone with a personality very much like my own doesn’t go a long way towards developing my missing qualities and challenging myself as a person.

I’m not entirely sure where this rambling train wreck is going.  And I’m not really sure how to reign this in to a cohesive thought.  So I’m just going to stop for the day.  Til Thursday.

Caffeine is how I roll and my adenosine receptors are the katamari.

Oh, in all of my plaintive lugubriosity I failed to mention that I love video games and fandoms and nerdy stuff like that. You can skip this if you don’t care, just slide on down the page.

TL:DR

The title of this post references an old PS2 game called Katamari Damacy.  Basically, the premise of the game is that one day your dad, the King of all Cosmos, got drunk and broke all the stars and then he assigns you, the shockingly diminutive Prince, to take a katamari (generally translated as “clump of stuff”) and roll up all the shit on earth to make new stars.  You know, shit like push pins and paper clips and cats and bushes and people and trees and buildings and mountains.  Screw the earth and humanity, the universe needs more stars.

All I’m gonna say is that I think Japan must have awesome drugs, but judge that for yourself:

Mmmhmm, they were absolutely not dropping acid or doing mushrooms when they designed this game.  Absolutely not.  Ahem.  So anyway, I figure my adenosine receptors are so full of caffeine that my my dad, the notoriously hard to please King of all Cosmos, would say, “!!! We are moved to tears by the sheer size of this thing. This is so incredible! Happy, happy, so happy. We want to turn it into a star right now!”  Because that’s what happens.  The caffeine clogs the receptors, the brain goes, oh… damn… I guess we should make more?  And then I drink more caffeine to not feel like a zombie and a horrible ouroboros of caffeinated clogged receptors occur – to my detriment.

And this folks, is the part where we learn that metaphors are less effective when you have to explain them out.

TL:DR – pick up here if you skipped ahead.

So anyway, where did I leave off last time?  Oh yes, this:

So finding out that the only thing he’s been diagnosed with was stress related anxiety, I’m pretty furious.  But more on that later.

&

So, this leaves melancholic me in a precarious position.  I’m trying to help support him and keep myself together.  I’ll go more into my personal demons next time.  But right now, I feel like I’m clinging desperately to the side of a buoy, trying not to slip off and drown.

So B has quit his job.  I have mixed feeling about this change.  On the positive side, he was working with his mother who is emotionally abusive, so not being under her mood swings and censure is bound to be a healthy move for him.  I’ve been wanting him to leave working with her since the beginning.  I’m pretty sure she’s either a psychopath or has narcissistic personality disorder.  Or both.  Wouldn’t surprise me in the least.  She absolutely does not care about anyone around her unless it directly effects her or her livelihood.  That includes berating, belittling, putting down, calling hurtful names to B the day after she went with him to the doctor to be tested for auto-immune diseases.  Nice, right?  So for him to get away from her will be hugely beneficial to his mental health.  The day she went off on him, his body ached and he couldn’t let it go for three or four days.  He’s got one of those complexes where all he wants is her approval and love, and is willing to sacrifice his own personal happiness to kowtow to her whims and needs because he thinks maybe, just maybe, she’ll offer him the praise or maternal affection that in 35 years of life he’s never been able to get from her.  I’ve told him he needs to let it go because it’s never gonna happen, but damned if every time I say that she doesn’t indulge him with some sort of praise that just gets his hopes up all over again.

On the negative side, he was making pretty good money working that job.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for his quitting.  I think it’s the best thing to come out of this whole debacle.  But the financial hit is very real.  I’ll be increasing my workload by some 10 hours (I work about 40-50 on average), so I’ll be working 50-60 hours a week and it’s not going to touch the deficit created by his quitting his job.  My problem is that with my melancholy, I tend to grow extremely apathetic.  So, I have a very difficult time getting up and putting one foot in front of the other to work a job I’ve grown to loathe.  What’s worse is my boss really doesn’t care.  So long as there is a body in the store, I mean…  So I sit at work and don’t do anything because I know he won’t fire me – he doesn’t fire hardly anybody – and it just fuels my apathy.  I could take initiative and do projects, but all that gets me is more bullshit to do and no pay raise.  If my boss isn’t going to reward his employees for doing a good job and he’s not going to give consequences to the ones fucking up, what motivation do i have to actually work?  So I don’t.  That’s not my usual m.o. though, I like seeing results and doing projects and being useful.  But at this company, the owner really doesn’t care about his business making money, so if he can’t be bothered to do things in a beneficial way, I sure as hell won’t.  I’ve done that.  All it got me was frustration in that I could see plainly how to make things more efficient and profitable, but he won’t listen to anyone else.  We still hand write out receipts because that saves time and is not at all antiquated.  I do have decent 10-key though from using adding machines so frequently.

