time: 1:06

Dear Internet,

When you start wiping tears off of your phone, while playing solitaire, you know shit just got real.

I don’t feel good.

Well, what does that mean exactly?

It means the following conversation with TEH, TheBassist, and Kristin (roughly the same conversation, individual times.).

“Having a hard time getting out bed, sleeping 10-12 hours a night, and barely eating.

“(Anything else going on?)  The only things that have been going on is increased stress about being homeless, jobless, moneyless.

“I thought it was related to my period but it’s not – that tends to be mania and BPD. I am just incredibly paralyzed right now and often feel sick to my stomach.

“And this isn’t throwing up sick, it’s the pit of my stomach feeling.

“This feels differently.

“I told TEH I really dont have much left in the tank. He argued I must have something since I am hustling on the (writing) job front. So I conceded I have 1/8th if a tank left. I just don’t feel emotionally any more. I just dont. I cry all the time because I need to protect myself.

“(From what?) The world.

“I cry, it gets rid of whatever feeling I have left; then I can crawl back into myself.

“(Why?) Stay safe. I protect me and me alone.

“I don’t know. I am often too tired to check. I keep my bear close. I read. Sometimes i shower and get dressed.

“All I know is I am really scared. And tired and emotionally exhausted and drained. Something has to give and I think it’s me.”

(Meds changed? No. Dietary habits, etc changed? No. Are you smoking? No (mostly). Are you drinking? No. Are you doing drugs? No.)

This has been going on for months.

I am not suicidal.

I can trace back to January, of this year, when I was hysterical on the phone with TheBassist. He calmed me down, we made plans for me to come out to the East coast, things in my brain cooled to a smolder. In February, much was the same. March was the epic road trip of 2771.7 miles in less than two weeks. Same month the #teamharpy dismissal came. I survived that; it would reckon I could survive everything.


April, May, June, July, August, and now I flipped between the East coast and the south. Four weeks here. Six weeks there. When I was in Michigan, I couldn’t bear to be in my apartment alone. I couldn’t bear being apart from anyone, seemingly specifically TheBassist. I was chainsmoking (when I could) and when I was home, it was jimjam and no shower time.

I put up a pretty good facade.

I have a friend or two who live near the cabin, whom I get in touch with immediately when I get into the area. The other day we went malling and lunch, which turned out not be that great of an idea — at least for me. As we walked around the mall being basic bitches, I watched my reflection in the mirrors as we passed. My friend looked great, hair perfect, make up on point, outfit cute. I on the other hand looked frumpy, my hair was out of control (It’s not been cut or colored for months). No makeup on, even mascara. I was slumped like a semi-colon.

I felt horrible and looked even worse.

I didn’t recognize the person in the mirror.

Earlier this week someone inferred I was a hack. Boy howdy, it didn’t take much. Tonight I rocked in my bed, in my head calling myself every terrible thing even remotely possible in the English language. “Hack.” “Untalented.” “Lazy.” “Worthless.” I could go on, but I think you see the point.

When will this ever end?

Malling friend said I put so much shit up on the Internet, I am asking for comment. I could see her point and I think I even agreed with her. But now? No. I create this space to navel gaze, operate, and exorcise my life. I make it public because I’m not ashamed of who I am and I’ve never been one for keeping things bottled up. So what if I keep regurgitating the same #content. When was the last time your life was picked neat and clean? Yeah, I thought so.

I climbed into bed about midnight and it’s going on six. I spent most of the night/morning playing solitaire with the requisite tears and staring at the slant of the A-frames ceiling. I cried some and sniffled, then cried some more.

These are not big fat ugly tears, this are small baby tears that just keep leaking from my eyes. Talking to TheExHusband was painful because my eyes immediately welled up as soon as I opened my mouth. He said it was good I was doing that, I was letting my emotions open up and be honest. I felt like a fraud standing there because nothing seems to be real anymore.

I felt the same talking to TheBassist. To Kristin. To anyone who asked.

I’ve meditate for 79 straight days. When I could be arsed to put clothes on and go outside, I walk. I am happy for a few months and it all comes crashing down. Again.

Will this ever end? I hope so. But honestly? I have no idea. All I do know is that I’m having an attack of The Sads.

And I want my teddy bear.


the 49/51 split

Dear Internet,

I woke this morning at 5:37AM with a particular song in my head that was not meant for me. However upon audible relistening, realised it was perfect for a variety of reasons that will only make sense to me.

This has been happening more frequently as of late; I’m waking in early hours with a song in my brain (it is never the same song), that most times, comes out of nowhere. Some mornings, like this morning, there are two that play tag with the other. Then I need to go listen to them on repeat for a bit to exorcise the demon out.

This morning also bequeathed me tears that were shimmering and caught below and I thought The Sads were back. Again. I felt the rough edges of The Sads last night and made immediate plans that upon waking up, I would do nothing but self-care. In that instance it meant curled up in bed, reading all day, under my blanket fort and forgetting the world existed.

But I did not feel depressed, in fact I’m still quite manic. So this was new — to be feel so profoundly emotionally bare and raw but not depressed, in fact, there was some joy. I laid in bed for a few hours this morning, always flipping to find the cool side and always having to have my toes hang over the edge, trying to figure out what this all meant. I checked my phone and caught sight of the email notifications piling up. I knew I had to do some adulting today, I could not push it off like I always want to do. I made a deal with myself — do not think of the larger picture today, but think of the small things you can do. Begin first, with a shower.

