Drunk, and here I am

I started this blog during a low in my life. Coming back to this blog after about a 6 month hiatus, and I’m different.¬†This space will be too. Changes and updates to come…

*Note: Alcohol influenced this entry.

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Mothers and Daughters

This will be our last holidays with my grandmother. I may have mentioned it before, but she has terminal lung cancer. She had a bowel obstruction a week ago that almost killed her. Luckily, she got better and will probably make it to Christmas. I haven’t called her since she got out of the hospital. Am I a bad granddaughter?

I took a seminar my senior year on the psychology of death. That same semester we found out the cancer would kill her, that no amount of chemo or radiation would help. The rest of the year, that seminar had a new meaning to me. It became a seminar on preparing for my grandmother’s death. She’s lasted a year since the news. I call her and tell her I love her more often than ever before. In that class, I learned that Westerners are avoidant when it comes to death and dying. That probably¬†why I can’t bring myself to call her.

At Thanksgiving, she had clearly deteriorated. She’s always been thin, but she was frighteningly thin. She couldn’t stand or walk around for too long. She grunted and moaned, constantly in pain. I hate seeing her like that. I think I can’t bring myself to call her because I can’t bear to hear the pain in her voice. That’s selfish, isn’t it? It’s weird to think about her dying. I always knew in the back of my mind though. It’s not like I thought she would live forever. I knew she would die someday, but she’ll die soon and I won’t have a grandparent anymore. She’s the only grandparent I ever knew or had a relationship with. I don’t think my mom will deal well with her death. They’ve had such a complicated relationship since my mother was born. I promised my mother I would be there for her, and I will. I just hope it’s something my mother can get past. She will. She has to.

I’ve been reflecting a lot on my relationship with my mother, how it has evolved and changed. For her Christmas present, I’m going to write her a letter, which I will post on this blog. (Oh, and I’m getting her an Amazon gift card because she is IMPOSSIBLE to buy for!) But the letter will mostly be an apology. I want to apologize for the way I treated her when I was a teenager. I know we all go through some growing pains and teen angst, but I was nasty to her. I was a cunt, plain and simple. I don’t really know why because I love my mother more than life itself, but I was cruel at that age. I want to thank her also. She is the single most selfless person I’ve ever known. She’d gladly cut off her arm if it was gonna help me in the least bit. She is the most remarkable human being on this earth. As an adult, all the decisions she made for me when I was young make a hell of a lot more sense. It’s a classic case of, “You’ll understand when you’re older.” But it’s not like I just now realized all of this. The fact is, my mother’s mother is about to die, and hearing her talk about her relationship with my grandmother makes me think differently about my relationship with my mother.

Once there was a darkness, a deep and endless night. You gave me everything you had. Oh you gave me light.
– “I Will Remember You” from the album Mirrorball by Sarah McLachlan

Let the Great World Spin: PART 6

I’m such a fuck-up. No one’s a bigger fuck-up than me. No one’s gonna know that, though. That’s my secret. I walk through the world like I own it.

As I’ve said, I have a terrible tendency to self-sabotage. I love feeling successful, but there have been times when the mere thought of it has terrified me, for reasons I don’t understand. So, I find reasons to fail. Maybe I’m afraid of plateauing and not having much left to aspire to. I love to learn. I loved college, but my grades didn’t reflect that. I even had to withdrawal half-way through what would have been my last semester because I simply didn’t go to class or I didn’t do the work. In hindsight, I think I was scared of what was going to happen after I graduated. I knew graduate school wasn’t an option yet. I wasn’t financially or emotionally prepared for that challenge. But…like I’ve said, I’m good at turning things around for myself. I finished college in the fall and had a job offer two months after graduation. It looked like things were gonna work out for me after all. Except they didn’t work out because my employer wanted a drug test before putting me on payroll. I knew it hadn’t been long enough since my last encounter with mj. I couldn’t even bring myself to chance it. So I called them up and pretty much gave them a load of shit about why I couldn’t take the job. I will forever regret that. A year later, and I just now found a job. It’s retail, so I will gain no field experience. I won’t actually be doing what I went to college to do, but you gotta have money to live.

