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Walking Down a Different Road…Poorly.

This title may not be what you think. I have found that I have grown tired of “just making it.” It weighs upon my mind a lot. I have also found that when you do finally start heading toward a point where you can do slightly more than “just make it.” The higher powers tend to see an opportunity to squeeze you for whatever extra it is that you have and put you right back to where you were to begin with. Yes, I tend to not write about things like this on my public blogs. However, writing is a form of release for me and today, I will, walk down a different road.

My family is not your typical american family when it comes to paying bills and debt. We are not drowning under credit card debt or a crushing mortgage. We have abstained from refinancing or taking out additional lines of credit against our house. While that may be the thing to do, I simply don’t feel it to be the right thing to get our bills paid when we can do it just fine without that. Borrowing from one source just to reduce the payments on another or to combing a bunch of nickle and dime things just does not seem like the thing to do. (Oh, Daddy, you should be so proud!) In hindsight, no credit card debt and the fact that we can pay our necessities without worry is great. We have TWO extra things that we have been working on to pay off over time but it is not so much that we have to struggle to make bills. These things are just to improve our credit score. Now that I think about it. I am only feeding into the corporate monster and living the Sheeple life by doing that. However, it seems to be necessary if we want to get ahead in any area of life like to purchase a new car. (Example only, walking is so much better for the environment.) Well, that will be over soon and we will only have to foot the bill for “necessaries” like power, water, mortgage, and internet. Yea, internet is a necessary. Well, at least until the world goes to heck in a hand basket. Then we can do away with THAT bill. Yay?

Still, none of the above is what weighs heavily on me. I think a lot about the vacations my parents took me on as a kid. Those were vivid memories which stood out against the bland backdrop of watching my previous year of school become a fading memory on the highways of this country. Remember, every ending school year meant that Daddy was going to sign a new contract with his company and they would ship up off to yet another state to live for the year while he straightened out the mess of a kitchen they sent him to. He provided for us and we had our vacations. I just never had any roots to grow until I became older. My roots are spread all over this country from coast to coast. Dry, brittle, and long forgotten, the things that stand out the most were the vacations. Maybe that was what they did to make up for uprooting me from potential friends and opportunities which could have been afforded to me growing up. Still, I would not have changed anything.

It’s not that our brood prevents us from taking a vacation. We have a support system and family who can watch the kids while we pick and choose or even watch the dogs while we are away. It’s the fact that, while this country tells you to make memories with your children, they put the financial portion out of the reach of the average person. The nuclear family has to make nearly $50, 000 a year to be able to put away something into savings and even then, you need nearly $5,000 to even think about a 3 day trip for a couple. Everything is taxed and everything is overpriced. When Reagan was president (yes, I know, cost of living, etc. BS to that,) purchasing a brand new car did not mean that you were taking out a note that was near the equivalent of the market value of your home. It didn’t cost $50 to PARK at a resort area only to again pay near the same PER PERSON to get in. Never mind the fact that you then have to pay just to breathe inside the park. Corporate greed, my friends. They try to make smiles only attainable for the extraordinarily rich and, frankly, I am tired of it.

On a different note, do you know why this country has become so fanatically engrossed in the fact that they love to watch the prepping shows and extreme couponing?  It is this: the poor are tired of being sucked dry and being pushed around by the rich. They remember the Great Depression and they know what it will take to hurt the rich. Not to assassinate or rob them. Let the stock market drop. Let the zombie apocalypse happen. Let there be some fantastic computer glitch that takes out the internet. Who is going to survive? Those of us who know what it is like to live without. Those of us who can survive on skill alone and not believe it to be the end of the world simply because your investments took a wrong turn. Snatch those comfy pillow out from under the stuffy rich who sit upon them and what do you have? Sniveling, snarling, rich bastards who believe they have just lost their entire world. Oh, sure, there will be a few who will move on and think that they can do it all over again. However, when the world goes to shit, their money is going to be nothing more than fuel for the fire. With their clean, unscarred hands and the inability to know how to do a hard day’s work, they will not last long. I can assure you of that.

OK. I feel better now. I put a foot on my soapbox and chewed the gum for a few minutes. Thanks for listening peeps. Oh, yea….

What do YOU think?

