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
Trying to write something difficult… So I went shopping… and put stickers on my keyboard. I was sitting on the floor where I usually sit but the smell of dog urine on the rug and the drama of Cedar Cove on the tv have pushed me to the kitchen. I don’t know what to say…
(eat cereal and scan a drawing to distract)
My brother died last week. Well, almost 2 weeks ago. I found out last week I am the legal next of kin. I’ve been asked to sign over my rights but that’s not what I want. I’m very angry about some of the things that happened, and worried about the effect of my actions. “Family” can be such a nasty thing.
I also found out on Thursday (yesterday) that if I want to continue on in Phoenix Rising training I have to do it in Colorado or Vermont, that I can’t do Level 2 here. It’s what I’ve been looking forward to for months. I already didn’t know how I was going to pay for Levels 2 & 3. I didn’t anticipate adding travel in so soon or needing to be stable enough to travel on my own by November. I can’t keep up. I don’t know what to do.
My drawing this week said I’m not alone and that I’m not running. I feel myself not running. In fact, the world seems to be standing still. But I do feel alone. Very. I wish I could feel that moment of wisdom where I wasn’t.
Today I got an email from the management of a choir I sing with. They had talked about us singing at some event on the Midway but never sent out info. Now it turns out they’re giving us a month’s notice to commit to two days of rehearsal in a row followed by the show the third day. This would be great except I just bought concert tickets for a whole group on the first day and I have a support group event the next. Fuck. I don’t understand. It’s Comic-Con. Why can’t one of those superheroes come and rescue me?
I feel like I’m bitching about stupid problems no one needs to hear about anyway. Except for I need to hear about them and I’m eerily quiet. I’m doing the best that I can. I really am. I’m taking my meds, going to my appointments and therapy. I see myself stronger and more grounded than years ago. I know what I want and I’m not afraid to stand in the fire for what’s right, even if I get burned. I’m just learning what it feels like to rely on faith.
I ran over the large remnant of a blown-out tire on the freeway Wednesday evening. I didn’t notice a problem until last night when I stopped to pop the bumper back into place. I told my mom and she discovered it has torn that piece under the car that stops stuff on the road from flying up into the important parts of your car. Lovely. She duct taped it. I think it needs more than tape but she won’t let me file another insurance claim. Last month I scratched a car in a parking lot. For the trivial nature of it it was quite the trial.
I miss how life used to be. I know it sucked but I miss having friends. I miss hanging out and liking each other and staying up all night at a coffee house and having pancakes in the morning. Now most of us have gone our separate ways or are busy or crazy or, let’s face it, dead. When I needed someone to sit with me this week to figure out my brother’s arrangements I literally didn’t know who to call. I went through my phone and finally settled on getting resources from some people I’m on a board with. I cried almost the whole day. Then I sucked it up and helped a friend. I didn’t want to lead a group on Monday but I took one when needed. And when I needed to pass it off at the break because I couldn’t take anymore there was no one there to take the clipboard. The people who used to work crises with me are not there anymore. My transition committee didn’t even show up to the last meeting – not a single one of them. (pause)
Maybe my relationships are affected by my place in the group, but I know that’s not all of it. (fall asleep on the floor) I’m friendly but distant. I don’t share a lot with people, though they share so much with me. I don’t show up to social events I’m invited to, most of the time because I am legitimately tired. And somehow, thanks to -, everyone thinks I call PERT or force people to go to the hospital whenever there’s a crisis, which isn’t true. I miss having friends.
I really want to complete the Phoenix Rising training. And I want my family not to hate me when I have the guts to make my decision regarding my brother known (probably tomorrow). I don’t think doing my best is wrong. It’s just hard sometimes.
© Michelle Routhieaux 2016
Today I woke up with a migraine – 5th day. I went to F-‘s and tried to be productive. I wouldn’t call it a success. I cancelled S-‘s. I knew I wouldn’t make it. I’d already had one sobbing meltdown (or was that yesterday?) and the pain was too high. I planned to rest before choir but made myself a hair appt too – gentle to self. I sat outside in the breeze for an hour while they rotated my tires. Choir got cancelled, which I’m glad about, and I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t want to go home.
