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Gonzo, I replied directly to your comment on the earlier entry, but I screened it. Are you able to see it?

Some mornings time is a guessing game. When the mania began to hit its peak and I was up between 1 and 2 AM, I unplugged the clock. The early morning hours, blinking in red, seemed a dangerous and depressing warning sign. NOW, as the wake up times shift something closer to normal, I sometimes wake up and go "Oh god, please don't let it be 2:30 AM. That's too early."

Most mornings I am surprised to find it is closer to 5:30 AM, which is acceptable to me. If I step out and hear the birds chirping, even in complete darkness, then I am reassured. It is at least 5:30 AM then.

Now with the dr appts and all that piling up week by week, maybe I ought to plug the clock back in. It has an alarm that could wake the dead and raise armies of zombies within the first two blares - of which I'd need, since medicated sleep can be ridiculously deep sleep.

(If you're lucky, at least.)

It's funny the things you notice when you are outside on your balcony so early in the morning. A neighbor across the way has a new curtain - a deep maroon one. Another one has either moved out or moved his computer (possibly a lava lamp?), as I can no longer see the slow, strobing colors of red, blue, purple and green through the window. Another leaves their curtain open to comfortably sleep through the still-chill air of early spring. I see who leaves early every morning, who comes home in the early mornings. On the weekends, I notice those whose have had too much to drink and those who obviously haven't had ENOUGH to drink.

It's the most curious sort of voyeurism. I do much the same in the hospital, endlessly staring out windows, trying to come up with all sorts of little games to entertain myself. Granted, it usually involves cars instead of curtains, but the idea is the same.

My father said that meditation has helped greatly with his chronic pain and that he will sending what has been most helpful for him. I am somewhat skeptical. But at this point, I am willing to try anything that doesn't include (1) chasing around for narcotics or (2) running me another 80 million doctor's appointments. Besides, everyone says meditation helps something for them.

They can't all be wrong, can they?

I know diet can help, but my food stamps have expired and I just haven't had the energy to sit for four hours in a bright, cramped waiting room stuffed with loudspeakers and crying babies. Another thing I have to dig deep for the energy for - and be willing to pay the price of two days straight of sleep for.

Just haven't had it in me to do that yet. So we've been doing food pantry runs. I'm not so much following the renal diet right now as I am just avoiding the really bad foods.

You work with what 'ya got, right? And if "what you got" is enough food to have TWO servings of Tuna Helper, then by god, be ecstatic, because that's probably the best you're getting this week.

(Jesse's amazing at spicing things, though. He makes that shit taste goooood.)

6:18 AM. Given the time, I'd go right back to bed. But I've a therapy appointment at 9...and dear lord, I NEED therapy right now. I've got so little energy it's likely I'll fall asleep in the waiting room.

Maybe it'll be enough of a cat nap. Probably not, but one can always hope. I was thinking that perhaps I was paying the price for an active day of chore and errand running yesterday, but as the last year has unfolded, I'm beginning to realize the fatigue really doesn't care what I do or don't do. It's at best unpredictable (meaning maybe, just maaaaybe today is the day I CAN do chores and errands) and at worst, static and miserable for weeks on end.

I'll try taking a bath. It has a 50/50 chance of either waking me up entirely or else knocking me on my ass, but at least I'll smell better and my joints will ache less.

(I've long since given up on showering. I never have the extra spoons - nor the trust in my physical stability under hot water - to stand for 10 minutes without toppling over.)
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I did not have nightmares. I thought I might, after talking about Jerry. They weren't bad dreams, either. Just...serious. I, of course, can't remember at all what they were about - just the lingering feeling of somber words, somber deeds. But still, no waking up screaming. Small favors of the universe.

It was Pat who put to words why my experience with Jerry is more embarrassing today than traumatic. I was a mess at 19. I was at the end of my rope with my addiction, cutting almost everyday. I was sleeping with anyone and everyone that I crossed paths with. It wouldn't occur to me until years later that I was finding ways to hurt myself, just to have something familiar. Something like the abuse at home.

I had signaled for help at 15. I had taken immense steps towards health, faith, and recovery as a teenager. But as teenagers are wont to do, I got it all mixed up and at about the age of 18, hit the ground running in a desperate attempt to annihilate myself.

After having worked SO HARD at being a champion of getting out of abuse, that turn-around mortifies me. It makes me feel a bit of a liar or weak or otherwise that I did not do the work I said I did.

It's not fair of me to judge these things in hindsight. I was doing the best I could at 19 with the resources I had. I had managed to get away from the abuse. I did not yet know that there would be "getting away" that would need to be done inside, as well.

