afraid

•August 17, 2010 • Leave a Comment

i am afraid to write again

the thought of writing like i used to brings tears to my eyes and i tremble

i am afraid of feeling like that again
the angry wash of grief and adolescence and hopelessness
the hurt and agony of being alive and not knowing how to live

i’m afraid of not writing something “good”
i’m afraid of not delivering
i’m afraid of writing things that read like a Thomas Kincade painting

i’m terrified of not being a writer
because i love language
and words
and the physical act of writing with pens on paper
and covering blank pages with my self

i’m afraid of inconvenient feelings
and desires

the only way i got through life before was to write
it was how i felt my way around the murk
i stopped writing
i am lost
and i am afraid of being found

the life i was living was so visceral
so real
so cutting
yet so not this life i have now

i sit behind a desk in a cube
and pretend to do work most of the day
while i instead read the interwebs
and shop for shoes
and try to find the best website for keeping track of my food and exercise

i feel overwhelmed
by everything
and long for those days
when sitting in a dark pub
drinking dark beer and laughing
smoking cigarettes and doing shots
escaping to the back to write
and then having a good time
sharing what i’d written with those who were around

but my pain got old
as we got older
and it was’t fun for any of us anymore
the thing that made it bearable
prevented it from leaving
a vice makes things immobile

i feel in great big bursts
that well up from inside like giant dark bubbles
they push against my eyes and i try to keep them in
pushing my palms against my eyes
and gritting my teeth
i have emotional indigestion

Two.

•August 13, 2010 • Leave a Comment

The cat is sitting on my lower back. She will start purring soon, a vibrating heating pad.

My new station on Pandora plays sweet, soft reggae and calms me.

It is Easter on Sunday and that is confusing. Easter is in April. But not this year. Imagine a person alone in their home, knowing no one will come to visit. This person is a woman, grey. There is a room with a closet and in the closet are boxes. On the boxes are the names of holidays. Easter, Mother’s Day, Memorial Day, Thanksgiving and so on. The letters are written carefully and clearly with a fat green magic marker.  The boxes are white cardboard, the edges smudged grey from fingertips over the years. Her fingertips and no one else’s.

It’s windy here today. The wind makes noise against the house, the noise that makes me stay inside, thinking of blankets and bay windows and a different view out the window.   Sometimes drinking and smoking doesn’t do it anymore, doesn’t make the fog that hides the real. They tell me that I have a problem with my brain. I guess I’ve known for awhile now. Years now.  The label is comforting and anxious at the same time. To be dependent on a prescription…is it different than needing (wanting) a few drinks and a cigarette? Less harmful?

The grey woman goes to the closet and opens the door.  She runs her hand down the column of boxes, going by St Patricks Day and reaching Easter. She pulls it out from the stack. The string from the light bulb drifts across her neck and she starts. Pulling on the string to click off the light, she leaves and closes the door.

Two.

•March 20, 2008 • 2 Comments

The cat is sitting on my lower back. She will start purring soon, a vibrating heating pad. My new station on Pandora plays sweet, soft reggae and calms me.  It is Easter on Sunday and that is confusing. Easter is in April. But not this year.

Imagine a person alone in their home, knowing no one will come to visit. This person is a woman, grey. There is a room with a closet and in the closet are boxes. On the boxes are the names of holidays. Easter, Mother’s Day, Memorial Day, Thanksgiving and so on. The letters are written carefully and clearly with a fat green magic marker.  The boxes are white cardboard, the edges smudged grey from fingertips over the years. Her fingertips and no one else’s.

It’s windy here today. The wind makes noise against the house, the noise that makes me stay inside, thinking of blankets and bay windows and a different view out the window.   Sometimes drinking and smoking doesn’t do it anymore, doesn’t make the fog that hides the real. They tell me that I have a problem with my brain. I guess I’ve known for awhile now. Years now.  The label is comforting and anxious at the same time. To be dependent on a prescription…is it different than needing (wanting) a few drinks and a cigarette? Less harmful?

The grey woman goes to the closet and opens the door.  She runs her hand down the column of boxes, going by St Patricks Day and reaching Easter. She pulls it out from the stack. The string from the light bulb drifts across her neck and she starts. Pulling on the string to click off the light, she leaves and closes the door.

1

•March 19, 2008 • 1 Comment

Therapy is expensive. When you don’t have money or insurance, but need a doctor with a degree in mental garage mechanics, you get sent to community organizations and hospital outreach centers.

