Daily Archives: July 28, 2012

And on the Seventh Day…

…I carried on walking.

To Bilbao.

At 15.4km, this stage is by far the shortest of The Northern Way, which I had been looking forward to in order to give my body a bit of break. But it has to be said that its brevity is in direct proportion to its aesthetic appeal.

The first three of four kilometres take you out of Lezama along a B-road directly under a flight path, flanked by row after row of characterless suburban housing. Which then turns into a huge industrial estate.

The contrast from yesterday’s leg could not have been stronger: bright sunshine, lush greenery and eclectic musical backdrop were replaced by a persistent grey drizzle accompanied by the echoes of guard dogs’ barks ricocheting around the estate.

The drizzle was soon replaced by a fairly heavy downpour as industrial gave way to rural, with a steady climb out of Lezama to a height of around 250 metres through a nondescript section of woodland pathways, which in turn gave way to asphalt again as the urban sprawl of Bilbao hove into view.

As you might imagine, after a week of being treated to consistently stunning natural vistas, Bilbao came as something of a visual shock, but I’m getting the feeling that each stage of The Way is likely to hold its own idiosyncratic appeal.

Like the challenge of navigating an alien city assisted only by yellow arrows painted on the pavement. I don’t think it’s that they are necessarily less regularly placed than on other sections of the route; it’s just that you’ve got to keep your eyes peeled a little more closely – at times, this journey feels like nothing so much as one giant treasure hunt:

I’d like to be able to say that I made full use of the metropolis after seven days of bucolic retreat. But walking round the city streets strangely sapped my energy much more than climbing 1 in 10 slopes had.

First of all I went to the laundrette to sort out an increasingly pungent section of my rucksack (the challenge of ensuring a daily supply of fresh clothing given the necessity of travelling as lightly as possible soon starts to become something of an obsession).

I then did the predictable tourist stuff.

Maybe I’m a cultural philistine, but I’ve got to say I got just as much visual stimulation wandering aimlessly round the streets…

Which I think is also indicative of where the real pleasure of this journey is going to continue to be for me.

Given the choice of these two horizons…

…I know which one I’d choose.

Goodnight Bilbao.

Filed under: On The Road Tagged: Bilbao, Lezama, Photograph, Rethink Mental Illness, Walking

Success Maybe?

I feel significantly more human today after sleeping through such a large swathe of yesterday. That is definitely hopeful for not feeling quite as zombie. Which, in turn, will elevate my mood just that tiny bit. It’s harder to be cranky and sad if you wake up feeling decent, yanno? I suspect my brain will find another way to get at me, but for today? I’ll be happy I woke up feeling human. I’ll be happy that I got to enjoy a spectacle in the Olympic opening ceremony. I’ll be happy that the temperature has dropped to something reasonable, enabling us to rely on breeze for coolness rather than air conditioning.

And now, I shall get back to some good quality gaming time. ;)

<3

Night of the Living Dead Girl

For years now that’s how I have thought of myself, living dead girl. Not some Rob Zombie fangirl affectation, either. I am alive, but most of the time, I feel dead, and for all the living I do, I may as well be dead. I get my ass kicked on a daily basis by depression, mood swings, generalized anxiety, panic attacks, and paranoia, so there’s not much time to live. I function. I take care of my child, work in caring for myself if I can remember to, tend to the cats, the house, and at the end of it all, I fall face first into a pillow and thank whatever deities created the escape of sleep.

Living

dead

girl.

I mentioned in an earlier post how I wished they had emotional novacaine.

They do, I realized.

It’s called psych meds.

I’m not without feeling. I feel lots and lots of anger. Depression. Anxiety. I occasionally even feel happy.

What I DON’T feel is any real emotion.

I feel so disconnected and detached, it’s hard to muster up any true emotion, even for that which should make a person sad.

Hell, my grandma fell in the nursing home a few weeks back and cracked her head open…and I had to REMIND myself to show concern and ask how she was. Because I am that dead and numb inside.

That was when it hit me why even though I know it will lead to a downfall, I have gone off my meds several times. Because after awhile of being dead inside, you yearn to FEEL again, even if it’s pain, even if it leads to your own mental demise…You just get sick of not feeling, of having to muster up appropriate emotions then feel like a fraud because they’re not genuine.

The doctors say this isn’t a side effect of the medications but rather a manifestation of the mental illness itself.

I say bullshit.

If I went off my meds for two weeks, I’d start feeling things again and probably be able to cry.

Until tonight, I hadn’t cried in MONTHS.

But I was watching an episode of Dark Angel and Joshua, the transgenic dog-boy met a blind girl who he clicked with and he had to turn her away to evade discovery…and I CRIED. Not like out of control sobbing, but there were tears and my heart broke a little.

I relate more to fictional characters than real people.

But, hey, I FELT something,

I cried, but it made me feel happy. To FEEL SOMETHING.

I love my child more than words can say, and I cannot look at her without feeling my heart swell up with that love.

But when it comes to expressing my sadness…it’s bottled up and manifests as anger, so even when I should be upset and crying, I’m just…dead. Dead inside.

Living

dead

girl.