Pat also once remarked that this is something that must be difficult for me concerning David, too. THAT is on target. I was 27 when I met David. I knew better. So having found myself enmired in a web of lies and excuses, for years on end..it becomes a very real source of shame sometimes.

No one around me judges me for that. No one around me judges me for any of the abuse that I stuck through with. But sometimes, just sometimes, **I** judge me. This is normal in these situations. It does not always make it easier to wade through.

The positive news with all this is that I've learned from it. I've taken the bad parts of these relationships and have moved them on up in the world. The bad parts of my relationships NOW are not the same horror show they were then. I know what to look for now.

It really is better late than never.

For the random, I finally broke down and bought some sole-inserts for my work shoes. It was a little overwhelming, actually.Feet, Boobs, Poverty and Part Time Work )
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Here in an hour or so I start my near midnight shift at UPS. (3:30 AM to 9 AM). Being up so early - 2 AM - isn't so bad, though taking a smaller dose of Seroquel turned out to be a disaster. I barely slept at all.

No matter. By 5 AM I'll be wide-eyed and bushy tailed, whether or not I want to be. Tis just my nature.

Michael, thank you so much for the help you sent. It did help us get through this week. It's the next week or two I'm now worried about. I'm not getting a paycheck for at least two weeks, so it's up to me to find some more money, as we are out of milk, eggs, meat, sugar, coffee, cigarettes, cat litter, dishsoap, and they finally disconnected my Internet altogether.

It's that that's the hardest. Knowing that no matter how much help someone gives me, the next week I'll be looking at the same problems, running out of the same things, and desperately racking my brain for how to replenish things. It's circular, cyclical, and never seems enough, which makes me feel even worse because people ARE helping, here and there, as they can, and I am honor bound to gratitude for that. And when things start to run out again, it's a particularly humbling experience to swallow.

I don't have a lot of pride. There is little anymore that I can't or won't ask for help with. Anymore though, it's not the singular cry for help that makes me hang my head...it's the fact that I have to cry out for help so often lately.

More food pantry trips, though they all want photo ID, proof of residence, Social Security cards. I lost my SS card and have to reapply for a new one. Very few places accept my married name card, even as I always carry a copy of my divorce name-change paperwork. I don't quite understand how these charities manage to ignore the fact that lots of poor people don't have these forms of identification.

I'm trying to get rent assistance. Apparently my complex is well known throughout Kansas City for being notoriously uncooperative with charities. My bet is that this place makes mad bank on late fees and hates to see anyone beat that. I will keep calling, keep looking. My phone bill will also be due for shutdown, as last month Pat could only pay the past due.

I have never been this poor in my entire adult life. Certainly not since I got sober. And hell, even in my active addiction I had more money. (Where else does one GET 700 a week for drugs?) I've never had this level of scraping, borrowing, and begging. I feel so bad for Jesse, who as a result of living with me, is also experiencing the worst poverty of HIS adult life. Both of his major ex's had fabulous jobs and were financially well off.

He got the POLAR OPPOSITE of "well off" when he decided to choose me.

I've sold as many of my books as are sell-able. I can't donate plasma, as they changed their payments to 10 dollars per visit. (Seriously, that's not even worth the gas to get out there.) My clothes are so far behind the times that no one will buy them. (Curse you, permanently-stuck-in-the-90's-self!)

At least I don't have to worry about toilet paper. Jacking toilet paper from the local community colleges is super easy, as all it takes is a set of keys and a little bit of jiggling to open the dispensers. At least if they are the plastic ones. The metal dispensers will fuck up your key.

I keep telling Jesse it won't be like this forever, because it CAN'T be this way forever. I can't stay this poor forever because if I do, we're going to be homeless in very short order. And I won't let that happen.

I hope it's only two weeks for the first check. I've landed jobs where, thanks to pay periods being wonky (and some places actually HOLD BACK your first week's worth of pay), I didn't get paid for 5 weeks, and even then it was only 75 dollars.

We will see. I'm actually excited about this UPS job, even though it's only part time (must get ANOTHER job, too). It's nice to finally be doing something with my time. What have I spent the last 3 years doing? Nothing. Jack-shit nothing, outside of living through some traumatic personal shit.

At least working will make me feel a little more in control of my life. A little more like I'm actually CONTRIBUTING to my life.

It might not actually be true. The near minimum wage rat race is really no way to get out of poverty and is, in fact, a great way to stay in poverty. But it's something, goddamnit, and that's what I'm holding onto.

I can't be this poor forever. Something's gotta give.

I don't know how I'm going to make it today with no cigarettes. But I'll think of something. I'll think of of some way to borrow, to scrape, to sell something, to just DO something to get that.

But cat litter first. They always come first.

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