Sunday, December 22, 2013

To all the folks reading this:

It’s December, and I’m making the best of it.  I expect everyone else is having the best holiday they can as well.  At this time, I just wanted to give you a heads up about this blog, about what I’m doing.

As much as I wanted it to be, my life is not going along the ’better and better’ narrative.  I am not the inspirational cancer patient.  And I am not going to apologize for it.  I am not doing this for your sympathy.  I am not doing this for you to intervene. 

 I’m doing this for two reasons:

  • to let people know what is happening.  I haven’t really talked to people for quite a while, even those around me.  I started writing a few things on the charity website a while back, but found that I couldn’t hit the positive aspects like I thought I should.  So, I started this blog.   If I had my way, I’d be hiding somewhere, until I’m better able to deal with everything. 
  • to get out what I’m feeling, past the overbearing self-judgement on how I should be better.  To speak it out in order to make out what is going on, and in order to make it out of wherever I am.

If you have something you want to say, please share it with me on the blog.  If my postings upset you, then don’t read them.  If you think I’m faking it for attention, stop reading.  If you think I’m being a poor little victim crybaby, no one is forcing you to read my blog. 

I am not making anything up.  I’m not editing.  I’m not working on a masterpiece.  I am just writing.

The only reason I announce postings on facebook is because many people requested it, and I still can’t get over how many people look at a posting.  I have not been good to anybody through this- keeping everyone at arms length, because my tactic in getting through the day is to just not talk about it.  I have disconnected, and I want to disconnect more, and its taking its toll.  But I have to go through what I’m going through, and those folks who are supposed to be around will be around when I am able to reconnect.

Until then, check back and read things as you want to, leave messages, and, above all, enjoy the hell out of your own life.  Someone has to, it might as well be you.

Friday, December 20, 2013


Anger is wrong.

Anger is all about me. 

Anger is about those qualities I see in others that I can’t accept in myself.

Anger is poisonous.

Anger is destructive.

Anger burns. 

Anger can take down a whole town, a whole country, a whole world with one bite.

 Anger is irrational.

Anger is unprofessional.  There are so many different ways to deal with a situation than just getting angry. 

Anger only comes out when I have lost control of my situation.

Anger is the emotion that comes up, especially for men, when we are trying to deflect getting to a deeper, more ‘effeminate’ emotion, such as fear or sadness.

Anger ruins relationships.

Anger is a waste of time.

Anger is best not seen or heard. 

Anger just starts conflicts and arguments- conflicts and arguments that I’ll come out the wrong one, because I’m too fucking worthless.

Anger is negative energy.

Anger passes the buck on to someone else.

Anger dehumanizes folks, and convinces me its all right mean to them.

Anger makes things worse.

Anger makes me deal with the real world.

Anger is the one thing in my life I just can’t show.

Anger is eating me alive. 


I read somewhere recently, that if you’re suffering from depression, you should limit the intake of super serious dramas, and go for the funny, fluffier pieces.

So, I was in a glum mood, fucking root canal giving me trouble,a nd I wanted an escape.  So I looked for a sitcom, and when that failed, a fluff movie that I could half tune into while doing other things, maybe even make me laugh.

I found Madagascar, and thought, hell, why not?  Its literally fluffy.  And there are still a few scenes where I laugh out loud at, so, lets do it.

And I was OK up to the scene where Alex, the lion, finds his wild side, and finds that this side makes him want to eat his best friend.  So, what does he do? 

He runs away, to a remote place, and makes a lot of pointy spear-like sticks.  The final moment of the sequence has him, sitting on a rocky outcrop, with all of these pointy sticks pointing at him.  Not the outside world.  Him.

And I started to lose it.  There’s something too true about that moment, about that image for me.  I can’t talk to most people, hell, I get irritable when people talk to me too much.  I remember priming people a while back by just stopping asking me how I am.  I didn’t have my shell, and in many ways I still don’t, but I’m doing a damned good job of faking it.  Or maybe I’m not. 

All I know is the first sign of anger, of bad feeling towards anyone and anything, and the reversal is instantaneous- its my fault, I’m just not well, I’m not being grateful- which for some fucking reason, I am being inundated with that “Happiness can only occur with gratitude” sentiment, which, true or not, is just pissing me off…

And here I am, now wanting to delete that last little rant, because that is just wrong.  It is helpful, and I’m just being a… a what?

