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today is a hard day

Seasonal depression has caught up with me. Dealing with new insurance and trying to find a new doctor is giving me anxiety.
And I have not been sleeping well.

I am 44 now, and Grandma is gone.  It has solidified that my childhood is long in the past.  Oddly, I have not felt homesick since she died-- which is new for me.
But I miss her something fierce.

The world is a hazy, slushy, half-frozen mess and I have been close to tears most of the day.
But I'm hiding it well at work.

Or maybe it's just that everyone around me is just as down?

Oct. 25th, 2016

My mind will not be silent and I am having trouble sleeping.

The world has gone shitty and I am sick of it.

Sep. 19th, 2016

I feel like I don't belong here. Spokane feels awkward and foreign and uncomfortable.

My house doesn't feel like my home.

And I am running out of effective distractions.

doctrine of discovery

Today I was reminded of the fact that, according to some people, I don't count. I am not "being supportive" when I have a differing opinion.  Because I don't have kids who do a million things, my life isn't important enough to follow.  When I am personally hurt and saddened by an event like Orlando, it doesn't even register that I might need support because 40-something gay people were shot and killed.

Why am I less than human because you fail to understand me? Because you fail to even want to understand me?  I have to be the smarter one, and the emotionally mature one because your feelings were hurt when I disagreed with you, and so I apologize so that you feel better.

But I don't feel better. And you have no idea. And you don't care.  I am incomprehensible and alien and less-than, and only important as an audience to your "greatness." And while I believe that you do love me in your own way, you do not know me at all and you never have.

All I can do is to love you, because you are my brother.     I just have to remember that to you I will never be fully human.

sunny nostalgia

Sometimes I just want to jump into a memory.  I wish I could be there physically, in that time, feeling that moment all over again.  I wish I could just stay there for a bit, wrapping my existence into that short span of time.

The sun has come out today after a week of cloudy skies in Portland, and it is warming up to 80 degrees.  It reminded me of a summer in high school.

I had gone for a walk around Granger when I ran into Al Martinez who was outside in his yard.  Al was an older guy (in his later 20s, I think) and I knew him from church.  We started talking, probably about Star Trek-- he used to let me borrow his old Star Trek books.  I was there for some time, not really caring about the passage of time when Fr. Janer drove up.

Apparently, I had been gone for a couple hours and my Mom was wondering where I was.  She'd called the church thinking that maybe I had stopped to visit Father; it was not uncommon for me to do that.  I was often dropping in to help with things around the church.  Father would pay me a few bucks and I would save up my money for trips to the movies or to buy books in Yakima.

Father was laughing as he got out of the car and said, "Oh here you are!  Your ma is looking for you!  I told her you were probably just out on a toot!  And I was right!"

The three of us chatted a little longer before I finally decided to head home and let my mom know that I was fine.
The warm sunny weather the past few days reminds me of summertime. It makes me think of summers at home, during my early college years.

Riding my bike to get away from my family.  The smell of the dry air, the orchards, vineyards, pastures full of cows and horses.  A narrow country road, that many years ago had been the old highway, the primary route through the lower Yakima Valley.

I examine everything.  The farmhouses I pass.  The hop vineyard.  A stray rock in the middle of the road: how did it get there?  The home of my high school girlfriend:  is she there?  Does she think about me?  What is her life like, now?

The sky is so blue.  And the sun is hot.  But I don't feel hot.  I am reinvigorated on the empty road, surrounded only by hints of other humans.

I have a destination in mind.  Punkin Center, the old store in the middle of nowhere.  I remember stopping there as a very young child with my grandparents as they bought gas and an ice cream for me. Long closed, it is a ghost of a building now.  Big cement bricks holding dusty counters and old memories.  When I get there, I try to look through the painted glass, and make out shapes, but not much else.

The old pay phone on the side of the building-- it's still there.  No reason for a phone here, not anymore.   It is still here, though.  And it still works.  And sometimes, it works in ways it shouldn't.

With trembling hands I type in the number: 1-900-LOVE-MEN.  This shouldn't work... but it does.  I pay nothing, but I access a voicemail and chat system to men.  Other men like me, though I never talk to them.  I listen to their messages.  Some are creepy, some exciting but intimidating, others sound exactly like me.  They express their fantasies, their longing for companionship, their need to reach out and literally touch someone.  I am alleviated, though frustrated by the experience.

On a whim, I click over to a live chat.  I hear a pleasant voice clear his throat.  He waits, and then tentatively says, "Hello?"

I hang up immediately.  Still scared and unsure of myself, I hop on my bike and see nothing all the way home.

I just realized...

I have not felt depressed for quite a while now.  In fact, I don't remember the last time I actually felt depressed.

I don't mean feeling sad--  everyone has moments of sadness.  But, that sort of overwhelming depression I have felt, at times, when life seems overwhelming and oppressive has not been around for a while.

I mentioned this to dandelionwhine the other day, and had to repeat myself, because it honestly felt like a revelation to me.

So... that's good.

Now if my local McDonald's would just bring back the McRib, I'd be ecstatic.

recurring

One of the side effects about blogging, or even keeping a journal, is that one tends to revisit the same old story over and over again.  I suppose this is normal, if you aren't writing to capture or enthrall an audience, but are simply writing your own experience.

That being said, I feel a loneliness today.  It's not a loneliness of being alone-- I'm rather fine with alone time.  Rather, I miss feeling like a part of a community, tribe, or family.  I suppose I miss my family to some extent, but I'm really talking about a family of choice.  The people I want to have around on a day to day basis.

When I lived with George, I felt I had that.  I was part of a group of friends, for better or worse, who felt like family.  It was a happy and fulfilling time, and I felt like I was a part of something bigger than me.  Now, years later, I no longer have anything comparable.  I have very few friends who I can actually spend much time with and I find myself hungering for human interaction and reassurance.

I have a friend on Facebook who is a very social person.  He has a ton of friends who spend time together, he performs in drag, he does charity work for the local AIDS walk.  He really is a nice guy.  And sometimes when I look at his posts I get so annoyed by his many pictures of big social outings with all of his young beautiful friends.  Then it dawned on me that I'm probably just jealous.  Not jealous of his many forays into clubbing, and dancing-- I am not THAT social.  But, I am jealous that he has a group of friends to spend so much time with, the good and the bad.  He has a big, extensive support system.  He has family.  Not to say I don't have friends.  Sometimes, very dear friends.  But I don't get to see any of them very often.

I feel like I'm missing out. But, I don't really see any way to "fix" it.  Steven is very social, and I'm not.  I wonder if it's easier for him to collect friends along the way?  I dunno.

This feels like a stream of consciousness that has no end. So... I will go make myself some more coffee now.

same old

My life is really quite boring.  When I run into old friends or talk to relatives, they ask me what I've been up to.

Well, I go to work on days that I work.  I eat several meals.  Generally 3, but sometimes more.  Oh, and coffee.  I drink an endless amount of coffee.

On my days off, if Adam is in town, I spend time with him.  We watch movies, argue over chores, and take care of our animal kids, among other things.

On my days off, if Adam is out of town, I might play World of Warcraft; watch old TV shows or catch up on new ones; visit a cemetery; hang out in bookstores; read a book; watch porn; research obscure topics; work on my family tree; drink beer...

Yep. That's pretty much it.

People don't care about any of that stuff.  So, I will invariably answer, "Oh, same old-- same old."

Did I mention the coffee?