My mom and I have been fighting a lot. I can barely stand being around her. I’m fragile and didn’t know what to do. I cried and cried after getting a warning from a cop for apparently cutting someone off. I’m close to max. Then Mom texted that it’s baby day and she’ll be staying the night there. Praise the Lord. We need some time apart. A thousand things I want or need to do. I hope the one I accomplish is rest.
I really wanted the new baby to be a part of my life. I miss the girls terribly. I trust God has a plan for me. I’ve been using my body a lot to ground me, making friends with the present. We don’t speak the same language but it makes me laugh and I’m curious to learn its story.
I can’t wait to sing at the fair this weekend, to welcome God and spread His news. I give up control. I’m doing the best I can. That’s all I can do. And I sing “Hallelujah Anyhow.”
God, please bless whoever’s reading this. Guide me, move my pen, hold me tight and don’t let go. Show me Your will.
God is so good. Praise Him with me.
© Michelle Routhieaux 2016
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
I hear the chorus of “Thy Will” by Hillary Scott. I’m trying not to cry.
God, I trust you and I don’t understand.
I had a dream last night. I had a roommate. There was a funeral. That part’s fuzzy. But I left my room and ended up at a wall, a cliff by the beach. There was a long flight of cement stairs down. The further I walked the steeper they got until the path was straight up and down. I put my arms out and held onto the thin steps/bricks above me. SO far down I looked into the ocean. And then I let go. It surprised me. I free fell, felt the wind on my face. and a stair caught me. Then it was my choice. I tried letting go again but this time and the next few I fell shorter each time. I fell on a concrete slab, the bottom of a different stairwell by the ocean. “I have to call Dr. M,” I said. I climbed up those stairs. At the top was Scripps Mercy ER. I sat there for awhile, decided I didn’t want a 5150 there and left. (long pause) I want to let go.
I’m sitting in church. I chose me over the last minute finance meeting. So much has changed. Diane is gone. I told X I’m not happy. I don’t think he can understand. I don’t want to be here. I don’t support what is happening. But it’s so important to – and my mom and… My breath stops. My face tingles. I belch up puke & hold back tears. I don’t move much. I took my hymnal down from the choir loft. I’ve had a headache since Friday – disabling. I believe the pain is what’s keeping my behavior appropriate. God, what do you want me to do?
Go to yoga
I’m trying so hard, God. I’m listening. I hear you. Please, hold my hand.
SH Urge: hit head into something hard where it already hurts over and over.
Wake me up, Lord. Put me back to sleep.
© Michelle Routhieaux 2016
I feel so much better after ECT today. I had a good conversation with Dr. M and an 86 second seizure. He said I can stop the Wellbutrin to hopefully lower the anxiety. There were no students today and the IV guy, D, waited to knock me out until I was done talking. Dr. M held my hand and left me a note. I just have to change the day of my next ECT. I feel safe. I can breathe.
I was so anxious before. I practiced willing hands, straightening my arms and breathing deeply. I reached to the sky and twisted and stretched. I meditated on the chorus of our gospel song “I Love You, Lord.” It’s slow and soothing. And I prayed, A LOT.
I walked into the treatment room praying I’d die on the table. I woke up feeling happy and free. I have a slight headache and I’m tired but I’m like a totally different person. I’m so grateful.
I danced a prayer in the back yard and drew two pictures. I was too tired to color. I ignored my phone most of the day and tried to limit my computer time. I didn’t eat but I put on classical music and lit a candle. I took care of me. I even had a great conversation with my mom tonight. She pointed out that I’m actually talking. Yeah, I guess I am. :) Praise God.
I’ve really been struggling the past few weeks. Every day I have fought back the urge to self-harm or die. My anxiety has been so high that I’ve literally been afraid of everything. I’ve gone back to bingeing, purging and restricting. And the most meaningful activity of my life has been taken from me. I’m no longer a nanny. I miss the girls so much. They’re family.
I’ve also been really scared that the ECT stopped working and nothing else could help pull me out. But today God proved me wrong, reminded me not to doubt Him. I need rest but feel joy and am grateful to be alive.
Thank you for believing in me and reading. I’m going to my aunt’s tomorrow. I love her so much. Maybe we can do our nails together. And I can walk. Yard sales first. Captain’s orders.
© Michelle Routhieaux 2016
I want to die. I played Apples to Apples. I’m in a spiritual service now on repentence, turning toward goodness. Apparently lent starts next week. Hot damn. Who cares? Aside from Auntie. Not me.
