Certain forms of hysteria have taken hold. Perhaps because I made the step to get the blog running in some sort of functional form, I have begun to think I am smart about certain things. This is not the case.
This is day two of going low-carb. Low-carb = traditional Atkins, 20 carbs or so for the first two weeks, then, we evaluate how shit is going. I feel better in a lot of ways already. The scale, as ever, is fucking with me, but it says I lost 3 pounds (yes, we can hear the yelling of WATER WEIGHT from here) overnight. I don’t know…I do know that it mattered to me to just start this. To just do it so here I am. Having had more vegetables today than I’ve had in eons. More water. And less food overall.
I still feel weird and tired (again, the shouting of transitioning and detoxing groggery can be heard for miles) and I have done bare minimums in terms of exercise. But I did do it. I did do it with nary a complaint. I will do it again tomorrow.
I keep thinking about what I want. That is one thing that my new job has really helped with. The courses I’ve taken have impressed upon me that I need a plan and I need to work the plan. Goal setting and moving in slow, steady steps towards the future. That you can actually say I want this big, overblown, challenging result and if you mete it out into little, manageable daily contributions, it would happen. That’s the issue and that’s why I’ve spent so much time avoiding finishing any of these little, manageable steps. So that I don’t end up somewhere I don’t want to be.
I’ve done this instead of deciding where I want to be and working really hard to make that happen.
I don’t know if I’ll write this way all the time, but I like that this all has just started and it isn’t January 1 and it isn’t a Monday (not yet). It’s not a perfect takeoff (I don’t imagine I could even recognize it if it was), but it’s like how with every paycheck, I’m adding to savings, already it feels significant. If I continue on, the possibility continues on. If I keep clapping, Tink still glows.
So. What I want is to be with him. Not…necessarily in terms of trying to have a partnership on a level that demands that one of us move to where the other one lives, though that doesn’t faze me as it once did, but I want a weekend. I want a day of shared space. Of mutual presence. Of figuring out if the shit in my head is anything more than shit in my head. Not putting carts before horses. But this, all of this, tells me, I gotta keep on this diet on track if this is really what I want. And I keep testing it and realizing that it is.
Who can say? Not I. Not I.
2017 is nigh.
I am inspired to do low-carb starting January 1. It’s coming out of my own desire to do it and not, I believe, out of this sense of needing to have a resolution. Not out of habit. It’s, instead, coming out of my own personal sense of needing to start the year working on myself because I want to see improvement. I want my life to be better, goddamnit, fabulous, even. Not choosing food to serve as an external release valve on all of my emotions. Of wanting to be able to get myself moved out of this limbo. I know that there’s a big event coming on the 9th where food will be funky. I know my birthday is coming again. Yet, I want to do this. I want to have a year-end change. It’s time to start pulling out the motivational picture albums, the MyFitnessPal, the FitBit or some form of pedometer and get to be excited about progress again.
So, I can’t do it all at once. But water, cutting carbs, tracking food and posting daily on MFP about it. That’s a path towards something. You will see me doing that, failing, upset, excited, not doing what you think I should, working really hard, being all over the map. But this is my intention.
I also pledge not to eat out more than once a week. That’s mostly about money, but I also eat so maniacally, it’s a way to help myself, too.
Just to reiterate, changes are going to happen here because…they have to. I can’t do another year of just posting moaning screeds. It’s a waste of my talents. I need to read. I so need to be reading so that the well has something other than marsh water to draw on. I can’t do better unless I do differently, so the post will happen in essence via MFP or me writing. I will be here weekly to spaz and cross-post, but it won’t be like it is now.
That scares the everloving shit out of me. I might accidentally just post. I don’t know.
The reading and the writing and the not just spending whole days restarting Civ IV games. I have to be conscious of how much time I cede to this thing. Even just waiting for people to respond to messages. It’s endless at times. I mean, I love it, it’s comforting, but it chains my ass to the bed for ages. I can’t be chained like this forever. Nothing is forever.
Every day we start over. The hand hangs out of the carriage and is grabbing in all directions. But I am sure that I like myself better for just that little bit of trying I am doing. So, I say how do you do, and I try and make jokes, and I try and express interest and comb my hair and buy (with gift certificates) new dresses and be cute and willing. And we’ll see.
I want to say that I’m a post-panic attack mess, but the thing about panic attacks is that when you’re over them, you’re out of the zone of panic, you’re fine. Or I am, typically. It feels ludicrous after the fact, except, there’s no way in hell you’d want to go right back and face it again. Today, however, I had multiple incidents of JUST NO GODDAMNIT.
