“Run Run Run Run Run Run Honey”

I’m not sure where to begin.

So much has happened this year and I haven’t written about a lot of it. I’ve just… done other things mostly. Tonight’s post isn’t going to be very long because I need to be asleep within the next half hour or so for work tomorrow. And because of that, I really have no freaking clue what exactly I should be writing about.

I’m not going to do my usual speech about how I wish I would write more. More, I want to talk about what I plan to do now. An ongoing problem I’ve had is that I’m incredibly organized, which is a manifestation of my Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, and that can actually put a lot of strain on my writing. The reason for this is that I try really hard to to categorize and organize everything I’ve written, and I have gone through the entirety of my blog posts since I began in 2010 and recategorized them several times. The reason for this is that I’ve always wanted to have a nice numbered blog system. Like, for instance, let’s say that this current blog post was number 123, I could put a nice pretty #123 before the title. I want to do this because it’s the way some Youtubers organize their videos and it just makes me feel proud to see what I’ve created.

The problem then becomes, what the hell COUNTS as a blog post? Because I’ve posted such a variety of things here over the years. The fictional short stories and novel excerpts I’ve posted are clearly not blog posts, and most of the time I post poetry all on it’s own, so that’s not a blog post either. But I’ve also posted a lot of really personal stuff, as well as things that are kind of meant to be read by others. For example, I’ve done reviews of books and video games, and more recently written some essays about social topics and media that I like. So, do I number those are part of the blog? Do journals count? What about those couples of posts where I just recounted my sexual encounters in explicit detail, which I then went back and retroactively made private? I know that this all seems silly and pointless, and well, it is, but that’s part of my OCD. I also keep my iTunes library immaculately organized with perfect track numbers, album artwork, and other metadata.

Think of it like trying to concentrate on creating something while you’re in a filthy room. You might want to clean the room first so you can concentrate. Okay I’m not going to keep going on about this because I’m sure it is an absolute chore to read, but maybe if you also have OCD or something akin to it you’ll understand where I’m coming from.

On top pressing matters. I have work tomorrow. Which means I have a job. Which means I stopped working at my previous job. And all that.

I left my last job pretty abruptly by unceremoniously walking out the front door one day when I decided I had had enough. It was mostly a combination of stress and being sick. I had a bone spur in my mouth and was on heavy pain medication for it, meanwhile my stepfather was dying of cancer in the hospital, and after he passed away my mom moved into her own apartment, leaving me alone in the house. I had the chance to help my best friend and lover move away from his abusive family and of course I took it, and my brother was planning on moving in with us with his wife. There was just… a lot going on. And I honestly couldn’t handle the stress of trying to work.

I’ve never been good at working a job. It’s not so much because I’m lazy or anything, as much as it is that I hate to be forced to do something I don’t want to. I mean, we live in a finite universe with incredibly brief lives that are already difficult enough to find meaning in, why would I waste eight hours of a perfectly good day standing behind a counter somewhere smiling at strangers and ringing up their hemorrhoid cream, when I could be writing a novel or kissing an artist while standing on a mountain top? I mean yeah, there’s the whole issue of society needing to stay afloat, but society isn’t going to miss me, why can’t I just stay home and do what I like?

I realize how immature that sounds, but it’s the kind of question you have to ask yourself looking at society objectively. The only reason you HAVE to work is to have money, and the only reason you need to have money is so that you can have food and shelter. Meanwhile food and shelter exist plentifully, it’s just that we’ve all communally decided and agreed that you can’t have the food and shelter unless you have enough shiny rocks, or scraps of linen paper or what have you. Actually WE didn’t agree on that at all, people hundreds of years ago did, and we haven’t all realized that we don’t actually HAVE to do anything Thomas Jefferson says because he’s actually dead.

Boy did this go off the rails quickly. Anyway, the point I was trying to make is that work is a HUGE anxiety trigger for me. It’s more or less the ONLY anxiety trigger. I mean, I get anxiety other times, but almost always it’s to do with work. The responsibility of going every time I’m scheduled, being forced to stay there without the ability to leave, it’s terrible, and sometimes unbearable. I think it has to do with the way my anxiety started: I had a panic attack at school when I was seventeen and I passed out, later being taken to the hospital. The next day when I came into school the panic attack repeated without actually passing out, though dizziness was definitely there. From that day forward, being in the classroom where I had my panic attack caused me uncontrollable anxiety, eventually I couldn’t be on that floor of the school without having anxiety, and then I couldn’t be at school at all without anxiety, and then I couldn’t be in public at all without anxiety. Having medication has helped greatly with the anxiety, although it’s mostly replaced the panic attacks with depression.

