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I’m just waiting for my daughter to grow up so I can diminish until I die. It’s the only real change I can envision. I am just taking up space and resources waiting to die. It’s the only change worth hoping for. That I don’t think my thinking is distorted is probably a sign that it is, but it doesn’t matter – the effect is the same, in that I am just sitting here quietly, with nothing to say and no energy and no vision and no hope, and no sense that it’s worth talking about or writing about. I don’t recognize myself anymore. I haven’t for a long time. Nobody can change anything but me. And I can’t. I have failed spectacularly at trying and I don’t  have anything left. People hint every once in a while that this self-pity is useless, but they’re wrong. It isn’t self-pity. I can’t care enough to feel pity. Every once in a while I’m dimly sorry for that person I used to be, because I seem to recall that she had some potential. But I can’t feel deeply enough to really grieve anymore either. And as for me – I don’t know who I am, but I am pretty sure I have no power to do anything but tread water, and I know I will eventually wear out and just slip below the surface.



I would shatter, except the pieces are already too small. There’s nothing left to break. The only form left, I guess, is powder. I could just turn into powder, a fine ashy dust maybe. That crunches a little under your feet, and leaks the tiniest drop of blood. How long can a human being live saying “it has to get better eventually”?

nothing much to see here

Things aren’t good. They are a little better than last time I had anything to say here, in that I don’t spend at least 30 minutes a day crying and I am no longer even trying to pay any of my bills except the utility and insurance, but they are not good and I am really not ok. Thing is, I’ve been saying that for over a year now I guess. I don’t remember what it’s like to feel like I have a future. But I am so incredibly fucking tired of hearing my own self whine that I just don’t see the point in talking about it. I’m such a broken record. And that seems like all I can talk about when anybody asks what’s going on or when I sit down to write anything.

Not that I”ve been writing anything. I don’t even know who I am anymore (except this person that doesn’t seem like me has been me for so long now that I guess that’s who I am). I don’t know what I”m doing here. I have completely lost the plot. The VA helped with some but not all of my meds and the wellbutrin lets me fake it, but does nothing for anxiety, so my coping mechanisms are perhaps not the healthiest, but the point is that I can fake it reasonably well. I can get up in the mornings and get through the day and hold it together and work (or at least I thought I could – it’s come to my attention that perhaps I haven’t been faking it as well as thought). But in general I can hold it together all day until I’m alone in the kitchen at night, crying with the water running (that’s where all of the best drama, the most poignant conversations, the most memorable confrontations, and the most epic breakdowns have always happened – in the kitchen. I suspect it’s family tradition, on my mom’s side, the miniature postprandial kitchen breakdown). I get it together enough to get back to work for the second shift, so to speak, and I have such severe sleep deprivation that insomnia is not generally a problem – I fall asleep the moment my head hits the pillow, and I think I’m too exhausted to dream. If I do, I don’t remember anything (though I’ve been told I’ve reverted to some sleeping issues that make me at best annoying and sometimes even a little dangerous to sleep *near* – issues that don’t bode well for my mental health if what I’m hearing is accurate). But overall, I am several good, solid steps further away from the precipice than I was in, say, January, by nearly any available metrics. I”m not sure that’s much of a standard, though.

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second verse

And just like clockwork, evening hits and the bottom falls out. I seem to be having a repeat of the confidence-shattering patterns of 2010 where every single night for nearly a year was sheer unadulterated hell. Awesome. This is a great time to change my meds up, assholes, just great.

I try to trust people and I try not to isolate myself but it doesn’t work. I can’t really do it. Nobody is going to have my back but me, not really. We really are all on our own; if we ever aren’t for a little while, it’s a happy accident but not something we can rely on or expect. That’s a simple fact and I have absolutely no evidence to the contrary. So, no, when I feel bad, I will not respond in a level headed way.

overrated, undermedicated

I finally went to the VA myself (because I can’t afford to pay my gas bill never mind my employee insurance, so I have to take what I can get). And while I did get some free allergy medicine, I also got a three-day ride on the Crazy Merry Go Round because my pdoc is apparently asleep or incompetent and wrote orders for my brain cootie meds that didn’t make any sense, leaving me dangerously overmedicated for half the day and dangerously unmedicated for the other half, though with the buildup in my system of this drug over nearly a year, who knows. But the crazy? Boy can I attest to that. Instant Rage, just add bupropion overdose.

There is never a good time, but this is really, really bad timing. I am about to get my gas cut off for the second month in a row, it’s not even the 15th and I’m completely broke (I only get paid once a month), and I’ve dealing with a lot of emotional flashback shit all while trying to be the sane one in a relationship that is dying a very slow death from long periods of benign neglect punctuated by the occasional burst of angsty energy and then drunken weakness. I have nobody to blame but myself because I don’t seem to be attracted to people who don’t have serious fucking baggage. To top it all off, the pdoc won’t write one of my scripts ’til I pee in a cup, the clinic is walk in only, and I *have a fucking job* so I probably wont’ get my script ’til the semester is over and I can spend a whole day sitting in the goddamned VA clinic waiting. Joy. This is a great time to not have anxiety meds.

in the news

The Female Face of PTSD: Women Veterans Bring Home Invisible Scars Too

Why Should We Make Vet Mental Health a Priority? Because One Dies by Suicide Every 65 Minutes


I can’t for the life of me figure out how I keep getting myself into emotional flashback land. These situations do not look or feel the same at the outset, but they invariably take me to the same places. And then hindsight, of course, is keen and clear. I guess that could speak less to the situations having that much in common at the start and more to the fact that I am very, very practiced at unconsciously steering things in that direction. Which is really sad… and I guess that’s why therapy… but honestly, this time I don’t think it was me, I really don’t. I really, really felt good about having avoided the old trap. So it’s been an unpleasant surprise to find myself wrong after all. Actually, unpleasant doesn’t begin to describe it. It’s been devastating. It’s been like getting kicked in the gut.


