“Exhausted”

I wish I could say that I am just returning from a more than a year break from the internet, but that’s hardly true. I stopped fashion blogging in 2017 when I decided to run for office (State Representative: Did Not Win) and had to convince people that I am really serious and palatable. I deleted my tumblr, even. I was pretty serious about it.

Palatable is now officially over.

Everything about the world right now is fucking unpalatable so…what’s the point in being plain or quiet? There isn’t one.

After I lost my primary I spent some time recovering and started a huge new art project that will take years (especially since I’m not working on it enough right now). I started, for a second, a group I hoped would become a Political Action Committee and we had some meetings and got fired up and all that and……Then my oldest kid got fired from his job that he loved and then he got really sick.

Really, really sick. Endocarditis, undiagnosed for months (I guessed literally 4 weeks before they confirmed it), emboli to the brain (tiny bits of infection causing teensy-but-no-less-alarming-for-the-size strokes—“innumerable” is how they reported it), 7 hospitalizations in an 8 week period, a million ER visits and finally double heart valve replacement on February 11 of this year. So absolutely everything in my life stopped for that.

Then there was caring for him for the 6 weeks of recovery. And the dog had to have knee surgery so I had to take care of her, too (yes more knee surgery on a now two year old dog). Then, we went on a cruise my mother had planned for the whole fam damily and it actually took emotional energy I didn’t have to have fun because: I’m dead inside. Mostly. And that kid went back home but he’s still unemployed and broke up with his girlfriend and I’m exhausted. Really, “exhausted” should be a punctuation mark, like instead of a period each sentence ends with “exhausted”

So it’s likely no big surprise that I just lost my juju and am still feeling really directionless “exhausted” See? It kind of works “exhausted”

Then there’s the pesky issue of the world right now, and the death of Democracy and watching as my personhood and equality (which we weren’t even done getting, dammit) are, along with many others in other groups people like to be mean to, being dismantled. What do you do with your day when you are just watching the world in flames from your comfortable living room and you cannot find the person you were who ran for office who was tough and optimistic and ready to take on the world?

Maybe for the moment, the answer to that is write. Figure it out “exhausted” And then get my groove back, when I’m not “exhausted”

Navigating

It’s August 30th and I have zero posts in the queue for September. This is very unlike me; I usually don’t feel okay unless there are thirty posts scheduled at a minimum. My assistant asked the other day, “Do you want to keep doing it?” My answer was yes, but. I do, but. But what? 

Let’s see. There is the dog, our Choux Choux cabbage-cabbage who in the space of 6 weeks developed a luxating patella in her right knee that went from “loose” to “permanently out.” In lay terms, her kneecap is now permanently dislocated. Initially we determined we’d put her down; we don’t have thousands of dollars to create a bionic dog. We don’t want to start down a road of surgery after surgery until the dog has been tortured to death. It is not her only issue; like many of those cute, pink Pits, she has very delicate skin. I should really be ready for either my Vet Tech or CNA certificate, there is so much medication management. We have spent a lot of money on vet bills, and I am now seriously a caregiver for this 11 month old baby. She’s on pain meds, Benadryl, Apolquell, Dasuquin, antibiotics (allergy related skin infection), fish oil and something else I can’t recall just now. Twice a day. 

Ultimately, as a family, we couldn’t—just couldn’t—put her down. She will have a patellar implant in two weeks (basically a knee replacement), in a small city two hours away, where a vet who is one of 23 in the country who does this will operate on her for far less cost than anyone else because he’s from New Mexico and wants to help animals more than he wants to get rich doing it. So while we are having a surgery for $2400 that would cost upwards of $6000 anywhere else, we are still spending money we don’t have lying around. Should I be sending that money to Houston? I worry about these things. But we are hopeful that we are saving the dog and giving her at least a good run of years before anything else goes wrong. 

