What Brought You Here?

Saturday, December 29, 2007

DBT is *hard*

This was originally a reply to the excessively chippy commentary/addendum/rebuttal? left by a Buddhist-Scientologist on MDMA (i.e. "wattsian") after a review of Skills Training Manual for Treating Borderline Personality Disorder. As usual, I said too much and rambled too long. And since little in life sucks with greater force than that of amazon bandwidth published by those who've never laid eyes on the product, I did the usual. . .

I agree w/ gutenberg. I've just started trying to look at a couple of the skills with a therapist I'm fortunate enough to see2X a week, and I can scarcely comprehend a fraction of what we manage to go over together, let alone retain and apply it.

It's all well and good to use active verbs like "to encourage" "to choose" and "to learn", I suppose, when you're not struggling to effectively (conjugate) "be" through the cognitive dulling of a sick brain. Idealist- I certainly agree with you that there's a pandemic of the "worried well" in the US, and it's pretty scary that even some MDs no longer pretend to differentiate between commercial materials and clinical matter. I can bite my tongue when they crack the PDR or the DSM in conversation with me- I'm sure that's a sign of respect in the MD world. The patient feels "ownership" of the diagnosis and complies triumphantly with the prescribed treatment- the full color picture in the PDR and accompanying multipage infotorial agree, no need to disclose that pFarmkobub crafted the entry for Euphidexine and paid a nice sum for the article, with a premium for the indexing. It's hardly a secret that the manufacturer makes a wild claim in order to distinguish its drug from the 5 or 10 novelty-knockoff competitors in its therapeutic class. God forbid, Cymbalta is not an analgesic. Zyprexa is not an anti-depressant. And shyness is not a mental illness. Thank God that little cartoon showed up with a detailed explanation of a simple personality trait can uncover 8 painful symptoms of crippling neurosis, talk with your doctor about Paxil for social anxiety if you checked any of the above. . .

These are the ridiculous diagnosis, those based upon a photocopied 10 pt T-F quiz, with a logo imprinted across the top. The transparency of each new attempt to reword the question "do you have psychotic manic episodes?" is insulting. "No, Abilify-no. I do not fit the template you're marketing to today." I don't know whether the copier had broken in a fit of rebellion against Beck-Inventories, or he was out of sponsored disorders to seek for his samples, but he seemed very certain that denial of mania on the basis of that quiz, cemented major depressive disorder. With nary a glance at my records, where he'd certainly have found some food for thought. (Vanilla misdiagnosed my eating disorder, as well.)

At any rate. . .yes. Treating mental illness is tricky- particularly when there's so very much money to be made on rewriting the diagnostics to include everyone insane and patenting new uses, prodrugs, every imaginable method of administration. What remains is this: serious mental illnesses cannot be willfully righted by those in their grips. True- the brain can change. We surface or reach terra firma, as the case may be, over time or quickly, naturally. It's called cycling- and it's inevitable as ignoring bedtime, and likewise benign for a few. Unfortunately in the trough (and the peak, I'm imagining) there's no mind present to give word form to feeling. There is no thought at all- no joy (but not despair, either), no interest, no attention span, concentration, or indulgence in sanitation/hygiene. Diminishment of all the senses. No hope- it's only at this point (a fairly high point in the cycle) that I experience things I can describe as a feelings (disappointment, disgust, despair, hopelessness, loneliness, boredom, fear, paranoia, frustration, regret, embarrassment) and begin to have some relatively coherent- if uninteresting/repetitive- thoughts. While I'm ruminating on the details of my latest low, I try to shovel a path through the crap that I let accumulate, the junkmail dropped anywhere in the kitchen, laundry strewn around the house, empty wrappers, bottles, vials, bags, cotton balls, receipts, charge slips, appointment cards, sundry toiletries, office supplies, and condiments carpet the bedroom floor. Books. Everywhere. Ignore, for a moment, disasters yet to be recovered from the last emergence. Oh, forget that I haven't finished *unpacking*. There's clean, crumpled laundry in the car. And a can in the kitchen begging for the dumpster. But enough of the filth, what did I *ruin* when I was in this state?

Well, Christmas. This is not the person you want at your holiday table in any event, but devoid of all thought, emotion, and energy, I wasn't even a civil laundry leech.

And. . .my career. Or rather, confirmed its demise through my inability to produce a paper suitable for presentation before an academic audience in time to present it. Or ask someone with the dosh to rent a room at the conference to read it for me. Because I was without thought, interest, or energy. Nevermind attention span and concentration.

