Musings on a day gone strange. Stranger perhaps than usual, or maybe less strange than usual. It is getting hard to tell, as the days gone away from work add up towards running out of protected time and towards “will I lose my job” territory.
I got an email from my manager informing me they are sending – via certified mail – a “planning” Performance Evaluation to me. I need to sign it and send it back ASAP. Note that I have been off work nearly two months now, thanks to meningitis and this damnable back thing.
At the time of this writing, I will be off till at least 2 November, by which time the Cyborg Laurel back implants should be installed and if the Gods are good the meningitis will have retreated. I have also been on unpaid leave almost all of this time, having used up all the paid leave being sick, in and out of the hospital, with whatever was trying to kill me before the meningitis was diagnosed. Who knows, it may have also been the meningitis.
Mayhap I am tougher than we think, and fought the stuff off for six months before it finally got me in August. Wouldn’t that be just a thing? We may never know, since LMH only did base blood panels, and certainly never a lumbar puncture.
In any case, the days have merged into one bad sleep schedule after another. I go to sleep when I am tired of being awake, and I wake up when my back hurts too bad to stay asleep. This rhythm has nothing to do with that of the normal human cycle. I rarely know what day it really is, unless I look at a calendar in conjunction with an email date or something.
I had a speaking engagement for the SCA this evening, in the southwest part of Kansas City. That required being awake, showered, dressed and “up” – as in semi-perky, enthusiastic and able to speak coherently about a topic that is indeed dear to my heart. However, it also involved 3 hours of driving for about 20 minutes of talking, in front of a roomful of people, most of whom I don’t know or only knew decades ago. I think I succeeded, at least it appeared to be so as people were taking notes and nodding. No one threw rotten vegetables or booed, either. We shall call that a success.
In the meantime, nothing at all has been done towards moving in two days. I completely overdid it prior to that, moving two very full loads alone, and my body has been calling me bad names ever since. As a result, severely enforced total back rest has been the name of the game. I get up, I might remember to eat something, I stretch, I put myself in a back neutral position and I start working on the computer.
I continue to do this until I remember that the new house has a really smart thermostat that doesn’t the house off unless it thinks I am awake. I get up and touch the thermostat so cool air blows around, I might grab something to drink and take some medicine. Return to back-neutral position and computer. Repeat until time to go to bed. I interact with people via the internet.
I might attend Fighter Practice, or in the case of today, a group meeting to talk about something. I wait for back surgery. I wait to feel better. I wait. I live in my head, having conversations with people I want to be with but who are not here, and who may not have any interest in being with me. If they do have the interest, they aren’t doing much about it, or they can’t for various reasons.
I try not to dwell on that, because then I go to tears. Depression stalks me even in this new place, because I’m very alone and very in transition from the old place with no good way to get it done. To do it all myself would cause pain that I cannot bear – I’ve tried. Even my level of pain tolerance is insufficient. Doing it piecemeal as I’ve been doing is all I can do.
Dwelling on who is not here, who doesn’t want to be here, who cannot be here even if they did want to be, does me no good. Driving to just hang around someone like a lonely puppy seems useless – after all I should be doing something purposeful, even though I’m not.
I am a ghost, a shadow in people’s lives. This is not the purpose for which I was made and I know that. Dwelling on that, too, causes deep sadness.
I want more. I want a rock and a safe harbor in another human being, even though I share that person. I don’t expect one person to have all the answers, because I certainly don’t have all the answers for anyone else. Just a safe harbor, someone who will be here when the chips are down. Someone to be with when being with is what is necessary and right. Someone who is willing to hold my hand in public and name me theirs. Someone who will walk the path with me, even when we wander off to have other fun from time to time.
I am not ready to be a shadow or a ghost. The longer I sit alone in a big house, empty of many of the things I meditate on when I lean towards these ruminations, the worse this gets.
The depression closes in like darkness, from the corners and the shadows of this unfamiliar place. I brought some of the things with me, and we cleansed the house, so the darkness is certainly in my own mind and of my own making.
Damn the chemicals in my brain and the injuries caused by lazy people. Damn the flashbacks of hells created by sick people so many years ago and inflicted on the body of a child. Damn the hells created by things happening for no good reason I can fathom other than chance and random events.
These things come with the darkness, and even with every window shade open during the day, the darkness comes. Being a thing of darkness myself, my own cycle slips more towards nocturnal. I set the alarms and sleep past them. Worse, I get up then go back to sleep mid-day, making it impossible to sleep at night. Sleep deprivation worsens the darkness.
My appetite is nearly gone most days, except to snack or graze. Not eating makes the meningitis last longer, as does dehydration. Yet, most days I simply don’t care to eat or drink and have to force myself to it.
I don’t wish to die. I have friends I love dearly, and children I love dearly. My youngest turns 26 tomorrow, or in 9 minutes depending on your counting of these things. I’m simply fading away, it seems. It is too much work, and I am not a lazy person.
Will it improve once the wires are in my back and the pain retreats? I hope so, although the injury will not be cured. Will it also improve once my brain and nerves are no longer ravaged by this infection? Again, I hope so. They say the cure for that is rest, which is not mine to have being in transition and surgery territory.
Plus, rest is never really mine anyway. Anyone with nightmares, flashbacks and demons that haunt their sleep can tell you that. There is never really rest, only restless exhaustion that leads to unconsciousness for a time.
So this has been weepy, self indulgent tripe. Am I suicidal- no. Am I self-harming–no. Not planning to be, either. Do I very much want a significant other in my life who isn’t ashamed or afraid to claim me such – yes. Do I mind sharing – no, but I want to be the one in front, not the last in line, or the one that has to hide. Do I want this damned pain and sickness to go away-yes. Soon.
Do I want to be able to lose myself again in art and beauty and music and the things and people I love – hell yes. The sooner the better. Do I still have faith that I will be able to – yes, or I’d be watching the sunset from a certain mountainside, filling up on great wine and more than lethal doses of certain stockpiled medications, waiting for my spirit cat to finish me off, if the hypothermia, narcos and alcohol didn’t do it first.