When I tell people I am taking a year sabbatical to write a book, they think it’s wonderful and how lucky I am. I jokingly point out sure, come talk to me in a few months when my hair is disheveled and I’m laying about in my own filth. Except, this is not that far from the truth. When I was still working at the academic library, and we were granted nearly a month off at the holidays, TheHusband and I barely left the house. Let me also not speak of how little laundry I do during that period, amongst other things.

It’s easy to get sucked into a routine that is of no good, and I found these old habits raring its head these last few weeks with TheHusband and I working from home. Cobbling together a routine when I was alone at the cabin was easy and I could stick to it, but there is something about being home with him 24/7 where we just feed off the others bad habits that pulls me in its undertow.

So when I cannot get up to the cabin, and I’m working from home, I made myself promise to not fall into those traps, and to begin by just getting up and shower. Even if it meant putting on yoga something and a sports bra under the tshirt of the day, just get up and shower.

(With growing out my hair again (it’s now shoulder length), and not being a big fan of combing it, it is starting to dread. I’ve already had to cut two dread knots in the last week. Keep it together, Lisa!)

The shower.

I started crying in the shower, but it was small sobs rather than a big ugly cry. This had been the crying pattern of late, beginning with the welling of the tears, that turn into a silent storm, with an odd hiccup thrown in. Then I started laughing at myself because a few days prior, I was in a similar stance in the shower (feet spread, water pounding on back, hands on the subway tile) trying to figure out the logistics of a sex scene for a project I’m working on and here I was, on the complete opposite spectrum.

It was time, I knew as I began to shave my legs, to do a self-check if I was having The Sads or it was something else. Here were my truths as I knew them:

  • I’m not in crisis
  • I see my talking therapist, Dr. P, next week, my GP next month to get a referral for a new medicating shrink. I will also ask Dr. P. about another in-network referral to get back on the drugs
  • I’ve been having really near daily soul cleansing conversations with two of my favorite people in the last week
  • My period began earlier in the week and I always get a titch more emotional than usual
  • I cried during Guardians of the Galaxy — YES. Vin Diesel made me weep. I am NOT ashamed
  • One of said favorite people sent me links to cute pug tshirts, earlier in the week a couple of not-so-much-favorite-but-still-up-there-folk sent me links to pug pictures, so I had a big ole case of MissingWednesdays. My pug ovaries are hurtin’

Most of these feels are the normal human condition, heightened sure by the bipolar and raging period hormones, but normal. Sometimes it’s totally okay to pull back and cry. I promise.

So I did.

Once the checklist was done, I was cleansed, and let us not be surprised that now the world did not feel like a big ole chaotic mess. I could deal with this. I got dressed and planned my next step. And when that is done, I will plan the next step. And I will keep making these small steps until the day is done. Build the foundation.

Earlier this week certain lines kept rolling in my head and I recognized their presence from a piece I wrote about a decade ago. The words still resonate, but now for wholly different reasons.

I had, at the time, gone on to record it as an mp3 which you will find below.

(This is not one of my strongest pieces and in fact may be complete crap. I had also just had a bout of reading nothing but e.e. cumming so I was feeling all fancy when I wrote it. I have not listened to the mp3 since the day I recorded it so hopefully it has not degraded over time.)

Emotionally Stripped – the mp3 or you can listen via the embed below

there is a world
	somewhere, in-between
but not here
that exists

emotionally stripped

in this world
i am free
in this world
	there is
		something, anything

emotionally stripped

how far are we willing to play
	in this dangerous game
	how far
	how far

emotionally stripped

i don't believe in bittersweet endings
	of love that is never consumed
	of things to yearn for and
never have

emotionally stripped

i don't believe
	that i'll never touch your face
	or feel your taste
	or see your skin against mine
		shining with sweat

there is a world
	somewhere, in-between
that exists
	sliding, sliding
		downward fall

only to be caught

emotionally stripped




This Day in Lisa-Universe: 2011, 2003, 1999

familiaritas obscenitas

Dear Internet,

I knew mania was upon me not because my brain was slightly throbbing or that I was feeling more invincible than usual, but when having lunch with work husband #3, I was keenly intent on the fish monger and his ice. So much so, I struck up a conversation with him about the habits of keeping the oysters and other delicacies chilled as they laid prettily in the case. I followed up my witty banter with some succinct comment on ice machines and what not.

Really, I am quite the charmer.

Sometimes I don’t know what is worse, curled up in bed in an attempt to keep the world at bay or when it flips and I need to fix all of the world’s problems right this very minute. And if it means staying up until the deepest witching hours to get started, then so be it.

Two weeks ago I was so struck with anxiety and despair, I could barely leave my hotel room while attending a conference. Earlier this week, I was so overwrought with rage that the only way to keep myself from falling apart is reading trashy literature. Then it shifts again and now I am HAPPY, HAPPY, HAPPY.

And making inane conversation with random fish mongers.

I used to long for normalcy, or even better, a chance of being more even. Now, as soon as this week, I’ve realised those are not the things I need, they are the things I want. What I need is a way to harness, if that is even more possible, and make the fan dance of moods work for me rather than against. Stop censoring myself, for one.

And if the darkness comes, and it has , then I need to surrender to it. As long as I don’t let it swallow me whole, as long as I remind myself it will pass (and it will), to be mindful as much as I can that this is cyclic and I will whirl around the peg board towards something else, then I can survive. To quote Neil Gaiman,

Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.

And even the very most important thing to remember, (somehow I have to create very visible reminder), to is to apply self-care. Generously. Without regret. For that is how we will slay the dragons.


This day in Lisa-Universe: