Yes and No

Mar. 20th, 2016 09:08 am
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Seroquel, my sedative that I both love and loathe, is habit forming. Or at least my body has come to be unable to sleep without it. I never seem to get the refill in before the last pill disappears, so in rationing to make sure I have one left the night before I go to work, I had to NOT take the last pill last night. I'm off work today so I can nap. Going to work and taking calls with no sleep is torture of a new and hellish kind. Best to do that on your day off.

So sleep becomes this fleeting lover, the kind that never stays the night, even as you desperately want to curl up next to it until the sunrise creeps through the shades.

Had a surreal dream (aren't all dreams surreal? Isn't that the very DESCRIPTION of what a dream is?) about my high school best friend. In the dream she was very angry with me. Couldn't blame her, as in real life I once stole all her money and dumped her purse into a trash can across town. Drugs are bad.

She's forgiven me, though how or why I'm not sure. I treasure my anger, hold onto it fiercely, protectively. I guess not everyone finds identity in holding onto grudges. Thankfully so, too.

Lack of sleep also makes you want to wax poetically, terribly, even as putting together words is more like trying to arrange Lincon Logs while you're drunk.

Rayhawk, that story you linked to, http://www.tor.com/2016/03/15/your-orisons-may-be-recorded/ , was so beautiful. It gave me the shivers. Such a lovely and heartbreaking and FRESH way of looking at life. At possible invisible forces. Hell, even at my own job. Truly, truly it moved me. Thank you for linking to that.

I MUST READ MORE OF THIS WOMAN'S WORK.

At work I notice people on their phones during break. Always the same people, always on all of their breaks. All 15 minutes of their short breaks. All lunch of their lunch breaks. Day after day after day. And I wonder what must be going on at home that requires that much phone time. Maybe a sick kid. Maybe a sick husband.

I didn't like talking on the phone before this job. Now I loathe it with the passion of a thousand fiery suns. I don't quite get how other people would willingly be on the phone on their breaks just to put in another eight hours on the phone while at work.

But then maybe talking to a familiar voice makes the difference for them. It makes the difference for me but god knows I'd prefer to NOT use the phone to access that medium.

I talk funny. Or I talk differently. In work chat, one of the managers asked who was ready for a question to get a small prize. I responded "As long as it doesn't involve complicated math, the secret to immortality, or why there is always only ONE shoe on the side of the highway, I'm game!"

It was received well but not without significant pause. I get that most people aren't into using complicated sentence structure, ESPECIALLY in writing (most people seem to get LESS eloquent when they write), but it made me reflect on how loving words seeps into everyday conversation.

I realized I am going to be 35 this year. That's close to 40. Okay, closer to 40. I wondered what life would be like at 40. If things would progress as they generally have, where despite age beginning to take its toll on my body, I feel ever more confident about my body. I wondered what things I'm unsure about now that I will be TOTALLY OVER by the time I am 40.

I wondered if I will still be living in poverty. That part hasn't changed in 30 some odd years, I have a difficult time believing that will EVER change. But maybe, if I work hard enough, it will. I wondered if I will eventually find myself thinking that I am exactly where I'm supposed to be.

40 is a big age for women.

When I was 19, I went on a cutting binge and bled all over my journal. I then wrote over the blood wondering what color it would be when I turned 32, and if the words I wrote over that blood would have any significance by the time 32 rolled around.

Well, (1) rust colored and (2) yes and no.

Now back to bed for a nap that will inevitably not happen, but if there's one thing my tortured time on Abilify taught me, it's that while rest is no SUBSTITUTE for sleep, it damn well beats not getting any rest at all.

Will my sleep problems work themselves out in the next 5 years?

Yeah, I think it's going to be "yes and no."

Roll call

Jan. 17th, 2016 09:27 am
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I spoke out roll call a few days ago. Roll call of the friends I'd made and lost in early recovery. Their names, what they were like, the fun things we did, the things I said at their funerals. It is how I keep them alive, as once we pass into the land of the dead, it is only through what others remember that we live on at all.

There's several of them whose deaths are confirmed and many more whose stories end with "and they are probably dead now." When the first one died, I thought about getting her name tattooed on me. A dear friend advised against it, saying that by the time I had five years clean, I'd be nothing but a walking obituary.

She was right. Her name might have gone onto my skin as well, had I known what was going to happen to her only a few years after I left. She whom, when the first one died, wound up writing her own eulogy, the phrase I'd contemplate when she hung herself only a handful of years later. My friend shared the anger, the sorrow of losing the first one, saying "and now all I have to talk to is a hole in the ground."

And now, of course, should I want to talk to her, all I have is a hole in the ground to speak to.

That is simply the price of knowing and loving addicts. It is part of why I don't go to meetings anymore. They walk into the rooms on their feet and they leave in body bags. Once I was brave enough to wade into those storms.

I haven't the heart for it anymore. I speak the names of the dead who have passed through my life. I cannot bear to add any more names onto that list.

Sometimes I still get scared that Cassie's name will fall onto that list. Her name I would get tattooed. There is a beautiful picture she drew once that I framed on my wall. I knew from the moment she gave it to me that if she died, it would be what I would have marked into my skin. I hope it simply stays a framed picture on my wall.

Time will tell, as it tells with all men.

A song had prompted all of this a few days ago. A song that a friend of mine in recovery loved, and we would drive down the beach and sing it to the rafters. Shortly after I left, he got AIDS. A dirty needle signed his death warrant.

It's been 13 years since he called and told me this. He is probably dead now. And I had to wonder....why him? Why did he die and I live? Why did so many of them have to die while I am alive and aware enough to contemplate their deaths?

I don't believe in fate or destiny. I do not believe in anything that would say the heavens kept me alive because of some grand plan. I think I did the work while they did not.