Yes, the brain can change. Mine has lost mileage (by almost an entire variable of IQ, if that means anything to you.) I know what I've lost, and I hate that the most.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

meme from LJ Dear Santa

the Great Pumpkin, amazon Abraham, Santa Claus Concrete intangibles: A sign that MY ENORMOUS WHITE FLAG HAS BEEN SPOTTED BY the only omniscient Jewish Carpenter I believe in. An evening/possibly an entire day(?) out with family parameters not limited by an eating disorder. 4 nights of sleep; 4 days of relative emotional/physical stability; and the complimentary self-care & "other tasks" maintenance. Permanent- preferably total and immediate- acquisition of the skills I need to make this 4-day show into a voluntary life, one with actual purpose. I want a DBT skills tool kit neurochip in my stocking. An endless stash of sugarfree, nutritionless popsicles, fudgesicles, and low-sodium V-8 would be nice, but I'd settle for a stocked freezer at my mother's house, followed by a mysterious string of half-prices sales in the supermarkets on my circuit. And to keep my 2nd lower right incisor, which I can tell is trying to erode away. Cliffnotes for the ADD'ed or those who just wish they were: I want my sister back, and I would like to act like a minimally normal human being during my holiday visit to my mother. I have would like, to relearn tolive. Not like a "normal person", but like pretty much anyone, briefly, who has no issues with ADLs. For better or worse, what I wish most is actually engaged in the world-with sustaining reasons to live. The unfortunate thing is that I have to do all this "internal tinkering" nonsense until I can (I'm guessing) perform acts of self-stewardship as automatically as is deemed necessary to stay safe and healthy. I wish that it were evident to those who don't struggle; yes, entropy is easy, but digging out is inconceivable. The stench alone from the justification of week after week (it's too cold to get in the shower/ I don't have any clean clothes/underwear/socks//My linens are dirty and I haven't any to replace them- what's the point of putting a freshly washed head amongst 6 months of grime//I *miht* work out later) The latter was the true start, but I don't run anymore. There's no excuse not to shower. On the road/in the woods/ in the summertime in Moscow- I made due. Before the disintigration I believe 10 days had been my record, and this was not disqualified for intermittent lakeswims. Mine is definitely a water sparing history, mind you. But even as a stinky hippie I was conscientious enough of my own comfort to invade the local health food store with the single bathroom each morning and attend a few choice hygiene issues as needed (while iserting cotact lenses, no less.), Unlike. . . say as a deeply neurotic depressive bulimic, who managed to avoid both toothbrushing and any notanle change of clohing for days on end. Until some items became so clearly covered in food (much longer tolerence) or vomit (could take a visit to the outside world without changing to note) that a change was merely easier than keeping track of towels or having napkins on hand. But even as the outer clothing would molt, the underclothes would remain because (see beginning of cycle).
Of course itching sets in, eventually. . . and while I fully believe the odor of a single note can be covered by generous doses of an essential oil (hippie bath- "patchouli") I don't think much can be don't for the multiple odors of vomit, sweat, and byproducts of decaying flesh from the kidneys as well as the mouth, with added notes of waste products possible if diuretics/ laxatives are used excessively , or even when strength and response time lags, as it does in any severely impaired person. Depending on the state of mind, the person may not bother changing the soiled pants even after such an an episode. Unless he was stirred to shower beforehand, little short of total saturation through two layers will call for major action.

So. A dose of essential oil to the pits upon realizing that one will be forced to exit one's enclave does not disguise this. Perhaps if the drops had been scattered about the body, on a daily basis, over the weeks, it would have sufficed. Maybe if one were in the habit of looking into a mirror, one would notice half digested food remnants stuck to one's chin. Or if one were in the habit of washing one's hair, surely the vomit would have been brushed away by the running water. But at this point 5 days ago seems "recent"- you don't see the dullness in your hair. What gets you in to the shower is the huge patches of (?) skin (?) that have begun the form and flake off all the areas of hair on your body. When it was merely constant peeling of your hands and toes, your own alternately rising and disappearing unwashed stew (sweat is scarcely noted, only actual tangible pieces of vomit male an impression and are usually, albeit belatedly, manually removed, you won't likely notice your own breath - unless you have a sinus infection- and perineal odors are compounded/contained by the clothing that contains the offensive materials, meaning you only get a whiff when you've got your pants off. But the itching will eventually become unbearable, the flaked off "skin" matting your hair and turning you from a merely lazy dirty person into a disgusting dirty person. Because going out in public with vomit on your arm in jeans you'd yet to launder after not quite making it in time for a wee is not disgusting. At any rate, it is hard, especially once you'e accumulated a certain quantity of laundry- you might have been on top of it from the beginning with adequate facilities (you've no money, there's no laundry in the building, you've no detergent). It's down to figuring out what's *least* odiforous, and balancing this with maximum stain-free area. Just for the public- the ones that need to be moderately impressed with your functionality i.e. doctors, therapists, case managers, parole officers, presumably. . . potential employers. These are the same people who merit Dedicated Shower Days. If you've been in the shower within the past week, honestly- you're doing prety good. Probably- that is, I don't know what endocrinological issues you might have. But if you're getting in there frequently enough to keep the pipes from from rusting_much_ you're probably not walking around looking like a psychopathic slob most of the time. It should be noted that the genpop apparently showers every single day, as a rule of thumb, and that most people apparently can't go more than 3 or 4 days without vidually appearing "unwashed." I believe it's the hair, more than anything. Some people actually claim they find they're hair unacceptable greasy after skipping just one day, whip seems a bit excessive. However, be aware- whether you can see it or not, if it's been more than a couple of days- or if you don't remember when the last one was, exactly- you need for appointments.

