gather your bones

Dear Internet,

I’m currently sequestered up at the cabin in Northern Michigan, closing it down for the winter for TheExHusband. It’s beautiful up here, as it is always beautiful up here, at times it makes my heart ache. I came up too late, missing the last summer hurrah at the beach; my fat girl bikini remains unworn. The weather has dropped considerably since I’ve been here, which means apple cider, cake doughnuts, and decorative gourds will be all the rage for tourist traps, those damn trunk slammers.

Coming up to Throbbing Cabin, I knew there was lack of Internet, which was fine. Lots of the cute as balls villages around here have libraries with said resource. I checked and double checked I could access many of the programs I use “in the cloud” (quoted because that makes me giggle), such as Dropbox and Evernote offline. Many of these programs keep local copies on the hard drive, thus making it easily accessible for me to get to without Internet access. Easy peasy right? Slowly close down the cabin AND have plenty of time to work on my masterpieces.

No. No 1000%. Just checking email (chock full of images these days) and websites ate into my data like mad. I begged and cajoled with TEH and he agreed, if he wanted to rent this place out, WIFI would be needed. So tada! I am on the internets.

Yesterday marked the end of National Suicide Prevention Week. To “celebrate,” as it were, semi-colon tattoo is now living on my right wrist.

Tattoo #17. Go big or go home.
Tattoo #17. Go big or go home.

To also mark the occasion, I passed around my suicide attempt essay and not my mother’s attempt. Not intentionally, surprisingly, but because of my divorce of her, I haven’t given her a thought in months. So why would I remember to mention what we have in common?

Strikingly, no one wanted to talk about the pieces other than my mother’s reception towards me after I attempted. Top pieces read in a very long time but nothing about my attempt. Not a, “glad you didn’t go through with it” or “how are you feeling these days?”

Wasn’t one of the main points of suicide prevention week is to stop the stigma? Weren’t we supposed to open up and talk about suicide, how to prevent, how to better equip ourselves when having a dialog on mental health?

And yet, nothing really changed, has it?

xoxo,
Lisa

P.S. Don’t want near daily emails or can’t make it here everyday but want to keep up with what’s going in my world? Subscribe to A Most Unreliable Narrator, a monthly-ish newsletter roundup of what’s happening. Bonus! Comes with GIFs!

catastrophic

Dear Internet,

There is a before before to this story.

I’m currently wrapped up like a mummy at the cabin where it is currently 60F outside, prepping it for winterizing for TheExHusband. I stopped by a local village to have dinner one night when I saw TheEx. Remember TheEx? Oh, I sure as hell do. My rage against him may have subsided but the idea of cutting off his member and dissecting his testes still tastes warm and fresh in my mouth.

So there I was, having dinner, and I see him with a woman and some kid. Maybe his wife? Why else would he be up in this area? His parents have a condo in a large ski/golfing resort that is so full of white privilege, you may contract hives. Why else would he be up here if not with his (current) woman? Why do I care so much?

Because I’m nosy as hell and all of my questions must be answered.

He saw me; of course he saw me. How could you miss me and my overly obnoxious laugh? We played peek a boo through stranger’s shoulders. I forced dessert down my throat to prevent leaving before him. I won the fake war of insolence.

And of course we didn’t say a word to the other! What kind of heathen do you think I am?

Once when we were together, actually many times, his road rage almost killed us. As I said in the above piece, he would beg, cajole, and plead his apologies; me forgiving him as a woman (then) rightly should. I was blinded by everything — he was the (then) closest substitute to TheBassist and I was hungry for that connection. TheBassist and I had been broken up for 1 1/2 years – the thought that I found someone so much like him (but not him) was too much to ignore. I was blinded by the probability. Lusted after the possibility of a TheBassist lesser.

Boy, was I glamorized.

Seven years later, TheEx and I are side-eying each other in a restaurant.

TheEx left me a gift all those years ago, not that you swine, but a new anxiety that causes a fear of driving. Specifically on highways.

It’s called catastrophic thinking, and I had no idea it had a name until a clinician recently asked me a few questions as I spoke, giving a name to the demon.

I run scenarios in my head, while driving, from getting decapitated by a semi getting out of control to careening into cement barriers to having my car going dead in the middle of a major construction area. This despite all of the assurances I give myself such as if Jeeves broke down every 1000 miles, you have bigger problems to there are others who are sharing this anxiety with you right this very second (thanks meditation!). No matter what I do, short of taking drugs, I can’t shake the thoughts of something happening while I’m driving.

To illustrate the point of the ridiculousness of this thinking, last week I drove a thousand miles from the east coast to ThrobbingCabin to help TheExHusband out. I wasn’t getting any job offers, or even interviews, I was going stir crazy, so I left. Again. I figured the sojourn to the cabin would do me good (true), help me think clearly (true), save on finances (also true).

I drove alone.

The only hiccup was getting lost because fuck a Ohio turnpike and their terrible directions!

So I drove a thousand miles, nothing happened, and I’m more or less (more) driving a thousand miles back at the end of the month.

Rationally, RATIONALLY, I know what I’m thinking is irrational. I know that the likelihood of a fatal car accident is .0103% or 1 in 10,000 for every 100,000 people. The likelihood of getting into a car accident at all is 1.76%.  I KNOW THIS. I know this, but I cannot stop thinking about what that less than 1% means to me.

(This thought process exploded last night as I came back from the city to cabin; 20 miles of unlit highway. Me with my Xenon beams and assholes with their brights, in front and behind. My eyes ached and I had a headache for most of the night after my driving escapade. Tonight I’m heading back to the city and I’m nervous, ALREADY THOUGH IT’S HOURS AND HOURS AWAY, of coming back here. Fuck a duck.)

I talk myself down. I remind myself I have driven across these United States with nary a thought, TWICE. I’ve driven from Michigan to the east coast at least six times in the last year. Some of it alone. I’ve driven to lots of long places, by myself, and I come out fine. So why the freak out?

With me, anxiety can be drilled down to a singular incident which builds upon itself into this catastrophic thinking. TheEx’s road rage has finally manifested itself all these years later, which causes me even more irritation than anger because I just want to be done with him. This hold over me is paper thin but it ill not rip. It’s annoying and in some ways, it’s fucking with my life.

Because it’s paralyzes me. It paralyzes me to the point I often cannot leave the house, enjoy my time socially with other people, or even enjoy a nice car ride.

My therapist says most anxieties can be worked through, controlled, and often cured. I am too impatient to get rid of the driving one, I want it to begone! But it’s something I have to control and work on, slowly and methodically.

Something that only I can deliver myself from. And lots of Klonopin.

xoxo,
Lisa

P.S. Don’t want near daily emails or can’t make it here everyday but want to keep up with what’s going in my world? Subscribe to A Most Unreliable Narrator, a monthly-ish newsletter roundup of what’s happening. Bonus! Comes with GIFs!

This Day in Lisa-Universe: 2012, 2010, 2008, 2008, 2000, 1999