Not Just Your Garden-Variety Neurotic Smartass.

Mental Health and Other Heartbreaks.

Yall. I am inundated with spam comments. If you’ve left me a comment recently, I’ll get to it as soon as I’m done deleting my 7,000 ads for C1al1s and V1Agra.

I’ve not been in a particularly fantastic state of mind lately – I had a recent hospitalization and partial hospitalization program which helped some, but as always the problem was my meds ceasing to work properly. My shrink put me back on lithium, so I’m currently fairly dopey (no real surprise there), and took me off the dreaded brainfuck Trazodone, which can actually cause early onset dementia.

I’m ok on the lithium so far. Certainly dopey and none too sharp, certainly sleepy and my social anxiety seems to be a little worse, but it’s livable.

Right now it’s 3:15 in the morning and I am up because I have inexplicable heartburn, part of the joys of getting old, and I am waiting for my Tums to do their antacid work.

I have a lot of fear right now – fear that I will never be NOT depressed and/or manic for a substantial amount of time, fear that I will die old and alone in a state home, fear that my hallucinations will overtake my brain and that I no longer will be able to distinguish what is real from what is not real.

I have lived with Bipolar I since my teens and Schizoaffective Disorder since I was three years old. I hid the schizoaffective disorder since 2019 – when I finally, tearfully, confessed to my shrink that I had visual, auditory, and tactile hallucinations – and was promptly loaded up on antipsychotics.

These drugs have dumbed me down in a wide variety of ways. I have an incredibly difficult time writing anything substantial. I lose concentration when performing even the simplest tasks. Often my hygiene is poor. I forget everything. My diet is horrible . My interpersonal relationships are strained.

Mental illness affect every facet of my life. It has since I was a kid. I’ve been in the mental healthcare system for almost forty years. Some doctors just don’t care. Some do but are far too overworked. Some will just plain not take a case like mine. This leads to a lot of frustration on my part, and I’d imagine on their parts too. I’ve been on huge lists of meds – huge doses that have left me zombified and staring at the wall, manic and frantically bouncing off of the walls, and sleeping for days at a time. I’ve had the side effects – the weight gain, the irritability, the heavy tiredness, the brain fog, the tremors.

Sometimes I ask myself whether it is all worth it. Then I look down at the eight inch scars on my arms and I know that it is. I look down at the medallion around my neck that reads “Flecti Non Frangi” in Latin, which means “to be bent but not broken”. Based off a Victorian wax seal, it also bears the image of a raven, which signifies hope and is believed to have keen vision that pierces all darkness.

I am bent, but I am not broken, and I will get better.

SuperSpam.

Wow, do I have a ton of spam comments. This is what happens when you never update your damn blog.

Well, hi. I am indeed alive and well despite the fact that we have more snow than you can shake a stick at. (And believe me, I am shaking my stick at it furiously.)

I moved, which is great, but the house is a money pit, which is not so great. Currently I need new siding, a new roof, and not one but two new furnaces, as well as major landscaping in the spring; and today electricians are coming to replace my fuse box. Squirrels have also eaten two holes through the tv room ceiling. The fun of homeownership never ends, I tell you!

The power will be out for four hours. Will our heroine survive the 5 degree weather today? Only time can tell.

In my absence I have been furiously unpacking and decorating, attempting to keep up with cleaning and laundry, and putting dozens of photos into frames (don’t ask me how much I spent on frames).

I have a fairly severe Amazon addiction and I think I need an intervention. Bezos should be sending me a fat refund check.

The snow is still coming down, and it’s supposed to snow all day and all night. Having already been dumped upon with a good nine or ten inches, I am not enthused. I hate the snow – I think most people in the Midwest do – and when people tell me how pretty it is, I am somewhat mystified. Sure, during that first small flurry, when the trees sparkle and it’s not filthy from cars and plows, it looks beautiful. After that? Crap crap crap. It is pure crap.

I’m trying not to stress out about the absofuckinglutely ridiculous amount of money I’m going to have to spend on the house, because thankfully I have it and I know that in time, everything will get done. Sometimes this works, and sometimes I panic, and mostly I chain smoke and talk to my dead dad about trivial bullshit. It helps.

Grief seems like an endless process, and sometimes I am fed up and feel like I should be reasonably ok by now, but I know that it will continue on like waves, ebbing and flowing every day. I miss my dad like hell, and I don’t imagine I’ll ever stop.

Jasmine is still working a great full-time job, and I’m proud of her for keeping at it.

The cats follow me endlessly and snooze wherever I am sitting. It feels good to be loved that much.

I will write something more fun soon, something with a bit more zip, but it’s morning and my creative juices are not flowing. Have a great day.

Stress and Fat.

(CW: This talks about weight and fat, and while I have absolutely no problem with any other person’s size or shape, I have a history of eating disorders and most definitely have an adverse reaction to being overweight. If this offends you, you might want to skip this particular post.)

