playing with trains.

i am going to tell you something i’ve never told anyone before. one night last year, when i left at 1230 in the morning and didn’t come back until after 3, i was going to end it. i had decided to walk to the traintracks and get pegged off by a train. i decided to do this and decided if i wasn’t meant to die then there would be a sign in the time it takes me to walk to the traintracks & wait for a train. and i decided that i would wait by the tracks & if i happened to change my mind in the time it took the train to get here, then okay. i was in a selfdestructive mindset and put the choice of whether i carqed or not into the universe.

two things happened that night, before i found my train.

i got a phone call, randomly, from an old friend i hadn’t spoken to in ages. you know how rare it is for me to get phone calls, but she called as i was walking. and we talked as i sat & waited for my train. i didn’t tell her what my plan was, & only briefly mentioned that i was upset, but we had a nice bitch sesh. when she went to bed a random old guy out for a walk took her place. i think he felt obligated to see how i was as i was sitting alone. we talked for half an hour; him about his troubles with his wife & college-aged son, and me about.. nothing, really. i talked about stupid fluff bullshit & didn’t even notice the strangeness of the scenario; two strangers sharing a moment & a park bench at 3am. it’s surprising how candid you can be when you think you only have a couple hours or so to spare.

we were still talking when i heard the horn of my train; so loud i could feel it. my train. my two sides fought internally as i sat a lot stiller than i felt. i contemplated running, leaving the man of the night and climbing the fence and finding the tracks. there wasn’t much time to decide.

the man, oblivious to the reality he’s sitting next to, continued to ramble on about his insomnia and how it gets too hot in his apartment so he likes to walk at night, when it’s quiet, when he can think.

i decided i couldn’t leave a witness other than the anonymous train conductor. i figured even in my fucked up state i couldn’t give someone who took a minute to talk to me the image of all of me splattered against concrete & hot steel so instead i turned towards the train & watched it pass.

i swear i could feel it chugging in my veins.

the beginning.

the Knowing gets underneath my skin & sticks
to the places I can’t wash off.

crusted yesterdays are deep beneath my nails,
blurring colors I can’t describe
& can’t recall.

beneath all this rests
clean-slate-sublime,
words I cannot find.

I sit
& let my shoulders settle down beneath my collarbones
for the first time.

collecting words in pillowcases & flipping them into the wind.

so, I’m still alive, if you can call it that.

I’ve been on his medication for long enough for it to do what all medication does — flatten me out & take away my words. the poet? she’s buried under a mess of chemicals & cassette-tape-months on repeat.

the only words I have now are “maintenance medication” and “you’ll probably always need to be medicated” and “we can always add an antidepressant… or seroquel”.

my options in life have been distilled into plastic bottles full of plastic futures that cost entirely too much.

do I regret going on medication? not sure yet. I probably won’t know until after I’ve weaned myself off, which I’ve already started doing, without psych advice, might I add. not that it matters much; I already know what my psych would say; I’ve had all those words already. it was worth it at the time; it have me a glimmer of hope to hold onto when I was thisclose from letting go of everything. everything has it’s place.

my running freefloating anxiety & sense of impending doom has all but disappeared, so there’s that. not to say the anxiety is gone — it’s not. I still get anxious about most everything: going to the store, going to the neighbours to pay for rented parking, going to the dry cleaners, thinking of starting to drive again. Okay, so three of those four I still haven’t done. so, define “progress”?

progress is, to my psychiatrist, accepting a second medication. cocktails to the girl who doesn’t drink.
progress is, to me, cooking every single meal I eat from scratch & eating nothing with a label. okay, so I’m still only averaging two meals a day, & one snack if I’m lucky & wake early enough, but I’m cooking! I haven’t been able to do that solidly for.. longer than I’d like to admit.
progress is, in my mind, that “a meal” consists of more than just one egg, fried. 230 calories is now a “small snack”. 230 calories used to be huge. 230 calories used to be a meal that I maybe couldn’t finish.

I am filling myself with much other things, now.