I need to go home now.
It’s too far, too much.
This transition will hurt.
I am proving how unneeded I am. (sigh) Damn. I am at once important and not important at all. Dr. N. It’s important to understand my unimportance. I can only get out if I do. I don’t want to. I don’t know how to know and survive. Jesus, help me. Thank you, Lord.
It is only through being unimportant that I am freed to do something else.
I don’t want chocolate.
I don’t want steak.
I only want to feel okay.
Soaring freer than ever before,
Far up over the open door,
I watch what’s left here on the ground.
Where I am headed there is no frown.
No time, no terror, no second base.
Only the glow of His great face.
I don’t want chocolate.
I don’t want steak.
I only want to feel His grace.
I miss you, Sonny.
© Michelle Routhieaux 2015
I’m tired. And I’m having money problems. Second month in a row. (sigh) No doubt due to the fact that I can’t think and I’m spending money without remembering. My house is dirty. Literally. There is cat poop in the tub, dirt on the floor, dishes piled up, papers and blankets everywhere. Not due to my mom at all. Usually when she goes out of town the house slowly looks wonderful. This time it’s looking more like my dorm room close to the end at USC. I don’t know what to do. My calendar is chock full. I need rest.
I have an assessment today to join an outpatient DBT group. I really just want a nap. And to wake up to a magically clean house. I am tempted to ask for help with my home from my FB or group friends. I just haven’t. I don’t want to be in this situation. I feel like a hypocrite – the one
(stupid fucking blender refuses to work)
– who helps others learn to clean and organize but has fallen to ruin herself. I need help. I need God.
I feel the need to cancel everything on my calendar this week. It doesn’t seem possible. I need the Comfort Drive stuff OUT of my living room. I love the drive, love the movement. I need it gone. It is a wall, a literal wall. I feel like my eyes are melting. My doctor thinks maybe I’m falling apart because I’m on birth control. I don’t care why I’m disintegrating. I just need it to stop. I need. Please. Please.
I bought new lamps yesterday. They make me feel grounded. A miracle is happening here. The lady in the mirror is different. She is catty and brilliant. I have not seen her in years. Just breathe. It’s time to meet 15, hold her hand, bring her closer.Teach her how to live healthfully. Bring her out of shame.
I am sleepy. I need food. I need to go shopping.
I need the boxes out of my living room.
Time to be me.
© Michelle Routhieaux 2013
I’m really glad I went to my reunion tonight. There’s always a reason. 4 cookies, 2 brownies, 1 bottle of water and a cocktail glass of bacon were worth the $75. I got to reconnect with a few friends I’d forgotten about. I met some new ones. I danced the ChaCha slide.
I kept getting distracted from my need to pee and when I finally got to the bathroom there was an emergency in progress. I immediately jumped in. I didn’t know the girl. She was drunk and had thrown up in the sink and somehow ended up on the floor, unable to get up, crying, slurring her words and continuing to throw up. When her husband left the room she begged me and the staff not to send her home with him, that she had to get away. She said yes when I asked if she wanted us to take her to a shelter. When he came back he tried to convince her to just go home. They had been hitting each other earlier. His presence elicited a visceral response from her. She immediately resumed throwing up and crying, repeating over and over again, “I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I’m a bad mom,” and gave in to his ruthless and repeated requests to just take a cab home.
Thankfully, I communicated with the hotel staff and they called the paramedics. He was pissed. She really did need medical help. And I believe that she needs to get away from him. I just don’t know how.
When that was over, I said goodbyes and left. Emotionally exhausted. Spent. That’s why I was there tonight. I hope she’s okay. I’d like to follow up but it might not be safe for her.
I’m tired. Tonight I made it rain bacon. Literally. It was awesome. I got it in my hair, a piece stuck on my cheek. I admired the moon. I prayed. I didn’t drink. I dressed up for me. I didn’t lie. I took the trolley home. I’m proud of myself.
A lot of people remembered me – a nice memory. Long live the queen.
Quote of the night:
“I can’t even think as fast as you can move your feet.” -Shawnna
© Michelle Routhieaux 2013
I’m on the trolley. Not sure how I got this far. I just saw a really cool house, or cluster of houses, perfectly visible from the Mission San Diego trolley stop. Slanted paradise high on a hill.
