Friday, December 19, 2014

My Brain

It's not at its best, my brain. It's been fuzzy. Tired.

The brain doctor didn't increase the dosage when I saw him a couple of weeks ago. He said what I'm at is the max. I decided, and he concurred, to continue on the way I am, for a while. The only other choice would have been a new drug and after six month (I think it was that long) of trying to find something that didn't hurt me while it helped me I need a break to just settle down.

Not to say that I'm doing well, though. I'm just existing. If I didn't have a job to go to five days a week, I wouldn't leave the house. At least I'd leave as rarely as possible.

At work, I've had a couple of major screw-ups that could lead to some future problems, although I doubt it. I've also made lots of minor ones. Most I've caught before the next step and no one knows about them. Some went on but came back to me to correct. Rarely have they gone past that state, but if they keep going, they're gone.

I'd like to quit my job. Not because I dislike it, but more because I'm "meh" about it. The great manager has moved on, for at least a year, but I expect she'll fit in the position permanently. The current acting manager is a good guy, but we only have him for a couple more months and then who knows. The biggest problem is I can't see this job leading anywhere that I'd like to end up. Even as I look out across the virtual 160,000 square miles of the state for a different job I see nothing that I want to do. I don't want to arrange contracts or spend my day in meetings or arranging travel plans or track expenditures or write reports or work with the public. That's all that I see available to me.

When I look out at other places, away from the public sector, I get lost in not knowing what I can do. There are a lot of things that I can't do or haven't learned to do and most of the time when I see a job that I might like I think I can't do it. When I see things that I can do and would like to do, I have no experience and would have to start at the bottom.

One of the best things about working for the state is knowing that every 12 months I'll get a step raise until I hit the top of the pay scale as long as I have performed my duties well. I don't beg to get that little bit more. I don't have to dance around convincing some asshole that what I do is valuable and that I do it well like people do in the private world. That kind of thing is especially hard because I don't believe it myself. Never have.

Sometimes I think I'd know what I'd like to do for a living. It would require a lot of work, though. A lot of time and learning to do things that I can actually do. Worst of all it doesn't really pay enough for a person to live. And then there's all the rest "social" "media" bullshit that you have to do just to stay "connected" with "people."

Sunday, November 30, 2014

"Oh, he surely must be happy with everything he's got."

The meds that I've been on for about six weeks now have helped and don't seem to have hurt. (Except for maybe the break-outs on my forehead, but that could be something else.)

I feel nowhere near as well as I felt last year at this time, but I'm not scouring the internets looking for people thinking like I was thinking and reading what they've written. I'm not finding websites that give me information I would need to better make sure that I would end up dead. (Because, honestly, the scariest thing to think of when thinking the horrible thoughts is what if I fail and wake up tomorrow.)

Obviously, I'm still thinking things, though. However, it's much easier to turn on a smile and laugh at the appropriate and expected moments and make sure that people at work and people in my family don't even suspect what's in my mind.

So, I am feeling better.

I don't know what the maximum dose of the medication is, but I bet that if I can take one step more the brain doctor will put me at that level when I see him on Tuesday.

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.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Unintended Consequences

About two weeks ago, when I stopped for some sleep while driving up to my brother's house, I ran up one flight of stairs and walked to the door of my hotel room. As I slid the card into the lock my breathing got heavy, my heart began to race, and my stomach churned. I opened the door and I started to heave, but I kept my mouth shut. My backpack was hurled to the floor and I headed into the bathroom and hovered over the toilet bowl. If I was going to lose my dinner, so be it. I didn't, though. My breathing and heart-rate evened out and my stomach settled. I wondered if I was getting sick. Wouldn't that be fun -- getting sick just as I show up at my brother's house where he lives with a teacher and two children under five?

The next morning, after a longer than expected sleep, I hurried down the stairs and through the hall for the free breakfast. About halfway down the hall I had to slow down because my breathing got heavy, my heart began to race, and my stomach churned. I hadn't eaten anything for at least 12 hours and hadn't felt sick all night long. I continued on more slowly and by the time I found a table I could claim with my book, I felt okay again.

When I finished eating I hurried up the stairs again and guess what happened? If you thought I thought I was about to color the world with hardly digested food, your right!

Could this be a coincidence?

I figured not. It had been just over a week since I had been on the 80mg dose of the new drug the brain doctor had prescribed. Just long enough for everything to kick in.

I had already been getting the sweats. That was a side effect of the old pills, but these sweats were stronger, sweatier. Pretty sure that's the new stuff forcing it's way in. This has continued. At night, especially since this week has been so cool here, I go from extremely hot, sweat pouring from my pores to freezing because my body's covered in a layer of moisture and my body's not hot anymore. This happens if I'm under covers, or not, in sleepy pants, or not, in a shirt, or not. With the old med my sleep didn't get interrupted and it wasn't fun, but it didn't feel disgusting like this new sweating thing does.

I'd been having these muscle shock sort of things. They lasted as long as it usually takes to pop your ears, but they raced through all my body, head to toe, and made me dizzy. This happened several times a day and I was glad they were short because it's scary to have it happen while driving. There's no way for me to know if this was because of the new drug or a withdrawal thing. I still get them, but not nearly as often. At this point I'm saying withdrawal.

There was also this low- to mid-grade headache. It's just kind of there. Usually it's not anything to worry about because it doesn't HURT-hurt; it's just annoying. But it is always there. The rare times it has HURT-hurt the asprinolfrin has helped tamp it down to a mild enough level that I notice the headache, but it doesn't disturb my concentration or keep me from sleeping. Didn't have this problem before the new med.

All of that is to say that if this new drug made me feel better, which it doesn't, I probably would have stuck with it until this nausea thing started. I can live with the sweat and the mild, but permanent, headache. I can't deal with this nausea, though.

While visiting my brother I had to stop us going on a walk because I thought I was going to blow chunks and we were maybe 100 feet from his house. It kinda put a damper on the visit, for me, at least. My brother and his kids like going on walks, lots of walks, and I couldn't do it.

My brother and I went to a comic convention that weekend. I kept pausing and asking him to stop because I felt sick. I know he understood, but I didn't. I don't understand.

Thursday I see the brain doctor again and I have to convince him that we need to go with something that's generic. I can't be sick and sweaty and headachey anymore.

I'd rather be dead.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Just Go To BED!

Going to bed can, sometimes, be the hardest thing.

I don't want to wake up tomorrow morning. Wouldn't my problems be so much easier if I just didn't wake up? Wouldn't your life be full of less misery because this depressing blog wouldn't change? Wouldn't I make my family's life easier by removing my problems from there lives?

The thing is, I expect to wake up. And waking up will only be a disappointment to me. So, here I sit, in the dark, with the TV tuned to background noise.

If I wake up with my alarm, I won't get eight hours and that's not good. Saturday I slept for more than 16 hours and still woke up exhausted Sunday.

I can feel the ramble coming on and that's not good either.

I want to sleep because I'm tired, but the sooner I sleep the sooner I'll wake and have to get up and move. I try really hard to pretend to be okay at work, but I know I'm not achieving it. I see the looks. I've explained my problem to my supervisor. Is it abuse to call in because I'm afraid I may just crumble to pieces? Christ, even I can't get over the whole depression isn't really real and it's just in your head and all you have to do is stop being sad and start being happy.


Just Wondering

Do people with normal brain chemistry sit and think about reasons to continue on tomorrow?

Tuesday, September 09, 2014


  1. Finding out how The Song of Ice and Fire ends.

I've been sitting here for ten minutes with just the title and first sentence. Seriously, I thought I'd be able to make it to at least ten.


The Finger Guns Are Not Loaded

Ever since I saw the brain doctor last week I have felt like there is a hole in me.

The hole sits beneath my heart and above my stomach and is still partially behind my ribcage.

I can feel the pull of the hole; how it's trying to curl me up and suck me in.

Into what, I'm not sure, but I know what I hope it is.

My feet are dragging and I'm afraid of how horrible a guest I'll be when I get to Oregon later this month.

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

More About That

It terrifies m'better half that I'd ever felt or that I understood something akin to this; I've tried to explain it, but, whoops, it just terrifies her deeper. It's good to know I'm not the only 'someone' trying to explain, not explain away, and understand their own tendencies.

