“Tell me you love me. If you dont, then lie to me” -Coldplay

I have some friends that I know I shouldn’t confide in because their brand of “comforting advice” is “If it looks like a duck, hes fucking someone else”. Its more harmful than helpful. Hey, you’re supposed to be talking me down from the ledge, remember?
Im not saying close your eyes to the obvious, im saying close your ears to the rumors. Until there is proof. Id like to give everyone the benefit of the doubt but Ive been burned once or 20 times (who hasn’t?) and Ive always struggled to keep my suspicious nature in check. Note to self:  Do not crucify everyone for the sins of a few.
Have you ever read The Life of Pi? I never saw the movie so Im not sure if that counts but at the end–and Im paraphrasing– the boy is telling his story to the authorities and when they admit they dont believe him, he pointed out, “Does it really matter which version you believe? The story ends the same either way.”  That is the lesson I took away from that book and the lesson I choose to apply now: it doesnt matter if the rumors are true or false because the story ends the same way: It just ends.
Human Nature is a coin toss. You choose who to believe,  who to trust.
The script on my wrists remind me:
Blessing. Lesson. People come into your life to serve as one or the other. I told G-d long ago that I didnt need any more Lessons. What I need is healing and grace.
But until that delivery arrives, I’d settle for a refill of Xanax.

“Are you thinking about hurting yourself?”

Without fail, that is the first question asked whenever you are seen at the VA hospital. And almost without fail, I choke back the words, “Not today.”

The mantra, the meditation, the prayers turned desperate pleas “G-d make it stop. G-d help me. G-d why do you hate me?…” It has been a bad week to put it lightly. I won’t go into it. If I did, you might sit back and say, “Oh is that all?” Ant bites on an elephamt. Even I can admit that in the Greater Picture, this is hardly a blot in a Monet but sometimes I lose my perspective. Sometimes I lose my way. I don’t know why this time. It’s not the moon. It’s not my hormones. It’s not me forgetting to take my meds and vitamins. Even the emergency Xanax stash isn’t working well enough.

I don’t hit the wall TOO often but when I do, I hit it hard. How do I cope? I sleep. You cant hurt yourself when you are asleep. So I take whatever I need to to knock myself out and hope I feel better when I wake. And if I don’t, I knock myself out again until I finally wake up with the feeling that I can trust myself. I sleep and pray for it to pass.

My sentimentality and loneliness get the worst of me at times like this. The funny thing is, I really am very easy to keep happy. I don’t require gifts and flowers and copious amounts of attention. Just a word. An email. A couple of lines that say, “I’m thinking of you”, “I miss you”, “Thank you for the cards and cookies, I wish you were here”, “PS- You’re so amazingly sexy!” Just a quick reminder that someone I give a shit about still gives a shit about me. Loved Ones, I wish G-d would reach into your hearts and give you a nudge sometimes. When she crosses your mind, tell her. Because that person may need it more than you can imagine in that very moment. Just one sweet line from you would diffuse the bomb in an instant.

And you have no idea.

So are you thinking about hurting yourself?

Yes. Therefore it’s time for a nap.

Nah-noo Nah-noo

He told me he loved me. Well, sort of.
I sent him a photo of my new tattoo and his response was an enthusiastic “I LOVE the tattoo! And your eyes! And…well, the YOU!”
So that counts, right?
…right?

In 10 weeks, he will be home and the shower of care packages and hand-written letters will have to cease. And how does someone spend 25 years in the military, most of it deployed to one hell hole or another, and no one–not blood, not girlfriends, friends, or wives–ever think to send him mail? He said he spent days just looking at the boxes and envelopes, like a kid staring at presents under the tree, eager to open them but hesitant because once opened, that marks the end of Christmas. I’ll keep Christmas coming as long as I can. Until he comes home.

At which time I’ll no longer be able to chat w.ith him daily at work. And he wont text, call or email me for fear of being caught. My Trusted Agent, the same one who warned me to ‘be prepared for the trail to grow cold; to be forgotten’, advised me to keep the lines of communication open. “He has many demons”, he said. So that is what I will do. Keep the candle lit. And bake cookies.

