Welcome to Anhedonia - population: me

How do you know when you're drawing the lines between what you want and what you need? How do you know which line is which? How do you know that you're making the right decision? How do you know when you're deciding things for yourself, and when you're making decisions based on what other people will think of you? What if that decision isn't right? What if this one isn't? How long do you force yourself to stay in a position in which you're not completely comfortable, before you decide to make things change? How long do you push yourself to pretend that everything is okay? How long do you lead people on? How long do you lie? Are you lying? Because you're not happy. Okay, you're not unhappy, but you're content. Life is adequate. Things are okay. But, they're nothing more. What happens when you hit that brick wall?

My life has been full of lots of brick walls as of late. I seem to hit them head-on and without slowing down. I usually wake up with metaphorically blood-soaked clothes, dried up blood caked to my face and wondering how the hell I got where I am. I can't seem to remember making the decisions that led me to being here.

There is no fire that burns within me right now, and it's scaring the shit out of me. I know it's my depression, but that doesn't help. Will it be like this forever? Is this to be a constant struggle throughout the rest of my life? What if I never find my place?

I spent Sunday with my aunt and my cousin, at a Beth-Hallel women's retreat, at Aldridge Gardens. It forced me to come face-to-face with all the things I've been fearing and questioning, but I still have no answers. I know God is there - I just can't hear Him. I don't know what He's wanting me to do. I'm trying so hard to let go of the things in my life that have caused me to stumble and fall, but they hold on so tightly. Constantly, I find myself waking in the middle of the night, or failing to fall asleep, because of these things that torture me. My inspiration has changed - it's almost as if there is none. My words have changed - they no longer make sense. Once upon a time, I could write an eloquent paragraph, that expressed my deepest emotions. Now, I can write for hours on end, and when I get done, I delete the whole thing, because it makes no sense. I go around and around, and end up back at the beginning. My writing used to be my therapy. Now, I want to set fire to everything, because it's so simple and stupid.

I'm in this life, and I don't know what to do with it. I know God is there, but I don't know what He wants from me. I'm in love with someone, but what if it's the wrong person? Where is the rest of my life going? I thought I could do this, but I don't know that I can. I'm constantly hovering at the edge of my hole - sometimes I'm in the hole, and I can't see my hand in front my face. Sometimes there's light, but there's just no way out. Sometimes I'm standing at the very edge, peering down into the darkness. But, the hole is always there, taunting me, beckoning at me to just jump.

There are all these decisions that I need to make. What do I do with the rest of my life? What happens if I make the wrong decision? Is there really a wrong decision? Don't all choices just have consequences?

I mean, this is the rest of my life I'm being faced with. I no longer have anyone to hold my hand. This is all me. I don't really even talk to anyone about what I'm going through, because I can't even make sense of it. I feel more lost than I've ever been in all my life. I used to have goals and drive, but now, it's like there's nothing in front of me. I'm just walking through a fog, opening whatever door I come to next. There's no map, no GPS - just aimless meandering. I hate not having purpose. I feel so alone and so unsure. I don't trust ANY decision I make. I don't trust myself. Hell, I don't even like myself! And, I'm just supposed to go along with what this person decides? Right. Like THAT'S going to go over well. It's like I'm dwelling in a stranger's body, and another stranger is making all of my decisions. I'm just along for the ride. But, it's not a good ride.

There have been so many wonderful people who have influenced my life. But, I've made so many horrible choices for myself. I'm so thankful for the friends and family I have. Without them, I think my life would be a whole lot worse than it feels like it is now. And, my life isn't BAD, per se. It's my mind that's making it bad. In the place of where my heart should be, that huge sucking darkness is back. It eats my happiness. It's eating me. It makes my functioning awkward. My conversations are awkward. My feelings are alien. I feel like I'm working someone else's body, but I'm doing a really bad job. I'm in a constant foggy state of confusion. People say things, but when I say things back to them, it's like hearing someone else talk. Or I just stand there, lost.

No one understands me, but I don't expect anyone to. *I* don't understand me. I've even tried to read over things I write (which if you know me, you know I NEVER read anything I write), and I wonder, "I wrote this? Why? What the hell was I talking about?"

I'm so frustrated with myself. I can't understand any of the thoughts or feelings I'm having. I can no longer analyze anything that I go through, because I won't understand it anyway. I'm in this life that I don't know anything about. Sometimes I just stand in the middle of my apartment and think "who lives here?"

