Posts tagged with "pieces of me"

quiet revolution

Depression has added an extra cost to everything I do. Something as simple as buying groceries means making sure my energy levels are carefully paced for a few days before I leave the house, and being too burned out to do any form of interaction for a few days after. If something goes wrong during the process — a night of poor sleep, a sick cat, a loss of motivation, a colitis flare-up — and I run out of spoons, the problems cascade and I end up having to cancel my plans.

That’s why I choose to spend time with people who understand what it truly costs me to function; they happen to be the ones who are consistently reliable, very understanding if I have to cancel, and put as much effort into maintaining the relationship as I do.1

Heather portrait

Heather started tapering off her dose of venlafaxine cause she feels stable enough to take the risk2, and wants to start working without the associated mental haze. Even though music is still a joyless experience, the fact that she’s getting excited about Halloween again is a sign that she’s finally healing.

She doesn’t mind carrying more emotional labour (and I remain willfully ignorant, for the time being), cause she knows I’m playing life on hard mode. My job is to make sure she feels appreciated for doing more than her fair share. The crises we’ve been weathering together since we met means our honeymoon phase was cut short, but neither of us mind, cause intimacy is what we were missing for so long.3

self portrait at 35

The fact that it takes me fewer days be to comfortable around anyone when my insecurities get the better of me means I’m gaining some small form of equanimity. I still have moments when I feel too damaged to be happy, too worthless to be loved, or too broken to be fixed, but it takes me less time to realign my perceptions with reality. The lows aren’t as debilitatingly deep either.

I’ve been using the momentum to take small steps out of my comfort zone; spending more time in difficult situations, learning to be emotionally vulnerable, exploring new ways of expressing myself4, processing parts of the past I’ve tried my best to forget. Even though I’m anxious to feel normal again, I’m forced to recognize my limitations and keep myself paced. I know I’m not where I want to be, but I’m moving in the right direction. That’s enough to keep me going for now.

  1. Also, perhaps not-coincidentally, usually people who have deal with some form of depression or chronic illness in their lives. []
  2. I still have no idea whether mine are keeping me afloat, but the fact that I don’t suffer any side-effects means I’ll be on them for the foreseeable future. []
  3. Finding my underwear washed and folded one day — a responsibility I’ve never shared with any girlfriend — gave me the weirdest boner. []
  4. The only luxury purchase for me this year has been an Impact LX-49 MIDI controller. []

lessons learned on the path to awakening

Order matters. Timing is important. It’s helpful to arrive at the point where things can only get better, but losing everything takes time. Making mistakes is okay. Being unable to cope is okay. Not being ready to say it back is okay. Life is a balance between holding on and letting go. Some people should never have children. You’re only over someone when you don’t need to make a conscious effort to stop thinking about them. The first step in taking responsibility for your needs is communicating those needs.

cat

Cats are little bundles of non-judgmental, unassuming, food-conditional love.

I need to be with listeners more than talkers. A day spent writing letters that will never be read isn’t a waste. Some people don’t know how to help, but that doesn’t mean they don’t care. It’s important to make peace with one’s suffering. You never stop growing with the right people in your life. She never loved me more than the words I wrote. The last thing I want is to be ignored when I open up. It’s okay when friends prioritize their kids before me. It’s okay to prioritize myself before anyone else. Always be mindful of long hair when cuddling.

Foxhole party

There are people who love me enough to save my life (and pants are optional at their parties).

The ones with a little bit of darkness to them tend to be more interesting. If a guy in a suit is cute like me, that means I’m cute like him. Lisa is my third cat and that’s enough for now. I deserve to be happy. A bad trip doesn’t necessarily mean a bad experience. Strength is often quiet, receptive determination, rather than chest-thumping pushiness. Being kind to difficult people is just as important as being kind to benefactors and friends; being kind to myself is most important of all.

is this it

I learned that the measure of a man is his ability to stir-fry bok choi hearts.

That High Fidelity is the new (500) Days of Summer.

That it’s nice to be needed.

That I still wonder if I’m forgotten.

That it’s not so much that I don’t have anything to write about, but nothing ever seems important enough to put down on paper nowadays.

That I say oh my god a lot.

That food poisoning is like a laxative for both ends.

That I’m allowed to miss her.

That it’s okay to think others are cute too.

That I’m doing the whole Swingers thing with Lisa, where she’s trying to convince me I’m a big fucking bear.

That I can’t read signals.

That it doesn’t matter whether or not you’re invited, as long as you’re happy where you are.

Jealous Jeffrey

It’s the first day we haven’t talked, something neither of us expected until some time next month. I think an ounce of Jäger will serve as company instead, and maybe a digestif for the healthy salmon (who must have swam 100000km before being caught) that was thanked for dinner. It burns the stomach and the throat, but doesn’t keep me warm.

Sometimes, she teases by calling me Jealous Jeffrey. It’s likely she’s gone to bed cause she has to get up early tomorrow, fallen asleep after a pilsner she grabbed from work. But the mind wanders, and I think of her at a Sigma Nu party, being hit on by some frat boy with a popped collar and a striped wristband around his forearm.

I never worry though, not cause I know she’s mine, but because she does.

Lover/Dreamer

(+5 bonus points if you get the album reference.)

Thumbnail: Heart in the window

I really do have love to give! I just don’t know where to put it!

—Quiz Kid Donnie Smith, Magnolia

Okay, I’ll admit it.

I need to love. I need it, the way I need to eat.

This is the same part of me that notices the faint outlines of hearts drawn in car windows. Also, the same part that marvels about that adolescent point in life, when one would draw something so simple and insignificant because the only worry was whether or not someone liked you back.

So when I don’t have someone to love, it fucking kills me.