Opa, right now I want a shower. But first I want to go to the food pantry. Thanks St. Rod Blagojevich.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Country Road Take Me Home

I want to go live with those nice people in the country.

You know- the people with all the land, who your dad brought your dog to live with after he got sick.

Saturday, December 15, 2007


The problem with illiteracy on the web comes into play when it obstructs meaning. This is certainly a issue with irritating contagious lolspeak- especially when it takes a word/phrase that's already slang/ acronymed and further obscures its meaning via deliberate mispelling. "Lulz," I was able to contextualize. I smiled and nodded when anyone employed "pwned" until I came across a single affirmation that my understanding of its origin is correct, then ceased thinking.

Now, "werd"- I'm pretty damn sure I had that one wrong all along. But how do you determine whether your interlocutor is a moron or not when you consistently spot this misspelled, decontextualized WORD in their writings? I confess- I noted a distinct absence of the word "weird" in the TF vernacular, and an irritating upsurge of "werd"ness. As it so frequently constituted the one word summary emotional/evaluatory response to (all manner of) block quotes, I projected.

Why on Earth would a pigin opt to assimilate and bastardise boring, utilitarian "word" rather than fascinating, multiform "weird"? I suppose this is the worst of examples to harp on: it's not applied in a wide enough range of situations to make a precise definition really important. (If I understand, at last) the lolspeak "werd" is derived from English "word," in the sense that it means "grunt". (Variously translated as "yo!" "I feel you" "straight up" "fuck that" "help me Jesus" "yes, I would like fries with that" and so on and so forth.)

It was never that important to me to know the precise meaning of "werd" (annoying, yes) because generally no one interacts with me in that language. However, if someone replied to a flame I'd made with a one-word exclamation, I would want to know whether it meant "fuck that" or "I feel you".

I think it's important to be aware of grammar and spelling, and to do what you can to avoid an obscene degree of typos. It facilitates communication. When you take the time to make your post readable, you make it known that you want me to read it. I understand random bypassed typos from ordinarily conscientious typists. I understand learning disorders. I understand non-native English speakers. None of the three seem to present consistent boundaries to comprehension. what d oes hcause iss u eswi th readability isrando mspacign and trnasposal oletters.
What kind of keyboard trouble (or eyesight loss) cause this? If you type like this and people still respond, you must be someone special.

There are many E-Mail sites that have anything you want. Sometime they pester you to death but you will fine most are not looking for new customers, and if some one will vouch these guys are not your average could I buy some Valium There was a incident a couple days ago where I live base ball bats I heard it through the grapevine his buddy dropped a dime they think he'll respond to simple pictures in a year in a year or so. The market is screwed up now Cops took it down it was call link basecom. My advice do mess with it unless you want way more problems than its worth.[/quote]
This is a real post from another site. It's an excellent demonstration of how spell check/ grammar check cannot redeem total @(*$! of content. If you can stand to parse through it, you'll notice that there are no spelling errors (except those instances where spellcheck clearly autosubstituted the wrong word for the poster's original copy). Other than the absence of punctuation, it's entirely grammatically correct. It's also incoherent, no?

This poor guy is going to be part of internet infamy, because this gem of perfect nonsense was posted on a board that doesn't allow editing. He probably thought he was doing everything he possibly could to facilitate communication: spell check, grammar check, cable internet connection/social phobia/150mg of valium. . .[b]hold up[/b]! Sometimes we are so eager to share and connect that we post utter nonsense before we realize it. It's hard to recognize your own nonsense sometimes- no computer in the world is sophisticated enough to catch it. You might not be able to see what other people point out. . . without the perspective of time and a clear head.

