I’ve drank more alcohol in the last couple weeks than I have through the whole pandemic combined, which for the record is still less than two glasses a day. I hung up on my therapist for the first time in our years-and-years long arrangement. I chew my way through gummies (legal here) to get any sleep, to eat any food. My plants are dying, and somehow — without leaving the apartment or procuring a hippo– I’ve spent way more money in September than is reasonable.
I’m not pretending that I’m doing fine, but I promise it isn’t all spiral.
I did not shave my head (yet) or pierce my nose. I did not quit my job, nor have I have cried while at work or been anything but totally sober on the clock. Excessively caffeinated, perhaps, but sober.
The food issues started long before the break up, around the time Mark passed away. They got worse after my friend, Ty, filled herself with pills and called me. She’s okay now. I mean, she’s alive now. We’re still working on okay.
I have started getting a grip on the food issues, learning what I could eat, and how, thanks to other chronically ill friends who go through this all the time. I tell them it feels like putting a grape in your ear. Your body knows that it can’t consume it there. That’s how it feels when I try to eat something. My mouth says to my brain, “And? What am I supposed to do with this?”
They understand. They show me feeding tubes, and feeding tube scars, and terrible smoothies made of things to trick the system to avoid tubular situations. The groupchat continually reminds me that stress makes all things worse, this included.
I’ve listened. I’ve eaten more cinnamon and ginger than I should be able to stomach.
Today I had a whole sandwich and it’s only 2pm. My friend Ty tells me she knows she’s feeling better because she put socks on today. Healing is so much less interesting in real life than it is in the movies.
I took the day off work, and tomorrow. Plus the weekend, I’ll have four days to get it somewhat together. I like a deadline.
I like my new robe. I might never leave the house again.
My therapist says to meet the urge to do something reckless with behavior that only feels reckless. Something that is extraordinarily temporary, or maybe even only reckless to my perception because of societal judgements– like wearing a very questionable outfit, like buying a whole pie just to take one bite, like dropping two hundred dollars on craft supplies I might never use again.
My therapist says to make a list of things I am feeling in the wake of the relationship with the exboyf.
My therapist says to not stop taking my PTSD medication.
But the thing is, whenever I would forget to take my pills for a day, I would always remember because I’d worry about my relationship. The worry was so out of place, so unusual, that it would remind me more than the signs and alarms I have everywhere to ensure I do not forget. After the pill, the worry would stop, and I’d think to myself, “How silly your brain is off-meds. Look at trauma at work.”
If I weren’t on meds, I might have worried properly, and then there would have been less surprise to this ending. One glass of wine into my night, I like to think there might have been no ending at all if I had a heads up, but it still sounds like a fantasy even then.
Things end. That’s just the way of it.
I won’t end the meds. I just don’t trust them anymore.
My therapist says to write a list of things that I might want in a relationship. Meanwhile, I deactivate my entire Instagram (temporarily) because men I do not know are asking me out to dinner even though I’m manically posting about not being able to eat, and grieving a relationship.
I think about explaining this on my safer (@rarasaur) Instagram account, but it sounds like: *hair flip* I’m so attractive. Instead of Are we ever going to clear the spiderwebs that live in our net? Or are we just never going to talk about these things until we’re overrun?
There’s so much we don’t talk about. Like almost everything in this ramble. Therapists, and what we lose of ourselves to the drugs we need to stay alive, and unaliving attempts, and the aftermath of death on the living, and chronic illness, and normal recklessness.
Last weekend, I went out, thinking it would be good to be in community. It is a tangle of a story, but I ended up being left outside after everyone was gone, waiting for my rideshare. It was dark out, and the street was mostly empty. The gallery that had been so bright and welcoming has no benches or lights outside, just a giant neon sign in blue that says “You belong here.”
I was pretty mad at the sign, for lying to me, lying so prettily– but maybe it kept me safe because a catcall turned into someone quickly moving away from the strawberry-clad person muttering obscenities at a wall.
I came home and wept. Weeping is the only way to describe it.
Something that people I love say, when they aren’t feeling nice, is that my online expressions are attention-seeking. I really believe this is something they feel all the time, but it only peeps out in those moments of stress. Most of these folks never think about why someone they believe to be so attention-grabbing also hides in back seats and talks in a whisper, and passes opportunities without a backwards glance.
I don’t want attention. I want belonging. I want to be in a space of conversation. Things happen. Things start. Things end. Things hurt. Things sometimes heal. Things sometimes only make sense in our hearts and nowhere else.
And I feel like I have to make that space, constantly. Not with a big lie-faced neon sign that declares belonging like it’s a law you can enforce under carceral threat, but with the slow work of it: explaining where I am; showcasing what I think is beautiful; asking for help; looking grief in the eye.
Everything has been a lot lately. Everything has been a lot for awhile. I’m doing my best and, it often isn’t enough to be called healthy or loving. Over time, I’ll learn new tricks and systems, and I’ll have a new metric for what my best is, a new record to beat, but for now, I’m pretty pleased with the progresses of the last few days.
I took time off work. I ate a sandwich in a robe in my still-new home that I love. I think I’m about to go to the mall and buy a reckless outfit.
And I wrote something here, a place I built, a place that always seems to have space for me no matter what shape I’m in.