breathe. 3 July, 2018

Today was pretty okay.

Yesterday though, yesterday was most definitely not okay.

Yesterday I came as close to suicidal as I have in a very, very long time. Yesterday I nearly gave up; gave in. Was frantic enough, manic enough to not be able to focus for long enough on the idea of Teaz’ka and Mojo to keep me off the razor’s edge. Yesterday I nearly lost everything; my struggle with my illness, my sanity, my life. Exactly six people had any glimmer of an idea that I was in trouble; two of them I work with, who listened to me struggle to keep my composure at work. The second two had the misfortune of being on the other end of the phone working at places I desperately needed help from and were as sympathetic as their scripts would allow but absolutely got off the calls as quickly as possible because really, who wants to listen to that. The final two, only these most important two humans know the actual extent, the depth of the abject terror I was in thrall to. To these two I am eternally grateful. You helped to save my life. You listened (over text because again, I was working and could just manage texting) and gave me the virtual equivalent of soft murmurs and comforting touches. “Breathe”, you both admonished carefully. “Just breathe.” What I heard, what I took away was “Keep breathing, just keep breathing. I’ll help you. I’m here”. You listened not only to my words but to my tone, my cadence, my silent keening. You were there.

To the rest of my friends, my family, I cannot “just reach out” and “let you know” if I need anything. I cannot. It is the most difficult thing to admit, to take in, that I need help. Obviously I know that I need help, that I am struggling, suffering mightily, that I cannot do this all by myself. “But you’re strong!” you might think. “You’ve done so well!” you comfort yourself, thinking that I really am doing so well. I am not. I am not strong. I am not doing well, not at all.

I am failing, breaking. Things are failing, breaking. Systems, physical things, mental things, failing. Breaking. The CPAP mask I use to breathe at night is two years old. Designed to fail after six months and be replaced. Going through insurance is a nightmare on the best day, so Gary and I had gone around insurance, paying out of pocket. This time it would still be out of pocket since I haven’t yet my deductible, but it would go towards fixing that. I’d done the work to get mine replaced, yes, late, but I should have it by now. I don’t. Glitches between systems causing failures, no one advising me of that, just wasting time as my sleep dwindles to near-zero. Summertime homicidal dysphoric mania/mixed states coupled with no sleep throupled with 100° temperatures outside/86° temperatures inside my house. Take away nearly every cent I have to pay for luxuries like housing and commuting and bullshit expenses like electricity and oil and food. Pile on predatory degenerates hunting widows like game for a tv show. Mix in fear for my father’s upcoming surgery and all that entails, needing more than anything to be there to see his face when he wakes up, both for his sanity and my own.

I’ve had a consultation with an MMJ doctor, have been prescribed medical marijuana. The time in between the relief of the consult and attendant prescription, waiting for my card to come from the Department of Health, waiting to register and make an appointment at the dispensary in White Plains has been excruciating. Scraping up the money for that doctor’s fee, while well worth it, has been eye-opening; humbling. I won’t go into detail. In between that, I’ve availed myself of hemp-based CBD which has helped, but yesterday? Nothing helped; nothing touched my fear. I kept from taking the Klonopin in my purse by not wanting to feel dead. As much pain, as much anguish as there was yesterday for me, my two, what? Saviors, angels? No, because they are so very human, but these two walked me away from the edge, talked me down from the breathless height of that pain. Breathe, they said. I breathed. Between the three of us I was able to calm down enough to just breathe, to use the CBD and exhale, to let it work. Enough to give in and accept the gift of a new mask. Enough to get me to the appointment at the dispensary. Enough to talk coherently (I think) to the pharmacist who wore a shirt that read “cannabis is medicine.” Enough to drive home with my new medicine, to medicate and feed the cats, to then take my own new meds. And they work.

I still have no idea how I am going to make it work, to make ends meet, none at all. I work, I commute, I make and sell my art. It isn’t enough. There are things I can do, have done, of which I am not proud and of which I am even less comfortable, that help. Which I think cannot be avoided to an extent.

Today was pretty okay, calm, even. Thanks to people I love, people who love me, to MMJ, to breathing.

I am breathing. Still.

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