Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Children Without a Parent

About three weeks ago my brother caught up with this here blog. He worried and fretted and then showed what I had written to his wife. His wife, the kind and sweet woman she is, told him to drive down and see me. Which he did.

However, he didn't tell me. I just got cryptic messages about breakfast and seeing him and I don't really know what. Of course I had a feeling that he was driving down from Oregon, but I hoped, so hoped, that he wasn't on his way. My brother, being my brother, didn't respond to me about, well, anything. His wife, unlike how she usually is, kept cryptic on me and experienced a partial me not being so nice. (This is where I try to tactfully tell the person who they are or what they're doing in child friendly language, but all the subtext comes out as me yelling at them to stop being a fucking asshole and tell me what I want to know, in a very passive-aggressive way. I did, sort of, apologize for acting this way.)

Eventually, I got confirmation from my brother that he was in California and he wanted to take me out to dinner. Nothing about why he had driven nearly 700 miles, but I could guess. I knew what I had been writing and how it would look to someone who hadn't been following daily, but rather read everything in one chunk. Of course, I spent the whole day feeling sick to my stomach because I had made my brother leave his family out of concern for me, which is something I never wanted to happen.

It also made me rethink this whole blogging thing. In part, especially over the last year, this has been a record of just how sick my brain has been. Reading it, you can see the few highs and horrible lows. And I think that's a good thing. Maybe not for me or my family, but there's this sickening cycle of thought on the web that may help other to understand what it's like to be a severely depressed person. A person on meds that worked and then stopped working and the mental and physical pain that's one can go through trying to get back to okay.

That evening we met and we talked. I felt like I was driving the conversation more than him. There are two reasons for this: 1. I'm very good and sneaking conversations onto other topics that are comfortable for everyone. 2. I kept pushing back toward the blog and depression because I wanted to reassure my brother that nothing was going to happen, for the foreseeable future.

It was a weird dinner and a weird after dinner, too.

He left for Oregon so his wife could get back to work. I went back to the house and thought about deleting everything I'd written on the internets, or at least this blog.

Also, while he was in California, he stopped and talked with each of our parents. Our dad, for the first time ever, had a flash of understanding about the sheer insanity this depression thing is made of. I'm not sure what he and our mom spoke about, but she reminded me that I can talk to her and my dad about anything. ("Hi. What'd you do today?" "I stared at the brick corner of the building for a few minutes trying to figure out how fast I'd need to swing my head so I can smash the bricks through my skull and deep into my brain while picturing that exact scenario in my head." "Uhhh...")

A couple of nights later, my dad wrote me a pretty long e-mail, at like two in the morning, which I feel guilty about. In it was all sorts of advice on how to counteract bad things with good. (He's a fixer.) He reminded me that he has felt depressed in his life so he does know what it's like and not to dismiss his advice. I wrote him an equally long e-mail and very carefully laid out what my depression is like; what depression is like when you can find no person, no action, no thing, no emotion to blame it on; how this depression is just being mentally exhausted all the time and knowing, simply knowing, that there is only one way to stop being exhausted and that one way is socially unforgivable. I think he understands what I've been going through better. The other night he was willing to engage me with questions about depression and that's a big step for us.

As for the blog, I don't know. I didn't like the idea of deleting it. It charts the course of my life very well, especially the last year when I decided no one was reading so what the hell. I'm surprised I'm writing this. I still feel very uncomfortable and I'm censoring myself more than I was because it was my fault my nieces didn't have their dad for three days. And that's just one problem that I know I caused.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Schrecklichen Schönheit

On TV, death can be funny and it can beautiful even when it's horrific, but it's rarely sad.

In life, death is never beautiful. It is always sad and often horrific, but it is never beautiful and only "funny" in the Darwin Awards.

Yet in my head I see stark, contrasting colors and unique environments.

Day Off

I took a mental health day today. Well, mental and physical health. The new pills are still doing a number on my stomach, so much so that I hurled this morning.

On the brain side, well, I'm ready to take a trip to Utah.

I see the brain doctor tomorrow afternoon. We're going to have to try something new. I don't want the sweating and the headaches and nausea anymore. How can someone feel mentally good if they feel physically disgusting all the time. It's hard enough being morbidly obese and trying to be accepting of oneself.

Anyway, the time away from work didn't really help me, but I made sure that it didn't hurt other people, either. Tomorrow my concentration will be just as poor as it is today and my stomach will be just as achy, but I'll go to work and then, eventually, drive an hour to see the brain doctor. And I'll hear him tell me, again, to just hold on. Of course I'll hold on. There's a lot of stuff to do before I'll be ready to go to Utah.


Sunday, October 12, 2014

Away It Goes

I haven't read a book in over three weeks.

I haven't finished reading in book in four or five months.

Reading was one of my favorite things to do. I used to be able to spend all day reading and now I can't muster enough concentration to read for more than ten or so minutes.

This makes me angry and sad and that doesn't help me with anything.


