Well here it is, Tuesday. I feel like I have slept most of this month away. I am up and awake now, before 10 am, out of bed, which is crazy, because the only reason I was getting out of bed before 10 am for the last three weeks was for dr. appointments and to puke. It feels strange and wonderful, and shaky. I’m craving a mint hot chocolate, but today is shower day, which I can’t take until Andy is awake to do a new bandage on my back.
So what’s new in my world? Lots and nothing. I’ve been down with the sickness pretty much every day. I feel better one day, and think I can actually be social and do things, and then someone is unknowingly carrying a rare virus that is usually defeated quickly by your immune system until it gets to me, and then hello, it’s a human with very little resistance, let’s dance. I am sure I’ve endured the black death the last few days, and probably some extinct pox. I’ve puked more in the last 30 days that I have in my whole entire life. And that’s with using appropriate nausea control techniques. And the things I have puked in and on are countless! Plus let’s not forget that tube in my back that gives me an added thrill every time my automatic nervous system spasms. It’s good times.
The tube in my kidney. What a pleasure source that bad boy is! I did get a mini-reprieve with it, though. When I went in for my tube change, I laid down my case for why it should come out, and almost won. But using logic, my plan was confounded. We agreed to leave a tube in, capping it off, sans the pee bag, for two weeks – if my kidney goes back to doing it’s job without complaint, then they will pull it. In the meantime, I’ve discovered the sweet spot on my hip where I need to place my hand when I need to cough, sneeze or breathe deeply, so I am not thwarted by pain.
But let’s talk about pain. Last Wednesday, I went in to interventional radiology to have the tube change done. I took a couple oxy and some medicinal herbiage before the ride so I’d be more comfortable when I got there. I was. Then they promised me some more medicine, when they did the procedure. Unlike the draining of the cyst, I don’t believe they give you any medication to help you be drowsy. No, they are very kind to you, promising pain relief until they wheel your ass in the procedure room. Then they tell you to get on your stomach, put your arms above your head and trust they will not hurt you. They lie. First they start poking you in the back with needles they claim are local anesthetics. Just a pinch they say. Just a pinch. Just a pinch of the claw of giant crustacean tearing into your flesh like it intends to eat you. I stay surprisingly still for the first two shots. Then the third hits a nerve or something and I elevate three feet from the table and mutter “ouch”. I think the team realizes that they might have hurt me. Now, I am shaking from the pain, and it’s freezing in there, so I shake for the rest of the procedure. They took out the old tubing and put a smaller less cumbersome tube apparatus in there. They did a really good job with the bandage. I get to roll back on my back and go to recovery. I’ve done really well they tell me. I just want to go home. They must have given me fentynal at some point because I’m mostly not in pain now. I get dressed and they even let me walk up to meet Andy.
I was hungry. I wanted one of those turkey and cranberry sandwiches from Panera. I went in with Andy at first, but realized I needed to be back in the car, so I gave him my order and went outside. He brought out the goods and I ate a cookie and some lemonade. I thought I was going to be fine. Just not really hungry. The sandwich could wait. Then the meds started to wear off. I didn’t bring any with me. In the next ten minutes, my pain went from 2 to 2.4 trillion. Every inch from my waist to my neck on the right side of my body was a fucking minefield of pain. I do not exaggerate when I say that speaking hurt me. Breathing hurt. Coughing was some primitive torture activity. I couldn’t cry, I couldn’t talk, I could only whimper like I was hit by a car and left alongside the road to die. I wanted to die. I wanted fucking morphine.
Finally we go home, I thought I was going to be okay. Then I tried to get out of the car and walk into the house. Every fucking step was a new adventure in torment. I got in the house, and faced the steps where my safe bed and vial of oxy were waiting for me just a few hundred steps away. And every step found me crying and moaning and doubting that I would ever get to the bed. But I did. I shoved some oxy in my mouth, and advil, and tried to smoke but couldn’t really inhale. Then I tried to lie down. That was not easy. I literally had to throw myself down on my right side and not move from that position. I told Andy if I didn’t get some relief in an hour, that we would need to call an ambulance. I was having really bad pain in my chest and back and I was scared it was serious. But I also tore cartilage in my chest before and it often would be painful if I was in a position that pulled at it again, so it could have also been that. I was hoping it was that. I nodded off for an hour and when I woke, I wasn’t in as much pain, so that was good. I was still paralyzed and unable to move, but I was no longer in fear of imminent death. Another four hours of sleep and I was almost able to move. By morning, I could actually sit up. A few more hours, and I could walk. Things were improving.
