All I Can Do

6-29-13     10:15pm

I feel sad. I just went walking. And praying.

(long pause)

My heart is heavy.

Janet is dead.
Libby is gone.
Joe didn’t show.
The sisters are fucking.
The ocean is cold.
My eyes are dry.
I might have cancer.
I’m alone…

Otherwise things are okay.
I want to go home.

Hear “All I Can Do (Thank You)”

The picnic was fun today.
Not sure if I’ll make it through the fair tomorrow.

© Michelle Routhieaux 2013

Grateful to breathe

10/16/12     9:54pm

Gosh, life is hard. (deep breath…)

I made food tonight. I’m so proud of myself. On the energy of a Rice Krispie treat I made chicken-flavored rice, popcorn and a few pieces of bacon. I never cook. It terrifies me. But I was hungry tonight and less terrified than usual. I sit here now listening to KLOVE and cry. I feel so alone.

Today was the first day in a very long time when I could rest. I slept in and took a shower and did some errands, at my own pace, on my own time. I tried the tv but settled on silence, then KLOVE. I feel so alone.

I went to Sea World with my boyfriend yesterday. (He prefers I call us “co-persons.” I don’t.) I had a really hard day, some of which was great. I’m having trouble communicating and getting sucked into the Borderline attachment/abandonment vortex. He’s leaving. It’s not that I’m imagining his leaving or that I’m scared that he will or that I did something to make him leave. He’s leaving the area for a traveling job and he doesn’t know if he’s coming back. I don’t want him to go. I feel safe with him. I’m using every skill I know to be honest and open, even when it terrifies me, and I’m astonished to find that he doesn’t hate me. He actually likes me most days.

I feel so alone. I know there is a purpose for this leaving, but I can’t see it right now. And tonight it is quiet and it all covers me. We’ve been playing house this week and I’ve been thinking I’d really like to do that, to play house with someone or on my own… My mom’s coming back from NY soon with her boyfriend and my guy will leave and I guess all will go back to the way it was. But I’ll be different. (crying)

I want to love. I want to have a family. I want not to be lonely. I want to need to cook more than three pieces of bacon. And to feel okay enough not to cry every time there is silence.

I feel close to God lately. He’s not but I pray for him. I know God is doing something in me. I want to use whatever that is for good. Tonight I just cry. I trust Him. I trust Him. I surrender it all. Every day. Every time. (deep breath)

I’m so grateful for the ability to breathe.

© Michelle Routhieaux 2012

I had a birthday recently

3/21/12     1:45pm

I had a birthday recently. I just remembered this. I never responded to the 150 or so posts on FB – not because I’m rude. I just couldn’t deal with it.

It seems I have a birthday every other year. One year of party, one year of hiding. This was supposed to be an on year. My prediction was wrong.

This year I wanted to celebrate being alive, to treasure the gift. It didn’t quite work that way.

(too painful)


Need to sing it or throw it up out of me. My head hurts. The words are backed up in me. About to explode – no sound. I think I should take less Seroquel. Three pounds of water weight in 3 days.

I’m sitting in my yard pulling cattails (the weed). Jenny’s excited to go to Possum Trot with us. I’m second guessing my offer. I am SO tired. SO hurting. I cannot make it rain.

I had a birthday recently, a great lunch with a friend and an entire day’s meltdown. Loud weepy crying spells. I locked myself in the garage, bathroom & car. I smartly went to hear music and unsmartly tried to drink. I had a birthday.

I am now 26. I never celebrated 25. Like it never happened. I don’t want to be 26. I want to be 25. Divisible by five, a nice round number. I don’t like even age numbers. 26 starts the Sex & the City part of life. I don’t own enough pairs of heels. Yet somehow I’m here, sitting barefoot on a towel on my lawn in the shade of shirts on the clothesline pondering my age. I don’t even feel 18.

I don’t want to remember but I hate that I can’t. I see snapshots. Re-experience. The rest is blank. Sometimes I ask people what they remember about me because I can’t. They’re confused. Well, honey, so am I.

Angela (my birthday lunch friend) said she’s been honored to watch me grow through the years into who I am now. Who am I now? I don’t remember. I tried to think of what changed me, something. The only thing in my mind was when I thought I was dying. It really shaped who I am, gave me a platform. I don’t take as much shit anymore. I appreciate. I hold dear. I am more grounded in my work. I feel steady knowing I know my shit and that no one can take that from me.

(pause to freak out about new freckles)

11 years ago yesterday I entered the hospital for the first time. 11 years ago tomorrow there was a shooting at my school. It’s been a long 11 years.

(call from S- to say M- is married. tears.)

