The tale of two atypicals

In case you ever wondered what it was like. In case you have ever been on or tried to be on these medications. I thought I’d give you a run down. Two different atypical antipsychotics…both used for psychosis, schizophrenia, and to treat depression although I think rexulti is only approved as an adjunct to another drug for depression. These drugs were designed to have less side effects than the original antipsychotics but I think they are so much worse.

Seroquel…I take it. 20 minutes later my heart begins to race and it’s hard to catch my breath. My blood pressure sky rockets. My eyes feel like they are seeing double. 40 minutes later I’m so tired I can’t move. Drool slides down my chin. It’s impossible to make it from the couch to the bed. I am asleep like I am in a coma for eight hours straight. When I wake up my tongue is cemented to the roof of my mouth. It hurts to pry my tongue loose and I feel the delicate tissue on my mouth and tongue being ripped as I try to swallow. My mouth is so dry and my eyes are so dry it is hard to see. It is physically painful to wake up. It hurts to keep my eyes open. It hurts even more to get out bed. Seroquel makes every bone in my body scream and I am dizzy as I walk toward the bathroom to brush my teeth and my broken mouth. After a few days, I get a little more used to it. I don’t immediately pass out, but I am sluggish all the time. It is uncomfortable to be awake. My brain feels like it is stuck in concrete. It does help the psychosis but I don’t know who would take this for depression because I want to do nothing. I feel nothing. If I try to stop taking it now, it will be month before I am able to sleep a whole night again. That’s how they get you hooked.

I can’t take any more Seroquel. It makes me so numb it is painful. Or not painful. I try rexulti. The latest and greatest. My heart races. My Fitbit says my resting heart rate is up ten beats per minute since I started this. My whole body itches. I feel like there are bugs crawling all over me. I have a rash all over my belly and back. I can’t sit still. I can’t sleep. I feel okay but my legs are screaming to move. They must move. All I can do is walk and stay awake. Pace and not sleep. It makes me so hangry. Don’t get me wrong the Seroquel made me hungry too. I would eat a whole box of cookies and ice cream and not even remember it in the morning. But at least that was only in the hour between taking it and passing out. I take the rexulti in the morning and immediately I am starving. Starving all day. The funny thing is it simultaneously makes me nauseous. Sick and starving at the same time. Who would have thought? Tummy growling, no sleep, bugs everywhere, sick and hungry. That’s rexulti for you.

So there you have it. Two atypical antipsychotics supposedly so much better than their predecessors. But I’m still wondering what’s worse. The treatment or the disease?

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Betting the House

Well I have sprung that joint now. I am so glad to be home and Im back to work.  It feels good to be going about my normal routine again.  This new medicine is really crappy.  I read about the side effects the first day I got it.  The first side effect was weight gain.  I knew that, all these new antipsychotics make you fat.  Oh well.  It totally sucks.  Worked so hard to lose all this weight and now I am gaining weight by the millisecond. I feel like I can tell my muscles are melting away into clouds of fat.  I am constantly hungry. I could eat my weight in mashed potatoes and ice cream. I am craving sugar.  It is a weird feeling to be simultaneously nauseous and sick to my stomach and starving.  I am so hungry its painful.  I have a deep ache in my rumbling belly even when I have just filled it up.

The second most common side effect was compulsive gambling.  Wow, cant say I ever heard that one before.  I haven’t felt any urges to bet the house or anything, so maybe I wont come up with that one.  Maybe I should just give up, keep me fat and happy.  Slumped over a slot machine somewhere one hand in a bucket of coins and one in a bucket of fried chicken and guzzling watered down screwdrivers.

I have a headache.  I am tired.  I tried taking this medicine in the morning but it made me foggy and was hard to drive and think.  I tried taking it at bedtime and it kept me up all night.  I tried taking it after lunch but it just made the rest of the day crap.  Anyway, still trying to figure out if the drug is worse than the disease.  I think Id rather be psychotic and depressed than feel like this.  Only trouble is no one else likes me that way.  They tell you it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks.  But it obviously does.  If it didn’t I could be fat and happy and gambling away with my muffin top spilling over my jeans.