I couldn’t make my appointment with palliative care. Reschedule. I didn’t have the strength or the energy. I had to blow off the Bouncing Souls show that I was so looking forward to. I shouldn’t complain, my kidney was working and I could move and most of the time, breathe. I was still having trouble coughing and sneezing. Then the black wave of depression crept into the space where pain had been hanging out in my brain, and down, down, down, way fucking down, we went. If you don’t have depression, you can’t understand. I try to make it as visual for the untainted as I can, and this was like the La Brea tar pits of depression and I was a fucking woolly mammoth. It was all over except for suffocation. That sucking quicksand of sorrow ate me up, and the crying started. Without belaboring the incessant crying and snot-blowing, let’s just say thoughts during the breakdown run from “I’ve failed as a mother, and Andy will hate me for the rest of his life” to “what the fuck have I done with my life?” to “I’ll never get that PhD, great work dumbass.” Until you really spend a lot of time reflecting on your life and the possibility of a very short future, you can never understand that level of sorrow or failure. People can tell you otherwise for hours, but you can tear any positive self image down to smoldering ash in a matter of minutes when you start to consider things that will most likely never happen because there’s just not enough time. I’m just now starting to realize the psychological impact this disease has on me. I keep it together most days, but when this shit crumbles, it goes down hard and and fast.
I hate to keep harping on this but I feel I have to remind people that I write this to sort through what is in my head more than anything else. If the details of this fucking monster inside me helps someone else, I am thrilled, but writing is always for me. I love that people read it, I love that people comment on it, but I love the way I feel drained and empty when I stop writing, like all the shit that swirls in my head has finally been released or at least organized. Writing also scares me – when I see what I have only been thinking appear on the page it’s like tearing off a scab and wondering if it is ever going to stop bleeding. How raw this gets depends on how much pain I am in when I write – and sometimes I hold back because I can’t face another entry that is just all about my grief, and I know I shouldn’t. I can’t – because there’s no where else I can go with this. I know there are therapists, and I know I have friends, but let’s be honest here, very few people pour out what is really inside to anyone else, because we all want to keep our pain, our shame, our fears hidden. If you don’t, I admire you – I know I have secrets no one will ever know.
So now it’s evening – I went out for a bit today in the car. Visited work until I started to feel nauseous and then took a ride and spent some time in a cemetery until I felt better. Then I drove and cried and screamed and came home exhausted. Smoked my nausea away, and hoped for sleep, but no, my feet are twitchy and my legs are restless and so is my brain. Part of it is knowing that next Monday we’ll be talking treatment and progression (or hopefully, lack of progression) of this stupid C-monster and the damn pufferfish. And as many of you know, my friends are hosting a benefit for me on November 7th here. Some of my oldest and dearest friends from California are flying in and I am thrilled – it’s going to be amazing to see them all again. And I am sure many of my dear friends that live here will also be there and I am so blessed and grateful that they are doing this for me, but there’s a huge part of me that realized just now that it’s like saying goodbye to my loved ones and I don’t know that I am ready for that. I know that sounds negative, because anything can happen, and I do believe that, but I am also very much a realist who prepares for the worst, and the very thought of maybe never seeing them again after that weekend tears my fucking heart out. Just like every day that I wonder if I have told Andy every thing I want him to know – and hope that he knows that he changed my life and I love him more than I have loved anyone in my life. That, my friends, is my nightly terror – leaving my son alone in this world. I don’t care about anything else. I just want to make sure that my baby is going to be okay and that he knows how sorry I am that all this has landed in his lap during the time of his life when he should be discovering what he loves and who he is and he’s stuck taking care of me. And the tears flow again.
I was trying so hard to keep this light and fucking positive and I can see that that has been a huge fail. So much is undone. And you’ll think to yourself, well get out there and do it! And the reality is that there are somethings you don’t just “go out and do.” When faced with what you are going to do, you have to let go of the dreams you had that can’t possibly fulfill because it’s just not possible. And you grieve for all of them. So much grieving. And even as I type this I’m trying to self-talk myself calm – I want to bolt and stop writing because it hurts so much. But this kind of pain is progress. Unlike the physical pain – which is nothing more than annoying. And at this point, more of an annoyance than a hindrance. There’s that at least.
