Sunday (vent)

4/30/2017     12:32pm

I can’t do this.

I’ve been home about a half hour. I took an Uber from 1925 Elm, wherever that is. It has not been a good day.

I actually woke up when my alarm went off at 8:30am and started researching how Facebook Live works so I could share Women’s Day at the church with my friends. K- had texted letting me know T- was speaking because he knows my friend really likes her. I didn’t get an event up yesterday due to the NAMI Walk but I put it on my page and I wanted to be able to share it, especially with that friend. I told a few people at the NAMI Walk too.

My body hurt quite a bit today from missing my 5pm meds yesterday during a nap, but I got up and took a shower. I had laid out my clothes – a really cute black and white skirt and black top. I heard my mom getting dressed, which baffled me since she neither likes that church, or Women’s Day, OR ever wants to go there. She said she just hadn’t been feeling well. Bullshit. She’s spooked from almost dying and wants to go to church so somehow “going with” me, which means driving me, which means us being late on a day I’m specifically trying to capture everything, seems perfectly sane. Right. But my balance is off today and I’m running into walls and dropping everything and I still fucking hate everyone, carried over from yesterday. I forgot my purse and she was determined for me to eat yogurt instead of writing or changing the last few settings on my phone or figuring out how to tweak a camera accessory to work with my phone.

She was pissed that I’m cranky, for which there are more than a few reasons, some of which are physical. When we got to the church we were the ninth car, including -’s. “Where are the humans?” I said. We were eight minutes late so I thought maybe for once they started on time. The doors were closed. No one opened them. I let my mom in. When the few humans who were there noticed my mom was there they were all excited and happy to see her and saying how they’d been praying.

(make a smoothie, move to couch, turn on piano music)

Everyone was happy to see my mom. I’m glad they paid attention to her. I sat down. The service hadn’t started yet, which I find annoying. – came down from going over a song to hug my mom. He hugged me too. He looked old today and I said so. He said it looked like I got the notification. He gestured towards my outfit. I told him I had no idea what he was talking about. The other ladies for Women’s Day were in black & white. I’m assuming that’s what he meant but I still have no idea. I said I wish I had gotten the notice/notification for this day sooner so I could send it out to my people. He said no, that he didn’t want any more notices or people, he just wanted Michelle. I stared/glared at him confusedly. What the fuck was he talking about? I told him you can’t have Michelle without notices or reminders, and I bring people. Again with the no more notices, just Michelle. He said he was changing things, blah, blah, blah. I looked at him again and said, “Don’t make me hit you today. I am not in the mood.” I was not joking and there was no way what I said would have been taken that way. I don’t even remember the last thing he said to me. I just know it was in the same vein. I grabbed my purse, stood up, hands raised in surrender and said, “I can’t do this. I can’t. I can’t be here. I’m out.” And I stumbled my way down the aisle and out of the church. I guess I’ve stormed out of enough events in my life that no one bothers to follow, or text, or call. It’s not in the best of neighborhoods. I don’t like being followed, but I’m not sure what meaning to attach to being ignored.

I don’t know what – was referring to, or what he meant. I certainly don’t understand. It was his notice I was talking about. HE sent it to me. He calls me his “new evangelist.” While I don’t like that word, it’s a type of outreach. What is Michelle without networking, without outreach? Really? Go ahead and define me without anything related to connecting people to other people or resources, without some component of organization or information, without sharing, or teaching. I dare ya. Spreading the Good News, or sharing the Gospel, is NETWORKING. I can’t not be me. And I don’t intend to.

I was aware as I left that I didn’t have my journal but I didn’t dare turn back to get it. I walked. I had my purse and my phone. I walked up 49th to Federal, down to Euclid and called an Uber at Elm. I knew it wasn’t safe for me to be walking there. I don’t fit in. I didn’t care. If someone had tried to mug me I would have just handed them my purse. It’s not worth a fight. I’m dressed too nicely on a Sunday morning to be a prostitute and I’m white so that rules some things out. On Federal a police car passed me, turned around and drove past me again. He did this several times. I was paying attention to my surroundings as I walked, but also to my body. Yesterday and today my face has been tense and twitchy, but I noticed something new today. As I walked, my hands were open static, palms forward. They just stayed there. My fingers weren’t moving. My soul was frozen. I give up. I stopped to smell red and yellow roses, said hello to the homeless people as I passed on the street. I smelled the two types of jasmine, picked one. I stopped to stand under the shade of a few trees. I just wanted to write but I had no paper. I needed a safe place to stop.

I wish I had wanted to die. Precarious situation. I’m used to feeling awful and wanting to die. It brings relief and I’m okay. But I didn’t want to die today. I just couldn’t stop the feeling. It’s all over. Nowhere to go from here. Dr. M said we can reset the inside of my brain but not my life. Sometimes I think it’s better to feel worse than good. At least in death there is hope. In this, it’s just endless bullshit followed up by a helping of confusion and then some more shit on the side. Why try to feel or get better if being better hurts worse?

There were no words in the UberPool. Driver barely spoke English. Before he arrived I looked down at my phone and my mom had sent me a text message. It read, “Don’t let the Devil keep you from being in church this am. Come back in, please.” I replied, “You don’t know what you’re talking about. I’ll see you later.” I was so hurt. How dare she? Sure. I use everything I have in me to get to a service I’m doing something special for, am extremely triggered and offended by something someone important says to me, leave so I don’t scream or hit someone or say something their delicate ears can’t handle and somehow it’s the DEVIL keeping me out of the church? Riiiiiiiiight. I’m in bed with Satan and my goal is to fuck up the church and cause a scene wherever I go just to get in the way. I’m sorry I never realized the beauty of this plan. I suppose all the people I bring and media I share are Satan-derived too. I earn Hell-points for everyone I bring to church or convert and extra for each time I get upset and leave. (close and roll my eyes) Why even try?

M’s coming over in a half hour to work on folders. I don’t care to see anyone. I don’t want to work. I hate the new labels. I need to return the proof for the table runner. I need a nap.I think I’m getting sick too and my doctor isn’t returning my message. (sigh) Mom called to say she’s bringing food home. I JUST WANT TO WRITE AND SLEEP.

God, please help me.
Happy Sunday.

© Michelle Routhieaux 2017

Sent by God

3/15/17     10:54pm

A strange thing happened tonight. I was out to pizza with a friend and I had my dog Ellie. I know crazy people are drawn to me but tonight’s variety was different. I was at the counter waiting for a change in receipt when a disheveled man came in from outside and asked about Ellie. He started talking about PTSD service dogs and mentioned he was homeless. He told me he saw a super famous doctor in La Jolla once. I asked if he was a vet and he said no, that he wasn’t part of “the killing machine.” I tried to end the conversation and go back to my friend but no such luck.

The man came with me and sat down with us. He said there was something he wanted to tell us, something important. I have no idea what it was. I do remember him saying the word “bitchin'” and his name being Greg. My brother’s name is Greg and he’s the only one I’ve ever heard say that word. I wanted to give him a low income housing resource. Instead I heard about his experience being homeless, his family structure, some pro-Trump ranting, and how if he’s going to join a gym it has to be 24 Hour Fitness because it’s right down the street.