I also think I got lucky where they did not. One dirty needle, one time of having sex with the wrong stranger, one bad deal in a house full of sketchy tweakers with a loaded gun....these are only peripherally choices. Any of that, any number of things that would have me rotting for years could have happened to me.

Those things did not happen to me. I lucked out in places where random placings at random times have killed so many others. Bad luck may claim my life someday. I got off relatively scott-free with my using. That's no magic talisman against car wrecks, cancer, or any of the billions of ways humans manage to die.

But dying from drugs...I side stepped that. I escaped that where so many of my friends did not. There is a song that I like that says "Everyone's choices are half-chance. So are yours."

Half choice. That cannot be denied. But as well as choice, also chance. I've outlived more than a few of the friends I made in early recovery. I made different choices.

I also had different chances. If I could unwind that thread and see where it would have gone differently with those dead, I would. I cannot. All I can do is speak their names so that I don't forget them - and know that so long as I remember their names, so then I remember myself.

Choice or chance, that is important.

That much

Nov. 11th, 2015 05:11 am
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Last night I had an unusual attack of positive thinking.

We all know how I think about "positive thinking." That I think it's a load of crap, how it can lead to seriously unhealthy denial, and about how my strength has come from leaning on the HARD parts of my life, not the easy ones.

I was reassuring Jesse that while it's going to be a lean next couple of weeks, it would get better. "Remember how good things were going at MedArt?" I asked. "It'll be like that, only BETTER, because I'll be making more money while working fewer hours."

And this is true. I COULD make that kind of money at the other places, but I'd have to pull through 50-60 hour weeks to GET there.

I'll be working only 40 hours a week to GET to those better paychecks. No late hours. No rushing to fill orders. Overtime is strictly optional. This place actually keeps ahead of orders that come in, so at the end of the day, we can just leave what we were doing and come back the next morning to finish it.

I've been exceedingly lucky that each job I've been let go of has led to a better paying job right after. The law of averages WILL catch up, though, so I know better than to screw around with THIS job.

I'm no stranger to the morass that poverty can trap you in, if only for a few days (or weeks or months). He said he was worried about the other shoe dropping. I told him I was, too, because let's face it, I am ALWAYS waiting for the shoe to drop because it always DOES drop.

But what came out of my mouth was this: "The other shoe will drop. The other shoe ALWAYS drops. It will always be like this, where the good times never lasts and the bad ones are always on the horizon."

Jesse, having picked up some snark as a survival technique for living with me, thanked me for the pep talk.

"But that means," I said, "that there are two ways to look at this. Sure, the good times will never last. But that also means the BAD times will never last, either. It will always get better, it will always get worse, and it will always get better after that."

I blinked, astounded that such a thing fell from my lips. But I also know I am right. Certain times will always follow certain other times, right up until the day we die. That's not negative thinking. Hell, it might not even really be POSITIVE thinking.

It's just LIFE. That's just how it rolls.

I once bemoaned to my NA sponsor that I felt cheated out of a normal life. "All I seem to have are good days and bad days," I complained.

She looked at me and laughed. "Teressa, that's all ANYONE gets. Good days and bad days. Just because you're an addict doesn't mean you get a free pass on that."

As with many things she said over the years, that statement floored me. But she was right. Addiction, abuse, poverty - none of those rob me of human experience. None of those will allow me to sidestep the "for better or for worse" aspects of living. None of that puts me in a special snowflake box where I will somehow escape the way Life works. And Life works just like that - good days and bad days.

One will inevitably lead to the other. I can get frustrated with that. I can be weary of that. I can rage and laugh at that. No matter what my feelings about it are, though, there it is.

No amount of remembering this will make the hard times easier. I know that much. But it does help me remember that so long as I keep Showing Up and keep Making The Next Right Move, the better times will be all the better FOR it.

Like you said, Cholula - get up, put on some lipstick, AND JUST SHOW UP. I can do this.

I can always do at least that much.

Afraid

Sep. 7th, 2014 02:32 am
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I don't want to know when I will die. But I'd like a warning. A chime, a bell, something to signify that I've a year to go. But no one gets that, and I'll not be lucky enough to receive such a thing that no other human being gets.

Maybe it would turn out to be something I really didn't want at all.

I said in my 20's that I'm not afraid of Death. At the age of 33, I'm a little more realistic now - and a little more afraid of Death now. I think it will probably grow as the clock ticks to the inevitable ending.

It's not what come after that scares me. It's what happens during. I don't want it to hurt. I don't want to be scared. I don't want to be sad. I want to welcome it, to be grateful for being able to lay down the sword once and for all.

But I don't want to leave me. I might not be much but it's all I've ever known. I don't want to let that go.

I wonder what other fears about Death will present themselves as I get older. I'm still young enough as to where mortality is a mostly intellectual concept.

What will change? Will everything follow as it has, and will I become more afraid instead of less afraid?

My reactions to so many things have surprised me. They were not anything I thought they would be. I did not celebrate my first set of gray hairs as I thought I would (and in fact had a near meltdown about it.) I have become more afraid of Death. I do not take kindly to the small presses where I can now tell wrinkles will be.

Am I afraid of getting older, or just surprised by it? I would not go back to my 20's for the world. My mind is more comfortable than it ever it was.

But...I'm also more afraid of some things than I have ever been.

I'm only 33. Does this change? Does it settle? Or does it just creep closer and closer, creaking like the knees that I can slowly but undeniably feel aging?
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Kaberett came up with a really neat set of guidelines to take into therapy - and I'm going to use these.

http://kaberett.dreamwidth.org/228509.html

"has anything major happened since last session?
Shit I Found Difficult
Shit That Is Complicated
Shit I Don't Know How To Feel About
Shit I Am Proud Of"


Whenever I've gone into therapy over the last decade, my sessions have always gotten away from me. They are not structured and often wind up meandering on tangents, which is not what I'm in therapy FOR.

I think keeping those four guidelines in mind - and even using them as a guide for writing about the hard stuff HERE - would be insanely useful. SO GOING TO START USING THAT.

