Hello time bomb, I’m ready to go off.*

May 27, 2009

I know, I know. I haven’t been updating. And I’m going to continue in that vein, because I am trying hard to focus on stuff outside of my head. There was big drama a week and a half ago, and while not all of it was directly caused by me, you could say fairly that the underlying cause of it was the depression that’s been swallowing me slowly since some time in October.

I’m trying to repair the damage — to my marriage, my relationship with my kid, my home, and myself. I need to get out of my headspace for a while and focus on reality. I have spent months obsessing and analyzing and thinking and seething and resenting and despairing, and I don’t know how to fix it except to push it away and get on with life as if it’s not there.

I’ll be back around when it’s safe for me to do this thinking thing, this words thing. In the meantime, I’m almost always on Twitter if you feel a burning need to keep up.

Time to let reality sink in.

*Matthew Good Band


Coming to rest. [Updated.]

May 2, 2009

Having my great-grandmother’s desk, with the same lamp that’s always sat atop it, and her small Diarmuid Harrington sketch of the Golden Gate Bridge hanging above — it feels like a tiny corner of home, right in my living room.

ETA: I took a picture. Lo, I am functional!

My great-aunt and some family friends brought me my great-grandmother’s desk and file cabinet today. Once I got everything set up, it made a very nice and homey “office” in the corner of our living room. Almost everything in this photo (desk, file cabinet, framed print on the wall, monitor, lamp, some tchotchkes) was my great-grandmother’s, and I may never leave this space again. It even smells like Gram’s house.

There’s also a set of extremely old decorative plates that will be filling the empty spaces behind my chair, but those have to wait for Michael’s arrival. Man wields hammer; woman flutters lashes! This is how things work, for I am very lazy.

Also, please to ignore the stain under my desk (pre-schooler perils) and the unsightly jumble of cords behind my chair. (Now that I think of it, the blue carpet isn’t any better — but that at least is not my fault.) I spent two hours today swapping desks, another hour organizing, and two hours filing. It’s time for something fruity, cold, and a little bit alcoholic. I am clearly far too busy to Photoshop.

Another local legend and [her] longtime lucky charm.*

April 20, 2009

I just completed 24 hours without a single cigarette. I think it’s the first time I’ve done so in at least 6 years, possibly 8 years.

The Chantix seems to be doing its thing. I feel okay. I have vague moments of “hey, I kind of want a cigarette,” but they’re far more behavioral than physical, and they pass. I don’t feel angry or head-fogged like I usually do when I go more than a few hours without nicotine. I feel… fine.

I didn’t follow the instructions explicitly, because I am pathologically incapable of doing so. Instead, I cut back my smoking during the first week, continued cutting back during the second week (which I am almost at the end of right now). I was supposed to stop cold on the 14th, but I kept smoking, although only smoking about 1/3 of what I had before. I told myself that it was okay not to quit, that even cutting way back was good — mostly as a self-soothing mechanism when I started to panic about dropping my last real crutch/vice.

Then today, my 6th day on the higher dose of Chantix, I woke up and didn’t really feel like smoking. So I didn’t. The day passed, and I still didn’t feel like smoking. And here I am, 24 hours after my last cigarette, still not really feeling like smoking.

Why yes, I would like a round of applause. It’s not a great feat of will (the Chantix apparently takes care of the willpower), but it’s scary and very cool anyway.

* Bon Jovi.

ETA: I still might smoke at some point in future. I am not a saint, and really, even if I do just cut back to one or two or three per day, that is still better than 30 per day. So, you know. All this accomplishment could be… not for naught, exactly, but not a harbinger of the rest of my life either. Still, 24 hours!

Quick question, no song lyrics. (Whew!)

April 16, 2009

I’m reading Blonde by Joyce Carol Oates, as is my wont when things are wonky, and I need to find copies of Scudda-Hoo! Scudda-Hay!, The Asphalt Jungle, Don’t Bother to Knock, Niagara, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, The Seven-Year Itch, and a few others. I have a habit of watching the movies in order as they’re mentioned in the book, to catch some detail and generally draw out the experience — the problem is that I no longer own these movies and (horror!) the local video places don’t have them either.

Do any of you know where I could find them online? I’d use iTunes, except my bank account remains woeful. Please advise!

I don’t know where I’m going, but I sure know where I’ve been.

April 7, 2009

Well. I just took my first dose of Chantix, and immediately lit a cigarette. This… probably does not bode well.

I’m using the GetQuit program too, but I honestly don’t know how this is going to go. I suppose that if it even significantly reduces my smoking, it will be worth it. In the meantime, I am incredibly damn nervous, and pathetically grateful that the first week of the program/medicine still allows me to smoke. I’m keeping a smoking log, I’m going to be receiving check-in calls and emails, I am dismally sure that I will Fail At This, but I’m doing it anyway.

Things might get very cranky around here in a week. My quit date is the 14th. If the entire Internet could cross its fingers, that would be great.

* Whitesnake. Of course.

SPOILER ALERT and also I am obsessed.

April 4, 2009

I just finished watching the latest episode of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles and THEY KILLED DEREK!!!!

I don’t even have anything else to report. Just, you know, they KILLED DEREK. Sheeeeeeeit.

I don’t think it’s wrong, it’s just gone to my head. *

April 3, 2009

I did not actually see my doctor on Thursday, because she rescheduled for Monday. Today her office called and rescheduled again. Apparently tracking down my various medical records is harder than it should be, and it also cuts into the doc’s vacation time.

So I’m in a holding pattern for now — I don’t have my pain meds and that makes me cranky and useless; I’m not sleeping, but I finally have library access so the nights are better; I’m washing everything in the house that’s washable, throwing out everything worthless. And thinking a lot, of course, because there’s a universal law against moments of peace when it comes to me.

I’m getting pretty sick of my own “everything sucks” mentality. It used to be how I lived, but it’s too foreign now. My marriage is up-and-down lame/awesome and my body is disintegrating and I’m alone 95% of the time, but… the world isn’t ending, and I thought I’d taught myself how to recognize that. I know perfectly well that this is mostly chemical, physiological — some combination of months-old grief, sleeplessness, and boredom twisting my neuroreceptors back into their old patterns — but knowing that doesn’t change it.

Still, I’ve managed to do 35 loads of laundry in the past three days. (That number is not exaggerated. Many — most — of those clothes went to Goodwill or into the bin, but it is still a lot of laundering.) I got the kitchen almost all the way clean. My seedlings are rioting about the place, and it’s almost consistently warm enough to harden them off. I had company the other night and managed not to devolve into a raging bitch or a sobbing wreck (score one for self-control). I have cold beer on a hot day, and my mom bought me plenty of cigarettes to see me through the weekend.

Oh, and I’m quitting smoking. The doctor who washed his hands of me helpfully offered treatments for everything but the non-arthritis, and one of those offers was a prescription for Chantix. I turned it down then, but in the midst of all this self-pitying I thought that maybe quitting smoking would be one thing I could do to feel a little better. I pick up the prescription on Monday, and… well, we’ll see how it goes. I hesitate to call this public accountability (I mean, what are you going to do if I don’t manage it — boycott my blawggy-blawg? bah), but it’s something to announce, anyway. It would be better if I could have anti-anxiety meds already in my tight little palm before I start this experiment (reasons range from panic attacks to sleeplessness to fucking hell what am I going to DO if not smoke), but nothing is ever easy.

This year is almost 1/3 over. If 2009 were a painting, January-April would be one twisted plane of an unrecognizable face. I’m anxious for summer.

*The GooGoo Dolls