The harder I try, the faster I go

Where is my baseline? When I’m depressed, I think ‘yep, this is where I normally live’, but when I’m manic I think ‘yep, this is where I’m meant to live’ and honestly, I just don’t know. I don’t know I know what it’s like to be happy or excited without being manic. I don’t know I know what it’s like to be sad or blue without being depressed. I don’t know that I’ve spent one minute of my life in a “normal” human mode without an extreme taking over.

My fears and frustrations did what they always end up doing to me: they pushed me into action. In the last 48 hours I’ve designed and prepped a flyer for my play; designed and prepped a teaser video for said play; brainstormed on marketing and advertising strategies (three pages worth); searched in English and Dutch for venues, bloggers, and anything remotely connected with theatre and the arts; and brainstormed, researched, and decided upon a tag line for the entire production. That’s in addition to reading several chapters in my book, writing three pages of narrative in Dutch, finishing my homework, getting to the gym, and keeping up on the housework.

Just a little manic (and yes, that’s sarcastic, I’m out in the fucking stratosphere, people).

In some ways, this is just my life. My pattern is to think for a long time. It looks like I’m doing jack shit, but in truth I’m working my ass off contemplating whatever it is I’ve got in my sights. When I finally do make a move, I’ve thought it out so completely that it goes at lightening speed. The flyer I designed was a perfect example: thought about it for days but the physical process of putting it together took me less than 30 minutes, and that includes searching for and manipulating a copyright free picture to use in the background. Same with the teaser video. Boom, boom, boom – one, two, three – and it’s done. Now both projects must sit on my desktop because neither can be released before I have performance dates and venues. … But, yeah. I’m always in feast or famine mode. It’s the natural of the way I work. Catch me in famine mode and you’ll think I spend my days sitting around on my ass playing games and watching tv. Catch me in feast mode and you’ll think I never sit down nor stop working.


The internet cut me off. Yeah. Even the Universe is flipping telling me to STOP.

Trying to divvy up my time. An hour here, an hour there. Move around and don’t stay with anything too long. It isn’t really working. I’m fighting it, wanting to keep going once I get going. Or I get up and try something else to little effect and return to my obsession. Try this, write that idea down, search that. If I don’t slow down I’ll have all the ‘jobs’ finished before I even talk to the director about the production.

And no matter what I cajole my body into doing, my head stays on topic, never leaving it for long, never ceasing to think of new ideas, new approaches, new considerations. Mentally, I like being here. It is full of hope and energy. I also know it’s a danger point.

Food is never far from my thoughts these days. Don’t skip meals. Eat something. Mornings I feel like I have to shove food down my throat. Evenings I feel like I can’t eat enough. Been trying to just go with the flow as best as possible, but working out at the gym or any other afternoon activity throws a wrench into it: go too hard in the afternoon and I drop. Ergo, I need food before I do my afternoon activities. But I then I’m shoving food again, feeling like I’m eating unnecessarily when I’m not hungry. Tried riding out the morning and eating after the gym, which works to an extent. It screws up my dinner time, tho, and I don’t like that. The experience just serves to bring me back to the beginning: gods, I wish I didn’t have to eat at all.

Fucking three dimensional carbon based life forms! What a wet sack of shit we’re all caught in. My body just slows me down. The pain, the need to sleep, to rest, to eat. It disrupts my work, and that irritates me. I do my best to remind myself that this is reality as I know it; the animal is part of me, treat it like a well loved pet rather than an often kicked dog. Gah! It ain’t easy.

Thinking about tackling those big cleaning jobs around the house, the ones I do once every six months or so. It’s time; the place needs it. It would also be something else to keep me occupied and at least physically away from obsessing (and it would allow me ample time to just think about things). That’s hardly ‘rustig’, tho. My best bet is to try reading again, tho lately I’m so squirrelly I have a difficult time sitting even for that.

I can feel my routine break down. See it, even. I was so stable for so long. Get up, eat oatmeal, exercise, Dutch, afternoon writing, evening tv, sleep. Now, it’s all out the window. Can’t eat in the mornings, exercise is a vague maybe, Dutch homework is still a drag tho reading has become a joy, my only writing is my obsessive marketing information collection, evening tv is on but largely unwatched because I’m fucking obsessed and only thinking of my work, and sleep is a toss and turn and check the clock to see if I can get up and start again.

I’ve been here before. I know what this is.

And the harder I try to slow down, the faster I go…


Figure it out

R-ring! Ring!

My phone doesn’t ring often. So I was more than surprised to hear it ring yesterday at 8:16 a.m. Ran down the hall to my room, pulled it off the charger, picked it up.

Wall of Dutch. Again. I’ll give myself credit; I’m starting to get used to so much Dutch when I answer the phone. I’ll give myself another pat on the back because I didn’t freak out. Just listened until I heard some words I recognized. Ah! You’re calling from my doctor’s office. Naturally. I’d just finished touting the fact I’d made that appointment. What’s that? You need to change the appointment? Of course you do; what was I thinking? Didn’t say all that, but it is what went through my mind. Managed to change the appointment to Monday morning without using English.