She also linked me to a couple of entries another DW'r had written that was so much of the YES, THAT THING EXACTLY.

http://recessional.dreamwidth.org/42046.html (Concerning the shame spiral of Having-Problems-That-Make-Doing-Things-Problematic)

"The thing is, some of the biggest problem emotions of my disease are guilt, hopelessness and worthlessness. Our condition prevents us from doing things: as I've said before, it makes us slow and impedes brain function, as well as eating up a huge amount of energy in trying to deal with it.

(Like I said to my mother: I can choose to fight my anxiety and depression all I like, but it remains part of the landscape I deal with.)

We feel guilty for failing to live up to promise. We feel hopeless because we are too fucking tired to do it. And then we feel worthless because clearly, we are just that much weaker, stupider, lazier, more selfish and less ambitious than anyone else. We deserve our failures and our misery because clearly, if we could just Work Hard Enough we could become like that person.

We are already ashamed of our "excuses". We have so many of them. Often, we get so ashamed that we just kill ourselves to get it over with.

But no matter how ashamed we are, that shame can't fix our disease."


http://recessional.dreamwidth.org/350176.html (Concerning Trying-To-Be-Normal-When-You're-Not)

"Every once in a while, for one reason or another, my brain subconsciously decides that I am normal-but-deficient, and that I'm making everything else up, and thus tries to run the NeuroTypical But Depressed Software all the time."

So much of those things. SO MUCH.

I still beat myself up pretty hard about being NeuroTypical-But-Not-Normal some days. We are our own worst enemy - cliche, but true. And then other days I go way too far in the opposite direction and wind up letting myself slide too far into vagrancy because I'm not showing ENOUGH discipline. It's really an odd balance, if balance is ever a thing that can be achieved at all.

And reading these things helps the underpinnings of that balance. It helps things stay steadier on the inside, which helps things stay steadier on the outside. (Or sometimes visa versa, which is fine, as long as I'm taking care of myself in all the "not-evicted-and-not-spinning-out-of-mental-reality-ways.")

Kaberett, thank you so much for linking me to those.

And this -

Feb. 4th, 2014 10:51 pm
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Got a strange message from an old schoolmate on FB. An apology, as this classmate says while he did defend me a few times, he also felt he had been mean to me a few times growing up.

I remember this classmate very clearly, even as far back as third and forth grade. I actually have some fond memories, as he was delightfully morbid, even as a child.

What I don't remember is this particular person ever being mean to me. We were never close friends, but I don't recall a single incident of douchebaggery and, in fact, DO remember a few times where he stuck up for me.

I mused to David about why people who weren't actually mean to me have apologized. He said it perhaps they regret not doing MORE to stick up for me.

That's a nice sentiment, but it really wasn't any of these other kid's responsibility to defend me. We were all kids then. I feel no ill will even towards the worst of my bullies. If anything, I am filled with a profound sense of bafflement.

Bafflement that people thought they were mean and bafflement that people would apologize. Now, no doubt, I was bullied TERRIBLY as a child. Very badly. Like, throw-up-every-day-before-you-go-to-school-kind-of-badly.

But all these years later, I find out that the bullies had hellacious home lives themselves, and that takes the sting out of it. Being psychotic because shit at home is falling apart? Totally get that.

The anger I feel about those years is directed at the adults who failed to protect me, not at the children who were being cruel.

Don't get me wrong - that's not a free pass for those who were cruel. It upsets me greatly that bullying by peers has only gotten WORSE in today's world. But at least for my experiences, it's over and it's been over for a very long time.

I am somewhat sad that people remember the bullying so clearly. Perhaps clearer than even I do. But I suppose it is good to be remembered for anything, and it is definitely good that others are making amends.

Besides, this particular guy and I share some common qualities. I don't know if he knows I know, but we both have struggled with drug addiction and general vagrancy.

It amazes me how fast word gets around in that town, 15 years after we've all left it. (Or rather, 15 years after some of us have left and are still in touch with the people who never left.)

The game

Feb. 3rd, 2014 07:32 pm
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Snowpacolypse will soon be upon us. I hope. Or I hope at least early enough to cancel school tomorrow.

This month looks to be far more interesting. The teacher is engaging, relates to current events, and is interested in the social theories behind the subject of study. That is refreshing as fuck. There was also a very human moment when he told the class that he was still grieving for his son, whom committed suicide at the age of 19 last fall. It was a very honest moment that he shared and I greatly respect that.

I think I will like this class. I think I will learn things in this class.

Grief has not so surprisingly been on my mind the last week. If there is one thing that all humans will experience, whether they are good or wicked men, it is the death of a loved one.

It humbles me. Losing Molly is not the same pain of a loved one choosing to end their life. It was not the same pain when I got the call that Becky had hung herself and her two children were the ones who found her.

But it was all grief. Loss. Sorrow. An inability to understand. Things I'd known before and things I understand I will know again.

And that's okay. It has to be. It's either that or else end my own life. And that's not an option.

I don't mean to sound as if I'm all broody. Today has been a real good day. The cats are settled onto the bed, David staked out with the PS3 controller in his hands, and me with a fresh coat of glitter polish on my nails. The dice were rolled when I got out of bed this morning and they came up six's.

I'll win. And I'll lose. And someday, I'm going to lose permanently.

That's okay. I guess that's part of what makes playing the game so worth it.
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Last night I discovered I've become my parents.

Okay, so not my parents specifically, but the adults around me who would tell me to slow down, relax, there's nothing new under the sun, you're job isn't to save the immortal souls of every person you meet, it's okay to not be the most spiritual or mind-blowing or special person that you've ever met....

And I realized that I've come to those conclusions just by virtue of age. Or at least, age and humility, which when you're a normal, not-super-rich-person, tends to come with age.