Hello from the woman that doesn’t update nearly enough. Life has been crazy with physical therapy three times a week, seizures, landlord duties, and needy pets; but I am hanging in there.

What’s really on my mind this morning – aside from the 1200 other things on my mind – is fat, specifically my fat. I don’t care about anyone else’s fat.

Since giving birth to my daughter in 1998, I’ve traveled up and down the scale a fair few times. I have always struggled with food and weight and the mind-numbing stress of anorexia, bulimia, and also binge eating.

The way food and weight have affected my life is profound. I have severely weakened (and quite a few missing) teeth as a result, I’ve had stomach bleeding and esophageal tears, and I often wonder whether all of it has had a profound effect on my general health, which is typically not good.

At the beginning of 2019, I weighed in at a reasonable 140 pounds for my 5’10 frame. At this moment in time I am 250 pounds.

I assure you that as much as I have blathered on about my life online, that was one of the hardest things I have ever had to type.

I injured my shoulder badly in June of ‘19, and after that I stopped going to the gym and gained quite a bit of weight throughout the rest of that year. Then in 2020 both Covid and my shoulder replacement happened, and the rest is my DoorDash history, so to speak.

I don’t recognize myself. I went from being a person who got up at four to go to the gym every day and wore a size eight to a person who can literally grab a big handful of fat under her chin. I am inactive except for physical therapy, and I typically don’t eat until the evening, when I pull out all the stops.

I know how to eat properly and also what to eat. As an eating disordered person, I could expound on every available diet for days, and probably could rattle off the calorie and carbohydrate content of most foods, but the problem lies in practice. I am never physically hungry – I either Want or Don’t Want. Lately, I Want. It’s tied into stress.

Therapists and shrinks have been largely useless in dealing with this problem – there is no magic psychiatric medication to fix an eating disorder, and they are notoriously difficult to treat. I have had most psychiatrists give me such useless advice that it’s comical, such as “Just eat celery with salsa” or “Just don’t think about food”.

All my life I have thought about food, because the eating of it or removal of it or the denial of it has been such an inherent part of my psyche that I wish that I could survive from just taking a pill three or four times a day and avoid food altogether. That has been a lifelong dream of mine, that and unzipping my body and stepping out of it as an absolutely svelte person without putting in any of the work.

I’m not a lazy person and I don’t mind doing the work, but it does take a fair amount of gumption to get started and I’ve fallen into such a miserable routine and have been so stressed out (food and stress are the best of friends) that I’ve been short on gumption.

When I look in the mirror, I see a fat woman, middle-aged, with a fat face, actual jowls, and a fat, thick neck. My stomach and behind are both enormous, and trust me when I tell you that I do not look cute and chubby, more covered in cellulite and stretch marks and white, veiny flesh. The thought of anyone seeing me naked, ever, sends me into a panic. I had to have a full-body check recently by the dermatologist, and I cried.

It’s become imperative that I get my proverbial shit together – my blood pressure has gone from very low to high, I am having stomach problems from inhaling too much crap food, and the slightest amount of exercise leaves me red-faced and breathless. I have entered the danger zone. To continue my current lifestyle could put me into heart attack territory. I need to start eating healthily, now, and I need to get moving – but I also need not to take it too far.

Today I am not going to eat any junk food or fast food. It’s a start. I am also going to start taking walks in the evening, when I won’t be embarrassed by the unforgiving light of the sun.

It’s something. Have a great day.

Putting On My Big Girl Panties.

I’m dealing with a lot right now – missing my dad horribly – I feel as if I’m breathing him in with every breath taken and breathing him out with every breath expelled. It’s hard and it hurts like hell, but thankfully I have so many other things to focus on right now that I’m sort of numb in a sense.

I saw my dad’s financial advisor this week and also a CPA to work on his taxes, which he thankfully had already started. He kept excellent records, so that wasn’t a problem – I’m just having trouble locating a lot of things like the many 1099s he should have due to being self-employed. Complicated taxes are very new to me, so my almost-two-hour appointment with the accountant was a big help.

I also need to pay property taxes on both homes and the apartments, so that involves a pretty good chunk of change. Renovations need to be done on the house. Bills from all three properties are flying in. Tenants are paying late, and all of them pay on different days throughout the month. Lawns need to be maintained. It’s a lot of responsibility, particularly for someone who can’t drive.

All this, and we’re going to be moving in a couple of months, too. Madness.

I’m considering selling the apartment building in the new year just to lessen some of the stress.

Not much else has been going on except a constant flow of paperwork and appointments – today is the eye doctor, tomorrow I am going to my dad’s to look through files and I am having a tooth pulled, every day this week I have had somewhere I’ve needed to be. Damn, damn, Damn I wish I could drive.