Tackled my language homework in the late morning. The printed exercises were fairly easy, and I got through them in about an hour. Then, I began writing. Our essay assignment this week is to describe where we live. …Can I just say ‘Wow’? For a couple of reasons. One, I could tell immediately my Dutch reading has had an effect. My sentences were stronger right from the start. Fuller. Longer, even. Second, I couldn’t stop writing. Didn’t want to. Just kept going and going until my brother came out to make dinner. Oh, it takes me forever. I still have to have two dictionaries and my sheets on prepositions and odd verbs all handy, open, and ready to refer to. But I’m doing it. Six pages of double spaced, hand-written material done and I still haven’t even begun to describe the living room. Next week I might not feel so confident and cocky, but right now I’m flying high. Feels like I’m getting a real grip on Dutch. I hope so.

Slept like the dead. Really whacked myself out; down for 10 hours. Or maybe I’m finally slowing down enough to feel how low I let my body get. Still tired, and I may end up napping today. Oh! Napping! The word makes me shiver with anticipation. To sweetly fall asleep, gently moving into that netherworld… Well, that idea now has me excited enough that I might not be able to do it.

Things I gotta do today: nothin’. Things I wanna do today: sit in my big chair, under my warm cozy blanket, and read my book until I fall asleep. I’ve been reliving my childhood. Mouth guard at night to remind me sharply of my retainer at 13. Little to no appetite for anything that’s not sugar based. I even – and Goddess, I shouldn’t have said anything! – broke out with a pimple. 52 and I have a bleeding pimple on my chin. You couldn’t trigger me more if you’d designed a box with everything that set me off and put me in it. This is such a body experience. My head knows what’s going on, but my body just keeps responding with that jerked knee. If I have to, I’ll take myself out of the game entirely until this blows over. Zero human contact, no leaving the house. Don’t feel I’m there (yet), but I’m keeping it in mind. It’s my safety blanket (and my safety blanket is a light, soft blue…warm cotton with one of those faux satin trimmings).

Teaching myself to think one step beyond. Not one thousand steps; not so high on the pinnacle it’s dizzying. Nope. One step beyond. Anxious about the appointment with my doc? Think about my next language lesson, just a few short hours beyond the appointment. Worried about the script read through? Think about the day after, and heading back to the gym. Trying to get my thoughts unstuck without sending myself into orbit. It’s a different manner of approaching this, and thus far, it’s helping. I feel a bit more balanced, a bit more continuous in time rather than so up and down or in and out.

Went to physio for my jaw. A nice woman. She asked what I hoped to get out of physio. Obvious to me she’s had some patients who think she can end the pain entirely. I’ve had too much physio to think one treatment will ever cure me of anything. Told her I’m looking for some exercises, something that might help the pain when it does strike or prevent me from doing it in the first place. She nodded, thinking. Who first thought you might have TMJ? she asked me. Me. I diagnosed myself, then went to my GP and dentist. Again, a nod. We chatted away, first in English and then a bit in Dutch. I’ve got some exercises. Pulling on my cheeks, manipulating my tongue, moving and exercising the smaller muscles in the jaw.

Sadly, all that manipulation led to more pain last night. And far more biting, so deep in sleep that I barely remember coming to when I gnashed my teeth or turned over or took off my pj top because I’d sweated through it (obviously, I remember some of it).

*sigh* 13 year old me was a real basket case.

Gonna ignore an awful lot today. Close the curtains because no, I don’t want to see the rest of the world go about their lives while I’m in hibernation. Rest. Feels like that item is always on the menu lately. But my brother keeps telling me I’m still too pale, still not back to my old self.

lol! Now that IS funny. Because I am back to my old self. My 13 year old self. I keep saying it.

And I keep exploring it. I say ‘Okay, have that soda, have that sugary treat. You feel 13, you’re getting triggered…where is this going?’ I wonder where my path will lead me. So eat sugar, if that’s what you want. Read. Nap in the afternoon. Find out what it is that’s driving all this gnashing. You’re here and going through this for a reason.

Figure it out.

Get on with it

Did not sleep well. Up at midnight for a very late smoke and games, which then turned into reading and finally drifting off. Woke myself up several times from biting on my mouth guard. And for the second night in a row, my bed looks a disaster area as I’ve kicked and squirmed until most of my bedding material lay on the floor.

Learned once again through example that I am the person most likely to grind myself into the ground through shame and guilt. No one at my language class said ‘boo’ to me about my “terrible outburst” (something I’m now thinking wasn’t so bad at all and I’ve just blown it way out of proportion in my brain). A few sought me out for some simple conversation. No frowns, no scoldings, no fretful staying away from this horrible person. Ended up feeling comfortable enough to stay ’til the end. Had a ready made excuse; I was ready to lie to get out of class, in other words. As usual when I think through worst case scenarios, I didn’t end up using my out. But having the out is like a safety blanket. I hold onto it. It helps me be brave.

