© Michelle Routhieaux 8/18/2017
© Michelle Routhieaux 2016
It’s Christmas night 2015. I’m crouched on the floor. The tree is lit, as well as a vanilla candle. My mom and the pets are asleep. I feel sad. SO sad.
Today I woke up at 9am and opened presents with my mom. My brother, nephew and two friends came for dinner. Mom made green beans with bacon, spiral ham, mashed potatoes & gravy, fruit salad and a whole spread of appetizers. We even had a Hershey pie. I went to visit my friend in the hospital and got to see some of my favorite staff. That meant a lot.
I feel sad today. Part of me is disappointed that I don’t feel happy. The other part of me is just grateful to feel. I’m not dissociated. I’m feeling sad. I’m feeling…
There’s a Christmas movie on. I can hear my mom snore. I really hate the holidays. My providers are out of the office until the first week of January. What am I supposed to do?
X- texted asking to try again tonight on my terms, in God’s hands. I told him I’m not sure. He said he’s more sure than he’s ever been. He said some other wonderful things I have no great reply to. I don’t know what to say. Why is it so hard for people to understand that I’m terrified of people? I have strict boundaries and specific fears for reasons I don’t care to share. I’m a pretty private person. And why does he stick around for what little I have to offer? I can’t absorb what I need. I can’t have what I want. I don’t understand what I’m being given or what I’m supposed to do. I just know that, except for just after ECT and early in the morning, I feel sad and don’t want to be around people. Or I want to be held by S-. I feel calm mostly. I’m experiencing each moment. And each moment kinda sucks. But I’m okay with that. I’m here. I’m just sad. It feels good to be able to just be sad.
I’m so grateful for ECT & my team. Thank you, God. Thank you.
© Michelle Routhieaux 2015
Well, I feel tonight. Jumbled words in my mind let go with the music. A moment just to stop.
I watched the hall empty, mesmerized, listening to the sounds, taking it in. Streisand-man is annoying. Otherwise a wonderful night. Even the food was good.
The anxiety is trying to escape me but it’s stuck inside my body. Tweet tweet goes the bird dog. Scream. I said SCREAM. (scream)
Parked in Old Town.
I miss my mom.
Want to run away.
Or just run.
I don’t know why.
Feed the toilet.
Arms not right.
Are you the pumpkin man?
Where am I?
Take me home.
© Michelle Routhieaux 2013
Earlier I felt anxious and paranoid. Left a voicemail for Dr. N. Now I feel hopeless and doomed. And a bit paranoid. And my head hurts. :( I was feeling somewhat okay when the pain set in after the anxiety turned to weakness and confusion until my mom told me we change the clocks tonight. All bets are off.
You know, they say it’s daylight savings but there’s no saving involved. It’s more like a credit scam. I need to move to a state where they don’t change the clocks. Nothing gets me more than knowing that tomorrow my days will be lost and I will be cold for the next six months. Okay, some things get me more but not tonight. Bastards.
(break to read Wikipedia)
When my day begins near sunset and ends in darkness…
Society tells me I’m lazy and crazy for getting up in the afternoon and staying up late. But I’m just time-shifting. I live a time-shifted life by about 8 hours and it works for me. Stop pulling time out from under me, ya hear? Damn varmints.
I don’t feel like writing anymore.
Is it Christmas yet?
When is Halloween?
I don’t understand.
© Michelle Routhieaux 2012
I find myself pondering imaginary dragons tonight and sending long poetic FB messages to people I barely know. About imaginary dragons. “Leverage” is on the tv and my cat’s in the window behind me. So much is going on.
I haven’t been writing because I haven’t been writing. Nothing seems to make sense. Not all of which is a bad thing. But most of which is rather trite. Or is that trifling? I’m not sure.
My mom’s boyfriend is staying with us. A love story for sure, except the part where I live with it. Everything is changing. I gave Zoe a tampon (in the wrapper) tonight to play with. She’s having a ball.
I want to write witty or poignant pieces to share with the world. Most days recently I’m working on just thinking. The blog crosses my mind without substance and I let it go. But writing about dragons tonight was, for a moment, in the right voice. And then it passed. Wisdom and truth from the voice in my head. This is what she says:
“About imaginary dragons… Sometimes what we train for is not what we’re meant to do. And the skills we learn are not for the purpose that we learned them. And sometimes windmills are shapeshifting dragons. And sometimes dragons aren’t dragons at all. But your dragon’s existence doesn’t hinge on your belief in it…”
She is smart. I miss her.