Two emotions I am not at a loss for are annoyance and inferiority.

R’s eldest was at the shop when I got there today and it just hit me…I don’t really like her. She’s not a 12 year old anymore. And in my opinion, she’s a lousy mother, because she spends so little time with her baby. The kid is like four months old, and her and her husband are so busy working, going to school, and having a social life, they probably spend all of three hours a week with her when she isn’t sleeping. I can’t fathom that. I know I’m  being bitchy and judgmental because everyone is different, but I feel crappy if I am not with my child every minute I am not working.  When you become a parent, your social life is supposed to slow down. Hers has not, and plus, she reminds me so much of her selfish insane mother, I get the creeps in her presence. I could never tell this to R, of course, but I have searched my soul long and hard and this is how I truly feel.

Same with his middle daughter, who is vapid and shallow.

The third girl, the youngest, I absolutely adore, and she hugs me every time she sees me.

So what about the other two makes me so uneasy and hateful? I bottle it well, but it’s still there, and I purposely find an excuse t avoid spending too much time in their presence.

Is it just a matter of you’re comfy with the people you click with and the people you dn’t click with make you uneasy?

Fuck if I know.

I just feel like an evil bitch, but I know I’m not a bitch for simply being honest with myself.

I also feel bitchy because the neighbor kids came to the door tonight asking if I had a cigarette the handyman next door could bum and I told them no rather bitchily. My mom is to blame, she told me to always share everything, and any time I go against that, the guilt gene kicks in. Bloody hell. I should have the right to say no and not feel like shit. I barely have enough for myself, let alone for people to bum, especially people who wouldn’t piss on me if I were in flames.

Geesh.

I found an 8 inch screw sticking out of my step the other day when I got home.

Thank you, neighborhood future criminals.

Someone’s also been stealing my mail, but the landlord, post office, and senders all seem to point the finger at each other without telling me what to do to fix things.

I got hit with an astronomical power bill because they were estimating so many months due to the asshole neighbors’ dogpen blocking my meter.

Spook’s birthday is August 7th and I had planned on a small party but the power bill sure as fuck makes sure I can barely afford to buy her a gift if I want to keep the lights on.

I can’t catch a bloody break here.

What it adds up to is mega anxiety and panic, stomach aches, and the new meds not doing much to lift the edges of depression on my brain.

Yay.

My solution tonight?

R gifted me with a bottle of cheap whiskey,so I am riding out a whiskey numbness.

I’ve been trying to lay off the booze since it solves nothing and worsens depression but after this week…I don’;t feel bad for self medicating tonight. I needed some numbness to quell the panic that seems to envelope me every single minute of the day. (I even left the shop 90 minutes early today because I had such a bad stress stomach ache and was paralyzed with paranoia over what the neighborhood hooligans might be doing to my trailer in my absence.)

Days like this, I wish the counselor could see me struggling and going under. She sees me once a month and declares me a success simply because I am still getting out of bed.

Hell, the other day, I forgot to put on deodorant and brush my teeth.

Which made me feel like a giant loser, but geesh, I manage to get my kid fed and dressed and packed up, and I barely have time to throw on clothes and get out the door each morning. I’m overwhelmed.

Meanwhile, my shrink is telling me to get a job and take on even more when I am drowning from what I already have.

I feel like I am beating my head against a fucking wall, and ya know what? That;s A LOT of blood and it fucking hurts. Enough! Can I please take a break and regain some equilibrium?

Meanwhile, everyone keeps telling me to get over what the Donor did, and I’m digging my heels in, swearing I will NEVER get over him abandoning his kid nor will I merely forgive and forget. No one else holds him accountable for his actions, I sure as hell WILL. Where ever he is at any given time, I hope he feels the heat of my anger and hatred and condemnation,

Which I know I self delusion, I doubt he’s givenj Spook or me a second thought in 11 months because he is just that horrible a person.

What’s more is, he never cared how I felt for him anyway, he has enough self love to compensate, and now he has a younger woman to add to his own ego feedings.

And why I am even talking about such a useless waste of skin?

Because i am still furious and I am allowed to be furious.

You don’t reject MY child and walk away without earning my scorn.

Funny,ain’t it? How I can feel so much anger and frustration and panic and paranoia yet it takes a TV show to move me to tears?

My wiring ain’t quite right, and I know it.

But I also know for five minutes tonight, with tears pooling in my eyes, I was ALIVE again. briefly, but still, alive.

I know I can’t function off the meds, but I fantasize about being able to do so.

To be able to FEEL.

Not just the bad stuff, but also the softer sadder things. I mean, my husband walked out on his child and me, shouldn’t that make me want to cry?

Yet it doesn’t.

It did before I got medicated.

Now…

I’m just tear-dead.

Or maybe I’m just insane.

Anyway…sorry for such a long rant, but I needed to vent.,

Now…I have purged my mind, maybe I can fall asleep without needing Trazadone. Tis a wonderful thing to fall asleep without chemical aid.

Could the living dead girl get that lucky?

Anything is possible.

They told me I’d never have children, but I do have Spook.

Who knows?

I may even-gulp–be happy one day.

My tears may have dried up but my hope has not.