Waves

Sometimes I remember things, especially lately, things that happened so long ago and so far away that I’d all but forgotten them. There’s no reason to remember, they just come unbidden, random thoughts floating in and out as if I’ve nothing else to do but remember things that happened in another lifetime. It’s not as if I don’t have enough to remember in this lifetime, more than I can keep up with most days, but it’s only partially up to me.

Lately it’s the waves, and not the waves from our Oregon coasts, which honestly I’ve never been in, but waves from the Southern California coast where I grew up. Not on the coast, I didn’t grow up on the coast, we weren’t coastal people, we were more drive-to-the-coast people.

And what I remember most was swimming out to the waves, and swimming past them, because they annoyed me so much, all that crashing on the shore. Sometimes they’d pull me under and I’d come back up snorting salt water and impatent. I’d swim through the waves and keep going, out where there were no waves, and the sea was still and placid, except for the lapping sounds it would make against our bodies. We could see the shore, a vague outline on the horizon. I’ve never been good at seeing without massive doses of help, so none of it was clear to me. My brother may have swum out with me, but otherwise there were no other people. No surfers that far out, because there were no waves, and honestly, I’m not sure most people would feel comfortable that far from shore, so far that if I were to drown no one would notice until it was time to go home and I wasn’t there. 

By the time I had started swimming past the waves as a child I’d already developed a personality disorder. Some people call this being crazy, some people don’t, and many people live all their lives with one and never know. Life is difficult with a personality disorder. Life is difficult without one too, it’s just a little variety in the “life is crazy” departnent. Anyway, I seemed to have known my thoughts weren’t normal, so I hid them. The things in my head weren’t fit for others to hear. I always knew who I was, so it wasn’t out of my mind crazy, but I knew it wasn’t quite right. It felt right, to me, but I took pains to keep myself under wraps so people wouldn’t know. Mostly people thought I was weird, and quiet, and that I liked to read a lot. Those things are still true, but I’m much bigger now and know how wrong my thoughts were. More than I knew.

Out past the waves there was no one to judge me. There weren’t even people to see me, so how could they judge me? And while I existed in my quiet little space out on the ocean, swimming around like some kind of mutant dolphin, I could tell myself that when I got back I’d be normal, though mostly I’d look towards shore and think about all those people who had no idea I existed. Heading back to shore was always done with reluctance, and I’d usually end up someplace I hadn’t counted on, but that I’m used to now. Landing someplace unexpected is no big deal to me — I could always move on or stay there, and while doing that at nine wouldn’t really work, now it’s up to me, should I happen to take a wrong turn.

Flirting with Depression

Not right now, but on and off lately. Depression can get better, and it can get worse, and it can flop up and down as if it can’t decide. Pain seems to make it worse, for me anyway. 

Today we went to see Wonder Woman, and when I stood up afterward, with Mr C helping, I fell right back down. He pulled me up again, and my legs refused to hold me up, and by then a line had started to form behind Mr C, trying to get out, watching the old woman who couldn’t stand.  Finally we had a successful effort, and I kept my head down and tried to avoid being seen as I slowly walked out, my legs weak. Jello-ish.

It was a beautiful day outside today. We went out for breakfast with friends who were in town for a couple of days. I was sorry they had to go back to St Louis but it is where they live. 

Last week I injured my back, painfully but non lethally, and for several days I concentrated on that. 

It went away,  and I resumed my life. Work is not being demanding right now, which is good because I’m weak, physically and emotionally. I want to do something more with my life but I’m not sure how. I want to do something useful and help people. I want to write children’s books, but don’t know where to start. I want to write a basic business book, but feel I need a co-author and don’t know where to find one.

At these times the depression likes to peek in and see if it’s a good time to go on full rampage. I chase it away, but sometimes I cry first. 

I have tremors, and some days are worse than others. I’m often unable to breathe, as if I’m assinking for my body to do too much, but it shouldn’t be. At lunch on  Sunday I got up and headed for the restroom. By the time I got there I was weak with the feeling that I can best describe as close to death. It’s exhausting. 