I’m tempted to say I’m happy for him, but I’m not. Good people have good people. I’m not one of those people. Why didn’t J- just tell me instead of saying it was crazy, I was crazy? Why not just wear a ring or post it on your FB profile? Much easier. Nothing is easier.

(hear “Do You Love Me?” from Fiddler)

Watching a dizzy ant.
Sometimes crazy doesn’t deserve to be loved.

I would like to throw up my gut. Then maybe I wouldn’t hurt so much.

There is a place in everland.
Fall behind the glass.
Where people fall out of touch.
They lie right on the grass.
Behind the glass
For all to see.

Happily ever after land,
A place that taunts me,
Haunts me.
I watch them go there.

It all falls away.

I had a birthday recently. I’d rather not remember.


© Michelle Routhieaux 2012

Just for a moment

12/29/11     9:11pm

I had set out to write three letters and a blog post about Mexicans and refugees tonight. Didn’t quite get there. I’m sitting at Eddy V’s with some jazz friends. I have the beginnings of a migraine and I feel very sad. Almost crying sad. But I can’t cry cuz I’m sitting in a loud bar.

I like M- and I’d like to ask him out. I was looking for some reassurance and I asked a friend if she thought it was a crazy idea. She said yes it is crazy and that she doesn’t think he’d go for that. Cuz I’m crazy. I’m going to cry. Why can’t I be happy? Why do I have to be crazy?

I am flawed, unwanted, unlovable.

I’d like to tell M- I like him anyway, even if it’s just a pipe dream.
Even if it’s just a pipe dream.

I really shouldn’t dream.—

It is so loud in here. SO loud. And alternating hot and cold. I can feel the vibrations of the talking and the music in my head – literally. I smell seafood and soy sauce and my face is tingling. I just want to leave.

It’s not that I don’t know I’m 3 classes down on the pecking order. Can you just pretend for a moment I’m not? Just for a moment that I belong here? Just for a moment.

When class-jumping it hurts to be put in your place, especially when you don’t have a place.

(body freakout)


I feel so sad.
My left hand gave up a good hour ago.
I’m not one of them.
I’m just one.
I don’t belong anywhere. —

I felt like I belonged yesterday.
Today I am groundless.

I hear “Accustomed to Her Face.”

My left hand fingers are swollen. I am cold.
Zoe just slept on me & purred for awhile. It was nice.

Loving me is like adopting a cat. I offer awesome conditional love in return for food, shelter, attention, maintenance and love. —

Someone said in the group on Monday that not telling someone you like them is being rejected. But the worst that can happen if you tell them is the same rejection. It seemed smart at the time, but I don’t really agree. If I don’t tell him, it’s torture but I can continue to dream and scheme. But if I tell him and he rejects me, I just want to die and there are no more dreams. I need dreams.

I like to dream that someone like M- could love me. That I could have a good life and be safe and taken care of. That I would have someone to hold me instead of holding a teddy bear. I’m not 3. I just live with my mommy. And I dream that someday someone who can take care of me decides I’m worth loving and sets me free. I am high maintenance. I’m difficult and I’m sick. But I still love me. Why can’t he?

© Michelle Routhieaux 2011

Happy People

12-21-11     10pm

Seeing happy people makes me really sad.

I sang at Sea World today. Major stress getting everything organized but the singing part was fun. Now I’m crashing – exhausted and sad.

There is a person who works the event that I really like. He is gay and taken, but I like him anyway. He has such a warm energy. I just watch him and I dream. Lately I feel very homely. I’m not sure if that’s the right word. I’m getting old. My life time is kicking in. I want to settle down. I want a partner. I want a family. I want to feel warm and safe, not as a child but a me. And when I see people like this guy, I wish I had one just like him in my life.

(Breathing…) But, I am me.
For some reason that cannot be. I don’t understand and I feel angry. And I eat more Chinese food. Then I just feel sad… So sad. That sad where everything is quiet and the tears don’t roll down my face. Even bad people have families. Why not me?

Happy people make me sad.

© Michelle Routhieaux 2011

What do you do when you’re lonely?

11-7-10                1:59am

I hear “Without You” tonight from RENT in my head. I’m not sure what to do. Sitting at the computer. The time just changed back to 1am. Great. Another hour. What I’m supposed to do with this hour I have no idea… So I’m eating Oreos and milk. My head feels like it’s vibrating.

What do you do when you’re lonely? I asked Facebook and someone asked why I’m lonely. My response: “Cuz everyone I know has a life and no one new I meet seems to understand mine.” Their response was that I have a wonderful life, that I’m an inspiration and make a difference. Blah Blah Blah. I DON’T CARE! That doesn’t make it any better. Doesn’t make a difference. I save lives. I help people. I change things. I make waves. It feels good in the moment, usually. But it doesn’t last.

