Dead from the belly-button both ways

Your brain isn’t broken. It’s not! It’s impossible, so just stop saying it.

Do not know how long I worked on Dutch yesterday. I can tell you I began before my brother came out for breakfast, and finished just before dinner. Several times walking away in there; I kept telling myself I’d done enough, stop, take a break. I’d get up, walk away for half an hour…then come back and do more. Couldn’t stop. Don’t know if it was guilt from not doing enough last week or just stubbornness.

And I looked up every word I didn’t know. Wrestled with every sentence to fully understand the little turns of phrase. I even bloody well wrote my little story for next week, keeping it short, keeping it simple, and doing my best at every turn to use our current homework words.

Determined to make notes on what my instructor tells me today, but not necessarily change my answers. Last week she let four mistakes slip by her. She’s not infallible, and unless I really understand her corrections I’m not making them. Better to learn from my mistakes than give a wrong answer she told me to write down – that just frustrates the hell out of me, because I have no justifications or logic behind my answer other than ‘my instructor told me that was right’, which is NO justification at all.

I DID take the time to read part three of my thriller trilogy. Just enjoyed it. Think I want to expand one scene, add a bit to it and give one character a few more lines. Other than that, it’s ready to go. It’s tense and creepy (just what I wanted) and other than having to buy a prop gun for the finale, it doesn’t call for much in the way of props.

Also took the time to walk my agenda out. Gotta light a fire under my ass. Time is slipping away from me. To make my commitment to the group and present them with a finished draft of the trilogy, I’ll have to write non-stop over Xmas. So, this weekend I have to start correcting Taman. Can’t put it off any longer. Need it done and off the system so I can move on.

Trying to stop saying ‘I’m doing my best’. I’m always doing my best, but it’s beginning to sound like an excuse. I’m one of those people who always did well at whatever she tackled, so it’s difficult for me to accept my errors and mistakes. Trying to make sure I always AM doing my best: putting in the time and doing as much as I can without driving myself insane. Or making myself ill.

Feels like I have very little me time. Which is silly, because everything I do I do for me, but… I guess I’ve grown accustomed to having ample time to sit and think. About stories, about the news, about my past, about life. That’s the time that’s disappearing. While I agree I need a balance – time to think AND things to do – I don’t know where that balance is. And let’s face it: I tend to overdo things. Exercise? I have to go run myself into the ground. Dutch? I want to master everything overnight. Writing? Days lost in a concentrative trance. I don’t do things on a small level. So I’m naturally worried about overload. That side of me that bites and growls, that side of me that people stare at…

And there’s my problem. I lost in for a short time in Monday’s class, and one of the instructors shot me that look. If you’re a person who loses it on occasion, I’m sure you know the look I’m talking about. That startled deer in the headlights gaze: frozen in surprise, with just a hint of fear showing somewhere around the eyes.

I have made an oath to not do that kind of thing a million times. And a million times, I’ve broken that oath.

That’s what’s bugging me. I did it again. (Can you smell the blame?)

Fuck.

Maybe I do need medication. Lately… Let’s just say I’ve had this small stream of people’s facial reactions run in a loop in my brain. Those startled looks I get, all piled up, one after the other. I feel wrong. It’s my fault. My fault that I do it, my fault that I’m too fucking chicken shit to go thru the whole process and find a medication that works for me. And I just think, you really never feel this way? It’s hard for me to grasp. No. Not just hard; impossible. I can’t imagine it. Can’t imagine being so balanced, so calm, so together that I never lose it.

Where’s the bloody passion? It just makes me want to grab people and shake them. Shake them and shake them and shake them until their eyeballs fall out of their sockets. Feel something, damn it! React! Wake the fuck up!

I realize a society based on passionate people would be very chaotic. But sometimes it feels like I’m the only person awake on this planet. Everybody else is asleep. Busy in their little worlds, with their little dreams. They see but don’t see, hear but don’t hear, care but don’t care. And while I can blissfully experience that kind of distraction while obsessing over something like my work, I cannot fathom being there 24/7.

To quote my dad, you’re all dead from the belly-button both ways.

