Thursday, January 31, 2008

signs indicating i need to handle my shit
  • i'm eating my "end of the world" lentil soup out of my secret food stash in my office because i a) did not take my sad sack ass to the grocery store in the past week and b) lost the brand new atm card i was sent on monday sometime after using it at 7-11 to by cigarettes.

  • i lost my atm card. when have i ever done that?

  • i broke my new year's resolution and started stress smoking. and i kind of don't care.

  • i found out some really amazing news about a friend today, and when i did, i started to cry, not purely out of joy on their behalf, but because my first thought was: "jesus christ, i may very well be frittering away these years only to someday wake up when it's too late and realize all the things i denied myself." nice.

  • i somehow feel it's okay to be really snippy with my students (uncharacteristic of me when they are behaving well, at least) because it's a veiled expression of my own personal frustration. i'm then kind of passive agressive because when they come talk to me i'm all smiles and supporting.

  • scrabulous as a diversionary tactic.,/li>
  • i'm avoiding making plans to go out with friends because i know i am not pleasant company and because i want to stay in my cave and mope and be there "just in case" something else happens.

  • superfluous dirty-sexy emails as strategic approach. (which thus far are not working.)

  • feeling constantly like i'm about to cry.

  • saying things like "i'm never going to ________________ again!!!" all plaintively, when i know damn well it's not true.

  • some of the thoughts i'm entertaining about my personal life aren't pretty and probably shouldn't be ignored. but all i want to do is to get to the place when i can scoot those thoughts back under the carpet where they belong and i can go back to being happy right now.

  • not remembering how happy i am right now, because RIGHT NOW is ultimately all that matters, and all the pieces of the puzzle seem to be in place, except that...

  • ...i'm starting a lot of sentences with "if i'm so great, then how come..."


Monday, January 28, 2008

when it's good, it's very very good, but when it's bad...

busy is good, and i've been busy, but in this equation i'll have to admit it hasn't all been good. it's been a trying week or so, just sort of the ebb and flow of things i suppose, and the old "goes down" portion of the "what goes up" situation.

when it's very, very good you're standing in the kitchen with some of your favorite people, making new friends, laughing, refilling a seemingly bottomless glass of champagne, and being very, very, clever (or so you think). you might stay out too late and put off work, but ultimately shit gets done and it gets done right, and things plod ahead. when it's very, very good you're curled up in the nighttime hours with the person you love more than you've ever loved anyone, drinking in the sweetness of sighs and softness of skin and wishing you never had to get up and break the bubble. when it's very, very good you are sitting with some of your dearest and oldest friends looking at where you've been and pondering where life might take you, and getting to see someone in their baby's eyes. there's lots of jokes and talking and scrabble playing and instant messaging to fill your day. there's the connection with your students and helping them come into their own and conquer their anxieties. when it's good, it's very, very good.

but when it's bad, it's just plain awful. it's downpours and panic, tears and tense moments of brutal uncertainty. it's the chasm between who you are when it's good and who you so easily can be when it's not. it's who has the power and who has the disappointment, and it's finger crossing and cursing out loud, trying to turn the frown upside down and the negative to the positive, with only the most recognizable dark cloud of results. no amount of wordspinning puts things to a halt, and you wish people came with instruction manuals, and that there was a fortune cookie that just spelled shit out so you wouldn't have to wait in wonder. when it's bad it's unbearable and bad habits and short trips to nowhere and back again.

it's the other side of the equation i'm looking for right now, to get back to the good and to find the balance. it happens moment to moment, or one inside the other--outside it's good and inside it's so ugly and scared and a textbook case of myself. it's so very.


Monday, January 21, 2008

on why it shouldn't come as a surprise that every single time the darling boy leaves my house we have this disgustingly cute "routine" that consists of us kissing goodbye, him walking away, me saying "wait, come back here!" and collecting another kiss:


"At the end of his shift I informed him he'd left the light on in the back room. I followed him in, pouted because I was sad we couldn't spend any 'quality' time alone together, and he went to go out, I grabbed his wrist, said 'Come back here!' and got a little kiss. I just wanted to make sure we were still going to be intimate. (When applied to subversive sexual relations, the word 'intimate' seems so cheesy.)"

i suppose the main difference now is that i neither worry about the future possibility of intimacy, nor find the concept or word itself to be quite so cheesy. and my sentence structure is a bit less dubious.

he will agree that i still pout.


Monday, January 14, 2008

oh-eight is pretty oh-great!

i know, seriously, the potential to use the rhyme of "eight" and "great" is so easily abused, right?

but i kind of don't care because i really love this year already, even with its minor foibles. granted, i started out the year sick-sick-sick as can be (and i still do the old man wheeze and cough routine; sooooo sexy, i know) and even had to have my atm card blocked this weekend because some sketchy people using the name "u need me cleaning" in michigan duped my card and the bank flagged their oh-so-suspicious little test charge, but i don't care because for some reason i am just absolutely happy these days.

and, no, there isn't even a drug in my system. i am busy, productive, upbeat, enthusiastic, and enjoying both my jobs and am so totally dorkily happy with my darling boy. i've done some fun stuff already this year, and have been spending time with my awesome friends, and already in love with my three sets of new students.

i totally went all "heyyy man" and cosmic and shit and read my monthly horoscope by susan miller, which i do every now and then just for fun (and i like to read it at the end of the month to see if she was right). so, apparently, pluto is in capricorn for the first time in over 200 years, which is supposed to be something short of un-fucking-believably incredible, and i'm down to run with it. my homegirl susan seems to have her finger on some things that really ring true in the life of yours truly, so i'm inclined to take what she says (yes, with the required pinch of salt). i really think there are some great big-time things ahead for me in the next year, and i am SO READY for the ride. maybe it's in the stars, or maybe it's just that things are finally clicking, or maybe it's wholly inexplicable. maybe it's just time for me to be moving forward and happy. i don't care, really. i'm going to let oh-eight keep being oh-great. just watch me.