I think, through that, I pretty much get why most people don't understand, don't want to understand, and don't want to learn about the topic.

What I've told you in the past is me-talking-about-me, which is the best I can do to relate suicide to friends and family. It's never easy for them to take. Thank you for posting about you. It's meaningful to me. It might terrify mine, but it's a nice deep meaning to me, and I'm CERTAIN it would be to others, unless I'm unequally, unequivocally unique. You're touching a subject that's very private (extremely personal) for a lot, and I mean 'a LOT' of very silent people.
------Comment from AE

I've been thinking about this comment a lot since I first read it because it's happened to me, will continue to happen to me, and is me all at the same time. What I mean is that I don't like talking about this stuff either. I don't know if it terrifies me anymore, but it did.

Talking about it terrified me because of the dismissal so many people have for this topic. Hearing them dismiss a serious and sincere matter by ignoring it or, even worse, saying you’re just looking for attention hurts, and that hurt is deep. Deeper than any hurt that I've ever known because it's a rejection of the only non-physical feeling that I'm feeling. When I say I want to return this "gift" that no one is supposed to want to return it should be taken seriously, shouldn't it? Then comes the doubt, maybe I am just looking for attention or maybe I will just get over it even though the only attention I want are for the things I do that I think are good and what if something is extra wrong with me because I have had very few moments of gotten over it?

And then what if they do listen to me? How often do severely depressed people hear that this will just pass? Or they're told it must be their situation and they just need to get out of it and find something better? They are hearing what's said, but their experiences are based on the typical human melancholy that does pass in time or disappears when they change jobs or leave an abusive relationship or whatever it is that was bringing them down. This is why when someone like Mr. Williams takes his life the most often thing said is that he had so much to live for because they assume that his feelings would have passed and his stuff, his career, his family would have help the feelings to move on more quickly. Except this kind of depression doesn't work like that.

Also there's the fear of being taken seriously, so seriously that I end up being taken to a facility of some kind. The cost of that, even just for the three days many people stay to get over the hump and onto medication, is astronomical. And I promise that if I end up at a place like that I'm going to give up for a while. Not like kill myself give up, but just not caring anymore give up. I will not participate in group bullshit unless forced and even then I won't speak except, maybe, to outline the logical reasons my brain keeps giving me to make it okay to kill myself. Not really to cause problems, but to just let it all out.

Even writing what I'm writing now, and have been writing recently, is terrifying for me. I have an ache in my stomach that wasn't there before because I'm writing about something that I'm not comfortable with and have trouble understanding completely about myself and I work hard to understand why I do the things I do.

I also get why a spouse would be terrified at the idea of suicide. The knowledge that your best friend, the person you've chosen to stay with for the rest of your life has, in the post, though about ending his or her life, what would that mean for your life? Places never visited, people never met, children never birthed. It's a large quantum change on one life without the spouse they choose. And what if the spouse considers, or worse attempts, while married? What then? And are these things passed on to the children? What if the children feel this way at some point? How do you cope? How do you help? How do you stop it? How do you keep it from happening? Or happening again?

I don't know.

One thing that made me feel some relief was finding out, recently, that my mother, throughout my lifetime at least, had many nights where she'd lie awake in bed and think it would be okay for her to not wake up. Her children would be fine because their father is a good man. I also learned that one of my great-grandmothers once just went to bed and didn't get out again. The kids had to do everything around the house; lucky there were seven of them.

I can't say that I felt better learning this, but I felt relieved. I felt relieved because this isn't something that spontaneously generated during this generation of my family. It's been around and member have been fighting it or giving into it for at least three generations. I just get to experience it differently because I live now, because I don't have children, because it started a long time ago and hasn't ever really backed off. I don't like the idea that these women had similar thoughts to mine, but I like knowing that I'm not just some extra-freaky freak.

One of the hardest parts about trying to talk about/explain this is how intensely personal it is. What I mean is that everyone reacts to this level of depression, this amount of suicidal thought, in different ways.

I force myself to roll out of bed each morning after the alarm goes off and take a shower. I force myself to get dressed and make a lunch and then get on to work. I force myself to stay at work all day long. I force myself to pretend to actually be okay. (That one's become a lot harder since my meds were changed, though. I know I'm not hiding it like I used to because I can't.) Yes some days it is easier than others, but it's still a lot of work and mental pressure I put on myself. I don't want to get out of bed or shower or go to work, but I do. I do because if I don't I'd be better off in some facility somewhere where I don't have to try. Where it just doesn't matter.

I know that other people get up each morning for other reasons. Some have children. Others have a significant other. Some just have a hobby or a project that they want to see through to the end. I'm sure there are even more reasons. There's probably at least one different reason for every thousand people whose brain tells them that they'd rather not be around. Some of those reasons are going to be more common than others.

Writing about all this doesn't make me feel better. It also doesn't make me feel worse. However, I do feel a little guilty because I don't care if any of this helps someone else. I want it to help me and it hasn't, yet.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

On the Twelth Day Since Posting

It's been -- What? -- 12 days since my last post. Since the day I was pretty damned crippled by the problems in my head chemistry.

I have been to see the brain doctor in that time. I saw him on the Monday following. I like the brain doctor I see, but he's semi-retired so he's on vacation for about a week each month and sometimes that makes it really hard to contact him. He started me on a new medication. That means I get to feel awful while taking small doses of a new drug to work it into my system while lowering the old drug and experiencing the withdrawal symptoms that come along while also keeping all the side effect I had before. Joy.

Still, I am here, despite the imaginations in my head. That counts for something, right? It's been tough, though and that one, stupid, unanswerable question (Why?) just keeps flowing through my head. Like a little kid who doesn't really care about the answer, but just wants to push you to your breaking point where you turn away and the little kid "wins."

I've been reading one website a lot recently. It's basically people writing about their experiences or desires or thoughts with the end. Many people express their appreciation for group of people who "understand." I'm just humbled with the realization of how not special I am. I am neither the oldest nor the youngest visiting the site, either. That surprised me. I expected to be the oldest. I do not post but the vast majority of the people who post are younger.

For the most part, the posters are all of that age when everything is so serious. Where nothing can be taken at face value, but is scrutinized so much that even a physical object sitting on the palm of a hand becomes nothingness. So scared. So ugly. So fat. So lonely. No understanding. No one. No love. No reciprocity. These are brought up over and over again. Things that are so subjective that even the person who writes them can't properly explain them. (Even the fat one because she posted that she's a disgusting size 12. What does that even mean to me without height and weight and a million other little details?) I read the post and wonder if there is a change that could be made that would make them better?

In some ways, the comments are even worse. Too many of the comments starts with the commenter saying that he or she has no right saying this but... How seriously can one be taken if a few days ago he or she was eagerly waiting to swallow a bottle of pills with a vodka chaser and then tells someone else to wait one more day or focus on the good? I don't know. Those aren't the only comments. Sometimes people say they understand. Sometimes the commenter had a friend or family member end it all. Sometimes it's about missing the poster. Sometimes there's nothing at all.

The weirdest (worst?) part is that I'm jealous of a lot of the kids that are posting. I know that being in the moment is hard and crushing, but most of them will grow out of the darkness as hormones settle and growth stops and they become more comfortable and happy with the person they are rather than believing that there's something that they should be. And then they'll move on. I'm not saying all of them will change and grow out of the depression, but most will. I'm pretty sure about that because everyone I knew growing up had dark times between the ages of 10 and 21. Most of them grew out of the extended periods of horribleness and settled into mostly fine with periods of dank and periods of great.

I didn't grow out of it.

I don't know if I'm mentioned this anywhere except to my brain doctor, but I was 11 when I first seriously considered... First came up with a plan. I was involved with a whole never ending/no escape thing that I had no control over and I just kept burying myself deeper within myself. I can't say if I really might have tried anything, but I kept thinking about my best friend when I was little and how the first time my parents met his mother she told them about how his sister had cut herself; not in that I-want-to-feel-physical-pain-I-controll-rather-than-mental-pain-I-can't-across-the-street sort of cutting, but the seriously-I-don't-want-to-be-around-anymore-down-the-block sort of cutting. Afterward, my parents' took me aside and talked to me about it. I'm sure I didn't understand everything, but I knew that it scared my parents and that it wasn't something that I should ever do.