I really enjoyed choir tonight. Singing with my choir and my people are healing. So was the carne asada burrito.
I ramble a lot lately. I don’t make much sense. I can’t remember things and I can’t concentrate and I don’t really care. I go back and forth between uber confused and really agitated. Mood’s good when I’m confused most of the time. I type well with my eyes shut but not with them open. When I can’t stop staring at the ceiling I’m extra confused. I sing and talk to myself and rock. I am functionally impaired. The writing doesn’t come.
My old doctor was nice to me today, congratulated me on my success with my group. Then he backed me into a corner. I didn’t show my anger, just my confusion. I bypassed his request/rule and left. But all the memories came flooding back. This man who didn’t help me, who made me SO angry, whom I couldn’t leave for 5 years thanks to his prescribing, was nice to me. I had to leave. I walked around the parking lot talking to myself for awhile. Unresolved past now in the present. Imaginary dragons. Isn’t everything imaginary?
Do you ever just stare at things and utter seemingly meaningless sentences to hummingbirds or air? I can count backwards from 100 by 3 or 7 just fine. It’s counting back by 1 that gets tricky. Do you have change for a ten? I can’t find it. People just don’t get why I can’t handle change. IT’S NOT SAFE. I have enough trouble navigating the world with a constant set of rules. Quit fucking around. I’ve got mail to open.
My sequin shirt doesn’t fit now. What a shame. I like bacon. Do you like unicorns? I need to dye one purple. There’s a guy I like. I think he likes me too. So I ponder imaginary unicorns. Or was it dragons? I’m not sure. Maybe one day soon I’ll be writing with substance again. Until then, yogurt for all.
From the unicorn base,
PS – If I haven’t told you already, Icees from Target are quite helpful when I’m very upset. So is wandering. I wander a lot. ;)
PPS – (stare and listen…)
© Michelle Routhieaux 2012
I’m so tired. I miss –. It’s only been 3 days since I saw her but it feels like forever. I haven’t been thinking about my last journal entry (not posted here). I just miss her hug.
I finished printing all of my blog posts tonight. Looking at the stack makes me feel accomplished. (I hear that guy whistling outside again. At least I think I know who it is.) I started blogging February 21st and the notebook is almost full.
It’s just a handful of the writing I’ve done. It’s interesting to see it all in one place.
(sigh) I feel so tired. I know it’s almost 4am but the amount of time I sleep doesn’t affect my level of tiredness.
I hosted a lecture tonight at my group. Stupid damn Monday night football screwed it up. The last 3 lectures I averaged 60 people. Tonight? 20. Grrr…
I need someone to talk to. It gets lonely in my quiet kitchen at 2am when I’m filled with thoughts and anxious energy and have no place to put them, no reason to say. I keep hearing “Silent All These Years” by Tori Amos.
There is something about speech that is soothing. When the words are inside me they stir in my heart. They make my soul tremble and throat ache. Just the vibration of sound helps ease the tension. But where do you put the sound at 4 in the morning when everyone’s asleep? Reading my writing out loud can be such a release. (street sweeper)
There is so much to say and yet I feel quiet… My eyes water, my neck twitches. Dogs bark and the cars fly by. The fridge is noisy. I think Mom’s asleep. I’m curled up in the big chair writing. It was my dad’s chair, although he never used it. I miss him. I wish I could talk to him now and that he could answer back. I need his wisdom. I need his experience.
(break to hear music in my head)
I can’t, I can’t.
I can’t right now.
Colors, shapes & music.
I feel confused now.
Let me sort something.
Dazed, Dazzled & Confused
He ordered the test.
Just sing. Just sing.
Please sing. Just don’t stop singing.
Thoughts Go away, go away.
© Michelle Routhieaux 2010
I feel sad tonight. Not sobbing-my-life-is-over sad. Just quiet, subdued. I turned off the tv. I’m not online. I’m not texting anyone. The music in my head is soft.
