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.

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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.

the back & forth.

there’s two of them, inside my head, but that’s great — before i only thought there was one. but i can see clearly — the only way hypomania will let me, of course — that there’s two.

the louder one is the worst. even when it whispers it’s as if it’s standing thisclose to the microphone; so it’s all i hear. and i know it lies, it’s wrong all the time & it’s always full of excuses (just like me). this is the one that comes alive most often, the one i’ve been sharing an apartment with for the last year & a half. Continue reading

produce shopping for a new soul; this one’s bruised & going bad.

typing aloud of my disordered
relationship with food
resisting
the urge to instantly delete,
to password protect,
to put away.

letting go of cracked concrete walls
watching them fall
exposing me naked
shiny new & sulfuric
without any skin.

denial makes me terrified
of the truth inside;
as i peel down the layers of my onion soul
thin filmy layers of purple paper roll up & get stuck
beneath my fingernails.
i’ve half-shopped
these supermarket mind aisles before & i
know the stench will stain
half-regretting that
my hands will smell like mental poison for the next

two weeks
straight.

i got my degree from the universe; it too took four years.

i) on death

at times the only strength i had
the only hope was in hoping
i wouldn’t do it.

ii) on life

the bigger part of me was doubtful:
did not see the way out
so i couldn’t imagine doing it;
i’ve never been capable without a plan.

iii) on perspective

i still don’t have a plan,
but i’ve noticed
once again
chemicals have saved my life
in the same way that they’ve ruined it.

how far i have come in one year. (when small things become huge)

dear depressive side that doesn’t remember;
dear negative thoughts;
dear irrational mind that likes to deny;
dear disordered head;
dear worthless piece of shit;
shut up & listen:

recovery is not linear!

a year ago..
i couldn’t get out of bed.
& when i did,
‘getting up’ meant moving from lying on the bed to lying on the couch.

a year ago..
i couldn’t get to sleep (until 5am if i was lucky).
i couldn’t wake before 3, 4, 5pm without feeling physically ill;
couldn’t make do with less than 10 hours of sleep,
& twelve was preferable.

a year ago i’d awake
desperate & depressed
closing my eyes & begging sleep to take me away
another couple hours until i had to face
the day i wasn’t ready for.

a year ago i was too weak
to even stand in the shower, &
i couldn’t stand to brush my teeth more often than
a couple times a week.

a year ago i was single digit ferritin, brutally anemic, unable to even remember my blood test results required a bottle of iron pills.

a year ago i was utterly undiagnosed & unable to cope.

a year ago..
i couldn’t cook.
i couldn’t clean.
i couldn’t see yesterday’s dishes in a pile without crying & feeling defeated.
i couldn’t even walk with flat feet because my leg muscles were so shrunken & weak.
i couldn’t eat more than two small snack ‘meals’ a day;
dry saltines were considered ‘dinner’ —
i’d eat half a package on
a very good day.

a year ago..
i’d awake weighing a thousand pounds
arms like cinderbricks
unable to move,
stomach so swollen i could pass for pregnant.

a year ago a glass of water was heavy &
my arms would shake to carry it.

a year ago..
i couldn’t even have one okay day.
i couldn’t do anything other than selfmedicate from the moment i awoke to the moment i went to sleep for three years.
sometimes i couldn’t even talk.

a year ago i
couldn’t even realize i was in a tunnel, let alone see a light at the end of it,
couldn’t tell my psychiatrist the whole truth,
couldn’t feel like i deserved anything,
couldn’t accept that i needed help,
couldn’t accept medication,
couldn’t accept recovery,
couldn’t reject my disordered coping mechanisms,

& didn’t even want to try.

three hundred & sixty some days,
reading through the list of how things used to be and i
feel so very far away.

okay so
maybe i still feel
like a bag of shit
with once-tight jeans that still don’t fit
& maybe i still won’t tell my psychiatrist the whole truth
but then again

i am starting from scratch
working past
27 years of disordered eating,
27 years of messed up thoughts,
27 years of untreated celiac disease,
5 years of  being housebound by anxiety,
4 years of suicidal depression,
3 years of fulltime addiction,

1 year is nothing but three hundred & sixty some days of fighting everything i’ve ever known & so
perhaps i’m stronger than i think.
funny how a self-incriminating list
of how fucked up i used to exist
of all the ways i was ashamed —

can in three hundred & sixty some days
suddenly somehow
become empowering
if only because it’s all
three hundred & sixty some days away.