Archive for October, 2013


drowning

I don’t really know what to do. On the surface of things, life should be a lot better right now than it has been in a good while. I did the almost impossible – I got a job in my field in this economy, using my degree and training, and I got it in an area of the country where I have family and connections, in fact in the same town where I grew up and where my parents and much of my family still live. It’s a job with benefits. It doesn’t pay much but it should pay enough to live on, or it would if I didn’t have crushing debt that I can’t ever seem to dig myself out from under (as it is, I’m drowning with unexpected expenses and debts related to major life stuff like moving out of state on short notice, having to pay insurance premiums for dependents up front, having to pay tuition at my degree-granting institution because I have to be enrolled but haven’t completed the work to graduate yet; each check is swallowed before it even hits my account, and I am always short of the bills and the grocery budget).

I tried a new psych med earlier this year, and lo and behold, it helped, for the first time ever. I also got diagnosed with a severe vitamin deficiency; between getting that treated and starting this new med, things were – are, ought to be – about 300% better in the landscape of my mind.

But I’m drowning. I’m drowning and I have no idea what else to do. I have always told myself to just hang on, that there was light at the end of the tunnel of school, military training, crappy jobs, problems with the offspring, whatever the trial or burden was. I told myself that the liminal stuff would eventually be over and all my hard work would eventually pay off. I would be able to catch my breath. It would all be worth it.

I am now faced with the horrifying possibility that I was wrong, that all the liminal spaces I lived in where I struggled and fought to keep my head above water were not the cause of my existential crises, irritability, malaise, depression, anxiety, whatever. I am the cause; my broken brain is the cause. Or else my life is the cause, the path I set out on. It comes to the same thing at this point; here I am, and the medication lets me fake it, and the other medication takes the worst edges off the really bad, prickly bits, but I’m faking it. I can make my face smile but it never reaches my eyes. I can make my words sound sincere but they aren’t connected to my heart. If they were, if I really said what I feel and answered questions truthfully, I wouldn’t be allowed to walk around in the general population, I wouldn’t be allowed to teach people’s children, I wouldn’t be allowed to raise my own.

It’s unbearable. Everything – absolutely everything – feels like a burden. Pretending to care is a burden. Getting out of bed is a burden. Forcing myself to make eye contact is a burden. Nodding and smiling is a burden. What isn’t a burden just yet will end up being a burden, because I got stuck on the satanic merry-go-round again in a bad way, and I don’t know how to get off. All the toil and effort, all the hopes and bursts of optimism, lead me here. And it’s untenable. Ironically, the only thing that doesn’t hurt is physical pain.

So I sound selfish, and insane, and irrational, and maybe all of that is true. But being asked to stay alive, being expected to live, for the sake of other people feels like another burden, in addition to also seeming ludicrous. I don’t suppose it will ever make sense to someone not blessed with this exact flavor of broken. I suppose I will always sound like a monster to you if you haven’t been here before. I suppose I will seem selfish and weak and lacking in willpower and creativity and stamina and enough of a work ethic to keep on going and to find a fucking solution no matter how many tries it takes.

But that isn’t going to matter ultimately. It isn’t going to matter what you think. I will run out of fucks to give, and I will run out of ways to defer my own exhaustion in order to avoid being a burden to other people, a mess, a trauma to scar my child, a failure to scar my parents, a slap in the face to everybody who ever tried to love me.  My endurance is finite. The string will break. And it won’t be a big explosion or collision, there will be no drama, and there will be no fuss. At least none that I create. I will simply stop. Probably not today. Maybe not tomorrow. Maybe not for a while. But eventually, I will stop.

And it will be an unimaginable relief.

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I feel gross – broke and barfy and miserable and like my face is pasted on and i am one breath away from letting out the scream i feel like  i’m holding in all the time now. These bills — esp. tuition and insurance on top of significant debt — are killing me, and generous relatives can’t bail me out for the rest of my life. I don’t know how I got myself into a situation where I have an ok job but still can’t stay on to of my bills. This has to stop, something has to give, and I can’t keep living like this. I can’t. And I don’t see anything that can possibly give except me.

This is unbearable. Nothing in my life is an escape, is something with no element of burden or worry. Everything is a responsibility or has an element of anxiety associated with it – my child, my lover, my job, what used to be my hobbies, what used to be my dreams and ambitions. It happened gradually I guess, but here I am now with nothing for me and nothing left over to give. I feel like if the wind blew just right, I would blow away like the dessicated grey shell of an insect who’s long since rotted away on the inside.

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