And it's both funny and a little maddening. I remember being there, where the kid that I and my FB friends were talking to, where everything was so spiritually dire, so absolutely new and brilliant.

And I remember thinking that anyone who gives that up was just someone who HAD given up.

Turns out that's not true at all. Turns out giving up lofty ideas just means you're making room for life in general.

Or at least recognizing that there's nothing new under the sun makes room for other things.

And it made me giggle, because I know in another 10 years, I'll be re-reading all this and shaking my head at the lofty ideals I hold today.

Or at least I hope I will.

Seems that will have meant that I am continuing to grow up.

And I like that part.
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Everytime I go back far enough into my tags, I'm amazed at how I thought I knew things. I'm amazed at how much shit I thought I'd figured out. I totally hadn't. I hadn't and I didn't figure that out until just the last few years.

But I really envy the writing that I produced during those times. It was declarative. It was decisive. It was strong and wrapped up with a solid punch at the end.

I kind of miss sounding like I know what I'm talking about. Normally I reassure myself by saying growing up is really more of a process of figuring out that you haven't got much figured out. But sometimes I wonder if I've just gotten stupider as I've aged.

It's hard to integrate who you were then versus who you are now.

And it doesn't matter. Not really. We are who we are at any given time. But when I've got who I have been detailed in maddeningly precise words across the last 17 years (nearly 10 of it here on Livejournal), it makes the whole thing seem strange.

Like this, something I wrote here in 2005.

A few days ago, as Patrick and I were driving to Wal-Mart, I looked at the car beside us and wondered. I said "Patrick, why am I me and not that person in the car over there?"

One of those really basic, rhetorical questions with no pinpointable single answer, cause, or effect. I mean, yes, there is the whole "environmental/genetic" factor, as well as the experiences I've had due to the choices I've made in my life.

But I would like to think that somewhere inside of me, there is a piece that would be the same no matter who I had been born as, no matter what my life had been like. And I'm not sure if that's the case.


It was a good question. But the answer doesn't seem so important these days. Not that the answer is stupid or wanting an answer is stupid. But that maybe I've just calmed down. Or cooled down. Or gotten more relaxed about the things I don't know.

Maybe. I don't even have an answer for that.

Cest la vie. I guess Life needs to be a little strange to be worth living.
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I had a very nice - if not baffling - surprise this afternoon. My uterus was engaged in warfare and attempting to extract itself from my abdomen. The truck seemed the quietest place to fight this battle, so I'd stretched out on the seat in the parking lot. It was a good day for it, warm enough with a cool enough breeze and I did doze off several times.

At one point my hand fell on my pack of smokes and I decided to have one. I grabbed my phone and checked my email while I was it. In my inbox sat a notification from Amazon.com. I have a 50 dollar gift from Amazon. I double checked, thinking it was some kind of fake promo email that the company had sent out.

It wasn't. I have been given a 50 dollar gift card from Amazon. (To which I think "Holy crap. I don't even know what I'd buy with 50 dollars!" It seems that vast an amount of money.)

Here's the baffling part - it was an anonymous gift. There was no name on the gift, only this message:

"In life, there have been people who have stopped to help me along the way. When I have the same opportunity, I try to do the same."

There is nothing else, only that simple and beautiful note.

I sat back, overwhelmed with gratitude and a little confused. I do not have my email listed either here on Livejournal nor Facebook. Any forums that I visit also have my email hidden. For as much as I divulge here, I do not give out personal information. I'm an inflammatory person with a tendency to get into vicious online fights - my personal email address and other contact information is kept close at hand.

But it is not as if my email is a completely guarded secret, so fussing out whom it could have been that way is a bit of a useless endevour. Going through my contact list would be an undertaking.

I also know it is not nesscary. The power of an anonymous gift is a force of its own and I respect and honor that.

I am astounded at the ways strangers (or those who act in the guise of benevolent anonymity) can touch us. It has been a difficult last couple of weeks between losing my job and losing my sister. Hope is a hard thing to hold onto when you wake up wondering what you will lose today.

I did not lose anything today. I gained. I was given not only a sizeable chunk of spending money, but the reassurance that I am not alone and what I am doing matters.

I don't have it figured out. I'm so often messier than tidy. Sometimes I take comfort in all the wrong things. Sometimes I shoot myself in the foot just to see if I've got bones and other times I avoid moving at all because I know it will hurt.

But someone else out there sees that. And today I am reminded of that.

And that is so, so, so invaluable.

Thank you. I love you, each and every one of you. Those of you that are here everyday and those of you who stop by only once in a while. I would not be here today if it were not for you.

I would not be me if it were not for you. Today, someone reminds me of that. That someone has now become the part of me that sees all of you.

I love you. Thank you, eternally, thank you.
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I drink milk from the jug.

I know - it's a disgusting habit. But we rarely have visitors and I'm not too concerned about sharing germs with David. Also, why is it my nail polish chips when I want it to stay, but the moment I want a different color it decides to cement itself into a substance that requires the Jaws Of Life to get it off? It's worse if I have on glitter nail polish - which I often do.

Had a bit of a nice surprise on FB yesterday. The best friend of an old ex of mine is not only on FB but actually lives only an hour away from me. There's another oddity in a friend who recently moved from Kansas City to Sierra Vista. I've never actually met the dude anywhere but on FB. And of all the people in that town, he winds up on my friends list,too.

Curioser and curioser, said Alice to the Cat.The healing process at 20 )
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Philosophy Takes A Personal Turn: Or, The Changing of A Long Held Belief

We've been discussing the various arguments for God's existence, the classics such as Aquinas and Hume, the Design Argument, Teleological Arguments. This leads to the deconstruction of those arguments, the pulling apart of premises and conclusion which dismantles the entire idea altogether. Basic philosophy 101 stuff.

And it's beginning to make sense. On this tremendous, personal level. The dissolution of the ideas are compelling to me, far more compelling than the evidence provided for God's existence, and it's making me think.

