Killer of Sorts

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I am such a medical marvel.  I feel much, much better overall, just of course, beyond a few instances when I thought my scalp was on fire, I was allergic to strawberries, my face was as red as Violet Beauregarde’s was blue, or that I was having some form of conniption.  Or the subtle ache in my legs. Beyond that, the neck and teeth felt 10 times better than I expected them to.  I feel a little bit closer to what I ought to be, typically.   Just…odd, like something’s radiating out of me and acting weird as it runs through my body.  Still.  Here we are.

Can’t get too hung up on that for now for reasons asserted earlier.

Tomorrow, I am a shop girl and we talk about the future.  My mentor has found another person for me to send my resume to – someone who is not a stranger to me, per se.  It used to be, many moons ago – perhaps I wrote about it here, I should check, that a very elderly man came by the center where I worked.  He was gregarious, chatty, self-amused.  One of those flirtatious old men who could be mildly flirtatious and it wouldn’t bother you because he was both so old and so kindly with it.  And he decided I had a nickname – he called me Happy.  Mostly, I imagine, because I put on the good show and welcomed him and chatted with him and didn’t ignore him as people might be wont to do with someone so willing to hang about and comment on life as it passed by.   Apparently I made enough of an impact that I got invited to his 95th birthday party.  I didn’t know anyone, but that’s never been the sort of restriction to stop me if I’m curious and willing otherwise to respond to an invitation.  There, I realized that his daughter and granddaughters knew who I was, too, and as they were likable and warm-hearted people, I didn’t mind this either.

He was a very nice man, who, sadly, if naturally, passed away a few years ago.  His daughter is the one who will be taking a look at my resume.  I will have to learn tomorrow what she even does.

I had a long conversation with a co-worker.  Her frustration is the same as ours and I can only say at this point what I feel.  I can’t continue this way.  So, I’m looking.  She, being another kind, good spirit (I am surrounded by them constantly), says good for you and I believe she means it.  We’re all worn down by this, caring, understanding the reasons, wishing it were otherwise…none of that shifts the reality that I want stability so that I can start pulling together the story of my writing life.

Also, I killed a spider in my shower.  I did it because of Mary Oliver, Nietzsche, and my earnest desire for cleanliness.  I didn’t want to do it, I tried to sic the cat after it, but in the end, it was me.

 

 

 

Presence

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A post on MFP:

I honestly don’t know how I found myself back here tonight.  I think it has to do with the power of Sundays over me to try and reset, improve, recalibrate and start anew.

I have been away for at least three months, probably, away mentally for five or six.

This has been, I believe, the hardest year of my life thus far.  My last post here on MFP referenced my grandfather’s passing which still leaves a wake of pain and this was directly followed with the loss of a family pet, very recently the loss of another, and my mother’s cancer diagnosis after 21 years of being in remission.  This has been on top of a strangling and depressing job and financial situation which has ended up with me taking on a second job, working six days a week, and having my anxiety flare up just as I had begun to get an arm around it.  I’ve had somebody fly into my life, a hummingbird in terms of weight and speed, only to fly right out of it doubly fast.  Most recently, I’ve been grinding my teeth to the point of severe pain.

I’ve been lonely, distracted, angry, put-upon and for the most part floating about five feet above my body.

I think, actually, I ought to have gained a hundred pounds.  I ought to be unable to sit in this chair.  I ought to have tumbled headlong into food and at the very least, I can say that I haven’t broken new records in terms of catastrophic consumption.  Perhaps this can only be attributed to the fact that I’ve been too broke to assuage my problems with all the french fries that the local fast food establishments can find deep fat to fry.

This is not to say that I haven’t gained weight, that I haven’t been mindless and destructive in my eating habits, that I haven’t scared myself with my outright refusals to take care of myself in a way that counts…in a way that is more important than buying a girly lotion or making sure I put a little rum in my Diet Coke to settle me down.

But I have thought about how good a walk might feel (once I got past the sense that I might have some sort of panic attack), I have thought about how good a plate of green apples and cold water and something nutrient rich and steadying like spinach and hardboiled eggs might be.  I have thought from time to time about if I could have some energy again, I might find myself in a different position.

I don’t want to say that tomorrow I will track anything because I don’t know what I’m having for breakfast.  Starbucks is the first thought I’m having and I don’t want to say what isn’t the right answer, but I honestly don’t know the way from here to the shining city of not needing food for emotional succor.

