The perks of being.

If you’re about my age, (which is around thirty) there’s a heavy chance The Perks of being a Wallflower smacked you hard right in your baby teen heart. There’s a line on page two or(I think, maybe totally wrong )three that says …

“So this is my life. I want you to know that I am both happy and sad at the same time and I’m still trying to figure out how that could be.”

It’s taken me years, but I think I’ve begun to stop trying to dissect the fact that I’m both profoundly sad and lonely and happy all at once. My heart is home to an ever-expanding universe of love and compassion. I don’t know where all the love I hold originated.

Did I manifest this on my own because I am trying to make my world worth living in, or is it synapses firing without regard to their actual jobs in my brain, changing my thought process? Is it a lie I’m being told by my own brain?

I’ve holed up inside my head so long, digging myself apart and desperate to understand my brain. I pour dozens of scholarly articles and research papers into into it, week after week. I when I was younger, I consumed Timothy Leary, I read Aldous Huxley . I expand my mind and walk down rabbit holes of wonder. I’ve seen shrinks, been through CBT(it’s a wonder) and I’ve gone to see people who claim to be able to see into the universe.I can see myself as an old person, seeking until the end forever.

The ability to love the world profoundly is my superpower, and has likely saved my life . That huge love I have for the world enables me to escape and (sometimes) over-ride that shitty, symbiotic blackness of profound sadness and physical pain of heartbreak I feel daily with no logical reason. I made a personal choice in my very early twenties to not become a part of that blackness that runs though my being; to not let it consume me, but I fight back against it every day. Sometimes, I fight it even to get out of bed or the house or to speak to anyone but my spouse and the one other person I know who gets what this is like, living with that blackness.

Because I know I love the way I do, because I know how deep my sadness runs, I love everyone on the surface, from cat on the street to the lady who owns Veros in Sj. On the other hand, I only allow myself to people I can trust, and despite years of trying to de-program myself, those people are very few.

I don’t know why I’m writing about this right now when I feel like I should be writing about politics, but I don’t want to spend that mental energy when there’s a riot going on inside me. I’ll do that later, when I feel like I’ve composed my opinions solidly, and I don’t sound like some of the rage I’m feeling about the current state of my own country and the world.

I don’t think Americans are very good about talking about love. I think we’re very good at talking about sex and thinking we’re very good at talking about our feelings. But people from the generation underneath us, they’re starting to talk about love in a healthier way, and I personally believe that love and physical touch can be completely separate from sex and I hate the way our culture has mushed them together. Hug someone out there today. Tell someone you don’t fuck you love them. Hug someone.

please.

So this is my life. I want you to know that I am both happy and sad at the same time and…

for now I just know I’m being

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I must admit that I’m inclined to isolate

My back pain feels like the night sky made of nerves. Sharp pangs come out of the blue, with no rythm, no pattern. It’s traumatic, and I’m not being dramatic when I say im afraid of my own body after so many years of this .” Shark week” makes it so much worse, and today I’m shaking in my legs because of it. I compulsively tug my hair, because somewhere along the way I developed that fucked up coping mechanism. It’s better than tugging out my eyelashes, like I used to. Pain eats into you, wraps you up in ribbons of anxiety that’ll trap you in your head. I do not enjoy hiding behind my anxiety or using it as an excuse. It’s an unwelcomed aspect of myself that I’ll do almost anything to hide. I’ve got what a former boss referred to as “resting nervous face”. My best friend lives 45 minutes away from me. I drive down to see him about once a week, where he will make me a large glass of a disgusting tea that in about 30 minutes neutralizes any pain I have for about 2 hours. We don’t talk about what it feels like because we both know, and no one has to pretend they’re fine when they’re really not.

At its worst, I’ll sit almost immobilized, thinking jagged thoughts, staring into the middle distance. The anxiety I have with this pain tells me lies about my friendships, triggers my natural tendency to not share anything beyond the epidermis of my being and uncontrolled, it’ll spiral into self-loathing, remembrances of mistakes I’ve made, things I may have messed up, and I’ll take fault for things that aren’t mine to take Fault for.

