Friday night

Why does Friday night always suck the worst?

I’m not talking about TV.  I don’t own a TV.  I’m not talking about dates.  My boyfriend died ten years ago.   Ten years ago, and they say it doesn’t matter, cuz we weren’t married.

Well, I’m tellin’ ya, I was bawling over him on the bus just yesterday.  I saw a truck that I knew belonged to his family’s business.  So I said to myself, “No one else knows this little fact.”  And I sat on the bus not caring one bit if anyone saw the tears run down my face.

“So I’m a bit crazy, ” I told this guy on the street later on.

“Yeah, the economy sucks, too,” he said.  “You can’t get a job.  No one can get a job these days,” he said, shaking his head.  He was smoking a ciggie.  No, I didn’t tell him he was gonna drop dead of lung cancer or put him down for wasting his dough.  I don’t criticize or tell people to go to hell for having a good time now and then.  I do get pissed off when people act like assholes, though.

“That’s why my brother won’t let me talk to his daughter, cuz I’m crazy,” I told the guy.  “They don’t want their daughter knowing her crazy aunt.  I’ve met my niece like three times in her fucking life.  Three times.  Cuz they are ashamed of me.”

He shook his head.  “It takes all types,” he said.

Then my bus came right past us and stopped a bunch of feet further up.  I ran to get it.  It was hard to run, I don’t recall quite why, maybe I was carrying an umbrella or something.

Regarding baloney (not bologna) and my eating disorder and society and the recent tragedy in Newtown, CT

No, my eating disorder is not a person.  No, my eating disorder is not named “Ed” and I’ve never thought of it as such.  Nor “Ana.”  I’m not married to my eating disorder and it isn’t a voice that speaks to me.

“Don’t listen to Ed,” they say. “Ed is talking to you.”

Or, “You are speaking in your ‘Ed voice.’  Stop it.”

Naw, there is  no Ed unless you fall for that baloney.  And you don’t have to. As soon as you discard the bullshit, it’s gone.

I think often of life as a road.  I grew up on Robert Frost’s poem about the path in the woods that was less traveled.  I guess I took that path.  That’s what mental illness is about.  You’re on a bumpy, lonely road.

Being a pedestrian, I tend to stick to the sidewalk of life.  There’s enough here to keep me interested.  It’s all I can do, all anyone can do, to look both ways before crossing the street.  Sometimes, you can cross with the crowd during rush hour and that pretty much guarantees that you won’t be hit.  Or so I’d like to believe.  I like to think of it as safety in numbers.

I don’t know.  Are we safe in crowded movie theaters?  Is 26 a high enough number?

Adam Lanza wasn’t born with a gun in his hand.  I wasn’t born the bitter, angry, spiteful, and resentful person I am today.

That’s what they say about bullies, that bullies are people who were bullied.  Bullies are made.  By the road.  By that bumpy, lonely road.

Imagine: You are at a social gathering, a party, say, and there’s someone there you don’t want to deal with.  Maybe you owe this person money.  Or maybe this person smells.  Or maybe you heard through the grapevine that this person tends to ask for too many favors.  Or calls too much.  Or is a little too loud.  Or has an accent you struggle to understand.  Or has health problems you don’t want to hear about.  Or is otherwise inconvenient.  There are always days when there are people we want to avoid.  So you’re at this party, and whenever this smelly, inconvenient person draws near, you take a few steps away.  The party ends and you breathe a sigh of relief.  Phew!  You’ve avoided talking to her yet another day.

Guess what?  I am that person people have been avoiding, and I’ve noticed.  Adam Lanza surely noticed, too.

I suppose folks like me, out of defense, build walls or blockades around us or we retreat into some kind of hellish bubble.   Sometimes, I think of my eating disorder as part of that private, lonely world.  What did Adam think of it as?

It’s time we all crossed the barriers.  Just toss out the baloney, everything you’ve heard about me.  I didn’t ask for my eating disorder, I just ended up here.   We’re all travelers.  When we hold hands, the rocky parts seem to smooth out a bit, and we’re less likely to fall.

Finders Keepers Losers Weepers

They say that the change of season is the time to say goodbye to the old, and perhaps also time to bring in the new.  People talk about renewal and growth and change.