I've said to Patrick and David recently that I believe if there is a God it's more of a non-sentient energy, something that propels the Universe not out of any grand design, but because it's a force of physics. That the idea of a sentient being makes less and less sense to me. That the ideas of a force of benevolence or malevolence in the Universe are purely a human creation and not any indication of the personality of a deity. This led to the idea that I don't believe this because I believe God is above the ideas of human definition, but God is the human idea of definition.

An amoral force of physics, they both said, points to a lack of belief in God. This is science, they've said, not spirituality.

And yesterday, in Philosophy class, amongst the various students defining what their ideas of a God are, it all clicked.

I don't believe in God. I do believe that I could be wrong, but per my own definition of God, I simply don't believe in any force of sentience, loving or otherwise, planned or otherwise, outside of cause and effect. Things may be inexplicable or without answers, but suddenly the idea that science will eventually explain those things came into clear view and there is no hand of a larger motivating force of influence that had form.

I landed on that conclusion with something that sounded (at least in my mind) like a resounding and very confusing thud.

Philosophy Affects The Foundation: Or, The Confusing Parts

The problem with this dissolution of belief is it takes apart a long and dearly held view of mine, something that has, at many points of my life, saved me from self-destruction and utter despair. Despite not having believed in it for some time now, the idea of giving that up entirely is scary. It feels like losing a safety net. But I already have given up the idea so it makes the fear confusing.

Fearing the loss of something means believing in whatever that thing I'm afraid of losing is. So how is that I do not believe in God but am experiencing the fear of giving up that idea?

And then there's the problem with how I see my writing.

On some level I feel my writing is a form of prayer. Ignoring the implications of the word "prayer" in it's religious context, I feel that writing is a way to send my voice into the Universe. A gesture of who I am to be received by the collective experience of creation. For awhile now I've realized that I don't believe that my voice can be understood by the Universe on any coherent level because there is no greater coherence to be recognized. But it still stands to reason that if I am defining what I do as a Universal gesture then on some level I feel that there is a larger Universe to receive those gestures.

And if I feel that way, then how is it I can feel that I don't believe in God? Because, in the end, I really don't feel I do believe in God anymore.

Or is all of this, all of this wondering and examination of what I believe and what I do in the context of what I believe, merely a transitional phase? Am I merely going through the normal grieving process of changing ideals?

This is not a crisis of faith nor a questioning of the failings of faith. I've been through those before and that is not what is occurring here. It is the shift of a complete absence of faith and the resulting lack of definition that comes with it.

I realize this happens. It's happened with me in terms of abuse issues over and over and it worked out just fine. It's happened with issues of self-image and family and friends over and over and it also worked out just fine. Emotional attachments to intellectual ideas take more time to work through than the intellectual ideas themselves, and so it seems very plausible to me that that is what's happening here.

But even as that may be what's going on, I am still really, really confused about it all.
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You know that feeling? (I like this way of starting out an entry.) That feeling when you've been all kinds of out of sorts about your life, and then tragedy strikes a friend and you realize you don't have a whiny, martyr-complex ridden leg to stand on?

Yeah.

I found out yesterday that a friend's little sister was killed over the weekend. Young kid, maybe 16. Sweet girl. You never know what to say in these situations, outside of telling the survivors to call if they need you, to offer your condolences, to know that no words are ever sufficient in these situations.

But we try.

Once again, it brings me face-to-face with how unfair life is. My stepfather is alive and well, able to abuse at will, and yet this one little girl and everything she was and could have ever been gets taken out by being in the wrong place at the wrong time. (Car accident, as far as we know.) It confuses me, it enrages me, and I do not understand it.

I know Death is an impersonal attendant, and that it is not a matter of fairness, only the way things go. I know that as we live, so shall we die. I know all of these things, and yet I still do not understand.

I know enough to stay away from the platitudes. "God has a plan." "It was her time." "What doesn't kill us makes us stronger." Those are useless at best, and cruel at worst. No one wants to hear those things in times of immense grief, and those kinds of words only trivialize the pain and agony we go through when something like this happens. Platitudes are what we say to others to make ourselves feel better, and are self-important, grandiose, and dismiss those to whom we say them to. I will not offer platitudes.

But it makes me wish that I did know what to say. Words are so important to me, and in times like these, I understand how little value they carry in helping others.

Even gratitude for my own loved ones, and admiration for the strength of the human spirit to carry on despite tragedy seems a small thing when you learn of something like this happening. And yet we must have those, or else everything falls apart and everything we have becomes small and dark and without value.

What do we say?

I'm never sure. But we try, and maybe that is the only thing we can do.

We always try.
quirkytizzy: (Default)
I hate that feeling. I hate that feeling more than any other feeling in the world, I think. You know that feeling - that one where you know that no one's really listening but you can't shut up anyways - and you feel stupid and humiliated and useless every time something you say just sails out past the conversation and into the ether without anything but a patronizing head shake, and that's if what you said has been acknowledged at all? And you know the best way to not feel like this would be to just shut the fuck up but your brain and your mouth aren't connected in any way and so two seconds after you've clamped your lips together something else comes rolling out?

Yeah.

It seems it's been happening quite a bit the last few days, which probably means I'm tired and thus the random is popping up into my vernacular. What it also means is that I find myself feeling annoyed and insecure just as often in the last few days.

RANT: And not to just the one that's implied here, but to a lot of my loved ones

Look, I know I'm not as smart as you. If you'll notice, I don't even pretend to try to be. My talents lie elsewhere and I know that. But sometimes I hate that you never tell me that I'm smart at all. Or that, when I tell you how proud I am of some intellectual pursuit of mine, that you never directly acknowledge it. You know when I got those good grades in school and I told you about them? I didn't want to hear that I was really good at bullshitting. I wanted to hear a "I knew you could do it."

