There are a lot of rules when you’re in a mental hospital. They’re designed to keep everyone safe. Which makes sense because that’s sort of the point of a mental hospital. The hospital I was staying at doesn’t have adults separated out into “acute” and “non-acute,” though, so some of the rules seem extreme and sometimes they don’t seem extreme enough.
Category Archives: heavy shit
lots of going through the motions and escaping into fiction to pretend that nothing has happened combined with lots of stupid thoughts that I know are stupid and yet can’t stop thinking. Continue reading
Last night at 8:42 pm EST, my best, oldest friend died. This year’s Meredithmas will be tough, coming less than a month after her passing. She’d been through so much, with lots of health issues, but this was not expected in the slightest. Even when I learned that she had been hospitalized earlier this week and I feared the worst, I was still pretty confident she would pull through, because she never took any bullshit lying down.
When I was 13 we moved to Fairfax and I started a new school for 8th grade. Meredith was in the accelerated program, of course, because she was a super smarty pants, but we had homeroom together and that’s how we met and became friends. We went to different high schools, but kept in touch, attending each other’s homecomings some years. We spent 3 hours on the phone once, watching the Miss America pageant together from across town. She came on my family beach trip the year the first X-Files movie came out, and we spent hours holed up in the emptier house having private dance parties to the movie soundtrack and then totally pretending we weren’t shaking our butts when anyone came in to get something for the other house. We didn’t talk frequently, but every time we did, or got together, it was like no time at all had passed between contact. We both wanted to be a rock for the other, but worried about leaning on each other too much (and then laughed when we talked about it and promised to always tell the other first when something was wrong.) She was the first person I would reach out to when my depression got overwhelming. She was the person to whom I could talk about anything, bowel movements and fashion, X-Files and pretty girls, boy trouble and joys. She is my sister in spirit. She was always going to be my maid of honor if/when I got married. I fucking hate that she’s gone, but I’m so very thrilled that she no longer has to deal with RA, or fibro, or any other of the ailments that tried, and failed, to take her down. As for the final illness, it may have won against her body, but I know my Merbear was expecting one hell of a party in the afterlife and she’s shaking dat ass with Gi. Before this, she was a school librarian, changing the lives of NY children, a volunteer for the Anti-Violence Project, a vocal activist for LGBTQIA rights, and the best friend a girl could have.
1981-2015. Meredith is preceded by her father and her friend Gianny and survived by her husband, her mother, and her many friends. I don’t know how to live without her, but I’m gonna have to try because she’d be so pissed if I didn’t.
As a military-brat, I never had a “hometown.” My grandparents’ homes were the most stable parts of my life. For whatever reason, we saw my MD grandparents more, so I identified more strongly with Baltimore than Pittsburgh. (My grandparents on both sides lived in the suburbs of their respective cities, but no one knows where the hell you’re talking about when you say “Murrysville” unless they are from there or have family from there, too. One of those lessons you get from moving around is to tell people you’re coming from someplace they’ve heard of, not the actual specific place you’re from.) Baltimore isn’t my city, but it’s one that’s always held a special place in my heart. Before moving to where my grandmother currently lives, she and my grandfather lived in Baltimore, raised some of their children there. Our family bakery, though also a bit nomadic, was there. (Still is, though no longer in the family by blood, it was purchased by members of the bakery and they’re family in our hearts.) My grandfather spent close to half a century commuting to and from there. The Orioles, in as much as I had a horse in baseball, were my team. My favorite day of the year is the year I can drag someone to the National Aquarium in Baltimore. I non-ironically call Baltimore Charm City and though I don’t drink it, I smile when I see Mr. Boh, the Natty Boh mascot, and the billboard of him and Ms. Utz.
And the rioting in Baltimore is my fault. It’s almost certainly your fault, too.