The TF demographic is far and away more "literate" than the (most of the) other forum populations I've encountered. It would be wrong to assume that this makes us immune to creating logical nonsense. We are also youngest, more commonly diagnosed with MDs, and more commonly medicated for an MD. These three factors alone throw us straight back into the pit, as each of them might fortify false bravado, impair judgement, evoke particular thought patterns, feelings, and behaviors. Having applied it to girlie_edgehead's myspace friend's cousin, I should probably assume a prevalance on TF of some "~social phobia"- social issues are the cornerstone of a strong forum and their presence is what makes us reach out to one another. [b]Oops[/b]. . .I just implied that posts might be written under the effects of a anxiety disorder. The poster-however educated, intelligent, responsibly medicated, and (hell, yeah- why not!) far along in her ED recovery (=not distracted by starvation/ indigestion) might anxiously create a logical nonsense post that will easily pass her eyeball proofread. Having impaired judgement sufficiently to land give bizarre emothoughts concrete form as grammatical bs the wave of anxious evolves to encompass the bravado to-submit-immediately!
Her post- submited in a fit of desperate need to connect- feels in every way appropriate. She cites and agrees with a previous anonymous poster,
she identifies with the OP and shares her own situation. However, what she has posted does not make sense, despite (due to, rather) her sincere desire to connect. Had she used [b]more[/b] words, the intent of her post would have been easily decrypted. Had she been calm enough to concentrate on the post(s) to which she was responding and read through the thread, she would have afforded herself an opportunity to develop her response in consideration of the discussion, even if she was not interested in reconsidering the content of her initial reply. She would have taken some time to consider the nature of a forum as interactive, dynamic, dialectic. She might have added or dropped some words from her post in order to make [i]it[/i] more interactive and dialectic. She might have realized she needed her own thread. She might have lost her bravado entirely and saved said post away from server until she cool down/ get it back up and reassess with a clear head- whatever that might mean to her.

I need to cut enormous chunks out of this to facilitate comprehension. I want to communicate. I know it won't get read in its current form, so I won't be posting it as is. I'll wait until I can make it less rambly. Too many words are as bad as too few words. Both of which are more or less sins on an equal level of grievousness with hyper/hypopunctuation. n' abbr. disooorder!!!! Allow me to be "ageist" for just a second here: If you are old enough that you can no longer devote the larger portion of your budget to Lisa Frank, then you should not be writing this way. While it doesn't always impair (by itself) the signal as much as the other "official" egregrious errors compaired and controlled on a quantitative basis- it's more annoying, period. Your posts lose 50% on the respect factor.

To be honest, the same is true about the proliferation of netspeak. I dealt with my personal issues above, so I'm going to attempt to gloss it into this end of the discussion. It's inherently silly: anyone who customarily utilizes this pidgin on all fronts is not going to be considered particularly mature, and employing netspeak in serious social intercourse simply is not appropriate. Grammatical English has been the international language of commerce & science for some time, and will continue to be for the foreseeable future. This really has nothing to do with the self-evaluations of a bunch of middle-USA 20-somethings. It [i]is[/i] "contagious" and appears to be mutating. It would be a matter of decorum if those of you who regularly engage in it would *attempt* to regulate your public use, try to limit the introduction of new words into the general population. . . or at the very least, please use English in the support forums? Trying not to catch it. . lol, I noe u don care, but some day ima need to be able 2 write agin.

Seriously. If you want to communicate in a different language, I hear German is open to bastardization.

Saturday, December 8, 2007


Suicide is selfish.
But is it really any more selfish than refusing to pick up the phone when you see my number? Deleting my e-mails? Pointedly ignoring my pleas for chaperon when I am stuck alone with my hopelessness? Well, yes, it probably is. . .however-

Suicide is painless.
"Whatif I'd answered the phone/ whatif I'd returned that note/ whatif I'd stuck by her and offered that support" may crawl in and out of your head for the rest of your life, but that will be your pain. Lift a pinky to show me that the pain my death will cause you is greater than the pain my life is causing me, and I might consider extending the deadline. Until then- call me selfish, self-involved, self-centered, centrifugal, whatever you like. But if you can't bother to pick up the fucking phone and call me, then (I'll repeat- you are out of the question)- suicide is painless.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Hold on to yourself, this is gonna hurt like hell. . .

Another year. Another birthday. Another Thanksgiving I will miss. A first Thanksgiving he will miss. I didn't want to start remembering this. Not yet, only 355 days have passed.

This is not my beautiful life. How did I get here?

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Into the Icebox

Oh boy, there's nothing more exciting than trying to decipher a formula for keeping oneself alive as a neurotic bulimic/ binging-purging anorexic. After a several weeks keeping the local medical professionals on the ledge of their opera box getting my serum potassium under control, something in my mind has finally shifted. No need to keep vomiting for half an hour after all evidence points to complete evacuation of stomach contents every single time. Dare I say, I believe I may have even digested some (romaine!) lettuce yesterday.

But the deliberate intake of normal (or really- any) food still seems to elude me. I tried an apple yesterday. It quickly became a party order from Burger King, a vat of semolina cereal, and a bunch of other crap I'm not up for detailing at the moment. I felt such crap just now the thought came to mind that I might just give one of my old standbys the old grad school try again. I lived on these smoothies when I relapsed in my thesis year. Frozen fruit, skim milk, fake sugar. By May, I'd murdered my blender. But you'd better believe I defended that fucking thesis and got my MA.

