She’s really helping.
She’s really helping.
Crying in my brother’s bathroom. I’m tired of feeling like a burden.
Think maybe this is a tipping point. Not quite sure which way.
Is it worth the trouble it takes trying to live life so that someday you get something worthwhile out of it, instead of it almost always taking worthwhile things out of you?
Carrie Fisher, The Princess Diarist
I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to answer this question in the affirmative, to be quite brutally honest, and yet I keep scraping for reasons to. It all feels so futile.
Recently, I added a linnie to my shrinking list of reasons to persist: a bird breeder to whom I’d expressed interest contacted me a few days ago, asking if I wanted one of the two unspoken-for turquoise linnies she was hand raising. Fool that I am, I said yes, and, fool that I am, find myself looking forward to meeting this bird. I’ve already caught myself thinking about where to put the cage when I’m up, looking at linnie-specific training methods, wondering how I’m going to sleep with the cage on my dresser. I already know I’m going to the bird shop come next cheque to buy a cage and toys.
I’m about to make a commitment — not just to taking care of a new little life, but to outliving its span, which is at least another ten years.
What the hell am I doing?
Awakened 6:30 pm on Wednesday.
Went to bed 12:37 am on Saturday.
Awoke 10:22 pm on Saturday.
Happy fucking 2017.
Vaping ceaselessly, each inhaled breath taken from the mod, each exhaled breath a rolling cloud of vapour. Drinking one hard liquor after another, everything from fruit creams to amaretto to scotch. Eating heavily flavoured, rich foods, drowning my tongue in a wealth of tastes and textures. Scraping holes in my flesh with my fingernails, leaving patches and furrows of discoloured, seeping skin, yet the pain is distant through dissociation fog.
I try to oversaturate what senses still work in vain attempts to stay connected to the world, but passive suicide covers me in its gentle smother, and I find I just don’t care anymore. I know my life will be ending soon, and it will end in a quiet, dark, pathetic corner, remote enough that only I will know the true extent of my utter failure. I have no future. All the things I wanted to do were stolen by executive dysfunction and depression, with ravaged health hammering in the coffin’s final nails.
All that stops me is the tiny black and white face of my cat tucked with complete love and trust into the crook of my elbow. She doesn’t know. She can’t know. Nor do I know who would take care of her and her sister should they outlive me. For their sake, I attempt to endure, but I won’t lie: holding on is getting harder and harder. Finding things strong enough to stave off the void becomes an increasingly fruitless task. Everything becomes disposable.
One day, I’m going to slip, and I may breathe my last with my two four-footed girls curled and sleeping in my arms, tucked against my face.
One day, sooner or later.
Things have happened.
Ten years’ worth of GST credit cheque backlog showed up in the mail recently. The sum ran into four digits. To say I was shocked to see it is something of an understatement.
Two days ago, I received a phone call from the long-term disability office. The worker on the other end of the line asked if I could go in the next day to fill out the final paperwork — not December, but now. It was during my meeting with her that I learned my application had been approved back in June, and that retroactive benefits in the form of another four-digit number would be deposited in my account next week.
I have been able to get myself all the little self-care things I couldn’t afford before, such as new clothes and shows I haven’t watched in four decades. I have been able to get the small household things and foods that most people take for granted, like tissues, dry sweeping cloths, honey, coffee, paper towels. I have been able to eat more foods than just oatmeal, rice, and bread with peanut butter and jam.
My fridge is full, and I no longer feel guilty about eating from it.
Today, despite being in shocking amounts of pain and stiffness, I can breathe a little easier.
Thank you, thank you, thank you, universe.
Thanks to my distressed condition, I ended up staying awake to call the long-term disability funding office to check on the status of my application, as it’s been nearly three months since I submitted the thing without a peep.
Good news: it was approved yesterday. Oh dear fucking god yes thank you.
Bad news: due to their backlog, I now have to wait another three months before I can get an appointment to see a worker and set things up.