Which I’m fine with, really. I don’t mind the depression nearly as much. Depression is usually kind of comforting. It’s like a warm blanket of sorrow and hopelessness. It’s a relief. It’s like a gentle say, saying “It’s okay. I set down all responsibility. I’m not going to try and be happy, or try and make it through. I accept that I’m miserable, I accept that I’m filled with deep, longing sorrow.” And yes, being in public is hard when it happens, but the symptoms of being somber and deflated are much easier to deal with than the heart-racing, blood-pumping, nauseous dizziness of a panic attack.

Yesterday I went in to work on no particular set time schedule to get some computer training done. This ended up taking about five hours, and honestly I wasn’t terribly upset while I was there, just very depressed, which is not really the same thing. Depression is sort of the opposite of being upset. It’s a quiet resignation to sadness. But by the time I got home, the depression was starting to becoming heavier and heavier, like a weight in my chest, and I found myself curled up in my bed, shivering and tingling all over, crying and feeling a desperate, aching loneliness, wanting so badly to be held, to be touched, to be kissed and to be told it’s going to be alright.

I think I want a boyfriend. Someone I can trust who will help me when it’s hard. Someone who will make me feel safe and special and beautiful. Jake does that for me, but he’s far away and I need someone here. I don’t know how to go about it. I prefer to be polyamorous and I already have feelings for a couple of people and I just don’t really know how to HAVE a boyfriend anymore. I haven’t done it in several years and all previous attempts have ended disastrously. I had a long-distance boyfriend last year and it worked pretty well but then there’s the obvious problem of the distance. I need someone here, someone that can be there for me on the bad days. And sometimes there are a lot of bad days.

I hope that tomorrow will at least be manageable. I pray a lot. I don’t believe in God, or if I do it’s only in an Obsessive Compulsive way the requires the ritual of prayer to feel confident or safe. I’d like to believe in God, or in something. At least I think I would. I’d like to not feel alone, but I also don’t want to feel trapped. And I haven’t yet found a way to overcome both of those feelings at once.

There are ants in my bed because it’s by the window they’ve been biting my legs and my arms. But I don’t really notice them when they’re there. Hopefully this problem will get resolved soon too.

Tomorrow I work from nine in the morning to five-thirty in the afternoon. I hope it will be alright. I’ve had a lot of disastrous job experiences. Right now I’m in a dark place with this job, but I’m hoping that after some time, it will become easy and casual like my last job was. And I hope that I get to take the weekend off to recover from all this. Yesterday was unbearable. And the thing about unbearable sadness is that you have to bare it, which is what makes it so unbearable.

Goodnight, friends. I wrote a poem last night, I hope you like it. I really did. I’ll post some more poetry after this blog post. I write a lot of scraps of poetry throughout the day. Hopefully some of it will turn into something beautiful. Or maybe it already is. Who knows.

 

Currently obsessed with…
Hounds of Love (Alternative Version) – Kate Bush, This Woman’s Work II

Heavy Steps

walking

The best way to describe how I’m feeling right now is “over it.” And I just am. Honestly I’ve grown so absolutely weary of the constant struggle to get up and go to work and fight the relentless anxiety. I am just ready to let go. And i don’t mean commit suicide, or even stop going to work.

Just… Its too much to care about anymore. There are important reasons why I need a job. I need to pay Robert and Zack for allowing me to live in their house rent free for nearly a year. I need to buyfood. But… What is worth this? What is worth this struggle? I don’t know how long I have to live, and here I am wasting precious days working a menial retail job, and for what? A paycheck that doesn’t cover any expenses and the privelage of more tedious work?

At least the anxiety has decreased significantly. What was once a steady pulse of hot fear has melted into a thick blanket of apathy and submission. I’m feeling more and more like Marvin the Robot fromHitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, who is programmed in such a way that he is literally incapable of feeling enthusiasm or joy, and constantly laments his station as a glorified servant instead of putting his abilities to use.

I’m angry. I’m pissed off that I’ve come so far in life and yet here I am, still walking the sales floor and greeting customers, folding towels and pulling plates to the front of shelves, exchanging inane useless chatter with strangers just so I can have someone to talk to.

There are so many jobs I’d be happy to do.  It doesn’t have to be something illustrious. What I’d love would be data entry. Just to sit at a desk quietly, listening to audibooks and typing numbers into forms. Or a personal assistant, bringing someone coffee or organizing files. Or a secretary, keeping things organized and greeting people from the comfort of my seat. I could even work a government job, as long as I can just be in an office, sitting down. I don’t know why that’s so much to ask.

