Saturday, July 5, 2008

Good Day

Today is a good day. It's strange to write that and know that what should be normal for most people is extraordinary for me. I am . . . happy today. I say that tentatively, as if I might jinx myself. Today, I can access my emotions, the love I feel for my boyfriend, the fondness, the affection. I had been withdrawn lately, unable to participate in our relationship, less than affectionate, and it had left us at arm's length from each other--a painful thing when you know, logically, that this person is someone you love, someone who is supportive, someone who is, in fact, special. But I can still remember back to being in hospital and how, no matter how much I knew he loved me, I also knew love wasn't enough to make me better. It's strange to be so solipsistic, so self-absorbed. I dislike having to be so focused on myself, how I feel, how I'm acting. In all honesty, I don't feel as if I deserve that much attention.

Friday, July 4, 2008


The 4th was mostly rained out. I caught a few flashes through the window, and Jb said if I wanted to try to find them, he would love to take me. "Love to take me." He's generous like that--in ways I could never be. So we went out driving in the rain, saw no fireworks, but rolled the windows down, turned the country music up, and watched the lights flash by and reflect up off the road. At a stoplight, he leaned in and said the sweetest damn thing to me. So sweet I'm going to keep it to myself, and horde it in my heart, and feel, for the first time in a while, the bliss that used to mark my highs. Maybe this is happiness, this quiet, glad, contentment that fills the chest without being so extreme that you can't control it or feel as if you can't hold it all in. Who knew there could be too much happiness, and who knew that a baseline could feel less like a loss and more like a gain.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008


'So the loss of memory applies to the later part of your service in France, but the early part - the first six months or so - is comparatively clear?'


Rivers sat back in his chair. 'Would you like to tell me something about that early part?'


'But do you remember it?'

'Doesn't mean I want to talk about it.' He looked round the room. 'I don't see why it has to be like this anyway.'

'Like what?'

'All the questions from you, all the answers from me. Why can't it be both ways?'

'Look, Mr Prior, if you went to the doctor with bronchitis and he spent half the consultation telling you about his lumbago, you would not be pleased. Would you?'

'No, but if I went to my doctor in despair it might help to know he at least understood the meaning of the word.'

'Are you in despair?'

Prior sighed, ostentatiously impatient.

'You know, I talk to a lot of people who are in despair or very close to it, and my experience is that they don't care what their doctor feels. That's the whole point about despair, isn't it? That you turn it on yourself.'

'Well, all I can say is I'd rather talk to a real person than a strip of empathic wallpaper.'"

Pat Barker, Regeneration


There's a Firefly quote that's coming to mind today:

Inara: (to Simon) You're lost in the woods - we all are, even the captain. The difference is he likes it that way.
Mal: No, the difference is the woods are the only place I can see a clear path.

I feel like I'm lost in the woods these days, like I can't see my clear path. I stumble around my days, the apartment, looking for things to do, but unable to focus enough to do them. Jb's on my case again about not doing anything around the apartment other than cooking, bills, and groceries. These days, that's a lot to me. It's difficult enough for me to sit down and write up a list of groceries for 13-14 days worth of meals, but now that our budget's so tight, I have to add in the math, the coupon/circular, the adjusted cost, how many meals I can stretch one pound of meat. I know useless things, like eggs cost $2, milk $3.50, butter $4.50, cheese $5, unless you find a 2 for $6 sale. Sales on meat are deceiving, and unless you get there early, they're gone. It takes me all day to create a list.

I'm also lost as to what to do with myself. I once saw a clear path: Master's in Writing, writer. Then that diverged and I threw a possible PhD in Rhetoric in there, afraid I couldn't write. Then even that branched off to library work, my job at the library downtown, thoughts about a Master's in Library Science. But every time I saw a clear path, it split on me, until I had no path, only the woods closing in around me, and the knowledge that I was scared and unhappy. Now, I've lost everything: all direction, any clear path. And shouldn't that be freeing? But now I'm pigeonholed: "unstable," "bipolar," "irrational," "emotional," "depressed," "anxious," "unemployed." It's a loss of control and power, and I'm floundering. I can't see the tress for the forest.

I re-read those first two paragraphs, and they don't even make sense to me. Everything is disjointed. I'm starting to sleep more, later. Napping. I am swinging back down into a depression. In one of McMann's web pages he talks about going into the doctor to talk about his moderate depression, or his major depression, or the minor depression on top of his major depression, as if depression were a house of blocks that could be built. It's like a Dave Carter song:

One fine morning when my ship comes in
Gonna pack my fortune, take it home again
Stack my sorrows like stones until
I've built me a mansion on a high, high hill.

Depression is so full of metaphor. And sometimes I wonder if that isn't why while depressed and even manic, I've read that so many of us turn to music, poems, lyrics, like magpies, constantly murmuring others words in our heads, over and over, as if they could speak for us when we can't even speak for ourselves. It's like the butterfly in Peter S. Beagle's The Last Unicorn:

You know better than to expect a butterfly to know your name. All they know are songs and poetry, and anything else they hear. They mean well, but they can't seem to keep things straight. And why should they? They die so soon.

And this is where it begins to get tragic for me. This whole post--useless. Rambling. Incoherent. I can't remember my point, I can't remember my metaphors, all I hear in my head are lyrics, poignant quotes, and all I feel is this upwelling need for meaning, somewhere, somehow. Sometimes I think the only thing that mattered to me was the stint I spent teaching. Peter S. Beagle again:

Only reason I've lasted this long is I had this stupid job teaching beautiful, useless stuff to idiots.

And what writer would depend on every other writer to supply her own words? But I can't use them now, and I fumble. Everything is subject-verb-object with a conjunction thrown into the mix, usually the same conjunctions. So I might as well end this with one last quote from The Little Hours by Dorothy Parker:

I'm never going to be famous. My name will never be writ large on the roster of Those Who Do Things. I don't do any thing. Not one single thing. I used to bite my nails, but I don't even do that any more.

And that's my mind these days. That's me.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Psych Check-In

Hiked my Wellbutrin to 300MG. Having problems going to sleep at night, sleeping late in the morning. Tired in the afternoons. Don't give a flying shit about much.

Total psych drugs:

Klonopin 1MG X 2
Wellbutrin 300MG
Remeron 30MG
Lamictal 100MG X 2

The psychiatric nurse practitioner -- who, by the by, is ten times nicer and a much better listener than either the psychiatrist or his wife the therapist -- thinks I am still unstable and asked if the psych had mentioned the hospital to me last time. That's the last sort of talk I want to be getting into with them. I am not going back to the hospital. I don't care how flipped out I am. It's non-negotiable.

The nurse practitioner did hassle me about seeing a therapist, and agreed with me that the psychiatrist's wife is probably not the sort of therapist I should be seeing. She gave me numbers for Vesta and NAMI. And she wants me back in 10 days, which I tried to fight her on, as what the fuck does she expect the drugs to do in a week. She said, "Well, you're not stable yet, and who knows, you might feel better." How do you tell your psychiatrist that you never feel better when you know you have an appointment, and that said appointment often makes you feel worse?

Yet again, a bastardized version of Dorothy Parker comes to mind:

I hate psychiatrist.
They make me impatient.