I’ve been feeling agitated all morning. I took a few moments to breathe with my eyes closed. I feel more settled, cold. Now there is pain & exhaustion. I can’t track this new pattern yet. I can barely stay awake and remember to eat. I want a nap. The trolley soothes me.
Benefits of Public Tranist
- Consistent low temperature
- Social interaction
- Walking and Stairs
- Time outside in the sun
- Soothing motion
- Very inexpensive
- Familiar routes
- Interesting scenery
- Hear great stories
- Gives me freedom/independence
- Keeps my brain active
- Fills up time – keeps me balanced
- I can write or listen to music
- It is safe no matter my mood
- I am usually on time
- No parking necessary
- Get to talk to friends on rides home
- Meet awesome people like architects and neuroscientists and Billy the Shark Slayer
- College football fans
- Children & pets
- The ability to travel backwards through time
- The trolley culture – we help our own, RESPECT
- Hearing other languages
- Getting to rest, relax
- Time to think, be
- Having all my stuff organized and with me
- Meeting regulars
- Announcements that tell me where I am
- Seeing Costco’s sky lights
- Watching construction
- Riding on a caterpillar
Benefits of Driving
- Faster than public transit (except in traffic)
- Direct route
- Available after buses stop
- Don’t need to ask for rides
- Can leave whenever I want
I started driving long ago. I’m getting used to but don’t really like it. Lifelong drivers tell me how great it is and expect me to be excited. They also expect me to drive everywhere and give others rides. I don’t see it this way. For me it’s somewhat of a loss. I feel exhausted and isolated, like I’ve done something wrong.
When I was younger I wanted a car. I needed to get away. I do still need one late nights and on weekends. Maybe spellbound 16 passed me. I like sitting. Public transit is a way of life.
(Amtrak passes by)
My daddy worked on a train. The longer Don lives with us, the more I find my thoughts changing, his image creeping in. He’s not bad. I rather like him. I’m just thrown off guard when I think of “my parents,” which I never have before and see him and Mom. When I think “Dad” I see him in my head. But he’s not my dad. My thoughts do deceive me. My mom is happy with his family. I’m happy with me.
I don’t think driving is good for me. It allows me to do 15 things in a day when I can maybe tolerate 3 or 4. I can’t self-regulate, though I’m learning. I can’t imagine the number of things I’d have
(conversation with Gary)
I have goosebumps. Long conversation with a man who just got kicked out of his program for drinking. He is quasi-suicidal, crying over the death of Junior Seau. Such a blessing. Another lady sat down and encouraged him. This is what drives me. This is what public transit is about. Changing lives, meeting humans, just being. A simple transit cop spreading encouragement and hope. (sigh) What a blessing. Being alone in a car doesn’t drive me.
© Michelle Routhieaux 2013
I am SO frustrated.
(close my eyes, breathe, listen to the wind chime)
I have a problem with debt. I also have problems with memory and confusion. I thought I was doing well with the debt until I got a statement in the mail today. I put $1745 on my credit card last month. What?! (deep breath) I remember shopping at those places. It isn’t fraud. But I’ve little idea what I bought. I remember 2 picture frames and a pair of shoes. Where did it go? What the hell? I thought I was doing well.
I’m not sure what do to. It’s all an illusion. I could cut up that card, but I would have to give up my life. Then again, this life belongs to the bank anyway – and probably the next life too.
I don’t know what to do. All sane minds would say, “Live within your means, dumbass.” That requires acknowledgement & acceptance of my means. I don’t want to be in debt. I just want what I buy more. I want that life. I could rent a room for the amount I pay in minimum payments every month. What an expensive lie.
I am poor. I live with my mom. The government supports me. I ride the bus. Without the aid of credit I would have $130 a month to live on. Some months less. I certainly don’t live like it. I finance smoothies and yogurt. I live a lie. (pause) It eats me.
The most plausible solution is to stop spending. I’m not sure I have that in me. I’d rather die. That’s how scary it is – admitting to myself that no matter what I wear or eat, who I know or what I accomplish, I’m still that poor little girl from the ghetto sitting in the corner wanting more, praying to be like Jane, to live like the others. Money covers that up well. The smell of poverty. It can’t cover up sad eyes.
I’m angry at myself. I didn’t want to be like her. I should’ve known better. Yes I should. But I didn’t. What do I do now? What do I do now?
