The title, of course, being a reference to the short story collection and not the financial term.

I am slipping again. Semi-quit the meds, because of the same side effects, and I spent the weekend with a headache so bad it had me writhing in pain, even dreaming of headaches, until in the middle of the night last night I got up and took another dose. Woke up this morning finally feeling a little better, but the pain is creeping back. I don’t know what to do, if it is bad enough to seek medical help or what.

I guess people must get sick of this kind of shit – bitching that I feel awful, while it is 100% my fault that I stopped taking meds.

I started the end of last week with a pleasant, then frenetic, then miserable hypomania. Friday, I spent working on art, ten projects at once, running from place to place, boiling over with enthusiasm. Spent money on supplies. A lot of money. But I don’t care. That’s what I’m working the second job for, though I think it might be boiling down to an angry quitting scene. That will be good practice actually, for me, in showing my anger and not being overly polite, because if any idiots deserved wrath, they do, and also it’s a job outside my field that doesn’t really matter much.

Besides that, just finished a couple of big projects / presentations at work. One went horribly through no fault of mine, but that’s ok, because it just bounced off my ego. The other, I’m not sure.

One thing made me sad, though. Before the big presentation, in which we would be judged both personally and professionally by people we had never met before, two of the other women and I were sitting in an antechamber waiting. While we were sitting there, terrified, one pulled messages off her cell phone. One was from her sister, others from her father, mother, and brother, all wishing her luck. She then told about how her grandfather had called her last night at 9, which meant staying up late for him, to yell good wishes over the phone to her. The other woman, married, sort of a religious type, talked about how her husband’s grandmother, a motherly woman, was even more nervous for her than she was for herself. Husband’s grandmother had called her up, saying she’d be praying for her, donating money to charity as a gesture for her success.

It was all very sweet, really. And it made me kind of sad, because there was no one rooting for me. Not just in this. In anything, really. All these other people around me who have gotten as far as I have, done these hard, hard things, all of them have had so much support, so much love, so many people caring whether or not they make it, doing little things for them along the way to help them along. And I have gone this road all alone, no one caring, no one watching, just alone. No one except me cares whether I fly or crash on my face.

I wasn’t jealous. How can I be jealous of something I can’t even imagine?

It was just one of those moments when I felt different again. I’m not saying worse or better. It’s just that I feel like, again and again and again, I have to invent myself, am unanchored to this world in the way most people are. Some days, I seem like I sprung unbidden from the earth, am not even human at all, am some other kind of creature altogether. That’s ok, really, but sometimes it is hard to have human frailnesses, human needs, and to be utterly self-reliant for fulfilling them.

The presentation went badly for me. It was ok by the end, but there were some scary moments. I have since found out that it was not as badly received as I thought.  But when I walked out of there, and they all went to call everyone in their families, close to them, I was glad I didn’t have to.

By the end, I wasn’t sure if I’m braver than them for doing everything solo, or maybe more of a coward or luckier, because if I fail, it’s just me who has to know. I remember the first time I moved to a different country, how terrifically liberating it was to be alone, to, for once, not have a Greek chorus of critics watching me, to learn that a mistake was mine and mine alone, and did not signify the end of the world, to separate myself from everyone’s massive emotional need.

I don’t really have a deep point here. I mean, I know on some level that support, togetherness, are just illusions, that you can have all of that and still be totally alone, that everyone is always alone, until the day you die. People leave, people disappoint, people aren’t there when it really comes down to shit, and even if they are, if things are bad enough, they can’t make a dent in the misery. Anyone who says differently, who says or thinks that love conquers all, hasn’t been truly deeply miserable.

But despite all of that, it was passing strange to see how they had these shared lives, where they depended on family and friends, shared their worries and anxieties without worrying about chasing anyone away, being too needy, being unloved. And to see that people actually cared back, loved them, worried for them. This is something that I cannot fathom.

I am still horridly restless, especially since having to rest most of today because of that awful headache, which seems to have faded some now. I better work on some project, as hypomanic me cannot tolerate even a partial sick day.


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