swim 10 minutes three times a week

That wasn’t it and I crashed.

This is so frustrating:  predicting what is too much.   It doesn’t work this way, the way that would be quite helpful, thankyouveryflippinmuch:  somehow being able to measure energy available, like having a gasoline gauge glued to my forehead.

It’s like this:  one unit of laundry, two units of art, one unit of driving to the library, one unit of swimming, 5 units of sitting.  Now, how long is a unit?  I don’t know, but it’s so short that I’ve never done so little before.

How many units of what kind in a day?  All depends on the moving target.  I still get slammed against the wall of out-of-gas-and-on-my-way-down.

swimming and sailing 1965 and 1970.
The red patch from the Canada Yachting Association used to have a white fabric star in the first box.

Swimming has always been a joy–I even have the little buttons I earned in the 1960s to prove my proficiency.  Should have had a bunch of buttons to celebrate the silly grins from being in, on, or under the water.  I even love the Zen of swimming laps!

 with the Kona turtle and Humuhumunukunukuapua'a

hangin’ out on the bottom of the ocean with the Kona turtle and Humuhumunukunukuapua’a

Learning to dive in Hawaii (visiting from Alaska–mama ain’t no fool!) and having the dive instructor give me the stink eye underwater because I never wanted to surface.

He used to call me a gorilla/guerrilla diver–I don’t think I ever asked him which word he thought of when he’d watch me down there, cruising along in hog heaven, arms relaxed and moving quietly behind me in my self-made current.

Swimming has given me pause only that one time in frigid Lake Ontario after I helped to tow the instructional sailboat off the beach for our return to Toronto Bay.  Couldn’t get my 13-year-old self up the side of the boat.  Drowning was a definite possibility–but I did get help and survived.  <:-D

knock Bozo down and he bounces back!

knock Bozo down and he bounces back!

Now I try again, because that’s how I am:  I feel like that blow-up Bozo doll–you can slug him in the chops, punch him in the gut, or kick him in the nose.  He stands right up again with that silly grin.

True, sometimes he over-corrects and it’s a bit of an eye-opening ride on the return!  (He’s the only clown who has never given me the willies, too.  Please don’t tell me anything bad about the actor(s) who played him on the TV show.)

Now I’m trying 5 minutes of lap swim, which in my weakened state is only 4 or 5 lengths.  Then into the bubbly hot pool to stretch, so at least I’m in the pool longer than it took to drive there.  Maybe I’ll try twice a week and see what happens.

The crashes are so painful that enduring the addled brain-fog that shows itself in melty tears takes more courage than I think I have.

I face my vulnerability–an unlovely sight–and wobble forward again.


my reality: brain injury

I have been circling around this writing for at least a couple of months, which means that all day long, I try to find something else to think about.  But, at some moments, the pain and horror of my situation threaten to overcome me.   I must find a way to express the daily realities, to let them wash over and around me instead of smashing me gasping under a wave, getting my face scraped off along the sand.



In the summertime, I think, heretherebespiders wondered where my upset was about all that had happened.  I didn’t have an answer.

I see now that the answer lay in the brain fog I lived in for better than 9 months.  The fog has been lifting steadily I see, and especially since about October.

This has been and continues to be a terribly lonely journey.  I have no map whatsoever.

Who can tell me what parts of the aftermath to attribute to the near-death by C. diff or to the systemic chaos and near-shutdown caused by septic shock?  (If you’re curious about the shape of the aftermath over the last year, at the top of the page on the left is the category Illness.  Choose the subhead “somewhere near the middle.”)

The truth shall set me free.  I hope.

The truths:

I have about two to three hours of brain strength per day.  If I exceed that, I become overtired.

Take a long moment right now and imagine having three hours per day to be “productive.”  That includes making breakfast and lunch, laundry, dishes, feeding the cats, and visiting with family at home.   Now add in something enjoyable like art.  How does it all fit?  It fits into a daily dance, a constant choosing.

The hints of fatigue are not broad, so I sometimes miss them.

Or, I ignore them because I just want to be the me of the before-time, with interests and curiosities and friendships and the energy to pursue same.

Brain strength is different than physical strength; brain strength operates the physical strength.  When I start to get tired, the feeling is thus:  every last one of my three gajillion body cells starts to shrink into flatness as the energies are squeezed out from those mini power plants, and I begin to crumble in on myself.

moods in collage

moods in collage

My brain goes vacant, with spaces of nothing between thoughts or conversation, my eyes blink slowly.  I have no idea that my judgement is impaired because, well….

Driving remains difficult and only attempted when I’ve checked internally for energy and tested for slow blinks.   The thought of injuring someone is too grievous to fully contemplate.

Music is still lost to me.  How can that be?

My daily life is a state of being tired.   If I become overtired, I become mush.  I melt.  Tears and sobbing amid confused heartbreak.  Apparently, this is quite normal with a traumatic brain injury.

I live in perpetual remove from the world–if you were with me, you’d see a flat affect, but might think I was being introspective.  But if you know me, you might wonder where the sparkly amusement was, the eyes crinkling as I understand a joke about to happen.

Now you’d see me waiting for you to finish talking, then I’ll probably laugh.  As long as I’ve understood the joke.

With the overtired, the hazy remove from the world intensifies and deepens, so that I’m very far away and it is too much effort to try to understand conversation, and words on a page tumble and blend into blobs of glop (‘though words tumble even when I’m not overtired).



Recently, quite by accident, I heard the best description for all these moments:  the becoming over-overtired is when the battery of my brain runs down.    The tears aren’t depression in the clinical sense.  Recovery time is whatever it is.

I spent a day with a friend several weeks ago, a day I have been pining for–she is wonderful people and has always fed my soul and spirit.