Holidays this year are hitting the top five worst of my life.  Probably top three- last year is in the mix, and the year I lived in Seattle, when I didn’t have a fucking stick of furniture, and realized that everything I bought for myself for Christmas that year(wasn’t much) had to go back, because bills needed to be paid.

This year, it’s the awareness that I am working in high-stress retail times, where I’ve really stretched the good-naturedness of my boss with intense sickness and intense tooth pain.  I don’t have any money to buy presents, or any energy to do anything.  Months ago, when there was so much help coming my way, I thought I’d make up for it at least with a card for the holidays. 

I bought the cards, and they are in the drawer of my desk, unopened.

More judgemental folks would join my self-judgement, and tell me “You’ve got to prioritize.  Its just here.  You don’t have to say much… just get it done.”

The gratitude hasn’t changed.  Self worth hasn’t either, and I have just had a fucking root canal and a sobering Thanksgiving that took it all out of me.  So, some other time with the cards.  Maybe next year.

The worst is that people are looking to me for holiday plans, and I just can’t get it together.  I’m too tired, too broke, too sad.  Too out of touch with this time of year, which, painfully, is usually my favorite, most energetic and generous time of the year.  And I’m angry that I can’t do anything, because its easier to be angry about my failing than dealing with the little kid in the corner, just wanting a Christmas like when he was small, when he could open presents in the morning, play with new stuff, watch Christmas shows, or just look at the tree that he helped decorate, and not have to worry about work, or how he couldn’t afford, or what to cook, or who is nice enough to give something, and I just don’t have anything to give back.

Lynda Barry talks about how kids, even by themselves, find a way to play- like there is some outside force that plays back with them.  And then there are times when the play isn’t there for the kid, and they’re just a rag doll, empty, not really sad or depressed or anything.  Just empty.

I know there is so much to be grateful for.  So many people, so many moments, so much.  And this is a time I just have to get through, its just not going to be with as much grace as all of the characters have in those redeeming Christmas specials.


Thursday, December 12, 2013


I’ve been stalling, and my body has decided to help me along here. 

Thanksgiving was a big stall.  I could pretend that nothing ever happened, and I should get going on preparing and making the dinner, while working at a grocery store up to the day before Thanksgiving.

And then start getting sick the day after Thanksgiving.  Why?  Who knows?  Maybe it was because I had every minute planned for work or for shopping and cooking.  I was so tired on Thanksgiving, it’s a wonder things turned out OK.  I even had a friend over, and felt like I was half there the whole time. 

Although I was drinking copious amount of caffeine.  The cane sugar soda kind, with a few cans of the chemically ‘zero calorie!’ kind.  Culprit number two for the sick.  No caffeine since.

And the food, the food, the food.  Culprit three.

Then the next week, of being sick, being sicker, beong sent home from work because of how sick I was, and freaking out about letting down a friend in the performance we had planned on Saturday night.  A performance that, I think, went well, but I am not really sure, because of a weird empty feeling I felt right after, something I had never really felt after a performance.  This was immediately followed by a crushing agoraphobia, where I didn’t want to talk to people, I didn’t even want comments or looks thrown my way as I disappeared from that evening. 

I got home, and was just shocked.  Shocked at the way that I felt.  And really distressed at the feeling of emptiness.  I mean, to be fair, I was having misgivings about even performing.  I may have jumped into it too quickly, but it should have been fun,a nd great o do with the friend I worked with.  And there were many times when it was… up until the doing of it.

This empty feeling was also there when I went to a mens writing group, and they marveled at what I came up with for the writing prompts given.  Of course, I chalked it up to the ‘only positive comments’ rule of the group, and didn’t let that one in.  Empty.

Then a connection exercise that I just… couldn’t do.  I am still shocked at the disconnect, not only between myself and the person I want to trust and connect with, but with parts of myself, one screaming to just do the simple exercise, and another, big, deep fearful one that just wanted to get away.  Wanted to just stop, stop playing.  Its too aggressive, I don’t want to fight.

The sickness is easily understood.  And I of course, judge myself inappropriately for it.  Why can’t I just relax?  Why can’t I just let other people do things?  Let go?  What is my problem?

A comfortable state of stomping myself into the ground.

But a performance that felt empty?  Encouragement in my writing?  And a very obvious moment where I had to face the fact that I am making choices not to connect?

No, no, fuck no.  Unsafe.  Unsaaaaafe.  Backtrack, get to quick answers and solutions as to why this is happening, mostly about how much of a waste of life I am, and people are just trying to be nice.  No, not real.  Not honest.  Not telling the truth.  Just being nice, and hiding their disgust.  Their confusion.  Their frustration in having to deal with me.  OK, pure self judgement.  Now I’m back on solid ground here.