Who knew that altering brain chemistry could be so physically painful? Oh well…another day here is another day here.

Through the looking glass

One night at the hospital I was trying to figure out how many patients were on the unit, I gave them all little nicknames and back stories. There is a little bit of truth to some of the characters, but not enough to identify them. These were my bunkmates last week….

Of course there was Spoon man, the one that choked on the spoon fragment. He always had a one to one sitter to keep him safe. One night he was screaming about mosquitoes in his room and being bitten to death by mosquitoes. No one was listening to him; even I just thought it was psychotic rambling. The nurse wasn’t paying any attention to him, until she saw the mosquitoes for herself. There really were mosquitoes in his room.

There was Red. She was a ginger with a pixie cut who looked like a professor. A nutty professor. She had glasses and was always demanding help in the hallway. It definitely looked like this wasn’t her first rodeo.

Next to Red, we have Texas. He was a substance abuser who had a lot of life happen to him. He told me a little of his jail stints and drug fueled crime sprees. He was waiting for the judge. He had been admitted involuntarily. There was something creepy about him. I don’t know how to explain it; he just made me feel unsafe.

And Roadrunner, he was an older gentleman who liked to walk. The only time I saw him sit down was to eat. Apparently he ran away from a nursing home/assisted living because they were stealing his check. He was nice to me and let me walk with him when I was bored.

Pigtails. She was an older lady. She brushed her hair in the dining room one day. She said it was the first time she brushed it in weeks. So much hair fell out of her head and onto her plate, and then she fixed into nice little pigtails.

Dirka. An Indian man who didn’t speak much. He liked to sit down and abruptly jolt up and run away. He kept asking me what I was in for.

The Panther. He was dark and mysterious. He could sneak up right behind you and you wouldn’t even know he was there.

Toothless. She liked to color. Her diabetes was so bad from being on antipsychotics for so long that her bladder stopped working and she had a catheter. She sat and colored for hours on end in her wheelchair.

Aretha looked like she stepped right off of soul train. Her lip smacking and drooling made me a little crazy.

Penny was in a wheelchair. She was young. She looked smart and was always reading. She reminded me of Penny on inspector gadget.

Mustang Sally had recently had a baby. She said her husband was the hottest man ever and told us all to stay away from her man. I’m pretty sure she had borderline personality disorder and lived in a halfway house. I don’t know if she had a husband or not.

Crash test jumped off a bridge. She laughed an awful lot. More than what was appropriate. She was my best friend there. Her dark sense of humor was just like mine. If you can’t laugh about a suicide attempt, what can you laugh at?

Sunshine was an old soul. She had a sadness about her but something inside just looked like joy would be bursting out at any minute. Just one of those people you could look at and feel warm and know that they were good.

Janet. I don’t know why I called her Janet. She just looked like that might be her name. She was young. Been in and out of hospitals. Was a professional. Also, a very brittle diabetic. Too bad her landlord stole her insulin pump.

Hogwarts was another young girl. Smart with glasses and always had her nose in a book. She reminded me of Harry Potter.

OJ. He looked just like OJ Simpson. He screamed and yelled and cursed and threatened. He made some valid points but he scared the crap out of me.

And then there was me. No cute little nickname. Sometimes my dad used to call me SL, for screw loose. But I didn’t even feel like SL today. I don’t know what I felt like. When I came into the hospital the nurse said, I am sorry you are not feeling like yourself. Trouble was I was feeling like myself. Whatever that was. Lost and confused and sad, I wish that wasn’t myself. While I was in the hospital I read East of Eden. Hubby read most of this book to me out loud while I was pregnant with the girl. We read it to her. Couldn’t help but relate to Cathy Ames or Kate Trask or whatever she was calling herself at the time. Warm and appealing on the outside, and a big ball of nasty on the inside. The girl who took joy in manipulating and destroying other people for pleasure. Okay, so I guess that’s not really me but somehow I related to her. And even her demise. The way she always had an out. Her love for Alice. Eat me…drink me…make me small. Maybe I might get so small I will disappear, too.