I know that I can feel. I know I can love. I know there are things that I want. I just don't know how to get to them. I reach my hand out to grab something, but I quickly lose interest. I want to love someone, but I'm so afraid to involve someone in my life, because I don't want them to get hurt. I don't need to trust in someone else to MAKE me happy, because people will always disappoint you. I'm always afraid of picking the wrong person. I'm always afraid of hurting someone. I know that what happened in my before time will never happen again - I'll never cheat on anyone. But, there are so many other things that COULD happen. I can't live my life in fear, though. What a meaningless life. A fearful life? I can't live like that.

As much as I try to push it away, I know I need the medicine. I've tried so hard to make this just be something I can overcome...but I can't. I'm just lying to myself. I still can't get past the fact that needing medicine seeming like such a weakness to me. Why am I so weak? How did I get this way? Was I always going to be this way? Why do my feelings have such dominance in my life? Is there any way I can use that to my advantage? I thought I was, but it always seems to fail me or cheat me out of happiness in some way. Or is just resultant of the decisions I make?

I wake up every morning, wondering who the hell is driving this bus. I have no idea what I want out of my life anymore. I used to want to help people. Now, I just want someone to help me. I don't WANT help, but I want to feel better. I want to be okay with myself. I want this self-hatred and self-loathing to go away. I want to destroy the confusion. How in the hell does the medicine stifle all this? It seems so vast, like I've just been dropped in the middle of the ocean, and I have to DECIDE which way to go. There are no birds to lead me in a direction, there is no wind to help me along. I'm a tiny satellite adrift in the middle of the universe and all I know is I have to get somewhere - I'm just not sure where.

I've been thinking a lot about my future, and I realize now that just having a degree of some kind is no good. You have to have at least a bachelor's degree to be of any use to anyone. I wish someone would have told me that, when I was in school to get my associate's. Used to, a degree was appropriate. Well, they keep changing the rules, and it's always after I've done what I thought I had to do. My life used to be about what I wanted, what I had to do that would make me happy. Now, it's just about fulfilling the minimal requirements. But, even those aren't good enough. They have to be the RIGHT minimal requirements.

It scares the shit out of me to think about going back to school in this state. Everything is so half-assed to me right now. I'm afraid with the way I feel now, there's no way I can make it. I'm afraid I won't even get part of the way in, and I'll just fizzle out completely. That's how it's been with everything lately. This anhedonic feeling rules my life. I watch tv and sleep all the time now, because I can't stand to hear my own thoughts. They just don't make any sense!

My dishes sit unwashed, my recycling sits unsorted, my laundry sits undone, my dog sits unbathed, my cats sit unplayed with, my house sits uncleaned - THIS is not me. Once upon a time, I had drive. I had vision. I had feelings. I had love. I had desires. I had meaning.

Now, I just am. I'm another version of me - a dead one, a shell. I used to love to laugh, to play, to hug, to love - now, all I feel like doing is sitting and staring. Not even at tv. Just into the air. I thought I was stronger than this, but in reality, I'm not. There's really not even any fear. It's like I'm just existing. I'm just here until I'm gone. But, this can't be all there is to it. Open-ended nothingness. My mind is just a vacant space, waiting for a spark of something - inspiration, insanity, anything.

I'm so lost. I can't even hear anyone anymore. I can see people talking, but I don't even know what they're saying, even when they're talking TO me. They're saying things, and I know most of the time, they even mean well. But, I just don't understand what they're saying. Language makes no sense to me anymore. I don't know that there's anything I understand. I thought I understood myself, but I don't.

I'm sorry, self, that I can't take better care of you right now. I want to have some sort of something to look forward to, but I don't. I'm so detached. I feel like someone could take out my brain and my heart, and I'd be the exact same as I am right now, that it wouldn't even make a difference. Obviously, I have feelings, or I wouldn't cry as much as I do. But, even right now, I don't feel anything, except a swell in my chest. I don't even know what it is, but it constantly takes my breath away. I react how you're supposed to react to different things, but there's nothing behind it.

I just want to wake up one day and say, "Hey, I want to do this," or "I'd like to accomplish this." But, every morning, I just wake up. The most of any feeling I've had is needing to go to the bathroom. That's just sad. My bladder gets more feeling than my mind or my heart.