So now I find myself having to work more hours at a job that doesn’t pay a living wage to make up for B’s missing income.  He’s still going to work (at the same shitstore I do), just not as much or doing the job he was.  I do work a second job, at a dance studio, and I love that.  But even there, they downsized the studio so the numbers of classes I can teach have been reduced.  Teach at another studio?  I just can’t.  I’ve done it before and it makes me miserable.  I love where I’m at and when your life is pretty lackluster, you embrace the things that make you genuinely happy.  We tried applying for a home loan, but because of the bank crisis a few years back, getting a home loan almost impossible.  Despite the fact that my credit is near perfect, that we own the house outright, that I’ve paid off two cars, that we pay off revolving debt monthly, we have just enough debt verses income that we don’t qualify.  Our debt?  Well, we’re paying off two cars and one credit card we pay off throughout the year that holds property taxes, insurance, and other pricey expenses.   The loan would have been beneficial in that we could have gotten some needed home improvements done (the house is over ten years old and things are needing to be replaced) and some other personal expenses (like expensive dental work for B) done.  But nope.  Instead of being able to take care of stuff and be responsible and pay it off, we’re left with impending expenditures we don’t have the money for and further debt to incur.  Good job, banks.  Good fucking job.

In other news, I’ve had difficulty falling asleep, but I’ve been waking up sans alarm at like 7am.  So, fall asleep somewhere in the neighborhood of 2-3am and then wake up at 7, despite my alarm being set for 8:30am.  Yay!  Okay, I think I’m done for today.  More on Monday!

 

6 shots of espresso and I’m not even humming

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“Begin at the beginning,” the King said, very gravely, “and go on till you come to the end: then stop.”  Good advice from the Red King to Alice, and I’ll do my best to follow it and lay my thoughts out in some sort of chronological way.

Cut to scene… intro flashback, pan in and cue audio.

So around April of this year, my husband (who I’ll refer to as B), began having health problems.  He went to the doctor for panic attacks and was prescribed Xanax.  But, you know how i mentioned he doesn’t like/believe in antidepressant/antipsychotic medications?  Well, that’s fairly key in understanding what all will happen next.  His doctor diagnosed him with panic attacks, told him to take the Xanax as needed.  He had some definite side effects from the Xanax: insomnia, upset stomach, nausea, appetite changes, loss of interest in sex and more seriously, uncontrolled muscle movements and depression.  But how much of this was from the Xanax itself, I’m unsure.  Because at the same time, he got online and self diagnosed hyperthyroidism and adrenal fatigue.  I didn’t realize it was self-diagnosed at the time because he went to his GP and was seeing an acupuncturist so I was under the impression that these were doctor given labels.

Public Service Announcement: folks, DO NOT SELF DIAGNOSE.  I don’t care if all your symptoms match what webmd or other online sources say, please, please, please talk to your doctor about all medications, including herbal remedies.  There can be severe, life-threatening consequences mixing medications.

Anyway, from this self-diagnosis, B started taking a myriad of vitamins and herbal supplements.  One being licorice root.  The licorice root was having major interference with the Xanax, and is quite possibly why he was having the side effects he was.  Essentially, the two medications were cancelling each other out and leaving him with joint and muscle pain, loss of feeling in his extremities, arrhythmia, and all of the above issues.  He got to the point where I was sincerely worried about coming home and finding him dead.  Talking to him on the phone, he sounded desperate and unhinged.  I know the sound of suicidal thoughts; I’ve been alone with them myself and I know the wariness and tone of voice accompanied by them.  And he was there.  Absolutely.  I’d come home to find him sobbing.  He’d beg me to come home and not leave him alone, which was problematic as I work til 9:00 or 10:00pm some nights and he’s in bed by then.  I also don’t work a job where I can take a personal day so it’s not like I can just call in sick.  It was heart wrenching.

This went on for a good 6 weeks.  And B just got worse and worse, sicker and sicker.  I tried to help, I gave him a 15 day candida cleanse and a parasite cleanse.  Interestingly, men can get yeast infections in their sinuses.  I also forced him to cut out all sugars, wheat, yeast and processed foods.  This was around the time he also self diagnosed gluten intolerance and pre-diabetes.

Honestly, typing all this out makes me so mad.  All of this bullshit was self-inflicted because he was scared of being on anti-anxiety meds.  I understand being scared, but for fuck’s sake, don’t lie.  Don’t tell me you were diagnosed with these things when it’s really a self-prescribed problem.  Everything I did for him was on the basis that a doctor told him he was sick.  So finding out that the only thing he’s been diagnosed with was stress related anxiety, I’m pretty furious.  But more on that later.