Good Morning Stranger

I get up and go about my usual morning routine. Only, I stop for an extra moment to ponder what I see in the mirror. Who is this looking back at me? I have not seen you for a long, long time. Good morning Stranger! Where have you been? Can it really be you? From way back when? Thinking back, I don’t know where you went. Did you hide? Was it time well spent?

Why do I say these things to the mirror? After all, it is just a reflection. A reflection of one’s self. However, that reflection can become someone else. Someone you hate, someone you don’t recognize and remain that way for many years. Sometimes, it is not even the fault of oneself that we end up this way. Sadly, in my case, I think it was. You see, the reflection I have been staring at (screaming at) for nearly 20 years was not me but someone much larger, lost, and different. I avoided her. I didn’t take pictures, I didn’t look in the mirror. When I did, I wanted to throat punch her and scream in her face until spit rained upon it. WHO ARE YOU AND WHAT HAVE YOU DONE WITH ME!!!!????

But this morning was different. I have yet to wash my face and brush my hair but I can only smile at what I see staring back at me. I don’t want to scream at her. I don’t hate her. I know she has come a long way and has a long way to go but I can see her. My best version of me. She is beautiful. She is a mess. However, she is no longer a joke. She is wiser. Things like fat jokes are not funny anymore. She sees the world through a different filter. I like what I see. After all these years, I have found the person I was searching for and I can get back to loving myself. No more happiness in the bottom of an empty plate. That was the same kind of happiness a drug addict chases when they are trying to get high. I am beyond that now. No more turning to food and bad habits when things become stressful. Because I can love me and I am able to stare at the face looking back at me in the mirror, I am a stronger person. I can love me now.

It was strange, this morning, staring at my reflection. I liked what I see. Bed-hair and all. I have not felt that kind of comfort in a long time. Stranger, I don’t know where you went or where you have been, but please, please, don’t go back there anymore. I have a funny feeling you didn’t like it much. I know I didn’t like it when you were gone. I can smile at you and you will smile back. It will be a true smile. One that is not hidden behind a puffy face and slits for eyes. One that is not obscured by more than just a chin. It is you. Beautiful you! While you are not completely back, I can see that you are there and you have that determined look. You are here to stay!

I love you reflection. I know you feel better and I know you are working hard to show the world that you are still here. That you still exist. Thank you for caring enough to come back. Thank you for taking the journey to get here. Thank you for being…me.

Hello Stranger! I am glad you are here. Stick around and show pride without fear. Welcome Stranger, you’ve been gone so long. I can never apologize enough for steering you wrong. Hello Stranger! Where have you been? Can it really be you? From way back when? Thinking back, I don’t know where you went. Did you hide? Was it time well spent? I am glad you are back. Our journey will see, just how we both can stay on track. Stranger no more, I love me. My reflection, I love, is staring back at me.

What do YOU think?

Leeches

This world was designed to be a host for a habitat of pure consumers. Not only do they forage the forests, beaches, mountains, and deserts for sustenance; they feed off each other. Like leeches from the black riverbed, they find the weak or a target and suck them dry. It doesn’t matter if it is a life giving tree or a vulture (devourer of death.) They all take and consume.

Humans do it without remorse. In an effort to control that inate desire, these people are medicated and set to roam free umong us. The sheeple.  The unkowing. I am not saying we all are juat waiting to be picked off. Reality? There are few who fit that demographic. The rest of us are just biding our time until we can wear the leech skin. 

What happens while we are wearing the sheeple coat is we become unaware. So comfortable in the warmth that we fail. We become blinded and everything that matters turns to mercury and silently slips through our fingers. It’s killing us slowly.  There ia no realization until the damage has been done. While you can try to fix it, the scars remain and it makes you more deadly.

It makes you the one in the crowd with the white mask and pencil thin moustache. It makea you dangerous. We did an experiment in science 102 in college. I dont remember the topic but it involved controlled burning of trees and the survival of the fittest. Same concept here people. What that experiment failed to show us was that while the sheeple survive, they are damaged and hurt by those around them. The pain subsides but the scars never heal.

I don’t have any skewed view or digression for you today. Just a seeious observation.

What do YOU think?

Inspiration gone

Cleaning used to be my thing. It was something I did a lot and it made me happy when I was done. I loved it. I know, I know, what an odd thing to be happy about. It was just something I could do extrememly well. Sometimes, I woul remove everything from a room, scrub the room from ceiling to floor, and clean everythjng I took out and put it all back. I called this a reset.

