Not Just Your Garden-Variety Neurotic Smartass.

On Being Mental.

I first started noticing that my brain probably wasn’t wired correctly at around the age of five. I had always been a fragile, delicate kid; and while I generally had a great sense of humor I was hugely sensitive and it felt like any comment directed toward me I had to overanalyze and take harshly.

Kids can be cruel, intentionally as well as unintentionally, so school was hard for me on many levels. I was very intelligent, and was forced to read poetry out loud to my kindergarten class, which left me mortified. Cliques mystified me (and still do), and I was never quite comfortable socially.

All my life I have felt the sense of being not nearly good enough – not smart enough, not pretty enough, not thin enough, and certainly not normal enough for the people around me. This led to eating disorders like anorexia and bulimia and now, overeating; and self-harm.

Not being enough feels like one is always trying to reach a top shelf and just can’t stretch far enough. It’s frustrating and makes a person very sad. The obvious thing to do is to obtain a ladder, but ladders, like meds or therapy, are often inadequate.

In early July I grew tired of reaching, became throughly disgusted with myself, and attempted suicide. I will have many horrible, 12-inch scars down the insides of my forearms for the rest of my life. In some ways I don’t regret what I did, because it’s allowed me to seek the help I truly need through ECT; but at the same time I regret the pain I caused my family and friends, and particularly my daughter.

At any rate, I’m still kicking, and I’m taking action. I may be skewed and for now I still may not feel good enough, but I’m doing my level best. It’s a start.

The Aftermath.

I’m doing pretty well. I arrived at 6:30, was given a chest X-ray, an EKG, and blood tests, and had to change into a hospital gown and a diaper (!); and then I was transferred to an operating room, which was intimidating.

Once there, I had to breathe into an oxygen mask and was given medication through an IV to relax my muscles and knock me out.

I woke up about a half an hour later, somewhat out of it, but generally ok. I was given a sandwich and then returned home, where I slept for four hours.

At this point I just have a headache and back, neck, and shoulder pain, but I’m with it, and hopefully that trend will continue.

Thank you for all your well wishes. They’re much appreciated. ❤️

Ready, Steady, Go.

I just did my morning Headspace meditation, as I do every morning at about this time; and for the very first time I was able to tune out all of the noise and just focus completely on my breathing and not other, extraneous bullshit.

It felt fantastic.

I am ready to do this. Bring it on.

Nervous Nellie.

I have to be in the operating room at 6:30 AM, and I’m as nervous as hell.

I’d like to believe that once I’m actually at the hospital this feeling will have dissipated and that I will be calm, cool, and collected; but I will likely be a trembling and teary wreck.

Somehow I doubt I’m the only ECT virgin to feel this way.

Will my memory be wiped like a hard drive? Will I be a drooling, stuttering fool for the next two months? Will I forget how to wipe my ass? My doctor and my extensive research have all told me no, but my anxiety tells me Yes Bitch, For Sure.

I know that this is the right thing to do and that I absolutely need to do it, but part of me pictures myself running through the hospital parking lot in a hospital gown, bare ass bared, screaming “NOOOO!” while being chased by burly orderlies.

I won’t actually chicken out. I can’t. The idea of being so fucked up that I need this is still just a lot to process.

What I need is sleep – a good solid night of life-giving Zs, but I can’t see that happening. I will probably listen to my audiobook until the drugs take hold and then gladly drift into unconsciousness until four.

Wish me luck.

Zap.

I start ECT early Monday morning.

I have mixed feelings about this. I’m moderately afraid because I know there will be some memory loss, and even more muscle aches than I currently have (which are a lot) for a couple of months. I’m afraid that I will forget to shower or eat or take meds or feed the cats or put cigarettes out.

At the same time, I know that this is very necessary, and I know that it’s time. I feel a strong sense of relief, because now there is an end in sight to my crushing depression.

Yesterday I only got out of bed to pee, smoke, and eat a little. Generally I work very hard at putting up a good front, but it’s exhausting, and when I’m at home I just don’t have the energy for it.

I’ll be back in a while, when my mind is better. Much love.

The Best Part of Wakin’ Up…

Gooooood morning early risers, late shifters, crazy insomniacs, and party people.

I haven’t seen this side of six AM in several days, because I’ve been sleeping relatively well; but I must admit that I’ve missed my early mornings.

All I can hear right now is the vague noise of the expressway from a couple of blocks away and the scrapes and chirps of a few lingering cicadas and crickets. It’s peaceful.

I have to tell you, Dollar General’s coffee game is pretty strong. You may scoff at this, Starbucks snobs, but honestly, it’s good stuff.

Today I plan to move some blog entries from Patreon to this site. I will, however, be removing any personal information about my family, because this site is searchable, and this is not their story.

Have a great day.

Jen out.

Black Thumb, Go Green.

I bought a plant!

tiny plant grows cautiously

I was in the checkout at the grocery store, and on a small display table next to my cart sat a few small, bedraggled succulents. I saw this one, with its sad little droopy leaf hanging off of the side and its painfully dry soil, and I had to give it a home.

I’ll admit that I typically don’t have much luck with plants. My mother is the plant lady of the family. Her spider plants in the ‘70s and 80’s grew massive and terrifying protrusions, and her Wandering Jews are lush and lustrous. My stepdad, too, takes great care with his outdoor summer flowers, producing pretty little beauties like this:

lipstick red

I have killed a cactus, and that’s no easy feat.

Still, I am determined to make my new little friend thrive, and am keeping it in the kitchen on the counter; far from the cats’ ravenous eyes and the nasty porch cigarette smoke.

Here’s hoping.

Gym Rat.

I just got back from the gym. I both love and hate the gym.

I love the gym because there is such a diverse array of bodies in motion and it’s interesting to watch. On the Stairmaster is a lovely Latina woman in peak physical condition smoothly climbing to nowhere. On the elliptical is a heavy white woman churning her arms and legs furiously to the beat of the music. On the treadmill is a thin Black man running with a look of grim determination. They all inspire me.

I love the music at the gym. To use a current slang term, it slaps.

I love working out because although it is often painful, it feels good and necessary. My shoulder and pretty much everything above the waist still ache, so I am relegated to the recumbent bike, leg weights, very isolated ab exercises, and the treadmill for the time being. I’m slowly gaining momentum.

I hate the gym because I do have a shit body image and I do tend to compare myself to those lovely diverse people who are working so hard and look so great. I can’t help but look at my sweaty, red face or protruding abdomen in the enormous, floor-to-ceiling mirror and think, My God, Monstrous.

It’s very hard not to listen to the running commentary in my head that squalls, “YOU used to be that thin,” or “YOU are not working that hard”.

I am there, I am doing what I can, and no amount of self-flagellation is going to help me.

No amount of iced coffee runs after the gym are going to help me either, though. Heh.

*sips Dunkin‘ Donuts frozen vanilla chai latte*

Do you go to the gym? What’s your favorite thing to do there? Hit me up in the comments.

Send Cyanide.

I am roughly an hour and a half late for a Labor Day luncheon at my mom’s because I am waiting for my daughter’s boyfriend, so if you could please fax me some of your best benzos and a bottle of Patron, that would be great.

Picture Pages.

By the way, there’s a link in the drop-down menu to my Instagram page if you feel like adding me and checking out all of my cat photos and horrendous selfies.