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

I want to fall in

7-2-12     8:04pm

I am SO tired. I skipped group tonight, which I rarely do. My body is rebelling. I don’t blame it.

I did some work for a friend today, helped with some organizing and grounding. I knew about halfway through I needed to stop but I stuck it out. I wrapped up nicely and went on my merry way. But I was barely breathing and in full body freakout mode and when I got to my other friend’s house (Mj) my legs gave up on walking right and then came the dizziness and head pain. I am so tired that it’s hard to stay upright, yet I’m not sleepy. I can’t explain it. Mj understands. I really enjoyed staying with her, having some moments to myself.

I find myself questioning if doing this work (helping) is worth it. Is helping and getting out of my house and my head and being somewhat social worth the toll it takes on mind and body? My friend doesn’t know what I’m going through and it’s hard for me to explain. Hard to explain why 4 hours of help causes massive body shutdown. Why I can organize and create systems but not eat. Why I LOOK fine when I’m really not. And it’s harder for me to say, “Hey, I’m not ok.” (tears) I want to be ok. I REALLY want to be ok. I don’t want to be a secret and I don’t want to be a lie. And I don’t want to feel ashamed… But I do. So I just press through it and deal with the fallout. I want to fall in.

I went walking with Mj and her dog a few times. It felt really good. I just got home to my mom on the phone with her boyfriend and Zoe. I don’t want to be here. (deep breath and tears) I can’t make it go away.

I’m so tired. My face burns and I’m tired.

© Michelle Routhieaux 2012


12/30/11     3:53pm

(big sigh) I am so tired.
Not sleepy tired but weary.
I just spent an hour and 8 minutes on the phone with MediCal – the last 4 with an actual person. They have not processed my annual packet that I waited 3 hours for a receipt for and turned in on time and are therefore discontinuing my benefits as of Dec 31st. (roll my eyes) They did this last year too.

I posted on my FB that I was frustrated and this guy commented about how I should have private insurance and how it’s so much better. Really? I think not. Does he think I want to be a charge of the state? that I enjoy being tangled up in bureaucracy that dictates my life? I DIDN’T CHOOSE THIS! I didn’t wake up one day and say, “I think I’ll be sick for a living. That sounds fun.” I had a life. I’ve had private insurance. I have Medi-Medi now. And honestly, it’s the best of all the insurances I’ve had. Not just Medicare alone or MediCal alone, but both together. It is a magic combination that keeps me alive. I like being alive.

There are so many things wrong with these systems that I could write about if I had the energy, but I don’t. I’m tired. It takes so much work and knowledge and research to navigate the systems successfully. I am tired. I am tired.

My body is weak. My spirit is wilting. There is nothing to do in this moment but rest. Prepare for the fight.

© Michelle Routhieaux 2011

Waiting on a Rainbow

9-5-11     3ish-pm

What color are paranoia & psychotic symptoms?



I’m exhausted. I have been cleansed by twirling in the rain. It’s super hot now. I’m waiting for a rainbow to let me know I’m not possessed. But maybe I’m ON the rainbow and it’s invisible, holding me up. I’m so exhausted.

I put all my clothes in the wash to get rid of the evil and the toxins. I ate some pizza. I don’t wanna go to group tonight. I’m so tired. So tired.

Need to sleep but it’s hot inside and I’ll miss the rainbow I’m sitting on.
The air feels nice.
So nice.
So tired…

Words find their way back into the abyss.
I listen but all I hear is mist.
I shouldn’t have eaten.
It’s killing me.

© Michelle Routhieaux 2011

I feel

5-16-11       11:36pm

I feel so sad… Like I’m wearing a cape of sad. It’s gray and warm. It weighs me down. I have to carry it everywhere with me. Doesn’t carry it’s own weight.

I am so tired. Tired lives with sad. It comes in purple polka dots and rides along on the cape. It won’t let go. It won’t let go of me. It becomes part of the sad.

I am so angry. It sets my sad on fire but the tired puts it out. I’m afraid of my anger. It’s not afraid of me. It ravages me insides, takes my life. But all they see is sad & tired. It’s so important to me and nobody sees.

I need to take a class on anger. Not how to “manage” it but how to feel it. How to own that I’m angry and not have it eat me. How to coexist. How to do that.

I feel. I feel. I feel. (sigh)
Then I don’t.