All of that aside, those were my bunk mates. Funny how much you can learn about a group of people in a short number of days. I wonder how they are all doing. And I hope they will be okay.

Day 3

Actually, it is still the second night.  I thought I was going to sleep, but I did not.  Im ready to take my medicine and go to bed.  The nurse is busy with a patient who bit off half of a plastic spoon and wont open his mouth back up.  Death by plastic.  Spoon asphyxiation.  This lack of control thing is driving me crazy.  The other girls are doing a puzzle in the dining room or whatever that place is called.  Im really lucky to have such an amazing family.

The staff here tonight are nicer.  They treat me like a human.  It is nice to feel human.  Even with gripper socks, and pants with drawstrings cut out and a sports bra, a sloganless t shirt, a fall risk and a name band slapped around my wrist that feels like a shackle, I still have a shred of humanity. Even if I am branded as part of  **insert generic name of mental hospital here**. A greeting in the hallway tonight went a really long way.

I still don’t know why it is so loud here. The girls are still working on their puzzles and talking about sex with hot virgins.  Someone should probably tell them that that’s inappropriate. I cant believe I have only been here a day and a half.  It feels like an eternity.  And what am I going to do about work?

Its finally labor day.  I slept like crap last night.  My blood pressure has been through the roof since I have been here.  People say they will come back and recheck it, but no one ever has.  No one does anything they say they will here. I did get my breakfast this morning.  A fruit cup and a yogurt. Apparently I could special order food this whole time,  no staff ever told me that, but a nice patient just did.  I found a schedule posted to the wall today.  It told of all the activities and groups that were supposedly going on this weekend and today.  Sad that none of them actually did.

I called the phone number for the human rights person posted on the wall.  They didn’t call back either.  No one answered.  Its almost comical how many things have gone wrong here and the complete and utter lack of follow up.  Just spending the day looking at the hall in the wall.  Speaking of that, someone came in this morning and asked me if I had any idea how the hole got there.

The cell phones are driving me mad.  The staff are supposed to be engaging patients, but they are all just tapping away on their phones.  Hubby and mom should be here soon.  I am so glad that they are coming.

Another long day, but this one turned out pretty well.  I complained a lot.  The social worker was very helpful in getting things together for me.  There are some new men here.  Some of the guys got roommates.  I am glad I am not a guy and so far it is just me in this room.

The doctor today was nice enough, another fill in.  He decided to start from scratch.  Throw away some of my medicine and start me on Thorazine.  LOL, thorazine its almost comical. The first psych med ever. Been around 60-70 years…and that’s what they came up with.  I feel like Im locked up in some sort of old time psych hospital where people never get out. Doped up on thorazine and drooling in the corner.  I agreed to take it.  Its funny how agreeable one can be in the right conditions. Of course I don’t want to take it.  But I agree to be sedated into oblivion.  Thorazine it is.  The pharmacy calls.  They tell my nurse there is some sort of interaction/reaction between thorazine and celiac.  I probably shouldn’t take it, but would I agree to take it anyway?  What other universe does the oldest medicine with the worst side effects be prescribed even with a contraindication?  It doesn’t matter.  The only thing that matters is getting out of here.  And the only way I can do that is to say yes.  Yes. Yes. Yes.

Day 2

It is morning again and I only know this because of the sun shining through the glassless windows.  There are no clocks in these rooms. I don’t have a watch.  They like to keep us as disoriented as possible.  I stare at the giant hole in my wall and wonder whether it was a head or a fist that tore through the green plaster.   I am still reeling over the events of last night.

The doctor who I had liked at the time, finally started to trust decided to order double the dose of medication as what she told me.  I explained to her that the side effects were too great, that I didn’t want to take it anymore.  She just smiled and nodded.  And gave it to me anyway.  No one listens here.  Doctor knows best.  She also added another medication.  She didn’t explain the need for it, the potential side effects, the dose, possible interactions.  Just threw it on the list for the nurse to shove down my throat.  Crazy people don’t have the right to ask questions.  I asked the nurse why it was prescribed.  She just said if I don’t want it, its best not to take it.  I was too tired to try to argue, so I just took the double dose and allowed them to drug me into oblivion.