For a long time, especially in the really deep dark times, that was the thought I hung on to, how much it would upset my parents. It was the reason I would occasionally lose my belt and sit in the closet rather than, say, go to the kitchen which is where my brain wanted me to go. A long time. Really up until about 14 months ago. Losing that barrier was one of the reasons I went to see this current brain doctor because without that barrier I don't know. I don't know.

I should know, shouldn't I?

Shit or get off the pot, right? But what if you didn't want to be on or near the pot in the first place? What if you had no choice in the matter?


I've been staring at that last question mark for a couple of minutes. It isn't the last thing I wanted to write, but it's the logical place to end.

If I weren't so tired I would have tried to wrap around to something more positive. Something that wouldn't leave a family member with an ache in his or her stomach and a lump in his or her throat.

This is the best that I can do and hopefully it's a much less heart exploding finish because this post wasn't meant to horrify, but to explain and to get a thought or two out of my head so I can obsess over other thoughts.

Friday, August 15, 2014

This Day

Got to the house yesterday a little before 4:30PM. Sat on the bed while I was changing clothes. Next thing I know it's after nine. I opened up the house, turned on the fan, took my meds, and then went back to bed. Other than a brief trip to the bathroom sometime after midnight I didn't wake up until my alarm went off at 6:30. Since I've spent the whole week at work forcing myself to not hide under my desk all day I've decided to not go to work today and fall asleep in front of the TV.

I did call the brain doctor yesterday. Unfortunately I think he's on vacation this week. Maybe next week.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Post Title

I am not feeling right.
I haven't been feeling right for nearly two weeks.
I missed a day with my brother and his family because of this.
I think I should set up an appointment with the brain doctor, but I'm afraid that he will change my medication which will force me to see him once a week and will also make me miss visiting my brother and his family near the end of September.
The trip is an hour or more, depending on traffic, each way and is about 100 miles there and back again.
Add to that an hour, about, of me trying to find new ways to say the same things I've been saying for the past eight months.
I wish there were a brain doctor with 20 miles who took my insurance.

I've been screwing up at work.
Not big things, but minor ones that may one day add up.
Mostly I transpose numbers and write things like 286 rather than 268.
Once, that I know of, I forgot to change/correct a phone number and left it alone when I realized my mistake.
Piles are growing on my desk.
They are sort of organized piles, but they look awful.

I think I scare my dad.
He seems more off-put by me than he used to be.
While he was here, my brother spent time explaining what depression is like to my dad.
My dad has a very hard time understanding what something is like unless he's experienced it and he hasn't experienced anything like this.

My mom says she's had bouts of depression, but she had kids, a family, and couldn't give in.
The thing is when she was my age, I was 16.
My brothers weren't much younger.
I don't know, but I don't think that she had extended periods lasting weeks, months, years.

Recently, I've read a lot about how depression needs to be talked about more.
So people understand it better.
That way it won't have as much of a stigma.
I'm not sure, though.

The whole Robin Williams thing has brought depression/suicidal ideation more to the public discussion, but how long will that last?
Especially when people keep on believing that someone like Mr. Williams had nothing to be depressed about, let alone kill himself.
Thinking like that makes it very hard to discuss either.

By that thinking, I have nothing to be depressed about.
I'm the privileged, white male 25- to 39-years old.
I grew up in a safe place and live in a safe place.
I have two parents who, although there were some severe bumps, have stayed fairly happily married.
I work in a job that I don't hate for a boss that I like and respect.
I make enough money that I'm not living pay check to pay check and can spend a little extra on a trip or useless pop-culture things without having to worry.
I'm content being by myself because I rarely feel lonely.
I have a car that runs and more than enough to eat.
Yet I know how Mr. Williams felt and understand why.

I read a post by some British guy that pointed out how silly it is to ask what Mr. Williams had to be depressed about.
If he were hit by a car would you ask what he did to get hit by a car?
If he died of cancer would you ask what he ate to get cancer?
Probably not.

Even worse has been reading about how Mr. Williams was selfish or a coward or an attention seeker.
We don't really think in those terms.
Selfish implies that something is taken from the people remaining so that the person leaving can gain.
There is unlikely anything to be gained; most of the people who claim to know what happens next believe the Mr. Williams will be punished while those who don't believe expect there to be nothing.
The attention seeker thing comes from people who are always surprised that a person could do this.
These people who are surprised by suicide will be shocked no matter how the act is done -- even when done quietly and privately like Mr. Williams -- because they cannot, or refuse to, believe that a person can give up on the ultimate gift.
As for the coward, that's much harder.
If you believe, as I do, that bravery is doing what you are scared to do, then maybe they are cowards.
The problem is that we can't know what is/was in a person's head.
We can't.
Can any of us say that to live with chronic pain is brave?
Maybe it's not fair to compare depression with chronic pain.
I don't have chronic pain, but major (clinical) depression doesn't go away.
If you're lucky, sometimes it's less worse, but it's never great and there are no cortisone or steroid shots for depression.

What you choose to do about depression is a choice.
Mr. Williams choose to get help, go to rehab, talk with his family, and then choose to never talk again.
Some people choose to focus on waking up tomorrow and then waking up the next tomorrow and the next.
I choose to believe that there are a few people I would hurt and choose not to hurt them.
I choose to get up and go to work even though I wake up every morning and I don't want to go to work or even climb out of bed.
I choose to hold to the few commitments I have in the future.

After that

Friday, August 01, 2014

Just Within Reason

"Oh, if life were made of moments,
Even now and then a bad one--!
But if life were only moments,
Then you'd never know you had one."
On Tuesday I woke up thinking that it was Wednesday and when I looked at the date and saw it was really Tuesday a string of obscenities came out of my mouth.

Wednesday I woke up just wanting to get out. Get out of here, my insides screamed. It didn't matter where I went just as long as I went and never came back. The feeling has lingered all week long.

It's more than just a feeling in my head; it's a physical feeling. My whole body feels tense, like I'm prepared to run as fast as I can for as long as I can (not very long) to get away from something. I don't know what I want to run from, though. There's nothing there. Nothing's changed.

Still, I feel like I should stand up, walk out of here without saying a word to anyone, head to my car, and just drive.

Drive where?

South. Down the desolate valley and over the mountains. Along the coast through cities too crowded for me to stop. All the way to where the sun is, more or less, always overhead.

North. Up the desolate valley and over the mountains and then through another desolate valley feeling the temperature drop as the latitude gets larger and larger, but also smaller and smaller. Where there's a nip in the air all year round.

East. Over the mountains and across the desert. Through the salty flats. Over more mountains and into the plains -- the alley -- to watch how nature whirls.

West. Quickly across valley and onto the coast. Aboard a plane high above the ocean. To an island and then onto a ship or boat to an even smaller island.

Anywhere I can disappear.

The problem is that, in my head, I can't see anything after I disappear. As if me wandering off will just shut me down and there will be a completely new -- completely separate -- being inhabiting my body and I, if I exist at all, am not aware of anything.

That's not how it works, though. I would get somewhere and still have to think and reason so that I could decide and each decision will inevitably lead to another and then another without stopping. How is that better than right now?

Still, I can picture myself: sitting on a beach, skin redder than a beet; on a street corner dazzled by the age of the buildings; standing half in the shadow of a mountain, half freezing; dazzled at the abundance of life.
"But how can you know what you want
Till you get what you want
And you see if you like it?
All I know is-
What I want most of all-
Is to know what I want."

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Thursday, July 24, 2014

When I Grow Up

I went to the brain doctor on Monday without any good news and the bad news was old news.

After a year of seeing him I've finally made him understand that more people in my life isn't the way to increase my happiness for the long term. In short visits I can, and often do, feel better spending time with people I know well and like and trust. Once those visits hit a certain point, I start getting uncomfortable and feeling icky. Long term is never good.

The thing is, he said, that for people with my level of depression having them go out with people and visiting friends and family all the time would be his first suggestion. For most people it works and he's pretty much been pushing this idea on me for a year. Monday, he didn't.