What I know is that getting there…getting anywhere…it will be a fight.  I have a lot of briars to machete, a lot of walls where the mortar has set brick upon brick between me and the simple idea of giving a damn again.

But my mom is doing okay – great, at least in terms of what is visible and knowable to us here on the outside.  Even going back to work tomorrow for a few hours.  I have a whole two day streak of not drinking soda.  I have people in my corner.  I have all these ideas about maybe, and if we, and shall we, and oh, lets that are piquing my interest.

I just thought…I could do something for this body that scares me so much.  I could do something more than nothing.

 

Spare Change

dirty-old-truck-1475644-639x503Okay.  So.  The thing in the way of my happiness is me.  If I am to gauge that I would experience a noticeably larger amount of happiness were I to follow up with my plans and attempt to struggle towards my dreams.

So, weight loss.  Right now.

I hesitate to write this because I certainly wouldn’t want anyone writing about my status when I’m working on myself, but my sister is doing great with her low-carb.  I don’t know how much or how little she’s lost, but she’s feeling good, she’s doing it and I can see a difference and I hardly pay any attention to anything.   There is, not an insignificant amount of jealousy, in that I feel bloated and starving and exhausted all the time and she seems, from the outside, alright.

And I am making no money at all, (so it seems) and running out and buying fast food and eating out at places that aren’t really in my poor person budget, acting in old habits, airporting as I defined yesterday.  Just thinking about the

I think, okay, vegetables.  And my whole body gets pissed off.  I get pissed off about everything that’s out of my control or seemingly so…my job situation, the fact that you can have one of these lingering powerful romantic interactions with someone and be strung along for weeks, my mom being sick and having to suffer to do what we can to destroy the sickness and getting messages from my vacationing sister about how I need to be reacting and behaving right now.  And in that space, being able to have a sandwich or a piece of pizza or four or five peanut butter cups to quash hunger and everything else attached to hunger, is magic.

It feels like sidestepping the effects of time.

Yesterday’s truth: There is no day outside of the chain of days, time does not stop and restart, we don’t escape life to some other place.  We just live in or out of fear.

This is the story of the fat people of the world.  Sometimes.  Some of them.  Of me. The Brene Brown bonafide truth that you feel freaked out and vulnerable and you do whatever you feel is necessary to excise those feelings.  Eating, when you’re scared of your own power, is this magical shield that is also a sword.  It just shuts off the thoughts for a while.  I feel like if I am vulnerable to my thoughts, I’ll lose ground, not gain it. Start panicking about driving which I’ve mostly avoided for the past three or four months.  I’ll look around and see what I’m currently half-blind to – real unhappiness with the treatment I accept, real fear, real sense of time slipping out of my hands.  It’s all the mental surgery I don’t get anesthesia for.

I’ve put forth this diatribe before.  I’ve danced the dance, lit the candles, stood very still and waited for signs to emerge.

Yet. At the bottom line, it’s will I do it or won’t I do it?  Right now, I don’t have the strength of will to curb things slightly.  Right now, I want a big act or nothing.

Hmm.

Chicken Trenta

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Oh, blog, oh, blog, oh, blog.   I am grateful for you tonight.  First, we speak of the world, which is scary and awful when we try to swallow the whole of its suffering in one choked-down gasp.  What am I supposed to do? is the phrase that comes to mind and the only answer I have is…just don’t make it worse.

And then, I speak of the storms inside the teapot.

While I was quietly telling old ladies their tiny, bony bodies are not too fat for the top they want to buy, my own world was flipping and flopping around.

The good news…god, that is a fucked-up way of saying it, but the good enough news is my mom has to start chemo on Friday providing insurance covers it.  It’s only good in that they were lucky to find the cancer at all, lucky to find it before she even felt symptoms, and its of a sort (I need to get the exact name, though I don’t exactly want it as if I know its name, I am allowing it a place or a voice here) that has a high survival rate, even if the fact that it’s a second time, apparently makes it harder.  Harder, easier, it’s all just words.  It’s all just shit no matter which hand it’s piling up in.