The bed was so hard. Every inch of my body screamed this morning from laying on the awkward surface.  The side of the mattress was shaped into a foam bunker.  I guess to keep me from falling out, the whole two inches to the ground.

The breakfast trays came and I didn’t get one.  The third meal here that I haven’t gotten.  Watching everyone else eat and me not getting a tray.  Makes me feel even more isolated.  I went to complain and low and behold the nurse brought me some Cheerios and an orange.  LOL more Cheerios.  He guaranteed me a real breakfast tray would still come. It never did.  I balled up and cried. I feel left out.  I feel silenced.  I feel different.

I did feel better after the Cheerios and decided to take a walk on the tiny L shaped unit.  The hallway was quite short.  I definitely couldn’t get much exercise in.  I didn’t want to be accused of pacing or being restless. The dietician told me she promised she would get things straight with breakfast, but she never came back.  I didn’t really expect her to.  The nurse came back to check on me to make sure I got my breakfast.  Nope.  Never came.  Not like that would change anything.  The doctor came to discuss my medication.  She was just a fill in, an on call.  But she was kind  and she listened.  It is nice to feel heard.

I showered and the water was surprisingly warm.  I cherished having my own room for the time being and not having to share my bathroom.  Im worried about work, but there is nothing I can do about it now.

I called home.  I am glad I remembered to get a calling card before I came.  Its really hard to get a calling card these days.  We went to a few different stores and finally just found one online.  Home is long distance.  Im thankful the kids are with my inlaws.  Im glad that we have their help.  The kids were too busy to talk to me.  You would think that might hurt my feelings.  But it didn’t.  I was glad they weren’t worried about me.  We hadn’t told them I was in the hospital yet and they hadn’t asked.

Im sad I will have to miss the first day of school for the kids.  I don’t think they will mind too much.  Back to bed.  Not much to do around here on a Sunday.  And sounds like nothing to do tomorrow either since it is a holiday.  I am ready to go home.

For sure my lunch would be right.  I have complained so many times.  Nope.  No lunch tray for me.  I just don’t understand why a huge level I trauma center cant even get a diet order from the computer to the kitchen.  God forbid I need some life saving medical treatment.  Sitting here staring at the ceiling with no interaction is starting to take its toll.

Mom came bearing gifts. Two giant bags full of candy and chips and sweet treats.  I have too much food now.  But it sure is comforting. Everyone in this place craves sugar.  And theyre all eating ice cream and chips and soda in the hallway.  The antipsychotic medications they are all taking to blank out the little bit of reality left in this place makes them hungry and crave food.  And the meds give you diabetes.  Lots of diabetics here.  Several docs roaming around trying to give new diabetic teaching and adjusting insulin.  Talk about drumming up business.  We will make you crazier, isolate you, drug you, feed your sugar habit, and then medicate you more for the problems we have caused.

The only thing to do here is eat and stare at the walls.  Listen to the other patients swap stories about prisons and other hospitals, drugs and overdoses, and how to say the right things to avoid a DUI or jail time, or how to land yourself a bed in here instead of going to jail.  Im reading the comics and low and behold dinner comes.  I have a tray! A gluten free peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Im drugged and hungry and I laugh.  My first meal is peanut butter and jelly, yet its kinda comforting.  No one has ever made a me a gluten free peanut butter sandwich before.

I have a few conversations with the staff. The nurses are friendly enough, but overall pretty lazy. They could have easily planned some sort of activity today during all the downtime.  But instead, they played on their cell phones.  Patients or visitors aren’t allowed to bring cell phones on the unit.  No cell phones allowed.  The nurses all have their cell phones. Another way to remind us that we are subclass citizens.