I used to delete all my socials, stop returning texts. In person, I’d become sharp, turse, abrasive. That still happens, but I have to have it pointed out to me which I both hate and need.

I married a man who is incredibly brilliant, very logical,and very kind. He’ll do almost anything to help me find what I need to help myself not be in this kind of pain, but he doesn’t understand that so many of the negative things he dislikes about me stem from just years of coping without pain management or actual relief. I am filled with regret that he received a twisted version of me and lately, I’m struggling to feel good enough. I’m struggling to feel like I’m good enough to make up for my past mistakes. I am struggling to get through this post because I hate talking about this. I’ve developed some unusual coping mechanisms for dealing with my pain. I can visualize it at my own body. I can compress it, and try to move it to a place deeper inside myself that’s harder to reach.

I haven’t been comfortable in 12 years. It’s impossible to be prescribed medication at my age because everyone is afraid of the addictive properties of medications that actually work effectively. I don’t fucking care if the medication is a Band-Aid. Sometimes you need a fucking Band-Aid.

Do you understand what happens when you don’t treat people with chronic pain? You end up with dead people.

Do you understand how hard it is to be listened to as a woman with pain? It took me 10 years before someone actually did an MRI of my back. I have to permanently atrophied spots on my back from an idiot Doctor who decided to treat me for fibromyalgia instead of fucking listening to me. Everyday that this is beyond my control, I become furious and then I hide it, because no one wants to see an angry woman. Not everyday is like this. I love my life and I love the people in it. But underneath everything that you see is an explosion in a collection of tattooed and fragile bones.

Militant dandelion

I’m standing at the top of Bishop’s Peak, eating a mango like an apple. My backpack is painted in dust with a suggestion pasted to it suggesting correctly that (for me) ‘death can wait’. I am crusted in dirt and a sunscreen resemblent of a thick, white paste not unlike like Elmer’s Glue. I’m basically in my underwear, drinking a tepid combination of water and sugar free monster from a canteen covered with stickers bearing slogans about feminist topics and one or two from the Airfield Supply Company, Twitter, and various breweries. I look like freckled, happy Delores Park Trash. The beautiful blonde Cal Poly kids that started the same time as me, just reached the summit and look like death, with their collapsed and sunburned little shoulders.