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What a f***in’ joke

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An orange dot on the upper right hand side of the WP screen alerted me to the fact that today is my two year anniversary on this blog-o-sphere. Whoop-de-doo. The occasion should be marked by stating unequivocally that I’m in a better mental state now than when I began. Still don’t know if I’m “happy” or not, but at least I’m not miserable.

Ear specialist appointment today. No slicing or dicing, thankfully. But odd. Had a hearing test first with the nurse. Twenty minutes later I was being congratulated by the doc for ‘having the hearing of a 10 year old kid’. Really? This is good? You people are deaf. Have a prescription for extra strength nose drops (should create an excellent momentary sense of drowning; really looking forward to using them – not). Told to see a special physiotherapist, someone who (apparently) can manipulate my jaw to help any built up pressure from scar tissue formed by my RA. Ach! Another one? More money out? Seriously? And I’m supposed to wait an additional 6 weeks before making another appointment – and then it will only be to set up a further appointment for “therapy” and “counseling” to deal with the continual ringing in my ears. Like I bleeding need therapy to deal with my hearing!

In other words, I still got my bionic hearing and no one can figure out what I’m bitching about.

Story of my life.

The radio drama is out and I’ve already received notification that they’ve got it. Also feel the fool. Noticed on my writer’s email account a tiny, dark grey number by the spam folder. Yeesh. There were the two replies from the competition answering my requests for a submission form. Took me half an hour to figure out how to get them out of the spam folder, and I’m still working on letting go of feeling a right ASS for not noticing it sooner.

Brutal appointment with my physiotherapist. I asked for it, and I got it. He hit a point by my tailbone that was sore, and he began with his usual gentle touch. I was quick to point out he shouldn’t be afraid of hurting me and within half a second I was almost regretting telling him that. Bore down on the area with his full weight. OW! But for the first time he got a deep crack in the area, and my back’s felt better ever since.

Getting back to gym time. Not easy with my hearing complaint. I can’t submerse into sound with my iPod; it doesn’t sound right to me, and the high end is ALL wrong. But I can’t keep using that as an excuse. My angry outburst the other day proved that to me beyond a shadow of a doubt.

I am just done making excuses for myself. The truth is, I’m a woman of extremes. Physically, emotionally, spiritually, and intellectually. Always tried to prevent it, always tried to tread the middle path. Doesn’t work for me. And I’m tired of trying. It is what it is. I push more, feel more, think (and doubt) more than most, believe weird things, and apparently have the hearing of a pre-nubile goddess. At 51.

What a fuckin’ joke.

100 Pounds Lighter

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Ring a ding-ding. I don’t know if it was the afternoon of Downton Abbey, the pizza, my morning swim, or just a shift on the bipolar matrix, but I’m no longer feeling like the stuff on the bottom of your shoes. At least for today, and I’ll take it. People don’t irritate me, the sun is nice to see (not something to run from), and my smiles and laughter are genuine.

I made that phone call to Addiction Central yesterday. Of course I couldn’t speak to Heike; she wasn’t available. And I got damned irritated at the receptionist when I tried to give her first my name and then my phone number. But…according to my brother (the best full length soul mirror I have), I relaxed afterwards. I’d done something, taken a step in the right direction, and my anger and irritation over the whole matter were easier to let go. Still haven’t heard back from her yet (great response time, eh?). Although I find the entire idea of waiting on her beck and call to deliver the coup d’etat unsettling, I did (once again on my brother’s advice) turn off my phone during my morning language lesson because I can at LEAST control that – and it felt good. It also felt good to realize that I’ve got the postal address of Heike’s office, so if she dicks around and doesn’t call me I can just write a letter. Actually, that option is SO attractive to me that I find myself really hoping it happens. I may turn off my phone just to MAKE it happen…

And I’ve something else to confess. I’ll say it first, then give my excuses, reasons, and justifications.

I’m smoking a joint. Right now.

The state I was in two weeks ago…Nothing else to call it but beserker anger. Off the deep end. I knew it at the time but couldn’t stop it. And as usual, when I go THAT far on the scale of fury I do and say things as fringe as my mind. No one said I had to quit entirely. Everyone said I should slow down. My interpretation? Fuck ya all, I’ll quit for fucking forever you bastards, you bastards. I’ve actually got no justifications or excuses for that. I did it. It’s that base-line reaction, that unending wrath that I just can’t control. It pounced on me and really shook me around in its teeth. And I’m not saying it’s over; it’s NEVER over. I know it will come back and hit me again, probably when I least need it.