When people become depressed or go through a major life changing event, some things change and others just fall to the wayside. While a few of these things come back for the person, others never will or are never viewed quite the same way. I have said this before, when I began my own fight with depression, I totally “checked out.” No, it was nothing like I lost my marbles or anything. I just went inside my own self and didn’t do much of anything but work and breathe. I didnt read or write, I only kept the house picked up. It was no sparkling like I usually keep it. I didn’t even play my mind numbing puzzle games on FB. I was just a shell of a person. I felt bad and missed the things I enjoyed most. I missed the happy I enjoyed when spending time with Cal and the kids. I even failed to appreciate a breath of fresh air when you first step out into the sunshine. That is the best way to describe the misery one suffers inside when depressed. I know its not clear but lack of words and the ability to describe it are nonexistant for me.

Slowly, I have pulled myself out of the darkness. Alkng the way, I notice little things and say to myself “Damn, how long had I been checked out?” Or “Jeez, I was gone for a long time.” For a moment, that epiphany makes me see what I went through from an outside perspective. After that, one of two things happen. 1. If I am in the middle of something, it gives me inspiration to finish the task or,  2. I take a good look at my surroundings, become overwhelmed and tired, and want to about face to return to the darkness. One is a good feeling and two is horrid.

Yesterday was a mix of the two.

I had begun a reset of the kitchen. Easiest room to do. Not any furniture to move. No nasty bathroom germs. Easy as pie. Well until you get into the throes of scrubbing corners and areas you take for granted in every day life. Still, it was not so bad. I think I would have finished but the boys decided to have kne of those “I don’t like my brother today” days and l they kept me llaying referee every twenty minutes. After about the millionth time breaking up an altercation, I was done. I had about 2/3 of the kitchen done. I was utterly impressed with the progress I had made and up to that point. My brain was even doing a happy dance and singing joyously. “Guess who’s back! Back again? Michele is back! Tell a friend!” But that last trip to the boys hallway to pry them apart from a scuffle just poured ice cold water on that blue flame. It sucked.

I walked back into the kitchen and took inventory of what I abd already done. I even checked the cabinets I had organized to try to find the mental state I had only moments before. Gone. I felt I had lost a friend. The last third of the kitchen was before me. Sad and not complete. Whats worse is I could tell what was immaculate and what was undone.

I simply could not finish.

I took a class in college knce. I forget the name of it but it was a Crisis Management psychology class. The teacher was a social worker and had lots of real life examples she shard with the class. She told of a woman who had lost her children due to the housekeeping conditions of her home. I remember that she had some sort of mental disorder. They told her they would return her kids to her if she would clean and organize her house. Over the next month, she worked hard and when they called her for follow ups, she happily told them she was making great progress. When they went for the follow up home visit, she opened the door and happily took them to the kitchen. While the house looked exactly the same as it did before, she opened the kitchen junk drawer and began to tell the social workers that she was finally able to get it under control and the drawer was perfectly organized. In this womans mind, that was the only thing “wrong” in her environment. She eventually did get her kids back but ut qas a struggle for her because she was so overwhelmed by her surroundings that she only could force herself to do the drawer. (Ok…that was a BIG digression but there is a point.)

I am afraid of becoming her. After I lost the gumption to finish the kitchen, I became tired and sad. I have not had the “reset” bug in me for a long time and who knows when it will come back. I hate depression. I dislike the person it has made me and I want the darkness to give way to the light.

What do YOU think?

When the night comes, I tremble with fear.

It is pretty obvious at this point I am going through some things. Most of them are in the deep caverns located only in my mind and others are out in the real world. Unfortunately I cannot blatantly say what either are. No, I am not considering suicide and no, me and Cal are very, very happy. I just go down a dark path every now and again. Sometimes I come back to the light a little quicker than others. This time it has been a hard and rocky road…if even it was a road, path, avenue, whatever.