The man was filled with tears. He knew we wanted him to leave, yet he stayed. He asked if he could pray for us. He put out his hands and I held one and closed my eyes. He said a powerful prayer for my friend and I. God was there. I could feel it. He walked away and we took our pizza and left. The feeling stayed with me that God was there. Before I got in the car he showed up again and said to me that he really needs my help and would I PLEASE help him to get some place to live, some place with a bathroom and a shower, that he would work hard. He just really wants help. It was sincere. He never asked me for money or to buy him anything. He came to bring God to me.

I got in the car and told my friend about faith, that what is holding me up now is faith. I don’t understand what’s happening and I can’t fix or change it, but what I have is an unending faith and a posse of blessings and a crowd of people who love and support me. I have Jesus. I let go and trust. I am held. I’ve been really scared and, as my friend would say, “losing my shit,” and tonight God sent me a homeless man to refocus, to reconnect. He didn’t go anywhere. He never stopped caring for me, making everything right. Sometimes I just can’t see.

Thank you so much, God, for loving me. Please show me how to help your servant Greg.

© Michelle Routhieaux 2017

Have you Smiled yet?

1/14/2017     1:06am

Now that all the crazy end-of-year giving charity hype is over I have to ask, have you Smiled yet?

jamies_hope_amazon_smiles-3

I’m always looking for new and easy ways to raise money for my group DBSA San Diego. I love Amazon Smile. Here’s how it works:

  1. Charities can sign up with Amazon for an Amazon Smile account.
  2. People like you and me go to smile.amazon.com and sign into Amazon. If you have a direct link, you can choose that charity easily. If not, you can search from a list.
  3. Then just start your shopping from smile.amazon.com instead of plain old http://www.amazon.com. An easy way to remember is by just using the Amazon Smile extension for Chrome that you can find here. Sometimes there will be a pop-up to remind you if you’re on the regular site.
  4. When you buy things through Amazon Smile, your chosen charity gets 0.5% of the price.

To choose DBSA San Diego, use this link: https://smile.amazon.com/ch/46-4731973
The location says Chicago, IL because that’s where we’re headquartered.

Shopping through Amazon Smile doesn’t cost you anything extra. You only have to sign up once. All the same products are available. You just get to help out in a really great way. There’s even a little note by each product if it’s a purchase eligible for donation.

I’d appreciate everyone joining to support DBSA San Diego and sharing with friends.
Even if you don’t support my charity, it’s a really great program.

© Michelle Routhieaux 2017

Windows of Opportunity

12/5/2016     9:38pm

yoga-therapy-art

I’m sitting in the VA parking lot. The potluck was tonight and I pulled it off well, got a special award from Libby. I cleaned up and socialized, kind of. I feel weak and dizzy and faint, like before I passed out yesterday. I walked the stairs anyway. I want that star.

(rest on my fist the space between my eyes)
Mom didn’t come.

I missed my opportunity. I fucked up. This is my fault. I need and wanted ECT. In the time I could have done it and recovered I tried something else to appease my doctor, which went horribly wrong. Now I’m in a med change. She’ll want to know if it’s working tomorrow.

Is my new med helping? Is it better or worse? I’m not sure how to answer that. Before I was severely depressed and non-functional. I wanted and needed ECT and had time to do it but needed help with logistics. Now I don’t know what I am. My best guess would be rapid cycling mixed episode with mild psychotic features and marked memory impairment. I go back and forth from bitter to rage to desperation to confusion – lots of confusion – and back. The period I’m not supposed to have now comes for about 3 days every week and a half. I’m bingeing a lot, making myself ill, impulsively maxing out my credit cards. I shut down completely in private and in public at inopportune times. I’m isolating from everyone, including D-. Fighting with Mom every day. Is that better or worse?

I missed the opportunity. They don’t come often. Today I went back to work for F-. I’m expected at group and outreach events and appointments. Because my moments are split I don’t get to pick ECT anymore. I don’t get to do what I know works for me ‘cuz I’m feeling now. Fuck.

(curled over, feel my heart beat on my skin)

I’m cold.
What do I do now?

Just keep working.

I didn’t matter enough to fix. :(
Not my turn.

3 – When Daddy hides the roller skates, run run away.
No like Daddy clip his fingernails.
Ice live in penguins, Mommy.

I get to see J- on Thursday. I don’t know how I’m going to pay for it but I want my life back. I NEED me back.

What do I want/need help with?

  • coaching through PRYT training – fundraising, planning, accommodations, follow-through, step by step
  • going through my stuff
  • fitting all I own into my room
  • conquering the garage
  • dancing again consistently
  • financial planning
  • losing weight
  • standardize & wrap up group business
  • have friends again
  • sing again
  • be in a musical again
  • scheduling – me + responsibilities
  • being around my mom with compassion

(stare, hear a GameBoy game song)

3 – I want to go humbly. I mean home. You bozo.

(VA police sweep)

The difference between now and then is that in the darkness I felt hope.

© Michelle Routhieaux 2016

Fight Your Fight

11/23/16

election-2016I just signed one of the electoral college petitions online for Hillary. I don’t actually think it’s a good idea though. Somehow I’m aware that if we don’t give Donald Trump the chance to prove himself or fail, this divide will just grow and get uglier. Like when I tell a doctor I know their treatment choice is not a good option for me, sometimes I have to try it anyway to PROVE that I was right. I know it’s dangerous. I know I don’t like it. I always know it’s probably what we need to do. If my side is wrong and the country is magically better, GREAT! I don’t care who fixes it. I can admit I was wrong if the outcome is good. Being willing to suffer for the right to be right is a necessary cost that not all are willing to take. In fact, right now I’m dealing with the fallout of being right in my treatment. But I’m still right and now they believe.

Do I hate/despise/openly curse Donald Trump? Yes.
Do I feel hurt by the statements his supporters make about me? Yes.
Do his policies and promises and those of his people directly stand to ruin or end my life? Totally.
Do I understand why some of his followers follow him and believe? Yes.
Has any Trump supporter I’ve encountered mentioned stopping to consider how his presidency might affect me? Nope.
Did I vote though my vote doesn’t count? Yes.
Do I want to know what is happening in this presidency that will affect me and my loved ones for better or worse? Every damn thing.
Do I understand any of this? Nope. That’s probably a blessing.

Whatever side you’re on and for whatever reason, fight your fight. Just make sure you know what you’re fighting for and why. It really matters.

© Michelle Routhieaux 2016

Life Update – Thoughts from the Couch

11-20-16     11:46pm

I feel sad. (pause) I’m sitting on the couch, tv off. Mom’s asleep. The clock is ticking relentlessly, rain falling on the metal overhang outside. I watch the candle flicker. I don’t know what’s happening.

