2f240ee700000578-0-image-a-53_1449501705474Okay, I know it’s totally a first-world problem but I need more Internet in my life. My mental health depends on it. I can’t stand not being able to write down what I’m saying for the world to see, even if it’s tucked within the megapixels and nonsense spouting out from every other computer on the face of the Earth. It makes me feel better to post it in the ether and walk away. It’s not on a piece of paper for someone to find, for prying eyes. The impersonal nature of the whole thing is enticing to the point that I’m becoming one of those people. I need the Internet again. I need it more than ever. I’ve been sitting in the library for an indeterminate amount of time, watching my future plans fall to ashes around me and I’m completely helpless to do anything about it. Well, at one point I wasn’t, but now I am. It’s too late. The world is turning and turning and I can’t find enough courage to jump off…or jump back on.

Physically, things are what they are. I’m getting monthly injections, waiting for enough time to pass for my doctor to declare that the spinal cord stimulator is our only option. My other CRPS friend had one put in and has thus had a rash of complications. But I remain undeterred. I need this to make my life semi-normal again. Granted, it won’t fix everything, i.e. the inner turmoil that is my brain, but it will sieve off some of the pressure to conform, to walk up the stairs rather than take the elevator. To park in a normal parking spot instead of the handicapped one. And the pain will be over. God, that is what I look forward to the most.

I’m applying for University of Maryland, School of Social Work for the spring semester. Halfway down the application, they ask for three reference letters, none of which can be from family or friends. The problem with this situation? I’ve been so removed from the outside world, even in my academic pursuits that I have literally no one I can contact for these references. One of the professors I did attempt to speak with told me she would be hard-pressed to say anything positive about my work ethic. That’s what I mean when I say I can’t jump back on or jump back off. The world was spinning so damn fast that I lost it, got motion-sick and had to get off. And once I was off, getting back on was seemingly impossible. The hospitals, the medication, all of it threw me so far off the track that once I managed to reassemble a “normal” existence, it was too late. I didn’t make friends, I didn’t establish connections, I didn’t network, dine or have tea with the right people. I didn’t make acknowledgments the way I should have and now my future suffers because of it. I couldn’t see the forest for the trees. Part of me wants to blame myself; if I hadn’t completely lost my shit, this wouldn’t be an issue. The other part of me blames society as a whole. Why do we create these webs of connections that seemingly establish who we are as human beings? What we experience, how we live, what we do on a daily basis doesn’t matter a single bit. Who you know, how you communicate and your ability to manipulate both of those skills is what gets you through life. That’s how we ended up with George W. Bush as President of the United States. My inner turmoil, any sort of insight into human nature and the darkness that lurks in all of us doesn’t matter. What if you’re autistic and lack communication skills? What if you were sexually assaulted as a child and have Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder as an adult? What if you fought overseas and return to find your spouse in bed with another person? None of that matters if you can’t speak to your professors, if you can’t imagine yourself as a sexual creature or if you never developed a trade skill. That’s all your fault, according to society. The strength it took to survive those things, the courage, the determination, the struggle of bearing such a heavy burden doesn’t matter if you don’t have a white picket-fence, a dog, kids and are married. The American dream isn’t a dream at all. It’s a spoon-fed nightmare that all of us have been conditioned to want to experience. Despite the hoards of people that flock to fandoms, to conventions, to fetish chat rooms and underground parties themed with coffins and fangs, all of those people are considered abnormal. They’re considered to be the fringe of society. But if everyone is on the fringe, doesn’t that mean we’re all the majority? Doesn’t that push everyone closer, ever inward until the gap is closed and we are all united as a single group of people. Though we may look different, sound different, act different, we’re all the same. It’s like penguins. When the blizzards and snow storms hit the ice caps, adult emperor penguins, waiting for their mates to return from fishing, and waiting for the eggs nestled on their feet to hatch, huddle together in a huge mass of slick feathers. They rotate constantly, making sure that anyone getting hit with the impossibly cold winds on the outer edge of the cluster, experience the radiating warmth in the center. Everyone is cycled through the heat to make sure they all survive the storm, that their eggs survive and their mates return to happy spouses and little chicks covered in down. Why can’t we be like penguins? Why can’t we just wrap each other up and love each other? Instead, I am stuck questioning my very existence because I didn’t establish enough connections in college to receive recommendation letters from anyone. People suck.

