breezy, uncertain i woke to grey light, dim the temporary buoyancy of yesterday, the day before gone. sometime in the night it left, stole away, slunk away embarrassed to have lifted only to leave “i’m sorry,” whispers on the breeze “i’m sorry, that wasn’t for you.”
i’m sorry that wasn’t for you.
my shoulders all wound together knit together, snicked tightly, bound. the hand that holds my pipe tensed and clawed the tips of my fingers white from the pressure
unclench your hand, look at your fingers. sit up, you don’t have to get up. sit up straight, you can stretch. you remember most of it. take in deep breaths of this shaded air look up aggressively blue sky hidden (thankfully) mostly by the canopy there are a lot of silvery clouds breaking up the blue
today feels very uncertain, I feel the mania pulling my shoulders together i will do everything that I can but there is only so much available.
i hate being alone so much. i hate it hate it hateithateithateit quiet and alone and lonely and cold even in this heat cold. even in this heat the cold strangles my blood freezing it cold solid cold i shiver in this heat.
i could have stayed at yours but no. i am afraid. the rain, the dark, the aloneness. you held me in your arms you squeezed me closer felt the heat bloom from my body setting it afire holding me closer. i tangled my fingers in yours hoping to keep some of you for me when i go.
i sit in your kitchen, smoking vibrating in place i cant sit still inside i don’t know how i appear, manic, most likely i hate coming to you, needful, needy. i don’t think i ever feel pity from you, i don’t think (if i begin to think i won’t let go so lets just not)
i know i am not always like this i know that but right now i am very much like this and it is hard to be. much less be around.
It is currently 29°F outside, actual feel of 22°F. I am outside for my morning medication: today is cannabis and coffee. I’ve already taken my fish oil, but there’s no one to say anything about that if I take that in my kitchen. So I come outside after having dressed for the weather. This includes: underwear, thick socks, two pairs of flannel pajama bottoms, a long sleeved shirt over a short sleeved shirt, a fleece hoodie, my purple fuzzy robe with white stars, a knitted neck warmer, a knitted hat. I have spiked my coffee with hot cocoa mix and butter to make the warmth seem thicker and more long-lasting.
I have a medical marijuana card. Up until *very* recently, whole flower was not allowed to be sold in medical dispensaries. Smoking whole flower is the method of delivery that works best for me. If vaping worked for me, I could probably get away with vaping inside my apartment, although I really wouldn’t want to try. But it doesn’t. Smoking whole flower is what works. I no longer engage in practices that are meant to be good for me but in actuality, aren’t. Imagine if instead of taking your anti-anxiety meds by pill, you had to have them by suppository and you had to do that outside because that’s what the law dictated. Just because.
When it is colder than this, or when the weather is shit, or after dark (I feel like a D!sney princess out here sometimes, skunks ((Flower!)), raccoons, possums, cats, ALL the squirrels), I sit in the car. Even with the engine off, this is illegal to do. When I have zoom therapy and I am home I do it in my car or outside so that I can smoke. So that I can medicate. When I have zoom therapy and I’m at a friend’s house, I can be inside and warm and still medicate.
No other medication is subjected to restrictions and procedures like this. This is inhumane. Could you imagine if I told you you had to go outside for your heart medication if you weren’t well off enough to own your own home with private property? If I told you you had to take your cholesterol meds every morning but go outside somewhere on the street, what would happen?
And if I told you that unless you had the wherewithal, you couldn’t have a get-together with friends and have a smoke sesh. Have all the wine and cheese parties you want, every book club has its Bordeaux, every rehearsal dinner its Riesling, but no ma’am, you’re not allowed to enjoy this totally legal thing where you live, where you love, where you entertain. What would you do? What would you say?
People are going to consume where they are able to consume. Where they are forced to consume. This has always, and will continue to be what happens. By welcoming dispensaries and consumption lounges into Peekskill, by allowing smoking in specific areas of our many public parks, we are making our residents and visitors feel more comfortable and welcomed.
Last year I turned off Facebook memories for 2017-2018-2019 for this week beginning today. Today is the beginning of the end. Today is the beginning of the last week that Gary was alive.
So much in my life has changed in the last four years. I am not the same person who I was four years ago. I am not the same person I was forty years ago.
Forty years ago is when my bipolar disorder began to truly manifest in ways that other people could see. When my behavior became outwardly observable. Things that only I could see and feel and experience from age five were finally coming to the surface. The person that I grew into, the person that I became was by necessity, a damaged, broken, angry, fearful thing. I was shaped by my experience, by the storms inside my brain that no one could understand, but the results of which everyone could see.
The person that Gary met, she was a powerhouse. She had divorced her first and second husbands. She was taking care of her cats. She was running her own shop, she had an employee, she was working a lot. She was working out a lot. She was taking care of everything around her. She was not taking healthy self care.
She was, however, manic 24/7 and hella cute and driven. And on fire.
She is still here, in my brain, part of The Committee. She listens mostly. Doesn’t have much to say anymore, more an observer. She sits back and nods knowingly, joint in hand, smoke curling from her lips. She is Rosie Revisited, captured in a portrait, hanging on my wall. There are times when she does speak, a forceful, if gentle “STOP IT.” I have evidence.