Today I went to church and lunch with my mom and her friend. I fell asleep after, picked up a migraine and forgot what I wanted to work on. I’m not doing well. I’ve been quite depressed for some time. I wanted to rejoin the ranks of ECT but tried an intensive outpatient program instead. That ended terribly. Now I’m trying to figure out what to do, only I don’t have the mind to do it. Dissociation has taken on a life of its own. I’m losing time. I can’t follow what’s happening. I’m sending freaked out emails to my therapist that later I have no or little recollection of. I started a new med that I’m pretty sure is either making my symptoms worse or holding off the small sanity breaks I usually get. I’m usually a shark when it comes to managing money and two months in a row now I’ve forgotten to pay bills. I can’t keep up with my work, often forget I’m even supposed to be doing it. I go to my group and do the bare bones. I’ve been somewhat honest about the fact that I’m struggling but I don’t share in group or when I’m willing there isn’t time. I avoid it altogether most times since the feedback I get is often silence or replies that are only vaguely relevant. My friends express concern and ask if there’s anything they can do to help. I know if I told them something they would do it, but I don’t know what that is. I’ve pulled away from almost everyone. I don’t know what to do. I go in and out of wanting to kill myself. It’s not a likely scenario considering I don’t actually want to be dead and I can’t undie if I don’t like it. Soleil also pointed out recently that I’m always moving and there’s no movement in death. That would certainly be a problem.

I think it was last month that I had packed a bag and left it in the car should I want or need to go inpatient. I’ve since unpacked it. I did tell my mom after a bit and I told her I was considering more ECT or an IOP. She didn’t really seem surprised or upset, or anything for that matter. When I went into IOP all that mattered to her was that I got my work done, which I didn’t. Ending the IOP was traumatic and I was upset for days. I couldn’t tell her what was happening and when I was finally going to she said something so offensive about a few of my friends that I wouldn’t. We got in a huge unrelated screaming fight a few nights ago. Today she said I wasn’t making sense. I’ll give her that. I tried very hard this evening to talk to her. I told her I’m losing time. I spent all my effort trying to explain what that means, what it’s like for me. (stare off into space) She picked up the remote and said, “What do you want to watch?” There was no response or discussion.

My therapist is doing his damndest, which I have to give him credit for. We’re in rough waters and even I don’t believe in me. For some reason he does. I feel horribly guilty for telling him the truth about what’s happening to me. I don’t want to be the girl who’s always in crisis. I mentioned something recently about working with and educating the police and he straight up laughed, said he would pay to see that, take the whole day off work. I don’t blame him. He’s never seen the side of me that can do that, just the one that’s freaking out.

I don’t know what there is to be scared of. I am so blessed. I live in a safe home with my mom who loves me. I have the most incredible team of providers I couldn’t even dream up and a steady source of income. On top of that, I have a God who loves and protects me no matter what I do and a group that’s got my back. I can let go but I’m afraid to lose control. I’m afraid of losing who I am.
Did who I am even matter?
Not really.
There you go.
I still feel confused and scared. God keeps telling me, “Go.” WHERE?!!
You’ll know.
Shut up.

I have to go to bed now. My goal is 12am and it’s 12:12am now. Thanks for listening to me vent. I hope you’re doing okay.

Michelle

Happy Tongue

10/27/16     2:41pm

tongue-collage-2

I had surgery on my tongue today to remove a large bump/lesion. I am grateful for my doctor and awesome staff. Also, my mom rocks. She took the day off to look after me. I haven’t taken any PRNs yet but I slept most of the day and am still tired. My mouth hurts but I feel so calm and nothing bothers me. I know it’s the drugs in my system but I don’t care. My head and my mouth hurt. Don’t really care. Struggle to keep my eyes open. Nope, don’t care. This is a blessing. Thank you, God. I must sleep now. I’m falling over. I have to go to my program tomorrow, in 4 hours, and I can’t be late. I’ll tell you about that some other time.

Love, Michelle

© Michelle Routhieaux 2016

God Sent me a Hummingbird

7/23/16     10:56pmlavender painted lady

I am SO blessed. I’m sitting on the couch with my dog cuddled up next to me. Mom is sewing as we watch Big Bang Theory. It’s some sort of dream.

I woke up this morning. Yep. I wandered around my house most of the day confused and anxious, freaking out and shutting down. I finally found the guts to write to my brother’s step-dad about what I want to do with his body. I sent the message over Facebook and went through a basket I haven’t touched in ages while watching NCIS. My niece’s mom contacted me for the first time. Then the step-dad responded in agreement and my fear fell away. I could BREATHE. What a blessing. I also got to chat with a friend from Level 1. Thinking of her lifted my spirits.

In the afternoon God told me to go cut lavender. So I found my scissors and went 56 minutes before sunset. I prayed for God to sit with me as I cut the flowers, to bless me and the people who grew them, to heal the people who will receive them. I asked Him to let me just be. I walked and sat and cut. I listened to the neighbors. I watched the families interact. There was a butterfly that flew by. I say automatically, “Hi, God.” Sometimes instead I say, “Hi, Dad.” I pay attention to them and to the flowers.

As I sat on the ground collecting purple flowers I heard a buzzing. It was a hummingbird. It flitted around the plant beside me then came over to the one I was working on. I stayed still and watched. It backed up and stared at me. Then it moved forward, forward more. We were face to face and I didn’t move. God sent me a hummingbird. It hovered long enough to hold my attention. When it was ready it flew away. I praised God for the day.

I met a neighbor whose mom is a patient at Mesa Vista. I shared DBSA with her. I really hope this one house’s inhabitants show up soon. I REALLY want to cut the flowers in front of it. Mom wanted a bun taco from Del Taco so I drove through. I hadn’t been to that Del Taco or through that drive thru since November 16, 2001, when I left my dying father. The lady who gave me my food at the drive thru looked different. She didn’t fit the image of a fast food worker. I told her she looked too skilled to be working at a Del Taco. She said her husband owns the franchise and she fills in where needed. I told her about not being there since 2001. She told me her daughter, who was 26, died three years ago. She also told me about her mother with Alzheimer’s and their struggles. I offered resources and gave her lavender. She was amazing. She said to come back more often. I don’t know her name and I don’t like the food, but I’m pretty sure I’ll go back to see her.

I listened to Snap Judgment on the way home, bought bananas, made a smoothie and walked into my living room to Mom sewing. I don’t know what inspired her to do that (she is AWESOME) but I’m glad she’s back in her element.

I am so blessed. I’m exhausted but joy fills my face – and my soul, and my toes. Hallelujah blessed. Yesterday and the day before we SO awful. And today I’m okay. Held by God. I’m even back in touch with my old ballet teacher, who has been in the wind for years, and my 8th grade history teacher. They both appeared like the butterflies and the hummingbird.

Look for the small and so meaningful blessings in life. A hummingbird shouldn’t have to stare me in the face for God to grab my attention, yet today it did and it worked. God is with me. Don’t let me forget that.

© Michelle Routhieaux 2016

Take Back the Breath

6/30/16 Own your breathI’m sitting in a conference room at the VA in an empty meeting. I’ve been wanting to write on this prompt from my brain for some time but I’ve been scared. I’ve been letting someone else control me. Someone mentioned last week that I hadn’t posted on my blog in awhile. There’s a reason. It’s just not pretty.