Instead of focusing on a social life he switched gears to my work life. It started with how I feel about my current job, which is okay. I don't LOVE or really like my job, but I don't dislike or HATE it, either. It just is. The people are nice enough and seem to be here more to work than make others look like fools. My boss is great and trusts me. The actual work is mostly mind-numbing and repetitive, but sometimes there're things that require real brain power. The pay's okay. It's not going to buy me the house and land I'd like, but I can rent comfortably and not worry about shopping or going to plays or visiting people to the North or to the South. It's not a bad job, but if offered full pay I'd rather not come each day.

He then asked me what I wanted to be when I grow up and the honest answer I gave him is I don't know. Everything I've said in the past -- engineer, lawyer, writer, WWE Superstar, astronaut-fireman-president, etc. -- aren't wrong answers, but they were answers to get people to stop asking me about the future. I told him that there isn't one job I can think of that I wouldn't be happy to retire from or forced to stop doing because of some horrible physical problem. I look at my parents as they approach retirement and I can see them missing things.

My dad loves working with the students at the community college. He loves helping them put together an education plan to help guide them through their years at the school. I think he'll be glad to leave the daily grind of his job when he retires, but I think he'll miss the students. I've told him that he's going to go back and help out a few times a year and it won't be about the money, but the time he gets to spend helping people.

My mom, on the other hand, won't miss her job at all. She won't miss the kids or the teachers or the administration. When she retires she plans on doing her art and selling it and her art is the thing she will miss if she can't do it. Hell, I've seen it for years. Because of the high stress levels at school she doesn't art off and it makes her sad. On those few weekends when she does art off she's rejuvenated, at least in the moment. When she gets to the point that she can art off most of the week and then she gets to a point where she can't art off anymore she'll be crushed.

I don't have anything like that. Yeah, if I have my eyes pecked out by a canary I'll miss reading, but there are still books and tapes (anachronistic) and television to listen to for stories.

What do I like doing besides read? he asked. I like to cook and bake, I said. So the brain doctor tried to come up with something I could do in that area, as if I hadn't thought about it before. I'd go nuts working a line, just flipping burgers or putting on the condiments or taking orders. So many people to deal with. At my own place it would be even harder because I'd have to depend on and trust other people. There's no way I could do everything. If I wanted to be in the back and never come out then I'd need people to wait and take orders and handle the cash and do the books and I don't have it in me to trust **anyone** that much. The only way I could see me being happy is if I had a window and I could make whatever I wanted to make and sell it and when the food is gone it's gone, too bad for the next person.

He suggested getting into publishing. To which I replied that I'd have to move to a big city, a place I don't want to be, and start at the bottom and push to make quotas and harass people who are running late. Then he tried to suggest doing something with publishing online and I explained that most online publishing are vanity presses and not real publishers.

He then asked what I'd really like to do. I said I'd like to be paid to lay on a couch all day reading. I'd like to be an eccentric billionaire, I said. He asked if that would make me happy and I said that I don't know, but I'd feel safe. We bounced around on this for a while, discussing things that I like to do and how to feel safe in my life. Nothing was resolved. And in the end he told me to keep thinking about what I like to do so that I can find a job that will make me happy. I said okay, but I don't believe anything'll happen.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Summer Storm

I love thunderstorms in California during the summer. The temperature always drops because the air is so dry and the smell of petrichor is strong in the air for a long time.

Friday, July 18, 2014


If I were to die tonight I'd die with
no regrets. There's plenty that's not yet done
and I know that I will not do a fifth
of what's half planned. For what is not begun
can only be missed through dreams in the day.
The meaning of dreams comes from the meaning
we give. What we think is told, dreams don't say.
All dreams do is a little brain cleaning.
Each day I re-decide that what I did
or did not do was what I required.
Why regret the outcome? Heaven forbid
I work through what may be undesired.
Still, while I'm young I keep regretting it
and must wait for age to be forgetting it.

Thursday, July 10, 2014


I went to the theater last night and saw the Broadway version of Mary Poppins.

It was different from the movie in many ways. The best difference was not making Winifred a suffragette. When I was little I didn't know what a suffragette was. All I knew was that Sister suffragette was a fun song to sing along and was funny. As I grew and learned about the suffrage movement in Britain and what so many of the women went through the song stayed funny, but the way Winifred just turned her back on the movement because her husband suddenly realized how important his family is never sat right with me. Sometimes it really bothers me. Especially when I learned it wasn't in the books.

The reason that the suffragette stuff was added was, probably, to allow American audiences be okay with the family having a nanny. Nannies haven't ever been a common thing in the US, especially among the middle class, even the upper-middle class, but in England nannies were used by anyone who could afford one. If Mrs. Banks hadn't had an obsession that kept her out of the house all day American audience would have been left wondering why the family needed a nanny when they already had a cook and a housekeeper. Why couldn't Winifred take care of her own children?

*** Culture clash! FIGHT! ***

So, the suffragette thing was cut, thankfully. Mr. Banks pretty much declares that having a nanny is a status symbol. A way to free up his wife's time and allow her to throw parties for the "right" people. By putting this in there it shows where the older Banks's priorities lie and allow Jane and Michael a visible reason for their anger and resentment toward their nannies. They see their mother at home all day, but she doesn't spend time with them. At the same time she's conflicted because she wants to spend time with them, but she also wants to please her husband and help him in any way she can.

Other changes I liked:

The games Mary Poppins played with the kids, like Walk-in-the-Park. Walk-in-the-Park is exactly what it sounds like, Mary Poppins and the children go for a walk in the park. Michael complains because a walk in the park is not a game, at which point things begin to change, including a statue. Out comes Mary Poppins and Burt dressed up finely and they sing Jolly Holiday, with adjusted lyrics. Other games involve cleaning up the kitchen, and visiting the bank. Of course none of them are as straight forward as they seem.

I enjoyed the new supercalifragilisticexpialidocious scene and most of the changes to the song. The scene takes place in a shop where you can buy conversation. Mary Poppins only wanted an ounce, but ended up having to buy letters to find the conversation.

Changes I didn't so much care for:

"Chim Chim Cher-ee" is used a lot to transition scenes, but the new reprises seemed off. The meter didn't seem to fit properly. Maybe it was the guy playing Burt. I'm not sure. It's especially disheartening because I always wanted Burt doing more chim chim cher-ee-ing in the movie.

They cut out Mr. Banks's first song where he talks about how perfect and disciplined his life is. Yes, it was replaced with a song with a similar theme, but the new song doesn't have the same joy as the old song. In the old song you could hear how much Mr. Banks likes his life. How much he revels in the "order" he's achieved. The new song is somber and it sounds like Mr. Banks doesn't actually believe what he's singing, he just thinks it's how he should act.

The song in the bank was cut out, too. To be fair, it wouldn't have made sense anymore and I do like the bank stuff in the play, but the original bank song is so much fun and who doesn't get creeped out as the old men slowly circle Jane and Michael and then get closer and closer to the children before stealing Michael’s money. It's a spectacular scene and song in the movie that has no place in the play, but was sorely missed by me.

Other things:

"Step in Time" is just as pointless in the play as it is in the movie. Sure they add some lyrics to try to make it seem like there's a message, but, like the movie, it's all about the dancing. The dancing is good in both, but it doesn't do anything for the story or for the characters. Well, maybe Mary Poppins and her need to be the best with her magical spinning, but that's it.

I've never been so touched by "Feed the Birds" as I was last night when I heard it sung live. The song was sung by the bird lady and Mary Poppins. The bird lady sung her request for money and Mary Poppins filled in the story. It was lovely and I ached a bit, in a good way, when I heard it. Quite lovely.

The songs from the move were simply better than the new songs. They're just catchier, easier for normal folks to learn and sing. The new songs just aren't. However, the new songs do drive the story and characters better than the old songs.

There's an anti-Mary Poppins. She's outrageous and her song is very funny. I wish she'd been around longer, but the battle between her and Mary Poppins was great.