There is an aide here tonight. He has been the worst one I have seen yet. He is a nursing student apparently. His title is “care partner”  I don’t know what he cares about or for. Doesn’t seem like much. He came on at 3:00 pm and sat down in the tv room with the patients. Didn’t engage any of us. He proceeded to do squats in the room to “work on his form” for no apparent benefit to anyone other than himself. He watched as patients on the unit struggled to open items on their trays and return their trays to the appropriate receptacle and didn’t so much as move.  He watched an entire movie as he thumbed through his nursing communication book and drank muscle milk while other patients stared at the wall. Nothing therapeutic happened here today.

It’s 6:20 pm and the shitty aide is still watching the movie while the other staff plays on their phones.   The only people concerned about the patients are other patients. He is checking his flip phone again.

Ive been frequently reminded by the medical staff that there are very limited beds here and I am lucky to have one.  But the unit feels empty and there are empty beds everywhere. The other patients tell me this is the best psych hospital around.  Best is a relative term I guess.

Its time for shift change.  The shitty aide finally gets up to go home.  I think his name is John, but his badge is purposely flipped around. Another day in, just the dark night to go.

Day 1

It’s been a long day and I am trying to write this note with a tiny, flexible pen from the nurses station.  We can’t be trusted with pens and pencils here. Apparently, they can be used to gouge eyeballs out.  Well, I wont be able to cause bodily injury to anyone with this flexi, patient-pen, but I cant write with it either.

Somehow I broke down enough to land myself in the mental hospital.  Id really hoped I would never find my way back here again.  It has been 14 years since I have been confined to one of these soulless rooms of white walls and no hope.  14 years.  I feel like such a failure.  I had been doing so well.  I am not quite sure how I got here.

This time I went through the emergency room, to be medically cleared even though they had a bed ready for me on this lovely unit.  The ER was horrible.  Traumatic.  Think Orange is the New Black, Nuthouse Edition.  They separated me from my husband and took all my belongings without my consent and posted not one but two security guards outside my door.  I had a mattress practically touching the floor.  I was not allowed to have a pillow, guess I might smother myself with it.  The nurse tossed a gown at me and told me to put it on.  She asked me if I was allergic to anything and I said no.  She replied that the computer says I was, so she was going with that.  Once you cross into “mentally ill” nothing that comes out of your mouth can be trusted.

My room had a small TV covered in plexiglass.  I was not allowed to have a remote control or a call bell.  No one instructed me on what to do if I needed help.  Shout wildly I guess.  My husband was finally escorted back and they took the backpack he was wearing and locked it up with the rest of my stuff.  Even associating with crazy makes you suspicious.  Im pretty sure this place is worse than prison. Send lawyers, guns, and money…the shit has hit the fan.

I feel less than human. I feel other.  I feel like a prisoner.  I feel like I have no rights.  I feel foreign.  I feel small.  I asked for my belongings back and I was denied.  I asked to be discharged, but denied again.  I came in voluntarily, but I cant get out.  You can check out anytime you’d like, but you can never leave.  Its like once I stepped into that room I became a prisoner,  I lost my dignity and my humanity.  I cried.  There were no tissues to wipe my tears.  I cant be trusted with tissues.  I sobbed into my blanket and closed my eyes. Guilty until proven innocent and no one to help me prove my case.

Finally, I was transferred to the floor.  There are two psychiatric floors in this hospital.  One is for patients with solely psych problems, and there are a lot of aggressive and seriously mentally ill people there.  That’s where I was last time.  Somehow, this time I lucked out and landed on the medical psych floor.  Where people with concurrent medical and psych problems stay.  I don’t know how I got there since I don’t have medical problems, but I am glad  I did. Still I was allowed to keep basically nothing but my clothes. No shoelaces or bras with underwire or electronics or staples or anything with metal.  Everything here is a weapon.  Surprised they let me keep my glasses.

Another low bed, but this time I earned a small airline pillow.  The room is filthy.  There is dirt on the floor and my lone shelf is red and sticky.  There are dirty linens in my shower, who knows who they belong to and my bed has pieces of someone elses hair in it.  There are two beds in my room and for now I don’t have a roommate, so that’s at least one good thing. I have not eaten today.  By the time I get all settled it is too late to get a dinner tray. My nurse brings me Cheerios.