Well, I am spent for tonight. I’ve tried to enhance this post with some cemetery pictures from today. It didn’t work. Maybe I didn’t save them in the right format. Who knows. The featured image was supposed to be this crazy tree that is way at the back of a pretty hidden entrance to a cemetery I frequent. It always has artificial flowers attached to it. And it’s updated regularly for the season. I like to sneak into the cemetery that way so I can check out the tree. People don’t appreciate the subtle beauty hiding in the places most people ignore. I’m always going to find my happy in an interesting cemetery. It’s like water is to my soul. Maybe Saturday when we go to Philly, I can convince Andy that we need a stop at Laurel Hill…it’s such a beautiful place in the fall. Just so I can take a drive through and enjoy the trees and death and decay. I am going to head to sleep, so I wish you sweet dreams, cupcakes. Thank you and come again.
21 October 15 | Categories: c-monster, Philosophizings, Profound Insights, Random Rambling | Tags: afterlife, anxiety, benefit, cancer, cemetery, chemotherapy, cyst, death, depression, driving, endometrial cancer, fear, flying monkeys, friends, gratitude, pufferfish, sick, sleep, sorrow, tumor | Leave a comment
I made myself get out of bed and shower this morning. Blame the sun, all warm and golden, blasting through the multiple blankets that I use as curtains during the winter (over the real curtains) to block out the delightful breeze that cools my head which comes through these old windows in my bedroom. (also the reason I can hear every dog-damned word that is spoken/yelled/chattered in the street outside which is why I am sitting here typing instead of sleeping because I took two pills to try and sleep and no sooner than I was sliding into blissful opiate dreamland, inconsiderate people arrived home at 11:30 and had to make sure they slammed ever fucking car and house door they could find while merrily chattering all the way, and ruined that attempt.) So here we are.
In truth, I was going to write this entry early. Then I didn’t because I was consumed by a wave of darkness and to avoid contemplating the sucking blackness, I took a nap. However, after showering, I decided I needed to waste half of a tank of gas and get out in that sunshine and try and dispel the gloom that is wrapping itself around me like a blanket with static cling. I tossed on some sweats, a hoodie, and flipflops, because it is spring you know, and was at least 35 degrees, and out I went. I plugged the phone in for music, and then headed out to the valley. Driving around mindlessly while singing loudly always seems to sort things out, one way or another, so drive it was. I decided I wanted a peanut butter milkshake and a hot dog from Sonic, so I headed in that direction. Of course, my music of choice was loud and fast, as it usually is, unless I am trying to enhance a black mood, when we turn to something in the way of Elliott Smith. But today I needed to sing loudly about pain and depression and sorrow, past regrets and hopelessness, which would also be Elliott Smith, but without the painful plaintiff beauty of his chords. When I hit the quarter mile on the Brandonville Road, I laid my foot down on the gas as took it as it was meant to be driven, easing up as I hit the decline. It felt so good to be out, with the sunroof open, and have that minute or so with nothing more on my mind but that feeling of speed and screaming the lyrics to “Keep Falling Down” loudly, frightening the birds and friendly woodland creatures in earshot.
One good thing about winter is that it covers a lot of sins. Like garbage. Now that the snow is melting and everything is still dead dead dead, all the trash so carelessly tossed out the windows of cars is heaped along the roadside in the little streams of melting snow that run along the road, and around dead deer carcasses. Carcasses, carcassi? Whatever. The Ringtown/Brandonville valley roads are beautiful in spring, summer and fall. In winter, they leave something to be desired. Driving them brings up a lot of memories – from trips to the dairy to get milk with my dad and siblings, driving past the first home I ever knew but can’t remember at the #5 damn, picnics at Stauffer’s park when my parents would spend the day arguing and the kids getting splinters from the rickety old wooden merry-go-round, summer vacations “back home” when I was living in California when we would drive all day, cooler in the back, listening to a mix of Springsteen and Led Zeppelin, and top 40 and that new “punk” music I brought with me from California, and late night drives with quarts of beer between our thighs, laughing and carefree. And hours of driving and thinking. It’s my go to to try and sort shit out, just like driving the coast in California was – well not exactly, because well, oceans make everything better, right, whole. But drive I did. To Sonic. Got my milkshake and some popcorn chicken with barbecue sauce because I hadn’t eaten yet to day. And which I later regretted, because it wasn’t really chicken per se, just some chicken like substance with coating. Should have just stuck with the milkshake.