I get by, though sometimes I’m not sure how. I get headaches daily, something I used to be free from. I take daily naps because I can’t keep my eyes  open. I’m unstable, physically. Undecided,  emotionally. 

I have no one close enough to to share this with, and why should I? I’m not good with people. Besides, I’m going to give my doctor a crack at it next week. He should be thrilled.

If I can keep from dying or falling down may be I’ll get an answer for the pain, the headaches, the tremors, the exhaustion. 

Maybe I can find something to write about. Instead of reasons why I can’t. 

I’ll keep my flirtations to the bare minimum while I remember this is just a phase. It happens. 

To My Mother

Deer Mom, Happy Mother’s Day. 

I’m not sure I ever really knew you, or you me. I always called on Mother’s Day, when you had a phone, which would have been when you were still alive, and I always played my assigned role – I was cheerful and entertaining and obnoxiously funny. In the run up to Mother’s Day I would order flowers and look for the perfect greeting card, which was really hard. Sure, I loved you, still do, but you were not the “always there with me mom,” or the “you taught me everything mom,” or the “let’s hang out and bake cookies mom.” If either of us were in the same house at night you’d begoing out to drink, because that was fun, even if you had to take us along and park us in one of the corner booths in the dark where we wouldn’t bother anyone.

At the same time, if I needed a safe place to hang out while between traumas, without anyone else finding out I was in town, you’d let me hide out at your place and not tell anyone. I only had to do that once, but the option was a lifesaver. I knew you’d never turn me away if I showed up, though I don’t think I ever did without notice. Just in case you were otherwise busy.

I was your first, but not your favorite, and that’s okay. We’re all different people, aren’t we? I would frantically try to get your attention, I would talk and talk and make you laugh, but it was never enough. But I was whiny and overly sensitive, quick to offend and slow to forget little wounds. When I was starting to be a teenager I was visiting for a few days, and when your husband came to “tuck me in” and stuck his tongue down my throat you stood in the doorway and laughed, both of you having had too much to drink. A couple of years later you took us to visit friends of yours, and I was at that awkward stage that has never left. Your friends made fun of me, told you to leave me there with them and they’d send me home once I got pregnant. And you were there, laughing with them, wanting to be part of the group so much that you would give me up, a sacrifice to earn their affection.

I understand that. It’s pretty amazing to be a part of something, isn’t it?

I understand, but I didn’t understand then. Instead I took the lessons you gave me and made them a part of me.

My battery is almost dead, so I’ll write more tomorrow. Sounds like our correspondence when I was growing up, doesn’t it?

Lies, Lies, and Damn Lies

My entire world view has been challenged, and it’s not an idea I like.

I don’t lie. Oh sure, the occasional what-they-call-white-lie, which I don’t think makes them any better, but they sure are easy. I could tell you about my white lies, but now that lies are just alternative facts, what’s the point?

I grew up as a well-known liar, famous amongst my family for my confabulations and flights of imagination. Now I know I was just telling my version, which is just as valid as any other. Mostly my lies weren’t intentional – they came about because I didn’t know what was going on. Were dad and step mom talking, or not talking? My answer to any given question could be read as a lie based on that information, but it wasn’t as if we had flashing signs to let us know, and I was mostly concentrating on not getting disparaged or laughed at or seen. 

After being such an unsuccessful liar, I left home and found no reason to lie. Besides, isn’t truth better? And it isn’t nice to lie to people, is it? I studied history, on my own, believing what I read because I read trusted historians. 

My resumes were truth, my degrees were earned and not made up, my backstory was true as I remembered it. My book was written with as much truth as I could stand. Or did I only think it was the truth?

How stupid I was! And after all these years of telling the truth, even if it was to my detriment, I find out that it’s not necessary! It’s not as if anyone else would notice, or call me on it, right?

I herewith alter some of my history.

I’m an heiress, but I left that life behind to serve the poor. My last stint in Calcutta was both spiritually rewarding and I saved upwards of several thousand in two days. I also gave lots off morphine to the dying because no one needs to die in pain. 