I’ve officially been on this elimination diet for 3 months & it’s become second nature. it got a whole lot easier once I realized there is a whole group of people who already eat like this, by choice. it’s called “paleo”. hahaha! there are blogs & recipes & recipe books full of food that I Can Eat. the writer in me can’t find the words to describe how fucking hysterically hopeful & … happy? that makes me. See, I am useless when it comes to trying to express happy emotions. It’s been that long.

yeah.

so I am pretty on board with this ‘paleo’ thing. I’m a little behind the curve, I know, but as I’ve always been ridiculous thin I’ve never kept up with the latest ‘diet’ things. until I was forced on it by a high TTG & another word: celiac.

as for my celiac-ness, well, it’s still here. still symptomatic, still getting more words, such as.. refractory sprue, steroids, stitches, surgeries & never getting better. luckily I am still me, so that means I can replace those scary words with ones that are much more familiar: denial & blind optimism.

optimism?

yeah, it’s been a while. optimism & hope now comes in the form of, well, more words, but these ones aren’t mine: these are written by someone who knows far more than I do, on nutritional therapy. Julia Ross, “The Mood Cure”, a manifesto based mostly on curing all this mental shit with high doses of amino acids & vitamin/mineral combos. and what do I have other than time? an ability to swallow 3 pills at a time & whole lot of hope.

I’ve been on her supplement plan for 4 weeks (not counting the one week where I fell off the wagon & binged exclusively on homemade honey-sweetened-nutflour-baked-goods, cakes & french toast, but I deserve a little break for getting through all the SHIT I’ve been through in the last year+, damn it!) & I’ve already felt better than I have in…….. years. better than I did when I cut gluten. better than I did when I cut processed sugar. better than I did when I cut fast food, dairy, nightshades, starches, grains…. and a whole shit load of better than I’ve felt since starting my state-sanctioned-pharmaceuticals. so, fuck all this; I am going fullsteamahead on this supplement plan. when I had my binge/crash, I felt my mood slipping slowly each day I went without my aminos. but… even still.. my mood wasn’t nearly as bad as before. just getting dark around the corners, as if being consumed by a silent flame. my suicidal thoughts were relegated to 30 minutes of sadness, instead of my entire waking existence. maybe nothing to you, but to me, that is a fucking miracle. as it turns out, those miracle pills I’ve been looking for since 2008? THEY EXIST. only they originate from protein, not pharmaceutical laboratories. shocking, I know.

I am seeing my psychiatrist at the end of the month, when she gets back from her vacation & I am informing her I’m going off my meds. they haven’t done anything positive for me since I hit around 100/125mg, anyway. my progress has plateaued, and who knows if that progress was from the antiseizure meds or from just a mix of eating more than 1000 calories a day, cutting grains/nightshades/starches/the rest of my gluten & the placebo effect.

I’m getting other effects, too, that aren’t placebo: my hair is falling out, my eyelashes are falling out, my eyes are blurring & it’s hard to focus them.. oh, and I’m suffering from a serious case of medication-induced-unwritingitis. it’s not so much that I can’t write, it’s just that I forget about writing. no longer is the need to write there… the pressing need that forces me to spill words onto keys like they actually matter.

not sure if I’m getting better or if I’m just accepting this lower standard of living. maybe both. but I’ve definitely accepted that this ‘getting better’ thing is going to take time, even if my mind is trying to hurry it up. this letter today sounds pretty depressing, I guess, but for what it’s worth I don’t feel depressed. I have been suicidally depressed for the last 2 years up until the last 4 weeks when I started taking these aminos, so there’s that. a reprieve from the urges that make me want to leave this world behind? sure, I’ll take it; it’s a welcome vacation from the life I’m currently stuck, stuck, stuck in.

taliho, for now,
I’m sure I’ll be seeing you somewhere closer to 125mgs.

and never getting up.

now is the instant
i can feel it even though i don’t know why;
and i’m
one minute off the hour.

i run on
intuition alone, this time,
and it works, thank god,
because i’ve
lost my feet in the fall.

somehow i end up on the sidewalk
in pieces
held together by cheap twine & the fact that my mind is
sedated.

2190.

to the sky with my arms
stretched
losing touch with my fingers & letting
my hands crawl away.

to get lost in the clouds
would be to say i was found in the first place;
i thought i was, once,
but i was mistaken.

taken backwards through time i’d blame clock hands if i hadn’t
noticed the new lines by my eyes &
those on your forehead.

there’s a lot here, to tell,
but why waste these moments on words when
the sky can say it all;

i watch the dusk turn grey & get washed away

& for the first time in a long while
i can breathe.