I have never told anyone that story. No one knows why I really stayed on an extra semester or why that seemingly perfect job fell through. It’s my secret, and maybe one day I’ll tell my mom. I can’t keep anything from her, but I also can’t handle disappointing her (or my sister, who is like a second mother and is totally successful right out of graduate school).

There’s a certain pressure in my family to be successful. So I’m not looking forward to Thanksgiving, telling everyone I work retail, when they (my less immediate family – who are all the OPPOSITE of me, my mom, and siblings, but that’s another story for another entry) ask that inevitable question. I can feel their judgmental eyes staring through me.

Let the Great World Spin: PART 5

There comes a point when, tired of losing, you decide to stop failing yourself, or at least to try, or to send up the final flare, one last chance.

Because I’ve struggled with my mental health since I was an adolescent, I’ve gotten pretty good at convincing myself that the next day won’t be so bad. I’ve lied to myself just so I’m able to go to sleep. I like to think I’m a strong individual in the face of adversity, but I have a habit of self-sabotage. It would appear to an observer that I intentionally make myself miserable, and hell, maybe I do! Goodness knows it’s not my choice. But, like many, there comes a time when you get fed up with yourself. Tired of the excuses and of the pure laziness, I’ve given myself a hundred last chances. It’s probably the worst trait about me. On the other hand, it’s the best because I have become uniquely adept at recovering when I can’t even find a reason to do so. I credit my mother with making me and my brother and sister so resilient.

Hi! Welcome to Ulta!

So I’ve been working at Ulta for 2 days now. In hindsight, everything is 20/20. Things are going pretty well, so I feel pretty foolish for being so nervous about it! But I get anxious about damn near everything that’s new, and having a part time job after not working for 5 years – because I was getting a degree that ultimately served no immediate purpose – qualifies as new. There’s not much to tell though. It’s a typical retail job. “Hi! Welcome to Ulta!” “Did you find everything okay?” “If you go online and take this survey, you’ll be entered to win a $500 gift card.” “Do you want your receipt in the bag?” “Have a great day!” Blah blah blah…but it’s something. It’s something I can go do instead of sitting around the house, or cleaning and running errands on a good day, trying to convince myself that I am useful. I make $8/hr. Whatever. It’s money. And working 15hrs/week, it’s about $450/mo that I didn’t have before. I don’t feel like I’m fulfilling some great purpose I have or that I’m making a difference in the lives of others, but I am making a difference in my own life. I have a reason to put makeup on, dress well, and look my best. Before, I rarely put makeup on or styled my hair. I had no reason, and anyone who knows me well will tell you that I LOVE makeup and “girly” things like that. But for a year, I’ve had no reason to look or feel pretty, I gained weight, and I lost some part of myself. In no way do I think this job will give my life new meaning. But it gives me something to do, and right now, that is enough.

Side note: My feet hurt.

Let the Great World Spin: PART 4

You have to look on the world with a shine like no one else has.

I love this particular quote because, when I was a teenager, I felt alone and misunderstood, like there wasn’t anyone on earth who could see things like me or could understand my feelings. As an adult, I know that no one is going to see everything exactly as you do or understand everything about you, but that is one of the things that makes the world great. Although it leaves us feeling lonely at times, we can all be assured that no one will walk this earth like we did.

Let the Great World Spin: PART 3

This is not my life. These are not my cobwebs. This is not the darkness I was designed for.

I don’t claim to have lived a hard life. I’ve always had shelter, food, clothes, etc. But there’s a different kind of tough time to have. The biggest challenge I’ve faced has been myself. I’ve seen the darkest depths of myself and felt the incomprehensible despair of hopelessness. I’ve been consumed by fear.

I’ve previously mentioned my struggle with mental health. Sometimes it seems that there literally no words in any language to describe being in the throes of depression or in the vice grip of anxiety, but it is a suffocating experience. The worst part is knowing the kind of person you are and knowing that you’ve had moments of pure bliss, happiness, and beauty. But in the thick of it, those moments seem unattainable and fictional. It’s as if “happiness” is a mythical state of mind, only felt by normal people, or the people who live their lives without depression. It’s as if those people live in a book of fairy tales complete with magic and Prince Charmings, where good always triumphs over evil. You will never live that life. You will always be coping with this disease. You may have good days, but you won’t forget your depression. You’ll be anticipating its return.