What I hated:

Burt sang "Let's Go Fly a Kite" to try to cheer up the kids and taught them to fly a kite rather than being Mr. Banks's demonstration of love for his children. In the movie it was the final song, the culmination of everything Mary Poppins was teaching the whole family. Instead the last song is about reaching beyond what you desire so you get your desire and more. It's a good message song, but it isn't strong for the characters. After that song the plot gets tied up as you'd expect and the cast does a reprise of "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious." The ending felt weak, to me. There's the promise that Mr. Banks will spend more time with his family and everything will be happy ever after, but this ending doesn't show the happiness. They really should have kept "Let's Go Fly a Kite" as the closing number.

Despite the weak ending, I enjoyed the play. I'd see it again, but it'll never be able to replace the movie.

Monday, July 07, 2014

There and Back Again

My accidental experiment with the generic version of my medication was a failure. But a relatively cheap failure.

Twice I have ordered 90-day supplies of the meds. Twice I have shelled out more than $400 dollars because I nearly did the s-word on the generics. The name brand didn't work as well at it should have, though. When I found myself thinking a lot about the s-word and had to remind myself not to do or to do certain things because of the s-word, I went, right away, to the brain doctor to talk about it. His decision was to supplement my medication.

This new medication is also a brand name. Unfortunately, the new med is causing some problems. Not with my brain setting, not that I've noticed, at least. In fact, it's helped me feel better. The problem is that even though this medication has been shown to help people who are depressed, the FDA hasn't classified it (or has refused to) for use with major depression. Therefore, my insurance won't cover any part of the cost.

Oh, sure, the first bottle was free because the brain doctor gave me a coupon and I can cut the pills into thirds because he prescribed the big ones, but how much will the next one cost? I'm afraid to find out, even though I have to. I'm betting it'll be at least $500 for the 30 pills that I cut into thirds. That about $1000 every three months. $4000 a year. About 15% of my current net pay. So much for putting anything extra aside for retirement!

I'm sure that some people are saying that I should just stick with the generics. The thing is that I'm taking something that currently works for a problem that is unlikely to go away. This isn't strep throat or pink-eye where you get the medication, take it for however long to make the problem go away. This is a problem that's there all the time and the medication helps to mitigate what's happening. If it takes the full dose to make things better, it takes the full dose every day. Generic medications only have to be within (plus or minus) 20% of the original brand. (Look up bioequivalence.) That means, on the low end you're losing a fifth of the medication. (Sure, it's possible to get above the mark, but isn't it usually cheaper to have more filler than the actual stuff?)

Losing the potency is more or less okay for something like antibiotics because that's usually built into the prescription, even if the doctor doesn't actually think about it. That's why you're supposed to finish your damn antibiotics. You take them until the infection is gone and then take some more to make sure the infection is actually gone.

If you get on the low end of the spectrum with generic pain pills and they're not working for you, you can probably ask for something stronger and your doctor will probably give it to you. (What do you mean there's prescription pain medication abuse?)

With anti-depressants, though, you’re taking them to help regulate your mood. If you need the full dose and you’re not getting it, you change. You sink back into that pit; creep back into the shadow; curl up into a quivering ball.

At the time I accidently went on the generics I was getting my meds at the local pharmacy every thirty days. It cost a bit more, but it felt like I had some control. By the end of those thirty days, I wasn't the person I had been at the beginning. Even my family saw how much I had changed, how hopeless I had become.

I did get back to the name brand stuff and I did start to feel better, but because I had been on a dose that didn't help me much, I had started to build a tolerance to the active parts. I may have felt better, but I didn't feel good and I knew I was never going to reach where I had been before the generics.

Even with the supplimental meds, I still don't feel as well as I did way back when.

Sometimes I'm not sure it's worth trying to get there again.

Saturday, July 05, 2014

In Social Situations:

When I am by myself, I pretty much know how I am going to react to anything.

When I'm with one or two people I know fairly well, I can make strong assumptions about how they are going to act and react.

If those one or two people are people I don't know well, I can't really know how they are going to react. I can make guesses based on my lifetime of general human behavior, but individuals often go outside of general behavior. Here is where I start getting uncomfortable.

The more people there are, the harder it is for me to figure out exactly what sort of reaction they will have, in part because I can't know everyone very well and in part because people in large groups don't always react the same as they would by themselves or in a smaller group. I start getting nervous and feeling very uncomfortable at this point because there is no way for me to predict anything. I might be able to make educated guesses based on the situation, but people at a movie theater usually stay in their seats for the entire movie, people at a fair or a party are pretty much allowed to do as they please.

Similarly, I rarely feel alone when I'm by myself. I'm there and I communicate with myself fairly well and I don't ever have to try and interpret nonverbal cues.

With one or two people who I know I also rarely feel alone. These are people who I've been around enough that I understand most of their nonverbal cues, often instinctually, and since I'm not uncomfortable around them I'm also a talker and will ask if I'm confused.

When those two people are people I don't know I sometimes feel alone. I don't talk much around people I don't know. I often can't force my voice out of my throat. I'll just stand there. If there's no talking I have to try to make an educated guess at their nonverbal cues. Sure, I've got the smile and frown thing down and I'm okay with detecting how those expressions change when the eyebrows are up or down or furrowed, but what about the one hand in the pocket and the other across the stomach? What does that mean?

Add more and more people and the noises and the motions increase and start getting muddled together. The person behind me telling and laughing at a racist joke doesn't match the person hunched over with arms across their chest in front of me doesn't match slowly getting louder argument to the left doesn't match the person strutting across my line of sight doesn't match a million other things going on in the room. Here is where I start to feel alone and lonely, surrounded by all these people.

Worse is when I see a group of two or three talking and laughing, enjoying themselves. Here is where the loneliness becomes a stomach pang as well as emotionally crippling. It hurts because that's my comfort zone I see, but I don't have it and can't have it because I'm either there by myself or I the people I came with have scattered because they are fine in a crowd and hovering on the outside of their conversations is just as lonely as if they weren't there to begin with.

Those times I am out with one or two people I know and we stick together, I don't get lonely. I suppose it's because I have what I need a unit I basically understand.

Thursday, July 03, 2014

Understanding Love, 3

The brain doctor told me that friends weren't the people whom we wanted to unload all of our problems on. Friends, he said, are the people whom we just want to spend time with. Time going over the bullshit of the day. Time watching TV that you both enjoy. Time trying to make each other laugh. Sometimes, he said, you do unload your problems on them, but that it was their choice to offer to listen and stay because they also want to spend time with you. In the end, though, friends are about shedding off any outside crap and enjoying the time.

You were probably the best best friend I ever had.

For four years we were nearly inseparable. Where you went, I followed. Where I went, you followed. Any new people came into our lives and the decision to keep them was a mutual one. You not only had a license, but a car and were willing to pick me, and my brothers, up for school every single morning. We both liked cartoons well past the age we were supposed to. You had a biting, sometimes cruel, wit that always made me laugh. And for some reason, you liked me, too. (As I've gotten older, it's been getting harder for me to understand why you, or anyone else, like/d me. That's probably a mix of my no-self-esteem and depression, though.)

I had known you for a long time before I knew you were my best friend. About half of our lives. And during that time, we were friendly, but I'm sure if we were exactly "friends." During our time it was still considered wrong, or at least questionable, for a boy and girl of seven to be friends. Sure, we could all play tag in a huge group, but for me to encourage you to play Cat's Cradle and you to get me to play basketball, that was a rarity. So you mostly hung out with the girls in our grade and I mostly hung out with my one real friend, my best friend, at the time.

I've written about us before.

My favorite story of us as little kids is still you selling me curse words for fruit snacks. It's the best price I've ever paid for anything because I still smile when I think of that day.

Did you know that because we were together so much and got along so well that just about everyone we went to school with thought that we were dating? Did you know that our parents, or at least our mothers, expected that we would eventually marry? Or at least get close to marriage?

I certainly didn't, at the time. Hell, I didn't know until I was specifically asked if we were married, yet. It was a bit of a shock.

I'd be lying if I said I hadn't fantasized about my female friends. Can't be helped. I didn't fantasize about you, though. I've known you since we were seven. You were the sister I never had and better than any sister that I might have had. Also, by the time we were basically inseparable I knew you too well. I knew your quirks and crazies, you buttons and issues. I knew you and in knowing you I learned that there are things you can say, thing you can do, with friends that don't fly when you're also intimate with that person.