In good news, I have decided to take a short vacation, so I invited myself to Arizona to visit my good friend John, where we will be silly and smoke too much and generally cause a racket. I’m very excited.

Other than that, I’m just a girl who misses her dad. Nothing to see here.

Peri-Screw This.

I’m pretty sure I’m going through peri-menopause, if the fact that I can cook a steak on my forehead without having a fever tells me anything.

Fuck this crap and the horse it rode in on. It is currently 73 degrees in the town of Chi and I am sweating. My whole body aches and last week I rage-punched a wall. I’m not having period issues, since my periods stopped when I was 26 and had my tubes cut, cauterized, and shipped overseas; but this is all still supremely uncomfortable and annoying at best.

At worst, I am a fiery bitch from hell.

Why Why Why do women get the short end of the stick? Periods, painful breast growth, more damn periods, gyno exams, birth control side effects, childbirth, breastfeeding, changing crappy diapers while dealing with periods and breastfeeding, peri-menopause, and then THE CHANGE, actual menopause. It’s just not fair. I’d like to see one man deal with a heavy period while warming bottles or breastfeeding. Babies would become extinct.

I am also growing long, random hairs out of places no longer hairs should be. Hey! There’s one on my chin that grew an inch overnight! Hey! There’s a dark one coming out of a mole on my hand! Isn’t that something! The fun never ends, and neither does the plucking!

Pooping has become a whole ‘nother ballgame, too. I have always been moderately constipated with periods of severe lockdown. Now? Jesus, I need five Colace and a jackhammer just to get things moving.

I’m over it. Completely. Now I’m going to get some paper towels, mop the sweat from under my boobs, and have some coffee before I stab someone.

A Poem of Sorts.

my daddy can’t be dead

he’s taking me out to the ice cream truck

my daddy can’t be dead

he’s teaching me how to read bigger words

my daddy can’t be dead

he’s doing flips in the backyard

my daddy can’t be dead

we are listening to the Bee Gees

my daddy can’t be dead

he is laughing way too hard


my dad can’t be dead

he is teasing me about the posters on my wall

my dad can’t be dead

he is riding his unicycle around the block

my dad can’t be dead

he is cooking in his wok

my dad can’t be dead

he is feeding our tarantula crickets

my dad can’t be dead

he is laughing with my friends

my father can’t be dead

he is fixing my car

my father can’t be dead

we are going out to lunch

my father can’t be dead

he has a granddaughter

my father can’t be dead

everyone loves him

my father can’t be dead

he is still laughing because this is a prank

no, not my father

not my dad

not my daddy.

Running, Running.

I still can’t wrap my head around the fact that my healthy, happy father is gone. His birthday is next week and I feel a strong urge to shop for it.

It’s just unfathomable, and it’s so unfair.

I have tons and tons to do. I am now a landlord. I have rent to collect and things to fix. I have to open up new accounts. I have to pay bills for the house. I have to pay insurance on his vehicles. I have to look into insurance policies and investments. These are things I never really thought about before, because I thought my dad would live at least another twenty years.

It makes no sense.

Last night I rage punched a wall. It was dumb, and my hand hurts like hell, but for a moment I felt better.

I feel stressed out and tense all the time. I feel hopelessly sad and angry. We have a cat that won’t stop howling and I am terribly impatient with her. I am not doing well.

I have a virtual therapist appointment today, and I hope that it will help.

I will be at my dad’s, going through a seemingly endless array of files, looking for answers.

Wish me luck.

And There Was Silence.

I thought that my dad’s funeral went very well, aside from all the horrendous crap that led up to it.  It has been a difficult ride.

My aunt is the co-executor of the will.  This does not in fact give her any kind of power, but apparently she called my dad’s attorney to find out whether it did, because – and I quote – “she didn’t believe I [sic] would pay her back for the funeral” because of course I am a miscreant; and because I had my best friend break into my dad’s locked and apparently keyless file cabinets WHICH SHE KNEW ABOUT AND AGREED WITH (because of course my friends are all degenerates and of course he must have read important files, right?  Sure.  

Needless to say things have been incredibly tense.  I called and left her a voicemail letting her know in no uncertain terms that just because I am not Baptist or a churchgoer does not make me a terrible person who would stiff someone or allow my friends to look through confidential files.  

She immediately got upset and “resigned” as co-executor, saying that she was sure I’d do Just Fine.  

I managed to work out another way to pay for the funeral and now have to pay that person back with the quickness.  

Now that the service is over, she is calling me multiple times an hour to offer her unsolicited advice, but saying, “but you do what you want”.  

It is maddening.  Death plus money equals asshole in a lot of cases and I know this, but I just didn’t expect it to come from my dad’s only sibling who is already wealthy.  

