I am happy :)

5/31/14     10:03am

My soul is filled with the joy of the Lord. JESUS!

(deep breath) I am happy.
I am happy.

Last night I sang a solo at my choir concert. I am so proud! I was so nervous. I started learning it around 3pm. 2 hours in the car with Whitney Houston, 20 minutes with a karaoke track from iTunes and a lot of prayer. The devil fought me telling me I couldn’t do it, that I was worthless and needed to die. Not today, sir. Get out of my house. JESUS!

My head hurts so bad.

There were only 16 people in the audience – all family of the choir and a few church members. None of my friends showed up. I was so thankful to have my mom.

I read from Proverbs and prayed that God would sing through me and to me, that He would give me the courage to open my mouth and use me as a vessel for His word, keeping my focus only on Him. This song is a vocal dance for Jesus. JESUS!

My whole body trembled. An hour or so before, I hit a wall – weak, dizzy, close to tears, barely able to eat. I sat down a few times during the concert but decided not to take my PRN for my heart that I sometimes do during concerts. I didn’t want to interfere with the Spirit. My head and mouth hurt all day. I had decompensated to confusion, yelling at cars, then not moving. But I did it. Just for God. No practice with the choir. A lick and a prayer. All for God. Only for God.

The look on Ken’s face as I sang was priceless. He exchanged looks with Janet. I smiled genuinely. He didn’t know I could do that. Neither did I. :) I got so many compliments after, the best in an email from another choir member. He said:

I listened to the recording of the concert tonight on the way home and I am almost speechless regarding your rendition of “I Love the Lord.” I couldn’t really hear it when we did it, or I would have said something afterwards. I am just floored by the range, the intensity, and the emotion that you put into that solo. Wow. Just magnificent. Thanks for making tonight one of the best nights I have ever spent performing music. Those 16 people in the audience were definitely in the right place at the right time.”

I watched the video when I got home. It is the first time I’ve been proud of my work, didn’t hate the sound of my voice. I felt free.

Today I am still proud. My head and mouth hurt a lot. I feel nauseous. I’m eating kettle corn on the couch. Not the best idea after serious mouth surgery but I’m afraid to make oatmeal. I feel overwhelmed. I’m trying to settle, breathe. My doctor and therapist are both out of town so it’s me and God. He’s got this. (wink)

Thanks for listening.
May you be blessed.

© Michelle Routhieaux 2014

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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

Joy

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12/3/12     1:56am

In writing tonight about sadness and pain I am reminded of joy. I felt such joy singing today. I sang with my choir at a nursing home and for a few moments all of it was gone. God sang through me and I was filled with hope. My director said he’s going to call me Merry now because I’m so joyful. It’s true. Singing brings me such joy, especially gospel. I need to remember and do it more often.

© Michelle Routhieaux 2012P1160408-3

The Trolley Chronicles

12-18-10     12:18am

Wow. The trolley chronicles raw data is shocking tonight… And refreshing. :)

I sang with Sacha tonight. I didn’t want to. It was so wonderful. Like a drug I have missed so much. People loved it. I was trembling, but I loved it too. I felt like me. I miss feeling like me.

She asked why I don’t go back to theater or singing now, to be on Broadway. (sigh) It’s such a tough question. There are the logistics, but I think it’s more about faith. I don’t always believe. I’ve seen the castle crash down so many times that I don’t believe. Stuck in a dream between what I could and can do, held back by the fear of what I can’t and won’t.

I open my mouth to breathe so my face doesn’t explode. The last show I did was at the La Jolla Stage Company. I was not cast. I was an addition, choreographer needed help. I couldn’t think, was fresh out of Cog, had a job. I had gained weight and I wasn’t me. And the show was a nightmare. I walked away knowing I was done. I felt shame.

In the past 9 years I have been hospitalized 8 times, spent 24 weeks in Cog, 8 weeks in DBT, 9 months at Scripps. Now that my mind is mostly under control, my body and brain are failing me. I don’t have the energy to dance very much. I don’t remember things. Some days I can’t move. And the days in between are quite a ride. How does one do a show without dancing a lot, memorizing lines and being healthy enough to show up – not to mention able to get to rehearsal? I don’t know. I just don’t know.
—-

1:19am

S-,
I’m sorry for leaving for awhile. Thank you for singing my song. It’s very special to me. I sang it to my dad at his nursing home in the 4th grade. People rarely sing it and it always makes me cry. And I don’t like crying in public so I retreated to the bathroom for awhile. I wrote through a series of flashbacks. I thought I was okay but cried some more in the lobby. I’m scared. And I need a dad.

The trolley ride was amazing tonight. I spent most of it listening to and bantering with a guy who just got out of jail. He had tattoos everywhere. One side of his head said, “Don’t fuck with my head and I won’t think with my dick.” His right temple said “Ass-Hole.” I asked why and he said because he can be one.

It was a lot of talk about jail and ghetto drama and life. Some of it was pretty ridiculous, but he shocked me at the end. He was telling me about how he had built his life up from nothing after 6 years in jail for something he didn’t do and now that he’s lost everything again he’s not scared because he knows he can do it again. All he wants is to see his twins born. I admire this man. He is a lesson in adversity. (shift)

I feel very tired and sound is bothering me. I’m hungry for tater tots. I should go to sleep. I need –

I’m sorry I let go. I really had to pee.

© Michelle Routhieaux 2010