Trees are standing in the cemetery, thick with juice.
Bark stretches over flesh like stretch marks.
Death, she’s eating the body.
I imagine roots weaving over wrists in the ground.
Roots over bellies, butts, and boobs – keep it thick with food.
I pass an Anna, a Lillian, a Rose
printed in stone.
A strange warmth comes with the cold breeze.
We all reach a hungry end, but this doesn’t feel as daunting while I’ve got your open hand.
(I just like the song.)
I’ve had a weekend on my own. I’d like to share some of the helpful and (not so helpful) things I’ve done so far.
I made myself a mule and a rum and coke on Friday night. I even went to the store for fresh limes. 50 cents each. I was pretty pleased, until the alcohol kept me tossing and turning all night. Bad choice.
Today I went to the gym and had a pretty good “getting back into jogging” session. I did a load of laundry. I went to play Scrabble with my mother all afternoon and stayed for dinner. Then I came back here instead of watching the movie I had planned to go to the theater to see and freaked out. Once it started to dissipate, I eased into an evening of alternating between reading Persuasion by Jane Austen and watching YouTube videos.
That’s just so far. I plan to go to bed soon. I’m not sure about tomorrow yet.
What do you do when you have a chunk of time alone? Time alone can be hard when combined with mental health issues. Sometimes it can feel like torture. Sometimes it feels like breathing again. I’m curious as to whether anyone has strategies for time alone and balancing mental health. I think seeing family really saved me today. I’m so thankful for them.
What things help you feel in love with being alone when you need it? Feel free to leave constructive comments.
Birth in the Woods
The milky foreskin of bark
Out spills a spiked caterpillar.
Splinters of infancy pave the path.
Green is all over the floor.
A fallen tree looks out onto the rocks.
A small flower steams in a pocket of rock,
The fox statue wills her pups close near the Visitor’s Center.
The Center offers chained binoculars and whispers –
Burst forth, burrs on your wings.
I am alone in the garden
the wind chime makes
dangling outside on the porch,
boxing me into the walls
with its sound,
I am like a cat in a spot
of light. I fold into myself,
into the wooden floorboards,
into this dizzy, hazy acceptance
of the chime’s song
and of the placement of the windows
that allows light to barrage
I am drunk on this structure.
I’m reading Everything Here Is Beautiful by Mira T. Lee. It’s about a woman’s battle with schizophrenia and her relationship with her sister. It’s also about how schizophrenia affects her life and other relationships as well. Here is a link to Goodreads.
At one point in the book, Lucia has moved to Ecuador with her daughter and the daughter’s father. She is commuting from a very small village in to a larger city for work at a newspaper. She’s also still managing family life as well. I was struck by this quote:
“After one month of heavy commutes, she is tired. Despite her dozes on the chicken buses her head is fogged, her body fatigued. The pills drain her energy; always she has had to compensate. Now she lacks the stamina.”
I was touched by the author’s use of the word “always.” ALWAYS she has had to compensate. This makes it known that the struggle has been ongoing. I felt like that really highlighted what it is like to have a mental illness and struggle with not having enough energy. It’s a never ending struggle.
Years of my life felt washed clean when I read that. Sometimes it’s enough just to be validated. When you can read an author writing things that people have discounted in regards to you for years, it breaks a little pocket of cleansing sea water inside of you.
I wanted to share this because it’s a really good book to read even if you don’t struggle with schizophrenia. The battle with mental illness is painted very vividly. I’m actually not finished reading it yet, but that quote hit me really hard. I wanted to write something about it. I hope you check Everything Here Is Beautiful out too!
Imagine the moment when you are just getting over an illness. You feel sick enough to not be at your full capacity, but just well enough to start itching with boredom. You can’t really do anything yet, but you feel antsy. Lying still isn’t working anymore.
That’s where I am with my mental illness. I am not yet confident in my wellness enough to work much yet, but I miss having something to do. Unfortunately, jobs that will let you work 1-2 set days per week seem to be few and far between. My recent (flopped) job interview reminded me of that fact.
I miss being around people. I miss talking to people, wrapping up parcels, ect. I miss more than one aspect of each of the several jobs I’ve held. The problem is that I don’t know where to go from here. Where do I find work that is just enough for me to handle well, but not too much? I don’t usually receive comments on this blog, but if you read this and have stories of your own or suggestions, feel free to leave them. I would love to read about what other people have done in this situation. Have you ever used volunteer work as a substitute when you felt really ill? How did that go? How do the mentally ill manage work? I need encouragement.
Don’t get me wrong. It’s not as if I’m sitting on my ass all the time. I’m still doing laundry, dishes, and budgeting. I’m getting exercise, including rock climbing. I’m trying to read and meditate. I’m seeing my family, and occasionally some friends. I write this blog. I watch queer YouTube videos. I care for cats. It’s not as if I’m doing NOTHING. But I want to do more.
If you read this, let me know what your experience has been. Thank you.
Someone Who Is Starting To Itch