© Michelle Routhieaux 2011

More about Jenga

1/4/11     9:49pm

I saw Dr. T today. I made it through my appointment without crying. By the time I left, my lips and eyes were twitching, I was fighting my urge to vomit and couldn’t breathe. I took some Xanax, sat in the sun on his steps and sang “Lord, I Love You.” Then I got cinnastix from Pizza Hut and potato soup and salad from Outback. Then I went to sleep. I just woke up.

I texted S- earlier. She really sucks at empathy but it was nice to interact. I was gonna go to the cog lecture with M- but I need to knock myself out.

I didn’t go to Mom’s appointment today but I sent questions to ask the doc and notes. She’d told me there was a tear (singular) and I assumed this surgery would be simpler, less difficult to recover from. But she didn’t ask what her most recent MRI means ’til today. She has 4 tears again, like last time, but THIS time she may have “blown her bicep.” What? As well as redoing a more complicated version of last year’s surgery, he may have to “cut through and reroute” the muscle.

She didn’t seem concerned as she told me this. I stayed as calm as I could. I asked what happens if this doesn’t work, since she only has workman’s comp until August. She doesn’t know. (deep breath…)

I just sit here, not numb but not feeling, eating hot dogs, repulsed by the sound and light from the tv. Make it rain, please. I’m sleepy.

When the Jenga tower is falling, it’s scary. But once I’m on the ground in the rubble it doesn’t matter anymore. I just stare and wait. I texted S- earlier that I feel like my life is a Jenga game and someone just toppled the tower. She sucks at empathy. Kiwis in a shoe store is a lesson I never learn. She said, “Well then change it and don’t let anyone control the tower but you.” “I am the tower,” I said. “Well be the board too,” she replied. I don’t think she’s ever played Jenga.

© Michelle Routhieaux 2011

The Cat & Breakeven

6-15-10                 2:27am

“I’m falling to pieces” from Breakeven keeps playing in my head. I feel like crying. I am sad. I miss my cat. I got a new kitten tonight. Psycho kitty. It’s afraid of my hair and the ceiling fan and is determined to eat my bed skirt. I think it’s sick. It’s fine when it’s awake, sort of, but when it’s sleeping it’s breathing way too fast. I called the vet who said to bring her in tonight but mom’s pulling her denial shit again saying the cat’s just tired from playing and that it’ll be fine. It’s the same line of thought that almost killed her with her gallbladder, made her tell me my dad was fine, and made me sit with my own dying cat for almost three days before taking her to the vet to be put down.

The last time I sat with a cat on my lap that was twitching and not breathing right it died, violently. I still see it in my head. You can’t rouse this cat from sleep. It breathes normally when awake but when it sleeps it hyperventilates. 180 breaths per minute. If you startle it awake, which is not easy to do, it takes a big breath, holds it for a few seconds, then dozes off into hyperventilation again. Eventually it sprang awake and stared at me all crazy. It was scared of everything, which it wasn’t earlier. It stared right at me and I stared back and something creepy happened. No light change, no turn of the head. Her pupils went from tiny to really big, just while staring at me. Then she looked away for awhile. When she looked back they did it again, but not right away, after several seconds. Freaked me out. There is something not right with this cat.

Mom calls her Trouble or Crazy Head. She is now, when on break from eating my bed skirt, curled up inside my box spring. Downside to having a mattress set older than I am. At least I think that’s where she’s at. I’m hoping she’s asleep and not dead.

I took my first assignment for Broadway San Diego today – a concierge something or other at the Midway tomorrow night. I’m excited about it (not at this moment) but I found out just a bit later this afternoon that tomorrow night is the only night E- is available to do dinner. I text him every day or every few days. I miss him. Haven’t seen him in forever. He’s another one of those busy people, but he texts back occasionally.

I didn’t go to group tonight. I didn’t feel like it and I was working on a project. I’m almost done with it. But the cat has interrupted that. And the song in my head. I feel so lonely but it’s not my group I wanted to be around tonight. I don’t want to hear their stories of illness and strife. I don’t want to be the hero today or the resource. I’m tired. “I’m falling to pieeeeeeces. I’m falling to pieeeeeeces.” It plays over and over. To finish this project I feel  like I need to be happy. I need to feel like finishing the project. It’s sending love not pain. But I don’t feel love tonight. I just feel sad. “Cuz when a heart breaks. It don’t break even… I’m falling to pieeeeeeces.”

© Michelle Routhieaux 2010