5 weeks ago my boyfriend broke up with me. Things had been getting progressively worse for some time and he decided a FB message was the appropriate tool to communicate with. He brought over my stuff, we exchanged keys, and he left. You’d think this would be the end. It was only the beginning. M- started (or continued) stalking me. He sent me notes through text, email, Facebook, Messenger, left me voicemails and off-topic comments on my blog. He went through other people to get to me, asking them to text me for him or contact me another way. He contacted my mother. He even hijacked someone else’s Facebook profile whom I was talking with to get to me. He at least stopped dropping by my house unannounced or at least I don’t know it. I took him off my FB profile as a significant other. I was confused but felt relieved.

It has been up and down since then. I haven’t felt this boxed in or trapped ever. Some of the things he’s done leave me honestly scared. He won’t let go. I can’t post on my blog because he reads it, can’t share in group because it goes back to him. Every time my phone dings or buzzes I’m on edge because it’s usually him and I don’t know what he wants. Will it be insults today or over the top compliments? Have I ruined his life or saved him? I don’t know. Frankly, I don’t care. He researches me online, talks to everyone about me. I don’t even know what people know about me anymore because he tells everyone everything. I’m a pretty private person. I don’t appreciate mass sharing. There have been days I went to comfort him and was yelled at for an hour. He’s the first person who’s ever said something to me so mean or hurtful that it literally took my breath. I couldn’t breathe. He acts as if his assumptions are truth and won’t believe anything to the contrary. The mood instability and purposeful manipulation grind me down and make me mad. He’s texted me “911” to get me to respond when there was no true emergency.

He asked to stop by after church on Sunday to drop off a letter to me. He stayed awhile. The conversation was uncomfortable but he was respectful. I thought maybe he’d changed. Nope. He went home and started messaging me that I need to change my profile picture on FB because it’s not very flattering, not the best of me, and he’s not the only one who thinks it. FUCK YOU. Who the FUCK do you think you are? I AM NOT YOURS.

In a continuation of the emotional blackmail, he posted on his website that any donations would go to me for my Phoenix Rising tuition. He put up a story about me that’s not true speckled with tiny spots that were. That night at group he brought me a journal and some candy and a drink. So wait, now I’m good again? I can’t keep up. I accepted them and said thank you. I asked him to take down the story since it’s both private and not all true. The one thing that’s really important to me and my future is that Phoenix Rising training and he KNOWS I need money for it. Why not tie me to him for the money? Brilliant idea, except that it isn’t. It only hurts me having to choose whether or not to stay in the abuse for the money. The answer is no. Thing is, I’m not even sure he sees what he’s doing. He honestly believes he is helping… I think.

Today I went to his baptism with another friend. He asked if my last FB post was about him. That SO pisses me off and he knows it. He’s back to saying he loves me and that he’s going to marry me and that when he gets back from rehab he’s going to chase me again. He says he KNOWS I still love him and am still IN love with him and KNOWS we’re still lovers in our hearts. He says he KNOWS he broke my heart (by cheating on me, et. al.) “Stop pretending like you don’t still love me,” he says. He claims to know what I think and how I feel and my history, which he doesn’t. He wants to be “friends.” He says, “That’s all we really ever were anyway.” No, it’s not. We were in a relationship. He was part of my family. He messages me in despair and sadness begging for attention and help. Last time I called him when he sent me crisis texts and he said he was fine, that he had talked to some friends and used some skills. I was livid. He said, “Well you didn’t HAVE to call. I’m trying to give you some space since you think I’m stalking you, even though I’m really not.” He wants me at his going away party this weekend and to agree to take one phone call a week from him while he’s in rehab for the next two months.

I can’t do it. I have laid back, kept quiet, tried to deal with this on my own. I have respected his privacy, though he doesn’t respect mine. I have altered my life. I have constant anxiety. When I think about him I get angry. When I see him in person it’s hard to breathe. Texts and FB messages haunt me. Hugs eat at my soul. I can’t get away. Last time I saw him he told me he was going to frame all my PRYT art and hang it around his house. That’s just creepy. I have waited, played along, pretty well I think. Friends and church members have encouraged him to keep pursuing me. He told me we are destined by God to be together and that no matter what he’ll find me and we’ll be together. I don’t know what to do.

I’ve been waiting to set any boundaries because I’m scared, both of the backlash towards me and the very high probability of a spike in his suicidality. I don’t hate the man. I have compassion towards him. I care but I am not in love. I am under attack. I really don’t want to hurt him.

Since what I send to him usually becomes public knowledge anyway, I will spare him the hassle and make this an open letter:

Dear M-,

I’m sorry you’re feeling so scared about this new journey next week. You will make it. I’m also glad to see you get baptized today. You are a man of God now and strong in your faith.

The past 5 weeks have been very hard on me. Your constant pursuing and intense emotions and reactions have left me trembling, fragile, ANGRY. I don’t hate you. I have compassion both for you and what you’re going through, but it can’t include me anymore. Contact from you (good or bad) sets my body on alarm. I feel fear. It’s hard to squelch my anger about what you’ve done. Apologies don’t erase memories. And neither does any other excuse. I truly treasure the time we spent together and what you’ve done for me. We both grew and expanded our lives. But that time is over now. This is a new time. And in this new time we need to focus on ourselves.

You are leaving for rehab on Tuesday. I’m proud of you for going, for having the courage and strength to face your demons. I don’t want you going there thinking the whole time about how you’re going to get back with me when you’re released and live happily ever after. You’re not. I’m not interested. I’m not in love with you and my heart is not broken. I do feel sad though that it had to end like this. It’s not what I expected.

It’s important for me to be specific so these are the boundaries I’m asking for.

Boundaries Needed

  • Please do not call, text, email, FB message, other instant message, comment on my blog or communicate with me in any other way except for true emergencies (impending or imminent death) or about DBSA business matters no other board member can answer or solve.
  • At DBSA meetings, please choose a different room than I’m in.
  • At board meetings, please stick to business.
  • I do not want to work outreach together.
  • At the VA MH Council, please stick to business and be professional.
  • Please do not attempt to contact me through someone else.
  • At church, please sit in a different pew.
  • I do not want to pick up the refugee family anymore.
  • Please do not come to choir practice just to see me unless you intend to join the choir.
  • Stop asking my permission to do or attend things.
  • Stop bringing me gifts.
  • I don’t want to salsa with you.
  • I don’t want to “hang out” or listen. You have other support.
  • I don’t want to be chased or to have a 3rd run at our relationship.
  • I don’t want to be your friend (by your definition).
  • I don’t want to go to couples counseling.
  • I think it would be better if you didn’t call me from rehab.

What is okay:

  • Basic interactions at church
  • Contact about DBSA business
  • Contact re: life & death crises (in progress, imminent death)
  • It is okay to write to me snail mail from rehab if you want.
  • I am willing to work with the staff at rehab if needed.

I know it’s a lot to take in. We will see each other when you get back and maybe someday when we’re both healthier we can be friends (by my definition). I’m not your best friend and I’m not your lover. Until then, we can be fellow group members who really care about each other.

Please leave me alone, M-. Please.

With respect,
Michelle

(deep breath)
It’s time I take back my breath. This is my life and I want to live it. So, hopefully you’ll be seeing more posts from me soon. If not, at least you’ll know the pause is not from fear. Just sadness. And living my life.

