Saved Up Brain Dump

I’m not doing the best. I don’t even know what all I’ve told y’all, but there’s been a ton of cancer garbage and other health crap going on for the past three years.

I want to say that for the most part, I’ve adapted and overcome, but I might be fooling myself. Or I might be doing an excellent job, I just can’t see it right now because it’s a shit mental health period.

My guts hurt. I had colitis a couple of times last year, and I have diverticulosis, so it could be either of those, or something else entirely.

My brain is fuzzy. I can’t remember things like I used to. I can’t use words like I used to. I can’t make connections in my head. I feel like an idiot trying to make art anymore because I’m no good at it.

I want to do so many things but I’m discouraged. I tried to tell myself yesterday that it’s okay to stay in bed all day if you feel bad, that it’s okay to take a bunch of naps in one day if you can’t stay awake. Today I’m still in bed because it hurts, but I can’t believe myself when I say it’s okay.

My brain says I haven’t had surgery, so there’s absolutely no possible reason that I should stay in bed.

My brain is an asshole sometimes.

I’m dizzy and my head hurts all the time and my vision is going to hell in a hand basket. I’m worried there’s cancer in my brain now. I want to tell myself that’s silly, but is it really? I don’t know anymore.

I’m a huge fan of the “ignore it and it’ll go away” philosophy. I feel like that’s weird. I tried to do that with my adrenal tumor and they just found lung cancer. I tried to do it with my reproductive system and it just hurt worse and worse until they took it all out. I tried to do it with my neurostimulator and they had to take that out. Maybe I’m just not as good at ignoring things as I think I am. Except my own friggin mental health. I’m super great at ignoring that.

I plan so many projects and I want to try so many new things and then I kick myself when I physically cannot do them.

Sometimes I wonder why I keep trying.

I tried to take a cognitive function test yesterday and I learned that I can’t do the logic puzzles that I used to love so much. They’ve become secrets of the universe to me.

I don’t even know how much I’m supposed to feel like garbage with all the hormones that are gone and can’t be replaced and all the hormones that are replaced with pills and do I even know what I’m talking about anymore?

I don’t know.

Maybe if I start writing again things will get better. Maybe they won’t.

I do feel a little better after all this though. I need to go blow my nose.

I hope you’ve stuck it out this far, because I didn’t think to say this earlier. I’m not dumping this for pity or condolences. It is what it is. I’m dumping this so maybe someone else having a rough go of it won’t feel so lonely.

Life isn’t always peaches and cream; I guess I know that as well as anyone.

I got dressed today. On a scale of 1-100, getting dressed always takes me up at least one point. I can’t sit and put makeup on today though.

When I feel better I need to make an art caddy for these days when I can’t sit at my desk and create.

Yes, April, even though you said you feel like a fraud with zero talent, that desire to make art is still there. Maybe take that as a sign that you’re not entirely hopeless and uninspired.

Oh, I make notebooks now. I would love to send you a care package of tiny notebooks and art and who-knows-what if you want one.

I think I’m gonna go catch up on my collage fodder tutorial videos now. Thanks for being here.


The Storm

Celia rocked back and forth in the recliner, her toe tapping the floor with each heave forward, a deep amorphous feeling of absentness within her chest.

She stared blankly into space, her mind flitting and floating from topic to topic, the grasshopper that jumped on her when she was seven years old, the family trip to the mountains to stay at a ski lodge, her brother’s negligence when it came to calling and keeping her from worrying. She hadn’t heard from him in well over two months, and it was nearing the longest stretch of time in their lives to go without contact.

Her cell phone let out a long, jarring warning tone: a tornado touched down in her area and she needed to seek safety as soon as possible. She switched her volume off, and continued rocking, tapping the floor and tapping the floor.

The roar of the storm passed her by, and she still didn’t hear from her brother.


Feeling Better

I do feel better already. I’ve always been quick to respond either positively or negatively to antidepressants, which is great, because I stubbornly refuse to ask for a prescription until I’m already drowning. Every time.

Last night and today I’ve felt amazing, compared to the past few weeks, anyway. Mostly, I’m sure, due to relief that my brother is safe in solitary confinement instead of being shot or smashed up in a stolen car. Even when I am feeling better, I can’t help but imagine every single worst possible scenario.

It has been a rough few days for my family. And that’s the thing. I think the worst I felt was Sunday afternoon, while Abby was napping on the couch. I felt so bad for feeling good. I really hate when I do that to myself, but no amount of trying to excuse it seems to help.

Abby never naps on the couch because there are so many distractions in the living room, but Sunday she put her head on a pillow and covered up with a pillowcase from the laundry basket and asked me to sit by her feet, so I did. She went right off to sleep, and I just sat there with my hand on her foot and thought.

I thought how unfair it was that I could sit there with my precious sleeping baby while my mother cried at home because her youngest son was missing. How I could sit there and think of all these horrible things that could possibly have happened to him in the past twelve hours and yet…feel better than I had a week earlier.

It’s like the difference between situational and clinical depression. They may look the same to someone on the outside, but on the inside, there’s a huge difference for me. My heart was torn to pieces with worry for my brother, but I was still okay. I could still function.

And now, thankfully, I don’t have that worry holding me back. Abby was up five minutes after Ian left for work today, so I didn’t get the usual 30-60 minutes to myself that I need to recharge and be able to face the world, but I didn’t need that today.

Today I had spoons to spare.

In Crisis Again

I woke up at two this morning to Ian on the phone saying ‘yes ma’am, we will.’ It was my mom; my brother escaped last night with another boy.

I have to call the cops on my own brother if he shows up at my door. I hope he does. I just want to know he’s okay.

The Things You Only Hear About

They have to happen to somebody, right?

You know my youngest brother, now fifteen, has been in and out of trouble since he was twelve. Stealing, breaking and entering, smoking pot, growing pot, selling pot, fighting.

My mom called me tonight. She had my stepdad take my brother’s girlfriend home after church this morning because she found out he got a tattoo. On his chest. Of a spider. From a friend. Hand-sized. I can only imagine what it looks like.

He told my mom he was going to kill his dad and then himself. He told her he had a gun. Then he went upstairs and got it, showed her it was loaded, and put it to his head. She talked him out of it, and he went out back and threw the gun in the canal.

My mom called my stepdad and told him and asked him to call the cops. When they showed up, he jumped in the canal, and they had to chase him all over the neighborhood before he fell off a roof and onto a pipe.

They had to take him to the ER for some X-rays, but I think he must be okay, because they took him to a mental health/substance abuse hospital halfway between there and here.

I talked to my mom last night, and she thought he was doing better. He hadn’t broken curfew all week, and he and his girlfriend were back together.

Some days life just keeps piling it on, doesn’t it? Nobody knows how long he’ll be there yet. At least it’s closer to us, if it’ll be a while. I love my brother, but I feel so helpless and far away.

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