I went to Sea World today with Sarah. Mom made stroganoff for us first. We did a ton of stuff today, but I wasn’t there. I didn’t experience it. It’s like sleepwalking. I’m just floating, vaguely aware of what’s going on around me. I’m back in hibernate mode. And I’m tired…
In hibernate I don’t think a lot. I listen. I stare. I want to be alone. It doesn’t help to be with people because I don’t understand what they say or don’t care. It’s not that I don’t like them. I’m just not here. I don’t remember what people say, my own thoughts. I’m exhausted but not sleepy. I am emotionally needy. I am most likely, in hibernate, to make bad decisions about men, to throw things out that I want, and to run away. In the deepest of hibernate is when I have found myself walking in traffic and usually ending up in the hospital.
I would say it’s a varying level of dissociation. I rock. I often can’t control where my eyes go. I can’t look at you when I talk. I am distant, quiet. This is when I miss people the most. People special to me that I’ve lost or never see. I could walk for hours in the night, just thinking. I don’t want to go home.
The daisy bush is half-dead. And it’s hot inside. I’d like something to do right now but I can’t focus. I’m sitting on my patio, rocking, listening to an abnormally loud cricket and the cars. Mom is typing. Zoe’s talking to me. My bracelet, which I often feel is strangling me, feels light. Weird.
I wish I was in the hospital. Not because I need to be but because it’s predictable and safe. I can handle the structure. Nobody asks me to make big decisions and when I lay down in bed at night I know I’m okay. And that I can breathe. And that someone’s on my side.
It’s simple there. It’s outpatient life that’s crazy.
(pause to FB with Mom)
In hibernate happy comes more easily. So does sad and upset. Often for no apparent reason or for a reason no one else understands. My emotions are fluid and pure, unpredictable. And I simple have to/get to surf, to ride. There is no other option. –
I feel exhausted. It’s hard to write. The light gets brighter when the microwave stops. I’m almost to fantasy. I feel confused.
© Michelle Routhieaux 2010
I went shopping on Sunday and thought of Malan. I was so confused. I really don’t understand clothes. I like looking pretty but getting there is a task. I’d settle for presentable.
I don’t get clothes. I tried on a ton of stuff and, for the first time ever, I looked like a bat. A bat! I put my arms out and I had wings. Now why, I ask, would I want that? My goal is to look thinner not wider. Really. Some things are cute on the hanger but look terrible on. So I make sure to pick up things I’m reasonably sure I’ll hate in case they spontaneously look great. Sometimes works.
Then there are those things I just stare at and wonder about. I have no idea what that is. Is it a dress? A shirt? A scarf? How do I put it on and what is it supposed to look like? If I have to ask these questions I’m probably not the target audience, but I’d like to know. If I knew, I might buy it or at least try it on.
I really need someone to follow me around (more like lead me) and tell me what to get and what not to and, “Oh, Honey. No. Put that back.” Like Said in Fashion Valley or my friend Sarah who lives in Boston. I would appreciate some sort of guidebook in the store that tells me what I’m looking at. Like a program at a play. I asked the fitting room attendant at Victoria’s Secret just why I would want to buy the bra I was trying on. She was confused. I said, “I know this style of bra was intended for a particular style of clothing but I don’t know which one or in what situations this bra would be useful.” She had no helpful answer. I don’t understand! I might buy the damn thing if I knew what to do with it!
(sigh) Sometimes I wonder what goes through the head of a designer when he/she is designing. Do they consider what the average consumer, such as myself, will be up against when trying to figure out their clothes? Okay, so maybe I’m not average, but I am a consumer and I’d like to buy clothes less stressfully. You know?
© Michelle Routhieaux 2010
I’m sitting here tonight eating leftover Fridays mashed potatoes and half-watching the “Are You Happy Now” video on YouTube. Don’t bother reheating potato skins. It’s not worth the effort.
(deep breath) Talked to a friend from high school tonight. It was nice.
How do some people just magically know how long to reheat something for? And how does my microwave’s reheat button know what I’m reheating or how long to cook it? And why is my VCR now suddenly able to display the current tv program name when it lacks the ability to keep correct time or recognize a channel above 35? WHY?!
