March 6, 2014 § Leave a comment
Man, what a mess. I’m referring to my head, of course. A big ol’ mess.
I’ve been sleeping something like 12-14 hours a day now. Terrible dreams, of course, and never feeling rested. Just wanting to sleep all the time and having no reason not to do so. I’ve also felt shaky, weak, dizzy. Dehydrated? Not eating enough? Caffeine withdrawal? No idea. Either way, I don’t feel normal physically.
Despite the terrible dreams, I’ve partially enjoyed all the sleep. I hate waiting around for things to happen like job applications to get rejected or new jobs to be posted. It’s an escape from waiting but it’s also an escape from my own thoughts. My subconscious takes over which so often (but certainly not always) has very little to do with my reality or current preoccupations. I enter a world of threat and destruction, of action and strategy. A place far removed from my current stasis, my current feeling of being trapped in a bubble where time doesn’t move forward and I’m forced to constantly deal with my negative thoughts and emotions with no distraction or release.
I may be attacked, trapped, threatened, and terrified in my dreams, but somehow that’s better than my conscious state. I did kill a serial killer last night though, and I smoked one of his victory cigars after. Fucking bastard. Ain’t nobody mess with my momma!
I have to start counseling when I get back to Birmingham. Clearly the events of last week indicate that I’m just as sick as I’ve always been, perhaps more so. I’ve been thinking a lot about my firm resistance to discussing my suicidal thoughts, particularly now that I have them so often. I’ll need to up my meds, no doubt, but I have an almost suffocating anxiety when I think about having to discuss these thoughts with a therapist. I used to think that was because I felt ashamed or guilty or weak, but now that I’ve had so much time to do nothing but laze around an empty house in my pjs and think, I’ve decided fear of those feelings is what’s driving the hesitation. I don’t understand those feelings. I don’t have any major trauma to speak of, there’s no historical event that can hold blame for these thoughts, yet I have them, stronger than ever now despite my medications. I’m desperately afraid of the source of those thoughts and the reason for why I’m so depressed. Is it really just chemical? Can we buy that? Will more meds truly help?
Fear of the unknown. Fear of the irrational. Who knew I was so pedestrian in my fears… I’d be disappointed in myself if I wasn’t so fucking scared.
Ah, there’s that shaky feeling again, mixed with a bit of nausea and of course the strong desire to go to sleep.
I’m going on a date when I get back to Birmingham. He’s a PhD student and is both well-read and incredibly well-spoken. But as with every new person I date, I’m reminded so strongly of the things I loved in the last person I dated, the things I’ve lost now. He’s my age and it shows. Plays video games, has never eaten an artichoke, doesn’t drink beer, never finds a reason to put on a jacket or a suit. Sounds familiar? Sounds like Alec.
Only he has a dog, he’s a successful graduate student, he compliments me, and he thinks a lot about being a parent.
Needless to say, I’m feeling apprehensive. I don’t want to date someone who acts like a college kid. I want to date a grown man. Isn’t 26 old enough to be considered grown?
When I think about these things, I miss Mark more than ever. He was a grown man, put together, chic and gritty in all the right ways, and worldly.
Of course when I think about all the good things that I miss so much about Mark, the knife of our breakup twists just a bit more. The words that were said in the final weeks, the way he looked at me, the way he made me feel about myself.
Those are all things that Alec would never have said, looks that Alec never would have given me, ways that Alec would never have made me feel.
But Alec played video games, had never eaten an artichoke, didn’t drink beer, never found a reason to put on a jacket or a suit.
I’m going to give the PhD student a fair chance, of course. If anything, the bad dates we’ll go on will just remind me of how much I should be single right now and how online dating just isn’t for me.
And of course, there’s still the issue of when I should tell him that I’m a suicidally-depressed crazy person who will likely need him to be a strong support system when she starts to falter (which she always does). Third date? Day before the wedding? Never? Can I hide that part of myself and my life away from someone? Should I?
Alec had no idea I was depressed and now that he knows, I doubt he worries much about me.
Mark knew about it and, like my family members, was absolutely terrified. He worried about me and in retrospect, that probably wasn’t a fair burden for me to put on him. But I couldn’t not tell him, could I? Of course I had to tell him. And yet, it doesn’t seem like a fair thing to do to another human being. At least to a non-relative, anyway.
A mess. My brain is simultaneously bored and in constant over-drive, my body is shaky and in constant discomfort. I’m filled with fear, a feeling I’ve had very little experience with, about my future and more urgently, about my nearing return to Birmingham where I’ll have to confront all the things I ran to Florida to escape from. On top of that, I’ll once again be alone. My apartment will feel large and empty, and I may need to thoroughly collect and remove all sharp implements as I hardly trust myself to even look at a sharp blade.