Found the class at an even slower level. We began the semester with loads of homework, fast listings of grammatical rules and irregular verbs. A huge push. Then, we slowed down to master the grammar and verbs. Now we’re at a snail’s pace, working on punctuation. I’ve a huge lead over my fellow students; I’m the only English speaker in class, and Dutch punctuation is only a hair’s breadth difference from English. Plus, I write. And read. Was pleased not to feel too behind everyone else. And I’m happy to report that everyone is getting that micro-pickiness on pronunciation now. I felt very singled out for a while. Now I’m just one of many.

Tearing thru the Roald Dahl. I’m really enjoying it. Never read the story in English, so it’s all new to me. And I HAVE to find this out: do all Dutch writers use that terse, dry style? Or is it just that I’m a newbie to the language, so that’s the books they’re giving me? Because DAMN! Reading Dahl in Dutch is like opening a flower – petal after petal of loveliness. Description. Scores of prepositional phrases. Dahl takes the time to tell you not just what something looks like but how it feels. It’s at the perfect reading level: difficult enough to present a challenge now and then, but easy enough to really engage me. I want more. My brother suggested I renew my library membership, and I think I will. If I can find more books like this, you won’t be able to stop me from reading.

…All I really need is an outbreak of acne, and then I truly will be a mirror to my younger self. The triggers, the mouth guard, the bad sleep, the reading. Throw in my persistent crush on my physiotherapist, and that’s it. Thirteen year old me. I feel strange. To have lived this long, yet to find myself having come full circle in so many respects… I once had a dream when I was a kid. I don’t like to talk about this since the movie Inception, because they discussed it and I just don’t need people thinking I’m borrowing memories from pop culture. Anyway. I dreamt an entire life. I grew old. Very old. When I woke up, still that pre-teen youngster… I remember feeling very strange, very odd for many days. I was an 80 year old grey haired woman caught in that body. …That may have been when I “lost” my sense of humor. Went through a long period (10 years) of not being able to laugh at many things. I was told, of course, that I had no sense of humor (because Goddess forbid my tormentors would ever take any blame on themselves). The more I think about it, the more I feel like that’s right. That’s when I stopped laughing so easily. That’s when things changed. That damned dream. If it was a dream… These days I’m wondering if I’ll dream I’m her again. If the dream will be reversed, from this side. I’ve always expected it, since I had the original dream.

Well. Still a few years to go. I’m not grey yet.

I know how nuts that sounds. Just another reason why I don’t mention it often. To explain myself means I have to explain the ‘e’ curve, and my take on reality, which will either land me in some think tank or a mental asylum. But time isn’t infinite. It’s big. It’s bendy. But it’s not infinite (if dimensions exist outside of time, a mathematical concept, then time must be finite because something can exist outside of it). And the path to get from one place to another is often crooked and meandering. Do I think it’s possible for an older me to suddenly re-awaken as a pre-teen? Yes. Not likely, but possible. Sometimes I wonder if I’ve already done just that. If this life was my second (or third, or sixth, or hundred and fortieth) time ’round. That takes me into the possibility of time loops, and hell, and that type of thinking is just too heavy for me to tackle today. But it’s something I’ll keep in mind.

Heading back to the gym today. I think the scabs on my shoulder can take a sports bra. Thank you, body, for allowing me to rest without causing pain in my back. Time to get back out there. Start the animal moving, put her through her paces.

And it’s Tuesday. You know what that means. Pick one of the dreaded tasks and do it.

…That’s got me so stuck I don’t know what else to say.

Guess I’ll just shut up and get on with it.

Perchance, to dream

It’s midnight my time. I’ve been tossing and turning for an hour, trying to get to sleep. Every time I manage to banish the thoughts that are bothering me and take a deep breath, those same ghosts swoop back down on me moments later, strangling me and any hope of sleep.

So. I fucking lost it today. Some would say that’s a self fulfilling prophecy. Others might say ‘she just knows herself’. Whatever. I fucking lost it, and pretty bad, and feel shitty about it. Just about losing it publicly, not what I lost it over.

Let’s make something real clear right now: hearing ‘calm down’ in your native language is bad enough, but hearing it in a foreign tongue really clicks my meter into the stratosphere. And man, did I fucking hear it.

Class. I probably should have called in sick. Just stayed the fuck home. I knew I was walking a thin line with my anger and irritation. But no! I wasn’t dying, and Dutch is for some reason fucking important to me (can’t quite remember WHY right now), so I had to go despite my misgivings. First up: punctuation. For fuck’s sake! Between a couple of people chatting non-stop to some non-fucking-sensical comma use, I was on edge. Then I was called on to read out a couple of sentences and I kid you not – the entire fucking class laughed at me when I made mistakes. Laughed at me. They didn’t laugh at other people when they made their mistakes. Everyone patiently waded through it, and hid their eye rolls over the fucking forever repetition some people had to go thru. But me, they laughed at. My mind went bonkers. Every single word of Dutch left me. Every. single world. You could have said ‘Ja’ to me and I wouldn’t have caught it; it all sounded like ‘blah blah de blah blah’ to me.

