Asking for help, 17 September 2017, 2018, 17 March, 2019

From 2017, three days gone:

I am not ever one to ask for help. But I am one to realize when things are beyond my grasp, beyond my capabilities. So with all of the love and support and heart that you all have shown me from the beginning of this total and complete horror show (and really? For a long time before this), I am learning to ask for help.

My friend Jennifer (has) created a YouCaring fundraiser for me, to help get me through this next part of my life. This difficult, insanely stressful part of my life.

Thank you all for the love you have shown, and continue to show me and Gary.

From 2018, one year and three days gone :

The daily struggle to survive is real. The money that everyone so generously raised last year paid for Gary​ to be cremated. That’s it. The entire $4600. Every day since, every bill, every single thing gets weighed in importance. I’ve been putting off Mojo​ getting his teeth cleaned because I need to return more bottles and cans. Somewhere along the way the YC fundrasiser page disappeared. No clue.

There was no life insurance, no pension, no 401(k). It’s all on me, my part-time job, and selling my art.

If you can give, even a little, please. I have no pride anymore. No shame.

I have Venmo and PayPal ( An Amazon wishlist (which right now is mostly a holding place to watch the price of bras I desperately need to replace).

Asking for help shatters the last bit of hope I had.

From this Friday, 542 days later, and today:

Mojo (whatagoodboy) waiting to be seen by Dr. Romano for his well-baby checkup and dental work. This little dude is the more scaredy-cat of my pair of knockabout clowns, but he really is an amazing creature. He always knows when his Momma needs him and snuggles right in.
UPDATE: Home now, a little wobbly, but really none the worse for wear💜💜
And that was more than my entire paycheck. Worth it. Worth every penny.
But still more than my paycheck.

I stopped paying my mortgage in September. I never had the intention of completely defaulting but the bank (thank, Wells Fargo!) refused to work with me until I did, until I had completely destroyed my credit. My house, our house is now in foreclosure. I have come around to the idea that I need to find a smaller place. That I need to let go of this place. The idea no longer terrifies me; I’m resigned to it. I need to stay in this city that I have grown to love, Peekskill, where my created family lives.

I am simply frozen. There is so much I have not gotten done, so much piling up and broken. So much I know I’m overpaying for (hello, Verizon wireless and internet!) but am completely unable to take care of. I certainly don’t need the upload/download speeds that Gary did, but I know for sure I’ll get taken advantage of. Because that is what happens.

I am adrift.

As the inevitable waves of depression wash over me I do everything I can to ease them: listen to the “groovy shit” and “boss BITCH” playlists I made on Spotify, write, snuggle wee beasties, plan playtime, EAT SOMETHING FFS, use some CBD, head into the studio to set type for the orders I desperately need to print. Messing about with my little secret garden. My mother is coming over in a few hours to help me clean and organize, to help make some sense of this mess. Knitting with one of my best girls was cancelled because her shitheel of an ex has yet again decided to be a totally pernicious twit of a narcissistic asshole. So instead of knitting and dishing, I’m writing, and listening to good music while snuggly bois wind around my legs. And making my plan for the day.

Which, as I see it, isn’t the worst thing that could be happening. I’ve managed, by spending this time writing and attaching Spotify links and stuff, to elevate my mood. I’ve responded to an email chain that continues to make me happy.

Gotta go. Shower’s running.

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.