content warning + ramble warning

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.

29 thoughts on “content warning + ramble warning

  1. Rawr. Sending you reckless rawrs and a warm cozy dinosaur hug. What a beautiful description of what it means to you to create community and spaces. I’ve always admired people who take the time and effort to do that, and it’s insightful the energy behind it that you described…the need for connection that feels so vital. I’ve benefitted so much from those efforts in my life. Attention is the currency of our culture, and inseparable from the human experience. Haters gon’ hate! Lovers, keep on loving.

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  2. Alll so realllll. I hear you. I want to belong in the world that you belong in because you are so good at helping everyone else to feel like they belong in your world. You are love and healing for so many, I hope your village keeps showing up for you as you work your way through highs and lows like you do for us all. Take your time, be easy on you, be the you for you that you are for us if you can manage it. ❤ Or just do what you need, and I hope you keep talking to us, thank you for sharing, for your vulnerability that is so generous.

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  3. I was in a similar mindspace a few months ago, and through all the glass shreds and bloodied heartstrings, I learnt how much some people cared about me, and how much I cared about them in return. I rediscovered friends who brought me sanity. Writing helped me get through it and come out healthier, and I hope it gets you there too. You know you’re not alone when words connect us in such unimaginable ways, and that’s all I can really say too. I hear you, I know you, and some day everything will fall into place. Till then, hang on just a bit. One day at a time. Love and hugs ♥️

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  4. I see you. I feel your words in my grief. John’s death anniversary passed by quietly last week because his/my friends seem to be weary. Our children can’t forget. My daughter told me tonight she keeps wondering who she might have been “if dad hadn’t died and died the way he did.” Last week I hit a wall and decided I needed to be a non-negotiable in my own life. It’s chaotic in the midst of our current crisis of scratching out a survival, but I think it is progress too. Thanks for writing. ❤ ❤

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  5. I guess sometimes a person has to create the community they want to belong in. And sometimes communities you think you want to belong to aren’t what they advertised. But you are working toward what you want and that’s the best anyone can do.

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  6. I crave belonging too, always have. And I’ve always loved the spaces you create, because they make me feel safe, and accepted. Needing attention isn’t attention-seeking or wrong. Expressing yourself in different ways is so important. So much love and thuds to you, you lovely person 💜

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  7. Ra, it is absolutely uncanny how your posts so often resonate with what’s going on in my own life and what I’m feeling about it. Like somewhere on the other side of this continent, there’s someone who can understand me without ever having met me, likely without ever having been within miles of me. Your thoughts and struggles and delights and wishes and pains hum in tune with mine. If that’s not some kind of profound belonging, I don’t know what is. Thank you for reaching, for sharing your light and illuminating far more than you could know, for giving so often the words that make all the difference in my days and the days of many others. The world is much better because you are in it.

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  8. You are the best! So thankful to know you. You express yourself and your heart better than anyone I’ve ever met. Sending love and light your way.

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  9. I’m so sorry you’re feeling so lost right now. Like everyone else, I am here if you need me. This is just another form of grief. The last time I went through this kind of thing I didn’t drink yet. So I read. And read and read and read, for a couple weeks. I couldn’t even listen to music because it hurt too much. But if you ever need to tip a glass of wine and bend an ear, I have both available. Find me on Messenger if you need me.

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  10. Thud. If we still use that…
    It seems fitting.
    This is quite the adventure, this thing we call life. The joys, the pains, the triumphs, the losses, and everyday something new.

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  11. Hugs. I don’t read much any more, but is the eating thing related to the break up? If so, I’ve had that happen to me before. Took about a month and a half to get through it. Hang in there, Ra. It’s okay to not be okay. You’ll get through it and you’ll be stronger once you’re on the other side.

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  12. I have felt guilty for not keeping up with your words, more so after seeing so much that I have missed through inattention. In part, it is my own reaction to stress these days, which is to hide. Make posts so people think everything is okay and to also avoid be labeled attention seeking.

    In the meantime, I have not been here to give support. To remind you that at is not attention seeking. That is part of the stigma, isn’t it? To encourage someone to be quiet about uncomfortable words and avoid discourse on what they wish to avoid? You have the right to need that discourse and enable a conversation to sort through the mess and jumble of what has been piling up. It may only make room for more, but conversation can be boundless.

    Also, sometimes we all do need attention, although not for vanity but validation. You are an amazing person and I have not been adding to the support others have given. I feel that to help myself, I must then help another, even if it is only extending the invitation to listen. If you feel that I would be a good listener then please let me know. I care about you, my friend, and will help any way I can.

    Hugs and love, dear friend. Always.

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  13. Thud.

    I worry about you, sometimes. Not a lot, because I know that you are strong and resilient, but sometimes. And I wish I could teleport, just to share tea with you for a while.

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