Unfortunately, it doesn't seem to work anymore. I don't know if it's just been too long since I bothered with real, healthy food and the feeling in my stomach is rooted in some authentic physical issue. More likely I simply lack the impetus. Either way, I couldn't stomach it. I couldn't bin it, either, though. Apparently I've already blasted through my food stamps for the month.

So I got the bright idea to tip it into my icecube trays. Frozen things seem to work for me, even when they do have nutritional value, provided there's no fat or added sugar. I don't know what else to do.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Adventures in Urban Archeology I

No luck this am in the back alley behind Satan's Emporium Superstore. The only open bins were for grease disposal. Despite careful and (so I thought) inconspicuous stalking of the Hostess Delivery truck from it's initial vantage point out front of Major Superstore Too ( where I assume the driver had stopped to check in regarding inventory needs) around the back to the loading dock, no returns were to be had there, either. I had checked before even spying the truck and found nothing but a bin full of broken shopping carts. Mr. Twinkie was still at the loading dock the second time I doubled back, and it seemed a bit inadvisable to carry on loitering behind the supermarket for too long at 4 o'clock in the morning.

Dissappointing, because Monday AMs are supposed to be a big score day. I suppose there is always tomorrow. And I have yet to investigate Major National Doughnut ChainTM and Popular Soup, Salad and Bakery Deli TM.

Just in case I haven't made myself clear. . .

See, it appears I may have been mumbling. Or trying to communicate with aliens via radio signals from my dental fillings. Or, while fumbling for my glasses, mistaken the refrigerator for a sentient being. Or maybe I'm mute and only know Bulgarian sign language, while every last employee of the Illinois Department of Human Resources, affiliated medical professionals included, along with the collective administrations of the National Alliance on Mental Illness and the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders are deaf and only understand ASL.

So now I'm going to use this big-ass font and put in type, out here in public. Will this do me any more good than the dozens of unreturned phone calls, e-mails and letters or the hours in line and waiting in offices? I suppose believing so requires a leap of faith on my behalf that there's an actual human being on the other side- one who can read, if not necessarily speak, English. But it's not a really complicated word. Only four letters. Not much room for subjective interpretation.


Tuesday, October 23, 2007

I wish I could write something of merit, really I do. I've been terrified to even check my e-mail these last few days because I didn't want to see my old advisor's comments on my paper. Luckily, she was merciful. But a lot of what she had to say was stuff I already know and can't seem to put into practice. Also, telling me about new lit in the field doesn't bloody help when I have no library access.

Also, my physician and everyone at his office are morons. You just can't throw out arbitrary ridiculous prescriptions for potassium without consideration of the consequences. There's a *reason* for those dosage caps. I get that you want to correct my hypokalemia as quickly as possible. I also get that you're trying to cut corners by not checking the side effects or implementing the proper monitoring procedures. I don't want to do this at a hospital, and you'd better believe I don't want a goddamn drip. But I'm not risking another GI bleed-out and a heart attack just because you are lazy and the state is cheap.

Now if I can only figure out who I need to convey this to.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

I'm so fascinated by the downward spiral I cannot look away.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Dear Fucko Movers

I'd like to thank you for your services. No, the 9 hours we waited in the empty apartment beyond your ETA were no problem. We knew you'd be a little delayed, as you mentioned a second pickup and (as I kept reminding my father) the speed limit for trucks is lower than the speed limit for private vehicles on the highway. When you mentioned arriving at the second site and determining that it would be impossible to condense the two orders into one truck, however, how did you occupy yourselves for the following 5 hours? Would it not have made more sense to attempt your escape from the metropolis before 5pm on a weekday?

It was really amazing the way you worked as a team, moving from room to room to ensure an even mix of unrelated items in each box. And I have to thank you for the total absence of labelling and/or inventory on most of these. It's kind of like Christmas. Except Christmas rarely involves 3,000+ pounds of one's own belongings, rewrapped in plain brown cardboard. Moreover, my childhood holiday memories do not include memories of used bath towels, cheap underwear, and outdated USB cables. I never had to search through all of my gifts for a week before I could take a shower and change my underwear. Truth be told, the primary arena in which your packaging compares to the gifts of my youth is proliferation of alleged book boxes. The proportion of actual units of bound reading material to random wires/uncapped markers/loose bandaids/ your own used kleenex (YES!) notwithstanding, any box containing books that managed to get inventoried was inventoried "books."

Out of curiosity, you wouldn’t happen to have my laundry hamper? Not the white laundry basket you broke the handles off of when you straggled in at 11pm, but an actual stand-up hamper. It’s okay if you do, I’m accustomed to living in and out of crumpled dirty laundry carried round in a bag. Admittedly it might be of use in my foray in the world of the organized peoples, but I’m not holding my breath.