With you, though, as a friend anything went. That whole discussion we had, on the bus with one third of our classmates, about turning human breast milk into cheese and then selling it as an aphrodisiac? All the places sand gets and the problems that come with it? How the attack on the Death Star in the original Star Wars is all about sex? ("We're too close." "Stay on target!" "Loosen up!") There aren't that many people out there who would have let me just go off on those topis, let alone joined in.

So, what happened? Just saying college happened or growing up happened isn't really enough for me. Not enough at all.

During our senior year of high school you started pulling away, some. There were two others, girls, who you seemed to enjoy spending more time with than me. I understood because most people aren't like me and only want/need one or two really close friends; most people want more. I missed you, but I knew that your time was your time, not my time and not our time. But sometimes the relationship you had with those two seemed less and less like a friendship and more and more like a relationship. The three of you had these weird jealousies and reactions. And then the way it all ended with the three of you hating each other, that was just strange.

I did ask one of the two, the one I was closer to, what happened and I asked you, too. Neither of you wanted to tell me. You just got angry and she always told me to ask you. Mutual friends hinted around that there was a sexual relationship between the three of you. I don't know and probably never will. Still, if it wasn't sexual it was extremely intimate.

Anyway, exactly what the three of you meant to each other isn't the point. The point is that this was when things changed between us. Then college happened and you were in the north and I went south and you learned the joys of becoming a fag hag and I became more and more isolated. I started to get left out of gatherings when people were back from school because I didn't want to drink alcohol and you and they did. Did I make you feel self-conscience? I didn't judge you or them, it simply wasn't something that I wanted to do. As time went on you stopped coming back from school and if you did it was just for two days and we didn't always get to visit. I kept sending you e-mails, but you didn't always reply and I wrote you less and less.

After years and years of not hearing from you, not seeing you, you friended me on Facebook and I saw that you were engaged. I e-mailed you and your wedding was that weekend. Of course I had to be there even though I hadn't heard from you for years and didn't know the guy.

Your wedding day was the last time that I remember seeing you. That day I was horribly uncomfortable surrounded by people I hardly or didn't know, but for the ten minutes that we had to ourselves was like nothing had ever changed between us. Just the smooth flow of conversation.

That was the last time we spoke. I don't even think we've exchanged e-mails. I quit Facebook after that and since your account is only viewable to friends I can't see it. I don't, and probably never will, know you husband. I haven't seen the photo's of your children. Are they boys? Girls? One of each? Are you still a nurse? In the ER still, or have you moved to something less stressful? Are you still obsessed with fantasy books? Do you have plans to introduce you kids to Pinky and the Brain?

I miss you. I miss having a friend like you. The way I am nothing is going to change between us. I wish you and your family happiness.

Tuesday, July 01, 2014

Things Change

I could say, or write, that it'll get better, that everything gets better, but I can't because I don't like to lie.

It doesn't always get better.

I'm sorry to tell you that.

Sure, the president and hundreds of other people have posted videos and written article and blog posts telling you that it will get better. I don't think that they're lying. I think they're telling their truth.

Their truth is not everyone's truth.

And the truth is that things don't always get better, but things change. School ends. You have more choices. But with more choices come the consequences of those choices. Sometimes good and sometimes not so good.

It's the choices that lead to getting better and a willingness to accept any consequences that may come.

Something like this isn't easy to write. I want to be honest, but also want to give hope. How can I give hope when I know that things don't alway get better? That's not a hopeful statement.

My life isn't a horrible one, but it's also not much of a life. I don't really have any friends and the few that I sort of have live hours away. I have no goal. No hobbies. I don't read nearly as much as I used to or would like to. I do see live plays and concerts more, but that's because I make more money than I ever have and can afford to do so. I don't know anyone or speak to anyone on that shallowly deep (or maybe deeply shallow) level about the crap that we both enjoy.

My life isn't horrible. I'm fat, but not in physical pain. I make enough money that I can just buy stuff that I want. I can afford short to middling trips to visit people I know or catch a show in a big city. My job is secure. I have a decent boss. I don't have a roommate. It's not horrible, but it's not much.

I made decisions that I can see so clearly that have led me to where I am, but I can't see how doing something different would have made this life better. I can only see different. Those difference that I see aren't all that different what what I'm living right now. Hell, if I knew then what I know now, I probably would have ended up where I am even sooner.

Choices and consequences are what our lives are made up of. One leads to the other which leads to another set of the one. Things happen and you will react. Sometimes not quite in that order.

I can't promise that it will get better. I wish I could, but I don't like lying. All I can promise is that things will change, even if the only change is eveything getting a little bit older day after day.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

J st T S y

There's plenty more to write whether it's
interesting or not the days sometimes
get stronger and the nights sometimes collapse
or it's entirely reversed and upside
down while backward while trapped in a chair with
wheels with no straps holding Us down then
there's the person who's the person who We
use to miss the most but now only miss
when We think about all that We have missed
in the North where the summer's not too hot
or the South with all the people moving
and moving and not allowing time for
a break because sharks are always going
forward or they die (bullshit!) on the camera
for the internets where the thoughts come to
life and are shared and are admired and
We're scared so scared of all that happening
to Us and those moments of fear happy
anger sad that rise to the base of the
throat but go no further would they overwhelm
and spill out of the box like the things ordered
last night most of which will come scattered
throughout the summer and waiting is all
there is all there is to do when the knowledge
isn't there or just tumbles around and
out and in and doesn't help anyone

Saturday, May 10, 2014

It's more than the thumbs.

In an effort to become more human, I have applied to the local junior college. Registration for fall is in nine days. I hope this works.

Friday, May 09, 2014

Understanding Love, 2

Late one night, or early one morning, I told you I loved you.

This was the first time that I remember saying those words of my own choice and not just parroting them back after someone said that they loved me.

You had invited me to spend the night, which was rare for me. Not the spending the night where you lived, but that was usually a group thing; everyone was invited and everyone stayed over. Often I was only invited after people were already there -- an afterthought. This night, though, you had specifically invited me and that was different. That was special.

You had recently moved out of your old room and into a new room to get farther away from your problems. The new room not only had your bed, but a decent couch for someone to sleep on. Even though other people, other friends, were over we barricaded ourselves in your room after eating. I remember being surprised, the next morning, that no one came upstairs, no one disturbed us.

Talking is what we did that night. We talked about books we had both read and went over the things we liked and disliked. We talked about books the other hadn't read and made enthusiastic, but hollow, promises to read them for ourselves. We talked about spirituality and at that time you still sort of believed in a spiritual world; not necessarily God, but something unexplainable. We ranked our teachers and rated most of them as placeholders who just didn't care. We discussed various Dungeons and Dragons campaigns we'd played and decided that what we really needed was to play more D&D. We mocked our friends and verbally ripped apart people whom we didn't care for.

Eventually, as we both knew would happen, we worked our way to your recent split with your girlfriend of almost, I think, two years. I was curious about what had happened from your point of view because I'd heard the other side and didn't completely believe it. You seemed almost relieved to be able to talk about it with someone who thought the whole thing was fucked up and genuinely hadn't picked a side in the matter, but was leaning your direction. At that time it didn't occur to me that you may not have been allowed to talk out the things you needed to talk about because the whole mess with your girlfriend also involved your best friend and sort of, in a sideways way, involved another of your closest friends. You really had no one to talk to at that time, did you?

I'm forever thankful that you weren't looking for answers because I wouldn't have had any. (I probably wouldn't have any answers now.) You just needed to talk, to know that someone understood your side. Any question I asked, you answered. And I tried to be thoughtful; to not just go for the juicy stuff that would have made for horrible, but addictive, television. I also tried to make you laugh because laughter always seems to make horrible things easier.

When you finished, you seemed more relaxed than you had in a while. It must have been a great weight off of your shoulders. You also asked me not to tell anyone the things you said and in nearly 20 years, this is the closest that I've come to saying anything. I still remember some of the stories you told.