We have busy lives; there’s a lot to worry about whether it’s your health, your job (or getting one), your family, your friends, your hobbies…it’s hard to pay attention to everything we need to see. Sometimes it hurts to pay attention to the things we need to see. So we don’t. We see people suffering and think “well I can’t make a difference, I’m suffering too.” “I can’t make a difference, this is too hard.” “I can’t make a difference, this is too big.” But the fact of the matter is, every time we look away, every time we don’t say anything, we are being complicit in the results of those injustices we’re not looking at, not talking about. The rioting didn’t happen in a vacuum. It wasn’t a mob of angry black people being angry for no reason and attacking every and anything they could to express it. Decades of losing more and more legal, viable sources of income, of being priced out of family homes because there’s a Whole Foods on the corner now, of being arrested for “gaming, dice” has made residents of the less savory parts of Baltimore angry, and why wouldn’t they be? Wouldn’t you be? The needless and thus far unexplained death of Freddie Gray was simply the spark that lit the powderkeg (a remarkably small powderkeg, I might add, as it was only about 1% of the people present at the protests that were actually engaged in rioting and illegal behavior).
Martin Luther King has been used by a lot of people since last summer as a mallet to bludgeon people into behaving. “MLK wouldn’t like this. MLK would condemn the rioting.” It’s true, he would. He has, in fact, spoken in condemnation of rioting in 1968. But that’s not the end of what he said about it.
It is not enough for me to stand before you tonight and condemn riots. It would be morally irresponsible for me to do that without, at the same time, condemning the contingent, intolerable conditions that exist in our society. These conditions are the things that cause individuals to feel that they have no other alternative than to engage in violent rebellions to get attention. And I must say tonight that a riot is the language of the unheard.
What haven’t we been hearing? Have we seen/read/heard about people who are powerless being treated like trash by those in power? Have we ignored it because we have our own issues? Though I try to help my fellow man as best I can, I am guilty of ignoring the quieter cries of those people. So while I also sympathize with any small business owners who have to deal with getting their insurance companies to cover the damages, I do not blame the people of Baltimore for lifting their voices in a stronger language. We wouldn’t listen when they were calm. Will we listen now?
I wrote up this long emotional post and wanted to post it. First wordpress wouldn’t let me add the category I wanted to tag it with (because I wasn’t authorized to do so, which, BULLSHIT IT’S MY FUCKING BLOG). Then when I clicked save draft it asked me if I was SURE I wanted to do that. I was. It decided I wanted to have no record of said draft, and apparently it didn’t autosave once over the past 30 minutes that I spent typing, because the post is nowhere to be found. Awesome. SO! Here’s attempt 2 (which I already checked to make sure WP has in drafts. It does.)
Over the weekend, the DC Rollergirls went to playoffs and were awesome but started as the 1st seed and finished in 6th place which, while not at all shabby, is not what we were expecting/hoping for. Also over the weekend, Henry Rollins posted an apology on his website and on Monday he posted another more in depth one at LA Weekly. I meant to share this on Monday (the update page has been open but untouched since then, which I suppose is why WP decided to murder the post I did eventually write in it) but I was dealing with some stuff. Lots of stuff. Cleaning stuff.
I tried to channel it into productivity, but I was only intermittently successful. Continue reading
My feelings about and reactions to life when I am in a depression than when I am in a good patch.
|Without Depression||With Depression|
|Waking Up:||Ugh, my alarm went off. Oh well. Time to shower.||Ugh, another day? I can NOT face this. *turns off the alarm, sleeps several hours more*|
|Minor Mistakes:||Aw, crap. *fixes it/cleans up*||FUCK! What the hell is wrong with me? Why am I such a fuck up? I can’t even do basic shit, how can I possibly even deserve to live.|
|Eating:||Hmm, I’m hungry. Let’s make a snack.||I could make something, but then I’d have to clean it up, plus it’s work to just make it. It’s easier to just eat plain bread/yogurt/something that does not require effort.|
|Basic chores and/or basic hygiene:||Whelp, time to do the dishes/laundry/shower/get dressed. *does it*||Why bother anyway? It’s/I’m just gonna get dirty again. I could spend that time doing something else. There’s no point to it anyway.|
The most frustrating part of this is that I know that my reactions/feelings are over the top/inappropriate/not helpful, but it doesn’t stop me feeling that way and I can’t help but be overwhelmed by them. There are times during bad patches where some of these are not the case but often the “minor mistakes” bit happens anyway (though sometimes it takes more than a few) and will kick off a bad patch even if I’m not in one already.