Right. So someone with an IQ of around 80 realized I was angry and made a comment about it. Why are you so angry? Why? I’m fucking confused. I was then told if I didn’t understand something, it was better to ask (are you feeling like I was treated like a 5 year old? because I sure as fuck felt like it). So I began to make a ‘safe’ answer regarding the punctuation I didn’t understand. Then the woman sitting next to me – it was her first lesson – piped up and tried to explain to the teachers why I was confused. She fucking thought. she knew. what the fuck. I was going through.

Ballistic-o-meter went off the scale. All pretense of Dutch was dropped, and I rounded on her in English, saying that if SOMEONE would let ME answer the question I was asked, perhaps I would be able to explain MYSELF.

The fucking nerve of her.

The fucking nerve of all of them, laughing at me like that.

And gee, when break was finally called I didn’t think it was a big fucking surprise that I fucking avoided every single person and just found a quiet corner to try and pull myself together. Yeah. Laughing at me like that really makes me fucking want to talk to you.

I am this close to telling them all to fuck off.

If it happens again, I might just do that and walk.

I ain’t even sure I want to go back! Between my continued RAGE (fucking RAGE all capital because it STILL hasn’t slowed down) and my shame over losing it yet again and being so fucking shamed over being so fucking shamed…Christ! Like I want to walk back into THAT den.


Can’t I just find another class? Or maybe a private teacher?

Or maybe I’m just chicken shit. Maybe the brave thing to do is stick it out. I don’t know. I just know right now my whole oomph is out the fucking window and headed south. I don’t want to do Dutch. I don’t want to read Dutch or hear Dutch or think Dutch. I am fed up.

Can’t let go of the part of me that feels a failure if I just walk away and stop trying, tho. So I torment myself. Bad, bad, Beeps! You’re so awful. The whole situation will probably solve itself because they’ll probably tell you to leave. No one wants you around with your angry outbursts. You’re not right in the head. Either that, or you’re just a stuck up bitch princess who wants everything to always go her way.

I’ve been told both.

…Gods, I hate myself.

And I’m too empty to cry.

You know…the worst thing is this…unspoken attitude that I ought to be able to handle it. I ought to be able to breathe my fucking problems away. Just like I ought to be able to stop my circular thoughts. Just don’t think about it. Yeah. Why not tell me not to think about elephants? If I could stop my thoughts, clear my mind, be calm no matter what, DON’T YOU THINK I’D FUCKING DO IT? Do you really look at me at the height of my frustration and think ‘gee, looks like she’s enjoying that’? Because I DON’T enjoy it. I don’t enjoy the ensuing comments. The looks. The forever pussy-footing backlash. The connections forever lost because people decide I’m just too this or that, and they don’t understand or want to TRY to understand.

I don’t enjoy this. At. all.

Nor do I look forward to the endless tossing and turning as I rehash and rehash what happened. Or the burning sensation in my stomach and solar plexus. Or the excess gas, the tight breath, the clenched jaw, ANY OF IT!! The pounding of my body makes me wonder if I’m having a heart attack. No? Just my heartbeat, all normal? Then why does my body pound like that?

I refuse to make any decision other than the decision to allow myself to calm down and go to sleep.

Perchance, to dream.

Behind the door

Bah. Back to pain. Something else is wrong. I’ve had root canals and tooth problems; this ain’t that. This is an ice pick inserted at my temple and turned round and round for 2-3 hours at a time. This is my ear feeling full and sore, pain radiating down my neck, difficulty swallowing. And sleeping! Twelve to 16 hours a day has become my norm. It’s backing off slowly. If Sunday hit a 10 on my pain scale and Monday/Tuesday were 8, I’m around a 6 to 7. I can sit when it hits – most of the time. But I’m thankful for sleeping so much so I don’t have to be aware of it all the time.

Have an appointment with my GP tomorrow. Will take her thru it, including all the hot spots under my ear, in front of my ear, and at my temple. Don’t want to eat because that’s what seems to set it off. Even now – been eating mush. Really don’t have to chew, just move it around with my tongue and swallow. That’s still too much. Two hours later, I’m pacing and holding my head. Just willing myself thru it until it eases off. Then I’ve got to sleep.

Gods, there are moments when I’d like to just rip my entire face off. Yank all the teeth, cut off my ear and ear drum, rake out my throat. Anything. Even tho the level of pain has dropped, its persistence is driving me nuts.