Anyway, as I drove I noticed that many more homes in the area are littered with shit. No other way to describe it, because it’s just like extra stuff that people own that they won’t throw away but have nowhere to store it so it’s just outside their houses in different states of decay. And I started thinking about whether the outside reflects the inside, or if these people don’t care how their house looks, and when did we start being so concerned with collecting so much stuff that we don’t even have enough places to store it. I always used to envy the houses in the valley because they were so neat and tidy, so pretty, and always wished I could live there, to be away from our too small, too old, too mismatched house. To play in a yard with grass. To not be surrounded with ugly black coal banks everywhere (for you young ‘uns, there was a time when our little town was in the midst of gaping scar of strip mining, surrounded by slate banks – much of that is covered with trees and shrubs now). The valley was where all the happy people must live. Now, I’m not so sure.
Anyway, in my critical analysis of what these signs of decay and garbage mean to society as a whole, I realized it was spring. And spring means robins. I must now find a robin. (Fact: Robins, while not seen much in the winter, do not migrate, they just stay huddled together for warmth. When spring comes, they emerge to seek food – robins are individualistic birds. They only get together to mate and survive winters).
This is now a quest. There are crows. Hawks. Geese. Red-winged blackbirds. Sparrows. Chickadees. No robins. (or bluebirds, for that matter) Where are the robins? I am not going home until I find one. As I continue to meander, I drive past places with memories, still trying to deal with all that is going on in my head. I figure that cemeteries, with their vast open spaces, will be a prime source of robin findage. I head in that direction. Then out of the corner of my eye, I spot a red breast, but I am driving way too fast to clearly confirm robin sightage. I am fairly certain that it was one, but until I can definitively confirm that it was robin, we shall continue to drive.
People who know me, know that cemeteries are like one of my favorite places in the world. I love the peace and sanctuary of cemeteries. Unfortunately, and in my opinion, oddly, the cemeteries are still mostly snow covered despite the last two days of sun, and their clear open spaces with direct sunlight. Much of the snow elsewhere is melted, but not really in the cemeteries. And no robins. I do notice a tombstone of a friend’s husband – her name is on it too, waiting for her. I think how odd, that your space is already reserved. Not that I don’t have plans for my own death rituals (which some of you will now be please to know, no longer include Andy having to chop up my body for the vultures to eat for a traditional sky burial, but do now include my ashes being made into bottle rockets and other firecrackers that can be launched into the sky). I am also looking for a trash can now as well as robins, to get rid of the evidence that I have been to Sonic. I check three different cemeteries, and nope, no robins. Just crows.
I’ve been driving for a little more than two hours now. I have managed to negotiate the roads well, missing all of the deepest and widest potholes. I feel bad for feeling sorry for myself just because I have cancer, since my drive has reminded me that many of my friends have recently suffered tragic losses in their lives and illnesses in their own families, and that there are people who live in countries that have no electricity or water. Some watch their families slaughter or live in countries at war where their homes could be torn apart by missiles or a tank at any moment. And here I am whining about having cancer. I need to be slapped. Don’t get me wrong, I am still depressed. I still feel hopeless, and scared and angry. But I am starting to see that it’s not as bad as it is for some people in this world. I decided I am going to take one more road to see if I can find robins, and then head home. My world is dark right now, but I’ll get through it. I’ve been through darker and more painful times, I’ve faced fear before. I just wallow a few days and get over it. But first, I need that robin.
I drive past the spring where we’d get water in the summer and wash cars and drink beer alongside the road outside of Brandonville. I remember being very stoned and listening to the Cars debut album over and over. And being very wet. We washed a lot of cars there when we were teenagers. And drank a lot of beer. I cruise through Mahanoy City, remembering a time when it was a pretty town, much like Shenandoah used to be, but now is just old and tired, full of rotting/abandoned/decrepit/burned out buildings, and covered in the grime of the coal region. I drive out towards Frackville, past the prison, and co-gen plants, sad that this is what’s left for this area. And then I see it. A fucking robin. No mistaking it this time. A fucking robin. Mission Accomplished. It’s all hopping around, looking for food on a partially snow covered lawn. Boom.
And I headed home.