Saturday, October 11, 2014

Fancy Pants

I think if I were thin, or normal, I'd be a clothes whore.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Jacketed Hollow

Earlier this week, Tuesday I think, I found myself reading about bullet caliber.

I honestly don't remember how I got there, but there I was. Not only was I reading about the size of bullets, but I had tabs open relating to the fillings, or lack thereof, of bullets, reading about the different kinds of shapes and coatings. I read as much as I could learn about bullets in a short amount of time.

This probably isn't a good thing because the most recent fantasy (both an accurate and horrifying word) floating around in my head involves a handgun of some sort. The kind changes, but it's never a rifle.

Fortunately, I don't own any kind of gun, so there's all that time, right. But since I've done nothing for years, what are a few weeks for paperwork and background checks. And I can wait. I can wait as long as I need to.

Patience may be a virtue, but it's also a delaying tactic.

Monday, October 06, 2014

Just the Fingertips Touch

Yesterday I spent time looking up books to buy my neice for her birtday. When I look stuff up for her, I tend to look for two things: pictures and writing that's above her age group. She's only turning four, so she's not a great reader anyway, but I like to get her books above what's recommended for her age group because it helps push her a little and I expect that her parents will read with her at this age. I know that they do read with her because I've seen both of them read with her. Hell, she and her younger sister like to hand me things to read to them when I visit and the one turning four will correct me when I screw up. Reading at that age is a shared experience for their family as it was for my family while I was growing up.

I found things to get her, but I also make the mistake of reading the comments. Most of the comments were positive, four or five stars, but there were a few in the one or two star range, which I had to read. The common complaint was that these books were not really for "all ages readers." They complain that there's a lot of words and some are difficult, but maybe they could give it to a second grader rather than the kindergartener.

To me, this means they expect a child who is only five to read by his or herself. If something is out of the child's current range, shouldn't they be reading along with the kid? Shouldn't they use it to sneakily teach the kid? To push the child's abilities?

Wednesday, October 01, 2014


I feel bad about what this blog has become. Especially after last night's post.

The blog used to be more fun. More funny. Maybe more thoughtful.

Yes, I spent thousands of words bitching about work and bosses, but interspersed were reviews of movies and comics or goofy things I found on the inturdmets. Plenty that was fun. And even when I was deep in my bitching, even when I felt as dark as I feel now, everything had a lighter tone than my posts do.

In part, it's because the vast majority of people migrated away from blogs. Myspace started the destruction or personal blogs, but Twitter and Facebook squashed it completely. People who used to blog several times a week quit blogging. For a time, they still read personal blogs, but eventually they drifted away from even that because it's so much easier to read 140 characters from a bunch of people or it's easier just to look at news-feed -- because it shows everything everyone wrote -- rather than use a feed reader which might force you to click to read a whole post. Away went the 1000 word essay about burning last night's dinner and in came the three word "I burnt dinner" post or worse just a picture of the burnt dinner. At least you get 150 "likes" on the short post/picture rather than the two to five comments your essay got, right?

I'm guilty of slowing down on the blogging, but I never stopped. I think that every month since October 2013 has at least one post. The average monthly posting is about 13 per month. Not perfect, but I'm still around. Mostly because I have to get some things out of me and the only people who come to this blog choose to come to this blog and can choose not to come, too. Sometimes I wish there were more readers so there could be conversations in the comments sections, but I can live without that interaction on my blog.

Interaction was never the reason I liked blogs. I'm not good at doing it and since, on bigger blogs or in message boards, my comments get ignored or trolled down I'm afraid that my comments come off as condescending or rude. What I liked about the personal blogs was seeing people's thinking and reasoning. I liked watching them drift around topics like a feather on the breeze or narrow down like an electron microscope as they wrote. I liked reading the slices of people's lives; it was never just a moment, though, but things leading to the moment and the fallout of that moment, too, because rarely did people blog just one sentence. Even though I wasn't a part of the story, I got to experience it in the unique way that each and every blogger wrote.

Now most blogs tend to be about hyperspecific topics that only interest small groups or regurgitate the new and all for money. Not that any of those things are bad, they just aren't people and the lives they lead.

See, the interesting thing about the personal blog boom, for me, was the drama in daily life. Life isn't a TV show or movie. The story of our day doesn't build to a climax which gets resolved before a denouement and then bedtime. Victory in life is getting through the day. It's the lonely person having a good conversation with a stranger at the coffee shop or the hardworking parent making it home in time to tuck the kids into bed. It's the daily survival of high school by anyone in high school. It's the heavy petting that leaves both parties with blue balls because they're just not ready for the next step. Each day is frustrating and painful and hopeful and sad and angry and happy and everything all lumped into a mess. And that's what all of those personal blogs shared, the mess that we each live and those little moments that add up to life.

I guess that all this is to say that I'm doing my best to stick with the little things in life. Unfortunately, my life is not interesting right now and my only victory is not hurting myself each day. All those little goofy things I used to post now end up of Facebook because that's safe to post there. That's all I can post there.