Anyway, about six weeks-two months in, and going through intensely painful and scary physical reactions to the varied “solutions” we were trying, he discovered that the licorice root was causing many of the issues.  The cleanses were probably helpful in that it made it really obvious that it wasn’t an intolerance or allergic reaction.  And it turned out he did have a candida overgrowth in his sinuses, he had been having difficulty sleeping, waking up unable to breathe.  After going through the cleanses, when he sleeps, he’s not waking due to breathing troubles.  I can’t answer for whether he had parasites, he claims he did, but at this point I’m disinclined to believe him.  I think it’s good though to periodically reset your digestive tract and allow your body the chance to repopulate the natural flora back to correct levels and he has been taking probiotics to help give his body back some of the good he’s lost.  But anyway, he stopped the licorice root and Xanax (cold turkey – because THAT’S the healthy way to do it *insert eye roll here*) but he was so worried about the lack of feeling in his extremities, lack of appetite, digestive troubles and other issues that he went to the hospital.  They did blood work on him and told him he’s not diabetic.  Good.  One less thing to stress over.  They again told him it was stress induced anxiety and IBS.

Now IBS is a catch all term for we don’t know what’s wrong with you but your digestion is off somehow, so, you know, a really useful diagnosis.  Well, he went to a different his acupuncturist and was talking online with a specialist and both said that based on the medications he had been taking in conjunction with the sundry supplements, he’s over taxed his liver and kidneys but that in a few months, so long as he stops taking pretty much everything and drinks water and eats healthy food, he will heal.  Good news to me.  He can’t seem to believe anybody.  I’ve told him to stop looking for problems, to accept the diagnoses, and be patient.  He will heal.  He just needs to give himself the time.  But he’s still worried about being diabetic (although after testing his blood sugar levels at various times and after various states of having eaten or not eaten and every single one being fine I think he’s realizing that he is not, in fact, diabetic.  Jesus.) and he went in on Monday to his GP and they’re testing him for auto-immune diseases.

I think he’s fine.  I think he did damage to his body, that he probably did do some damage to his kidneys and liver, that he’s still feeling the effects of the licorice root and that in a month or two he’ll feel pretty much normal, and that within a year he’ll be back to healthy.  Already his appetite has increased, he’s not having as many emotional outbursts, he’s sleeping better, his body temperature is regulating itself better, his circulation is improving, and he’s feeling better.  But he’s done enough damage that he’s still a long way away from feel well.  Right now, I don’t know what is wrong with him – officially.  His blood work from the hospital was fine, but we’ll see what the tests from Monday bring.  He’s quitting his job, as it’s very physical, so right now, not only is he sick and incurring medical bills, but our income is about to take a big hit.

So, this leaves melancholic me in a precarious position.  I’m trying to help support him and keep myself together.  I’ll go more into my personal demons next time.  But right now, I feel like I’m clinging desperately to the side of a buoy, trying not to slip off and drown.

I drink coffee because I can’t sleep.

Oh hey, guess who’s wide freaking awake again at 2:00 3:30 4:00 in the morning? I slept awesomely last night. That’s not sarcasm. I finally hit a wall with my body where I was unable to string together words and sentences in coherent forms of communication, I was getting vertigo sitting down when my eyes and field of vision would glaze over, and I was nauseated and had a headache. Fun times. But now that I’m well rested it’s time to stay up allll ….

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

….llll night long because obviously.

I am Jack’s racing mind.

why hello stranger, buy me a drink and I’ll tell you the story of my life

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As far as stories go, mine isn’t very interesting.  But if you’re buying, I’ll take a whiskey, neat.

I feel like with an introduction like that the scene should fade to black and white and I should be wearing a fedora.  Instead I’m lounging in ancient fleece pajama pants and a tee-shirt from 1990.  But just imagine a classic film noir setting, the ambiance will make my whinging more bearable.

In my last post I mentioned my run in with depression and her call girl, melancholy.  Well as I said, lately I’ve been in a fairly melancholic state of mind, dipping my toes into depression but deciding that the water is too cold to fully jump in.  Which is undoubtedly good.  But a side effect of the depression is that I suddenly turn into a lame version of Tyler Durden.  However, instead of an anarchist spree of liberation, I just don’t sleep.  And I drink a lot of coffee.  So right now I’m currently in the midst of an insomnia fueled bender.  It’s not that bad yet.  I’ve slept at least 12 hours since Friday.  When it gets bad that number becomes golf score small.  But I’m still feeling the effect of 3-4 hours of sleep a night.  The slurred speech, the inability to string together cohesive sentences and thoughts, the blood shot eyes that look like I do loads of drugs, the listlessness and apathy and exhaustion.  The staring off into space and feeling slight vertigo, as though I’m standing aboard a gently rocking ship.  The point where my eyes glaze over and I think I’m going to pass out, but then I blink and refocus my eyes and just feel a bit lightheaded.  Basically, I look like and feel like shit.