Now I’m here. I am not sure how I feel, but I know I’m going to work tomorrow because I already promised to cover intake for someone since it’s Monday and they need to be in court. And I’ll be there Wednesday, because it’s a morale event, and I said I would bring cream cheese. Thursday we are headed to Pittsburgh to see Off With Their Heads play and stay at my brother’s condo. Friday, we are going to the Warhol Museum, and I don’t know what else. Saturday, we are going to see Pennywise in Philadelphia. Now this may seem like an expensive week, but the tickets for OWTH were only $12, and the condo is free. Pennywise tickets were only $25, and Andy is paying for those as well as for the Warhol Museum. We need to do something fun, to get us out of this rut we are both in. Fortunately, we like many of the same bands, so it’s something we can do together. So at least I have something to look forward to this week – and next week is…drum roll….CHEMO and another stretch of being confined to my bed for a week while I try to like the way water tastes. Life could be worse, and that is what I am hanging on to. Because when I lie in bed, tossing, it seems like there’s not but a black hole that’s sucking me in.
My friends, it appears that most of the neighbors have finally gone to bed, and the next sound to wake me up with be newspaper delivery in about 4 hours. Fortunately I had a nap this afternoon. Tomorrow is work, and more blood tests (it’s CA125 test day) and I get two stickers this time, because last time someone was in the sticker room when I was done my blood draw, and I couldn’t get one. I will have to share a pic of my prizes in the “no sticker, no blood” collection. I’ve got all kinds now, and will have to start another sheet soon. Hopefully, blood sucking will be followed by dinner with my shark sister Ashley at this Himalayan restaurant we both want to try. So there are things to look forward too. Life doesn’t suck that hard, I guess.
The itching of my eyes indicates I should rest, particularly since I still don’t know where my glasses are. Hopefully, writing tonight will keep me from too much tossing and turning. Sleep well my loves, and pleasant dreams to you all, and happy Monday. Be a busy worker bee.
23 March 15 | Categories: c-monster, Philosophizings, Profound Insights, Random Rambling | Tags: amusement, annoyances, anxiety, bald, blackness, cancer, carnivorous kangaroo, chemo, chemotherapy, death, doctors, dreams, driving, fear, flying monkeys, hope, life, road trip, robin, sadness, sick, sleep, snow., sorrow, spring, sun | Leave a comment
Never fear, I haven’t abandoned you. I have tales to tell – it’s just been a bit of celebration and whirlwind of things happening since the pufferfish was deflated again and I was enjoying the last six painless weeks, with nary the need for pain medication. That said, I’m a tad down at the moment, and needed to write the following, and though I thought I’d keep it private, hell, why not share, I mean, you’re already familiar with my former uterus.
Stay with me dear ones, I will be back to keep you spellbound with happier tales than what follows. But today, I am sad.
I can’t remember the last time I wrote you one of these letters that I couldn’t send if I wanted to, but the sadness that lingers at the end of summer when the days are perfect but growing shorter reminds me of you. And it may be coincidence, but I keep seeing things that remind me you’re gone but still hanging around, if that makes any sense at all. I miss you. I miss having one person who knew the darkest side of me and one person who understood my innocent joy. I think of what it must have been like in the last moments you were here and if you knew you were about to leave or if you made that choice. Everything changed when you were gone.
It doesn’t seem like there’s a day here when I don’t think about you. And in my mind’s eye, we’re 20-somethings with not a care in the world, scheming, and whether we’d seen each other the day before or months apart, the world was ours when we were together. And in my mind’s eye, I remember every detail of the day it crashed around me.
I wish I could mail this letter to you like I did so many others – tear stained, or gleeful, excited, full of wonder, sharing every detail of my broken hearts and plans for the future – fat envelopes, stuffed and sticker-covered and keeping me connected to you despite thousands of mile and minutes. Stories of new adventures and days I wanted to close my eyes and have it all be over.
I know it’s a matter of time until we find our paths crossing again. I thought it could be in this lifetime, but probably the next. Just know I’ve never forgotten you my friend. And I am still mad you left me, but I understand that it was time for you to go. I just wish I could have one more hour to put my head on your shoulder and cry until you were covered in snot and slobber, and have you take the hurt away for little while. Fucker.