I don’t get a trash can or bag .  Again, there is no call bell. No one tells you what to do here.  I just figure it out from other patients I guess.  I am so tired.  And it is so loud.  I miss my babies and I want to go home.  I feel immensely guilty being away from them.  I eat some more Cheerios in the common room and some nosy patient tells me my composition book is contraband.  No it isn’t.

It is a holiday weekend, and  Saturday.  No one who can be of any help will be here until Tuesday.  Ugh I will be holding space for three days.  I guess I made it through day one.  Maybe they will medicate me and make me sleep.  Sleep. Sleep. Sleep.  That’s the only thing to look forward to in a place like this.  Nothing makes you feel crazier than being locked in with the rest of the crazies.

medium discrimen vitae

Been so much going on it my head and I’ve wanted to get it out, but it seems like there is never a time or place or reason I guess. It all feels so self-indulgent. Not like anyone cares what I have to say anyway. That part doesn’t really matter. I think it’s a bit therapeutic so I will put it down on the proverbial paper.
I’ve been reading a lot about midlife crises. Whether they are a universal phenomena, if the whole idea is just a cultural construct or if it’s something biological. I don’t think any of that is even relevant. It’s happening and it’s happening to me and I don’t like it. I’m just selfish like that. It matters not to me if everyone else is suffering with the same affliction.
I think it’s only natural when you reach the halfway point in life to start to re-evaluate things. If I’m even lucky enough that this is the halfway point. Honestly, I’m 36 and I am probably already past halfway. Suicide seems like a rational thing to consider. Don’t know why there is such a stigma around talking about it. I can’t think of anything else I want to do in this world I this life. Why should I waste anymore resources taking up time and space? I really am in the camp that suicidality is far from pathologic, almost the opposite of mentally ill—suicidality is practical and rationale. I’m sure most people have thought about the option. They just don’t discuss it too openly.
I’m sure I just have too much time on my hands to think. If I was in the fields of some third world country I wouldn’t have a spare moment to ruminate on such issues of self-actualization. Am I complaining about being a middle class, white American who doesn’t have to do manual labor for long hours to sustain life? I guess so. I just find it so painful to live in this world that we have built for ourselves. It’s nothing but a giant cage and we are the ones who lock ourselves in.
For the first time in my adult life I am working in an office. I can’t believe people actually do this for any substantial amount of time. Boxing themselves into four particle board walls. Head stuck in a computer and telephone. Actually causing physical changes to bone and body structure from slumping over a desk all day. Stuck in a place that only exists because of our own doing and utterly miserable. I find it hilarious that I drag myself out of bed at 4 in the morning everyday to run on a machine like a hamster in a wheel and pick up man made weights just to prepare myself for sitting all day. Doing unnatural activities that mimic the natural work humans should be doing and paying for it just so my body doesn’t break down any further. It’s so absurd. But we all go along with it.
It is just not for me. So really though. What am I going to do about it? I don’t know. I feel like I need to just move, change professions, and go somewhere sunny where maybe I have a chance of being a little bit happy. But that’s selfish My kids won’t like being away from their friends and their family. Maybe it’s not so selfish, maybe my kids deserve a present and not detached and depressed mom who can actually participate in life more than they deserve a house in a place they call home.
My husband and I are both in good professions. We wouldn’t have problems finding a job anywhere. We might not find the benefits, the pension, and the health insurance. So is it worth living a life I’m miserable in to have a chance for making things comfortable for me and my family when we all get a little bit older? I don’t know. Someone always said, its just money you can’t take it with you. And I don’t care so much about money, I’d be happier with smaller and less of everything. I do care that my kids are as well provided for as possible now and later and that if I make it to old age Ill at least have a few bucks to keep the lights on.
That the thing though, it’s just a crazy snowball. We make more money, we buy more things, we need a bigger house, we need spend time cleaning the bigger house and maintaining the house and repairing and storing our ever increasing number of possessions. I am quite sure I would be happier if we had less things and more time. I just don’t know how to take that leap. I’ve lived here my whole life. Its familiar, it’s comfortable even though it’s miserable.
Mike says I should take some sort of spiritual journey like some native person or Chris rock, lol…travel awhile by myself to find out who I am and what makes me happy. God that sounds wonderfully indulgent. I’d never let him do that. I’d be pissed off. And I’m not sure I could ever forgive myself for leaving the kids to find myself for a while. I feel like I should have all that worked out by now. I’m a grown up right?
So what is exactly is left to do? Stagnate in the misery not to move away from my comfort zone, even though my comfort zone is the furthest thing from comfort. Kill myself? Continue to make subtle poor choices hoping that they will get me to the grave just a little bit faster in a passive attempt to make this life shorter? Up and move? Leave everyone I love here? Take them with me? Remain miserable and toe the line to keep the machine running. Be someone without a cause or a mission who is nameless and faceless and replaceable?
And please don’t ask me how I am. Are you OK? No, I am not certainly not okay. I haven’t been okay for years now. But that’s all people every do, ask. Nobody offers practical suggestions. No one can help. So please don’t ask me if I’m okay just to placate yourself. Make sure you sleep better at night so if I off myself at least you know you checked in. Definitely learned not to rely on other people. Because people will offer but no one will really help. I don’t know if that’s just a consequence of our generation. Collectively liking and responding on facebook and social media but so disconnected in real life. I have a million virtual friends but not one who would ever call me up and ask me to meet for coffee or lunch. And it’s not for lack of trying. I reach out, but everyone is always too busy. Maybe that just means I’m a horrible person. Utterly unlikeable, or maybe again it’s just a consequence of a society stuck so far in their cell phones they have forgotten what real life and real connections are.
If I am indeed a horrible person though then why bother staying at a job I don’t like or a place I don’t care about. If I’m that selfish and misguided maybe I will just pack my bags right now. I think that’s the one point I’m stuck on. Is making a change..a big change, a move and a job and a whole lifestyle choice…is it selfish because it’s all that I really want or is it okay because in the grand scheme of things it might make life worth living and teach my kids something worthwhile? I don’t know. Thus back to the midlife crisis. And part of the crisis isn’t just the dilemma; it’s the not being able to deicide. The perpetual midlife crisis. Well, I hope I can make up my mind about something while I’m still on the top of the hill looking down and not on the very bottom looking back up.

