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trying to reclaim my Very Chill demeanor

07 January 2021
9:03 am

I wish I could go to the mall. I wish "retail therapy" wasn't a thing, but our mall is huge, and I could wander around and maybe get cheese fries or trinkets. It would give me somewhere to walk that isn't cold, somewhere with seats to take breaks, somewhere that is full of finely crafted displays of distraction. But, you know, there's a plague on still, and I don't know how I would take to prolonged walking.

What a time. I've even fallen off writing in the other place, where I was consistently writing on a daily basis. December sunk me a little, as it does, as the holidays do. But I managed to mostly get through it. I was working on a photo album of our Hawaii trip as a present for Dan's mom, but I got distracted by a different crafts project for her and didn't get it done. I have all the materials, so maybe I'll do it for her birthday in February. But also I started to feel awkward about it...

We were waiting to hear on some test results for her: her liver, her lungs. She started chemo a week ago. The doctors gave her like a year if she didn't try the chemo, and they're not sure how long that will extend that timeline, but she'll do it anyway. I have lots of thoughts on that, how interesting my own mind works, how I immediately went into "this is why I didn't want to get involved with someone's family" as though we haven't been together for six years, or the recognition that I was experiencing something similar to what I remember from when my dad was dying: acceptance, then avoidance. Which is not acceptance really. I've been thinking a lot about grief lately. But mostly I am trying to be cool and... I'm allowed to have my own reactions, but I'm trying to keep that separate from how I support Dan, because none of that is for him to support.

So, I got through December without too much Christmas trouble, though I'd noticed general anxiety and depression stuff creeping around, being ignored. Also my back went out somewhere in the middle of the month and that fucked me up straight through til almost the end. It's still persnickety, I have to be careful not to move the wrong way, and once I get this new thing sorted, I need to get back on some strengthening business.

I had the single most fucked up dream I can remember having in a long time. It was so real and so bad that I woke up and wanted to call the FBI, just in case. About a week later, I had another one... the outcome was worse, so I was lucky it didn't seem as real. Friends, if you think it's a good idea to spend seven hours pouring through your external hard drive, looking at years worth of writings and pictures, I am here to tell you it is not. You will forget to keep blinking, your body will form into a claw, and your boyfriend will come home to find you totally disassociated and half-catatonic. And then you'll have really fucked up dreams because you forgot to ask your dream guides for help, if that's a thing. Anyway, I stopped writing down my dreams after those because recalling them was painful and stuck with me, and if all I'm going to have is bad dreams, then I don't really want to increase their clarity.

I've been time-travelling in the last week. Timeline-hopping. Thinking about grief, how there are things I feel will never leave me. Grief and regret and shame. Mostly I think about the grief. I've said that even though I no longer subscribe to "everything happens for a reason" or "everything that happened had a point, to make me who I am today" [no, you're not going to posi me into embracing trauma instead of addressing it, that's how we get here]... I've said that even though I no longer subscribe to that, it would be very difficult for me to go back and tell myself to change something, do something differently, take a different path, because some experiences or meetings would be prevented. If I avoided a relationship that eventually hurt, I wouldn't have had the good parts. If I didn't do x, I wouldn't have met so and so. If I hadn't been there to absorb [something], I wouldn't have been there to prevent [whatever]. Even in these supernatural possibilities, my then-and-future needs were not important enough to save myself in any area I could have been freed. These are obsessive middle of the night thoughts. They upset me.

I don't know what changed in the last week or so. Maybe it has something to do with the trauma therapists I've been following on ig. But one day I decided it was okay. The bad things didn't need to happen. I couldn't have saved anyone by staying, I didn't save anyone anyway. My presence made some difference, I'm sure, but I was used inappropriately. I blame myself for so much I didn't do. I blame myself for what I was unable to do. I shouldn't do that. It wasn't my fault. It's hard to type it even now, but it would have been okay. If I had left. If I had escaped, somehow, truly. It would have had to be early though, earlier than I tried, which wouldn't have happened without my own divine intervention, which is obviously impossible, but it would have been okay. It would have affected the trajectory of my entire life though, and this is the strange grief I talk about. Letting go of my life as it is and the relationships I have formed in order to be able to go back and say, "This wasn't right. This wasn't okay. It should have been different, even if that means everything else would be different." The regular timeline snaps back into place, nothing is changed in that way, but it has to be moved to the side to be able to reach that pure point of understanding.

This random note-taking and handful of introspective sentences brought to you by burying the lede: I've been having trouble breathing for the last couple weeks. It's not the plague - it's been an occasional, infrequent thing I've noticed in the past, but something happened a few days before Christmas and I've been having trouble since then. I assumed it was anxiety related somehow - though it was a symptom without even a sourceless anxious feeling - but I've never had it this long, this consistent on and off throughout the day. It's definitely heightened by anxiety, I noticed as I finally called the doctor. Which makes sense - trouble breathing creates anxiety, anxiety creates trouble breathing, so on, to the point where we all think we're dying. Anyway, I went for an xray and some bloodwork. Today I pick up an iron supplement prescription for a smattering of anemia (which could be causing the breathing troubles) and also I go to get a CT scan to further investigate some small lung doots (which could also be etc etc everything's fine etc).

It's fine. The building I'm going to today is five minutes from the state capitol, but probably our insurrection cosplayers won't come back out today, or will at least wait until after my appointment's done. It's fine. It's just anemia, I'll stop being weird, I'll catch my breath. Everything's fine.

I wish I could go to the mall or have a nice bath in a big tub.