© Michelle Routhieaux 2016

Today’s Look

6/23/16     11:44pm

Today’s look:
13466081_10154944009729307_8861756061382099334_n (1)13495094_10154944009829307_6393750374255298977_n

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have to give a shout out to Brenda, the amazing lady who has been doing my hair for over 20 years now. Crazy, huh? I just realized that today. She is kind and quick-witted, full of talent. She is conservative in cutting (no asking for 3″ off and leaving minus 7.”) We talk about life. Today she was telling me about her “flying squirrel” dog. I swear if she catches that on tape that dog will be famous. ;) No color or perms or other fancy stuff. Just incredible cuts that are sure to always flatter you and your face. She won’t do it if it makes you look bad, even if you want it.

Brenda works out of Kids Hair Salon in La Mesa, CA. So, if you don’t mind the sound of a kids movie on the tv, being surrounded by kids and parents, and looking at jungle animals on the walls, I’d give her a try. She washes, cuts, dries, and styles my hair all for around $20 (and a tip.) Can’t beat that. I wish I remembered to go more often. It makes me feel good.

Thanks, Brenda, for being so great and for making me look good for all these years. Here’s to 20 more.

© Michelle Routhieaux 2016

A Vessel

5/22/16     11:40am

Love and Compassion and Understanding flow through me.

Breathe… (smile, listen to sermon)
The air burns my throat as I take it in. My feet press against the pew and there is pressure on the bridge of my nose. I’m thinking slowly, bandwidth consumed. My eyes and temples hurt.

Pain flows through me, shakes every cell in my body. But it’s not mine. Hands open, arms wide, I breathe it out. The negative energy crashes over and through. It exhausts but doesn’t take me down. I’M STILL STANDING. God holds me up.

Love and compassion and understanding flow through me. When filled with anger and hurt I don’t lash out. I am quiet, listening, processing, able to make a choice. I speak slowly and what comes out is truth and compassion. It’s not mine either. I watch.

I’ve prayed for years for God to speak through me and to me, to make me a vessel only for Him. I pray for Him to speak through others and I listen. I couldn’t comprehend how much that would hurt or how much it would bless me. I am not who I was. She haunts me. He holds me. And I breathe…

The Devil attacks me. He WILL not bring me down.

I need to move my body, change more energy at home, allow myself to let go. Take back the breath.

© Michelle Routhieaux 2016

How do you…?

5/13/06     11:26pm

I’m sorry I haven’t written in awhile. It’s not because I don’t think of you. I’ve been busy and scared to share the truth. Today’s truth is not so scary.

It’s almost midnight. I have a bunch of stuff to print for an event I have to leave for by 6:30am tomorrow. I’m trying to read a few articles on FB but my computer is too slow to load them, thanks to having to redistribute my cloud files and them ever so slowly resyncing. The tv in the living room is blaring an infomercial and my mom is in her bedroom talking to her jackass boyfriend on the phone. Mine just sent me a short video mocking people who have too much stuff in their front seat when you go to ride with them. Last week he wrote “horder” in the dirt on my back window. I don’t understand. It’s a trigger for me to be made fun of, but if you’re going to do it anyway at least spell the insult right. He finds it funny. I don’t. My car is full of donations waiting for a specific space at a specific hospital that means a lot to me. There’s nothing humorous about that.

I folded clothes for a friend this morning after a long walk. I couldn’t breathe so I rolled on the floor and stretched for awhile. If I listen in the quiet my body tells me what I need. I met with someone about a partnership with my support group and had a muscavado brownie. Fucking amazing. (Eclipse Chocolate) I wrote beforehand in the car, enjoyed the peace of just the sound of wind in the trees. A man with some unnamed movement disorder kept driving around looking for parking. Eventually he came up to me on his motor scooter and handed me a beautiful red garden rose. He said he came to take his girlfriend to dinner but she wasn’t there. So I got the flower and a dinner invite. While I passed up the offer for tacos, the rose was nice.

I wrote for about two hours tonight. I went to my therapist’s office and laid on the floor in the hallway. There was no one there but the cleaning crew. It was a good safe choice for writing, complete with great jazz music overhead. (God-damn vacuum infomercial. Grrrr. I’d turn it off but that would attract my mom’s attention and she would start in on me again.) (sigh) Too late. She’s silently scolding now.

I don’t understand. All I want to do is write. I want to be by myself somewhere quiet and encounter my mind, vent my soul for a night. I miss riding the bus and trolley. I had that time to listen to music, to think and write. I could solve problems and develop ideas. I could passively observe. Doing everything quickly does not appeal to me. I want the privilege of moving slowly. God’s showing me a direction He wants me to move in but I’m too distracted to take the path. Like anything is really more important than God’s will, right? I feel sad and I want the right and the space to just feel it.

My ECT is on hold and I’m facing multiple losses right now. I don’t really talk to my friends. I’m not leading groups very often. I’m working on sharing in them. I’m starting to unfold and re-experience the traumas in my life. It’s scary but worth it. I want the darkness out of me. I want to let it go. I’m trying to learn to be a girlfriend. I suck at it but there has to be something said for trying.

I’ve been trying slowly to organize my possessions and get rid of things. I know I have too much but some of the stashes have a reason and most of the boxes are wired with memories. That’s not just a box of envelopes. It’s so much more – 3 therapy sessions worth of stories. And there are a LOT of boxes. Boxes, piles and bags everywhere. I have my stuff, group stuff, mom’s stuff, dance stuff. I have no office so my things are everywhere. I try. I know my mom and I have “issues” when it comes to things. Let’s face it, we’re hoarders. I know that. Do you think I don’t know that? I try my best not to think about it every day. It hurts when someone throws it in my face.

I’m so tired. I have a resource fair in the morning and then a Super Choir rehearsal. I’m hoping after to do some writing. Most likely I will be chastised all morning to type instead. Can’t I do both? Life is not all about work. I know this. My mom does not…

I’m sorry. I’m rambling. I just felt like talking with my fingers to someone and you were the person/audience that came to mind. I miss writing and sharing me. What helps you set aside everything you’re doing to follow what God’s told you or what you’ve discerned, even when it goes against all reason and odds? How do you set aside what logic tells you is required and do what you know your soul NEEDS? I don’t know how to do that. I want to learn. (Mom is at it again, nag, nag, nag. I wish she could just be content.)

I have to go prep for the event I don’t want to go to now. I hope to share with you more soon, maybe even some core truths. We’ll see. Thanks for listening.

© Michelle Routhieaux 2106

On ECT…

12/26/2015     1:56pm

I’ve been wanting to write on ECT for awhile now. It seems everyone has their own opinion about it, even if they haven’t experienced it. I say, unless you’ve tried it shut your face. This is my experience with it.

In case you didn’t know, ECT stands for Electroconvulsive Therapy (shock treatment.) Right, like in “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” only not. ECT is used for severe depression when medications and other treatments haven’t worked, suicidal depression, psychosis, severe mania or catatonia. It may seem barbaric but it’s actually quite effective. Antidepressants have about a 30% effectiveness whereas ECT is about 70%.