Looked and found info on a condition termed TMJ, and that’s what I think is going on. My jaw doesn’t click, but other than that, I’ve got all the symptoms. I know docs hate patients who self-diagnose, but I also hate docs who don’t see the obvious, so I’ll mention it. I have to live in this pain box; I know where the limits are. You can think I’m being overdramatic, if it’s just a tooth. I know. I also know what it’s like from the inside, and let me tell you, your diagnosis is wrong. Don’t know what can be done. As usual, I’ll have waited too long. Had I seen my GP earlier, there’d probably be no question. But now some of it is backing off – mostly because I’m not moving my mouth at all, not talking, and barely eating or swallowing anything. I spend hours managing the pain that comes from what little mouth movement I do. And I sleep. I can’t go to my classes, I can’t go out, I can’t really do anything. Hell! I can only sit long enough to write this because (1) I already took a pain pill, (2) I haven’t eaten anything and (3) I lit up a J as soon as my eyes opened.

Too much.

No desire to sit on this thru the holidays. No desire to put up with it for one more day. Don’t want to eat anything today. Fuck.

Taking old ativan tabs. My brother had some left over. They’re 2 years out of date, but he’s kept them in the cool and dark, so they’ve still got a some potency left (and honestly, I didn’t care if I poisoned myself just so long as the damned pain eased off). They do seem to be helping, and if I’m correct about it being TMJ, they should help. Knock me on my ass, tho. Which is fine – I can sleep right now because I’m relaxed rather than being worn down by pain.

My appointment with the dentist isn’t ’til the 28th. Hoping for two things. One, that my GP backs up my suspicions on this TMJ thing, and two, that the seizing is long over before I have to crank my mouth open for an extended period of time. Right now, brushing my teeth is tough. Keeping my mouth open wide enough and long enough for work to be done…ugh. I don’t even want to think about it.

One thing has happened with all this sleep: the bags under my eyes are at their lowest level since I was 40. I knew I was tired most of the time. But several days of 12 hours plus sleep…that’s real tired. Maybe I need something to help keep me down on a regular basis.

Doing my best to stay positive. Telling myself that even if my GP does nothing, the pain is slowly getting better. I just don’t want to invest months in this. Barely talking, sleeping so much, dealing with it, dealing with it day after day even when you think ‘that’s it! that’s the last pain!’ but it never is… No wonder I’m so fucking exhausted.

Sent a text to my language teacher yesterday ditching class. Can’t talk or concentrate. All I’d do is rock back and forth in my chair holding my head. Why bother?

Planning to sleep to tv today. Have to take my pills, so I have to eat something. Ow. I’ll put that off as long as possible. Will take an ativan half an hour before eating. Maybe that’ll give it enough time to relax the area so it doesn’t seize up. Get thru the inevitable bout of pain post eating; I’m anticipating it now. Then sleep. Probably all day. Try to eat in late afternoon so the pain hits in the early evening. Shitty, right? Plan life around when you want the pain to hit. But that’s where I’m at. Get it done early enough that I can sleep by nine at the latest.

There’s very little left to life when you’re compartmentalizing agonizing pain.

I’ve got pretty good at it over the years, tho. Sad to list it as one of my special skills, but, there it is. I’m pleased enough to sit here without feeling the need to nurse my head. To breathe in and experience little pain.

The big pain sits behind a door marked PAIN. And that’s where I want to keep it.

Who you are

Four a.m. is a lonely time. I suppose if you see four a.m. because you’re still up partying it doesn’t seem so lonely. But getting up that early is another matter. It’s dark – nighttime dark. And cold, and quiet. If I needed the time to tease a story out of me, it would be perfect.

Instead, I’m just re-setting my time clock: live normally, only a few hours earlier. That’s what makes it lonely. Get up alone, eat breakfast alone, spend hours alone because I’m off of the rest of the world.

Really makes me feel for those third shift people out there.

Another call from the casting director, with an apology for calling me on a Saturday. Ah, the Dutch! Even if the world was about to split apart, they’d apologize for bothering you with it on a Saturday. Called to see if I could make rehearsal on Tuesday. We need to test make-up and hair, check the dress she’s got for me, meet, greet, and rehearse with the rest of the cast, talk, and take care of whatever else comes up. Yep. Expected as much, and ready for it. Dug out my mother’s wedding ring and my pearl necklace. Finally! A chance to use them.

Me: played Susie Housemaker and cooked up dinner. Usually that’s my bro’s job, but Saturday is his comic day, so it fell to me. Didn’t need to do much, but I kept thinking about the role: she would make a full dinner. She would do it and be happy about it. She would lay out the table, make hot bread, think three steps ahead and be serving up the food the moment people walked in the house. So I did just that, to get in her skin.