Lately, I have discovered that when it gets dark or when it gets late, I become afraid. Not so much of the dark. I am afraid of sleep. Lets back up for a moment, shall we? As a child, I was always afraid of the dark. There were monsters in the dark. Even after my Uncle forced me to watch Nightmare on Elm Street II, I would not sleep with some appendage hanging off the bed or with the closet doors open lest something grab me and drag me away. As I entered into my teenage years, the whole “stay totally on the bed” thing remained but the things in the dark that scared me changed. I was afraid of some stranger waking me from my sleep. If I kept my eyes open in the dark, I would imagine horrible things coming into view and murdering me or dragging me off…half alive. Noises didn’t help. Shadows didn’t either.

Cal used to laugh at me and Number Twenty Two years ago. Both of us had the same habit. If we had to shut the light off and walk across a room in the dark, we would flip the switch and race across the room like something was after us. Thinking about it while not experiencing it seems crazy, I know but its not. I don’t know about our son but for me, it was a very real fear and it did not feel good. Your blood becomes hot as your heart races and forces it through your veins the very second the sound of the “flip” from the light switch would reach your ears. Fight or flight ensues and you take off running, trying to race darkness out of the room. Obviously one never wins that race because you are running through the room which darkness has already enveloped. Loser. Once you get to where you are going; be it the other door, the bed, the couch, whatever, the fear leaves you. Only, it is not so easily spat out. It gradually leaves. While it only takes a few seconds to return to normal, your inner self notes that it seems a great deal longer than that. Even after spending four decades on this planet and am fully aware of what can and cannot be in the room as well as knowing what will go bump, it still does not help. There are certain rooms that I will still flip the switch and run. Dark and I are simply not friends. We never have been. Looks like never will be. (Hrmm, maybe I will be forced to roam this earth forever, hiding not in the shadows but in the light. I wonder if this makes me one of the “angels” that play with babies when they are first born? Ah, I digress. That, dear readers, is a story for another day.)

Back to the dark.

I am not sure words would suffice to describe how I feel when the sun sets. Its primordial fear. Pure and absolute. I want to run screaming into the night and never return but where would I go and what would I do when I outran that fear? That is scary all by itself. I feel the blood rush through every single vein in my body. Almost like I am becoming self aware or something. My heart begins to race and then sets itself to cruise control until I am able to make myself go into a fitful sleep. Sometimes, I have a beer or two to help me become drowsy. Sometimes I take a migraine pill. (Yea, I have a script for these people, I am NOT a pill junkie.) Anything I can do to force myself to sleep. It is not that I am NOT sleepy, I am just afraid of what dreams will bring or what the last thought which enters into my head will be. I have been having very vivid dreams as of late. Most of them relate to my novel. That is ok, The really good ones stick with me and I get them on paper before they vanish from my memory but the other things are what haunt the voices in my head. Horrible, vivid premonitions. Evil laughter and murderous visions.

It is simply not fair. Sometimes I think, the fear of the dark is a cakewalk compared to this. Not only does it make me afraid of myself and whatever is creating this discomfort for me, it makes me sad. I find it hard to describe to my family what is going on and when I just refer to it as “whatever is going on in my brain” they just go “Oh, that.” Its alright. They are not being callous or cold. They are just tired of seeing me torture myself like this and want it to be better. Only, nobody knows how.

I am not one to go to the doctor for such things and I am certain they will just give me some sort of medication to “make it all better” but I don’t want to be medicated. I just want it to go away. Its like smoking. Just. Flippin. Quit. I know its hard. For me, even eleven years later, I still chew the hell out of a pen when we go on road trips. But I have not had a cigarette, have I? Nope. Any crutch or debilitating “feeling” is going to leave its mark on you. That is just life. You just try to live with it.

At work, when it gets busy, we all talk about “Once more….into the breach! AAAAHHHHGGGGGHHHH!!!!”  This is exactly how I feel with ever sunset. I don’t see it getting any better any time soon. Now that I have put this out there, I think I should take it like that. Face my fear. Fight it. Run into the breach, rifle above your head, screaming….into the night.

Out run the darkness. Face your fear. Grab it and make it yours.

That is the ONLY WAY!

What do YOU think?

No one wants to go to the bathroom to feel blue

I’ve been blue lately. Too bad we do not live in the Piedmont Way house anymore. We had a blue bathroom there. The intent was for the sky blue paint to be a backdrop for a lighthouse  or beach scene I had wanted to paint on the bathroom window. I never got around to it. The house was built at the turn of the Twentieth century. Therefore, it had ceiling to floor windows. While it was an upstairs bathroom, the bottom pane was already covered in paint.

