Friday, 29 December 2017

Self Preservation

“You are important and you matter. Your feelings matter. Your voice matters. Your story matters. Your life matters. Always.”

When you read this it will be nearly a week after it’s written, and that is only if you read it the day it is published. I’m sitting with some complicated feelings today. I awoke feeling pretty good, but then just felt nothing. I went about my usual morning rituals of ablutions and espresso with milk and honey, and today a special treat of sourdough toast and real Irish butter. I have a pretty consistent issue with access to wifi/internet at home and was not in the least bit surprised to find it down once again. Luckily my landlord was home and able to reset the router fairly quickly. I was able to finish the movie I had watched all but 25 minutes of last night with my BFF, she’s in Wisconsin at the moment. (The movie was “Bright” and in my opinion a hot mess, but I’m a snob.)

As I checked my social media apps for updates and messages I was fortunate enough to catch up with someone I feel deeply connected to, but we are both powerless, currently, to our life’s paths and thus it is the only way we are able to stay in touch. They confided in me some recent struggles with suicidal ideation. My heart hurt at the thought, but my soul knew all too well what that feels like. What was most upsetting is how the people in their life treated them when they confessed what their friend had saved them from doing. I thank them and that friend infinitely for keeping them here, I know it is painfully difficult. Theirs is a light I am not sure I could bear being extinguished.

They said that they have better support now, committing to getting better and are on meds and supplements now. They’ve begun the next steps of hopefully removing themselves from their current and likely very toxic environment. I am in awe of their maturity and strength (they are very young but ahead of their peers by far). I expressed my love and support and offered a speedy extrication if needed, though I live some 4-5 hours away. They may be moving as far as one can whilst still being in the same country. This breaks my heart most of all. I haven’t seen them in five years, but they’ve always felt near to my heart. I wish with all that I have and am that I had the means to take them now and keep them close to me always, but that is not in the cards for either of us today or soon enough to matter.

I share this as I reflect how I was feeling nothing and then feeling helpless and then more complicated things about being alone in the world and feeling it so for the first time in my life. I am okay with it, though, truly. It’s just, well, it makes it even more difficult to relate to others. The time of year plays a heavy role in this. I cannot escape it, even when I don’t leave the house for days. I don’t even know how I feel about any holiday now, I think I feel nothing, but it seems as though I should feel something. What can it mean to be alone in the season of togetherness and not feel a drop of sadness over it? I suppose it’s a sort of self-preservation. Everyone is out of town or busy, as society dictates we all must be. Where does that leave the orphans, spinsters, outsiders, and others?


“I have come to believe that caring for myself is not indulgent. Caring for myself is an act of survival.” Audre Lorde

I had spent the last five days in pajamas when a former coworker and now friend reached out last night to offer to put me on “the list” for a fun drag show with a holiday theme/story all told through Dolly Parton songs. I’m not a big fan of Dolly, though I find her delightful in a general sort of way. I didn’t think I knew but two or three of her songs, but I found I knew more than I realized. I took the invite and opportunity to get dolled up myself and though I intended to keep my product usage to a minimum, and I succeeded in that, I was also really feelin’ myself and got quite caught up in it all. You see my skin has been freaking out lately and I keep having a mystery reaction to either stress or an allergen, who knows. It makes my eyelids swell and the skin on them rough and red. I only use hypoallergenic eye makeup now, so that is what I stuck with last night. It turned out splendidly and I threw on my gold sequin skirt, a simple black top, black tights and my cherished black doc martens.

I made it up to San Francisco in time for the show, but finding parking proved to be the ultimate challenge. A wrong turn forced me into a fifteen-minute traffic jam at Union Square, not where I wanted or needed to be. Driving seems to be a relentless test of patience these days, at least in the Bay area. I finally found fairly reasonable paid parking ($15 in SF is a damned bargain, especially for a Saturday night!), and only needed to walk two blocks to the venue. Me being my ultimate and most authentic self-got lost whilst on foot…twice! We all have our hidden talents. Ha-ha!  I made it to the show thirty minutes late, but stopped at the bar at the front of the house for a drink and to catch my breath. As I ventured into the theater entrance I was quietly greeted by two sparkling drag queens, larger than life itself, in the dark as the show had started sometime before. I was hesitant to move, but they insisted intermission would be soon, and then offered me a seat in the front row if I didn’t mind it. Mind it?! It was the best seat in the house!