26 August 14 | Categories: Profound Insights, Random Rambling | Tags: afterlife, alcohol, amusement, annoyances, bear, bears, blackness, carnivorous kangaroo, cold. flying monkeys, death, depression, dreams, flying monkey, fresh, fun, happiness, joy, laughter, overdose, pain, pufferfish, rambling, random, regret, restless, sadness, sorrow, survival, thingsIlove | Leave a comment
First, I’d like to just put my personal opinion out there: Ladies, I’ve grown used to seeing your naked pregnant bellies popping up in my newsfeed. I’m happy for you, I personally loved being pregnant. I do not however, have any desire to see your vagina. Not now, nor during childbirth or the 3d image of your unborn child. Babies grow in a dark womb for a reason, if we were to admire them during their spawning, they would mature outside of the darkness. I will see plenty of pictures of your offspring once it arrives, let me have the excitement of not knowing what it looks like before it’s done. Birth is a miracle, I know, but it’s a yucky, creepy, messy miracle, and if I wanted to see it every day, I would have become an obstetrician, instead of investing tens of thousands of dollars in a master’s degree in American Studies which I don’t use daily to earn the fear and hatred of scores of families as I invade their homes to protect their children from poor parenting. Please let me defer the joy of meeting your child on the interwebs until after they are detached from the placenta. Your cooperation is appreciated.
Advisory: I am still in the black void of depression. You’d probably be better served eating ice cream. Or watching Netflix. If you continue, please remember that this blog isn’t a cry for help or attention, it’s my therapy to work out the shit that’s in my head. I enjoy you sharing my world with me, but not because I need you to do anything about it.
Alas, the joy sucking depression continues to oppress me. I enjoyed another Saturday in bed yesterday, although I managed to leave the comfort of my completely uncomfortable bed to shop for food. Today I sprayed toxic chemicals in the shower. And tried to kill the giant fly that has invaded my space to torment me. I wake up crying. I peek out the window at the sun shining and wish for rain. I think about leaving the house and really only want to go sit in the peace and quiet of the cemetery so I can be one of those people that people visiting in the cemetery wonder why that person is sitting there in their car. It’s quiet there and there are very few people who will try to engage a stranger sitting in her car in a cemetery in casual conversation. Cemeteries also have squirrels and crows to entertain you. At least it’s out of the house.
One of the hardest parts of feeling like this is trying to get past the whole belief that it’s a mindset and not a chemical imbalance. Like I could somehow just think positive thoughts and shit would magically change. I want to believe this. I spend a lot of time thinking how much more fortunate I am than the people who lose people they love, have to hide who they are, are homeless, have physical disabilities, are dying. I see these stupid movies about people who are dying and have this great zeal to live every minute and all it does is make me feel bad that I can’t turn this shit off and be like that. Why can’t I just be enthusiastic about every fucking thing? And the self-loathing increases a hundred-fold. Because not
only am I in the throes of depression, I am a completed and abject failure because I live a fucking mediocre life and don’t do amazing things. Or even semi-good things. Or even things. Unless you count blogging and watching Snapped: Killer Couples marathons as things.
Ugh. I can honestly say that this isn’t the worst it’s ever been. I’ve been in far darker abysses (abyssi?) than this. I’ve hated happy people more bitterly and I’ve felt less human. I guess that could be considered a positive. Ironically, I continue to do some of my best life coaching for others while I hate everything about my own. I really want this fly to be dead. I really want no advice or consolation. I just want to go to sleep and wake up with enthusiasm to face the day. That’s not to say that I don’t have any desire to do things – one of the great benefits of depression is that in the attempt to escape the horror of one’s current predicament, one often finds themselves dreaming of what they should do to make their life better by choosing rather impractical solutions. Like quitting one’s job and buying a houseboat. Or a tiny house. Or taking to the road in a car and living in it. Or getting a dumpster and throwing everything you own into it. Or spending an inordinate amount of time on how to transform one’s life, because you know you have no desire to do it. Or doing digital jigsaw puzzles, hoping that this time, the picture won’t include some kitten that you just want to smash with a hammer. Or wishing you could live in a commune with people who laugh at your nerd jokes and want to talk about books and philosophy and raise organic vegetables and alpacas and pigs.
Ultimately, you get up, take your pills, suffer through another day, knowing that one morning this seemingly endless slog through the days will have ended, and you get an awesome day, where you laugh and cry and make amazing memories. And then you’ll have another hurdle tossed in front of you and another setback, but you’ll make it through, marveling that other people have lives that aren’t lived in spite of the blackness. In the meantime, I’ll feel guilty that I can’t be like other people and that the way I feel right now makes other people feel uncomfortable, and that I can’t just turn it off.