Duran Duran – Before the Rain


My brain is so broken. It has been so long since I’ve functioned properly that I am beginning to be truly convinced that it has always been like this and everything else was an illusion. I keep thinking I can’t survive this but I keep on surviving it. I keep thinking it has to give, things have to change, because they always have before, at least long enough. But this seems to have some distinct character or quality that is different from before, and the time before that, and the time before that… I’m tired of being this person who is such a bummer all the time. I am tired of not having anything positive to say. I am tired of my own company. I am tired of feeling like this. And since I don’t really have any faith it will ever change, I am really pretty much done – with waking up tasting of nightmares, with crying over the kitchen sink, with living.

This cannot be what living is supposed to feel like. How long can this possibly last?


Jeff Buckley – Hallelujah

student veterans

Half of Student Veterans Have Contemplated Suicide – the Chronicle of Higher Education

myself, as usual

I suppose that when months go by, and circumstances in one’s life have by any objective standard improved in more than one area, then good sense dictates that continuing despair is a symptom of something other than just shitty circumstances. At that point, one should do something about it, goes the common wisdom. Intellectually, I can admit this; I have been on this merry go round enough times to recognize it. But I have no faith in any of the options, all of which are difficult, time-consuming, risky, and expensive at a time when my tolerance for difficulty is extremely low and I have little time and even less money. One of the biggest contributing factors to my financial difficulties at this exact moment is the cost of insurance, and the need to pay for one semester of coverage for my daughter on top of my own tuition+insurance bill was a large contributing factor to my maxing out a fresh Amex with a horrible interest rate over the last four months (an Amex balance it will take me ten years to pay off the way things are now). I feel trapped by the two areas that make me feel the worst/most helpless and hopeless – the whole depression/meds/psych thing and the income/work/massive debt thing. There’s a limit to what the psych industry and their meds can do though anyway; I have already taken all the pills and done all the therapy. Nothing sticks. At least some of this is just my personality, or my soul, or something. So it doesn’t seem like a good use of my time or money.

Money is a constant preoccupation and I can’t enjoy anything while I’m preoccupied with it, and I can’t afford to do anything but work and work and work. I do a lot of work from home, so I am isolated, as usual, and when I am around my family, it’s my job to put on a good front. I don’t have any support. I do this to myself because I withdraw when I feel like this, and really it’s not my imagination – depressed people really aren’t any fun to be around and everybody really does have better things to do and my shitty outlook really does spoil the atmosphere and frustrate people who do not, themselves, suffer from this particular flavor of crazy. I actually tried to do things a little differently, in terms of withdrawal and isolation, but that didn’t work out and now I am still all by myself with this, crying in the kitchen every night while the water’s running, but now with the added sting of having taken an emotional risk that didn’t pay off (but it only didn’t pay off after I got a taste of what it must be like for people who do *not* keep absolutely all the balls in the air all by themselves with no support. And it was infinitely easier to do all this without having tasted that. To have a glimpse of that and then lose it has been nearly unbearable).

It hasn’t done much to mitigate my sense that the last ten years of my life have consisted of a long series of bad decisions informed by practically criminal naivete. I feel like that person who used to have some passion about her activities and interests, who was energetic and bold enough to set out on the admittedly insane path I set out on because I thought I could beat the odds, is long, long gone, dead and buried. Actually dying would just be a formality, a technicality, a slight shift in horizons that has the one major distinction and benefit as compared to the present of involving a lot less misery for me. I don’t recognize in myself the person that used to have some fight left and I haven’t seen her for a long time. The future just looks like more of the present, and I find the idea absolutely unbearable. Something has to change. Except I keep saying that, and nothing changes.

But I genuinely do not believe there are any legitimate options for being able to get off this merry go round short of pretty extreme things like shock treatment, bankruptcy, or my own death. And I’m pretty ok with that, really, for now. I cry in the kitchen at night with the water running, as usual, and I adjust my brain chemistry with other chemicals on the very worst nights, as usual, and I do some mildly self-destructive things that I can keep mostly secret as usual, and I keep trying to fake it as usual, and I often manage, which is also as usual at least since I started Wellbutrin.

And since I know I won’t do anything except carry on in misery until some things have changed with my family — my daughter, for instance, must be grown before I will seriously act on an escape plan, and that’s still at least two years off, and then I have to make it look like an accident — I figure that continuing to put one foot in front of the other is the best thing to do, and there’s a slight chance that something I can’t anticipate might change or happen, and maybe there really will be some change that offers some additional options. I know intellectually that this is possible. But I have no faith left at all. I’m just keeping up appearances and trying to squeeze in what distraction I can manage when I can manage it. It’s been a long time since I had this many people around me who actually care, but it’s been a while since I felt this utterly fucking alone.