Pain

Listen to your body. I hear people say it all the time. I’m not sure what it means. What’s my body telling me?

I hurt. Every tiny inch of me is in pain. My back. I can feel every vertebrae screaming out in agony. My hip. Every time I move I feel like someone is punching me. My feet. Ugh my feet. They ache with every step. The weight of my body on anchors that can’t handle the pressure. My shoulder, my arms. Sharp and stabbing. My neck. I feel like a turtle. My head permanently planted to my torso. My chest. It’s excruciating.

They say no pain no gain. I push myself to workout every day, to run, to lift weights even if the pain is nearly enough to Kill me. But today, today I just couldn’t do it. My alarm rang out and I turned it off and went back to sleep. My body screaming finally won out over my need to workout.

I’m tired today. Every fiber of my being is exhausted. And I hurt. I hurt so bad. I don’t complain about it. I don’t go to the doctor. I don’t want medicine or sympathy. People who complain all the time about pain are seen as whiners and lazy. I’m not lazy. I’m resilient. I am strong. I laugh at pain.

But today I hurt. And today the hurt wins out. And I’m listening to my body. But I don’t understand what it’s saying. It hurts. I don’t know why or how to fix it. But it hurts.

Thoughts

Been a weird vacation. Im usually so happy at the beach. But this week, for some reason the beach hasn’t felt like home. Just another destination on a long path. And i have no idea where it’s going.

I went to a wedding on Wednesday. A sunrise wedding on the beach. I’m not very traditional. I feel like im pretty open minded. I’ve never been to a beach wedding. Catholic weddings are always in a church.

I’ve never been to a second wedding before either. I didn’t realize I had any feelings about it one way or the other. Kinda odd when I realized I don’t really know many people who are divorced, even though it seems like almost everyone is these days. I guess that’s not really true.