It’s one of the reasons I know I’m not mentally healthy.

But at least I’m at the point where I know I’m out of control. I didn’t outright stomp on anyone IRL. Even when I walked out of my GP’s office I did so without screaming, yelling, or slamming doors. That’s much better than I would have done, say, thirty years ago. Or even twenty. Or ten. In fact if I think about it, I’m making great progress.

It probably didn’t sound like it out here. And I know it was bad. I’m sure my GP thought/thinks it was bad, despite the WORLDS of progress I’ve made. Compared to the sheep norm, yeah, it was way off the bell curve. On the Beeps curve, it was waaaaay below extreme.

And thankfully, it was fast.

For the record, I did not smoke my way out of it. The J sitting in my ashtray is the first since quitting. And it will be the only one today.

I will not smoke tomorrow, either.

But I WILL relax my stranglehold on myself.

I guess that means I’m not hating myself so much today. My thoughts return to kindness towards myself. Not directed thoughts purposefully turned that way to stop me from killing myself (or others), but impromptu thoughts given freely and with love. Yeah, love. I can go all gooey on myself once in awhile.

Of course I’m afraid this is just a little atoll in an ocean of pain and self loathing. And maybe it is. Today the sea swell is low, and I can live here for a time. No telling when the next storm will pop up. That is the nature of my life. But today smiling is sweet. I will smile and smile, and try to remember in my very bones how good and right it feels. I always try to stock up on good feelings. Kind of nonsense, because it seems to never really work. To NOT do it, though, seems sacrilegious.

And yeah, that’s how I feel. Being out of the jaws of that fury IS sacred to me. Not sure if I should be down on my knees in obeisance or jumping up and down with joy. But the release from that pressure does make me want to give thanks to whom- or whatever. I’ll even thank my bipolar brain.

Speaking of thanks, I want to take the time to express my gratitude to Lola and drewdarko23. You two were right there for me, every day. Reading my words, liking my posts no matter how foul I got. You’ve no idea how much that meant to me, how much it kept me going. During the very worst of it, you two were the reason I kept posting. Anytime you need to talk, let me know. I’ll move mountains to be there for you.

One hundred pounds lighter in spirit, I move on. May the worst of your today be the best of your yesterday. Remember to give a little. Of your time, yourself. It can mean so much.

Where’s that Fucking Sign Post?

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Today I really wish that sign posts would magically pop up at certain points in life. You know, ones that spring up all golden and beautiful with words like ‘You’re on the right track’ or ‘well done, you got over that one’. Something to let me know I’m not chasing my tail for eternity.

SSDD. You know, that does’t work for me. I gotta say it out: same shit different day.

I don’t know if I accomplished anything yesterday, including letting go of my expectations. I DID get a little bit of a lecture about how high my expectations are. It’s true; usually I envision an all or nothing thing. You know, huge hit around the world or absolutely nothing. And usually I fall somewhere in-between. Haven’t had that hit yet, but I have sold. My brother is annoyingly happy and excited with each stream of his music. He can get a report that tells him someone streamed one of his songs somewhere and he’ll be thrilled. Even tho the bottom line states .0001 cent. I can’t get excited about that. Yeah, it gives me a little tingle to think somewhere someone thought one of my songs was good enough to listen to again. It’s nice to be appreciated, even on a small scale. I just can’t get excited about mounting up a bunch of ‘payments’ that don’t even amount to a penny. Yee gods, someone in the music industry is making a shitload of money, and it ain’t me.

Yeah, it’s that time again. Our music industry reports are coming down the line. We’ll finally be able to see what we sold 6-9 months ago. My brother compiles the reports; he gives the update to me with so much more enthusiasm than the other way around. He’s like the David Letterman of unsung musicians, ‘and the top 10 countries we sold in are..’ and he always asks me to guess. I used to just say ‘uh, we only made X amount this quarter’. He’ll say ‘X amount of our songs are out there, and we got radio play X times, and sold X songs and X albums’. Pretty easy to see where each of our focus lies. Mine on money, his just on plays/fans. Wish I could borrow some of his feeling for myself.