I started ECT mid-November after 15 years of med changes and 13 hospitalizations. I wish someone had offered it to me sooner. 5 of my doctors worked together to make it happen. Here’s how it happened. I was given the option and information that I could sign only after having it for 24 hours. My doctors made sure my labs were good and I passed my EKG. I was evaluated by 2 doctors and then scheduled for my first session. I opted not to view the ECT video. I’ve seen it before. I’ve had many friends who’ve had ECT so I knew a bit of what to expect and considering I’d rather have been dead the outcome really didn’t matter.

I started ECT inpatient 3 times a week. The night before they give you a red wristband that means you can’t eat or drink after midnight until they take the band off (because of the anesthesia.) I got lucky for my first ECT and had my favorite nurse assigned to me. She came to get me super early in the morning when the ECT dept was ready for me and walked me down there. The nurse there greeted me with a smile and took my vitals. The nurse from my unit stayed with me until it was my turn. Then they took me back to meet my doctor in the treatment room. As soon as I go in, I sit down on the gurney (which is ridiculously soft.) The nurse on my left starts an IV in my left arm, the nurse on my right covers me with a warm blanket, the anesthesiologist is above my head and my doctor is either sitting at a computer on my right or standing at my feet talking to me. Someone puts electrodes on my forehead and right temple. I try to stay conscious as long as possible but inevitably mid-sentence my doctor grabs my right hand, smiles at me and says I’m going to get sleepy. The world gets a bit blurry, shakes back and forth two or three times and all goes black. The next thing I know I wake up in the recovery area. I still have no idea how I get there. When I wake up I feel happy and healthy, they take my vitals and someone gives me apple juice.

While I’m asleep they shock me on the right side and top of my head (unilateral), causing a seizure. In the IV they give me meds to paralyze my body so I don’t shake. Because of this, they breathe for me. They tape my eyes shut and put a mouthpiece in so I don’t grind my teeth. I don’t suggest keeping contacts in if you wear them. I did the first time and somehow lost one when they pulled the tape off. Don’t worry. They do it before you wake up and it doesn’t hurt at all or leave a mark. I have longer seizures than most people. Last week I had my longest yet – 148 seconds. The length of the seizure doesn’t seem to matter as long as it’s at least 20 seconds. Some people have bilateral ECT, which means they get shocked on both sides. That kind of ECT has more memory loss and side effects. They don’t seem to know how or why ECT works. I read an article last year that said it slightly damages the part of the brain that’s overactive in depression. Other sources say it basically jumpstarts the brain or changes the chemistry. Either way, it works.

My first ECT was the worst. They didn’t give me any extra meds because they didn’t know what I’d need. I had no idea where I was or who the people on my unit were. I was crawling on the floor nauseous with a HORRIBLE headache. I did at least remember my nurse, who I’ve known for years. My legs hurt SO bad for several days, which they told me was because they were super muscular and adjusted the anesthesia. They “stacked” my first two treatments – two days in a row. After the first one they started giving me Toradol and Zofran in the IV and I’ve had much less difficulty with pain and nausea.  After the first treatment I felt joy, which confused but elated me. I didn’t know it was possible. I had 5 treatments inpatient and was doing so well that they discharged me without a plan for maintenance treatment. Then my therapist fired me and some other shit happened and I took a hard and fast dive towards death. So I decided to go back to ECT. Now I’m getting treatments once a week.

ECT has not been without side effects. After doing treatments three times a week I couldn’t drive for 2 weeks. Now that I’m doing it weekly I just can’t drive the day of or the day after treatment. About an hour after I wake up I get a headache and feel very nauseous. Sometimes I can stay up and work on the computer or write. Other days I just sleep. I have Tigan to take PO for the nausea. My memory is spotty and my cognition is definitely impaired. I have trouble remembering names, passwords, how to get places. My mind, which is usually chock full of thoughts and ideas, is often pretty blank. This is new for me but I don’t altogether hate it. There are certain things I don’t remember at all. I’ve gotten into arguments with people about things I apparently did but have no memory of. This is frustrating for me. Thankfully at least one of those people understands why. My mind is usually a steel trap. If I don’t remember it, it didn’t happen. But I guess now it might have. I’m learning. It’s like ECT as ERP. I’m learning to accept not knowing or remembering. I so often now hear myself saying, “I don’t know.” I also get very sore muscles for a few days after my treatment – sometimes my neck or shoulders, tongue, back. The soreness seems to travel but doesn’t show up until the second day.

I feel offended when people tell me I shouldn’t be doing ECT or when they hassle me about how many treatments I’m having. They say they’re concerned about my mind or the side effects. They fail to take into consideration that it’s saving my life. I KNOW I’m not the same. I’m aware that my mind is different. I’ve seen how it can ruin people’s minds. It’s not ruining mine. I trust my doctors and God has given me ECT. Maybe not for forever, but definitely for now. I finally found something that actually helps me. I do feel sad more often than usual, but I believe that’s because I’m actually feeling. I’m dissociating less, actually living in the moment. It’s new for me. I think it’s good. I intend to keep doing ECT until my doctors and I agree on stopping. Please don’t try to dissuade me.

If you’d like to talk about ECT, feel free to leave me a comment here or contact me personally if you know me. I’m not up for philosophical arguments but I’m willing to answer questions or help you out. It’s not as scary as it seems. I promise.

This is the Mayo Clinic article about ECT. Mayo Clinic – ECT

© Michelle Routhieaux 2015

Non-linear

3/19/15     5:30pm

Non-linear. My thought is non-linear today. I was willful and skipped my Geodon. I also didn’t eat. Now I have a big headache. I can move today. My muscles don’t hurt. I can breathe easier. Literally. (move to stairs)

I thought I could wait for my mom here with some ice on my face. Instead my mom wants me to play with the girls. No.

I sound like a meth-addict today. Or crack. My thoughts jump on lilypads scattered. They come out fast in somewhat coherent globs. There are pauses where words should be. My muscles are twitchy, reactive. The ones on my face have been vibrating all day. I have periods of nerve pain, intense. I question me driving, stayed home extra hours today when I wasn’t okay. I feel small and scared. I want to go home. My face BURNS.

Tomorrow I will start half-dose in the morning and full dose at night. Dr. H is not mad at me, thankfully. I just want to feel better. Better. Me. Non-linear. I want my think back, please. With less pain. Maybe migraine today. I’m losing time. It floats away. The sound attacks my head with spears. Don’t let me ever have kids. Really.

Non-linear. My head hurts. Please.

I did some projects today. No. I want to go home please. Non-linear. Me.

© Michelle Routhieaux 2015

Rebranding

3/1/15     12:32am

Hello, dears. ;) It’s like greeting an old friend, sitting down to type. It has been awhile. Someone asked me recently, “What happened?!” in regards to my hospitalization. Well, a lot. I haven’t been able to answer that question yet. I thought I’d try here but it doesn’t seem likely tonight. I’m tired. I feel disconnected.