But no. You need a degree to sit at a desk. And in order to have a degree you have to go to school, and in order to go to school you have to have the time to do that instead of working, or the emotional and mental fortitude to go to school as well as work a menial job, and I just don’t have either.

I don’t believe I’m going to get another chance at life. And its killing me to waste my life in retail stores and restaurants. I want to matter. I want to wake up in the morning and do something I care about. But there’s a mentality in our culture that no one gets a “free ride.” God forbid I subsist on someone else’s money or in a simple home paid for by the government, even though I have a mental illness that severely handicaps me emotionally when it comes to working out in public. If I had a physical illness the government would be happy to give me a check, but because people still don’t believe mental illness exists and it’s just an excuse to be lazy or have a bad attitude, I’m expected to shoulder a burden much worse than the burden carried by people who are doing more physical labor than I am. I have to fight the world every single day.

And I’m so tired of fighting. I’m so tired of wasting time.

Give me a piano, let me earn money with that. Give me a desk and an office in which to write my stories, let me earn money that way.

Give me a safe place to sit and read and learn, to walk the neighborhood listening to music, to communicate with people, to fight the loneliness and battle the darkness that follows me every day in my shadow.

Even if I did no work at all I wouldn’t be getting a free ride. The battle I fight is ongoing and not always visible, but I’m fighting it. I know what you’re thinking, I’m just making excuses for being lazy because I don’t want to work. There’s a mentality that “If I had to bust my ass for money, so do you. If I had to suffer, so do you.”

But I’m already suffering. My full time job is surviving the day. Even in a day in which I have no work at all to do, I can still find myself fighting for my life against the anxiety and depression that pose a very real threat to my life, not to mention my well-being at the very least. You can call in sick from work with a fever or a stomach virus, but I can’t call in stressed and emotionally exhausted. There are days off from an office job or a retail job. There are no days off from mental illness.

And besides, the attitude that because you worked hard for what you have then everyone else had to work just as hard, that attitude doesn’t make sense to me. If you had to suffer through unnecessary pain to have success, why would you want other people to suffer the same as you did? You might say “it isn’t fair that I had to work hard and you don’t,” but what is fair about wanting someone else to suffer? Is it a bitter desire for revenge against life that leads people to think it’s so wrong for someone to “freeload”? What is freeloading? I mean look at that term. I carry my anxiety and fear with me everywhere I go. Even if all my needs were met by other people, my load still would not be free. I would still by fighting against my mind and my body. Anxiety isn’t just having a bad day or feeling sorry for yourself, its an actual disease that affects your body, it is NOT “all in your head.”

No one tells someone in a hospital bed with a terminal illness to stop feeling sorry for themselves, get out of bed and go to work like the rest of us. Because that person is physically unable. What if you’re physically able but mentally unable? What do you do then?

Exactly the same thing you did the day before. You go to work like everybody else and you do the same tasks as everybody else, only the work you’re doing is a thousand times harder because your brain and your body are constantly devising new and inventive ways to harm you. Tonight while I was working I was folding towels and suddenly realized that I was standing on the opposite aisle from where I’d started. How did I get there? When did I walk across to another aisle? Had I blacked out? I looked around and realized that I hadn’t moved to another aisle at all. I clapped my hand over my mouth when the room started spinning and the wave of disorientation hit me. Which way was the exit, which way had i been facing before, where WAS I?

This is something that has never, ever happened to me before and it felt very much like I was in a dream. I don’t think it’s going to cause me problems in the future, but who knows? What if I start feeling disoriented all the time? What if it makes my panic attacks worse?

I’ll just have to keep going to work and nothing will change.  No one will have sympathy or compassion for me, at least not enough to alleviate my suffering by giving me some other task, because there aren’t any other jobs there to give.

I just have to keep getting up and fighting my own body and mind every day.

And the truth is my stamina is running out and I’m losing the ability to keep fighting. I don’t know what will happen if I can’t fight anyone. I doubt it would mean that I’d hurt myself. But what would I do? Would I just stay in be and refuse to move? Would I stop eating, just stop living, and just exist? I cant imagine that’s a real possibility.

But I’m so tired. And I’m just crying out to rue universe, please, give me something else. I’m willing to do the work, I just can’t do this work. I can’t keep working these public service jobs, I cant keep ringing up groceries and standing on my feet for eight hours, I can’t keep dealing with the crowds and the noise and the lines of people, I just can’t. I need something else.