I was fine driving to the parking garage. I parked, and looked around and realized I had driven to the opposite side of the freeway from where my bus would pick up. This meant, if I had any interest in not missing the bus, taking the walkover bridge. This, for most people, is not a thing. But my mind slipped its gear and suddenly, tunnel vision, heart racing, the usual effects. I paced about trying to not appear completely insane as people walked casually, strode earnestly across the bridge. I was feeling light-headed. The solution was right there. Eventually, the necessity of the thing somehow kicked in and I thought, I can see the buses over there. I can’t not get on the bus. The only busses I need are over there. I will do it. I will cross this evil looking unholy bridge.
And running my hand over the railing, my heart feeling as though it were a glob of coal furiously twitching out its last dying beats, walking like some sort of clomping psychopath, I crossed the bridge. And nobody knew that it felt as though I had defeated some sort of boss battle. Nobody knew how incredibly hard it was. Nobody cared as I bought my bus fare and calmly went to the downtown station and then took a lyft to the new job because I didn’t want to have to worry about finding the place on my first day.
Nobody cared as I sat quietly at my desk in our new space which is just a cubicle. There are people around, but we’re so tense, and feel, to my mind a bit like refugees trying to make our own space in this established country that it’s…well, it’s nothing like the shop. It’s sterile and claustrophobic and it’s nothing I want to experience, really, ever again, but I will. Even if I…well, eventually, it became time to go home.
And I laughed internally about what if I have some problem, wouldn’t that be awful. That joyful anxiety-based what if probe that never finds anything but blows up half my brain anyway. I shrugged it off, but then the lyft driver to the bus station was a mess once I finally got there and my initial start time to catch the bus back kept getting pushed back so that it had been nearly an hour since I left the office until I even got on the bus. Then, upon arriving at the station and getting in my car, I have this odd thought about how this place doesn’t look like any place I could ever be. My muscle memory won’t stop recalling how it felt to cross the walkover bridge even if I know I don’t have to do it.
It won’t stop cycling over and over as I leave the parking garage realizing I don’t want to be on this side, that I can’t be on this side, what road is this, it’s dark, I can see things I recognize right over the freeway, but I can’t move to get there…and then, full-blown meltdown.
I think my brain just realized that I was pushing it job change/life change/knuckle-down and bear it reaction right through and whatever calm I had before was gone. I pulled over and shook and cried and did the whole thing. Couldn’t get a hold of my sister, so I called my other sister and she was quite kind about it. Until she suggested I call my father, call uber or lyft and I was able to take a breath and manuever the car over to where I had intended to be.
And then, I sat and breathed through it and thought and twinged and flipped for about an hour in the parking lot. Stared at the cars as though they were weaponized.
Finally, FINALLY, time was time and the prospect of having anyone come and get me felt both deliriously right and tremendously wrong at the same time. Like, sure, it would in the instant relax and get rid of the panic, but then, I’d have to stave off the guilt. And if there’s anything in the world worse than panic (aside from the actual horrors of war, the actual traumas that exist), it is feeling guilty because you panic.
So, I rolled up this little ball of energy, the radio played a Paramore song. I thought I have power, I have an incredible superpower to fight through this now, I can do it, I can do it, I can do it. A mantra that would brook no opposition. And suddenly, I found myself at the taco place getting tacos and gasping because, well, it was easy, of course. So close. So simple.
Hah, oh, fuck.
I can’t express how much I hated that. Or how relieved I am I get a day away from it. I don’t think I can share with you what it felt like to know you can’t go home. Or how suddenly, you could.
But, it was a day. And the fight goes on.
It is of note…if this blog is useful for anything, it must be useful for noting a happenstance when it happens…that despite my wooly and overgrown driving fears right now, I took to the roads today and did not die. Despite trying a single time to finagle a ride from my father who was going to the same spot, albeit two hours later, I did not cry and sob and shake myself into a far greater sense of woe. Instead, I got out there and started it and started swiping as far as my little arms would allow to get off as much snow as I could reach. Then, once that was done, I had no real excuse not to try and go. So, go I went, down the backest back roads to avoid the pressure of honking drivers from whom I could never get any compassion even if I could pull over and talk to them about the whole panic situation. Instead of thinking about the thing, I did the thing. I did not slide. I did not speed. I did not risk or hurry to appease the drivers behind me. I did not do anything reasonable or unreasonable and I parted the waves of the White Sea and made my way to the Frozen Babylon of the little shop.
Where people did come out, even at 2 degrees above zero, to buy presents at a far greater rate than I would have anticipated. I had thought in my mind that somehow, a cold day, a foot of snow, people would just lay off shopping for a while. But no. I stayed busy all the way up until the evening’s end when the kind co-worker who lives within walking distance sent me home.
And from there, we did it again, slowly picking my way across the landscape, going very slow, but not allowing the panic to rise to any sort of noteworthy level. It was a bit like being in a trance, driving through the foothills in the dark, watching the road that seemed clear but was actually just snow-packed, not thinking that at any moment I might fishtail to my doom, but just being aware of it needing to take care. So after an hour of this fugue state, I got to the parking lot, and ended up taking a left turn and bringing myself to Old Chicago.