I think I'm in love with someone. I assume it's love, because I don't want to be without him (even though I am). He loves me, too, but I don't know what to do about it. I don't feel like I can make an appropriate decision, with the state I'm currently in. Every decision I've made has been like a reaction. There's been no thought behind anything I've done. I'm trying to find a job, just because that's what you do, when you don't have a job. I don't even care what kind of job I get. Just so long as I don't have to spend this time inside my own dead mind, I'll be content. And, I'll talk to people, because it's what you do, when you're around them. And, we'll make conversation, because it's what people do, when they talk. And, I'll laugh at funny things they say, because it's what you do, when people say funny things.

But, what does it all mean? Where is my life going now? Who even cares?

And, how can I ever be with someone, if I know this is what they're going to get? It's like handing someone a gift-wrapped box that turns out to be completely empty. Or, not even empty, but with a surprise black hole inside. How unfair is that?

I used to be a person, just like you. I used to have emotions and feelings, and I used to laugh and cry and have opinions. Now, I'm just here, waiting to be reprogrammed. And, I don't even have an opinion on who I'd like to be. Well, I'd LIKE to be myself again, but I don't even know who that's supposed to be. I used to be an okay person. I used to be fun-loving and full of smiles and hugs - now, I'm just awkward, strange and empty.

Welcome to Anhedonia. It's not a nice place to visit, and you definitely don't want to live here. You'll get very lost all the time. There are no maps. There are no roads. There's nothing to look at. You're not even wandering through beautiful woods. You're just here. You never know which way to turn or which way you're walking. You can ask someone directions, but they don't know where you are or where you're going, either. If you ask a question, the only response you'll ever get is "I don't know," and people shrug their shoulders a lot. There's a lot of aimless pointing and quizzical stares. No one thinks you're weird here - they just don't think at all.

I don't know how I got here, but I'm really ready to leave.


Ten years ago...

I saw this on Postsecret today, and it absolutely took my breath away.

Ten years ago, my mother passed away. After her EEG showed no activity, the doctors came in to check her reflexes, but she would never respond. But, I held her hand, and every time I would tell her to squeeze my hand, she would. Not a tic, but a real squeeze.

To this day, I've never told a soul, because I knew they would think I was creating something that wasn't there.

She might not have been there for the doctors.

But, she was there for me.

Thank you to whomever posted this secret. It means more to me than I could ever express.


To carve END on my arms

I should be going to bed, and I will soon.

I've just been sleeping all day, because of this flu, or whatever level 4 hot virus I have. The CDC really should come quarantine me. I think I have whale flu or something. This fever has been kicking my ass for three days - tomorrow will be day four. And, it's ranged from 101-103°. I've actually been sick for two solid weeks, but the head cold was nothing, until the fever kicked in. Plus, the germs have settled comfortably deep within my lungs. I have runny nose, sneezing, coughing, fever, severe fatigue, all-over body pain, green diarrhea (which I'm thinking is resultant from all the meds I've been taking). Um, at least my throat doesn't hurt. Well, on the inside, anyway. Everything on my body is falling apart. My wrists and elbows hurt, my back won't let up, no matter what my position, my neck has surpassed pain altogether and moved onto a completely different level of suffering.

My friend Debbie said I can come to Ashland to see her doctor there - I might do that, if I'm not feeling any better tomorrow. I keep thinking if I can break the fever, then I can stay on top of it, but that hasn't happened. Sometimes it feels like it goes away, but then it comes back within an hour or so, with a vengeance.

I wish I knew why God gave me such a fucked-up body. I can't fight anything for shit. Anyone else can get a runny nose or the sniffles. Mine requires IV fluids, three trips to the ER and a bathtub full of ice. And, the weird thing is, I don't always take meds when I get sick. I try REALLY, REALLY hard to let my body fight off the illness naturally. But, it never fails. I always take a horrible turn for the worse, and people are like, "oh, well, you should have gone to see the doctor when the symptoms started." Man, get off me. This is my body. I'm trying desperately to do what I think is best for me. I mean, how else are you supposed to build up immunities?

Anyway, I'm back on my vitamins, which I've been really bad about not taking, since I got laid off. And, I have to majorly increase my fluid intake tomorrow. Deb said it's like washing the germs out of your body. And, another friend said a fever can stick around longer or get worse, the more dehydrated you are. I didn't know that. I swear they taught us all the wrong stuff in school. Like the fact that you can't put ANY amount of liquid detergent in the dishwasher - didn't know that.

Gah, I'm on fire! I've been sitting around with a thermometer in my mouth for hours, just to monitor my temperature. It hasn't gone any higher than 103° - well, that I've caught it. I just got a thermometer today, so...I didn't get one of those crappy digital ones either. This one has Galinstan, which is an earth-friendly substitute for Mercury. The digital ones never last for me, nor are they accurate - they've never worked for me.