And re-activate my online dating profile. Because I’m not stupid. Love and demons aside, this man will never fight that dragon and climb that treacherous tower to come get me. I have to harden my heart–slap it around with bamboo sticks like a fighter conditioning their skin before a bout. Red, swollen, and bruised. That’s what I have to do. But that’s not what I DO. I am Scarlett O’hara: I won’t think about that now. I’ll think about it tomorrow. But back to the online dating…while it’s safe to say I’m emotionally unavailable, that circumstance won’t change unless I meet someone else who can hold my attention for more than a minute.

My 31 year old sister-turned-roommate asked me how to use liquid fabric softener. I thought that was the most ridiculous thing for a person her age not to know. Until she asked me tonight how to make a grilled cheese sandwich.

And yes, everyone is talking about the tragic death of Robin Williams but my reigning thought is “The courage he had to muster to take his own life.” If you’re done, if you have weighed the pros and cons from every angle and still want to tap out, who am I to criticize? Life can be a trial. And after 63 years, he was tired of it. I know that’s a fucked up thing coming from someone going for a Masters in Social Work but to me, it’s like assisted suicide of the terminally ill. In states where it is legal, the individual must go through months of counseling before the death wish is granted. His life, his decision. My life, my decision. And I debate myself on the merits of ‘sticking around’ quite frequently and rationally, I think. Of course, I’ll try to talk you out of it just like I talk myself out of it.

I came home, stripped out of my work clothes and sat naked on the bed with a cold glass of something alcoholic and debated it. I fell asleep. I vaguely recall my sister who doesnt know how to make a grilled cheese sandwich coming in and asking if I still wanted to get up and go to dance class. I think I mumbled “fuck” and “…so exhausted” and she closed the door.

I’m so fancy…I put ice cubes in my wine

Or as my kin would pronounce it: Whah-yn

Apparently I caught something in transit from Afghanistan. Some infection. Maybe ebola. But two rounds of broad-spectrum antibiotics and I was getting worse. I thought I just needed more sleep. Finally, after passing out while antiquing with family, they convinced me to go to the hospital for blood tests. Narrowed down the strain and this next batch of pills should kill it. Hopefully.

It’s too bad Snapchat doesnt work on emails or I would have made the one I sent someone yesterday in my fevered haze disappear. Yes, nightmares. Yes, sick. Still, he doesnt need me bleeding all over him.

In my defense though, on top of being ill, I also started my period today and the moon is nearly full. At least I don’t use these as excuses to be a bitch.

I saw myself in the bathroom mirror at work today. No makeup and hair be-damned. I look like death. Gotta do something about that. Tomorrow.

A friend from the radio station where I used to work sent me a text to ask if I wanted tix to see one of my favorite groups, NIN next Monday night and you know the first things that popped into my head? Ugh, the drive is a pain in the ass and I’ll be so tired at work the next day…When did I get OLD?? ‘Back in the Radio Days’- and it really wasnt THAT long ago–going to live shows several times a week was part of the job. Yeah, I was tired all the time but damn, I saw some amazing live music! I told my friend “Sure, I’ll take them” but it’s difficult to get excited because seeing Trent at a stadium from a jumbotron with thousands of other assholes sitting in assigned seats is not the same as Trent singing TO ME in the balcony at this intimate little venue known as The Tabernacle in Atlanta.

I’m trying a new mantra on for size: Light of Heart, Calm of Spirit. As these words tend to be recurring themes in my prayers, I decided to focus on them. Repeat them as a sort of self-hypnosis. Write them on my hand even, as a constant visual reminder.

I feel a bit like C.S. Lewis at times like this: I want to be left alone…but I dont want to BE alone. Does that make sense? I just want to ‘be’. Be present in the room amidst the safe company of friends or family. Just don’t look to me for conversation.