You didn’t happen to grab my unopened bottles of red hair dye along with it, eh? No need to be ashamed. I was hoping to redo my hair, but I’m honestly getting a little old for unironic technicolor dye jobs. So thanks, actually. I’m just happy that most of my empty containers of toiletries arrived safely. Somebody must be real TetrisTM champion, judging from the 5 gallon bucket and the bathroom trashcan between which every ickle bit imaginable was split. Toiletries and bathroom supplies were coated in a liquid yellow soap and the last 100ml or so of Witch Hazel that was left in the lidless bottle.

I really must applaud Tweedlewayne and Tweedlegarth: in defiance of both physics and common sense they squeezed it all in together, somehow managing to fit a bottle of household cleanser- loose-lidded and upside down, of course, in with everything else. "Everything else" included items such as those I often stick in my mouth or eyes. Then there are the items that keep such intimate company with my face and the rest of my skin- even my hair on occasion.

On the other hand, if you have the remainder of my kitchen, I must confess that I’m a bit irked. While I appreciate the tender, loving care that you took with my expired condoms and lube and delicacy which which you packed away my sex toys, I have to be honest. Those are relics. What I need right now is the rest of my bathroom and kitchen. Keeping the Dept. of Sanitation away requires some serious artillery. These testy little bits keep me-or at least-the house clean. I'd also like the teas, coffees, remaining storage and flatware, and magical packets that turn pebbles into stew and piss into wine.

I can’t complain too much, though. I still have a coaster. I shouldn’t overlook the mixture of red and yellow curries, cilantro, and cinnamon that wound up evenly spread among the single plate, salad bowl, mug, butter knife, broken spatula, dry measuring cup, wet measuring cup, soup spoon, measuring spoon, whisk, and (unmatched) homeless knives. I never wanted a spicerack for years, anyway. I know I should particularly appreciate the open box of stale croutons thrown in a atop my fur coat.

What vaguely amused me
Ah, wait. I forget. There was actually one box of "books" that was inventoried either in more detail, or differently (I forget which). It was labeled "CD"s. Naturally, it contained aging collection of cassette tapes. I had to wonder why? Do LPs get inventoried the same way?

Praise jeebus, they packed- and delivered unharmed- a spherical (glass) light fixture. Along with a fishbowl. And two glass pipes. The latter were packed by me, for presumably obvious reasons. The first two were thrown haphazardly into a wardrobe box with a lot of random crap, none of which included wrapping paper. At the same time, they maimed my spice rack for life, broke a bottle of liquid soap, and (apparently)handled my laundry hamper, backlog of cleaning stuff, and extra yoga mat so badly as to render them invisible.

How on Earth do you deliver glass intact while destroying plastic?

Friday, September 21, 2007

Moving Day

I'm halfway out of tape, but only 1/3 of the way through the boxes you brought me. You are a physicist, so I know you based your calculations on some sort of formula. I am trying to convince my myself you have developed a mathematical formula to predict laziness. 15*33foot boxes do something 30*1.53foot boxes take the squiggly doo from subject's most recent GAF score equals n(100)ft of packing tape. When tape is gone subject may stop, for this is all she is capable of.

Please remember light bulbs and the bolt cutters*. Just don't get pulled over on the way up, or you will get thrown in jail as a suspect for grand larceny and presumed meth addict. I know because I've seen it on C*O*P*S. I swear


*For getting out the emergency exit landlord keeps closed w/ padlock in memoriam to Old Lady Leary.

N.B. I did not really send this letter

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

At the drugstore, Behind the counter

I spot a sign hanging from the cigarette display: Wanted For Homicide on 82nd St. . . I see these sort of wanted/missing posters by the multitude in every store window, each time I leave the house. The only days I don't hear gunfire are those when I stay inside with the A/C on. It wouldn't be so shocking were it not obvious that it came from someone's home printer.

I'll say it again: "You can do better, Chicago!" Sure, I see the occasional mini-patrol of brave bike cops riding up the main drag in broad daylight. That's fabulous. But one block South I am mugged, and 1 block North I'm assaulted. I suppose I'm lucky that I'm not a laser-printed flyer, yet all I feel is disgust that the officials find it so easy to ignore millions of real people.

I think I need a scoliosis check, because this city is so crooked it tilts.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Why do passers by feel it is within the realm of polite society to comment on my mental status? Telling me to smile seems akin to asking a random woman when she's due. There's simply too much emotional payload to be editorializing like that. When it comes right down to it, popping out of the blue to tell Anonymous Flat Affect Girl "Cheer up, it's not that bad" is statistically more dangerous. Let's face it, pregnancy is generally easier for the lay person to diagnose than mental illness.

