“AND A BODY WITHOUT A HEART, I’M MISSING EVERY PART”
(OR, HOW MY EMOTIONS ARE EATING ME ALIVE)
I haven’t written anything because I’ve been out of town at the convention.
The convention is a three day long conference about applying the Bible to our current lives. There are demonstrations, skits, meetings, discourses and baptisms. It’s a pilgrimage every Jehovah’s Witness makes over the summer. The convention is like a spiritual retreat, a reset button. This is one of the things that I do in order to get closer to God. This is also the kind of event where I stretch towards extroversion, forcing myself to meet, greet and smile at others. Needless to say, after three days of that, I need two days of rest, but I what I learn is worth the effort.
I have been feeling emotionally drained for weeks.
I got fired from AllState. Too few people were buying insurance from me, and my boss’ boss wanted to start paying me by lead instead of hourly. Considering I spent 3 hours a day commuting there, the possibility of not getting paid for a day’s work was unacceptable. My supervisor and I split amicably.
I haven’t exercised in a week and I’ve been eating horribly. This week has been full of fried chicken, pizza, cheeseburgers, ice cream and other nutritionally dubious food. I’m terrified to weigh myself and see how much progress I’ve lost.
My car is still dead and I have no means of repairing it, which means going back to college this fall is out of the question. I love and miss school and I purposely picked a college an hour away in hopes of moving closer to Ann Arbor and Chicago.
I was supposed to be having my housewarming this weekend. Instead, I will be cleaning my prison cell room and following curfew. I feel like a child. I have $185 dollars to my name; mostly because Brianna repaid a debt to me I had forgotten about.
I have been tortured by the ghost of Sal. Perhaps it is just my own confirmation bias, but no matter how much I try to stop thinking about him, I cannot. I am surrounded by people, places and things that constantly remind me of him, and by extension, his absence. I spend a lot of time with Jon, Jon’s fiancé Noor and his mother. Almost everyone new I’ve met around here is already friends with him, and so talk about spending time with him. Sal and I have similar taste in music, so there are entire playlists that I’m avoiding on my iPod so I can spend time thinking about something else, anything else. I have hidden and unhidden his posts on my Facebook newsfeed a million different times.
I can’t deal with this depression on my own anymore.
“the great divide will swallow me whole”
My family knows that I am sad, but I won’t tell them the reasons why. Other people in my congregation knows that I am sad, but they don’t know why either. I get all choked up trying to go into it.
Bro Z. and I have talked and he wants to talk to me a bit more on Saturday afternoon.
I confided in him (and also Brianna but no one else) that I’ve been battling thoughts of suicide. This alarmed them both, to the point where they are coddling me. I sometimes regret saying anything, and I sometimes regret not saying something beforehand.
Bro. Z and Jon are meeting me at the Hall at 12:30. I am feeling nervous. Not because I don’t trust these two lovely men; that is not it. They are among the best elders (read: spiritual counselor) that I know. I am nervous because I am not sure that when I am in that little room with those guys, I’ll have the courage to say what is on my heart.
It’s hard to talk about depression, suicide, existential dejection, and madness. It’s hard to talk about how I feel about my parents, and my shrinking group of friends, and about how the lack of a proper job eats at my identity as an adult. It’s hard to talk about addiction (yes, I have one, just not drugs or alcohol) and introversion and obsessive love.
Jon is Sal’s first cousin. They are very close. I am not ready to sit across from him at a table and tell him that I am madly in love with Sal and know for a certainty that’s not how Sal feels. I am not ready to tell Jon how I can’t sleep at night because I’m agonizing. I am not ready to tell Jon that I only have eyes for Sal, and I dream about a life that we will never have together. I am not ready to tell Jon that I’m afraid to go away for too long because I do not want to come back home and find out he’s found someone else.
I’m just not ready.
But I can’t keep struggling alone. And I know for a certainty this is a step I have to take before I will go to a doctor for pills, or an asylum and take up room from people who are more sick than I am.
I can always sense when I’m about to see Sal. Something in the very, very back of my mind hints at it at the beginning of the day. He was captain of the opposite team today. He parked right next to me. My heart leapt into my ears. We greeted each other and spoke no more words after. He put me on another man’s team. Sal apparently takes his agression to the soccer field. I tried to block him today and he ran into me, nearly knocking me off of my feet. It was like running into a brick wall. He’s just a wall of muscle. It hurt like hell. I caught him staring at me while I was stretching today. I was coming up from a downward facing dog and found his eyes burning into mine. I had received a text message at just that moment and went hunting for my phone. When the game was over, I left almost immediately, rock music blaring from my father’s truck. I know that I’m supposed to talk to him about not being able to talk to him but I haven’t quite worked out everything in my head yet. Plus, after soccer I smell horrible and all of his friends are around, making it even less likely we will have a productive conversation. When I get around to doing this, I want to be in complete control of the situation. The soccer field is his turf. I’m waiting to run into him again on neutral ground. This man is gonna drive me crazy. He irritates me almost as much as he thrills me.