I am trying very hard to let all of this business with her go and concentrate on what needs to be done, but I am out of Pepcid and really want to slap her.  

Why are people so ugly?  It really blows my mind.  

There is a trend on Tik Tok in which horrible, cruel parents pick out a photo of a physically disabled or different-looking person and screech at their spawn, “This is your new teacher!” cackling while their odious offspring scream or cry.  

This is one of the most vile things I have ever heard.  How awful and heartless.  I can’t even fathom how someone could be so cruel.  

There is so much hate and fear in the world already without teaching it to your kids.  

Anyway, my dad has been laid to rest, and aside from the occasional crying jag I’m still feeling very numb.  I think it’s partially because I still don’t k ow how or why he died and can’t wrap my head around that and partially because I still have so much to do with his estate.  

I just can’t believe he’s gone.  It hurts so much that I can’t allow myself to feel it.  It feels awful.  

I have a meeting with the bank on Monday because I am the beneficiary of his accounts and I need to figure out what to do.

I never thought I’d be in this position so soon, and it really sucks.  I’m just trying to keep my head above water and not think about the fact that my dad’s life was cut way too short.  

A Crushing Turn.

I last talked to my father Thursday night. We are trying to sell Jasmine’s old car, and I had a few questions about it.

I didn’t hear from him on Friday or Saturday, so I texted him a couple of times Sunday, and I got no response. I called both his home phone and his cell, and both went straight to voicemail. I was worried despite his stellar health, so I called his sister, my aunt. She came and picked me up, and we went to his house. One of his vehicles was outside. Neither of us had keys, and my aunt didn’t know the code to open the garage. There were three days worth of newspapers on his porch and some packages, and a ton of mail in the mailbox.

We called the police to do a wellness check, and after some time they procured a ladder from a neighbor and they managed to get into a second story window. They came out the front door after a few minutes and asked us to come sit downstairs in the kitchen. I was shaking.

As soon as the cop said “There’s no easy way to say this,” I became hysterical. They told us that my dad had apparently died peacefully in his sleep earlier that weekend.

My father was the picture of good health. He exercised daily and watched what he ate. He took no medication. He never got sick. To the best of my knowledge, he was not exposed to COVID. It makes no sense.

I wanted to go up and see him, but both the police and the coroner told me that I shouldn’t. They said that it would be best to remember him the way that he was. I was crushed. I saw the funeral home staff bring my dad’s body out in a body bag. I have never felt such despair.

How can my vibrant, eclectic, brilliant, hot-headed, karaoke-rapping, inventive dad be gone? Just like that? No warning? Nothing? How can my daughter’s grandpa be gone? I cannot wrap my mind around it.

I sobbed the five hours I was at my dad’s, and I have been weeping since I got home. Sleep is impossible. I don’t know what to do. I have to find his will in order to see what his wishes were as far as a funeral and plan that out. He owns a couple properties, and I have to find out when rent is due. I have to find his phone and get a hold of the lady who schedules his jobs, and also his friends. I have to stop his newspapers and magazines. I have to find his keys.

This feels insurmountable. I feel such a heavy sense of grief. I just want my dad.

Parts Is Parts.

Well, hi! How are you? How are enjoying life in this Trump-led, racist, homophobic, transphobic, pandemic-panicked, insane society? Great? Of course!

Yep. Me too.

I had a total shoulder replacement three weeks ago, and let me tell you, it is the worst surgery I have ever had by leaps and bounds. I have three new parts – a ball, a socket, and an inch-thick bar that is about eight inches long that the ortho literally shoved down the center of the bone in my upper arm. What is that bone called – the humerus? I used to know all the bones before I started banging my head on things. Anyway, it hurts like holy shit.

The ortho cut off my pain meds a week ago without so much as a kiss on the cheek, and life has not exactly been a bowl of cherries since. The pain is so intense that I’ve been puking almost every day, and I am very stiff and swollen. This sling can absolutely die in a fire.

But hey, at least I have a cool scar, right? Right.

Other than that, I have been doing my best to relax, even though I am typically not a relaxed person. Jasmine is taking up my slack by cleaning litter boxes and doing dishes and taking out the trash and cleaning up the house. I don’t miss cleaning, but I do feel kind of useless.

I have got to start writing daily. That’s one thing I can do that doesn’t hurt, and there is no excuse for me not to do it.

Good things: coffee with extra hazelnut creamer, Loki the cat, who fetches without fail and is generally hilarious, cool mornings, and Jasmine having a job.

Things I need: money (always), weed (helps with the pain), contact lenses, patience (to let this crap heal), and sleep.

Things I would love love love to see happen: Trump to lose this election by a landslide, people to rally around the USPS, racism and homophobia and transphobia to be denounced completely, and 65 degree weather all year round. A girl can dream.

I’ll be back tomorrow. Pinky swear. Have a (insert superlative here) day.