I worked all day in somewhat of a trance on my room and my chair in the living room – organizing papers, moving things around, throwing things out. I took a 4 hour nap in between but was able to create a space for me. I took some pictures but they came out blurry. I made space to put down my dance floor, a rug and my purple BackJack. I assembled some metal cubes to store stuff I don’t know what to do with in. Everything is up off the floor now. I even changed out the art on my walls. My room reflects me now. Colorful, calm, full of possibility and flexible in use.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

My birthday’s coming up next week. I’m excited. I’m going to my aunt’s house in the desert – my favorite place in the world to be. I get to spend time with my family and my dog and alone time with the dirt – my salty desert dirt. Is it just me or are there a lot of the words me, my and commas here? My mind is on its own today.

I’ve decided this year the purchase I want to save up for is a fountain. Yes, I want my own fountain. I got a mattress I love and last year I bought myself a swing. A fountain seems a fitting next step. I feel calmer near water and always gravitate towards it in gardens and at the hospital. So I’m starting a fountain fund. If you want to pitch in toward the fountain for my birthday, just because you like me, or because you have nothing better to do, you can send money through PayPal to my mom (diana.routhieaux@gmail.com). I made an Amazon wish list too. I want to buy a bowling ball this year but I’m not sure when. I’m overspending recently…

I feel like a seven year-old after a long day at the fair, coming down off cotton candy and ice cream, talking in circles and not making much sense. (stare) Then again it is 1:30 am and I took my meds at midnight. Eh, same effect. I’ll leave you to it. (Zap!)

© Michelle Routhieaux 2015

Buried Treasure

5/22/14     11:56pm

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

My surgery went really well today. I had my wisdom teeth removed. It’s been on my list for 15+ years and I finally found an amazingly kind and talented surgeon and all the stars aligned to do it. He pulled the two top ones whose roots were in my sinus cavity and did coronectomies on the bottom two – some fancy procedure where they take the tooth part but leave the root. He did this because the root was wrapped around the nerve controlling feeling to my face. He’s the first surgeon I’ve met with who had a solution for this.

Mom took me this morning and has been caring for me all day – no small task. I woke up feeling excited (not sure why) and took a shower. I was mad we were late but calmed down. I remember before but not much after. She’s been there for me all day with meds on time and approved foods and attention. In fact, she’s in the kitchen now refusing to go to bed until I do. I just want to finish this.

The pain meds have been great, except for this afternoon. I’d been in bed all day and didn’t want my vitals to go too low so I skipped my 1pm flexeril. Shortly after, I began having trouble breathing, severe pains in my stomach and back, blood pressure 69/46 then 76/44. I was shaking all over, white as a sheet, freezing cold but my body was hot. I had to pee but couldn’t. The intensity grew quickly by the moment. My mom called the doctor. I tried to get from the bathroom to my bed but couldn’t. I opted for crawling on the floor, then lying on my back. Blood from one of the incisions ran down my throat. I could barely talk. I prayed she’d just call 911. The doctor wanted her to at least take me to urgent care for fluids, make sure I was alright. While they were on the phone and I was lying on the floor an image popped into my head. It told me to put my feet up over my head, upside-down like plow pose in yoga. I put my hands in the small of my back and my knees in the pressure points on the inside of my eyes. I could breathe. It was like magic. Mom propped some pillows under my butt so I could relax while still partially posed. Such relief. No ER. We didn’t go to urgent care. I didn’t know until tonight that my doc said he wanted me to have an IV. I would’ve gone. There was great concern that I might be allergic to the pain med he’d given me since I’d only taken it once. Turns out it was probably really bad cramps from a period I didn’t intend to welcome today. With blood pressuer that low I think it was safer for me not to take the flexeril, but I haven’t had pain like that in ages. Needless to say, I took my next dose of flexeril.

I am so grateful and fascinated that they let me take my teeth home. It’s like buried treasure. I want to see my incisions and stitches but Walmart didn’t have one of those little dental mirrors. I’ll look or have my mom look at Target tomorrow. I’m so tired now that it’s hard to keep my eyes open. Everyone is asleep but me. I think i’m doing well with the surgery because of my awesome mom and doctor and dentist but also because I’m already on an NSAID, muscle relaxer, and nerve pain pill. Without those I think I’d be melting. I got several crisis calls from people today. My face hurt after answering them but it was nice to be able to. Ellie, my dog, has been very receptive to my pain too. I am learning that people really are there for me if I pay attention.

I have to go. My meds are kicking in and the screen is becoming blurry. I didn’t forget you. Live long and prosper – toothless or not. ;)

© Michelle Routhieaux 2014

If you’re the prayin’ type…

3-27-14     10:30pm

I feel like I should be typing on a typewriter. The sound of the keystrokes is more fulfilling.

It’s 10:30pm, still an hour and a half in the day. I hope it is dull. I woke up in a terrible funk. A curl-up-on-the-couch-and-stare-afraid-to-move-no-thoughts-unable-to-do-anything funk. I managed to scribble a few words on the page. After a few hours I ate, turned some music on. I dragged myself out the door, despite the paranoia telling me I couldn’t go, that they were watching me and they’d find out. I didn’t want to go to choir. I needed someone to help me. But my mom was asleep and I couldn’t ask. I thought of calling my therapist or my doctor but my words were slipping away and I couldn’t explain it, didn’t know what to ask for or from whom. So I went to Staples. I figured binder shopping on rewards couldn’t hurt. I was able to drive safely. I was astonished. I figured I’d swing by Starbucks for a banana and a cup of hot water to warm my throat so I wouldn’t crack while singing my solo in choir.

This should be a simple thing – getting a cup of hot water from Starbucks. I had finally made it to a semi-stable place and calmed myself into being able to wait 15 fucking minutes in line, pushing me late for choir. When I got to the register the woman told me they no longer serve hot water there. What? She claimed that one of the partners got burned and it was a liability and that some people bring their own stuff to put in the water. ??? I just stared at her. I asked if I could order something else on the menu minus everything but the water. She said sure. She asked what I’d like. I asked what on the menu has water in it. She said if she did it for me she’d have to do it for everyone and glared at me. My emotion was at a 10. It took EVERYTHING in me just to stand there and not move, not make a sound. I put the banana down, put my hand up and said, “I can’t do this,” and walked away. I was to the car by the time I realized I could have ordered tea with the tea on the side. Not that I drink tea. I would have paid $10 for a damn cup of fucking water. What she said made no sense. And was rude. And was just beyond what I could tolerate.

I sat in the car not moving, barely breathing for several minutes. Couldn’t scream. Couldn’t talk. Needed to die RIGHT THEN. I kept seeing myself stabbing me in the stomach with the ice pick my mom used to own but now doesn’t remember. The urge was SO intense. I didn’t move. Cuz seriously, I don’t need to be driving like that. I was pissed when I remembered I’d agreed to live 6 months for the DBT program. Fuck. When is that up? Eventually I started driving. I had the urge to admit myself to Grossmont as I passed by. Air 1 helped. I couldn’t figure out how to get to the college from the mall. The freeways were all twisted and I kept missing the off-ramp, driving in circles. I was so mad. I wanted to quit altogether but I thought choir might help me feel better. I made it to the school, paid for parking, got a big hug from Derek. Much needed. Sat next to Karen. I told her I was a 1/7.5 on the mood chart. She got it, invited me to a movie this afternoon. Singing was much needed. Bumped me up to a 4 for about an hour, then I crashed to a staring 2 for awhile. The movie brought me back up. Honestly, the best film I’ve seen in quite some time. I needed the feel of home. It’s Kind of a Funny Story. After the movie we went to dinner. Then I skipped choir, hit Walmart, and crashed again on the way home.