Also spent time in front of the mirror. Usually, the only time I look in the mirror is to fix my hair or brush my teeth. Now I’m trying out smiles and small nods. I’ve determined the key to this role: I can’t move my eyebrows. She is cool as cool; as the old saying goes, butter wouldn’t melt in her mouth. And so, always a smooth brow. A small, almost sad smile: look how much I do every moment for you! It’s both believable and surreal – too real to be fake and too off to be completely comfortable with. Keeping my eyebrows still is a challenge. I’ve the kind of face that moves with expression, and in my natural state I’ve been told many a time I could never play poker well. My eyebrows jump and twitch. I can feel them doing vaults over my eyes – in particular, that right eyebrow raised to a pitched arch with my left eyebrow steady and glowering. Yes. I speak with my damned eyebrows. …Like right there, when I realized there was no more coffee. Pop, went that right eyebrow. Really and truly? Hm. That’s a shame. She doesn’t do that. Smooth forehead. Slow turns of the head. Slow blinking, even. Been practicing it. I like the way it looks in the mirror. Hope the director likes it, too.

Chilled yesterday in between bursts of Susie H. Felt I deserved it and that it was warranted. I did well on my audition, and I need to conserve my strength (which means relaxing when I can). Today I want to walk at the gym and get thru my Dutch homework. Also want to prep for Den Haag. I might need to head up there on Wednesday, as well. Sure that will depend on how Tuesday goes. Must make sure I get laundry done; it’ll be my last opportunity before next weekend. Trying to keep my cuticles under control and my nails neat. Do a last check for earrings; haven’t found any I felt were appropriate.

Things I really should invest in: a pair of natural looking false eyelashes. A pair of pumps, for a (ugh) dress. A new bra or two. Pantyhose. Earrings. Maybe some make-up that isn’t so garish. All could be used for the film, and I don’t have any of it. Seems a bit weird. The shoes, anyway. But I gave up on all that. Stopped caring so much. I am me. I shouldn’t have to window dress myself like that. Groom myself, yes. Take care with my appearance, sure. But paint myself up with poisons and dead animals? Throw my back and hips out of balance by tip-toeing on some impossibly high shoes? Hell no! That’s…insecurity. What about you makes you feel you have to do that? It’s not comfortable. It’s not healthy. I just don’t get it.

She, of course, gets it. She lives it. And so I must change. Drop my attitude and embrace hers. I’m not going to torture my feet with pumps all week, but I will try to remember that’s the way she lives. I did it at one point in my life. The memories are there. And I fully expect to be handed a pair of shoes to wear. If I can wear my sneakers because my feet won’t show, I will. But I’ll think pumps.

…I sometimes wonder how much of this is me. I am very visceral, and must do to learn. Want to know what madness is like? Go there. I am also a parrot, picking up gestures and phrases and mimicking them back. Right at this moment, I can’t think of one thing I do or say that I haven’t seen or heard done by someone else. I am not original. I’m just kind of an idiot savant at parroting back exactly the right thing at the right time to the right person. A spliced together sound and vid file that seems to answer you with the appropriate response.

What’s underneath all the learned bits? That’s what I keep asking.

Time to anchor myself solidly again, before I drift off into another persona.

Punk. Toker. Joker. Brilliant. Powerful. Feminist. Person. Student. Teacher.

That’s who you are.

Reverse Hibernation

Tired. Like, down to my bones. Every limb feels heavy and stiff. Slept 10 hours and considering a nap. Trying not to, ’cause naps fuck me up more than it’s worth most times, unless I’ve been on a crying jag (which I’ve not)…then it resets me.

Consciously smoking. Cutting down. Reigning in. …It’s as much a pain in the ass process as active listening is right now.

Just want to sleep.

My brain has shut down. It refuses to think of anything more than putting one foot in front of the other. It offers no inspiration, gives me nothing from story-land to occupy my time.

It’s bleak, but comforting. And I think this is the way death comes to us. It tires us down, bit by bit, until we welcome the unending slumber. At least, I hope so.

I hope that’s the way it happens.

Happy thoughts to while away the day, yes?

Ugh. I hate my body when it’s like this. Far beyond just exercise back lash. Fronts have been moving through the area, and long observation has lead me to the conclusion that fast moving weather fronts affect my RA. Summer is always hell. I use selective denial, and choose to remember summers as fun. But the truth always hits me mid-way. Summer tires me out terribly.

Been rehearsing my role. Really have the first seven pages down. Recorded in my partner’s lines for the last half of the script. Now it’s repetition. Perfecting. I keep finding deeper and deeper nuances of body language to use. So much can be said with a turn of the head.

Trying not to worry. Tough, when I’m like this. If I could keep active, keep going…then maybe my mind wouldn’t go so dark. But I struggled to get the dishes done. It was a big job, or it felt like it. Going outside, committing to other activities…I’d drop over unconscious within an hour. I need an extra boost of caffeine to even begin reaching a state of ‘normal’ alertness. A big boost.

Feels like I’m slipping into some reverse hibernation. Sleep away the summer rather than the winter.

…On a cosmic level, that makes sense somehow…doesn’t it?

Fear is a weighty burden

Five a.m., 23 degrees. My eyes wanted to keep sleeping, but my head hit that anger button – hard. One moment I was tossing and turning in my bed, trying to get comfortable, the next I was half dreaming of a family reunion and running towards my bitch of an older sister to repeatedly smash her in the face. How I would love to do that. I’d hit her and hit her, until blood flowed. Then I’d hit her some more, until my hands broke. That’s how much I hate that bitch. Physical violence, all the way. Killing her by any means other than wrapping my hands around her overly-fat neck and squeezing wouldn’t be satisfactory. It’s harsh, but true.