So I’ve grasped that by a pinky, by a fingernail, by a hair’s breadth and that’s rattling around in my head and in this head is also the fact that I have advanced at least to the next stage in this job application.  I have to offer up basic details about how I know how to use Word, Excel, and how to be in an office.  I think I can do that.  It makes you think for an instant that you’re in the running, but I think there’s probably at least 50 or 100 other people who bothered to apply.  There’s no reason to even worry about driving there, there’s no reason to even think about the trauma of quitting.

That said, now, two out of our office of six have quit/resigned.  One of which I learned about tonight via Facebook.  So that’s another stressful goddamned piece of news.  While I have been slowly trying to get my act together to leave, everyone else is whooshing out the door.  It can’t be good for anyone and not for my martyr complex that feels like someone’s just looking for the hammer to nail me to the office door.

And I am only 99% sure I locked the inner door at the shop.  I did.  I must have.

A headache, an sense of tiredness that I’m only beginning to register, and a wave of just wanting to be looked after is rolling over me.  I just want yesterday’s Okay, false as it is, to play one more song.  I just want to close the door and hear silence.  That’s dramatic.  I just want the earth to stop shaking so I can stand up straight.

C’est impossible!

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First, this.

Thing one.  I refuse to be a prisoner of my thoughts, which is to say I refuse to categorize thoughts which are okay to think, and fretful, frightening thoughts as elsewise.  It creates such a cell.  If a stray news story about bone marrow comes, I flip the channel, I can’t allow it in.  I can’t let it touch me.  And that is not a way to live.

I still have not heard news on my mother and I am recalcifying around the desire to know.  I will have to know.  I will have to be involved.  I want to support and be there.  But I have such a thing in my head related to health and bad health news for the people I care about that I feel as though I am waiting for someone to shoot me with a gun.  That there is no middle ground option and there absolutely, most likely, will be.  There are a whole range of options and possibilities and I am just the person standing around hearing the news.  Not, at this moment, the person going through it.  I think I feel as though my empathy means I could get close enough to experience it as if it were happening to me, and then, somehow, it will be happening to me.

We have the family history.  We have it in spades and I don’t want to think even jot one about it. Not even in terms of sane life precautions.

That…is a mental project.

I did not quit my job today though I was closer than I have been yet this morning driving in.  Pressed up against the wall with things I can do nothing about, the prospect of being able to shift into something stable and away from everything making me crazy felt like the only out available to me.

There was a lot of talk with the boss.  I explained about this other issue, this poker in my side, even though I wasn’t totally sure I should.  She’s my boss, not the poker.  So, I feel like I have to respect my empathy.  Even if it sometimes puts me as last priority as I experience the suffering of others, it still is a deep and amazing gift.  Just to know that you’re not wholly closed off.  That the palette still has all of its colors.

I am still going to apply to the job I found yesterday.  I do still want it, a night’s sleep has not changed that, but I think it’s a lot more sane to casually look and apply than to leap off the tall building and hope that the law of averages would catch me.  We’ve experienced that enough in our family and I know that’s not the safe way to go.  I just felt so…gah, I need to get paid.  And I got paid, today.  We all got paid.  It’s a bandaid on a gusher, but I could at least get one piece of what I am due to pay out to the world out and that was something.  My austerity plans will have to continue apace.  It’s not all that far that we can keep this up.

Staying Fed

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Enough with the Civilization V.  Enough with the Sims and the Dragon Age.  There’s other things on the docket.

I don’t think I lost any weight this week and there is a portion of this country of mine that has lost its mind over it.  However, I know, in that heart of hearts place where I keep all my best knowings the reasons.  I’ve tracked the reasons on MFP.  I just wanted reality to not win out when I stepped on the scale about a thousand times in a thousand different places this morning.

I need to buy a food scale and actually control the portions.  There was a lot of eating out and best guestimating and weak-ass exercising and body equilibrium out of whack due to hormones.  That’s, you know, what happened.  It isn’t some celestial, glowing hand descending from the heavens and thwacking me on the top of the head and saying “No.  You will go no further!”  It is Mildred, bloated, gummy, disconsolate.  She sees me striving and her only response is to slowly back away from the basement door, muttering and moaning, and calculating the heuristics of how best to coerce me back inside.