Or maybe I’ll take a shower. And move my contemplative angst all the way out to the front porch.
Caution: It has come to my attention that sucking blackness has arrived for one of its destructive visits. If you care about me, you will not ask me how I am, or suggest happy things or try to elevate my mood. Trust me when I say I am on it, but as anyone with depression can tell you, depression isn’t something you switch on or off, or can wish away. I will get through this as I have through every other episode, but not without my usual bitterly wry assessment of what this torment feels like.
If depression was a circle of hell, Dante would have described it as being damned to an unlit coal mine inside of a supermassive black hole in which there was a bubbling pit of tar and the damned would be drowning in it, while crying tears of blood. No, really. It’s exactly that. When it’s under control, it’s a black cloud following me around, rumbling and grumbling, but not surrounding me. Today, I feel like my soul has been ripped from my body and I start crying at fucking butterflies. I thought I was just being cranky on Saturday, but I knew then. I tried to sleep it away. Nope, not gonna happen. So I got out in the sun and took some vitamin d and b and drove fast and screamed along to music at the top of my lungs until I was sure my throat was bleeding. (I am sure there were also some innocent ears bleeding too, because that stereo in the car is an harman kardon, and it’s LOUD, and I was singing/screeching louder.) Unfortunately there are pauses between songs during which sorrow spilled out of my eyes like rain in gutters after a storm.
Now I’m in it. It’s like a huge fucking weight crushing me. Squashing me like a bug. I can’t talk about it because it only turns the sobbing on. Talking doesn’t help it. There’s nothing I or anyone else can do. I have to ride it out. That’s what sucks about this disease. It’s a waiting game or, if I want to be generous, a challenge. Writing does help, because it lets me give it shape and form, a giant fucking monster made of molten coal that squirms and oozes all around me with its fucking stupid gaping mouth making sucking sounds. It just sits there, mocking me. And all I can do is write, jam b vitamins down my throat, take my happy pills and be grateful that I still have the strength to get out of bed and go to work. The only plus of this despicable plague is that I also become brutally sarcastic. I should have known I was teetering on the edge when I decided to write the “I Hate Everyone and Everything” song. Which was really just a title, and no lyrics.
I woke up crying early Saturday morning. I had had the most vivid dream, which I may or may not blog about another day. I woke up crying. It should have been a clue. But no, I wanted so badly to believe that I had this shit locked down, I wasn’t accepting it. I wasn’t even buying it until I was driving to an appointment today, and I started weeping like a banshee. Thank dog for sunglasses. But I pulled out the happy face, dried my eyes, and got through the afternoon. And mourned the fact that I need to stay put for another three years because I need fucking healthcare. Yes, we have guaranteed healthcare now, but just like before the affordable care act, there is healthcare and then there’s good healthcare. I have good, even excellent, healthcare, and I am stuck in a job and a state that add nothing to my rainbow of happiness because I have a body and mind that have defects that require superb medical attention. Stupid body. Stupid brain. And just so you can get a really good understanding of how my depression works, as I was driving I saw a perfectly lovely bird flying in the gorgeous blue sky on a delightful June day. For about 30 seconds I though “I wish I was a bird” and then bam! My brain switched over to this: no, I don’t want to be a bird, because I would probably be starving most of the time, or attacked by a hawk or a vulture or shot to death by some sociopathic child with a bb gun. Or pecked to death by other birds. Oh look at those pretty rhododendrons, how gorgeou….wait they are already dying, everything is dying, death everywhere, summer is almost over, it’s going to be winter again, I hate winter, why does everything die, why are we even here, life is hard and it sucks and I am going straight to bed when I get home, I don’t even want to talk to anyone or see anyone, ever. Yes, laugh, it is funny, and also horribly sad.
On the plus side, I still get up and go to work. I put that smiling mask on and function, because I have to. And I cling to the fact, that it will pass. Hopefully soon, because I have enough shit in my life that I don’t really need the added bonus of a sucking pit of despair right in the center of my chest (although I wouldn’t complain if it actually sucked out fat instead of joy).