Jared called a couple of days ago and said my car may be ready this week, but since tomorrow's Friday, I think it may be next week before I get it back. I really don't want to get it back right now. I don't want to leave the house, because I'm terrified of getting other people sick. I bumped hands with the cashier lady at the CVS, and she looked at me totally weird, when I told her she needed to wash her hands. I wasn't playing either. I used a (clean) tissue to use the marker on the debit card machine. I really need some masks for when I go out in public, too, but I don't know where they are. I have some packed away somewhere.

I almost walked outside earlier with no pants on. I was taking Jack out, and I've been wearing shorts, but I had to take them off, because this fever is making my skin so sensitive. I can't stand for blankets to touch me, and I keep going from freezing to burning. I took some freaking Theraflu about an hour ago, but it hasn't kicked in for some reason. I'm not looking forward to sleeping, because I always have fitful, nightmarish sleep when I have fevers.

I asked the pharmacist at CVS what I could take for specific flu symptoms (runny nose and coughing), and she said that if I thought I had the flu, I needed to go see a doctor. I swear, I wanted to punch that bitch in the face. A doctor??? REALLY???? I didn't think of that!!!

I said, "Look, if I had insurance OR the money, I can promise I would have gone there at the first sign of this. Can you just answer my question?" I hate being sick - I'm a real bitch. I've been a bitch to everyone, even the girls and Jack. It makes me feel horrible. &=( I can't even stand long enough to let Jack take a dump. If I stand longer than a few minutes, my blood pressure starts to drop, and I feel like I'm going to faint. I'm really dehydrated, or on my way there, I know, because my nose just won't stop running.

Cris left for tour today, and he's going to be gone for a whole week. I'm okay, except that I could really use the help with Jack. I wish I knew someone who boarded dogs cheaply, so I could take him, even if it's just for a few days - that would help immensely, if I didn't have to get up every couple of hours and take him out. He's been such a good boy through this. I feel so sorry for him, because sometimes I'll crash out because of the meds, and I won't wake up when he's yelling that he needs to potty, so he's been pottying a lot in his crate. It makes me feel so bad. &=( Poor baby! I just want to get better, so we can go for walks and play in the leaves! He loves that.

Okay, I'm going to try to lay down. My eyes are burning, and all I want to do is wake up tomorrow and feel some better. I'm so angry at God right now. Well, maybe not angry. More like, I just don't care anymore. I don't care what plans He has for me, because these past couple of months have been horrible. I don't care what sort of character this is going to add to my already chock-full file. I don't care about anything but feeling better and getting a damn job. I can't even care about other people right now. I just DON'T. And, that's not me. I want "ME" back. I want a regular me - not a depressed me, not a sickly me, not an absent me. If I can't have that back, just fucking kill me. For real. I can't live in this life anymore. I don't know what to do with myself anymore. I have NO fire. I have NO drive. I have NO direction anymore. I just don't fucking care.

Ten years. It's been like this for ten long fucking years. And, I honestly don't see the point in going on, if this is all there is. I never know if the bad things actually outweigh the good things (I'm thinking yes), or if the bad things are just so fucking horrendous, I can't remember that there ARE good things. So far, the only good thing that I have going for me right now is Cris. And, I'm very thankful for unemployment. Aside from that, all we're doing is struggling. I'm depressed, I hate my life, I hate myself, I can't do anything on my own, I need a job, I need insurance, I need a car. And, my problems are nothing compared to what some of my friends have going on. I know I'm not alone, but I am the only one dealing with my shit. And, when it's your shit, it makes it that much more important in your life, obviously. It would be different if it was something I could ignore, but so far, my problems have presented themselves in a manner that causes them to be front and center. I can't do ANYTHING for anyone without a job or money or a car or my health. My life is just a goddamn disaster.

Every few days, I pretend it's a new beginning, but I'm just fooling myself. It's just more and more days of the same bullshit. I am glad to not be at the hospital anymore, but I do miss having a job - especially a well-paying job. And, I have no desire to ever return to healthcare. Ever. I know all fields are the same in some aspect or another, but FUCK the medical field. I've never met such uncaring, selfish people in all my life. Thankfully, I made some good friends while I was there, but I can assure you - the bitches, assholes, douches and dicks are in far greater number than the good people.