After completing my double degrees in accounting and English, I started a multi-million corporation. Blah blah blah. Oh, and I was at the Civil War, and the Bowling Green Massacre, as well as, I’m sure, many other places where I saved civilization with either my excellent diplomatic skills and/or superior fighting skills. Got a little head injury at Antietam, so I don’t always remember very well. 

And my book was a bestseller. 

Hahaha!

That’s what we’ve come to. Anything is true if you believe it, and it doesn’t matter if history or science say anything different, because it’s all a left wing conspiracy. Any batshit crazy writer can make masses of people think they only matter, and if they make sure they get theirs, the rest of humanity doesn’t matter. 

I used to be all about peace, love, equality, and tranquillity, but forget about that. It counts for nothing. I just want my billions, y’know?

Wastelands

We saw you standing there, but when you didn’t speak or look us in the eye or even move, we assumed you’d been taken, at least your mind, and there was nothing left but your outer shell. Evie walked up to you, to the back just in case, and when she pushed against your camo shirt you toppled, first dropping to your knees, then tipping over on your side.
We’d never seen you not standing, and at first we just looked at your shell. You were much shorter. We’d always thought of you as a giant, but an empty shell is nothing to fear.

We’d never been sure which side you were on, your ideology shifting back and forth so frequently we’d almost shot you a time or two.

That should be I. I almost shot you. We sounds like an unavoidable group action, and I’ve never liked responsibility all that well. Gregor said some prayers, or what I took to be prayers. I still don’t understand his language, much less his religion. It seemed like a relic of a past we’d never had, but we’d probably just forgotten. Some of us are non-believers, but some are not. We gave each other a pass.

Now I’ll never have a chance to ask what you really believed, nor would I know what you’d seen when you’d been behind the screen. Last time I saw you, you said you weren’t ready to talk about it, and so I’d waited, but now that chance was gone. You’d come out from behind it pale and shaking, as if you’d seen something horrible, something unspeakable. No one else had been there, so it looked as if I might have to go behind it myself to see what was there. But like I said, I’m not a fan of responsibility or taking the lead, so I probably wouldn’t.

Would you be surprised if I told you I was scared? All the time scared, not just when we came across an encampment, or one of them. Many of them liked violence, they liked to kill or be killed, though even better was maiming and leaving shattered bodies behind to die slower, so we had time to watch one last sunrise, one last sunset. Many of them just liked to pretend to do us harm, and some didn’t care one way or the other. 

We came across two of those just the day before. They were sitting outside an abandoned Wal-Mart, surrounded by their trash from raiding the Wal-Mart. Maybe it was just a good time for them, fat and bloated, sleepy with carbs. We walked up on them, our weapons out, but they watched us. “We left plenty for ya,” the fat one with the Mohawk said. There were more of us than there were of them, but they still appeared unconcerned.

“Just leave them,” Marco said, “let’s get some supplies,” and he walked toward the entrance, dragging his right leg. He’d never been the same since Lincoln.

It seemed a good idea to me, so Evie and I began to follow him. I still, after all this time, hate the sight of blood.

We knew Larry would not be satisfied. “They’ll come up behind us, idiots,” Larry said, and we heard the two shots, one right after another, as we started foraging.

“Baby wipes, Evie was muttering, “i’ve got to find some baby wipes.”
(And I’m going to lunch.)

Mental Illness and Lifespan

I’ve heard that people with mental illness live an average of 25 years less than people without MI. This can be startling information if one is very old like I am. My plans don’t include dying anytime soon because that would interfere with my plans, of which I have many.

If you have been touched by the evil depression genie, the first rule is don’t think about death because it’s sad, and sad is not a good idea. I think about it a lot, not necessarily mine, but there’s a mystery in dying, there are so many ways to do so, but in the end the result is the same. Not to be morbid, because what I’m really interested in is how people live – not famous people, they all live the same, but everyday people. What has happened to them, what hasn’t, how they coped with whatever, what did they DO? The banality of life. That’s what I want to know.