And that is that. I am going to go brood, mindlessly wishing that the sky would turn black and we’d have an awesome thunderstorm, because I appreciate when the weather mirrors my mood. Maybe I’ll get out some black paint and do a depression self-portrait that someone will buy for $10 and later sell for millions after my death.
That is all.
I was not able to upload that picture.
So instead I uploaded this small monkey
who is contemplating tearing the heart out of this white pigeon
others often call doves.
WARNING: Reading this could make you hurt. It’s making me hurt.
It’s fall. I hate it. Everything is dying and it reminds me of all the people I’ve lost in my life and how certain people have left a huge gaping hole that has never been filled. And what’s sadder still is only one or maybe two people understand who left that hole in my life. Honestly, there are less than five who really know that much about me to understand it and even less who have seen the that dark place I go to at this time of year just because it’s fall.
This year it seems harder and it’s probably because of that milestone birthday looming around the corner. I am starting to look hard at my life and realize that there are things that were dreams that are unlikely to happen. Like my modeling career. Seriously though, there are things that are lost to me forever and I know I shouldn’t be looking back, I should be looking forward but I need to acknowledge and mourn what’s lost to me before I can try to find a new way. I never thought at this point in my life I would be where I am and I never thought I would let so much fear stand in my way of doing what I want. I used to be fearless. And not just about the cancer. That was a different fearless. I used to just do what I wanted. And I am so afraid of people thinking I am weak, and disappointing people who look up to me to inspire them, and disapproving looks and letting people down. I shouldn’t care what anyone thinks but me. And yet I do. And I am mad at myself because at this point in my life I should be beyond that. It makes me feel like a needy child. I don’t know why I need approval. It shouldn’t matter what other people think. It should matter what I think.
I know where it comes from. It’s all in one of those stupid shoe boxes in my subconscious where I stuff all the hurt. All the disappointment, inadequacies, the shame, the failures, the let-downs, the fuck-ups. The secrets no one knows and the things that I’ll never tell. And maybe it comes from the fact that I am so afraid if people really knew everything I’ve done, everything I’ve seen, they wouldn’t like me. The same reason I am hiding in this barricade of fat – because if I got close to someone again, they might actually care about me and I am not gonna risk being in love again.
Yeah, so this is painful honest and brutal tonight. And you know, I’m actually embarrassed and thinking maybe I shouldn’t post this, because it might upset someone. And then I think I don’t want people to feel sorry for me. And then that strong me, that’s buried under the fat and the sloth, and the shame, and the fear, trying to scream “fuck that, it’s what you need to say”. I’m listening to you little voice. I need to listen to you more. I need to pick at this scab. And the snarky me is saying no, what you need is a vodka slushy and to have your effexor dose increased. Maybe a couple percocet and maybe you should see if Andy could hook you up with some herbal medicine. Cause pain is funny.
It just seems like I am always in the wrong place at the wrong time. And even though I know that everything that has come across my path makes me who I am, and even though I know that despite my faults, who I am is a pretty amazing woman, I still feel inadequate. My dream was to change the world, travel the globe, be smart and witty and unique, do crazy adventurous things, be an artist, a writer, a poet. And I know I have time to still do a lot of that, but I feel like I’ve wasted so much time, and that none of that may ever come true. I don’t even have a fucking passport. Who doesn’t have a passport?
My brain is still saying don’t post this. People will pity you, then try and make you feel better, and they will think you are whining and looking for pity. Then that will make you feel worse, because look at you all fucking whining like you are really suffering. For crying out loud, you had cancer, you were gutted and you weren’t even close to being the big crybaby you are tonight. Your bills are mostly paid, you have a roof over your head, clean clothes and a pint of gelato to watch SOA tonight. Buck up, pumkin.
The thing is that writing through this has made it less of a monster than it was an hour ago. And I know that there will be plenty of more dark days ahead until January. And that’s why I write. It’s better than going on a random killing spree or stabbing myself in the eyes with pencils. Although I realize I have been trying to eat my way through my sorrow, and that it is making me ultra uncomfortable, so if you really want to help me, the next time you see me shoving a doughnut into my gaping maw, say hey, Diane, I think that doughnut represents your angst…do you really want to stuff your feelings? I’ll probably say something sarcastic and eat the doughnut anyway, but at least I will appreciate your concern for my emotional and physical well-being. Wow. Holy run-on sentence. Just don’t tell me that that nothing tastes as good as being thin feels. Because I will eat you.
Thank you and good night.