I’ve been crashing a lot. I’m concerned. My doctor says I need to cut back on what I’m doing but I don’t know how. I know if I don’t I’ll only get worse. I don’t know how. I wake up in the morning when my alarm turns off, not when it comes on. I need express instructions. I am tired during the day and my back is spasming and locking up on me. My head pain has returned and my blood pressure has dropped markedly. I can’t concentrate. I don’t write. I can’t think. When I come home at night I shovel M&Ms into my mouth (literally a giant bag every night) and fall asleep on the couch on or around 9pm. My mom wakes me up and I go to bed. There are all these positive opportunities for me right now. I even just had a great weekend at Possum Trot, which was awesome. I don’t know what is happening.

So tonight while I was curled up on the couch falling asleep next to my almost empty bag of M&Ms I heard my mom shouting into the phone. It seems my sister-in-law died unexpectedly this morning in my brother’s arms. What? Right. I know. Where the Hell did that come from? I got up and came in the kitchen to read the post-it note she was scribbling on. I would have known this sooner if I’d checked Facebook today but I didn’t. Lovely. My mom told him he shouldn’t be angry at God. Actually, IT’S OK. Not that she’s dead but that he’s angry. I don’t understand. And I don’t have to. I just have to go. After an errand in the morning, my mom and I will go up there. Crisis is a good distraction but why death? He was finally happy. I don’t understand.

I’m tired. I am tired. I will go tomorrow and do whatever is needed. Greg is family. MY family. I pray this brings the family closer instead of pulling them apart. I hope my brother can hold on. I love him dearly. I also hope my staring, body-crashing episodes are paused for the duration of this crisis. They are not needed. I should tell my people. I should also sleep. It will be a long day.

Thanks for reading, listening. I know I haven’t been posting. I write things that just never make it here. It’s been a bumpy ride. Please keep my family in your prayers if you’re the prayin’ type. Thanks.

© Michelle Routhieaux 2014

One freakout at a time

2-6-14     9:57am

I’m feeling really nervous. Too much awake time before the day starts. I started a really cool project last month. I think it’s God’s project because it wasn’t my thought before it fell out of my mouth, but I’m so nervous to do it. I got the approval a few days ago so it’s actually real now. I don’t want to fuck up or do it wrong or bring shame to me or my organization. I sound Asian. I know that’s racist. I don’t care. I want to do GOOD. I want to stay with the mindset I recently named Eyes. We are dynamic. But right now we are freaked out. I need an easy task to do. How I hate the smell of dog food. Do you think skies will mend?

To do this well I will need support and major organization. Let’s do it!

PS – I got cable in my room yesterday. I don’t think that’s a good thing.

PPS (5 minutes later) – I think my freakout is being exacerbated by thinking about another project I agreed to last week. While I was peeing I realized that it’s a lot bigger than I ‘d thought. Crap. One freakout at a time, people. ONE at a time. (series of zaps)

© Michelle Routhieaux

Words from the Couch

1-4-14     10:17pm

It’s Saturday night. I’m sitting on the couch in mismatched pajamas, paying bills more slowly than usual and half-watching “Modern Family.” I hate that show but it’s on so often that they feel like family. Damn family.

Today I woke up early. I delivered a payment, took some returns, drank a strawberry papaya smoothie – oddly tasty. I can’t think. Damn tv. I used up all my energy. I’ve been sick for the past week with a nasty cold – hyped up on Sudafed 12 hour, Umka fast-actives, glucose tablets and chocolate. Literally the walking the dead. My thoughts are fragmented and I’ve been dissociating more. In fact, on Monday my new therapist almost didn’t let me leave. I thought I was getting better from this cold thing until today when I was almost falling over in Target from physical exhaustion in a cold sweat and nauseous all day with no interest in food. I actually chose to eat a zucchini and half a can of corn for dinner. (switch off the tv) Odd. I think I’m getting the flu. Thing is I don’t really care. My body has shut my mind down and, aside from a small burst of activity today, I’m content to lie on the couch and stare. I feel like it’s 4 in the morning and it’s only 10 o’clock.

I feel sad. Like I will never accomplish all the things around me because I’m too tired and I don’t have it in me. I’ve been thinking on and off recently that I want to go back to school. I doubt that will happen unless I figure out how to read again. For several years now I’ve been unable to read more than about a paragraph without getting nauseous, dizzy and having a bad headache. I contacted a lady in town who screens for Irlen Syndrome and provides overlays. She also does neurotherapy (not sure what that is) to help people with learning or reading issues succeed. Of course, her work is not covered by insurance and the cheapest option is just the screening for $195. A full assessment is $500 plus $250 for every following visit and she doesn’t take credit cards. For some reason she thought it was a steal that if you pay for 10 sessions up front they’re only $200 each. Right. Let me sell my left leg. Is it worth it? I’d give almost anything to be able to read again, to soar off into faraway lands, to create characters in my head, to do school. I just don’t have $195 to throw away for another non-answer. I wish I did.

I really want to pay off my debt. I know that will take a million years but I still want to. I so desire to be free from this mess. (freeze…) I work it out in my head and on paper. I come up with plan after plan. I pay it all down and then I spend again. It’s like the two halfs of my brain aren’t connected. I WANT TO BE FREE. I want to be me. I need to pay the credit union a visit and talk to them again about a debt consolidation loan. I think I figured out how to meet their demands and my own.

I’m tired. I’m sick. I’m not thinking right. I want to write but every time I try I fall asleep or I feel too scared and I close the book. Right now I have time, just not the brain. There are a few posts written in my journal. Most days I forget them. Other days I can’t find them. Today is the first day in months that I felt an emotion, opened the book, and wrote. Praise God.

The dog is laying on my foot (yes, I have a dog now) and I’m so tired that my eyes are watering. Christmas is still alive and well in my house until Don gets back. Hopefully that will be soon. I’m helping my mom a little with her room. It’s going better than I thought. A practice in acceptance and non-judgemental stance. My new DBT group is going well at Applied. I’m so tired… I would like the soothingness of walking in circles but I’m too tired. (stare…)

PS – I watched “Pulp Fiction” today for the first time on Amazon Prime. Good movie.

© Michelle Routhieaux 2014

My Christmas Wishlist

11/12/13

Most Christmases I get gifts I don’t like or want or make wishlists of things I want but don’t need and have no place to store. So this year I made a list of things I actually want or need and can’t afford. I am not asking for Christmas gifts from anyone, but if you should feel the need to buy me something here are some ideas. ;)

I don’t have much money to buy gifts for others this year but if there’s something you need, please let me know.

My Christmas Wishlist:

6a0133f3fc5805970b0147e075ee7b970b-320wi

© Michelle Routhieaux 2013