We are nearing the solstice and it’s a time to think about darkness and light and the sun.

It occurs to me that right now I am sitting here at my desk and besides my lone desk lamp, the light coming from the computer monitor, and a small amount of daylight coming in through a nearly closed shade, there is no light in here.  Sure, there are other lights I could turn on, and I could raise all my shades, but I choose not to.

No, I honestly feel that the “negative energy” (as someone recently put it) that I currently experience has absolutely nothing to do with “absence of light,” “seasonal affective disorder,” “holiday blues,” or anything like that.  Cold, ice, and snow pose practical difficulties for me and discomfort but do not cause “depression,” if you want to call it that.

It’s my circumstances that make me this way.  It’s the way people treat me.  It’s the general attitude and the disrespect I get from society in general.  It’s tough to live with from day to day, so I’ve become bitter.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again…..Mental illness is three-fold:

1) The way we are inside
2) The way society treats us
3) The result of “treatment”

…not necessarily equally proportioned, and not proportioned the same for everyone.  Some never seek treatment or are never able to afford treatment, so #3 may not apply.  A few people luck out, generally those with money, and receive decent, appropriate, respectful treatment, and these lucky people improve.  Most, however contract secondary illnesses or symptoms or side effects as a result of routine treatment or inappropriate treatment or downright bad treatment.

I believe that I became the bitter, angry bitch that I am that no one can stand to be around because of #2 and #3.  People are not born bitter and angry and I was not this way as a child, certainly.

I wasn’t even this way a few years ago.  I was searching around for a thumb drive to transfer my Nano book onto, as I don’t want to keep it on the thumb drive it’s on now.  I located one I haven’t used for years.  I plugged it into my computer and was surprised to find some old videos made in 2007.  I viewed one of them.  This was made before I relapsed with my anorexia.  I was immersed in graduate school and Puzzle was about a year old.

My first reaction?  No, I did not say, “Oh my god, I’m so fat!”…well, I did say that, but my very first reaction before the “f” word was to note how slowed down I seemed on so much medication.   Sure enough, I took out a huge box and showed the audience all my bottles of pills, stating that I took meds four times a day.   I showed the audience a pile of papers and stated that this was the work I was doing for graduate school.

I had only been watching the flick for a few seconds when the “fat” adjectives started running through my head.  I promised myself I would never look like that again.  I asked myself, “How could I stand to look like that when now, x pounds lighter, I still feel like I need to lose weight, and am still starving myself?”

Seeing Puzzle pop onscreen at the end of the video made it worth its weight in gold, as they say.  She was such a little fuzzy floppy little creature at a year old.

Recently, as I was finishing up Nano, I found another video of myself, made a few weeks after the summer solstice of this year.  Readers, you may or may not remember this, but back then, I was suffering from severe binge eating.  In the video, dated in July, I am in a state of despair over my weight and the fact that I felt that the binge eating would never end.  I was heavier than I am now.  I had sought treatment and was unable to find appropriate treatment anywhere.  It wasn’t affordable or it was inaccessible to me.

I watched the video a few nights ago.  It made me so, so sad.  I cringed seeing my face because (sorry, only being honest here) my cheeks seemed “fat” to me and the expression on my face was one of pure misery.  And again, just being honest, I had no desire to go on living.  And no, no one knew the depth of this and no one ever found out even after I was “sectioned.”  I was “sectioned” for petty reasons and I never admitted my suicidality to anyone.  Not that I’m going to talk about it all that much here.  Again, this was a number of months ago.

I like that I have old videos.  I like that today, I gave away a dress to charity.  It is one of the dressed I hid in last spring.  I hid my body because I was ashamed of weight gain.  So in that sense, I was throwing out clothes that symbolized a miserable time.  Some people, when they lose weight, toss out their “fat clothes” but this dress was more like “hiding clothes.”

And bring in the new….On my way home from the clothes charity drop box, I found a necktie on the ground.  It is still wet, and I am hanging it to dry.  I see no stains on it.  Finders keepers losers weepers.

I am a loser and a weeper but I have found a treasure today.  And it fits, too.  Joy to the world.