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“There I Was, Cold, Isolated, and Desperate for Something I Knew I Couldn’t Have”

imagesSitting in Barnes and Noble, you see the funniest characters. There was once an episode of Family Guy, where they were making fun of people who go to Starbucks and places like this to be seen using their laptops in public. They’re hipsters. They aren’t really doing anything useful or important, they just want to seem like they are so they go to a public place that most people perceive as cool or like upper-class and sit there and pretend to be watching their stocks grow or pegging their investments. I’m sitting in a Barnes and Noble, the same one I was in yesterday and the same one I’m in every Thursday with my laptop, waiting for my appointments with Allister and Dr. Glover. There’s an elderly couple here, talking and laughing over pastries and coffee. They’re some of the smallest older people I’ve seem and the man has a bit of a ducktail (something Thomas would be proud of). But they seem to be genuinely enjoying themselves. There are a few people (including me) on laptops, with headphones in, all with drinks of different kinds, doing God knows what. Actually, a lot of the laptop people are peering around at the rest of their cafe mates. There are a few odd couples here: two women who look like they might be on an interview, a man and a woman that might be studying for something. And of course, the slew of single people, all doing random things like talking on the phone, juggling the cutest little girl in the world while reading a magazine about vintage cars, staring out the window at the passing cars instead of at their computer screen. Or simply staring at nothing in particular while sipping their coffee, with their sophisticated headphones around their neck instead of over their ears. It’s really interesting what kind of people this places attracts. And I think that’s part of the reason when I run away from home, when I try to escape and leave all my problems behind, I come here. Part of the reason is because it’s far away and I know the area. I’m pretty comfortable with the streets and the roads down here. Albeit, I still get lost like it’s nobody’s business, but down here, it’s a little trickier to do that. Partially, also, because I always hope that if I pop over to Hunt Valley, if I swing down the winding, curving roads that are super dangerous but overly thrilling, I’ll find my grandmother, waiting on the porch for me. I’ll find my childhood on pause, waiting for me to step back into it. But when I get there, when I pull up in front of the house, I find someone else there. I find someone else’s cars, their stuff, and I have to speed off before they see me and think I’m a creeper. Even trying to reconnect with an old friend, the boy who lived in the next house over, is difficult. We’ve gone on and lived our separate lives. We’ve grown up. We’ve done things and met people and moved on. Something that seems totally impossible for me to do. Mara (I know, totally random) stole the last year of middle school, all of my high school and a good portion of my college life. And right now, I’m sort of stuck on the fact that I won’t be getting that back. I won’t get to repeat that stuff. I won’t be able to take those memories of prom and graduation and scrub them clean of her disease and filth. I can’t undo what was done. Everyone says I should forgive myself and that I am forgiven but I can’t believe that. The crime was so heinous and there is no punishment for it. Except this mental one. This mental prison that I’ve locked myself in. I’ve been trying to run from the responsibility I now face since graduation. I’m supposed to find a job, supposed to be a productive member of society until I can start on my bachelor’s program in the fall. And no one, no one, thinks I did this the wrong way. No one thinks I did this backwards, or out of order or anything. And I can’t get around that. How is that possible? There is an order to life. We’re supposed to do things in a certain sequence, and I royally fucked things up by being Mara’s “friend” but no one thinks I deserve any retribution for it. My dad, whenever he talks about his mother, always says that when he got a job or was in school, he would help her pay the bills because his father wasn’t there. Of course, she was noble beyond all reason and didn’t spend a lick of what he gave her, but the point is is that my father was an adult. He grew up. He accepted his responsibility and moved on. He didn’t fuck shit up like I did. My mom, when Laura said she wouldn’t be her friend anymore, just sort of moved on. She didn’t linger, she didn’t let it destroy her life. I did. My brother has the reflexes of someone who’s been abused because of the way Mara and I used to attack him. We used to physically beat Thomas for fun. Not like, until he was unconscious or anything, but he definitely had to defend himself. And because of that, Thomas’s reflexes are freakishly fast. He doesn’t hesitate to tell me that either. I don’t think he knows what he’s saying is hurting me, otherwise, I’m pretty sure he wouldn’t say it, but still. It drives the knife in that much deeper every single time. These people sitting in Barnes and Noble with me…they don’t see Mara. They see a girl with makeup on her face, a teal dress on, gray boots, a sweater, jewelry…it’s a nice facade. I look normal. “If you hear horses in Central Park…” But I’m not a horse, I’m a zebra. And making people understand that is impossible. I can’t keep blaming her for my mistakes. People tried to tell me over and over again that she was bad news and I didn’t listen. This whole situation, this whole undoing of my life is my fault. I was telling Jackie how depressed I was yesterday and she was sympathetic. I was saying that no one does that anymore because people expect this to go away sort of like a broken leg. It’s there and then after a while, it’s not. It’s not supposed to be an ongoing problem. Yesterday, it definitely was. I was suicidal, cutting, depressed, reckless. You name it, I was feeling it. Except happy, don’t name that. I wasn’t reaching out to anyone either. DBT was there but it was on the back burner. I told you, I feel like my life is just crumbling around me and I don’t even have the energy to blame someone else. I don’t feel like I have the right to blame someone else. This was my doing. I made this bed and now I have to lie in it. But how easy is it to say that when you’re simply looking at the bed, or thinking about it? When you’re actually lying in it and it’s itchy and your back hurts and it’s uncomfortable, you want more than anything to be in Fiji, soaking up sun and drinking mojitos out of a coconut with Hugh Jackman next to you telling you he signed the divorce papers this morning and that he is officially a single man. I guess the whole point of this runaround story is that I’m sort of coming to realize…this is my life. This is what it is and this is what it always will be. An endless stretch of days and nights, an endless sea of ups and downs, darkness and light, varying shades of gray, never a glimpse of white but always flashes of black. And I have no one to blame but myself.