It’s time to put my big girl pants on. It’s time to face the music. It’s time to stand on my own two incredibly shaky feet and start the process of baby-stepping forward. It’s time to get control of my self-destructive impulses and find out where my rational, “Don’t do it” inner voice ran off to. It’s time to get a grip, take a deep breath, and start to pick up whatever salvageable pieces of my life are left.
For now, it’s time to sleep. To escape. To feel a different type of fear. And to wake up from it.
March 3, 2014 § Leave a comment
What’s worse than gnawing on saltines that should be light and crisp but are instead a stale, chalky wafer? You’re expecting that great crunch as you nibble away at it, but you’re unsatisfied with the dull response as your teeth sink into the soft cracker. God, what could be worse!?
1. Drinking six gin and tonics, blacking out, and waking up in your underwear with your head in a sink as your mother and cousin are trying to coax you into a bathtub to wash off all the vomit covering your chest and face.
2. Throwing up everywhere and all over everyone, including on your bed, the bathroom sink and floor, your cousin, and the bathtub you’re both sitting in.
3. Having to be forcibly held down as you’re reaching for a dull Venus razor all the while screaming “I just want to die” and meaning every word.
4. Spitting at your dad repeatedly as he’s trying to offer you your favorite beverage of Diet Coke that will surely make you feel better but you’re in so much emotional pain you don’t want to feel better and actually wouldn’t mind throwing up a few more times.
5. Apologizing hundreds of times to your mother as snot and tears and vomit run down your face.
6. Pretty sure I spit on my cousin too, which is especially bad because he was the one bravely holding me in the bathtub among the snot, tears, vomit, and screaming.
I know I should feel gross and embarrassed and ashamed, but what makes it all worse than stale saltines is that I mostly just feel relieved. I scream so much in my head, it was a huge release to finally scream out loud, to scream that I could kill myself and that I want to. It was a relief to finally show my family how bad things are in my head right now. I try so hard to stay in control, even though I was screaming at my family and thrashing around in a pool of my own vomit, I felt better. Now they know. Now I know they know. Now I know I don’t always have to be in control. They’ve got me. They’ll always take care of me. That’s an amazing feeling and an amazing realization. I truly feel loved, cherished, protected. Even from myself.
Also my bed still smells a bit like vomit. But maybe it’s just my hair.
March 2, 2014 § Leave a comment
STOP TORTURING ME, YOU FUCKING ASSHOLE.
March 1, 2014 § Leave a comment
So I joined Match.com yesterday to see if I would feel less depressed and certain that I’m going to end up alone because I’m an impossible person to get along with. So far it’s been less…. gross? than OKCupid, likely because you have to pay for Match.com so the nasty guys who just want to hook up are weeded out. But so far no one is really jumping out at me, and of course since it’s Alabama, most guys went to in-state schools and are some form of Christian, looking for “nice” girls who are sweet, elegant, and can cook.
Obviously none of them are looking for a girl like me. Guess the type of guys who would like a girl like me are too cool for dating sites. I’m only going to do it for a month, just to give it a fair shot, but I don’t see much coming out of it. Guess I’ll have to get dolled up and go sit alone at a bar somewhere. That always sounds good in theory, but I don’t think I look approachable, kind of a “resting bitch face” issue mixed with a general distrust of men that results in automatic rejection. I’ve just learned the hard way again and again that many men can’t be trusted. I hate it, but it makes a girl pretty defensive from the start. I like the ability to weed people out based on religious beliefs and political views via online dating sites, but I still don’t feel like I’m going to find “the One,” if such a man exists, based on some simple formula and a good profile picture… Would have been so much easier if Alec or Mark could have worked out. I loved them, they loved me in their own ways. I could see a future with both of them. But here I am, trying to get back in the dating saddle of awkwardness, distrust, and the haunting feeling that I’m just too impossible of a person for anyone to deal with forever.
I keep getting messages like “You’re so gorgeous, how are you single?” Well…. I can’t speak to what my face looks like objectively, but I can tell you that I have the personality of a rhinoceros. Does that sound good to you? I have only two friends left because I’m such an awful person to be around. I’m impossible to please, I get tired of everyone at some point no matter if they’re a boyfriend, friend, or family. I make it impossible to love me and be happy with me. Why is that? I don’t think that I’m that awful, but I certainly seem to be. Always upset over something. Always aloof. Always needing alone time. Always just a bit off.
At some point a few months ago, I was feeling really bad and in an effort to pull myself out of it, I made a list of all the things I thought were good about myself. Things like: You are kind. You love your pets like family. You like to laugh. You’re talented. You can be very affectionate. Etc. Things to try to see myself in a different light when I start feeling bad about who I am. That list seems so flimsy now, so weak, so desperate. “Grasping for straws” is the right colloquialism, I think. No matter how much I cut my hair or change my clothes or try out new makeup, I’m still myself. I’m still Alexa. I’m still abrasive, detached, judgmental, easily upset, and generally impossible to get along with for an extended period of time. I feel like I’m okay, that I can’t be that terrible of a person if I spoil my doggy children and never litter and try to be generally polite to everyone I meet, but looking at my messy history of friendships and relationships, it becomes clear that that’s not the case.