OKAY, I GET IT. I'm flakey, I'm random, I'm crazy, I'm hyper, I'm unpredictable, I work from an emotional basis, etc etc. But this doesn't mean that I'm not smart. I have prided myself on being smart for years before I met you, and just because I'm not AS SMART as you doesn't mean I'm LESS smart than I was before.

You know when I insist that I write well? That I write damn well? You know why I say it like that? Because you Don't. Ever. Say. It. Because one of us has to say it in order for me to keep writing, and if you won't, then by god, I'll do what I've always done, and that's say it myself.

You complain that you hate it when I write about what's bothering me rather than talk to you about it. But you know when I read through the paper journals, and turn around and read a passage from them and talk about that passage, but you just turn on the t.v? That passage is what I'm going to write about. Whatever I'm telling you about right then, there's a pretty good chance that's what bothering me and that's what I'm going to write about.

It's not my fault if you don't feel like listening to me. You know when I bring up a really heavy issue and I sound all teary but change the subject because you literally don't say anything at all in response?

There's a pretty good chance that's what I was going to tell you about it. But seeing as you didn't really want to hear it, and I don't want to deal with the humiliation of trying to make you listen, I'll do this. I'll come onto Livejournal and I will do what I have always done and I will make it - the issue and me - right between myself and my friends here.

You're missing it, sweetheart, and you miss it a lot. I'm not being coy. I'm not being sly or subtle about it. You're just missing it.

You've said it's hard to keep up on reading this because I write so much. I do. I write a fuckton. You knew this beforehand.

Don't worry, though, sweetie. With every attempt at trying to discuss my journal with you, or trying to talk out the entry before I write it falling flat on it's face, my need for your investment into this particular part of me (one of the bigger parts, even) diminishes. Sad? Yeah. But it keeps me from thinking you're all that interested in what I have to say, and that feels better than thinking you are and then just being ignored or patronized when I do try to say something.

And god knows since I'm not all that math/book/whatever-smart asinine label you don't want me fitting into that doesn't hang well on me, you damn sure can't trust that I know anything about anything. Like about writing. Or behavioral disorders. Or for fucks sakes, anything at all. Just understand that because I am, among other things, not a straight A student with the ability to understand complex equations and have a tendency to get very excited about small things, that there's no way I could ever know more than you about ANYTHING AT ALL. So feel free to just gloss over those things that I think I know, or remind me in implications that since I don't operate from the same cores of uber-logic and intellect that you do that there's not much I can add to the subject. Because we know that people who get crazy excited over seeing a squirrel, or who get really really fucking sad about a life of loss and pain can't be smart.

They can't have any useful life-living talents like knowing how to connect to people, or how to drive themselves from the brink of death to a life lived in full. They can't do things like be introspective (that's called being mopey, duh!) or be good in school or know how to break down their experiences into a manageable picture of who they are. And god knows they can't do anything like be good at normal, everyday things like paying bills, or driving, or doing school work or writing. They don't have talents. They aren't good at that stuff. And if they have trouble with that sort of thing, how can they be smart? How can they know anything about anything worth knowing about, right?

They can't know these things and even moreso, they can't be trusted that they know anything about who they are or how they work or how they arrived to those conclusions. If they have issues, and if they are prone to excitement/hysteria, then everything they think about themselves has to be off - like, waaaaay off - and you have to remind them of that. Even if it hurts them. Even if they've spent decades in their own head, watching themselves. Even if - especially if - they've expended large chunks of their lives having to figure themselves out. If they are that weird, then they don't know themselves, and most of what they say about themselves isn't true anyways. Because they can't possibly understand how this process of "knowing who you are" works if their head is off-kilter and they are clumsy and stuff like that.

I admit every time it comes up that my brain chemistry is flawed, and that my life has made me strange and colored my filters in strange colors. But this doesn't mean that I don't know who I am or how I operate. If I can't trust you to trust me enough to think that, if nothing else, I know I how I work, then how can I trust you with the problems that come up when I do run into difficulties with how I work?

But those things aren't important, and those people aren't smart. So even if that person thinks they're smart (like I do), if you ignore them or make them understand that their powers are in being cute and random, maybe they'll stop deluding themselves that they are smart and actually capable of things and they'll get right back on track with their real purpose in your life - entertaining you.

They can be interesting, or weird, or cute, or any number of things. But they can't be smart and they can't be taken seriously. That would be less cute because then you have to admit that you occasionally learn things from THEM and that's less fun and makes me way less cute. And that's why you have me around, right? Because I'm "cute". I'm cute and you get to teach me all kinds of stuff because you're the one who knows things, and I'm the misguided, wayward child who just happens to be stuck in an adult's body. Because I keep your life interesting with all my whacky, whacky wackiness. You can't listen to me when I try to share the other stuff or else I might start, like, talking more and that would just be too much like me being an adult and that's just not cool.

Or whatever the issue is. But the point of the matter is that you can't take someone like me more seriously because it might in some way do something that would make you...I don't know, something...and that wouldn't be as...I don't know...something.

Right?

Right.

Eventually, I probably won't even care. It won't hurt, or annoy me that I don't get reassurance that I'm smart, or that I'm trying to do what you ask when I try to talk but get shot down, just like eventually I'll get over feeling like no one takes me seriously just because the fact that I'm bouncy as fuck obviously means I can't be smart. Because life will be easier that way and let's face it, who doesn't love the easy? But until then, until I can kill this idea that I have anything other than a great barometer for your sanity and intelligence and a reckless sense of "fun" to offer anyone, I'm going to sit here and be hurt and be angry about THIS feeling. This feeling that got me to write this whole damn entry to begin with.

It makes me feel like you don't take me seriously. It makes me feel like you aren't with me because you actually find me interesting, but because I make you look better by comparison and that just fucking sucks, sweetie. Really, it does.