“It’s The Best Time of the Year”

IMAG0169Christmas is almost here. “You grew up hearing about it, but I never figured I’d be there.” I wrapped a ton of presents today and I’m actually still not finished. For a family that doesn’t place much value on material objects, we buy a lot of crap for each other. I’m stressed to the max though. Of course, like everyone else on the fucking planet, Lucy, duh. Gosh. No, but seriously. Like I said last time, the feelings of anxiousness and compulsion are super strong because if I stay still, all the darkness of every single molecule in time and space is closing in on me. I can’t describe it any better than that. And my mood swings, this all-or-nothing thinking. I can’t even wrap my brain around why this is happening. My mom said the usual: it’s stress, you just finished at the community college, you’re at a transition in your life, bla, bla, bla. But I don’t buy it. I don’t know why I can’t handle transitions like everyone else. Powerpoint presentations have an easier time transitioning and they aren’t even alive. And I’d like to think that I’m sort of, well not really but kind of, over the whole “self-sabotage” thing. I know I say it basically every time it happens, but that’s not what this feels like. God, I’m quoting and rolling my eyes at myself. Maybe that means that’s exactly what this is. I’ve been cutting practically every day for one reason or another. And usually, the reasons, in hindsight, are really stupid. But at the time, the feelings, the emotions are completely overwhelming and I feel like a supernova. The smallest thing will set me off. So I have to relieve the pressure. I look like I’m turning into a zebra. I thought I was making headway with the DBT skills. It was getting easier because rather than having to consciously think about using them, they would sort of just come to me. I could be like, “oh, I should be distracting myself right now,” or “I need to do some opposite action” and it would naturally occur. But then, all of a sudden, I’m slicing up my wrist like a Christmas ham and freaking out because I feel like everyone in the mall is staring at me accusingly. After all this time, after all this shit I’ve been doing, you’d think I’d have a handle on it by now. Part of me feels like this is bullshit. You know, the whole I’m-going-to-quit-therapy-and-go-join-a-commune. But then I’m like…nope, that thought doesn’t even finish. I can’t give myself credit for all the “work” I’ve done. Other people don’t have this problem. Other people don’t have to do this, so why should I celebrate what I’ve been through as an accomplishment and not some form of punishment for some crime in a past life. I talked to my dad a few mornings ago, and he said he was proud of me. And he acknowledged everything I went through. He told me that he knew it was difficult, and that with the hospitalizations and the therapy and the medications, he knew it was a struggle to complete school. But I did it. And that, that moment, right then, was the first and only time I’ve believed that my dad was actually proud of me. But, of course, the moment was more fleeting than a speck of dust in a tornado. I subconsciously reminded myself of everything I just said and it simply went “poof!” And now my parents are talking about sending me to get my bachelor’s degree while my brother is pursuing his. And they don’t think there’s anything wrong/weird about this at all. But I think it’s very, very weird. I mean, if the school has a good program then I want to attend, but I also want to preserve the relationship with my brother. I don’t know. Something