Okay, I have to lay down. Or, I'm going to make myself lay down. I'll have to start on the fluids tomorrow. I hate drinking lots, because then I have to pee all the time. But, I guess it's better I pee than not. I'm waiting for this to turn into fucking pneumonia - then, I'll REALLY be up shit creek. But, it won't be any different than any other day, so at least I'm prepared. Put me in the hospital. I'd LOVE for someone to take care of me for once. Put me on the vent - that way, I won't even have to breathe for myself.

I know - I sound incredibly selfish. But, if you knew where I was coming from, you'd understand. This isn't "having a really bad day." This is "would rather be dead." And, tomorrow is TWLOHA day. I'll write love on my arms, but I'll be wishing the marker was a knife instead.

Gotta love the drama, right? Well, it's unfortunate when they're your real feelings.


Karma is a real-live bitch, & I'd like to kick her ass

This is exactly what's happening to me at this moment. There's not one, single thing that's gone right, and things are only getting worse. As for my health, well, I'm really sliding downhill. I had a horrible cold that has transformed into a terrible high fever, with horrible all-over body aches. I can't even stand to get out of bed to take Jack to potty. I can stand outside long enough to let him pee, but any longer than that, and I feel like fainting. I've been denied independent health care coverage by BCBS, twice, so Dave suggested I go apply for charity care tomorrow at Kirklin, because I'm not eligible for Medicaid. Which means, I get free coverage and my doctors get no money. I'm overdue for a pap, the dentist, and whatever else is going to hit me out of the blue. You have no idea how much I hate charity care. I mean, it's good for those who need it, but I don't need it. I need a goddamn job and some fucking insurance. I need a car. I need whatever has me possessed to leave my body and let me get on with my life, what little is left of it. I'm in so much pain, I can't even describe what it's like. Let's just say, I can lay flat on my back, and it feels like something is ravaging my body at every point. There hasn't been one minute that I've been out of pain for about a week, now. Now, there's the rain and the cold, and I'm just waiting to end up like one of those elderly patients, who's fixed in a rigor mortis position, knees and arms drawn up to my chest.

There's not one good thing I have to report...except that Cris is still hanging around, which for the life of me, has me baffled. I managed to get seriously and disgustingly ill, then immediately pass it on to him, and not only that, but I'm getting SICKER. Thankfully (well, not to me), he's leaving on Thursday to go on tour and won't be back for a week. MAYBE, just maybe, I'll get better in that small amount of time, although I'm not looking for anything. Seriously. I'm not looking for anything to happen. I'm literally just waiting to die at this point. I can't believe how fucking horrible I feel. I don't know what to do with myself anymore. I don't know what kind of job I should get, once I get my car back. I don't even know what to do with my fucking future. I really want to just light my entire life on fire and walk away - nay, RUN away. Run as fast as my fucking feet can possibly carry me.

Eg. Sitting here, typing on the computer, with my elbows bent, I'm experiencing the most excruciating pain in both my elbows - why? Who knows?

Anyway, fuck some future, fuck some plans, fuck some getting better, fuck everything there is to fuck. For some reason, God hates me and is keeping me alive, and all I'm doing is suffering. I don't even fucking feel like crying anymore. I used to think I had this grand plan I was supposed to fulfill, that I was going to meet the most awesome guy, and we'd live happily ever after, doing whatever it was we did. But, now, I know that's completely untrue. God is punishing me for what happened with Aaron all those years ago. I've tried to tell Him that I learned my lesson, but it's fruitless. He doesn't care. This is all some masterful character-building bullshit that seriously makes me want to commit suicide. But, I don't think I could even do that right. I know people always say He doesn't give us more than we can handle, but um, what happens when yu can't do it anymore? Seriously? If this "taking one for the human race" was actually going to accomplish something, like stopping world hunger, or stopping all abuse, or stopping all suffering, then I'd totally buck up and take it with my mouth shut. So far, it's done nothing but make me mean and thankless and hateful, and I don't fucking want to do it anymore!

What the fuck ever - like bitching ever solved anything.

Anyway, here's the comic - it's from Buttersafe. It portrays my life perfectly at this exact moment. It's probably why I've suddenly spiked the fever this morning, because I'm fucking possessed. The sad thing is, it wouldn't surprise me - AT ALL.

Right, and disregard the joke about the junk. Mine just says "Sucks to be you."

And, for what-the-fuck-ever reason, the comic won't blow up, so here's the link. Sorry. It's much funnier when you know what the damn thing says.