The outreach center on Newton Street was for people with drug and alcohol problems, not my-daddy-died-and-i-hate-the-world problems. But since I didn’t have money or insurance, it was where I had to go. The lady with the degree wanted me to say I was addicted to pot. I didn’t think that was the problem. The problem was the years of emotional abuse and dysfunctional familial relations that left me feeling like shit. The lady with the degree did not agree. The second time she saw me, she put me on a medication. It was free and came in sample packs from the drug company. I can’t remember what it was now. When I moved into my first apartment a few months later, I saw the same sample packs in the kitchen cupboard, left there by the previous tenant. Must have been the drug of the year.

Group therapy was a requirement to keep receiving treatment. That always seemed kind of weird. No one there seemed to have a drug or alcohol problem. They all seemed to have much worse problems, like physical abuse or actual mental problems like schizophrenia. In my first group session, I recognized a kid there from my days in Stuarton. He had been a friend of Jane’s. In the group therapy session, another lady with a degree whom I had not met before asked each of us in turn how we were doing and what symptoms we had felt during the week.

The kid next to me went on about feeling depressed. Yes, she had taken her meds. No, she was not sleeping well. Yes, she still had the dreams. No, she was not drinking. Yes, she was smoking cigarettes.

The lady with a degree made little notes on her clipboard and made a pronouncement on medication: increase dosage, evaluate progress in one month.

And so it went. Most people either got an increase or a different med, or an additional med.

Then it came to Dillard, the kid from Stuarton. I’ve been hearing voices again, he said. The lady with a degree wanted to know what they said. Just stuff, he said. They don’t tell me to hurt people, he said. She wanted to know if he was taking his meds. Yes, he said.

I knew this kid. I knew he did not hear voices.

I saw him a few months later at the club. Hey Dillard, I said, weren’t you in my group therapy? Yeah, he said, I thought I saw you there. So, I said, do you really hear voices? No, he said, They just like to hear that.

waiting

•December 17, 2007 • Leave a Comment

not having a “yes” yet is still not having a “no”.

Planning for things

•April 18, 2007 • Leave a Comment

I’ve been using my Palm Z22 and I’m kind of surprised by how much I use it.

I tried some various freeware that I thought would help, especially something that would allow for more organization of the task list.  But I’ve found that it’s fine just the way it is.  I’ll just add an extra tag at the beginning, like under “Earth Day” there was a series of tasks that involved getting door prizes for an event.  So instead of just naming all the places I needed to go, I made the whole task (under the Earth Day category) say:  Concert prize – (insert name of place).

So it helps.

I’ve taken to doing backwards planning sometimes as well.  I will put in what I’ve just been doing for the last 15 minutes.  It helps me to figure out what I’ve been doing. As the executive director of a nonprofit, I’ve always got about 18 things I should have done yesterday.

I’ve also tweaked the agenda screen. I discovered there is a larger font size and that makes it easier to see at a glance what’s going on. I also learned a tweak to get a task to show up on the front screen – make it due yesterday.

The notepad tool lets me jot things down quickly in my own handwriting, like phone numbers or an address or even what bills I need to remember to pay with my next paycheck.

I’m finding that having the simple palm interface, minus web, email, office, etc, makes it easy to just plan things and get things done.  I have tried about every system and paper calendar there is, but this really seems to work for me.  I am a list person, so this helps me break down the tasks for various things and then check them off.

I don’t feel bad about wasting paper by making tons of to do lists – they are just on my palm.  And it’s so tiny – it’s much smaller than most pda devices.

I’m not saying I’m completely organized but I feel I’m on my way.

Now on to another self-improvement goal…

•April 10, 2007 • Leave a Comment

Now that I’ve officially kicked watching tv (which was WAY easier than I ever imagined, I haven’t even been watching tv online except for Lost), I’m on to another goal: time management.

For as long as I have known calendars and day planners existed, I have been trying to find the “perfect” one.  But somehow none of them ever tell me what to do or organize my day for me, ha ha.  I’ve been reading up on various methods on various blogs and lots of people have good ideas. But I always seem to get off track. I can’t find a system that I can use on a regular daily basis that seems to work.  I’m starting to think I’m going to have to just integrate several systems, ie notecards, the palm thing, outlook, regular notebook.etc.

So we’ll see how this experiment. I’m hoping to go through the pros and cons of my various methods on the blog here.

 
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