My parents think I’m a borderline alcoholic. It’s not true, of course, but it’s upsetting that they think that. I’ll be upset about things with alcohol in the mix or not, they just don’t seem to see or understand that.
I’m still borderline suicidal and have been showing exceptional restraint as far as cutting myself goes since I’ve been at the beach. The knives are all so dull here anyway, and I’m certainly watched closely. My aunt is really pushing me to go back to counseling but I just don’t get anything out of it. I also lie to my counselor about the regularity of my suicidal thoughts and desire to cut myself on a daily basis. Guess that could be part of the problem.
Apparently I scare people because I’m like this. Such a weird word to describe that reaction: scared. I never would have predicted that. I wonder why I still have those impulses after all the meds I’m on and the support my parents and extended family have offered me. Even when things are okay, when I feel fine, I still think about dragging a blade across my wrist. I can see how that isn’t normal, but it’s my normal. I shouldn’t have cut myself last month. That broke down the barrier of “To do it or not to do it” so now that little voice in my head just says “Do it. Do it. Do it.” instead of talking me out of it.
How can I ask someone to get involved with me when I’m such a mess? That’s not fair, is it? Can I lie about it? Can I pretend to be happy and normal? What’s the phrase… Fake it til you make it? Or something? I should try that. Pretend to be normal. Pretend to be nice. Pretend to be happy. Maybe then I won’t be alone. Is my honesty and integrity a fair trade for not being alone?
I’m pretty anxious about going back to Birmingham. I’m nervous about being alone again. I’m nervous about venturing outside of my apartment into familiar spaces with a load of memories that will likely cause me pain now. I’m nervous about dealing with the mess of my social circle that I abandoned when I came to the beach. I’m nervous about running into people I don’t want to see. Being alone will be the hardest part, though I look forward to being back in my own space again.
I’ve gotta go back though. I can’t stay here at the beach. Reality must be confronted at some point and I can’t keep putting it off. I’ve got training for a job starting on March 10th, so I’ll be back for that. Gotta make that money. Gotta pay my debts. Gotta start taking care of myself again.
Let’s hope I’m up for it.
February 27, 2014 § Leave a comment
Woke up this morning feeling inspired. Well… kinda. Woke up way too early because my mother wakes up early which wakes the dogs up early which wakes me up early. This has been a consistent chain of events since I came to the beach but out of stubbornness, I now refuse to get out of bed any earlier than 6:00am even though I’m usually just lying there awake but groggy.
Anyway, once the grogginess cleared a bit with the help of a few strong cups of coffee, my brain set to whirring. I don’t want to make art just to sell it; I want to maintain my integrity as an artist. With that said, I’ve been chewing over the suggestion of a family friend that I make art to sell. I could always use the extra money and it could be an interesting venture if I take it seriously and don’t cop out as I have many times before. My main goal is to pursue my artistic interests but soften my aesthetic in these smaller works with the hopes that they will attract some attention to get my name out there a bit more in the Birmingham community which will hopefully give me a little money in my pocket to pay for my more serious art and develop a platform on which I can present my more serious art. If that makes sense.
I’ve been feeling so desperate lately, so unhappy. Anything that holds a glimmer of interest or hope or potential needs to be seized full-force whether that be a new hairstyle, buying clothes at a thrift store, or racking up more debt by purchasing art supplies. If it gives me hope, if it makes me hurt a little less, I’m going to fucking do it. I won’t always be in this state so I have no fear that this is going to become a habit. Right now, I need to feel better in whatever way I can.
The new art supplies should be delivered just after I get back to Birmingham, so that’s great timing. I’ve been brainstorming ideas, scouring etsy for inspiration, and taking lots of notes in my sketchbook so that I can hit the ground running once I get back. The studio needs to be cleaned up, unpacked, and organized before I can really get into it, but that’s okay. Shouldn’t take me very long. No more excuses, kid. Get your ass in gear and make some art.
In the meantime, I’m still applying to jobs and still getting lots of rejection. I don’t know why people keep job postings up when they already have selected the candidate they’re pretty sure they want. All that anxiety and excitement is wasted, leaving me feel worse than before I applied to the job. I’m still trying to volunteer at the local museum down here just for something to do, but so far not much response though I did meet the internship coordinator at their opening last week. I’m really struggling with the waiting game and I know that if I don’t get something to do soon, I might just lose my mind.
But for now, I’m riding on the desperate, fleeting wave of hopes and dreams that continue to beat futilely against the steep cliffs of reality. Maybe some lemmings are on the way…