Still, that's no excuse. Look, I've been on (at least) an SSRI anti-depressant for most of the past 8 years. This is emotional botox. The stuff is still going on somewhere inside, but I am frozen on there surface. I don't spontaneously smile at all and I rarely laugh. I can rarely cry anymore- only when I'm exhausted, angry and hopeless. In other words, only over nothing, over myself. I certainly can't cry over books or movies anymore. Worse still, I struggle to mourn family and friends who have died over these years. It's like needing to yawn for ages without ever managing to get the oxygen to satisfy it.

I have flattened out so much that one moron actually diagnosed me with schizophrenia on the basis of all my negative symptoms. But the truth is that between the drugs and the depression, I no longer have any interests nor can I sustain anyone else's interest. I've also slowed down and pulled back from society quite a bit, so it's pretty unlikely that I would ever manage this entire comeback in a timely manner in real life. So I'm posting it here, for nobody to see it.

Don't fucking tell me to smile. Especially in line at the food pantry.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

@#(@)*$! Medical Residents. . .

July is the Cruelest Month

Just what is it about being a million dollars in debt and spending 4 years working 80 hours a week for minimum wage that makes it so simple to peel back a that counter-tranference you psych residents have oozed into us? Come on Dr. N_____. You don't really want to take your boards, you know you don't. You've been meeting with me since February, and hence have proof positive that high-stakes interpersonally-focused, relatively abstractionist professions are very very bad for your health.

And you were such a great shrink. But really, it's all about you. Take care of yourself. According to my life clock, I will surely have 4 months' access to another good psychiatrist in 2014.

Saturday, June 2, 2007

Thanks, Congress

We were more than overdue for a hike in the minimum wage. The last time you passed an action on this, I was living in a state that adhered to the federal guidelines and slinging sandwiches for 4.25 an hour. So I can certainly appreciate the difference this will make.

Can you do all of us little folks living below the poverty line a favor next time, though? Keep it a secret until the law goes into effect. That way retail won't have several months advance to start gouging us on household items before we start collecting your spare change.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

You Can Do Better, Chicago.

Today's Haul:
The Dry-
2 gallons powdered skim milk
2 pounds dried pinto beans/ unidentified agricultural product
15 oz. toasted oat cereal
9.5 oz. triscuits
Boxed pasta salad (pasta/ seasoning packet)
4 granola bars
The Canned-
32 oz. grapefruit juice
16 oz. sweet peas
9 oz. sweet potatoes
15 oz. refried beans
6 oz. chunk light tuna in water
10 oz. cream of mushroom soup
10 oz. (Campbells!) tomato soup
The Wet-
16 oz. 3% lean ground "meat"
2 sausage links
1 personal sausage pizza

That's it. One hundred percent of everything a single adult individual receives from the food pantry for a month. No wonder others in line headed up the street to another church to hit up the one that was open from 9 am after collecting their bag tickets this morning.

This is only funny because I'm anorexic and need less than 1,100 calories a day to stay alive. While I have to give you bonus points for the variety this month, you'll never see them as I must deduct for ignorance. Basal metabolic rate doesn't account for class difference.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

I am currently attempting to make a noodle kugel in my electric skillet.

If I succeed, I expect to be named to some largely ceremonial executive (but perk-rich) position within the North American Association for the Advancement of Destitute Bulimics.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Prince of Darkness. Paging the Prince of Darkness. . .

Right. I'm ready to make the deal. I've figured out what it is that I want. What's that you say- you already know, you're omnipotent? Oh, I thought you were merely omnipresent. Only through next January, right. Anyway, let's get to the business of my eternal soul, shall we?

I want an enchanted cheese drawer. As such it must have the power to produce the cultured dairy product of my desire at a moment's notice in every conceivable firmness, limitless quantity, and at optimal temperature. My cheese drawer will not be subject to any laws regarding taxation, import, or that ridiculous antiquated embargo nonsense. Dead white men brought me quite a lot of distress during graduate school and I beg them leave me be now. I can't think of any other stipulations at this moments, but I think my request is sufficiently ridiculous that I may reserve the right to amend it at a later date.

Shall we begin? I'd like a hunk of Jarlsberg the size of my head, please.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

You May Have Read This Someplace Else. 1
Trader Joe would roll over in his cartoon grave if he knew the sort of crap they were stuffing his bags with at this food bank. It's seriously like 1985's school lunch mated with 2007's airline courtesy snack and refused to quit drinking during the pregnancy.