It was odd. There’s something validating to me about being in public alone, something that re-affirms and defines the fact that if I am single and/or alone, I can be fearless about it. Or at least, it’s nothing that requires fear. It felt like I didnt want the magic of self-sufficiency to die on the frozen vine.
But now, quite loaded with calzone for bear, I am giddy for the fact that the morning will bring with it no demands for travel. I can stay warm and play video games and plot presents (some of which I actually have bought now.) I can, briefly, think that there is a holiday coming with something other than considerable blankness.
This is a good night.
It is nice to be mouthless. Something I could never have reckoned with as a girl who wanted Hello Kitty to be free to speak her Hello Kitty thoughts. But it is nice not to have to tell you stories of distemper and distaste, not to have to show up and look weak, not to have to…
Sometimes I sit still and I feel as though I have got the whole nation, the whole world’s despair not only over their choice (willing or otherwise) of leader, but of every last little discomfort in their lives. Every last thing going wrong shuffling about in your head, oh cripes, it’s here in mine. It’s not right. It’s killing us. It’s too much.
It’s not yours, something like the Faithful Light will remind me, you only have that slag heap over there. That’s it. All the rest of it is not yours. But, I think, I see it. I know that it exists – hungry babies, pissed-off fathers, the snow in the morning, this grinding in my skull, that any day something horrible will happen – it will, it’s unavoidable – the inevitable brokenness of every last thing. I have just been ignoring it for a while, but it’s true. It’s true how terrible it is.
But. I sit longer and it is also true that I have ice in the freezer which makes the water better to drink and which makes me feel full. I have a mentor who texts me to come in later, to feel better, to get my spunk back. I have a mind that reads spunk and still laughs. I have a mother sleeping soundly in her bed surrounded by my father who loves her and a dog that believes she is the closest thing there is to God. I have kind friends who multiply the thin wisps of kindness I deign to blow hither and thither. I have a dear maniac and a dear brick of a cat. I am not so terribly sick as I might be.
I also had my card today so I was able to buy gas and lunch. That felt entirely luxurious. That and despite the panic attacks, the ones that keep ramping up because I feel so down about my ability to quash them and the insurance shit and the money shit and the other shit, I was able to get home before the snow fell. That’s good.
I did a few things today. I did what I was asked and a sliver more.
So I am going to run off and try and write a few things before this computer crumbles beneath my fingertips. There’s always Fallen London and some DAI to chase around. I am okay. A few hours here and I feel better even if I’m having the neck/shoulders/teeth grinding thing which upsets everything terribly. I am alright. Eventually, maybe we’ll stretch our legs and try and climb up to that next rung on the ladder. But tonight, alright’s alright, alright?
Things we do tonight:
Pack the bag for tomorrow – this will mean that there probably won’t be a post tomorrow now that I think of it. I do want to get up early enough to hit the library to print my resume, just in case.
None of that is of particular importance to me right now.
I am looking back at tweets and posts and thoughts from two years ago, digging into the massive digital archive I have of my emotional wellbeing or lack thereof, and realizing that it was precisely two years ago that I gave my notice. That it was precisely three years ago I started the writers group (which, despite my hiatus, is carrying on in my absence, which I love because that means I can bring a fabulous draft back to them when I am ready and present and attentive). That it was about this time four years ago when the driving panic really set in.
There’s a moving forward and a pulling back and I don’t know what it all means, but I know, know, know, know that I need stability so that I can work on myself and never be consumed by my job again. So that if there’s a Mumford show, it can’t sneak up on me and I have thoughts about whether or not I’m capable of enjoying it. Whether or not I’m capable of experiencing it with anything other than this hairshirt distracting me from the joy that is my reality.
I am wildly frustrated at my boss. She’s so wigged out about everything that she’s at the fully checked out stage. Nothing is working so there’s just goofy ideas about cat cafes and…Nothing and I find myself unable to carry the spear that will pop her and bring her down to earth. There’s just constant bad news, we have to move from the massive, free-rent office space we have, and the few co-workers that remain are exhausted by this drama and being let down day after day. It’s just not acceptable. It’s daily regression. It’s not fair after everything I’ve given up to see it work.
Here’s the trajectory I want. New job, potentially at the place I am visiting tomorrow, though, it’s just talk. The thing about whatever new job is that it will be steady, regular work for regular pay. This means I get my weekends back. Evening and weekends, that’s time for writing. Getting your hair cut on a regular basis, starting this whole exercise routine that improve my disposition. Put this story to bed, start writing articles, doing little things that build my capacity to write fiction on a daily basis. Really dig into my projects and eventually, eventually, write full-time at home. Do that whilst being in mad love with someone.
That’s the glory I want, I am gunning for, I deserve without changing a hair on my stressed-out head.
And now, Sleepytime tea, no computer glare to wake me up, a good try at catching Queen Mab as she sails.