I don’t want something else, I need something else. I need it. I can’t survive this way. I’m so tired of fighting.

I’m exhausted.

gray-ocean

I’m Still Trying

Caesar

I’ve wanted to write again for over a month. That seems to always be the pattern: I want to write, then I don’t, then I’m mad because I missed all these observations and thoughts I could have chronicled, and then when I do write I’m apologizing to myself for not writing. But I’m going to keep trying, even if it’s hard. I want to get what it’s my head down.

I started a journal once before online (actually many times before online, but this is one in particular), on LiveJournal. I wanted to try something new, but I ended up only writing six entries. Since this numbered series is supposed to be similar to that, and I’ve already cross-posted my LiveJournal entries over to this blog, I considered making the previous entry number seven and this one number eight.Maybe I will do that. I don’t know.

I realize that’s a boring thing to start this off with. I have a thing about numbers, and organization. I have literally spent most of my free time in the past six years organizing and maintaining my iTunes library: keeping the B-Sides and Demos in proper order with uniform cover art, keeping everything numbered properly, having things in correct chronological order, organizing and re-organizing and re-organizing bonus tracks and B-Sides. It’s labor intensive but it gives my mind something to focus on.

I honestly want to go back to the beginning of this entry and just erase everything I’ve just written because even I think it’s boring.

But that is not the point!

The point is to get it out of my head and into here. The point is to have a living record (what does that actually mean, anyway? I’m totally bullshitting on using that term properly) of my life and my thoughts.

So here’s what I did today.

It’s Saturday. Blessed, sweet Saturday. The Thursday two days previous marked three months that I began working a full-time job, at a desk, in front of a computer, for eight hours a day with an hour lunch break. When I first started, I was deliriously satisfied at having landed full-time work, much less in my dream environment of an OFFICE. I couldn’t believe it.

But as time went on, it slowly starting dawning on me that this wasn’t an office. This was a retailer I worked for, and I was in their office space, and yes there were desks and computers and cushy chairs, and a coffee machine and conference rooms, but there were also things MISSING. Windows, for instance. Our office is actually just two huge warehouses that are somewhat insulated and the walls are strewn with huge ceiling to floor curtains. There are no windows, there is no sunlight, there is something that almost passes for a skylight above but really doesn’t because it’s just one dirty covered window that lets in some small amount of light. Two weeks ago the power went out for a while and we were on various backup lighting systems and it was like it was the dead of night in there. It gets incredibly hot when it’s hot outside, and freezes when it’s cold outside.

It seems to be devoid not just of light, but of hope. I’m reminded of the lyrics to that one Radiohead song that I’ve never heard the original of before, just the Regina Spektor and Amanda Palmer covers: “A job that slowly kills you, bruises that won’t heal.”

After my life was saved by two friends who allowed me to move away from the Carolinas and from my dysfunctional family and incredibly abusive mother, I spent the first month or so having crying breakdowns every night. I was like a dog that had just been adopted from the pound, and I was still so scarred by my past that I couldn’t accept that I might have a home, or safety, or love. But over time that fear went away and this became my new home.

I lasted about a month at the new job before I started to realize that I not only hated the job itself, but the whole concept of full time work. I always thought working full time with weekends off would give my life some kind of structure, but it turns out it just fills my life with forty-five hours a week spent in a muggy dark building away from the sun, and away from my actual LIFE. I hate being hidden away like that. I get two days off but I feel like I need much more than that. I honestly am beginning to doubt whether or not I can work AT ALL.

What would a happy work-week look like for me? I have no idea. Unless I were doing something that I love, and I don’t really know if I can paid to play piano, write books, and play video games. I want to go to college but how? I’m twenty-five now, I don’t have as many resources available to me as would have been when I was eighteen and just graduating. Even if I go to school I need to work a full-time job at the same time and how do I do that? What would I even go to school for? I say English, music, or literature, but what would I do with that? Would I teach? Could I handle the stress of teaching? I’ve been warned against teaching by everyone and I’ve never been particularly interested in it. If I were a teacher I’d have to hide who I am too.

I’d like to live in a hippy commune, rolling around naked in the flowers every afternoon, fucking boys and maybe sometimes girls throughout the day, reading at night, and falling asleep in the arms of friends. I’d like to wake up to the smell of nature and the wet dew and the rising sun, and yet I don’t want to live out in the woods. Maybe a cabin somewhere? I mean I’m genuinely trying to picture what my perfect life might look like. I guess in my dreams for the future I’m always rich and successful, and I’m either at home writing novels or out on the road touring as a musician, playing piano and singing to adoring friends every night.