Believe me, I understand the value in my wackiness. I understand how adorable I can be when I'm all child-like and whatever. I love that in other people, I love that in myself. And you know, maybe I should just wear that jester's hat and know that's what I'm best at, so that's what I ought to keep doing. And maybe I just ought to settle down and be happy with that, and be happy that I'm at least that and stop trying to be what I'm not. Or at least what I think I am, and that's a smart person with a wacky, wacky personality. Because then I won't feel stupid because then I won't be trying to be smart and then I won't have to feel bad when other people don't see it.

But I am smart. I really, really am. I'm smart and despite the fact that I'm the clumsiest person I know and despite the fact that I'm brash and loud and have a ridiculous attachment to squirrels and cats, I am an adult. I'm a grown up with lots to offer, more than just silly sweetness and depressing conversation. I know things and I'm good at things and I am capable of knowing who I am and what to do to better myself. Despite what it may look like, I am not a child, I am a full-fledged adult and it really hurts when it feels like you're trying to take that away from me. It feels like you're using my personality against me, the very same things you say you love about me in order to discount me.

Maybe you don't think I notice this sort of thing, because I have a hard time noticing stuff like physical surroundings sometimes, but it never occurs to you that there are other kinds of noticing and that it's not only something I have, but something I have in spades. A friend talked about this recently and you know what - she's right - it makes me even more sad and even less likely to share whatever it is that I do notice with you, and that's not what we are trying to do here, right???

I'm trying to share the fact that I'm a grown up with you, despite whatever it may look like. Why don't you believe that? Why won't you take me seriously?

I guess the really sad thing is that the answer is carrying less and less weight to it.

It fades. The need fades.


And that's really it, I think. That thanks to my basic personality resembling that of a coked out six year old kid, my friends have a hard time taking me seriously when I talk about smart things. Or when I talk at all sometimes. It happens a lot, which means I say stupid shit a lot, or else it means that people around me don't take me seriously a lot.

I'll concede to the first, but the older I get, the more I'm willing to concede to the second, too.

I'll get a day off soon, and then I'll cheer up. I promise. Or maybe not. This kind of shit drives me nuts. Obviously, since I keep coming back to correct typos and instead wind up putting even more paragraphs in. Oi.
quirkytizzy: (Default)
Hrrrmmm, let's see. Knocked over ashtray? Check. Bizarre dreams? (Chinese zombies that swelled with the bodies of the dead consumed, werewolves of the scary, blood dripping variety, and decrepit houses with rows of flickering, static filled televisions?) Check. Voicemail from Cassie prompting the usual confusion? Check.

Yep, I must be home. Ah well. On the plus side, nearly 24 hours worth of sleep has made me feel damn near human, and this is good, despite the dreams. I suppose I'm overdue for strange dreams - I can barely recall dreaming at all during vacation (so nice!). Tonight David and I run off to a parking lot that the locals use for their own variety of a fireworks show, and I'm excited for it.

I think I've discovered one thing that all of humanity can get behind, speaking as of. Fireworks. Fireworks and laser shows and lights and big booming sounds that explode into thousands of sparkling bits. No matter the country hailed from, the type of person, or language spoken, every person was enrapt with awe during the closing ceremonies of the various parks. I stood there, nearly in tears with joy and wonder, and it is a feeling that I will carry with me until the day I die. Absolutely amazing. Epcot had the most astounding display, complete with holographics and a firework related allegory of the Earth's creation, and I had to scrape my jaw off the floor with it's power.

I did have a pretty heavy run of manic days, prompted by the newness and excitement. I would like to sound a little more disappointed by the fact that I can still have them, since when it comes down to it, I actually enjoy days like that, but I understand why they are less fun for those around me. Still, it was good to know that those around me (David, and his brother Scott) didn't sincerely resent the babysitter role, and were very patient. I did a bit of opening-up during the trip, sharing with Scott that it wasn't exactly a joke when David teased me about my bi-polar moments (since I was having a time of it during the week with the up and up and up), and was immensely relieved to find that he had no judgments about my state of mind, and was very understanding. This made a world of difference.

The only negative part of the trip began with the wedding of David's cousin, and with the family photos that I was invited to be a part of. I have been very hesitant to have my picture taken with his family, not wanting to leave proof of my existence in case this doesn't work out. I don't want to be "the girl who was there for a little while", and when compounded with my skittishness about family to begin with, I told David I wasn't sure if I would take the pictures.

I did take the pictures, in the end, since creating a fuss at a wedding is in very bad form, and because it means a lot to David. I told myself I needed to stop living as if the pictures would be a lie, to have trust in the process, to try and be in this time of my life as I am. A gesture of good will towards the general Universe sort of thing.

The ceremony itself was the hardest, since the emphasis on family was very, very heavy, as well as the present reminder of my own marriage no longer being a statement of fact, and for a few hours I felt my losses as a cutting, living thing, and for a few hours, I felt very, very broken. Should I ever get married again, I will have no such thing as family attending, nor will I have that starry-in-the-eyes-forever-starts-now feeling that first time brides have. What it will be replaced with I imagine will be just as satisfying in it's own way, but it will never be that and for it, I did grieve. Grief - I think that is the word.

The night did end well, though, and a few hours from that, my mood shifted and I was able to have a good time. Sometimes the fluidity of my own moods turns out to be a boon, and I was grateful for that. And even as hard as it was, I'm sort of proud that I managed through it all without having to excuse myself or vent to anyone about it. If the disturbance was visible, it was not enough to distract anyone from the wedding, and I count that as a personal victory. A wedding is not the place to have a weepy breakdown of grief and self-pity, and for once, I kept to that rule.

Go me!

Besides, the catered food was abso-fucking-lutely delicious. That by itself was a fantastic cheer-up.

So expect more updates about Disney until I've got it all written out, tempered with the daily ins and outs of daily living in my daily little head.

Damn, it feels good to be back and in the form of writing insane amounts back here on LJ. It really, really does.

Love you all!
quirkytizzy: (Default)
I really must shower.

