Quiet, now.

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This has been total hell. The whole spring-into-summer. One slow-burning, creeping infection that reinvented itself hourly. There was the hospitalization, of course, but that was just the beginning. That was only the spark.

It wasn’t like last time, this past time – again, June. There was no brandishing grand hopes of success or faith in newly devised treatments. Rather, I harbored a dreadful certainty that this scene would play itself out again and again, rippling its dark water into every corner of my life. Call it what you will, premonition or self-sabotage, but damn if it hasn’t been just like that. My entire basement is flooded, at this point – I’m draining it out a bucket at a time.

Things got really weird for a long time. It’s kind of like, “woah, what was in that brownie” and then forgetting you ever ate the brownie. You’re left unmoored, disembodied, completely immersed in a tilt-shifted world of your own making. It’s different – eerily hollow – but familiar. Then you wake up seven hours later wearing your roommate’s favorite dress, inexplicably covered with butterscotch ice cream topping.

Except that last part never happened. Not this summer, anyway.

Somehow the real-life aftershocks seem even more shattering this go-round, which is saying a lot, I suppose, since my last breakdown resulted in the end of my marriage. But it’s a true statement if there ever was one.  If I tried to list the ways this summer’s trials have screwed up my scene, I wouldn’t even know where to begin. And it would probably be super depressing.

I have a new therapist who specializes in DBT, and, for better or worse, I’ve given up trying to give up Abilify. It works too well, this designer-drug miracle, and pulls me together so completely. Having a new job helped a lot, that much I will admit – having to pretend to be OK sometimes leads halfway there.

So here I am, facing up to reality and moving along. Still pretending from time to time, but mostly just analyzing the cost of the metaphorical sump pump. Getting sick was expensive.


Sometimes I think I’m charged with negative ions.

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In what seems like a string of unimaginable coincidences, in the past several weeks I have spent the better part of a month’s salary on not-so-extravagant electronic items, only to have them die at their pulse-driven cores: zero by one by one.

1) Failed 2009 MacBook Pro RAM upgrade: $150 +/- 12 hours of my time

2) Failed 2003 Ford Focus: $850 +/- untold pain and suffering

3) Failed 2011 MacBook Pro (battery? logic board? They’re a little fuzzy on what they’ll be replacing.): $2,200 +/- 36 hours of my time

I thought it was bad when the Focus’ main computer gave out after we’d just ponied up for new brakes and a clutch, so you can forgive me for wanting to crush glass when my brand-new refurb MacBook Pro suddenly stopped charging in the middle of my workday. I mean, I LITERALLY spent two whole days configuring the machine – reinstalling software, repartitioning hard drives, restoring from backups – not exactly the fun time one wants to have on any given Friday. I’ve invested a lot. Which is why I almost strangled the Apple “Genius” at the bar when he said to me, blithely,

“Well, you have 14 days to return it, if you’d like.”

Um, no DUDE, I do NOT want to RETURN the computer. What I WANT is for the computer to WORK.

Which, I think, is exactly what came out of my mouth.

But now, I’m thinking. Does this mean that the computer’s a lemon? Ought I to cut losses, return the beast, and go back to square one? More research? More time? ANOTHER three days spent repartitioning hard drives? Internet, I’m confused. I need help. Please guide me.


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I called my shrink today. My insurance changed effective January 1 and, me being me, I’d put off calling my treaters until the last possible minute. (Our appointment was the following morning at 8:15.) She actually picked up, which threw me off guard a little, and brought up a very good point: with new insurance, I’d have a new deductible.

A new DEDUCTIBLE – not a new COPAY.

So I hopped on over to the insurance website and, sure enough, there it was right there in the sidebar. $900. Hey! $900! And three medications to refill this week! Now, that’s a way to really ring in 2012.

I mean, I’d just forgotten about it, the whole deductible thing. I guess I never had one before last year, and, we’ll remember, that was no picnic either. So I don’t know, I guess I’m just bad at being a grownup or something.

But, nevertheless, I counseled myself, breathing deeply and trying to keep my heart rate down, I’m very lucky to actually have the money at this moment in time. Like, barely have the money, but still. One could also say that I’m lucky to have insurance at ALL – even though not having it is just not an option for me anymore. So I’ve got a number of things going for me, here, on what would seem to be an inauspicious start to 2012.

I nixed the appointment with my therapist (needlessly, in hindsight – my medication will more than reach my deductible), and she was gracious enough to accept the late cancellation.  The other piece of good news? She takes my new insurance. Thank God.


Has conflicting feelings about Pinterest.

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I want to love Pinterest. And I do. I mean, lots of pictures of pretty things, LOLcats that really do make me LOL, and the occasional (but increasingly frequent) Bible quotation against a pastoral / beach-themed background. Luscious recipe hints aside thinspo underwear models. Who can’t identify with a lusting for both?

But what’s been getting me about Pinterest lately are all these “bucket list” pins. “Throw a dart on a map and travel wherever it lands” or “Own a Cadillac”. “Meet Taylor Swift”. Not that there’s ANYTHING wrong with wanting these things, working for these things, or hoping for these things, it’s just… a little…

Well, let’s face it. My bucket list is like, “Have a clean kitchen floor for more than 2 days running”. “Own a doublewide, because a house is totally out of the question”. “Wear matching blacks”. Not exactly what one might call “aspirational”, but, sometimes, just as unattainable. It makes me kind of sad and nostalgic, these wishes from girls out there in foreverland, dreaming of things I realize I will likely never have, and it makes me think about how I used to frame the world. Perhaps, how we all once framed it. Full of opportunity and ripe for the picking.

What happened, and when did it become so? And why did we think we were ever so entitled in the first place?


Tried to go to the gym. Swear to God.

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It was not a good morning. More or less overwhelmed with my mental list of menial tasks to accomplish, I lay in bed pondering my next move. I wanted to go to the gym. I didn’t want to shower. I hated my gym shoes. I had a wedding at 6. I needed a push, a spark, something to thrill me on my way, because seriously we just got these flannel sheets and they are like WOAH comfortable.

I bargained myself into rising for the sole purpose of buying new sneakers. My old ones are fine, I suppose, but they’re just a touch too big for me and I can’t run in them. So really, they suck. “I deserve it,” I thought, “it will be what gets me back in the groove.” $39.99 later, I was on my way to Planet Fitness, ready to keep up the other half of the bargain.

Except at Planet Fitness, the 17-year-old girl behind the counter informed me that I had an eighty dollar balance. Apparently I’d gotten a new debit card and neglected to let them know. I was all ready to pay it until I stopped and thought about it for a second. Planet Fitness is ten bucks a month. I hadn’t been gone that long.

“Can I see that itemized?” I asked, in an uncharacteristic display of gumption.

The bastards had been charging me every time a charge didn’t go through, effectively doubling my monthly payment. Plus, they charged me a membership renewal fee – just before they closed my account. Sweet!

“I’m not paying that,” I told the girl. “That’s insane.”

I’m all about losing this extra jiggle, but $120 in one day is a little much. Wouldn’t you agree?

 

 


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