the placebo effect.

today i feel
better than fine
i’d say
things are looking up
if i wasn’t superstitious & worried about jynxing myself.

today i found
hiding under an inch of dust in the corner
seen it many times before but never took the time to look inside
wrapped in bowed boxes i found
my permission
to relinquish some control
over the sickness i couldn’t shake.

today i feel
taking shaky steps on faun’s legs for the first time
new to the world that isn’t all black holes & disrepair

so good it makes my skin crawl
i’m always so surprised
to feel something other than sadness and
life-crippling guilt
for all i’ve done & didn’t.

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seven months clean with only the occasional relapse; not bad for a 27 year addiction, right?

twenty seven years —
my daily disorder
my favorite disease
no cure; just endure.

i’d be the one getting bloated off one beer
blaming the carbonation while
foaming at the mouth.
take my addiction daily
at every meal;
take my misguided medication orally
swallow & let it destroy me
from the inside
passive suicide.

i’m unable
to understand how something so highly recommended
can be so dangerous —
as it smiles at me from across every counter
hidden within
every wrapper
comes prepackaged with lies & paper promises:
6-8 servings a day are strongly suggested
they say
take two of these with every meal
and don’t call me at all.

quitting cold turkey sandwiches nearly felt worse than quitting effexor in two weeks;
infecting my head with thoughts of pastries & things i haven’t had in years are suddenly everywhere —
spend till 3am shaking salivating staring at pictures of pancakes & crepes & croissants & muffins…..
writing a hundred gluten-free recipes until my hands cramp & my fingers turn blue
from ink & disappointment;
avoiding bakery aisles to stave off saline eyes
because the smell of bread
nearly sent me into DT’s.

sadly for me there was no self-help group for gluten addiction; there’s an overeaters-anonymous but no overwheaters support to coax me to drop the needle filled with macaroni & cheese.

i did it all my own, stubbornness beside me
seventy two hours & the worst was over.

now the diagnosis: celiac — the word sounds to me more like a car than the life-sentence
that drove me to the edge of insanity & back but
another medical excuse for mood swings & tiredness is
greatly appreciated; & after all i’ve already cleared for it
a spot in my garage.

despite my mistrust for doctors i must say: there’s
nothing like an incurable disease
to cure me.

three cheers for life-long conditions only taking 27 years to get diagnosed! (ha)

well, i was anticipating anemia. maybe something thyroidish. instead i got.. celiac disease. go figure. i knew i had some issue with gluten, so i had cut it out entirely about 9 months ago & felt immediately better. since then, i’ve had the occasional craving — leading to the inevitable cheating — and the brutal side effects that followed. but my ‘cheatings’ are usually only 1 small gluten-containing item, every 2-3 months. i was okay with suffering through the side effects (cramps, 5-months-pregnancy-bloat, anxiety, depression, even crazier mood swings for the following 3 days) but for the most part i’ve been avoiding gluten. or so i thought. turns out i’m STILL highly gluten-inflammatory (anything above 17.5 was ‘very severe’ & i’m at 60!! MD was visibly shocked when i told her i hadn’t had gluten recently). apparently my anemia was most likely caused by my inability to absorb nutrients due to the celiac. another piece for the puzzle! and another diagnosis to add to my pretty collection of life-long, incurable conditions.

otherwise, i’m completely perfectly healthy. so no more attributing my mental condition to anything physical (well, aside from the gluten-inflammatory response, i guess)!
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doctor notes.

going to see my MD in ten minutes.. getting the results from the blood test i had last friday. crossing my fingers & hoping that i still have anemia & perhaps an underfunctioning thyroid to blame for my fluctuating energy & relentless anxieties.

but if both are fine then i’m ready for medicating.. although i’m still quite terrified of seroquel. going to talk to my MD about it again too.. because my anxieties tend to make small things into huge mountains & it’s hard for me to know if my antipsychotic-fears are founded or if it’s just my anxiety/paranoia running away again. when i was prescribed it i wasn’t sleeping until 6am & was brutally depressed, so i’m not sure since i’m doing a little better, maybe i don’t need something that harsh? who knows. denial is still my middle name, after all.

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& always the racing thoughts. & always the chasing my mind.

the story of this too shall pass
is indeed a long one
i have all the volumes
written on my arms:
invisible ink that won’t wash away
i scrub until my skin is raw & reflected
shiny like semi-gloss photos i tore from the walls
to hide away in boxes for better times —
not to be opened —
until i feel fine.

16%
seems like a lot now
i’m stuck at 12 —
i am full of statistics
numbered rationalizations for why;
all the justification in the world can’t save me now.
protected from my dirty hands behind glass
excuses so pretty i put them in vases
& up on the highest shelf to promptly forget.

my biggest problem with bipolar is that it told me
i was invincible & incredible & i really believed i could do the impossible
because i was right for a while:
i could do anything except for
feel okay.
it’s a special sort of useless you feel
when you’re unable to do something so simple
as just change your mind —
i don’t need any more excuses to feel like shit
but i’ll still take them.

but suddenly there’s no space left
almost as if
every spot in my skin’s already filled with regret
so some spills over the edges
& the running is just enough
to remind me i’m alive.

today i find myself
rare
run out of feelings; all used up
discarded empty wrapper, kicked away & crushed sitting
quiet emptiness
of having nothing left.

melancholy is a pretty term for not giving a shit

my love affair with words was always
to try capture my insides in lines & curves & curls
write them down & watch them sit still
every letter in place in perfect black&white

unlike in my racing mind
where they slip & meld;
& where i chase them all the time.

breaking through.

for a moment my mind makes sense
you are truly too awesome to exist like this
to wilt away like undried flowers, petals falling
to hide your talent away in a box in some closet behind closed doors
to which there’s no key
because you’re afraid?
because you made some mistakes;
because you made a list too long to finish?

it’s a brief moment of perspective
enlightenment in the way that it provides a blink
a flash a spark a sight at the end of the tunnel
for my broken eyes.

i’m afraid
these words will disappear like ice cubes on skin
holding so tightly closed fists transforming
solid into liquid & silently escaping
between clenched finger tips..

so i repeat them
over in my head like broken records
until they blur together & cease making sense
& i feel familiar.