I feel great. I could keep going, like a small, disheveled mountain sprite .

~~~~~~~Later

I made it down.

On the descent, the rocks were too hot to touch and the dirt radiated heat back up at me, like an asshole. An asshole complicit with the sun.

I need food.

Bishop’s Peak, you’re a beautiful thing.

Cymbalta: a terrible party for your brain. Also, cat litter.

A few months back, a doctor placed me on Cymbalta as part of a course intended to help alleviate some of the nerve and back pain, because I am not living my best life with this ish.

This is the previously mentioned doctor of the rather pretty Russian accent who told me I had fibromyalgia. I very likely do not have fibromyalgia, but do have severe spinal issues.

So of course the Cymbalta worked wonderfully and a great impact on my mental well-being. Right?

Well fuck no, it didn’t work for anything barring me flatulating so so so so much that I had to run all over the place at work in order to not just have a giant stink Cloud around me. (That is the least favourable Cloud to have surrounding you when bartending, BTW.) It also interacts SO BADLY with alcohol. So. Bad.

Ive spent 2 months tapering off of Cymbalta, first going from 60 down to 30, then staying on 30 and coming off. The withdrawal. From this medication is absolutely nightmarish:

here’s a fact-checked article about some of the side effects, many of which I am experiencing.

Just, For the Love of fuck, if your doctor suggests Cymbalta for whatever reason, Especially if she suggests flippantly, then insists that it will definitely work off-label for some unrelated shit, run like fuck You Beautiful bitch because this is garbage.

Speaking of garbage:

My little tabby, Hermes, just walked up my back as I write this from a somewhat tortured version of child’s pose. I now have blue bits kitty litter gently sprinkled on my back. Litter boxes are garbage. There has to be a more effective way of not constantly having your house covered and a thin layer of crystals that may have cat piss on them. Someone desperately needs to invent a better litter box.

I’ve not been very good at writing anything at all lately. My brain isn’t working at top speed, and I honestly have a lot of stuff to do. That last line is a frequently used excuse for not writing. If you want to write, you’re going to write. I just have to get better at making myself, and somehow finding a way to do it whilst Cymbalta withdrawal throws a terrible terrible party in my brain.

Tonight I’m headed over to dinner at a friend’s house with my husband, and in the morning on Saturday, I’m driving to San Luis Obispo to hike and experience an actual Beach.

” Well, doesn’t the San Francisco Bay Area have beaches?”Is something I imagine you asking…

Why yes, yes we do if you enjoy cold, somewhat rock-bedazzled beaches that are mostly for bonfires and walking dogs. San Francisco bay area beaches are pretty similar 2 East Coast beaches: Rocky, full of dogs(bonus) and really great for sitting, staring and pouting. Not so great for being half-naked and playing volleyball, which is the kind of beach that I like to interact with.

So. San Luis Obispo, because I want to be around warm nature, and also because I want to be alone and write a tonne of words that I’ll probably delete.

All right. I have to pack. I love you, and remember:

Dissent is patriotic, organization is key to proper Revolution, and for fucksake, don’t climb the Statue of Liberty, that does literally nothing.

Peace.

There are two instances where I believe it’s totally acceptable to create or experience your own reality: one is your spiritual life, and the other is anytime you’re under the influence of hallucinogenic *medicines.

At all other points in time, Reality is the truth. Truth is based on facts.

We’re living in a world of our own creation, where facts are being twisted it is something utterly ridiculous, and a lot of times, I think we just go along believing them because we like the rhetoric. This is bullshit, friends.

Get the facts. Know them, remember the truth and hold the truth inside your soul.

Y’know.. Don’t believe the hype, to quote Public Enemy.

Right now the American government is attempting to create its own reality. It’s attempting to dictate the news. There’s a laundry list of things happening right now, and I’m not going to go into them, because that’s not my point right now.

We must continue to live in reality.

Fact-check.

Be rational.

Act with our hearts open and our eyes clear.

I personally believe it’s my job to be the candle burning in the window and the light in a dark place. I’m still figuring out what that means in the middle of all this mess.

I love you, whoever you are, Wherever You Are.

Happy solstice. Remember to turn your face to the sun like a flower perhaps literally, but definitely figuratively.

* you’re not going to catch me referring to psychedelics or marijuana as drugs at any point in this blog.

I see a lot of legs shaved only to the point at which clothes usually begin or end from my vantage point here on the floor. Smooth ankles that end right at a French-cropped Jean that end on the lower half of calves, fuzzy backs of thighs. I’m propped up against one of those trash can that’s split into two Parts because we ran out of chairs and mostly out of floor space at gate 12b of Charles De Gaulle Airport. A number of women are sleeping on the floor, propped up on piles of bags. From the amount of people and agitation in here, you’d think we’d been here several days, not several hours. People have formed sub-groups.

