August 30, 2018

No rest for the weary. Got some tough news today from my parents. I mean, it’s not so much the news, which is simply a wait-and-see game, but it’s more the general reaction. My dad tries to control it and gets angry. My mom panics and dumps all of her worries and anxiety on me. And I try to suss out what exactly is going on while mitigating my mom’s panic and trying to get my dad to make sense/stop being angry.

All that’s to say that the grief continues. I’m very worried, but I can’t tell if I should be because my news comes secondhand either from someone who’s too angry and controlling to see what actually should be done or from someone whose anxiety is so high that she can’t think straight (or at all). So either everything is fine or nothing is. I’m not sure.

In other news, I pulled someone else’s hair out of my bathtub drain today and almost puked. Life is fun.

Day 81 – Worry Wart

August 20, 2018

Nothing like completely blowing a good opportunity to remind you that you suck and you’re not moving forward in your career.

I have to say, it did feel GOOD. Even though I stunk up the place, I really, really loved getting to do that. Wasn’t as fun for the audience, that’s for sure, but it was glorious for me. Nervous and poor performance and all. Even bombing felt good.

But it really reminded me of how much work I should be putting in if I’m going to justify being away from the people that I love and not being present in my grief. I ignore it. I distract myself. I deny it. Every once in a while, because I can’t think past it, I live in it, but for the most part, I try to get as far away from it as one can get from their own skin and bones. Which can’t be easily justified or rectified if I’m busy failing at other things. All it really does is remind me. You just set up shop, didn’t you? You think you fucking live here, don’t you? I can’t deny everything that happened. I can’t pretend this isn’t my life. But I can NOT talk about it. Which is what I’m doing. Which is why, when I come home from absolutely destroying opportunities to advance my career, I sit down to a silent reminder from my (traitorous) brain telling me, “you don’t deserve this anyway. You should be somewhere else. You should be helping. You should be sad.”

My brain needs a vacation. Or a chill pill. Or alcohol.

Day 71 – Blowing Opportunities

August 16, 2018

I have my moments of realizing it’s a beautiful life and moments of thinking it’s hard and tonight I felt that combo very acutely. I am always trying to live my happiest, best, most beautiful life while feeling deeply sad in my very bones. And also while being the most cynical, pessimistic, anxious person on earth.

You can try to fight me on that, but you will not win.

The things we inflict on ourselves and our families and the ones we love with one choice or one action or even a series of choices or actions can haunt us and them for the rest of time. Why do we do these things? Why don’t we all make better choices? Why did I date ANY of the guys I’ve dated before? Why did I buy those flowery pants? Why did I see a dress I bought recently in People Magazine on the body of an 84-year-old? Why did I say that one thing that one time (this question can apply to almost anything I’ve ever said to anyone at any time)? Why why why?

Life can be so beautiful. I think it’s meant to be. But then we fuck it all up with moving away from our families and living alone and working long days and driving everywhere and long commute hours and short vacation time and limited financial resources and interacting with idiots.

These thoughts run through my head a lot. When I eat all the foods, the anxiety gets full and bloated and needs a nap, so I get a short break from them but they always return. Today they reappeared like an angry pimple on a 16-year-old’s face the day before Prom. Go. The Fuck. Away.

Day 67 – Choices Choices Choices

August 15, 2018

Good news. Not related to my grief, unfortunately. That kind of good news would have me ignoring this blog and shouting from the rooftop.

The good news is related to the job search. Though I have spent more time since the interview worrying about whether it’s the right fit or not than celebrating, I have actually at least theoretically gotten a second interview at a job that might be a great next step. I know that “good news” sounded muddled in not good news and confusing language but that is because I AM CONFUSED.

In short, good news: had a successful interview that should supposedly result in a second interview. And I KNOW that to most people that doesn’t even sound like good news. But when you work in television, opportunities are few and far between, so I will take at least the second interview while I decide. I should say now that I haven’t given that enough weight. It IS exciting. As for the rest of it, it’s not exactly the job I want and the upward mobility isn’t exactly on the path I’d even want to be on but it’s money and it’s a job and it’s in TV and the show is interesting soooooooooo. I don’t know. But those seem like good things.

I don’t get to celebrate all that often, so I will take it. Side note – I spent the entire day in pajamas interacting with no other humans so that might be the real win for today.

Day 66 – Somewhat(?) Good News

August 14, 2018

Another tough day. When will it get easier? When will I be able to function normally again? Ever?