Am I?  Because as much as I want to explain not connecting, I’m still so confused, and feel like I’m sitting on top of something I’d rather not look at.  So, I’ll do everthing I can not to look at it.

So, stall.  Talk about what has happened, not what is happening.

I had a root canal seven, eight years ago.  One that has been giving me a bit of grief since I got it.  And, it decided to give me grief again.  Except this was real pain, pain that, looking  at that scale of pain management I am so very familiar with because of thyroid operations and hospital visits, made me understand what the numbers after five feel like. 

There is something so very special about a real toothache.  Sure there are a lot of stereotypes we laugh at, but, fuck.  It was fascinating how distress like this can make me forget anything has happened or will happen.  It distills me right down to the moment of this pain.  And then, going to the dentist, when the pain was down below the five again, how easily I was ready to flip flop, and say it was nothing.

But it was.  An abscess.  When dealing with something like a root canal, watch out for shopping around for the cheapest work.  Because something like this might happen.  Seriously.

Brings me to today, root canal for my root canal.  I don’t know what happened at the beginning, but I was losing my shit more than I ever have before.  It was like there was something missing in me hat could get me through this.  I continued to try to tell myself that I had been through this before, and It was going to be all right.  But something was sitting in the corner, flipping me off, and ready to scream and cry and flail because it had had enough.  ENOUGH.  OF.  THIS.  SHIT.

Anesthetic moments were over, and my body was vibrating, I was trying so hard to stay in control.  Then, after I couldn’t feel anything but the pressure of the grinding and spattering and digging, I was able to get through it.  When I checked the box for Nervous Disorders and Anxiety, I thought it was more of a description of current events than a reality.

Its like when I went to the dentist after being diagnosed last year, and the sweet, kind Japanese woman who does my cleaning showed me my dental history, and how she was now required to add cancer.  At that point I was still in my ‘must make this OK for others’ mode.  But the reality of that moment slapped me in the face.

Again, I wish I was well.  and maybe small things are happening.  But I’m stalling.  I’m stalling because there is some part of me that isn’t well, and not ready for the story to go positive.

And I have to honor it.  Because it has a better grip on reality than I do.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

and then,

… and then I got better, and we lived happily ever after. 

It’s the simplest fucking narrative.  And it should be my goddamned narrative.  Things are terrible, things are so fucked up, I’m so turned around and overwhelmed, and then… little by little… things get better.

So why am I sliding backwards so much?  Why am I feeling so tired and overwhelmed?  Why am I not sleeping well? 

And why the hell am I worrying about how things ‘should’ be going, when I should just try to deal with things as they are?

Well, first of all, I wanted to be getting better.  I wanted last postings to be real measurable progress, the shot in the arm that started a slow, but maybe measurable uptick in my recovery.  I am not wishing for the moon here, just some positive aspect that keeps itself going.  And I thought it was working.

Second of all, I feel like a liar.  I feel like everyone is expecting that things are going better.  I’ve been so much more interactive than I’ve been, but that is slipping, too.  However, it’s like I need to keep up appearances, so I push myself harder and harder to interact, and find that is making things worse. 

 Third, I’m not walking the fine line that has been given to me.  I’m finding it impossible.  If I was mentally fit, following a diet of no caffeine, no sugar, no carbs, no grains, no gluten, no dairy, no soy, no eggs, just basically fresh vegetables and a protein now and then(lean, like chicken) would be difficult, but doable.

Put in depression and severe anxiety, and a lifetime’s tendency to turn to food for comfort, and knowing that about the only thing that can help me stay awake and focused- and elevate my mood a bit- is caffeine, then it seems impossible.

I am annoyed and frustrated.  And then my naturopath, who is very good, comes up mystified that the supplements that I have been taking has not improved my mood, and nullified any carb cravings.

So, of course, I end up with- I’m fucking it up.  I am not being austere enough.  If I could get that last bit of carb out of my regimen, my mood and everything else would probably improve.  But could having brown rice be doing it?  Really? 
And then there’s another thing something that is just driving the frustration to a point of no return.  The anger bubbling up underneath.

I have already gone through such an unhappy austere point in my life because of leaky gut.  I couldn’t eat anything, I had an exercise routine, and truth be told, I did get better- possibly in the best shape of my life.  But it was difficult, and I had energy to exercise, and not this lingering back issue.

Cue the holiday season.