Then you asked me about my potential love life. I talked about some of the girls who I had crushed on for a while because they were intelligent and cute but ultimately talked too much and I learned that they were kind of horrible people when I got to know them. From there we talked about the girls at our school and who were, or at least seemed to be, decent people. You asked about my best friend and what was up with that and I told you the truth, that nothing was up with that, but I'm not sure you really believed me. Finally you straight out asked me if I ever loved anybody, that's when I said that I loved you.

And I did love you. I loved you like I loved all my friends. I loved you like I loved my brothers. You were one of the best people I had ever met up to that point in my life, how could I not love you? You thanked me, even though it wasn't exactly what you meant when you asked the question. You said that you loved your friends, too, and it was hard when that love was betrayed. I agreed, but told you that there were still people who cared for you.

Fortunately, we were both non-weepy guys because, looking back, this would have been the point for tears. Instead I moved on the couch and in the process let one rip. Windows were open, only partially as a joke, and the subject was changed. I don't know if you remember any of this and if you do how much, but it was a good and important night for me.

Wednesday, May 07, 2014

Understanding Love, 1

I've heard it -- or read it -- said that if you think you've been in love, you haven't been in love.

Still, I think that at one time I loved you. I think I loved you hard.

I remember thinking about you when you weren't there and feeling happy and sad and a little sick to my stomach. I remember being with you, sitting, and feeling happy and a little sick to my stomach. I remember the rumors about you and your former boyfriend. I remember the day you transformed yourself into a very sad, very insane woman and handed out flowers. I remember how easy it was for you to slide from your social group to mine and then back to yours and how I'd already been rejected by your social group; I could have lived on the outskirts just to be close to you, but that would have been pathetic and I already had so many things working against me. I remember the day you saw the toys I carried around in my backpack and you found it amusing, not in a cynical or cruel way, but more in an I-understand-why-you-carry-these-things way; you understood that I liked what I liked and I used them to get reactions from people. I remember your kindness.

High school was not a kind place for me. It wasn't cruel, either. It was more indifferent. I was fat enough and nerdy enough that I put people off. I was smart enough, nice enough, and "normal" enough that no one attacked me, physically or mentally, for being different than they were. I was a place holder, a space taker, to most of the students, probably most of the teachers, too. I was an object to be walked around and a group member to be ignored.

To you, though, I wasn't just an object. You always greeted me, even when I was forced to sit alone in a group of four desks and I spitefully made sure I sat in the desk closest to the door. When, one day, you were rejected by your group and had to sit with me, you liked it enough that the next day you came back, even though there were empty seats elsewhere in the classroom. And you came back the next day and the day after that and each day until the school year ended.

There was a day, when we had a substitute teacher, when we sat at our desks, across from each other, and we talked about The Rocky Horror Picture Show. You had discovered it more recently than I had and were in the process of indoctrinating your friends. Just as the substitute teach came up to our desks you said that the weekend before you had "devirginized" your boyfriend, at the time. The sub said that he and a lot of young men were devirginized during their time in the Army, you turned red, and I bit back laughter. You stumbled and stuttered, trying to explain the movie and the tradition of the lipstick "V"s on a new watcher's cheeks. The sub said that if your boyfriend needed more help with the devirginizing he should join the Army; they have a lot to teach, he said. You looked down and said that he was actually joining the Marines. I snorted. Even better, the sub said. I burst out laughing and a half-second later, you started to laugh, too, still redder than a strawberry.

It was you kindness and your ability to laugh at your mistakes and your forgiveness to me for laughing at you before it was with you. It didn't hurt, too, that you were easily the most beautiful female in our class, if not the whole school. I remember how you kept your hair carefully tucked behind your ear, but when you were concentrating hard it would fall from its place as you leaned forward and the very tip of your ear would poke out of your hair. I remember your eyes flashing in anger at the idiots in the classroom and in joy when I could make you laugh. I remember your smile: your huge smile when you were excited; your sly smile when you had gotten away with something; and your small smile when you were simply content.

I knew that if you loved me at all it would never be the same way I loved you. There was someone, a friend, who was smarter than me, nicer than me, and much better looking than me who you said you couldn't like as anything other than a friend. What chance did a schlub like me have? It was okay, though, because I got to spend 50 minutes alone with you every day we were at school and I wouldn't want to give that time up for anything.

We went to the same school out first year of college. I didn't go hunting for you. I have this thing about social strata and not trying to shake it up and while I knew where I'd end up -- outside and alone -- I didn't know where you would choose to be. I knew you'd choose, though, because you were smart enough and acceptable enough to end up anywhere. I did call you a couple of times, though. Once to tell you a teacher had died, one who I really liked, and you helped me feel better. The other time was to see if you were headed home one weekend because I needed a ride back to school. You were and you did. We also ran into each other a few times and just chatted. Your roommate, who we went to school with, was not nearly so kind.

I held on to the feeling I had for you for a few years until it reached the point that I had to give it up. I was going to a different school and wasn't ever going to see you again. It was hard letting go, but I had to even though it made me feel good and safe.

You were the only person I wasn't in semi-regular contact with who I wanted to see at our ten year reunion. You didn't come. I'm not going to the 20 because once in a room with those people again and just being an object was enough. I've kept an eye out for you on Facebook, but cannot find you. Either you’re not there, or you've changed enough that I no longer recognize you when I see you. I don't know and I'm not going to be concerned about it because it probably wouldn't change anything anyway.

I hope your life is nice. I hope that even if you didn't become what you thought you were going to become you're something that you like. I hope your husband appreciates what he has and shows it to you every day even if it's just by taking your hand for no particular reason and giving it a small squeeze. I hope that any kids you might have got your smarts more than you looks, but I hope they have that same sly smile when they're up to mischief. And I hope that when you think back to high school and that fat guy you sat across from in English it's with fondness.

Friday, May 02, 2014

A Play Question

The part of the play that comes after the intermission is almost always shorter than the part before. Is this because everything used to be written in a three act structure and we keep trying to force that structure into two acts?

Thursday, May 01, 2014

What's this advertising?

I pulled this picture off of an advertisement I got in my e-mail. There's no text, just the picture, among a lot of other pictures. The other ones were pretty clear what they were selling, but not this one.

What is it trying to get me to buy?

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

I've found myself in an odd situation at work recently. I don't have a lot to do.

It feels wrong. Pretty much since the day I started in November there was always lots of work. Lots of applications coming in. Papers to file. Letters to send. Hiring packages to prepare for interviews. Hiring packages to clean up after interviews. Always something coming in for me to store or prepare to send out.

The mail coming to me has practically dried up. Mostly I've been getting returned mail; letters I send out, printed from the statewide system, that candidate haven't updated their addresses. Most come back with a sticker saying the person cannot be found. It's a shame how much money we spend on postage on mail that gets returned. Returned mail I just mark in the system and shove in the file.

This lack of mail bothers me. I have over a half dozen open positions newly posted online. Each position had about 50 letters sent out and I'm not getting any responses. One of the positions is, traditionally, a very popular position that normally receives 10 or more applications in the first three days after posting the position.

I don't know what's going on. My fear is that our mailroom is behind, way behind, and I'll end up with a huge stack of mail on my desk, postmarked two or three weeks ago.

It's not a completely far-fetched idea. Last week I received a piece of mail that was post marked 11 days before the day it crossed my desk. Who's to say that won't happen again and with far more mail?

The biggest problem with not having enough work is the thinking. Thinking leads to posts like yesterdays after hours of building up inside because I spend most of my time thinking about things that apparently "normal" people don't think about.

Being busy, but not that horrible kind that's also boring, is a reason this job is attractive to me. It keeps me from thinking. I'm sure I'll get back there eventually, but it can't be soon enough for me.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Searchin'... Gonna Find Her

Because I am not feeling so mentally stable and the brain doctor is over an hour away, I started looking into finding someone closer who could manage meds, but still specializes in the brain.

First, of course, I checked the brain doctors who are part of my insurance plan. There are none local. I expanded my search then expanded it again and again. Finally, brain doctors were found, but they were all, by then, over an hour away. I checked without my plan and found a few, but when I called a couple of them to find out prices the lines were disconnected. I don't know if they moved or if they've retired, but the internet's information is out of date. Also, I don't really want the one's whose name is linked up with some pretty heavy Christian websites. My brain isn't wired that way.