3 self-contained fruity-sounding individual beverages
4 POW chocolate pudding cups
3 packs BBQ sunflower seeds
2 packs animal crackers
5 granola bars
1 individual serving frosted flakes
3 packs vanilla wafers
1 box Eggo Waffles cereal
2 flourescent jello fruit cups
box pasta salad
box flavored triscuits, proving the Spite of the Divine for bulimics
can veg. stew, condensed veg soup, green beans varicolored sodium
can tuna
inexplicable single serving packet each of salt/pepper

And somehow they also managed to come out with 2 pounds each of rice and kidney beans, and 3 of oatmeal. The salt and pepper was a nice touch, but you have to wonder if anyone really labored under the delusion that it was going to suffice for 4 freaking pounds of uncooked rice and beans? I was also under the distinct impression that ordinary people employ stuff like fat and sugar in their cooking. . . though I suppose those things can be scavenged from fast food establishments and what have you. Maybe not fat so much, but, eh- I'm more or less okay on that front.

What's more than a little disturbing is that these places appear to more or less entirely ignore dairy. And I would try to feel bad about my bitching, but how are you going to give out cereal without milk? Powdered milk would be absolutely fine. Unfortunately I live in an area where the majority of adults have managed to convince themselves they are lactose intolerant. There would probably be a lot of waste if they didn't prioritize and limit the grocery bags with calcium-rich stuff to children-and-pregnant-women-households. Somehow I can't help but feel cheated, though. The ethnicity of the neighborhood pretty much dictates the food, right down to eliminating entire food groups! Why can't I live in a Jewish ghetto, damnit? (I await your holocaust jokes with baited breath. )

Okay, I'm making light of this and complaining, but honestly this is the only place I can make fun of the charity food I receive. This is the only place I can express the shame I felt for making a veteran working at the church feel guilty when he realized I wasn't a volunteer. For not standing up to join everyone in prayer-on a Saturday morning, mind you- mumbling to the vet that I belong to a different faith. While everyone prayed I kept prying the staples out of the housing assistance packets with my fingers as he'd instructed me. I mean, I would like to contribute in some way if I can. I don't want to be a complete asshole. Though I really wanted to tell him I couldn't feel my fingers. If a black man could turn red, this poor guy would have turn purple when I raised my hand as a "newcomer" to be interviewed.

The interview was- well, less humiliating than it could have been. Though it certainly could have been easier. About halfway through I realized I could have lied about everything- my name, the number of people in my household, my address. . . they didn't ask for proof of anything. I realized this because the woman interviewed before me kept remembering she needed to come back to add fully-eligible dependents to her household. (As opposed to dependents under the age of 2, on behalf of whom one could apparently only take half a portion- or something.) I'd like to think this displays integrity on my behalf, but it's probably more dull-wittedness. That, and a realization that no household with a fully ambulatory member would send a woman with a cane to pick up food for the lot of them.

The interview also entailed explaining whether I am looking for work. (No. Yes. Does occasionally trying to read want ads and crying count?) I had to tell them when I last worked (drag myself up the mountainside) vaguely explain my profession (tie a noose around my neck) and tell them what the hell is wrong with me, so that the social worker could pick the condition she thought she could spell and write it down (and throw myself over the cliff.)

I realized my folding cane had come apart as I was getting up from the interview, and somehow managed to say "Shhhhoot" in the church basement.

This bank is once-a-month, too. It seems like perhaps they all are. But nobody seems to have mentioned not using more than one. It's been pretty clearly established that these people do not entertain any delusions of the provisions actually lasting a month.

Look, I know I'm an asshole- but what else can I do? It's almost funny how what I'm doing is immoral, but not illegal. If I were slick enough to shoplift or daring enough to run my own little business, I wouldn't be taking food from old people, vets & single mothers. I'd really only be taking from big business and the government. This is a nasty, ugly world. It protects the interests of those faceless structures to the detriment of the most vulnerable, and it makes me ugly along with it.

1.And if this is the case, you need to get outside more. You may, on the other hand, have read it two places else. In this case, you need to get a therapist.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

With Prozac capsules, white and green
first pressed on me at age 13
A toast of Ensure was raised by all
to celebrate my debut at the overmedicated ball.

Mr Lily's potion was not the cure,
not at 80, not at more.
His position was usurped by a tricyclic,
which for reasons unknown did not make me unsick.

So back on the 'Zac, it was time to augment
as serotonin alone is mighty bland.
Fenugreek or thorazine turned out to be overkill,
I was asked to try this salt in my hand.

Zoloft is a lovely potion-
the first weeks are like MDMA.
Sad the honeymoon must end with her fucking your brother &
leaving you drenching the sheets where you lay.

Speaking of "lay", however, I remember her fondly.
Zoloft is remarkable for syndrome Cold Fish.
With Effexor & Lexapro we could wipe out the species-
take this disclosure as you wish.

Of Remeron, I cannot recall
whether I stopped eating long enough to have sex at all.
And while the sexual side effects of Wellbutrin are legendary,
on an SSRI augment they continue to elude me.

Orgasms on anti-depressants are contra-indicated,
But generally so are Drano milkshakes.
Quit your bitching- I haven't cum for 5 years!-
If that's what it takes, that's what it takes.