Man, I’d almost forgotten about this place. Haven’t posted in ages. Heck, it doesn’t in any way resemble the old site, with its wonderfully unique personal pages. And I doubt that any of my old buddies are around. I feel like some long ago tenant who’s let herself by the side door with an old key. Cross between a ghost and a trespasser. Odd feeling.

Yet what is familiar is that old sense I used to get when posting: of a tiny thrill of connection buried in the general conviction of writing for myself. I mean, who would start, let alone complete, one of my epic word-spools? I barely read them myself. And yet, maybe someone here will read it and get it and feel less alone.

During my long absence from the tribe, I’ve had depressed times and less depressed ones. I’ve remained my mostly frustrated, self-hating critic-of-much. I’ve underachieved royally. I did manage to finish my PhD, but haven’t parlayed it into much of anything, certainly not anything that pays well. I’ve sailed into full middle age with some of the annoying physical changes that implies. I’ve stayed with my fella and at times felt, despite the sometime lack of passion and intellectual sympathy, that being with him has shown me the richness, ordinariness and wondrousness of real terrestrial love (because he’s pretty great). I’ve also grown even more isolated; deepened and intensified my artistic avoidance; and developed, and since paused, an over-fondness for wine tasting.

Yet here I am–here we all are–as the world burns.

My wonderful father died, at a ripe old age, back in January and I miss him. Or did, until this virus made me glad he left us when he did.

Now I am my 85-year-old mom’s main companion and connection with the outside world. Currently I am her provisioner (though my brother did drop off some basics two weeks ago). Though she’s one for such breezy pronoucements as “Don’t worry, I’ve had a good life, if I go, I go,” I do feel a monstrous responsibility to keep her safe. Not ready to be an orphan.

A self-employed gig-worker, I’ve lost my income and am a wreck about that, as I only have enough cash in the bank to pay my maintenance for a few months (and then will have to sell my place–where I haven’t slept in 8 months–in the worst market ever). The stress is really wearing on me and has raked up all sorts of horrible images from my dad’s last weeks, both when we were trying to care for him at home and, after we could no longer manage his discomfort, during his last 4 days in hospice. Meanwhile, something–either stress or a mild case of COVID a couple of weeks back–has reactivated the chronic-fatigue-type symptoms I had back in my mid 20s–symptoms that sucked the life out of my and required a long, ultra-disciplined recovery. Everything in me hurts, tingles, twitches.

My boyfriend, one of nature’s good-looking, happy, well-adjusted people, is slowly giving way to sympathy fatigue. He just doesn’t understand how the world looks to me and doesn’t want to hear it.

So, I’m totally alone. I can’t really exercise. I cry in the shower; during my rare, short drives; in the middle of the night; for the hell of it. The writing that I have always struggled to do is so far beyond my capabilities now, it’s almost as though the ambitions belonged to someone else–though that doesn’t account for the creative phantom limb pain I’m suffering.

If not for my mom and our ailing, crazy cat, I think it would be time to call it quits. I’ve said that type of thing before but never so sincerely. I just don’t see life getting any better for me–not with my broken body-mind in this broken world.

There’s no hope for me. I’ve been doing this same stupid dance for two long, and external (and internal) conditions have deteriorated. I’m tired.

I’m scared of how over everything I feel.

 

 

 

3 Comments
  1. kelli 1 year ago

    Hi. Welcome back. I am actually fairly new here myself. Congrats on your PhD. That is an amazing accomplishment! What was your study? I am working on my Master’s Degree now at 44….

    I just wanted to say hi and I can feel your pain through your words. It makes me sad that you are feeling this way. You re not alone. Stay strong. I am here if you need to chat.

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  2. Author
    SaltWaterDrinker 1 year ago

    Kelli–

    Thank you for reading and commenting. It helps, you know.

    PhD is in English Lit (thanks for asking!). What’s your field? Props to you for pursuing it at an advanced level. I think a well-chosen course of study is a great blessing in one’s life–surely an organizing principle for energies that can swirl out of control otherwise. Though I groused a good deal during my last years in grad school, I’ve missed it since.

    I read your latest blog and understand where you’re coming from. I, too, am used to my own company and so am primed to do well in this new world order. Still, my family has been in the habit of a big Easter (when my dad was still here), and I will miss seeing everyone, especially since we’ve had to shelve a couple of milestone birthdays (nephew’s 16th, sister-in-law’s 50th) in the previous weeks.

    What I find myself missing is the random little interactions one has out in the world. One can’t even read faces or trade smiles in this age of masks. Ah, well.

    Take care of yourself and thanks again for hearing me.

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  3. maitee 1 year ago

    Hey!!
    If you ever need someone to talk to I’m always open to listen to it
    Stay strong
    Xx

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