When Dad was painting the house and getting it ready for us to move, Mom told him to
paint the pane blue just like the walls “Blue?” He said. ” Nobody wants to take a dump ina BLUE bathroom. Who in the Hell wants to feel ‘blue’ when they are on the shitter?” Of course Mom was not impressed. It was a joke. As with a lot of Dads’ jokes, you don’t understand its supposed to be funny until he laughed and then opened his arms in a ‘I am going to hug you but not really because this is my theatrical announcement that I have officially made a joke’ fashion. Dad was funny like that. (Get it? Funny. Haha. \(*.*)/ <—- That is Dad. Yup. I digressed.)

So we had a blue bathroom.  Maybe I need it today. I miss that old house. With its blue bathroom. Its scary basement and memories of my Dad. Daddy I miss you

Yes. Daddy. Sometimes we want to just feel "blue" while on the shitter.

I love you, my Angel

image

What do YOU think?

Depression Reflection

It is Friday Juinior. I actually did some housework today. Yes…I understand that it should not be a big deal that I cleaned house a little but, it is. We all know this year has been less than easy for me. Today was yet another reminder to myself of how bad I had really “checked out.” While the blues are happening you do not realize how far from planet Earth your entire being strays.

I was thinking that, when I was younger, it was nothing for me to jump up and start cleaning the house. I loved it. I enjoyed the smell, look, and feeljng of accomplishment when I was done. I was an artist and clean was my work. Over this past year, cleaning wen tg to the bench. I kept the house up and it was never nasty. I just didnt put that Michele touch on it. My followers see when I get my wonder woman out and am “all done before nine.” Its just been a while and now I have a long road ahead of me.

With the holidays just around the corner, I believe the inspiration has returned. I hope it brings vengance with it. In hindsight, (as it is always 225/175 or with glasses, 20/20) I hope Depression and I parted ways clean and to never meet again. I am reminded often of how I may have been viewed by my family and that is not a memory I want them to keep of me.

Im glad to say I am still getting out of that dark place abd will continue to chase the sun. Im just counting that thiz is a good sign. Positive baby steps.

Yes. And a clean living room. On Thursdaym

Whatdo YOU think?

Where is the beloved beach?

Most of you know I have been fighting a battle with depression and the jury is still out on which side is going to win. I am vehemently opposed to obtaining medication for this because I believe I can kick its butt on my own. However, sometimes I wonder.

I tried something different yesterday. I made myself get out of the house and go visit an old friend who was in town with her family for the weekend. It was nice to have a grown up conversation with someone who does not live in my home nor is not words on a computer screen. We talked in general about nothing as we watched the beach activity and looked out over the ocean toward the end or the world. While it was horribly hot, it was nice to be outside of my element even if only for a short time. It was great catching up with an old friend. I needed to be at the beach. I love it there. The smell of the ocean air, the sound of the waves and the beauty of the dangerous ocean. It has more power than anyone realizes. I am also trying other things. I am writing via snail mail to my lifelong best friend and it is exciting to wait for the mail and to write back and see how long it takes to get there. That helps too. (Teeny digression there. Yea, you didn’t know that.)

Unfortunately, I cut my visit short because I had hungry children and I knew I had to get home soon. I always have something to do that I will never get done because the inspiration leaves me when I start to see blue. (You know, you see red when you are livid. I see blue when I am down.) I didn’t want Mary to see me like that. So I left. That didn’t help my mood any. Instead of going home the way we came, I decided to give in to the boys request and we walked the beach back toward the house. I am happy to say they had a blast. I just felt worse and worse. I looked out over my beloved ocean and began to think of how the United States and other developed countries constantly send their street run off into the ocean and how dirty that makes the water at the sand’s edge. To watch people freely play in it. Hell, they may as well be playing in ditch water. I also thought about how careless people are in that they don’t take care of my beloved beach. They leave trash everywhere and really do not care that it affects everything. This made me sad because it is yet more evidence of human nature that fails our planet and fails our children. We fail each other as a people.

Then I turn inward and begin to think of personal things. How I used to LOVE the beach more than I do now. How it was a place of solace for me. I could stand at the edge of the tide and feel the waves lapping at my feet. I would look out as far as I could see and imagine falling off the “edge” of the earth and deeply breathe in the salt air and feel at peace. I would feel at home. For a brief moment…I would feel comfortable in my own skin. I would feel comfortable breathing and with Michele. Its almost elation. Once I began to think about how being at the beach used to make me feel. I stopped. I tried to catch that elusive moment of joy.