I tried to write today but couldn’t due to stressful circumstances and the endless grief. Then I tried to watch Netflix to distract myself, but instead bit off all my fingernails that I’d finally grown out and ate a bag of Milanos. Wouldn’t want to stop there, so I also ate half a baguette and drank 5 glasses of iced tea and a bag of Smart Food, THEN I finally put on a bra at 8 PM to leave the house and realized I haven’t showered in 4 days. I left anyway.

Grief is hard. It’s very distracting and emotionally draining and devastating and makes it nearly impossible to do anything useful with your time. I’m supposed to have a script done by tomorrow, but I can’t focus on it and just keep randomly cutting out lines of dialogue or deleting sections or adding new ones in that don’t make sense and don’t fit. So I took an appropriate-length 30 page script and turned it into 40 pages and then got distracted by cookies and stress.

Day 65 – Grief Sucks

August 8, 2018

Today I learned THAT lesson. The one where you never know what someone else is going through. I made a mistake by not asking/checking in with them before we started down a snarky, fighting, annoyed-at-each-other path. We mostly recovered from it, but not before I discovered what had happened.

He’s always there for me. He sits with me as I cry and complain and talk about my family. He listens to me grieve and holds me when I feel like I won’t survive. He stands by my side no matter what. I had a really rough, very grief-laden day – I don’t even know WHY, some days are just like that – but he had a rough day, too. And he doesn’t lean on me nearly as often as I need to lean on him and instead of being there for him in a clear way from the beginning, I jumped into the fight.

I guess we all live and learn, but I appreciate how often he’s there for me and I appreciate the fact that I can’t always do it alone. I can’t always get through the day by myself anymore. I don’t really remember what I did before him, but I can’t imagine how I would have survived the last 2 years without him. This grief… it’s like drowning. When I come up for air, sometimes the waters are calm, and sometimes the waves crash right back down on me. And even though his day wasn’t full of grief – in NO WAY do I want it to be, trust me – it was a no good, very bad day in its own way and I should have been there for him.

I know what it’s like to be heartbroken, but I also know what it’s like to just have a regular old bad day where you just need to go to sleep and wake up the next day and feel like it’s a new day and the mistakes of yesterday can be left behind. I can never and will never be able to leave anything behind because I HAVE ANXIETY THAT’S ALWAYS TRYING TO KILL ME AND REMIND ME OF EVERY DUMB THING I’VE EVER SAID OR DONE OR ALMOST SAID OR DONE. But still… grief is selfish sometimes.

Day 59 – Lessons Learned

August 5, 2018

If we adapt, does that mean we forget? If we can go on with our lives, does that mean we don’t care? I struggle with this a lot. I am not okay.

There is not a day that goes by where I don’t regret how things went or ever feel like my old self or feel okay in any way. But I also laugh. I think about my future. I take naps and walks and buy clothes I like. I book trips and go out to dinner. I take vacations. I watch Parks & Rec with a smile on my face. I dream of waffles. I do all the mundane things, too. I do my dishes and clean my bathroom and try to remember the last time I washed my sheets. I text my friends about their everyday problems, and I genuinely want to help them even though a second later it all seems so silly. Lose 5 pounds. Don’t lose 5 pounds. Who cares?!

I cry at inopportune times over chicken piccata or walking down the sidewalk. I can’t watch certain commercials (I’m looking at you, Sarah McLachlan) without it ruining my whole day and I can’t visit certain places (so long, Hawaii) without having a mental breakdown. I think in equal parts with a brain of absolute all-encompassing grief and with hope for my life and future. Devastation is like that, maybe. Maybe everyone goes through this. Maybe we have to survive, because we’re animals, and that’s what we do. And survival means adapting. Means moving on. Means ignoring or forgetting. But then we’re humans again, and we can’t imagine that we could ever have moved on.

I think my mom feels the same way, but we don’t talk about it.

Day 56 – Grief and Comic Relief

June 30, 2018

I did my best today. I left the house. That’s big, you guys. I took an actual shower with water and soap and everything. I washed my goddamn hair, people. It’s probably the most effort I’ve put into anything in a while.

I put on pants. Well, no, I put on a dress (that was actually a nightgown but I don’t think anyone could tell… or at least no one said anything, which is the same thing in my opinion). So I put on my sleepwear and some booties and I threw my hair in a bun (effort was done) and I walked out the door. Seriously the most I’ve done in a long time.