Will I ever get the chance to do these things? When I was twenty-one it seemed like there was still all the time in the world to figure these things out. Now I’m twenty-five, almost twenty-six, and it seems like while there may still be time, there doesn’t seem to be any MEANS to make these things happen. And what do I need to do, keep on slogging through work full time, having unfulfilling Grindr hookups that leave me grossed out and ashamed when I have a few moments of free time, spending the weekend sitting still and trying to recuperate as I recover from the withdrawals symptoms of leaving one antidepressant behind to start myself on another?

It seems like I’ve gained so much of what I thought I wanted: a safe home where I live with friends, a stable job, good income, the ability to get food when I need it, a place to put my books and my music. And I do still want all those things, but I didn’t know I would still be suicidal once I got them. I didn’t know I would still struggle against the debilitating tears, fear, and loneliness, pushing down on my chest every day. I didn’t know I would still reach over to the other side of the bed at night and wish Nathan was there to hold.

It’s been over a year now and he’s still on my mind all the time. I feel lost without him. I think of things that I want to say to him, I see things around me and I want to show him, but he isn’t here, he’s back home, in Georgia, and he just isn’t going to be a part of my life no matter how much I miss him. And it isn’t that I want him to be in my life, or that I want to get back together, but I do miss him. Even though I don’t regret my decision to step out of our relationship, I still spend a lot of time thinking about him, missing him

I want to find a new person, but last year I was with a new person for three months and I genuinely forget that he ever existed in my life. I had a new relationship with not one but TWO guys, in a polyamorous relationship, they were both Pagan, and I even ended up homeless and they gave me a place to stay. Then there was upset, an actual physical fight, lots of screaming and wailing and at one point I even tried to cut myself (unsuccesfully, as I grabbed a butter knife), then ended up being made to leave. And I forget about those things ever having happened all the time, I forget that I had a relationship with those two guys, I talk about Nathan and say he was my last boyfriend but I forget that there were two in-between then and now. Why do I forget them so easily? I had thought I was happy. It turns out I was just as unfulfilled as before.

But doesn’t having a rebound relationship mean it helps you to get over the old one? Well, yes and no. It was nice, but still unfulfilling.

And I spent so much time last year being an atheist, and now I feel like I’m going back down the path to being Pagan. Which is great, I like it, but I always feel insincere. I’m not brave enough to be an atheist, and I don’t have enough faith to truly believe in the Divine. I want real life witchcraft and magic to influence the magic in my book, but where is my book going? It’s changed so much in my head. Characters that used to be the most important have left entirely, and I don’t know what’s happening anymore. I finally started over in first person and I love it so far but I haven’t written anything more after the first chapter, which I need to revise.

I’m feeling so lost. Why, after gaining so much, do I still find myself faced with the same problems?

Today I walked dogs at the animal shelter. Zack drove us there, I was going to go by myself but I’m glad he came. First I walked a pitbull named Caesar who pee’d on everything and then kept trying once he ran out, and cuddled with him a bit before we swapped him out for another pitbull named Gunnar, who was a bit more distant but really interested in walking around and exploring. I got a lot of good exercise from it, even though I was literally so exhausted from walking down to a culdesac and back twice that I ended up taking a three-hour nap when I got home. How can I ever start working out regularly or running / walking / jogging, if I can’t even handle taking a dog for a walk?

I don’t mean to be negative, if I am being negative. I spent a lot of time when I first started this blog trying as hard as I could to be positive because I needed positive energy in my life. Now I’m not even sure what a word like “positive energy” means. I don’t like faith in God, and I don’t really care enough about science to truly seek the answers. Maybe I don’t like what I know I’ll find: that the universe is vast and my existence in it has little meaning either way. That’s what atheism has brought to me, a feeling of knowledge and even of boastful, arrogant pride that I’m now trying to unlearn, and also a fear of oblivion. I don’t want to stop existing. Can it be so easy to just stop existing? Can it be so easy to believe in an alternative?

I’m filled with questions. I’m tired. I’m always tired nowadays.

I have to get away from this job before it kills me. I have to keep trying. I have to keep doing good things in my life.

I ordered two books on Wicca. I jogged last week and walked today. I’ve stopped drinking soda from the machine at work and almost entirely switched to drinking Powerade when I’m working. I bought tea and chai. I’m trying.

I need to stop staring at my phone all day. I need to get online for a good purpose, to write or to do something productive. I have to stop wasting so much time.

I want my body to be better. I want my heart to be better. I want my life to be better.

I’m trying.

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