I’m feeling a little manic right now. Racing heart and all. And a million thoughts clawing their way out. Hopefully they’ll spill onto the page in some relative order, antithetical to the form they currently take, which is to say a chaotic bundle of words with no start or end and seemingly no way to tie them together or to form an intelligible or cohesive goddamn thought.
A moment in time. I’m writing this in a moment in time between what was and will be. In a moment of clarity and complete lucidity and utter and devastating heartache and loneliness. But also in a rare moment of strength, something which has admittedly eluded me these last weeks. Indeed, on every level strength has been elusive. And I have given in and given up and given myself. Given myself over to it, again. And again. And again. But not tonight. Tonight I am clear and the thoughts are maddening and I have to get them out and write and give voice to the thoughts that have had a stranglehold on me of late, to the silent scream that is building to a deafening crescendo.
OK. I just took a deep breath. I should start over. Let me be clear. I’m not in a desperate place tonight. I’m not using. And I’m not experiencing a dark night of the soul. Truly. I don’t blame you if you doubt the sincerity of those sentences. But it’s true. It’s just, I just… I. I’m writing as I’m thinking, or rather, I’m writing, typing, furiously, to try to keep up with the thoughts in my head and I’m writing them exactly as they sound, as they echo, in my skull. It’s a weird way to do it, but it’s calming me, so please bear with me.
It’s been a little over a year since I overdosed and had the stroke. And it’s been a couple of months since my last extended hospital stay. That one took a lot out of me. Physically, I mean. But I want you to know, first and foremost, that I have been fighting like mad to come back. To get as healthy as I possibly can. I’m taking my meds. I have a visiting nurse who comes to the house every other day. And a physical therapist and speech therapist come twice a week. I’m working at this. It’s slow. Painstakingly slow. I’m frustrated as hell. Mostly, I stay in my house. I don’t usually have the energy to do much else. And mostly that’s been OK. I work to get well and in between that, I read and I write. I listen to music. And I watch football. I watch baseball, too. But I can’t talk about that right now because then I’ll get really depressed. God damn Red Sox. Jesus.
For as slow as daily life is moving right now, my mind is spinning at a frenetic pace and everything–my past, my present, my future–is coming at me with blinding fury. I’m trying to keep that all at bay. There’s a lot going on, which I’m sure is what’s precipitating this chaos, but I’m struggling like crazy right now to regain some strength and fight to undo some of the damage I’ve done to my body, and this emotional and spiritual stuff is kicking my ass.
If I manage to sleep, I wake up every morning just waiting for the weight of the day ahead to descend, to crash, down on me. It doesn’t, usually, but still, I wait for it. It’s an unfortunate consequence of the havoc I’ve wreaked on myself these last couple of years.
While I certainly no longer have a death wish, I’m not sure I exactly have a life wish either. And I’m desperate to get that back. I feel like I’ve been deprived at once of both life and death. It’s my own doing, and I know that. It’s just…I don’t know, like being in some weird existential limbo.
Solitude. Isolation. That’s the problem, I think. I mean, I’ve necessarily been tethered to my house, but it’s more than that. Things can quickly go from zero to Oh shit when you’re in a bad head space. The last few weeks have been a struggle for a couple of different reasons. I’m not ready to write it all out yet. I’ve written the things I had to write for now. Through it all, I’ve managed to stay clean, but a couple of times I’ve regressed and started cutting again. It’s a pain I can control and I need some control. I’m ashamed each time I do it, even as I draw the blade across my skin and feel the momentary respite from the emotional anguish as the physical pain overrides it. I know it’s not going to last. I know it’s not the answer. It’s as bad as sticking a needle in my arm for that momentary relief. It’s such fucking addict behavior. I’m still just a goddamn junkie. No matter what I do, it’s always going to beat me in some way. Even if I’m not using. Even if it’s not manifesting in the destructive physical actions, it will continue to eat away at me from the inside. I hate this fucking disease.
For almost a year I’ve worked so hard on my sobriety. The part of myself that I thought I’d exorcised turned out to have been only lying in wait, ready to pounce at the first opportunity. Tonight seems to be that opportunity.
But here’s what I’m hoping is going to get me through this night: I’m writing these words and I know there are people out there who’ll read them who understand just where I am. They’ve been there and made it through to the other side. So who’s to say I can’t too. I guess. Right? Their example gives me hope. And that is as tangible a thing as any on a maddening night like this.