And of course I want the truth to come out. How everything she accused me of was her projecting her faults onto me. I want the family to see it, to KNOW that to be true. I want vindication.

I am unlikely to get any.

I know I’m scared right now. Somehow the lid on that container got taken off, too. Been having small panic attacks over the last 24 hours. Been thinking about walking off and allowing myself to die. Holding on, but it’s getting harder. I’m slipping.

Falling into summer depression mode.

Telling myself right now that it’s temporary. Somehow, though, the thought that I’m only ever REALLY okay for a few months in spring and a few months in autumn makes me feel that this is my default, and those few blessed months away from self-doubt and overwhelming anger aren’t my true baseline.

Naturally, my body reflects my horrid self-image. My psoriasis has gone wild, and my feet look like they belong to a leper. Just in time for summer sandals. It’s even spread to my hands again, which makes me very self-conscious. I feel fat and bloated. Hate my hunger; my body’s too fat, it doesn’t need to eat! Wish I could live on popsicles alone. They’re cold and sweet, and only 40 calories each.

Have to sit thru a language lesson this morning. Don’t want to. I’ll give myself props where props are due: in the past few days I’ve overheard some Dutch – mostly from the tv – and understood. That’s overhearing understanding, not concentrating understanding. Big difference. Maybe I don’t know many Dutch words, but a few have wormed their way into my subconscious. I don’t need to think about them; I KNOW. Been picking up my Dutch book to read at night, too. Don’t feel I’m doing well, or reading fast, or getting everything. Need to re-read some passages a couple of times. At least I’m trying.

Got my first script rejection yesterday, too. That doesn’t help. I know – one more notch in the belt, right? I’ll add it to my pile of rejections (someday, when I’m famous, I’ll wallpaper a room with all of those rejections and make interviewers walk through it before talking to me). Felt a bit like all my mental defenses came crashing down, tho. I had that *whimper* why try? in my head. Yeah, well…get ready. Sent out to a lot of places during my last up phase. I’ll probably see the fruits of that come back to me now, when I least need it.

I’m worried I’ve wasted my life, dithering around, trying this and that. And it feels too late to try anything new. Feels like my only alternative is to keep trying, keep hoping. And I worry I’m living on a pipe dream. A nice fantasy I tell myself to keep the boogie man away at night. I keep saying someday. Someday when I have a bit more money, someday when I’m famous, someday…. I’m tired of saying it.

Afraid of telling my brother all this because I was doing well for a while there. Purposeful, forward movement. Now…now all I am is a mass of insecurities. And I feel like I can’t or shouldn’t keep relying on someone else to help me feel better. All I do is add to his worries.

Through all of this is the deep seated knowledge that I must, above all else, keeping taking steps forward. Keep on my exercise, keep trying to get some sleep. Keep sending my stuff out and to hell with all the idiots who can’t see how good it is. Funny how in this hottest of hot weather I feel like I’m moving through molasses in January. Slow, difficult steps. Things that drag on me, and weigh me down.

Fear is a weighty burden.

I wonder

Thirty minutes on the cross trainer. No more fucking around. The additional ten minutes were easier than the first ten. Thirty minutes on the bikes – giving my feet a rest from the treadmill. Thirty minutes lifting weights and getting eyed up by all the men pushing their bulging biceps just a little bit further.

I sweat a lot at the gym. Not because I’m that fat, or because I abuse alcohol, but because I drink copious amounts of water each and every day. Doesn’t take much exertion to get sweat going with me – and I consider that a good thing; sweating is a natural cleansing process. Sweat pours off my face, soaks my shirt. I drip.

And people look at me. Never know exactly why. Do they think I look ridiculous, working so much while in this old body? Do they worry I might keel over from too much exertion?

…Why does anybody look at anybody in the gym? Is it a diss thing? Does it allow shallow people to judge and find you (or me) lacking so that they feel better about their own pathetic existence?

I’m not so stupid as to forget the basics: the gym is the new meat locker. No, I didn’t spell that wrong. I said meat locker and I meant meat locker. It’s the place to go and scope the sex you’re attracted to. See it all – the muscles and the flab. Make your choice whether to fuck or not fuck based on the daylight, stripped down version rather than the nighttime dolled up version at a club.

So I gotta ask – why look at me? Don’t you know how old I am?

Honest answer: no. No, they don’t know how old I am. And thanks to a certain disgusting American “comedy” show that birthed anagrams like MILTF, they don’t even care that I’m older. Because even an older bitch is still worth a ride. Not a relationship, mind you, – but a ride. Once in a while.

Ignore. Got a pair of psychic blinders I put on that helps me studiously ignore all such nonsense – and usually the soundtrack is something heavy duty, too, like Lacuna Coil or Queensryche.