Not to diminish the couple’s happiness but the wedding was just so unsettling. I couldn’t help but squirm when the presider went on and on about finding their one true love. But obviously it wasn’t true; there wasn’t one true love because it’s the second time around. It’s all the second time around. All of it is recycled. How can you say I do, make all those promises again, when none of them worked out the first time? I don’t know. It all kind of made me sick to my stomach.

Made me think of my own marriage. How naive I was to think when I first said the I dos. How easy I thought it was all going to be. It never even crossed my mind that it would take work. That it would be anything less than a guaranteed forever.

It’s all just mentally exhausting. Keeping up with life. Keeping up with kids. Keeping up with me and my place in everything.

First time I’ve ever been to the beach with a family other than my immediate family. Never felt so isolated, so alone, so outside. I don’t know how much I should work at being included. Maybe it should come naturally. But it all feels so forced.

Everything in life feels forced. I can’t even remember if it was ever easy. When things seemed happy. When it felt like I made my own decisions in anything.

Feels miserable being forced to be loved. Forcing people to love me. Needing help, too. Needing anything. But it’s reality. I am empty. I am forced. I am nothing.

Even the beach doesn’t make me happy anymore. Even a wedding won’t bring joy. I don’t know what it means. It just doesn’t feel good.

Retrospect

Retrospective

Every day I look for my joy and I find it in rare glimpses of children’s laughter, of sunshine, the spring air on my skin. I find these momentary bits of happiness, but mostly I just feel like I am grasping at straws. Watching the sand fall through my fingertips. The time slips by and I just stand here and watch my life drift on like some sort of bystander. I do not know when I gave up the fight.

Gave up on the fact that I had some sort of control over my own destiny. My head is stuck in the clouds. What could have been, what should have been, versus what is? My ideal life competing with the one I have. I do not even know what my ideal life it. I just know that this huge sense of dysphoria comes from the clash between the two.

If I have given up, what does that mean? Is life over at 36? Did I miss it? How can you miss a life you never were even part of? Part of me gets angry. Angry at myself for not doing this right. Not “doing life.” I used to think there was some sort of pressure placed on me to be this pinterest perfect mom and woman, but there is not. And I know that. It is just an excuse. I do not even put pressure on myself. I just try to run away. Run away from what? The inevitable? Mortality? Maybe I should be running toward it. I do not know.

I am like a broken record. Trying to fix something. I am not even sure it is broken or how it got that way or how to fix it.

Sometimes I am happy here. I have a good job, a big house, and so many nice things. A good family. People who love me. People who support me. And sometimes I am happy here. Everything in its place. Content. But mostly I just want to burn it all down. Get rid of it all, these possessions that are drowning me and move far, far away. I do not know what that will get me. Moving away, I will just be bringing all this baggage right along with me.

Somehow, I want to teach my kids how to live a simple life. That things are not important, that relationships are more important than things. That things and not people are meant to be used and that people, not things are meant to be loved. Maybe that is the thing. I know I am failing at that myself so there is no way I can teach anyone else to do what I say and not as I do.

Part of it is guilt maybe. A life full of guilt. Of not living up to expectations. Of being too selfish, too greedy, of everything in excess. I am not sure how to live a life that’s not full of remorse. I just want to be content. To have my family content. And I am not sure how to reach that goal.

We live in a house in a nice subdivision. We have a nice lawn, a fence, a sidewalk…but also have all the things that go along with it. We need to mow the lawn, clean the gutters, repair the fence, fix the roof, a new deck, a new ac unit, power wash the house, check the sprinkler system, clean the million bathrooms, shampoo the carpets, the dryer is broken, and now the fridge, and clean some more and declutter, find homes for all these useless things we have bought. The more we have, the more it takes to upkeep and the deeper hole we dig.

I guess I just want out. Out of the machine, out of the monotony, out of being enslaved to technology, connected to my cell phone 24/7. I want to be free. Want us all to be free. In retrospect, have I done it right? Am I doing a good job? I wander outside. I talk to my tomatoes. I feel the earth under my toes. The sun kisses my skin. I am alive. I am not done. Right now, it is ok.