So there’s some of the framework around my gloriously dispassionate mental state.  Basically this should serve as a frame of reference as I update you on some of my past problems.  You see, I’m married, happily (most of the time), but my husband has that thing where unless it’s happening to him or effecting him directly, he really can’t be bothered to care.  So for three long years as I forced myself to sleep and get out of bed and put one foot in front of the other and put on clothing and go to work and “smile” and “laugh” and go through all the motions of normalcy, he really couldn’t understand.  When I came to him crying that I needed to see a doctor that I was afraid of being alone with my thoughts, he told me I needed to eat better and exercise more, that I actually enjoyed being miserable.  Told me that.  After I told him I needed to be put on something to fix my brain chemistry, he told me to dust off the elliptical.  He told me that psychiatric medicines were dangerous.  Yeah, at that point I was long past being fixed by exercise.  I had no intention of being on an antidepressant for any longer than I had to be.  I’ve been on one before, for about 6 months, and my doctor told me how to wean myself off of them when I felt ready.  But because I was in such a bad mental place, instead of saying “screw you” and going to the doctor anyway, I went “well I guess you’re right” and didn’t get help.  And instead of my mental health being resolved in a matter of months on an antidepressant, I went through months and years of the worst time in my life, ever.

He’s also not exactly affectionate, well, not in the way I wanted/expected.  Back when we were newlyweds I wanted to cuddle with him and he flat out said it was a waste of his time.  So over the past 10 years I’ve been slowly building walls and barricades around my heart, pulling away from him.  I know online I make him sound like a complete winner, but believe me, the negatives do not out weigh the positives.  It’s just that for my purposes of you understanding me, you have to be aware of the negatives and that the negatives did effect me.  I’d say that 90% of the time things are great between us – I mean, no couple is happy 100% of the time, it doesn’t happen.  It took me a while to see how he shows affection and he does a lot of little, “hey I was thinking about you” things and vocalizes his affection, and I know that now, but back when first got married I wasn’t so familiar with his nuances.  But again, this is all backstory.

I’m going to break this up a bit.  There’s a lot to tell, and I need some time to sort through it all so I’m going to put this part out into the world now and my next post will pick-up a few months ago…

a brief, incomprehensive biography

Hi, my name is… inconsequential.

And I’m broken.

But aren’t we all broken?

We are all covered in chips and tears that have been mended badly with bits of string and glue, the rickety whole held together with rubber bands and hope.  At some point, years ago, I shattered.  Shards of me were lost, but I filled the holes with flowers and beads, colorful yarn and crayons.  So the end result is a bizarre mesh of dark, sinister fragments and beautiful, idealistic patches.

Depressed?  Yes.  Sometimes it’s worse and all consuming, but sometimes like now, sometimes it’s just what feels like a chronic melancholy.  The difference is that depression is black.  Black slimy, sticky fingers in my brain tainting everything they touch; fingers probing deep into the grey matter making everything lackluster and hopeless.  Depression is a canopy that keeps your brain shaded, so that shadows fall across everything you see, dulling the colors.  It is darkness seeking darkness and it makes the world too bright.  Melancholy is a beautiful malaise.  It’s not all-bad-all-the-time like depression.  Melancholy can laugh and smile and feel a semblance of joy.  It’s not all-consuming, but it’s there on the periphery.  It lurks around corners and creeps up unexpectedly making it difficult to actually feel really, truly happy.

I surround myself with people who are positive.  The hopers and dreamers, the down to earth head in the clouds folk.  People with imagination and a sense of wonder.  It helps.  It helps to be around people who find beauty in burlap as much as silk, who are happy to make do and reinvent and recycle.  People who hate to see the (sub)urban sprawl eating up the fields and trees and regulating nature to museums and television programs.  Who do their small part to give back their community.  It helps brighten my dull world.

I try not to lose myself in the melancholy, but people who know me can tell when I’m having a harder time keeping the façade in place.  Friends know that when I drop off the planet that I’m not doing okay.  But that I’ll be back.  Writing helps sort out the cacophony of jumbled thoughts in my brain.  So often I tell the internet things I never admit outloud in real life.  So this blog probably isn’t the most uplifting thing you’ll ever read, but it’s true and it’s real and it helps me to stay sane.