There is a man that plays soccer with us that I really want to ask on a date. His name is James, and he is lean, dark haired and has a lovely, lovely smile. He’s also well-educated AND loves jazz (unf!). I want to know more about him because he seems friendly and open. I have doubts he would say “no”.
I adore playing. I love soccer because it’s an awesome sport, it burns lots and lots of calories and the neighborhood we play in is really nice. The other thing about playing, however, is that the vast majority of the people on the field are men—tall, lean, handsome,friendly,single,shirtless men. Only a few other girls come regularly, and except for the blonde I saw last week with legs for days, I beat them in attractiveness.
I wish we lived in Arizona so we could play all year round.
I spent the morning preaching. I’m going to the spend the afternoon exercising, studying and praying. I’m taking this Saturday night to catch up on sleep. Tomorrow, I intend to preach and play soccer.
I’m attempting to take care of myself physically and spiritually in the hopes that I will feel better emotionally. The depressive mood swings have been horrible, but I’m afraid to take antidepressants. The side effects are painful, debilitating even. I’m hoping that drugs are the very last resort. So far I’m trying exercising,eating right, sleeping enough and going out with friends—both old and new.
I got news today that Jake—who was closer to me than a brother— is recovering from what caused us to stop talking. He’s moved to Denver, but there’s a chance that we will be close again. Him being absent has left a giant hole in my life. I hope that chasm will close.
I got paid today! For the first time in a long time, I had enough money to pay bills.
I went to the gym today to pay my bill and I found out I’ve lost 14 pounds. FOURTEEN POUNDS…. PAINLESSLY.
1. I’ve lost about 5 pounds over the last two weeks. Keeping a food journal online helps. In the morning, I check all of my social media, read a Scripture to meditate on and write down what I intend to eat that day.
My current fitness goal is to lose 25 pounds within the next 7 weeks. Why? Besides the obvious reasons for losing weight, Sal’s cousin Jon is getting married, and I want to look fabulous at the ceremony. I’ve already figured out what I’m going to do with my hair (humidity be damned) and what kind of dress I’m going to buy.
2. I ran into Sal playing soccer a couple of weeks ago.
How was it? Awkward. He seemed completely uncomfortable with me being there, even though there were 60 other people there. We hardly talked to each other. We played on opposite teams, sweaty and tanned from the heat of the day. He’s freaking excellent at the sport, while I am a passionate novice. I’ve been playing every week since (hence the weight loss) but I have not seen him again.
I’ve been having the usual trouble of evicting him from my mind but it’s not as diasbling as it used to be. I’ve decided that it is high time him and I talk about how things decended into this terrible awkwardness. When (if?) I see him again, we’ve got to address it.
3. I only work for Allstate three days a week. I wish it paid more but I’m super excited about contant four day weekends. The commute out there is pretty killer; it’s 15 miles from my house. On days it’s not horribly hot out, I take the bus the first 12 miles and walk the last 3.My boss is super laid back and all I do every workday is make phone calls,read books and listen to the radio.
I’ve had to get up early, but that’s okay. The best thing about being up this early is watching the sunrise while to Washed Out and M83.
4. My uncle wrote me on Facebook yesterday. This is notable because he and my parents are estranged. The reasons why are old and complicated. I’m not sure what I’m supposed to say or do with him. Had I gotten my own place this week as I had planned, this would not be an issue; I’d have him over for coffee and we’d chat. My parents want nothing to do with him, so I can’t. Our address is to be kept from him.
He told me to call him soon. I’m at a loss for what I’m supposed to tell him. My adult life right now is an apartmentless, boyfriendless, carless, college-less, underemployed mess. I don’t even feel lke I preach effectively anymore.I’m trying to hold onto my will to live and start over. How do I explain that to an estranged relative that I haven’t seen in two years?
Over the few days I have had different people offer much-needed encouragement to me, which has been terribly important. It has been a hard summer for me, emotionally and otherwise. To hear words of reassurance from people who love me is amazing. God bless them all.
I have a day job again! I was hired at Allstate this weekend. I start tomorrow. I don’t look forward to all of the commuting by bus, but I do look forward to having money.
Brianna and I talked and thankfully, what she saw on the river front was a complete false alarm. I am grateful to Jehovah that the conclusions I jumped to were wrong, and that He endowed me with the strength not to do anything rash.
The gigolo that I’m writing the book for came by to get some paperwork I had for him. He told me today that he is convinced he is going to die soon. I am worried about him. Do I agree with the things he does? No. But I have grown quite fond of him, and I hope that he will be okay, and not just because he owes me money.
The Blond has a girlfriend. He told me all about it once I asked. I am not sad by any means; rather, I am glad that the pressure from my mother about the situation was taken away from me. After months of quietly deliberating on the matter, I came to the conclusion I had no real interest in him that way. It’s a shame, because Iris did. Ah, asi es la vida…
This has got to have been the longest week of my life—long days full of work and long nights with little sleep. The people I have met over the last five or six days of singing for my supper have been varied, weird and wonderful. The money I have made has been pretty good, and yet still bleeding out of my pocket. The plans I’ve been making are frenzied and constantly revised. The heart-to-hearts have been at three in the morning, fueled by green tea and a worried brain.