I’m so tired. I woke up at 8 o’clock because I accidentally took my night meds at 6 last night. I ate oatmeal. Now I’m tired. I was going to go to the gym. Then I opened my mail. Now I wanna die. Brilliant. I’m tempted to go back to sleep.
I took a moment to pray and walked myself mindfully through the whole process of getting oatmeal to me, seeing it in my head.
Please, God. Bring me peace.
I’m ready to change.
Pay off my debt.
Get rid of things I don’t want or need.
Tell the truth.
Take care of me.
I’m going to the gym.
© Michelle Routhieaux 2013
1 Awesome thing. Letting myself be.
I am a human being. I act like a human doing. This makes my head explode. It is awesome to let myself be, to be quiet, to do nothing on purpose. To let the hardship and hurt flow out of me and simply breathe, drift into daydreams or softly to sleep. Permission for myself to be still.
Letting myself be. For a moment not judging or changing, fixing or freaking out. Simply to exist. I occupy space on the earth. I feel myself in relation to others. I be safely.
Letting myself be is awesome. I get in the way of be too often. I am thankful for the ability to let myself be.
You have to get through this.
We make it.
© Michelle Routhieaux 2013
This morning I found myself staring at a list of questions for my biography in some book at my upcoming 10 year reunion. They all made me think. No spouse, no children. I’ve not become the me I wanted to be. I was particularly puzzled by the last prompt/question: Summary of accomplishments, dreams, travels since High School. It’s all been a blur. I had the invitation to regret, to be angry, to hate myself for what I’ve done. For the bio I came up with this. It surprised me but it’s true.
It didn’t seem complete. It’s not what I’m most proud of. So I continued it in my journal.
Summary of accomplishments, dreams, travels since High School:
- I survived. I’m alive. I’m thriving.
- Fought through mental illness
- Didn’t give up
- Found myself
- Set her free
- Learned to love her
- Continued to follow my dreams & ideas
- Learned to stand up for myself and my beliefs and eventually others’
- Learned assertiveness & put it into practice
- I’ve begun to tolerate being alone
- Developed systems of change for myself and others
- I refused to give up
- I didn’t hurt myself
- Separated myself from Mom
- Learned to see her as a person
- Got my license
- Weathered DBSA through thick & thin
- Joined a church I’m active in
- Stood up for my beliefs, even when it got me fired
- Learned to trust
- Stopped running away
- Owned/Developed pride in me
- Learned how to tolerate anxiety
- Continued to grow my resourcefulness
- Had a relationship
- Made real friends
- Learned how to manage money
- Didn’t forget
- Didn’t let go of the dream
- Took care of my body & teeth
I am pretty fucking awesome. Today Dr. N told me he’s proud of me, that I’ve accomplished something 2 years ago he didn’t think was possible – in terms of my wellness. He said he knew I had potential but didn’t expect this. It feels good that he’s proud of me and that he sees and appreciates the positive change I work so hard on every day.
Today I went to the casino and practiced the word Patient. I tried Compassion but it was too hard. I want to learn to be Patient. Now I’m off to dye a llama purple with blackberries, if I don’t eat them all first. ;) I love fruit. I have two biopsies coming up. Wish me luck.
© Michelle Routhieaux 2013
27. Mom thinks it’s the magic number, the number when everything clicked. Really, it’s just a number. Although I hear ____ say, “27. Now that was a good year.”
I turned 27 March of this year. It was not a remarkable day – appointment, lunch with Mom, major crash, terrible pain, OCD group. But my mom says something around then changed. She attributes all my recent growth to a number. Figures. She’s been in Texas. Today I feel great. A little dizzy, awake. Change is hard work.
A month or so before my birthday I spent 3 weeks in the hospital (see “Even Dark Clouds Pass.”) When I got out I was still going through it. The time since then has been fireworks. For the first time in years I started an antidepressant. I added structure & a complex schedule. I updated my day list and started using it. It is a list of things I do every day in the morning and evening that I keep in a page protector and check off with a dry erase marker. And I started BrainPaint, which I believe to be the key to my success.
BrainPaint. A simple notion. Painting with your brain. Ha ha! Not so fast, my friend. I paint with my brain indeed. BrainPaint is automated neurofeedback. EEG leads tell the computer what my brain is doing and the computer makes real-time fractals (pictures) and music to guide my brain into the wave pattern it wants. Forget training a dragon. Train your brain!