And it’s a beautiful day.  It’s 70 degrees and we’ve not reached the Ides of March.  I have no interest, real or imagined, in hanging out with Mildred today.  It is hard to picture, darling, hanging out with you again at all.  So start thinking! Start plotting it out, little Caesar Augustus of the Spineless, how do we turn this little frustrating moment of plateau into a cascade of self-loathing and self-doubt?  How do we say that there is no more potential or possibility or days for improvement?  How do we beggar her belief?

…..

Later, still…

I am happiest of all, after an insane drop-off in mood, a Mildred pile-on, not going to take me alive, copper type angst situation, that I am starting to find an even keel again.  I hadn’t eaten, I ate my meal late but fast and whammo.  Listless staring, feeling exhausted, depressed, lonely, disconnected, quintessentially Mildred.

But…not forever.  I listened to the whole beautiful Tori Amos album Little Earthquakes, I got on the bike for a whole half an hour which felt like nothing with good music on.  Even, most remarkably, I cracked open the copy of S. I ordered perhaps a month ago.  I haven’t read it because if you know anything about S., you know it’s not just a book to read and I had got it in my head that it would creep me out or that I’d not be able to give myself the full absorption that I’d want to experience it.  That’d I’d be scattered and nervous and struggle, like I sometimes do when you load the idea of reading with the need to do it perfectly.

It doesn’t need me to be perfect, it just need me to read it.  And in doing that, I’ve briefly felt the most intense surge of love for the written word that I’ve felt in a long time.

Optimal vs. perfection.  One lets you read books that instantly transport you to another world, another lets you buy books and dread reading.

I will tell you how that goes.

Ah, my friends, it will be okay.  Today, for some reason, has been all over every map, but I’ll find a new tether soon enough and in the meantime, I’m not so afraid to fly.

 

Papancha

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I don’t know how I feel about this stock photo site.  Have I mentioned this before?  Everything is a little too evocative.  A little too composed and processed.  The old site would just have a slightly out of focus picture of a pencil and I’d think, YES, that’s my life.  My life is that pencil in this moment – it is the single most compelling, yet absurd, yet complete metaphor for who and what I am at this very moment and if it’s not, it’s a perfect tool for which to create dissonance and surreality.

A really nice shot of a beautiful rural scene sort of makes me paler in comparison.  Maybe it’s better this way.  If I don’t say anything of note or value or tickle your narrative bones in my posts, at least they’ll have some aesthetic value.  Even if it’s sort of regurgitated, culturally-approved aesthetics, processed through photoshop and cropped to within an inch of its life, it’ll have that.

It is Sunday night and the syndrome threatens.  Anxiety about the new work week, anxiety even about happy things like going out to eat on Tuesday (in a nano-second, I have considered: wearing that dress that draws attention to my legs, doing my hair and makeup which always turns out poorly when I actually try and not just half-ass it, do we have time to go to the movie and eat?,  what theatre would we go to, she won’t want to go to the movie, will I eat the right things?, that place has really delicious items with unknowable calorie counts, will I totally blow my diet?, when will I exercise, I will blow off exercising that day and I can’t and don’t want to do that).  It all feels like a treadmill floating above of pit of fire.

So.  I am aware I do this.  Today has been nice in that even though it’s been a quiet day, the Broncos are going to a Super Bowl – a fact I care about just enough to mention it here and very little more than that – but it will make people generally more pleasant to deal with this week. I have also read.  I have also read an interesting On Being article about thought proliferation which you see in action here all the time if you’re the one lucky person on this earth who doesn’t experience it themselves.   Essentially, the way one negative thought or an physical action or experience that leads to a single negative thought can suddenly sour your mindset for hours, or even days and beyond.  The Buddhist concept of papancha. How we torment ourselves for the thoughts we do have and our reactions to them.  I dunno, I’d recommend it.  I also read more of Big Magic, nearly finished with that one.  It’s not Bird by Bird, but then, what is?

I am really wanting and hoping to kick that wanting into deciding I will get up tomorrow and get on the bike before work.  It does make me feel good and I have earbuds so I could blast music and not upset anyone.  I did it today and felt outrageously good – the soreness is fine, present, but fine.

Enough thingnesses happened that I didn’t get too het up about the demands of the Universe that I dreamed up somewhere between yesterday and today of myself.  Wherein dudes write back or dudes are polite or dudes are in any way under my control.  They’re not.  But other thingnesses are like thighs

What do you think, sirs?