But the 25 years earlier? Not true for most of us. It’s just an average, and it’s because of The following four things:

  • Smoking
  • Drinking Excessively. I could just say alcoholism, I suppose. Fewer words.
  • Diet and lifestyle
  • Homelessness

Those are all very bad things, but the first three are coping mechanisms, or can be, and homelessness I can’t explain except that there’s far too much of it, and many homeless do have a mental illness. And drugs – I suppose that could be a cause, especially with the opioid epidemic. And others. 

I don’t smoke, don’t drink (anymore, and never all that much, except for those years between 18 and 21), use only prescription meds, am not homeless, never even close, and while I eat too much sugar I’m also just as happy eating vegetables and fruit (sugar’s just so easy). I work, a lot, but that’s not likely to kill me, especially if I remember to get up every hour and move around. 

Death by inertia. If I’m going, that will probably be the how.

And suicide, which is far too common but still not a main reason, I think. Then again, I suspect some accidents are suicide. I could be wrong. 

The 25 years earlier may not apply to most of us, and the people it doesn’t apply to aren’t reading this. (Technically, only 2 or 3 people are.) But it’s a tragedy, and occasionally I wonder how I got off so easy. I could have had more/worse mental illness, I could be an alcoholic or a smoker like my mother, I could be homeless. But I’m not, and that’s mostly luck. 

No one asks to be mentally ill. 

By now I’ve forgotten my point. So I’m forgetful. I’m old damn it!

(Any incorrect words are thanks to spell check, which likes to insert words I did not intend to type.)

5 Ways To Painlessly Lose Weight

The headline is a lie. When I want to lose weight I eat less, less and less, until I can understand anorexia just a little, because I don’t want to put anything in my mouth intended for my stomach. More fruits and vegetables, less bread and ice cream. Fortunately I like all of the above, especially the ones I should have less of. 

If you know 5 ways to lose weight painlessly, let me know. We’ll make a fortune.

I haven’t been writing. I reached a stage where I thought I had nothing to say, and that may be true, so I said nothing, despite all the things crying out to be said. “Say me, say me!” They all yell at me while I’m sleeping, but fortunately I take enough things to help me sleep that they can’t get through to me. 

The world has gone mad and I have been dealing with my disillusionment. I used to think that most people were genuinely good, or at least reasonable. I knew there were many who were not, but the level of hatred and vitriol and poor sportsmanship and unfortunate wardrobe choices has shown me the error of my ways. Fortunately I have surrounded myself with kind and loving people, and I have a good hideout just in case. 

And I go out of my way to watch things that entertain me and make me laugh. I’d say read too, but lately I’m reading things that aren’t that fun but I like them. I want to learn when I read, sometimes. I want to understand how other people live, people who live very different lives. 

I’m still trying to understand the people who live like me – it’s hard with everyone being such individuals. “Conform already!” I want to scream at them, but I’m not much of a screamer and maybe they don’t want to.

I’ve been stressing about work, but work comes and work goes and I always have enough to entertain me and keep me in pin money. And rent money. Etc. So I must stop that.  

Depression still exists, not only as something sweeping the world as it disintegrates, but with me too. Not much. Mostly I’ve been thinking, “Wow, if I weren’t me, I’d want to be me.” But we see an occasional sign, like when I don’t want to go anywhere because it would entail putting on pants, and that just feels like work. I’m older, but I’m still young enough to put on pants without trouble. 

Suicide is on my mind a lot – not mine, but in general. I hate to see young people give up before I’ve had a chance to tell them that this is all temporary, that things can and do change, and if you can hold of for one more day, then one more, because you never know when that cloud might start lifting, or a change in circumstance might happen. We just don’t know, and I don’t want anyone to miss their time because they’re  not here.

My message may be garbled – I’m noticing my phone has been making changes along the way that do nothing too improve readability, but instead looks as if I’ve inserted random words. 
The picture is what Ash looks like now. He’s sound asleep because he had a big day, and when that happens he likes to turn in early next to me. 

We’re going too read for a bit, then go to sleep – tomorrow is going to be a great day and I need to rest up for it.