There’s folks with kids, suburban #winemom types, schoolteacher types . Hermes bags and Italian men in another grouping with plastic-surgery grandmas. Another group seems to be students around 19, who’ve just finished a life-changing trip for the first time. Another stand out are People Probably In Bands. I ended up there because I have M&Ms and I share. Likely also because of tattoos featuring Greenery. Feral children roam the burgundy-carpeted wasteland.

My ass is asleep and A’s gonna be in Stockholm before I’m even on the plane. I’ve realized I missed a ring of hair surrounding one anklebone. Oh well. I’m in good company.

Gambrinus

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Sitting on a park bench in front of Gambrinus, a little blonde boy tosses a tiny Yorkie in my direction and in doing so pulls my eyes away from a little bird , presumably shitting in the grass. The little boy seems to have done so in an effort to get a bit of attention and a laugh out of me. He gets both.

I’ve been all over the city centre of Pilzen the past few days, and I’ve just consumed my first vegan meal since being here: I’m a , but I lean heavily vegan. A dearth of vegetables is hard on my ethical sensibilities as well as my digestive system. The food servings here are large, even by American Standards, the food all lovely and warm and mostly meat and potatoes, artfully arranged.

We’ll be here until Friday morning’s check out, then headed to Prague. I’d love to sit and write more about the general experience and I will, but right now I’m watching.

I learn more from sitting around in squares and observing and walking around watching people than I do from most other things, and this has been genuinely fantastic observation.

If you’re interested in photos of random travel things, follow me on Insta @blacksquirrelwytch

Ciao

Somewhere over Greenland.

The soul of humanity lies in quiet shadows of sadness in old mens eyes, so easily brighted by acknowledging what hides behind them. There’s softer thoughts than you’d expect, tucked away.

It lives in silent knowledge of other’s wounds.

It takes me by surprise on long flights, when everyone else sleeps and I stare at our shared moment, contained by a (possibly) decade-old metal tube somewhere over Greenland.

I’d like to think there is a great web of deities, all of different viewpoints preserving us, ever so slightly. My greatest fear is that we only have ourselves.

Humanity’s soul lives, planted in us all.

It thrives in kindness.

Please, let it thrive.

TimeemiT

I’m doing something I never do.

The  sun cuts through half-open blinds, and the not-yet setting light rays hits my seedlings,(or whatever you call plants that aren’t just sprouted , but too.. wobbly to really be plants) and  my bike,out on the patio. The torn-off fronts of craft coffee bags are tossed around me, and I’m trying to think of how to decoupage them onto the coffee table I’ve been covering for over a year. It’s nearly finished. Mr. Robot is on; I Remember  hearing  Pop Culture happy hour talk about it while I worked out at my old Gym in San Jose. I think that means this show came out in 2015?  It’s good so far. IMG_20180509_182340.jpg

I never watch anything new alone, because it almost feels meaningless to do so, somehow. I’d rather re-watch, but then I end up with pop-culture FOMO. I don’t sit on our couch at 7 pm and drink coffee and watch TV shows I haven’t watched before ,alone, as the light streams in through hanging blinds. I don’t do crafts instead of running errands, reading, or going to the gym, or any number of other things that keep my body and brain moving. I’m trying to slow down and be present.

I don’t think there’s even going to be enough time, somehow. I look at my husband and the sun and all the other brightest things I know, and think that.  I tell My husband this sometimes, Never enough. It’s possible he thinks I’m being morbid, but I hope he knows it’s just how deep down the love goes, how much deeper  I  go. Never enough time.

Maybe I’ll spend more time gluing hipster coffee bags to my coffee table.

Bruised fruit

Throughout my life,bruises have stood as shrines to the things I have loved that have hurt me.

I used to tear the skin off of my little kid shins while running through fence rows filled with blackberry vines, and then go home sticky with blood and joy, purple with juice and bruises.

I’ve had collections of Chartreuse and black bruises from falling down skateboarding, bruises from dancing, bruises from people who loved me, from people who hated me, uncomplicated bruises from sex that left me happy in the pit of myself  when I saw them. I’ve had several people’s share of the bruises from nights that are devoid of memories, nights when I’ve drunk so much I can’t remember details. Some of the things that have bruised me have almost destroyed my life.

The ones below are from trees. I’ve never been able to climb a tree and not be bruised like an apple. I will move my body ,coiling along the limbs and bruising my inner thighs, and slam my shins against the branches until they turn purple. I don’t know that it’s ever been comfortable to climb a tree, but it is joyful and invigorating and wild in a way often forgotten as an adult. So enjoy my bruises, because they will always be here, visible and vulgar.