Like nutrition facts. The math almost never adds up or makes sense. If one cinnamon roll has 180 calories, why do 2 have 300? Or soda. A 12oz can is one serving, but a 20oz bottle is 2.5 servings. What? Something’s not right there. I called Nabisco one day to ask about Oreos. I see they’ve recently changed their label to list serving size in grams instead of number of cookies (which makes even less sense). But I called to ask if the serving size is 2 cookies and there are 30 cookies in the package why there are “about” 15 servings. There’s no “about” needed. 15×2=30. That’s it. I went through several people before she said something about the FDA allowing manufacturers to “estimate” some figures. Hmmm… I just want to scream sometimes but it’s not worth my breath.
I just need to understand why. Nothing makes sense. There are two people I can’t not think about who lack the ability, for whatever reason, to communicate with me. I sent them both emails last night. I need to understand why. I can handle living in a fantasy or rarely seeing people, but I need to have something to tell myself. “It’s okay, Michelle. They just ______.” But I have nothing to put in the blank. I have no idea. And it makes me angry. My empathy does not cover the blank.
I hate commercials. And cold mashed potatoes and earwigs on my toilet seat. And I saw a car that looked like a Storm Trooper today.
© Michelle Routhieaux 2010
I went to Walmart to buy markers yesterday. Classic washable markers. But I was so confused by the aisle. I don’t understand the wall of markers I was staring at. When I was growing up, markers were simple. Sharpies and highlighters stained. Everything else was washable. The only thing different was stamp markers that came out around 6th grade. Not so anymore.
Have you ever heard of dry erase crayons? And what the heck is a gel marker? Window markers? Markers that only write on certain paper? Paints activated by light? WHAT? (deep breath)
If I can’t understand what marker to use where, how is a 5 year old supposed to? My mom’s answer – they’ll just draw all over everything anyway. I can’t be the only one experiencing Crayola Confusion. What do you do? I can’t buy them all. And the prices don’t make sense either. The 8-count classic markers and 10-count are the same price but look different and are in different places. Come on! Help me out. Crayola should not be confusing.
© Michelle Routhieaux 2010
I’m so tired of things that make no sense. What ever happened to simplicity? Huh? Taking that extra moment to stop and ask yourself, “Does this make sense? Is this easy to understand?” before saying or sending it out. This being whatever you’re doing.
Example – I was in Bath & Body Works yesterday looking for Kitchen Lemon soap (on which lemon is NOT a listed ingredient). There was a large display of their kitchen collection that lemon was not a part of. I asked if they had it and the girl said yes but that it was part of a different display – non-kitchen related. The label on the kitchen collection bottles does not list “kitchen” as part of the title. Yet, “Kitchen Lemon” was not on the kitchen display. What? I brought this up to the staff and they gave me this long useless explanation of their logic. I don’t care! Bottom line is that it doesn’t make sense.
I have a few photo albums on Facebook of things that make no sense. Like a sign I saw the other day at Hometown Buffet. It said, “Dinner All Week $9.99.” (pause) What? That rationally means I can eat for 7 days for $9.99. I know it actually means $9.99 per day, but that’s not what it says! Ahh! (sigh)
People just don’t think. Sometimes I want to scream, “ANSWER THE DAMN QUESTION!” If I ask a yes or no question, I want and expect a yes or no answer. It’s simple. An alternate answer could be “I don’t know.” If I ask you for an explanation, EXPLAIN WHAT I’M ASKING YOU TO EXPLAIN! (sigh)
I’m sitting in a lecture I planned tonight. Sitting here is making my head try to explode, unsuccessfully. I look super cute and I need to be some place worth being cute. I got invited to trivia with Jillian but I’m going to Fridays. I might change my mind. This guy is like my mom in his question-answering abilities. (He sucks.)
Oh, and she’s here. What? Yeah. She’s here. My mom, for some reason, is here for the speaker. I don’t know why. She beat me to the hall. She seemed happy, which is weird. Why would she she come??? I asked what she’s doing here and she said, “Well, you didn’t ask if I wanted to come or not.” Really. Cuz you NEVER want to come. (sigh) It makes no sense. She has NO need for this information. Why is she here? Now I can’t even go to dinner alone. Grrr. Breathe…
Maybe it’s just me, but I need simplicity.
I figured out why she was there, although she never actually told me. I wish we could communicate clearly.