about this, just doesn’t feel right. Maybe it’s the fact that they’re suggesting I go to the school that the favored child go to. Just like sloppy seconds. Again. When they suggested Thomas go to Rowan, the school of my choice if I hadn’t fucked up, I was crushed. Why would you send the child you prefer to the school of choice for the other child? Like that just seems really weird, twisted and messed up to me. But they don’t think this is strange in the slightest. I don’t know, I almost feel like they’re trying to turn me into Thomas. Like they’re trying to make me conform me into his little mold, hoping that if I fit, if they manage to stuff me in there and make it work, I’ll turn out like him. Of course, telling them this would be ridiculous. They wouldn’t listen. It would be me being ridiculous, me reading into things too much. I need a cigarette.

“Why Can’t They Understand The Way We Feel?”

44youllbecddeFor some reason, I like to write early in the morning. Or would it be considered late at night? It’s 3:06 AM on Tuesday, February 12, 2013. I have class today at 2:10 in the afternoon. About 11 hours from now, actually. I took a Melatonin last night because I knew sleeping would be difficult but obviously it isn’t working. I slept literally all afternoon yesterday. I woke up at noon, got up for an hour, then went back to sleep until 3:00. It was ridiculous. I don’t know what’s wrong with me. I laid in bed the rest of the day. My mom had me call Dr. Ordella but I don’t know what that’s going to do since we basically abandoned our doctor/patient relationship last time we had a visit. I highly doubt she’s going to be of any help. And I don’t see Allister until Wednesday. I’m at a loss. I do everything I’m supposed to do. I do Opposite Action (except for yesterday, yesterday I didn’t do squat!), I practice resistance when it comes to cutting, I attend therapy and group every single week, I visit with my psychiatrist once a month, I take my medicine every day and what? What happens? I’m still miserable. I don’t understand. And I’ve recently learned that this whole ‘chemical imbalance in the brain’ thing might not even be true. Some scientists believe it was gimmick made up by the drug companies to make people take medication. That’s really promising, right? That’s really reassuring that the one thing that I actually took solace in, the one thing that actually convinced me this was an actual disease might not even be true. I don’t know what I’m supposed to do with this knowledge. Ruin other people’s lives? Shatter other people’s hopes for treatment? Deja vu! Whoa! I’m listening to “You’ll Be In My Heart” by Phil Collins. It’s on my Anti-Happiness playlist on YouTube. I’m depressed, okay? This song always reminds me of my dad. I’m so scared I’m going to lose him and this song perfectly captures that feeling. Okay, anyway, back to the issue, I don’t know what to do about this depression. And no one else seems to know either. I almost feel crazy. I feel like I’m in gym class, climbing that rope where you have to ring the cow bell at the top. Well, I’m at the top, ringing that stupid bell and no one’s around to hear. And no one’s around to tell me how to get down. I’m stuck up here, alone, screaming for help. I have no idea what to do. And I’m sick of feeling that way too. I’m sick of feeling like there’s no hope for me. I’m sick of feeling out of control. I feel like there’s no hope for me. I need control in my life. I need to be able to handle some portion of my life somehow. But how? I don’t know. I’m lost. And I don’t know how to find my way back. I’m getting sleepy.