Have found a temporary balm for my troubled soul in the form of a tv show. Yeah, I know. Keeps me on my ass, sitting around, and all too easy to smoke. Tough. It’s soothing my angry spirit, calming my worried mind – so it’s worth it right now.

All the wind is knocked out of my sails right now with the script. Still got formatting to do, and my head screams with boredom so loudly when I think of it I swear it’s audible in the room. Hope I’ll find my enthusiasm again soon, and everything will get done in that lickety-split manner that happens when you’re all ready for the long haul. If not…well, I still got two weeks to complete it and get it out before the deadline. Even if I’m screaming out loud by then, I can get it done.

Sleep is my friend again. Seems someone out there listened to my fevered prayer. The Sandman doesn’t just sprinkle my eyes at night, he whaps me over the head with his full sandbag and I’m down for 10 hours minimum.

Tomorrow night is another play rehearsal. Have not even opened the script. On some level, I feel it’s not necessary. We’re still blocking the piece out. Trying different pauses and inflections. Why memorize my role one way, then have the director tell me to do it differently? Better to get his take on the whole thing, then rehearse it with his notes.

Dutch is a little better. My head took my language frustration seriously, and I can tell I’m really trying to zero in on the words again. Not back to reading the novel; when I’ve the energy to read, I’m researching for my next script. But I am trying to do a page of exercises in my books before classes. …Oh, yeah. And I skipped on Friday. Can’t help but think skipping the most stressful lesson of the week helped me to refocus. My teacher really ramps me up, and that doesn’t help me learn.

My brother has promised to help me today with housework. I bitched yesterday morning about it. Loudly and clearly. Didn’t blame, just whined that the continual grind of it makes me forget what day it is. Doing the same chores every single day in the same manner at the same time with no variation can really fuck you up that way. And I’m always too bushed from doing the basics to do any of the bigger stuff. So I hope with help today to get the hoovering AND the dusting done, all in one go. Clean the mirrors, scrub out the sinks. If we can do enough that I don’t feel I’ve got to clean something every damned day, I’ll feel better.

At least for a week.

Very much feels like I’m trying to get ahead of my darkness. If I can stay a half step ahead of it, if I eat right and get enough sleep and exercise regularly, maybe, maybe I won’t go down again. I know that’s a lie. I’ll go down again. I always go down again.

And I’ll be honest here. As a writer, or a wanna-be writer growing up, I wanted to go down. I wanted to know rock bottom. How could anyone effectively write about something they know nothing about? It seemed to me that all the great writers went down, found that pit of base humanity from which to write – and thus, all the great stories were born. So I said to myself, yes, I want that. I need to know what it is.

Did I drive myself mad? Did I embrace insanity at some point to know? I wonder.

Three Facts

I am up too early and smoking too much.

Did my best to hang onto my high yesterday, but it wore away under the relentless pounding it got from everyday concerns. Dutch lesson: a tragic disaster. My head’s been writing in English, thinking in English – so my Dutch felt more than rusty. Don’t know if I put together a coherent sentence. Didn’t help that my teacher picked a page out of a workbook that was way too advanced for me, conjugating verbs that use ‘zich’ in a sentence. I felt dumber than dumb. By the end of the lesson my head was beginning to come back to Dutch – but then we were saying good-bye, and I was walking home knowing it’s up to ME to keep the Dutch alive in my brain until next week.

Off to the pharmacy to pick up my meds. Contemplated the whole way there. What was the correct question form? Is the word I’m looking for krijgen? Gekrijgen? Am I even in the ballpark? Settled on using a half sentence – I have a text message from you/Ik heb een SMS van jullie. Not great grammar, but I was understood. Stocked up on pills. Oh, goodie.

Off to the gym for a light session. I banged my ankle last time on a machine edge, and yes, it’s black and blue, so I took it easy.

Then there’s the headlines this morning. – !

I’m tired and smoking isn’t helping. But I’ve got a lesson this morning with the teacher who riles me up 75% of the time without trying, and I’ll be damned if I’m gonna walk into that classroom without something to soothe my nerves.

Wanna delve right into more English. Edit the last script. Read it, at least. I shouldn’t. I should let it sit. Got class this morning and meeting acquaintances on Sunday for a coffee and chat (see? I AM trying to get out and be social). Should keep my head on straight. …*sigh* Somehow that makes the temptation even greater.

…Oh, I wish I were different. Stronger. More self assured.

Wish I knew what the fuck I’m doing, too.


Fact: no one knows what the fuck they’re doing. If they claim they do, they’re lying.

Fact: everyone feels insecure sometimes. If you never see them down, they’re faking it well.

Fact: everything I’ve heard about my progress with Dutch is someone’s opinion. I’m doing well, I’m not so hot – all just opinions. I’ve got more comprehension than when I began. I can generally make myself understood. Everything else is cake.

Three facts I need to burn into my consciousness this morning.