For some bloody strange reason, my page out on the website has been the top page on our site. My personal page, that links all my musical and writing and poetry together for the people who can’t figure out that every manipulation of my own name is, in fact, me doing something new. And what have I done lately to promote myself and that page? Nothing. The only thing that I’ve even put out there has been my new stories, and they just include my e-mail. MAYBE the publishers I sent to are looking at my other work out there. Maybe. It’s a stretch. Usually, you’d be lucky to have a publisher read your fucking story, much less do a search on you to find out what else you’ve written. So I have a hard time believing that’s the cause. I want to THINK that’s the reason. Makes me feel good. But I don’t believe it. I believe it’s just another freak event that I’ll never know the WHY of. Happens a lot on the net. We’ve got good info on our site, and my bro has taught himself enough about coding and writing to really understand all the stats that pour in. We’ve been doing this for almost 20 years (gasp! 20 years with the same domain name? yep.). We’ve got social media sites, twitter, tumblr, all the rest. We’ve run experiments posting specific pages. Nothing. Nadda. Not even a fucking blip on the screen. Then out of nowhere, something like this happens and we can’t figure out WTF. Somewhere, someone is digging it or blogging about us or sharing links, but we can’t find it. Maddening.

So I’m the flavor of the month on our website. Oo-la-la. !%$* There I go dissing myself again, before I even begin. Let’s try that again. Hey guys, I’m the most popular artist on my label’s website right now! …True statement. How weird to see it written out like that.

Got less than 2 weeks to figure out what I’ll do at this month’s open mic night. I’ve tossed the idea of bringing down my music for now; gotta let that shoulder rest more, and I’m hardly enticed to drag down my equipment to play to a room with shitty speakers for 25 minutes while most people are back at the bar talking and laughing. I know I’d be playing for like 2 people who stayed around and really wanted to hear what I did. I’m thinking right now I’ll read some of my new writing. Mentioned that to my brother and he was very excited. He hasn’t read anything of the new stuff, and he IS my biggest fan. Gobbles up my stories like a greedy kid and comes back asking for more. I’m a little worried, tho. This new stuff isn’t funny like my book. It’s raw and ugly. Commanding, yes. It COMMANDS attention. But it isn’t nice or fluffy. It’s also personal. Very personal. I’ve taken almost everything out of the first person, except for one story I’ve called ‘Feeding Birds’. I guess I’m just a little scared of reading it out loud. Letting my brother really hear the built up crap I’ve carried around. In some ways, I feel I owe it to him to read it out loud. In other ways, I’m scared he’ll hate that blackness in me, that he’ll be horrified at what I read and he’ll kind of turn away from me in disgust. I know that’s silly. He won’t turn away from me. It’ll be ok. And some perversion inside me wants to shock him and the world with it…

Own it, Beeps.

I want to read the story and have the room go silent and tears come to people’s eyes and when I’m done they all stand up and applaud and whistle and scream bravo.

There is it, egomaniacal in toto. Goddess, that’s hard to admit to. I’m such an approval freak. Love me, love me, love me damn it! Don’t care what it looks like in your book, just give it to me. Adore me. Worship me. I am an egomaniac. Completely self-absorbed. I want and don’t want to give back. Selfish. Self-centered.

…Just giving myself time here to come up with a few more zingers….Got nothin’ else to say? Okay.

The needy part of me is not new. It’s what drove me to the stage in the first place. I accepted that by the time I was 17. There’s that person in me who needs and needs and is never complete. In the limelight, the center of attention, she lives. Goddess, does she live! Then she gets greedy because enough is never enough with her. She whines and moans and soon I am this person no one wants to be around because it’s all me, me, me. I’m scared of what she does. And I’m in awe of her, too. She IS the ‘it’ girl.

I’ve spent most of my adult life trying to balance that out. Trying to get actively involved in things outside myself, people outside myself. I’ve cared and been hurt a lot, so I guess I have put myself out there. And I must admit to feeling more ‘integrated’, if that’s the right word to use. I can understand my extremes a little better these days, I think…maybe….

Where’s that fucking sign post?