The show was fantastic! The queens were effervescent, classy, filthy, glamorously trashy and it was all I could have hoped for! My friend was the stage manager. During one song with a Hanukkah theme, the curtains at the center-back of the stage parted and she appeared as a light-up, head to toe menorah! I was crying tears of joy at the sight! As she danced and twirled with the other character on stage my heart sang! She may not be a drag queen, but she is a queen, indeed, to me. I called her my 90’s fantasy in the past and confessed that to her after the show at the bar. I am very grateful to know her. I had had a couple of cocktails, but it was the beauty and power and honesty and humor of the show that made me feel hyper and giddy.  It is a rare thing for a social setting to leave me anything but completely drained after. This one was very special and I felt what I imagine a true extrovert must: exhilarated by it.

 

“You can’t pour from an empty cup. Take care of yourself first.”

I sit here wondering what to do with myself. I have job things lined up towards the end of the week. What do I do today? The “eve” of the “big day” for most. What do I do tomorrow? A few days ago I posted the following on my personal FB page:

I’m unable to give gifts to anyone this year and that has been humbling and difficult to accept. I can’t even buy supplies to make handmade things.
I can, however, provide to anyone who wants it, my ridiculous and hilarious and often awkward af company and will happily share my birthday wine stash, too! I have no plans on my calendar, except job interview things. The coming weeks are tough for everyone, so let’s lean on each other a bit.
I can teach you how to do basic crochet, bring a karaoke mic to your house for some fun times (it Bluetooths to a phone, so cool), be your personal cheerleader, take your pics (even boudior if you’re so inclined – all genders welcome), show you my manicure tricks, help you cook or make something, bore/dazzle you with my endless supply of useless information, and so much more!
Act now! Supplies are not limited, though my sanity might be! Ha ha ha ha! 

A few friends commented with interest, but I hold no expectations for concrete plans. I’m sure that sounds terrible, but it is a rare thing these days for even solid plans to come to fruition. I have reached out with invitations of all manner of things, but being this broke and people knowing the terrible time I’ve been going through, I think that there is some natural aversion to my company. I can smell pity before it shines on the faces of those who care for me. I want to be seen as whole and good, fun and valuable, independent and kind, but also be there for others most of all, because I am going through a tough time, not in spite of it. So I stay home today, and for the foreseeable future, in order to not spend money and not find more disappointment and despair. Netflix and the puggo are much more agreeable company than the pitying and masked faces who now cannot help but feel above me in some absurd way. I lost my damned job, not my bloody soul!

It sounds pathetic to claim no cause for celebration, so I suppose I have at least my own existence and survival to raise a glass to. I’m not sad. Nor depressed. I feel physically well, I slept great. I am dreading having to go to the grocery store and have put it off, likely foolishly. I cannot go today or tomorrow, that would be a trigger for a panic attack for sure with the stressed and distracted crowds and drivers out. I have frozen things to sustain me, and a few fruits in my fridge to get me through. I’m not worried in the least. I’m not much, as far as feeling anything. Not now at least. I’d very much like to be drunk and happy and dancing the night away, but everyone’s already left town and nothing will be open. So it’s a party of one, filled with stubbornness and a tiny kernel of hope that the good I have done in the world will find a way to shine its light on my life once again. That’s more than I had two months ago.

I hope this post finds you in good health and spirits. If it does not, and you feel it, please reach out to me or someone you care for. There is no need to suffer alone in this world, regardless of the pictures I paint with my words here. I am not in despair and will be okay. You will be okay, too! You will. I trust in you to be. *Hugs*

Rad Fatty Love to ALL,
<3
S

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