I come home from my life to my life every night and wake up to it every day. I don’t wake up thinking, “Gosh, I’m gonna save the world today.” I sleep as long as I can before whatever I’m doing and when it’s over I need something else to do. But there isn’t anything to do. Now don’t fight me. I made a list of people this week, most of whom are local, that I could ping to do something with. People far off my usual radar. I need people who don’t need me. And I don’t have them.

People think I have “a wonderful life.” But what is a wonderful life? What you see on FB is not my life. What you see on my blog is not my life. It’s the parts of my life that are acceptable enough to share in public. I don’t even share with my group. The only person I actually talk to is my therapist. There are people I would like to hang out with. But they have lives. They are the people who can meet for lunch 8 weeks from next Thursday but only if the babysitter doesn’t cancel or they’re not out of town or they don’t fall asleep that day and forget. They have families. They have people they come home to voluntarily and hang out with for fun.

It is when I am lonely that I wish I had family. Not the friends I consider my family but blood. My family. The people I never see. At 1:30 in the morning when I’m sitting in my quiet house bullshitting on the computer wasting time I am at a loss for what to do. I found some Oreos in my pantry tonight – comfort food. I’d like an actual meal but there’s rarely food here that I’m willing to eat and I ate the last of the pizza for breakfast.

It’s not my wonderful life. I’m just a character in it. Marc used to talk about having a “life worth living.” That was the goal. I never really understood that. I don’t spite the people who point out all the wonderful things I do or change. They mean well. But it’s what I feel that’s important. If you were to triage a patient in the ER who came in with chest pains and was wearing a beautiful diamond necklace, I’m pretty sure you wouldn’t say, “Gosh that’s such an incredible necklace. You must be rich or have someone who loves you very much. Your fabulous life is so much more important than those chest pains. Scurry along now.” Right? It seems unrelated but it’s not. Like there are people who call me to ask how I am but not because they care what the answer is or want to hear it. The purpose of their asking is so that I will ask them back. I want validation. I don’t need reassurance about my life…

I’m sorry. (sigh) I just don’t understand. Meetup can’t cure a broken heart. I could just go do things by myself, which I love to do, but I have no money. So I just am. I go to appointments and to groups and to choir when it happens. I take care of business, listen to music when I can, and Facebook too much. And I pray. And I sit in my kitchen wondering what do you do when you’re lonely?

© Michelle Routhieaux 2010


9-17-10                3:09am

Sometimes I just want to disappear, like now. To just walk away and go some place new, to start over. Core belief tonight – I’m not wanted. I don’t know why. Nothing particularly bad happened. I listened to great music with a good friend, watched “House” and pet my cat.

There’s something that’s been bothering me that I can’t really talk about here. It eats me, makes me tingle inside.


I am so sad. And so scared. And so, alone. And I’m so tired of feeling this way. If I’m right and I really am sick, what’s gonna happen when I can’t go out in search of happiness anymore? If I feel this way now and I’m out every day doing things I enjoy and can’t stand to be alone or in the house, what happens when that’s gone? Huh? I’m not disturbingly ill now and I hardly see anyone.

It was something I read on FB, a trigger tonight. An answer to something I’d been wondering, a question I didn’t ask.

Just listened to this. It’s amazing. “Wild Horses” by Natasha Bedingfield. Not what I was looking for, but I’m very glad to find it. I feel like I need to go out in the wilderness for awhile, to have it out with God and be alone and try to figure this out. Talk to myself, and scream, and cry, and be quiet. With no computer. Just my journal and a phone. I’d rather be alone by myself than just lonely. And when I have sufficiently reconciled with what is happening to me, maybe I can come back to my life. Or maybe I’ll break that family tradition and just stay on the mountain. Might be easier that way.


Watching & Core Beliefs

6-4-10                   1:24am

I saw my therapist today. He had several bits of advice for me, the two most relevant being “Don’t be the mama” and “Maybe your job is to observe.”

I find myself observing a lot lately. I hate it. I’m good at it, but I hate it. Because I do it so often and so much I see things that other people don’t and things that other people don’t want to be seen or noticed. And they affect me. I see patterns in behavior and FB posts, put things together. It’s not that difficult if you never stop thinking and rarely stop watching. I don’t have a place to put the things that I see. They just swirl around in my head until they dissipate or cause me to melt down. There are situations that truly worry me. They end up in my dreams and make it hard to breathe. But I can’t not watch. I can’t not see.

I’ve been thinking a lot about core beliefs lately. I went to a lecture about them Tuesday, which made me think more. I realized that my core beliefs are an explanation of a situation. And it all comes back to the wire monkey – Harry Harlow’s study with monkeys. I drew a diagram to make more sense of it.

Confused yet?