Also, there is this perimenopause bullshit. I spend nearly every morning trying not to cry over, oh, let’s see, politics, hatred, stupidity, ignorance, how much I dislike other people, how touching some bullshit meme was, anything involving animals, etc. My body threw two periods in one month at me, I’m nauseated a LOT, I’m tired. I would like a word with the designer of this mess. It is the greatest proof available that there is no god. Or that god is a white republican man and like the rest of them he hates women. 

We are having the typical back-to-school crisis of “I can’t do this” and “I am failing” and “I could ruin my life” on the part of the teenager. I have assured him that there is zero chance that failing geometry will “ruin” his life. Lives are not ruined by such things. We put so much pressure on kids and it doesn’t result in success, it results in neuroses. He is 15. I remember the list of things my parents said would ruin my life. Sex. Alcohol. Drugs. Bad grades. Lack of school spirit. Television shows like Miami Vice. Music. 

I did all of those except bad grades, and did not ruin my life. Because: seriously. Let’s just calm the fuck down. 

I have been meditating daily for just over 30 days. I am using Headspace (they are not paying me to say that but if they want to, I’m in), and while I initially balked at the annual subscription cost (70 to 80 bucks) I then thought, “Didn’t you pay a game club $6.99 a month for YEARS so you could play hidden object games?” Oh, right. It’s not that much to pay for something that helps. And it is/does. Not as fast as I’d like. Which must mean it’s more legit than, say, cocaine. 

Speaking of drugs (I’ve never done any beyond some edibles that had no discernible effect) I have also cut back to one alcohol a day. The discovery of my allergy to sulfites coupled with reading an article about how women are drinking to escape their lives resulted in a decision to stop buying into what society wants me to think it great about booze. I never thought it did what it said it would do—in my experience being buzzed makes me even more worried about screwing up, adds to my health problems, limits my life and creates conflict. But the commercials and the movies and the world say that alcohol is how I can be liked, and normal, and FUN, and interesting, and cool, and awesome,  and relaxed and exciting….it’s a hard stream to swim against. But I am. Soon, the one drink will go away, too. I’m not stopping–Saturday afternoon margaritas are nice, frankly, but in terms of spending every night of my life in a stupor, I’m done. I will be present, I will look to address what I find unbearable rather than drinking to cover it up. 

There are marital issues. I am the person who will have to save it, and I am trying. It’s really hard work. I want to be married to the person I am married to, but things have to change. I am, currently, the one most able to force those changes, if they can happen. Because that’s not stressful. 

I am still wearing clothes, and we are still mostly taking pictures….but I haven’t really gotten the posting up to speed. Switching to iPad didn’t help that; there are conflicts with how I’ve done it all in the past that have caused me to sort of mulishly stop short and refuse to forge ahead. We’ll see what happens. 

EDS is flaring up, too, just for fun. My wrists were terrible yesterday, so bad that I taped lidocaine patches to each before going to bed. The lidocaine helped, but because my skin is also malformed, I have blisters and sores along the edges of where the tape was on each wrist. Awesome. The main thing we do for EDS is splint, which I did all day yesterday, but even that hurts my skin. I could never wear splints daily–I’d have the equivalent of bed sores all over me within days. So that which helps also hurts. It’s frustrating in the extreme. 

So, maybe there will be pictures for September, maybe there won’t. Maybe there will be more writing. Heck, anything could happen. It’s kind of “one day at a time” around here, at the moment. 

BTW: We Got a Puppy

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She is an 8-week old -mumble-mumble- breed that was rescued at about a day old. She’s been hand raised and nearly died twice. Weighing in at a whopping 3.8 lbs, she is desperately trying to catch up to the size of her head. We named her Choux-Choux, which is French for cabbage-cabbage, because they use “cabbage” as an endearment like we use “pumpkin.”

Choux-Choux was likely bred to be a bait dog for dog fighting. Instead of a shitty life of pain and violence, she is and will be raised with careful training to always remind her who is in charge, and that it isn’t her. No one will clip her ears or dock her tail. She is a smart, always-hungry dog who is already learning that she must sit to earn anything and that there are always three people vying to let her sleep on them. Right now she is annoyed that I am typing while she is trying to take a hard-earned nap. Her nose is very, very pink.