Next, I thought that maybe I could do what someone I know is doing and see the brain doctor to manage meds, but see a brain whisperer locally because maybe, even though I don't really trust people, it could help me to talk about stuff that I don't want to talk about but would feel like I have to talk about because I'm paying for the listening time. Again I checked with insurance. No one local, but there are a couple over the hill and through the woods and over the river and through some more woods, about 45-45 minutes away from work, when there's no snow. I don't want to put in that kind of time for something that I don't really want to do. There are several brain whisperers who are local, but the one with a website was extremely New Age-y; lots of meditation and spiritual quotes and hummingbirds. I assume the average price would be $100 per visit. I'm not sure about the other brain whisperers and haven't collected phone numbers. How do you start when your choices are not limited by insurance?

One thing for sure, I'm not going to be shoved into some bullshit group therapy again, I can tell you that. Real life group sessions aren't like you see in most TV shows where the hero goes a few times and gets better and moves out. It's more like that old sit com, Dear John, about a divorce group where no one really gets better or leaves and even if they leave, it's only for a little while they're soon back with the exact same problems. Plus, I already don't trust a single potential member of a group session, including the person leading it, who may or may not be a trained mental health professional.

(A little off topic, but I watched the first three episodes of [grav∙i∙ty] last night. I liked the way they showed Lily's loneliness in the first episode. In the next two, though, it seems like these people are "healing" too easily. Maybe it's a post attempt rush of energy and eagerness. I'll have to keep watching to see if it holds. It's also interesting to learn why these people attempted. It's never simple and often seems stupid.)

I can feel my heart beating rapidly and my stomach is churning thinking about everything all at once. Getting better is hard when you don't want to.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014


Do you recommend movies or books or TV shows or music that you think are horrible to the people you like?

I don't.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Just So Tired

Sometimes, the worst thing about going to sleep is knowing that I'll be waking up.

Friday, April 18, 2014

What to Say

When you're afraid of scaring people and being misunderstood you can't really say, or write, all the things that you would like to.

Never Promised

When I was younger, like nearly 1/4th my current age, I was told that I should learn how to type because it was a useful skill. As time went on I kept being told by teachers and other authoritative adults that I should learn how to time. I didn't really care until someone said that when I started working I would only be typing and I'd never have to hand write something ever again.

Being the niave and trusting person I was, especially toward authoritative figures, I took learning how to type to heart and as a promise.

I don't really hate my handwriting, but I don't like it much either. It's chunky and inconssistant. Lines waver even when there are lines to write on. It just doesn't look good.

The problem is, the authoritative adult didn't make a promise and my chunky, inconsistant handwriting shows up all over the place at work.

Another reason life is unfair.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Spring Is Tough

For the last several day I pretty much get to the house and climb into bed. On Saturday I called my dad sometime after five and then headed for the covers. On Sunday Dad dropped me off close to six and I locked up then went to my bed. Monday I got back from work, 4:30ish, jumped into bed, and brushed my teeth around 8:30 when I woke up to pee. Yesterday I forced myself to stay awake until after six-ish because I wanted to make sure the dishwasher got opened so the dishes could actually dry; I texted my mom near eight because, again, time to pee, but I had my teeth brushed well before.

Today looks to be much the same.

I've been feeling this way for a few weeks, but didn't give in to it until recently. Don't know why. (Not that I feel better sleeping 10-12 hours, either.)

It's a spring thing, I guess. I've always felt much worse near the beginning of spring. Maybe it's the allergies, although this year it's been all in my eyes and out of my nose. Maybe not. Last year spring was easier becuase I had a new job to distract myself with. Nothing like that this year though.

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

My Father's Father

He kept a rubber band around his wallet for as long as I can remember. He said the rubber band made it hard for criminals to steal the wallet and helped keep everything in the wallet. I figured he used the rubber band to keep the wallet together, since he never seemed to buy a new one.

When he learned that you liked to eat something that he really liked to eat he would always have it for you. When you told him that you didn't like a food that he really liked he got very upset.

He never lounged in his pajamas and always came to breakfast dressed for the day.

Once he threatened to hit me, and I feared he would, because my cousins (girls) and I were being too loud late at night.

He spent part of World War II in a labor camp for being a conscientious objector. He had no trouble fighting or using weapons, but he was opposed to war. Most of the other men there with him were simply afraid to fight and one day he simply walked away from the camp. He sent a letter to the FBI letting them know where he would be, but nothing was ever done about it.

While working as a college professor he was the faculty person in charge of the fraternity that had the people who would never be accepted by the other fraternities. Mostly it was made up of black men and Jewish men. When he took the students to get a haircut at a local barber, the barber refused. He told the barber that if the students weren't served at this barber he would charter a bus to the next city to get the haircuts and he would make sure to bring a couple of reporters along with him. Everyone who wanted a haircut that day got a haircut.

He believed in the teachings of BF Skinner, that behavior can be trained into people given reinforcement or punishment. This led to him doing some awful things to some of his children, including using electric shocks because how can you reinforce good behavior if the behavior happens while unconscious.

There were televisions in almost every room of his house and two in the main room. He would have these two on all day long, one for news and one for sports unless there were two sporting events he wanted to watch. Sometimes he would even have the radio on for a third game.

He loved his wife with all his heart, but he took her for granted and didn't really show his appreciation for her.

When he cooked a roast or turkey, before slicing for serving, he would take half the meat and put it in the freezer to make sure he had all the leftovers he wanted. And even dinner ran short the extra wouldn't be pulled out.

He taught us how to make a blue cheese spread that is fantastic and, at the very least, gets made every Christmas for gifts for family and dipping before, during, and after the meal.

On Friday, March 28th, he died leaving behind memories for those who knew him.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Sexy Dream

Last night I had the sexiest dream I've had in a long, long time and it was me and an Internet "celebrity" discussing possibilities for making a movie. Doesn't sound sexy, but the me in the dream sure imagined that the sexual tension in the room was almost too thick to see her.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

So Long

My father's parents are dying.

I can't think of anything else to say.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

"S" Word

The name brand medication is working. Well, it's working better than the generic did, at least. The brain doctor said that it could take up to two weeks for the full effect to come back and it's only been nine days. Give it time. Give it time.

The thing is that the "S" word has been pretty forfront in my thoughts for the past month or so and that hasn't gone away. If the meds work like they did the last time they won't go away totally, but they won't always be on the surface.

It's the "S" word that really freaked the brain doctor out last week. I went in wanting to start the appointmet off with the med thing, but he interupted me and we got into topics that had more to do with me living my life. That's how he gave me an out for thirty or so minutes so I didn't have to talk about the thing that was important to me. Eventually we got there though and I gave him the story about why I was on generics and we blah-blahed about that before he asked me about the changes in me. That's when I got to the "S" word and he practically hopped out of his chair. It made me wonder if I somehow convinced him that I had stopped thinking that even though I'm pretty sure I told him it was always there, just burried enough that I didn't see it all the time. Or maybe it's because that was the first time I ever said the actual "S" word to him. I was very careful not to say the "S" word to him for so long and this last time it just came out.

Now that I'm thinking about it, I hardly ever even think the "S" word. I wonder why that is?

I mean, just sitting and thinking right now there are several words that I know that I hardly ever use or think, but that's because I rarly think about the topics those words are related to. But I've been thinking about this for a very long time (years and years) and I don't use that word to myself. Odd.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

The Loneliest Number

I am sitting in a movie theater crowded with people who like at least one of the TV shows that I do. I've been here for an hour and I've watched a lot of people come in. Most in pairs, occasionally in a triple, and once in a while they come in larger groups.

It's time like these that I feel lonely. The times when I'm surrounded by people who have people when I don't have a people. Most are chatting together, not about the movie we are going to see, but just stuff, life. Some may be having (or think they are having) deep conversations, but whether they are or aren't doesn't matter. What matters is that they have someone to share whatever it is.

These are the moments when I'm really aware of my social retardation. I have an in with nearly everyone sitting around me. What's your favorite Veronica Mars moment? I could ask. Except the few time's I've tried sounds won't come out of my mouth. Not even the weird cacking sounds cats make while watching bird through the window. I look forward to this being finished so I won't be as aware of this problem, but I will always know it's there.