If you’re confused looking at it, try living it. I am a much different person now than I was 6 years ago before starting cognitive therapy and 9 years ago before entering the world of mental health treatment. I am assertive. I don’t take much shit from people. I think differently, act differently, see things differently. I know why I think what I think, what’s distorted and what the rational responses are. But it doesn’t change the source. I realized this week that the core beliefs I’m fighting are a rationalization of a situation, a situation that doesn’t change.

Let me explain. (see diagram) I experienced a wire monkey life, which led me to the conclusion that I am alone. I know that alone is a state of being and lonely is a state of feeling. I experience them both. But alone is a more powerful word. And in trying to understand just WHY I’m alone, I’ve come up with these core beliefs, that lead to the conditional ones, the automatic thoughts and behaviors. I fight these beliefs. I mostly know they’re not true. But the situation doesn’t change. I still feel so lonely.

I told my therapist today it’s like I’m missing essential code. He said that’s like “I’m broken.” But it’s different because it came before that. It’s not a thought. It’s like I lack the ability to feel connected to people. Those monkeys, Harry Harlow’s monkeys, the ones with the wire mothers? They were fucked up monkeys. They didn’t get better and they never learned. They were programmed wrong and they couldn’t change. But I wonder if they knew. I have the odd privilege/curse of understanding, but I can’t fucking change it. (sigh)

So I watch.

I watch and I try all sorts of things. I help people, and don’t help people, and watch, and wait, and try to figure out just how to feel connected, to find someone who’s not crazy, who will listen to me, who isn’t stupid and who’s not too busy to spend time with. Someone who gets it and doesn’t give too much back. Someone I don’t have to pay. I have yet to find someone like this. This is why Jim says, “Don’t be the mama.” I need someone to take care of ME.

One of my friends quoted me in group last week. She reminded me I had said a few weeks back that I need the space on the couch next to me not to be empty. That is so true. But I also need it not to be filled by someone that bugs me.

So I spend a lot of time alone. Most of the people I’d like to spend time with are super busy. I used to be one of those uber busy people. I still am sometimes but right now I am almost unscheduled. It’s very frustrating when every time I ask someone to do something they’re busy and I’m not. I guess when I’m busy I don’t notice as much how unavailable people are, but I notice now. And I feel very lonely. I go many places and I meet a lot of new people, but the feeling doesn’t change. Oddly enough, I feel closest to people I can’t get close to, people with whom most of our relationship exists in my head.

Maybe it is my job to observe.

A wire monkey-driven Facebook life.

© Michelle Routhieaux 2010

What Happened – A Wire Monkey Life

5-13-10                 2:22am

Tears. They run down my face. An old friend just said, “Keep smiling. You’re prettier when you do so.” I keep hearing “I Will Rise” by Chris Tomlin. It’s merged with “Slow Fade” by Casting Crowns. A few moments earlier looking at this picture he said, “You looked so happy and cheery… What happened to you?” It caught me off guard. I laughed, then fell silent. It’s a powerful question. What happened?


I could say I don’t know what but I do. A slow fade. The chorus of the song says:

It’s a slow fade, when you give yourself away.
It’s a slow fade, when black and white turn to gray.
Thoughts invade
Choices are made
A price will be paid when you give yourself away.
People never crumble in a day.
It’s a slow fade.

What happened? A slow fade. That picture was taken around 8th or 9th grade. I know because of the earrings. I wasn’t always happy and cheery but it was Possum Trot, Scotty was there, and I was way more dedicated to faking it.

Life happened, simply put. A long succession of losses and disappointments, a constant unfulfilled need for comfort and striving for perfection. Over time it eats my spirit. It breaks me down. I erode like a malt ball in your mouth. A teacher described me as “gracefully weathered” in high school. I’m still not sure how I feel about that. I guess it’s like broken but beautiful and not made with Crackle.

I think there’s only so much one can take. It was a slow fade into madness, a quiet but not uncommunicated one. There were letters. Thousands of them. I wrote through everything. Not a single letter answered. The silence, and music, and dance, and theater, unrequited love and loss, and watching, and waiting, and writing, helping and working too much, sleeping too little, people fucking with my head and school. They unraveled the bit of me I had put together. When life doesn’t stop there’s no chance to recover. And when it stops completely, that needs recovery too.

I don’t know where along the way I lost me. The me that giggles and growls and cackles when excited. That believes in fairy tales and believes that people are good. I see her sometimes but she’s not happy… I wish I could make her happy.

If I had to pinpoint what happened I’d say a lack of love & understanding, of comfort. A wire monkey life. I just want to be loved. To be held. To feel safe. (pause) To have a person instead of a book.

The picture he was referring to

© Michelle Routhieaux 2010