Monday, November 8, 2010

Life After Uproar

I think that letting go is going to be an important survival technique coming up. I'm not talking about my sister, geez. Not ready for that. Her doctor thinks that something viral and not cancerous paralyzed her throat. It's already getting better, she can eat again but has to tuck her chin to drink. She also came home from the hospital with some really excellent pain meds, which I failed to not be aware of. It would be so lovely to be high, but I only have two vicodin left and harder days ahead. What, vicodin is vegan. Actually, I don't know if vicodin is vegan. But if I'm high, I won't care. What am I talking about. I'm talking about letting go of structure and routine, you know, the glue that holds me together.

things to get done on index cards

Anyway since I've been on a reduced work schedule, I've been staying on track by starting every morning with a simple routine:

* drink water
* do stretches
* wash up
* wash dishes
* breakfast

...where "wash up" is short of a shower, and I don't stretch and sweetie man does the dishes on shower days. Then I sit down at my desk and look at what cards I have taped to the wall for the day, and I do one card at a time. Some days, I mean, I only do one card. But now some days I'm going to have to be at my sister's, right now just to keep her company or to take care of the kids. I'm going to have to be okay with doing what's needed, and letting go of Getting Things Done, things being, in order, well, working, writing Livestrong articles, writing for this blog, and if worse comes to worst, taking care of the league practice schedule, which I'm in charge of now.

But you're just worried that I'm a drug addict, aren't you.

Do you want to hear my vicodin story? It's from New Years Day 2007, I was just separated and living on my own for the first time in fourteen years.

I'd had the best New Years Eve, there was a party in a dance studio, then a cab ride where I was laid out across four girls' laps, and then karaoke at the Hidden Cove. All in all, I didn't get home until four-thirty in the morning. I couldn't get myself out of my dress, I was thinking for a minute that I'd have to sleep in the dress and get help in the morning; but I worked it out by myself. Seriously if you're single, how do you zip up? I laid down on my bed and slept for three hours, and then I had to go to my sister's house to play with the kids.

"I know what it is," the girl says, when she gets her wrapped present. "It's a Bratz doll."

My sister asks, "How do you know that?"

"Because the box is shaped like a coffin." This is the kind of thing that Imo can't help saying when she's very tired. My sister's cancer doesn't recur until June of this year, in case you were really horrified.

I felt human until lunch, though I was taking it very easy and the kids were perfect and happy to watch Pirates Of The Caribbean 2 with me. After lunch I painted ladybugs on the girl's thumbnails, and then I hit the wall and wished everybody a happy new year.

I dropped the car off at my ex-husband's, and honestly I was too exhausted to walk home. Luckily Filter was open and I had my laptop, I camped out on a couch. I had coffee and a scone, which perked me up enough to walk back to my place.

It's been so busy over the holidays, a lot of late nights. Plus I've been euphoric and pushing myself pretty hard, and it started to catch up with me over the weekend. I had a few swings into depression, and I needed to respond quicker to them. I got home beyond exhausted, and totally fell apart. I mean, this was the big crash. It's too late to help yourself when it happens. I was afraid of everything, including sleeping. It was only four in the afternoon, and I was terrified I would wake up all by myself at 3:00 AM with the screaming blue horrors. And then what. I thought if I could just calm down enough to watch television just until bedtime, I could get some sleep, get back on schedule, probably be fine in the morning, and promise myself to have a quiet week.

A key Darmok phrase for me is Mama's bank account. I think I've explained this, it's an emergency resource that you aren't meant to use. In the story, Mama's bank account doesn't actually exist. I'd started to think of this bottle of vicodin in those terms, all the more so because it's my mom's vicodin. The game is not to take the pills, of course. I decide to take half a vicodin. Which doesn't feel like anything after a half hour, and after all my mom died three years ago. Half of a three year old vicodin probably doesn't have any drugs left. So I take the other half, which also doesn't feel like anything after another half hour. I take a second pill, and that doesn't feel like anything. The label says to take one to two pills as needed, I'm not going to take any more—I'm depressed, but I can still read directions. I settle down to watch another episode of Space Above And Beyond, which sort of starts off slow & then gets going in fourth episode, which is way more than you can say for Deep Space Nine. Oh well, the pills don't work, but I have my pillows and blanket out on the couch and the lights out, and this episode is actually pretty good & I start thinking about what I'm going to do tomorrow, looking forward to what I have to do.

I think to myself contentedly, I love my pillows and blanket. Because right, it's the pillows and blanket and of course not the drugs.

In about a minute, I'm laying out paper on the kitchen floor for refinishing the kitchen cart tomorrow. It occurs to me now about the drugs. Hooray, the drugs work and I don't feel weird at all. I'm not even blissed out, like junkies in the movies. I just feel normal, like I can cope with my life. What's to cope with, it's all good.

In another minute, I start to feel weird. My heart is racing, I kind of feel like throwing up and I think that might not be such a bad idea, because who wants to be the person who has to get her stomach pumped in the emergency room for taking two vicodin. I ought to be able to throw up two vicodin by myself. Then I'm having dry heaves in the bathroom, until my jaw locks. I manage to register that I'm actually in a pretty good mood.

I give up trying to throw up and creep out of the bathroom, massaging my jaw. I'm not even sure that I'm not having a blood sugar episode, because I've hardly eaten anything all day. I am sure that now is not the time to eat anything. Declining my head seems to lessen the nausea, which goes away almost entirely when I am horizontal. I hinge at the waist and creep around the apartment like a T-square, turning off the lights and getting my laptop. Then I lie flat on my back in bed, feeling good and watching television until midnight.

Anyway that was all, I felt better enough at ten to make myself two pieces of toast. Most of this I wrote then, on drugs, if that explains anything.