I got dinner with a few friends, but they refused to seat us at first because we didn’t have a reservation (they had more than 20 tables open – yes, I counted because I’m petty and then complained about it to my friends until they sat us because I’m really petty). We finally ordered, at which time they brought me the wrong food, then forgot my new order, then spilled coffee on me/the table, then charged us for drinks we didn’t buy, then told one of my friends there weren’t nuts in his dessert (he’s severely allergic) until he’d already eaten part of it, then they came back and said it did have nuts, did he want a different one NEVER MIND HE’S DYING – and still charged us for it.

I almost gave up then because I ALREADY DID SO MUCH but I’d told another friend I’d go to a birthday party with her. I went at 9 PM because I am not waiting in lines nor am I going out past midnight hello I’m not 20. So we got there and chatted before it got too loud to do anything other than say “what?” 1,000 times and pay too much money for watered down lime with ice. It was amazing, actually, to spend time with this friend. I felt like I’d made an alright choice…

Until the place filled up and I started sweating from all the nasty body heat and still the birthday girl wasn’t there and by the time she showed up THREE HOURS LATE – AT MIDNIGHT – I had done my due diligence so I left and had a nice chat with my Lyft driver on the way home. Honestly, I normally believe silence is the best policy in a ride share, but he was really cool plus I’d had such a social evening I figured I’d get it all out tonight so I don’t have to talk to anyone again for another month.

Day 20 – Saw other humans and was social. Big day.

June 18, 2018

This one will be short. I tried my hardest to have a good day today. I started writing a new play. But…

Grief burrowed inside me. I lived in it and it lived in me. I fought it for as long as I could. But then I talked to my mom and it won. We laughed some. We told stories. She didn’t want to talk to me. She said she wanted to curl up in her bed. But then she told me, “I won’t kill myself while you’re still here.” I will never forget those words.

You know, when your heart is broken, it doesn’t take much for the wound to open up again. Even the happy things and happy conversations and happy memories can rip the scar tissue out.

I am so, so sad. I don’t even know where to put my sadness anymore. Every time I try to have a good day, every time I try to be a better “me” or make other people laugh, I get an email at midnight from my mom saying she doesn’t want to talk to me and everything is terrible. How can I laugh now?

Day Eight – Life kicked my ass.

June 14, 2018

I wrote a story for the first time in a long time today. No, not a story. The beginnings of a musical. That was cathartic. I haven’t felt that good in a very long time. I also wrote some comedy, but it wasn’t funny. Sort of defeats the purpose, I guess. I tried to make it funny, but then I just ended up rambling about nothing – story of my life – and instead just saved the document as it was and went to get a coffee. Like any dumb Millennial, I buy my coffee at $6/cup instead of making it at home.

I’ll tell you a little story about something that happened today. I hate purses, so I carry everything in my hands, pockets, or sometimes a backpack. I don’t have anything to carry my stuff in today, so when I walk my dog, I have my keys, wallet, phone, headphones, leash, water bottle, sandwich – you don’t bring a sandwich with you on a walk? Weird – in my hands. My dog, Emma, decides that she doesn’t want to walk like a normal dog, she wants to sprint ahead, and then stop suddenly and pull both of us backward into a plant to smell pee (her) and trip over the sidewalk (me). But I jump ahead…

So. I have my hands full, literally. We’ve made it out the door and down the steps without a problem. I immediately start thinking how impressive I am for having successfully navigated that. We get a little way down the street without a problem before Emma yanks me backward. I trip trying to catch up with her and run smack into another dog owner, who thinks I’m just being friendly and proceeds to let his dog sniff mine as she tries to pee while telling me that he just “found this dog on Thursday” and he “seems friendly.” This “friendly” dog keeps knocking Emma over with his nose. After the third time, I make up an excuse to leave, but he and his dog just follow me. So now I speed walk away without trying to make it obvious, which I’m sure I do. But Emma takes this moment to stop suddenly and pull me backward again into the bushes. I trip a second time. She looks up at me, MAKING EYE CONTACT, as she squats and starts to poop. You’ll remember that I have my hands full. I wait for her to finish. As soon as she does, she pulls at the leash back toward that guy’s dog while I simultaneously try to get a poop bag out of the container attached to her leash. When she yanks at the leash and because my hands are busy trying to get a bag, I bumble a bunch of my stuff and drop EVERYTHING smack dab into the fresh poop. Phone. Headphones. Keys. Worst of all, sandwich. It’s all poop. Everything is poop.

The guy with the friendly dog helped me separate my stuff from Emma’s stuff and clean it off. I may have been wrong about him…

I grieved the sandwich. Does that count? Baby steps?