“Is This What It Feels Like To Really Cry?”

I wish I was asleep right now. In sleep, nothing matters. Nothing exists. There’s no pain, no happiness, no suffering, no joy, no nothing. Everything is nothing. And I like it that way. When I’m awake, which clearly I am, I have to feel everything. But it’s nothing at the same time. I know, I’m not making any sense but that’s exactly how I feel right now. I feel so many emotions right now that I don’t feel anything at all. It’s as if I’ve imploded. Rather than outwardly explode into a million pieces, I’ve become a black hole. My whole being has been sucked inside and I can’t seem to find a way out. There’s no light, it’s dark and it’s cold. I want it to be over. I want everything to stop, to cease and desist, to disappear and never come back. I’ve been listening to sad music. I’ve been lying in bed, watching Netflix all week. It’s reached the point of being unhealthy. I went out today to get my nails done and rather than actually go through with it, I freaked out and raced home to hop in my bed. I didn’t leave the rest of the day. I’m exhausted all day and then when it comes time to go to sleep (like right now), I can’t sleep. I thought, in the beginning, that it was my birth control. I got my period and around the same time, I started feeling like this. Well, that’s come and gone and I still feel like shit. I tried to write it off as boredom from having such a long break. Well, break’s over next week and I still feel like this. There’s no excuse for me feeling so bad. I have to come to grips and face facts. I’m depressed. I don’t know what that means for me. I see Allister tomorrow and I’m really struggling with it. I never have a problem with seeing Allister but going tomorrow means having to talk about what the hell I’m going through. I don’t know if I can do that. Even while typing this, I have to stop every few words and pull myself together. I’m not crying or anything but this is emotionally draining. I tried to blog the other day after I cut (twice!) but it ended up in the scrap pile. Halfway through, I caught myself staring at the screen for 20 minutes so I just closed the computer and went to bed. I’m actually really surprised I made it this far. Oh yea, I’m not trying to completely gloss over the fact that I cut twice on Friday and Saturday but I don’t feel like I had a choice. I tried every other DBT method my training has taught me but nothing worked. I needed to feel something. I told my mom that I wanted to cut earlier today and she asked me why. I told her I wanted to feel something and her reply was that I’d said in the past that cutting makes you feel nothing. It’s a complicated action. Sometimes, that’s true. When you’re feeling too much, cutting is like opening a drain in a pool and letting all of the emotions and pain slither down the tubes. But when you’re feeling nothing? When you’re so numb, it’s as if you’re a leper; you could take a meat cleaver and amputate your hand and you wouldn’t notice, cutting is the perfect release then. It’s the same drain opening up and letting all of the emotion and feeling back into your being. Even now, the urge is there. I’m listening to this song called “Cry” by Kelly Clarkson. “Is it over yet? Can I open my eyes? Is this as hard as it gets? Is this what it feels like to really cry?” I keep asking myself those questions. I feel like my road has come to an end. I don’t have a map or enough gas to get back home and there’s no one around for miles. How the hell am I supposed to get back to my life? How am I supposed to feel again? Because right now, it doesn’t look like I ever will. cry2