Thursday, January 03, 2008

a feeble attempt thus far at making 2008 the year of good health

while the last day of 2007 brought me to some fun gatherings, and reminded me of the value of good friends as well as how effing much i love my darling boy, it also brought me to an unhappy place with my health. i will spare the details, but something did not go as planned, and so i made some pretty major decisions about my health, only one of which i've been able to enact, because i got cold-cocked with, well, something close to a cold. to explain:

i was diagnosed (in an approximately eight-minute interview in a random hollywood clinic) a few weeks ago with major depression. it wasn't a shock to me, partly because i've dealt with depression most of my life in some form or another, and i felt myself slipping comfortably into its depths while i grappled with some uncertainties in my life, mostly about work and creativity. anyhow, i was thrilled to get put on lexapro, an SSRI that i began to take immediately, hoping it would work its magic over the next weeks and lift me up.

but a couple of things happened in between. i got hired on at the university to teach a third class this winter, solving some potential financial woes, then i was named co-editor of LAist, which gave me that sense of purpose i couldn't locate within myself (and a boost to the finances, admittedly). meanwhile, the dark fog was lifting, but i couldn't tell if it was because things were going well or because the lexapro was working. but after about three weeks on the meds i started to realize i was feeling physically worse than before--and it was hard to fathom i could be any more prone to lying down and spacing out for long periods of time before the meds. i was getting mild tinnitus, feeling exhausted, losing concentration, and couldn't make decisions. i wasn't unhappy, but i wasn't healthy. i wasn't back at the gym, i wasn't getting productive or creative--all of that felt just as out of reach, if not more so, than before. then it's new year's eve day and i'm trying to get my birth control pills refilled, and i find out my blood pressure (already susceptible to an unofficially diagnosed state of "white coat syndrome") is sky-high, and the clinic snatched that bag of pills (literally!) right out of my hands. no amount of crying, begging, or pleading would let that sour nurse relent. i felt utterly defeated. (i am super happy being on the pill, it is the ideal thing for me, trust me!)

i decided, against all advice i encountered online, and what i vaguely remember the random psych clinic doctor and my therapist saying, to quit the lexapro the next day, cold turkey.

so i did.

since i'd only been on it just a day or two less than four weeks, i don't think my system is in much shock. i'm not getting the "brain zaps" or feeling woozy like all the internet forums about SSRI withdrawal mention. i think i made it in under the wire, before the meds really latched on to my system. but since i don't think it was the right drug for me, i also think that's why it's not horrible that i went off it.

so then i kick off 2008 thinking THIS IS THE YEAR OF HEALTH!!!! sweet! i start to think about going to the gym, cooking healthy meals for myself, being more active, not dwelling on the negative, getting my blood pressure checked out so that i can resolve the birth control issue (i run out in a couple of weeks and am i bit scared about that, honestly).

then i'm watching some tv commercial about some cold/flu product, smugly thinking "wow, i haven't been sick in ages!"

of course, i get sick.

wicked sick. hella sick.

100.9 degree fever sick, with gnarly cough, flaming and piercing sore throat, insomnia, aches, and so on. i'm pretty sure it's viral--some good old fashioned bronchitis. but i'm so sick that, after not sleeping more than 24 minutes at a time through the night, i had to miss the first day of the winter quarter for me at the university. the secretary was so dismayed to hear i had three classes i'd be missing today (she said they'd deal with it; she never wished me to "get well" or anything, compounding my guilt) and so was i. i hate missing work, especially the first day. but i am scary sick, and there's no way in hell i should have been traipsing around that campus today, in and out of the classroom, passing time in my office chair all dressed up under fluorescent lights. i need me my tissue box, heating pad, hot tea, pajamas, television, pillows, blankets, neck-warming scarf, soup, and constantly refilled cup of water. (i'm partly forcing myself to sit up and write this in the hopes that it wears me out so that i can get some SLEEP!!!)

so, 2008 being the year of health for me isn't going so smooth. i don't even have time to think about my mental health, because i can't focus enough to write articles, had to ditch work today, and am too viral to kiss my darling boy.

i'm still happy about 2008, and glad i took myself off the lexapro. i know that a lot of my problems can be taken care of through my own efforts--physical, mental, and emotional--and as soon as i'm feeling well i'm determined to tackle them. so many things about how 2007 ended and 2008 began have given me hope about my life, my love, my work, my happiness. and even though i'm mulling all this from my sick bed, it's still all good.

here's to your health--and mine--in 2008.


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