Four years ago I was forced to stop. I became incapable of movement in any appreciable direction. The formerly driven, push-through-ahead-no-matter-how-miserable-it-makes-you person could not go any further. The “attack wife” had no fight left. I had no accountability to any other human. There was no one there for better or for worse. My life spun completely and totally out of control. I lost things, am losing things I can never get back. And yet…
I have found a new self, a calmer, more even self. I am finding the capacity for euthymia, for a happy evenness above my emotional equator. A firm-yet-squishy pleasantness that exists beyond the edges of what I smoke and carries me through the day and into my involvements with others.
I am no longer miserable.
In voicing this thought, however, there is such exquisite pain for the reality that Gary could have been helped. That perhaps he too could have finally found some measure of relief, as I have. That we just hadn’t gotten here yet in researching. That given enough time, we would have.
We didn’t have enough time. But I do.
I miss you so much. I wish you could see me now. I wish you could hear me now. I wish I could talk to you. The only thing you can do is listen.
And all I really want is to hear what you have to say.
think i had a psychotic episode today. i don’t know for sure. it was while i was driving.
what i do know is that the fear and terror that i felt was as bad as it has ever been terror and fear so huge that it overtakes everything but there was no pain no physical pain to be afraid of just the fear that always accompanies it no looming precipice in front of me nothing different about the day. nothing.
what i do know is that approaching ten thirty this morning while i was driving while i was driving i was filled with overwhelming dread i mean serious fucking dread like a tornado sky out of the clear blue. arguing with myself over what to do really, i mean come ON wtf look at the complete lack of signal how much further now? not much i pulled over as soon as it was safe enough hazards on, music on into the deep we go i had to tell someone what to do, it became clear. i pulled over, made a short video. said what i needed to say that i am okay (i do not believe that for a second FUCK no but i don’t understand what’s happening, either) my phone pin. my master password. again that i am okay but i need to tell, i need to say. in case. so no one is sitting there with my dead hand in theirs trying to get into my phone the way i did. the way i had to. i have no plans. no ideation. only the nearly ever-present need to fight to stay connected to the earth.
i did my job today. i did my job well, today. it was non stop and busy and there were too many people and now i am . and now i am sitting barefoot on my couch too overwhelmed by everything to want any noise near me the noise inside my head, also nonstop the pain in my hip from not resting but for ten minutes, nonstop shoulders, tense, up around my ears hot tears fall, splashing my lenses i can barely breathe.
i do not want to be alive right now i want to be not here right now i do not want anything other than to not fucking exist right now but i can’t write that and post it now because everyone will freak the fuck out so i cant post it i cant reach out i cant scream i cant tell anyone i just have to not do anything not do anything not do anything just sit with this and struggle and scream inside my own head and not do anything nothing nothing nothing
nothing. it is all i can do to sit and type and the stench of that motherfuckers cigarillo is in my fucking apartment and all i want to do is punch him in his fucking dumb face
nothing. nothing i cannot do a thing i will scream and scream and scream and not stop and i cannot stop i have to do nothing.
i know if i open my mouth i will scream and scream and not stop so i dont
nothing. my shoulders are tense and around my ears and tight this empty this noise this noise this noise this noise . there is no enjoy there is not any enjoy.
i need to smoke. i need to smoke but it does not last my plant is so thirsty she needs so much attention i cannot give her the attention the care she needs she is suffering.
i take great big gulps of air but it is not enough there is not enough air..
i am going to go smoke and maybe it will be enough if i just smoke enough
nothing is enough my brain is on fire and falling into a crevasse there is no end to the fire no bottom in sight
it is a relatively quiet evening even with the idiotic clapping of some fucking asshole for some fucking reason even with the assault of garbage music that competes with blasting television noise no yeti-footed neighbor upstairs (took his black-and-tans and split) stop with the fucking clapping for fuck’s sake already
i don’t want music i don’t want noise i want silence nothing interfering
my eyes are dry, for now core unclenched, shoulders still tight, but lower i can think about packing a bowl now try without becoming frustrated, fucking it up easy to do in general, yes but nothing is easy and if that asshole doesn’t stop clapping soon
You need to stop what you’re doing and listen to what’s linked below. A love poem to New York by Roger Cohen called “I Forgive You, New York”.
I’d had to stop listening to it when it first aired; too painful. But if there’s one thing I’ve learned over the past fifty-two years, it’s that painful things can’t be avoided forever. I’ve learned how to lean into the pain, breathe through it, adding potsmoke as often as necessary, let it untangle, unsnarl. To understand that not everything that happens is meant to be understood. That in itself has been infuriating, frustrating, obliviating. That even though I am hurt, hurting, in pain. That even though, I can’t be sure that I will ever know why. That I can’t compel the answer. That nothing I can do, no innate power of mine is enough, no existing love and care and kindness is enough, that I have to accept that I may never know. Because even if I went against my nature, blew shit up, caused a lot of unhappiness past my own, that not even that would be a sure thing. And that so many more people would get hurt for nothing.
So I can only appeal to better natures to tell me. I can only be hopeful that better natures exist and that I have not been completely misled for so long.
And if that is the case, then I really, really need to be gentle with myself. Because learning that painful a lesson is going to take a long time to absorb.
(i am hoping) jesus gods i am hoping i am hoping that it is just that you are busy that there isn’t some other reason “oops, it looks like his phone has been off/disconnected for awhile.”
we have been disconnected the last thing i know you saw of mine was thursday, even though i text you every day, almost. (i know you are busy. i am not complaining.)
six days ago. disconnected.
it will be five months since we’ve seen each other no longer am i worried it’s something i’ve done no more paranoia around that particularly fun attribute of my chemical rollercoaster no. you are a doctor. there is this virus.