It eluded me.

The ocean seemed dark. The sky unforgiving. I felt alone.

I had to step back from that. I turned my attention to my boyz who were frolicking in the tied pools and having a blast. No video games, no money being spent for some overinflated attraction that is a disappointment. Just fun with each other and the beach. My beloved beach. That perked me up a little but I was still sad. (OMG did I just break down into tears right now while writing this!?)

We continued our walk down the beach and happened upon a festival that was going on for the day at the board walk. Once we got on the boardwalk, we listened to some music from a concert while we put on our shoes and refilled our water bottle. The band there played “Happy.” Maybe that was the world trying to tell me something. I took that as a sign and put all that mess behind me and we took the street which led to our house. Another sign was that we came across one of our daughter’s friends and he stopped and had a conversation with us. Polite and respectful teenagers always are a breath of better in this horrible world we live in.

Maybe I can beat this. Maybe my beloved beach will come back to me.

What do YOU think?

Checking in with you.

Sorry I have been away so long. I have had some things going on in my life that simply made the things I enjoy most unbearable. You never know what will make you shut your life completely down until it happens. I am slowly picking up the pieces and moving on. We all are here in the Miles home. It is a laborious and slow process and feels like it is never ending. If the adage “what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger” holds true then I will be flippin Superman when this is all over.

In the mean time, be patient with me. I have not gone anywhere. I am just…lost at the moment. I will find my way back to this and the other things I love but I am taking them one day at a time right now. It is all I can do. Thanks for your support.

What do YOU think?

Clarity

I know I have been absent from my writing responsibilities and I promise to do better. Its just that when you go through some things, the small things are the ones to fall to the wayside first. The things that make you happy and the little things that bring comfort to your life are the first to go when there has been a big wave of chit to come and sweep your feet out from under you.

I woke up this morning in a cloud. All of a sudden, the world became burning bright and a few things became clear to me. I was led to believe, all my life, that this was a world full of good and joy and that I could be and do anything so long as I put forth the effort. My Daddy was wrong. Sesame Street, you were wrong. Smiley faces, unicorns, wishes on stars, hope, dreams. Wrong wrong wrong.

This is truly life. It is cold, unforgiving, and wicked.  Of course the philosophers way that good cannot exist without evil.  You have to have a little bit of good for the world to snatch it away from you and laugh. People were meant to be sad and life was meant to be chit. Unless you were born into the upper levels of the caste, you are crap. You are garbage. You deserve nothing. All I ever wanted out of life was to be OK. OK is not rich and fancy. It is not popular or to have nice things. It is not even to have friends or a family. Ok is to be fine with yourself and surroundings and to be left alone so that nothing can kick your legs out from under you. I swear I spend more time off my feet getting up than I do standing anymore. Why? Because this is what the god-fearing people call Hell.

Yes. You God believers, this is what Hell really is. It is not a burning inferno. It is life and it is out to get you. To chew you up and spit you out to spite you. Things that are of no concern or relation to you will fluck up your life and you will never be able to go back. Evil people see you and are jealous of what you DO have that they fuck with you to make you miserable. They play nasty tricks on you to cause drama that you have no way to fix. They make things happen that make you look guilty when you were never there in the first place but have no way to prove it. These are the snakes that they refer to. Why do you think they said a snake told Eve to eat from the tree? Same thing. If they cant convince you to do wrong then they will make you look like you did.

There are also those that are so damned ignorant that they cannot watch out for their own dealings and end up ruining the lives of others. Then they “feel” guilty. All they had to do was take off the blinders and look to see that they have become home wreckers and they are the reasons why disease is rampant. They fuck you and yours in every way they can either willingly or blindly. They make people sick. If not from disease from a broken heart and neither are easily remedied. People die from broken hearts every day folks. Just sayin.

So I have my moment of clarity. My moment where I realize that my little corner of Harlem is not just shit but I have become a forgotten piece of much on the heel of someones shoe and I will die just like my Daddy did. With 5 people in the chapel to mourn me out of obligation.

Clarity folks. Clarity.

What do YOU think?

 

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