Not that that's particularly relevant, but since I was thinking it, I thought I'd write it down. Two days of unshowered work in the surprisingly hot and muggy Kansas weather has made for a grimy Teressa. Ah well, with the wonders of modern technology, there is running hot water and soap available just a few feet away for the pleasure of my taking at any time.

God bless living in this age.

David had asked a question a few days ago, on the tail end of my sharing that out of the eight immediate members of my family, seven of us have all been in some form of hospitalized, psychiatric care. (The exception being my kid brother. Hey, he's young. Who knows what the future holds for him?)

"You've been in psychiatric care, you're bi-polar, you've had multiple, severe addictions, and have faced a lifetime of traumatic issues and responses," he mused. "How do you trust yourself? The things you know? How do you know what's right or wrong?"

I couldn't help it - I busted out laughing. It's a valid question, and I was not offended (I have often wondered the same question myself), but having it put so bluntly made the entire thing somehow uproariously funny in this very brash and very brave way.

When the waves of laughter had settled into some form of quieter giggles, I decided to give the question some thought. It's a good question. How do I trust my instincts, my intuition? How do I know that at any given whatever I am responding with is a healthy reaction or not?

Part of the answer lies in simply being in my head. No matter how strange or unbalanced of a place it has been to live in at any given time, it is my head that I have occupied for my entire life, and for the most part, those maps are well traversed. I know what my voice sounds like, what my feelings feel like, what words my thoughts choose to describe themselves with. This helps.

Some of this question has been answered through the mere virtue of a life 28.9 years lived in trial and error, by attempting to live or die by what others have suggested to me. Some of what they have said has been good. Some of it has not. What has worked has kept me alive and kept me able to hope. This allows me to recognize what good advice may look like in the future.

And yet, the most elusive part, because there are no words, really, for what comes next, only a generalization, is simply that quiet, still, spot inside of me. The one that all human beings seem to have, or at least the ones who are somehow still connected to this reality. The human center, the soul, sentience, whatever one calls it, is often the biggest piece of the answer as to knowing when to go right, when to go left, or when to wander off the trail into the woods.

I'll admit, and I have to do so very quickly and very emphatically - that none of these are fail-proof. I've managed to do everything right and have things go very wrong, or have in the past screwed everything up beyond recognition, and yet still skated through the other side unscathed. I have found angels that destroyed me, and devils that saved me; some of those things being both at the exact same time. Sometimes, nothing keeps the fact that life is topsy-turvy at bay.

And I guess that's okay, really.

But the question really got me thinking, and so, in not being able to answer it completely myself, I want to ask all of you -

How do you trust yourselves? The things you know? What's right or wrong? How do you know if where you are coming from is a good place, a bad place, or merely a human place? How do you know what is fair and what is unbalanced? How do you reconcile that inside of yourself? What does the inner landscape of this process look like for you?

I really want to know, because if there's anything I've learned about how I learn about myself, it's that other people sharing with me is one of the ways I learn best.

I love you guys.
quirkytizzy: (Default)
"Earth below us,
drifting falling,
floating weightless,
calling, calling..."


Youtube has yanked the original of Peter Schilling's "Major Tom." This is bothersome. At least they have a couple of decent remixes for the song available. That is a song that always makes me yearn for the freedom of space, for the spiritual incredulousness that seeing our entire world and everything encompessed in it in a single glance would give.

How small everything would seem, how connected. To see it all in one shot; the love, the hate, everything that I and every other single human being on the planet experiences in one momentary look.... How wonderful that must be....
quirkytizzy: (Default)
People are hurting. David,who is one of my new friends, people from here, even a gal I know from work - all going through some terrible pain, their hearts being shattered, not knowing whether to go left or right, paralyzed at the crossroads.

I wish I could make it better.
quirkytizzy: (Default)
I'm feeling strangely lonely this morning.

On my way to work, I happened to glance at the car behind me, and saw what I initially thought was an elderly man falling asleep at the wheel. I started to roll my eyes, an inner rant about the safety of an alert driver being paramount to owning a liscence on the tip of my tounge, when I noticed that he wasn't falling asleep, he was crying.

What was he crying about? I'm still wondering. Given his age, perhaps someone close to him had died. His wife? A childhood friend? Had he gotten into a fight with his son? Was he about to lose his home? Had the years of age and loss pressed against him and he could no longer hold a brave face, and in the anonomity of his car, simply decided to break down?

I'll never know. I considered following him, considered getting out of the car and offering him a hug.

But as it was, he turned off to a side road, and so here I am, offering a quiet prayer to the Universe, sending it out to a stranger....a lone man in a red hat in a red car, hoping that whatever is breaking his heart eases soon.

He'll never know that, by the offhand chance of an routine glance in the review mirror, he has someone praying for him.

But perhaps God will and perhaps he will see fit to send him the hopes of this accidental audience to one man's grief.

God willing, and may God watch over us all.
quirkytizzy: (Default)
I was 17 when Columbine happened. It was the first national tragedy that I really remember, and I remember it breaking my heart. For days, I climbed onto the school bus, unable to understand how those around me could go on joking about thier girlfriends, thier boyfriends, lunch hour. The world had cracked, fallen askew, and I spent several days weeping for it; for the children who died, for those whose dreams would be filled with gunshots and terror, and for a world where mass murder was an optional response towards what is normally the average adolescent experience.

Since then, larger tragedies, both national and personal, have unfolded, but I will never forget the way I fell to my knees that night in the living room as the news coverage broke in with that story.

I don't know why, but that event has been on my mind quite a bit lately. The song still makes me cry, and when I happen to watch the cafeteria footage of that day, I still weep. I think it was my first real glimpse into the insanity that this world can be. And for anyone, whatever that moment is, it is frozen in time, and we never forget it.

It's been raining for days now, and darker for days before that.

I need a sunny day. Badly.

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