I’m doing BrainPaint at Healthy Within under Dr. Divya Kakaiya. She determined what areas we could work on. I’m almost through my treatment. I don’t want to stop. I go 3 times a week. I consider it an outpatient program even though it’s not. It’s not all peaches & cream, but BrainPaint saved my life.
I feel tired of writing.
I have 3 pages of what’s changed since BrainPaint that I may choose to share here later. Most notably, I don’t want to die every day anymore. I’m sleeping, brushing my teeth (yay!), and can tolerate being at home. Kinda crazy. I even got my permit. I am blessed that my mom was in Texas for the past month. Without limits or rules or judgement or simply the energy of another person I’ve been able to settle into life, to blossom. I’ve been repotted.
27. I like it.
© Michelle Routhieaux 2013
Note to self: Bring a bottle to pee in next time.
(sigh) That was nice. I just walked the entire length of Little Italy from El Camino to the America Plaza trolley stop without freezing or getting mugged or killed. Sweet. I stopped at 7-11 for some tea to warm my hands, but I drank it all and now I really have to pee. Except for tourists by restaurants, there was nobody out. Italian thugs in cars look a lot like Mexican gang bangers, but they left me alone. Even the sole guy walking past me with grocery bags didn’t say hi.
(This is weird. I’m on an empty trolley that hasn’t moved for 5 minutes and no one has asked me to get off. Hmm…)
I had planned on going to El Camino tonight, and I did. Margaret dropped me off around 8:30pm. The staff there told me there weren’t any seats anywhere. Apparently Gilbert’s whole entourage was there. I heard him tell someone it was already packed and gonna be crazy. And then L- swoops in 7 people and takes whomever was next’s table laughing about it. She’s such a bitch. I wasn’t gonna wait forever so I decided to walk randomly until I found somewhere to write or reached the trolley. Now I’m sitting on the trolley that’s not moving. It’s concerning me. But it’s somewhat warm. And I spotted another person. A driver would be nice.
(deep breath) I went on the most horrible date tonight. Parts of the conversation at Target were endearing but overall it was a bust. Who talks about abortion and marriage law over dinner? It’s no wonder more 37 year old gamers aren’t married.
I just had the most wonderful conversation with a guy at the trolley stop. He’s a 20 year old military guy stationed here until the end of February. We talked about jazz. He’s from Delaware. It’s nice to meet wonderful people.
I told Dr. N today I feel my biological clock ticking and I want a guy. He said that usually refers to babies. I told him you need a guy to make a baby if you don’t have money. He said I shouldn’t have any babies right now. I agree. But I’d still like to get started. I told him I want to marry a gay guy. He said I should find a gay guy who needs a green card…
Man, it’s cold… It’s quiet though. So nice. There’s a person I keep meeting eyes with who seems to be between sexes. Very Melissa Etheridge-esque but also looks like this guy from my group.
Will I ever get to have babies?
I know I do better when I’m not around or living with my mom. I am forced to take care of myself and I mostly enjoy it. I’m not trapped in the weird web of transactional analysis gone wrong. I am free to be me. Like yesterday when she went to work and I made myself lunch and went to the gym and made cookies and casserole and got some work done. The tv was off, music was on. It was amazing. A total 180 from feeling so stuck. Maybe she’ll work more days. It felt good tonight to walk too. Self-directed. It’s my life. For now. A good now.
I’m thinking of starting a second blog called Care Bear Share about my experience with DID. Semi-anonymous. I’m really scared. The message from my docs is that I need to integrate, whatever that means. But I don’t want to. I fully appreciate me, in all my various forms, and I don’t want to lose that.
It’s true I have only recently explored what’s going on, but it’s been happening for a LONG time. Even back in school I used to talk about the different mes and how they didn’t really cross over. I just never gave it a name. Now we have a name I don’t share with people and I’m not sure what to do.
I’m so much different than I used to be. —
My mom is so annoying.
I’m different. I’d like to get feedback about the changes from people who have seen me, but I don’t really hang out with anyone. I can’t remember.
I want to grow up. We should go on an adventure and find a life we can all live peacefully and happily in. No one left behind. I could do that. No melting pot. Casserole.
© Michelle Routhieaux 2011