I am currently freelance writing for three clients. On the weekends, I drive rich drunk people back to their homes at night. Today, I was hired by an insurance agency part-time. I am no longer concerned about money. Right now, I am worried about my car.
My half-dead car quit on me Sunday. I was driving home from a soccer game in the boonies, and it died on the expressway. Three of the guys from the game came and looked at my car.
"You might need a fuel injector." one said to me.
I knew then there was no way I was going to drive home. About twenty minutes after I became stranded, a policeman pulled into the breakdown lane. My heart began pounding in my ears. My car’s insurance hasn’t been current since March. Fortunately, he wasn’t interested in my paperwork. He just wanted to make sure none of us got hit by the people zooming past at 90 miles an hour.
"I’m going to push you to a parking lot two miles up the road. Hop in your car, put it in neutral, turn on your hazards and stay in the right lane." My car is resting peacefully at my mechanic’s, where it awaits a new timing belt and water pump (I’m not paying for it).
My nerves have been torn to shreds.
I cannot remember the last time I had a good night’s sleep.
There are a lot of things I want to say about the last 10 days…but my heart is too full, my fingers are too slow, my mind too addled. I am feeling exhausted, discouraged, disenfranchised and ready to quit. I want to go back to the cocoon of childhood, where bills, broken cars and uninterested men didn’t matter.
And I’m so sorry I’ve been out of touch. Life has been insane and twisted and everything. We need to make a Skype date soon. I can send you some stuff for your walls ;) Furniture is easy to come by if you know where to look and what to use. We’ll talk soon. Love ya, lady!
The realty office called me today. They want me to sign my lease for my new place on Wednesday. I can taste the freedom. It’s very nearly upon me…almost two weeks from now, I’m supposed to move to this apartment and also into adulthood.
Here’s the problem: for the keys, I need 540 bucks cash. So far, I have 60. I’m supposed to get another 60 on Monday. That’s 120 dollars, leaving me 420 short.
ONE WEEK’S PAY AWAY FROM DREAM-FLAT….AND I CAN’T GET A PAYDAY LOAN BECAUSE I HAVEN’T WORKED IN AGES.
I have to talk to my parents about it tomorrow and hustle as much as I can from the bars, restaurants and door-to-door around the neighborhood. I’m currently (PAINFULLY) auctioning off the only things I own—my books and my bicycle. My next four days are gonna be busy and exhausting. If I can’t get the money by midnight Wednesday morning, I’m calling my realtor and explaining what’s going on in my raggedy little Bohemian life. Maybe she’ll take pity on me and change my move-in date to the 1st of August. I need more time.
Hustling has been a crazy experience these last four days. I have so far been on 5 job interviews, plus have been soliticed on Craigslist for odd jobs. I’ve agreed to babysit full-time for a measly 100 bucks a week. I’ve been to AllState for a telemarketing position. I went to this hole in the wall office inside of a big house. I’ve called my supervisor at my (real?) job, but she’s avoiding my calls. I’ve called unemployment and they’re giving me the runaround too. The odd jobs around here are either fishy, degrading or otherwise unsuitable. On Craigslist, I had applied for a secretarial position and ended up running into some old fart who wanted me to clean his condo in my underwear.
Hustling is hard.
Today, I got paid 75 today by a guy I’m ghostwriting a book for. I put 15 of it in my empty gas tank. I drove up to his job at this huge flea market near the highway (he owns three booths) and hung out with him for three hours. He bought me a snack and paid me in cold, hard cash. He was amiable, but mad and wild... and I was horrified to discover how he makes his extra money on the side. It’s ironic how I am fundamentally a square and I’m getting paid by an old gigolo to write his life story. It’s unbelievable, but that’s what my life is right now.
I’m worried. Once I get into this place, I don’t have anything to put into it except a chair and a hodgepodge of mugs I’ve picked up from the thrift store. I might not have any books by the end of the week even. My apartment will be mine, yes, but awfully bare.
What’s more worrying is that I will need my parents’ financial and emotional help for this move to be effective. I didn’t want to have to ask them because I didn’t want them having a stake in it. If they have a stake in it, they’ll feel like they can call shots, especially my dad. Ideally, I don’t want them to put out any real money. I just need them to help me by letting me take my bedroom furniture and my telephone number.
They’re gonna take my half-dead car away from me, and the area that I’m moving to far from my friends (and from many jobs) without one. My aunt said she’s gonna give me her car, but that’s not until winter of 2012. Meanwhile, I’m gonna be stranded in a remote part of Detroit if I can’t scrape up 800 MORE dollars and find a car on Craigslist that will last until then.
I usually don’t worry about things because they have a way of working out. Even if I don’t get exactly what I want, I get what I need. This apartment—and the possible life I could lead in it— is what I want and what I feel I need right now. I am praying the Lord agrees and helps me to have the backbone these next few days and nights to secure it.
Today, it was a slow day at work and we only had one customer who was sitting alone studying. I was just chilling when she threw up her binder in the air and screamed, “I throw my Spanish in the air sometimes, saying ‘AYO’, no comprendo!” Girl. You made my week. MLIA.