Two days later, I crashed hard, face-down, scraping against the sand, gouged to the bone, as the wave dragged me around.

The crashes are horrible–I want to disappear so Big Mister doesn’t witness the melty goo.  He used to hate it when I would cry; those before-time cryings were nothing compared to how it goes now.  I see the heartbreak in his face.  I want to run and recover by myself, let him not see the crying and agonies.

When I’m over-overtired, mundane household stuff can be beyond my ability.  On a recent night I couldn’t figure my way through putting dishes into the dishwasher.  Tears.  Explanation and departure.



My fears:

If I slow down as far as I need to in order to remain brain-unruffled, I’m terrified that I’ll just stop.

I will be left by myself in this mess.

The mess will be permanent.

The good news:

The brain fog has been lifting.

I have continued doing art since I began again in late spring, several months out of hospital.

pages and pages

pages and pages of painting

I walk better, needing less concentration.

My verbal language has returned to about 90 percent of the before-time.  I have always said quirky stuff, so it’s less upsetting now.  Mostly, it’s less upsetting because the balance shifted out of brain-addled to more ability.

My written language has returned to about 90 percent as well.  Typing and writing are both still challenging–still I write words backwards or even words I hadn’t intended to write or type.  Forming the letters by hand sometimes comes in unfamiliar patterns.

The massive, nauseous headaches of the last several months are becoming infrequent.

I get the impression that the me emerging from this mess is the sunny, happy child I was:   sweet and loving, with less of the hard person I had become.

But if I’m tired, and struggling to understand, I may explode with the fatigue of concentrating on the moment and shout in frustration.  Probably only with Big Mister, unfortunately for him and us.

I want to live and I want to live well.  That much I have learned in these just-shy-12-months since coming home from a short hospital stay to discover my brains had been scrambled.

the brain game {la la la!}


Ed. note:   I wrote this piece several weeks ago, but I must leave this essay where it ended then.   I have no ending.  Only a continuing. 


8 months (this time for sure)

It’s a rough go right now.  I’ve hit the 8-month mark since the catastrophic hospitalization.  This recovery feels odd to me:  I look just fine on the outside, with the exception of rocky walking, but my insides are the parts that are churning, perhaps in healing throes.  We can hope.

I have very little capacity for being in The World; going to the grocery store twangs the one nerve I have left.  Even as I drive into the parking lot, my eyes search, it feels wildly, for obstacles and dangers.  I search because I have trained myself to do so.  In the new way, in the after-time way.

So much we do automatically and autonomically, for which I am thankful.  And relieved.  Stimulus is everywhere, stimulus that in the before-time entered my power station, and was duly cataloged as Usual, Unusual, or Danger.

Ponder this:  what happens if I don’t know that my brain is not cataloging?  What happens if  there are blanks where there should have been autonomic awareness?

Sad answer:  I fall off a ladder because my inner know-er has lost track of me on the ladder, on those steps, where I am moving deliberately, slowly, like the mountaineer I used to be who knows to always have three points of contact.

sense of space

I have a blunted sense of space, of my relationship to the space I inhabit.  It is as if, momentarily, I cannot see, a long, slow brain-blink, and the danger is upon me:  falling off a ladder, smashing my hands, walking into the edges of walls.

The reason I knew had to train myself to search for obstacles and dangers is that on a day leading up to the ladder-flight, I became aware of brain-blanks, spaces where there should have been none. I was driving and my brain blinked.

I had planned to turn left, had the signal on, was looking both ways (yadda yadda), and when it was clear, I drove straight ahead, tires slightly squealing.  I got lost for a nano-nanosecond and made an error while driving.  Cars are enormous weapons and I made an error.

In sorting out these brain blinks with the help of Big Mister, we discovered that in that week of thrashing myself to the mat getting my studio mucked out, I really did push myself way too far.  I couldn’t hear the brain-voice that told me I was done.   I soldiered on, as is my wont anyway, right to brain exhaustion.  The exhaustion created spaces in mah haid [“haid” with a drawn-out Scottish brogue]….

shapes of my world

Words have given me power, power unrecognized to me until now.  Words have shapes, made up of the letters that belong.  Too often now, I do not recognize the shape of a word, so cannot spell it, cannot even work out how to spell it.  Tides of heavy grief wash through me and I sob with sorrow so deep I cannot find bottom.

The essence of Me has shifted and I have not caught up.  I don’t even know if I should bother to try to catch up.  Maybe this is all temporary, a horrible life lesson, and my facility with language will return.

If words are shifting shape, then I cannot form memories with them.  As an editor, one of joys was the puzzle-icious nature of inviting a whole document into my head while I looked at its parts.

That is to say:  Reading on page 296 and the author has used a synonym for a term or concept introduced much earlier.  I must puzzle out whether this will be startling to the intended audience, so I pause and search in my head for the first mention of that term.  Ah, yes, it was on page 34, first paragraph, 3rd line.

My assumptions about immediate comprehension and synthesizing appear.  The in-the-background brain-work that happens, the cataloging, the remembering.

I started playing Bookworm sometime in the last few months.  For about a month now I have been unable to play because I cannot see the words, and if I try, it is entirely too much effort inside mah haid.  Now, I play a Mahjong game, a matching game, and that feels like a rehab exercise.


Big Mister will leave within an hour or so for the campering vacation I requested but am unable to go on.  He asked what kind of fun would I have on my stay-cation.  I didn’t mean to be a downer or to be negative, but the truth was that it would be business as usual for me:  staying close to home (driving = bad), being very quiet, obeying the cats, reading….  I guess it isn’t time for easy Fun yet.

Though today there was supposed to be Fun for me–My Peeps were coming to pick me up for a lunchtime hang-around.  We have not been together in way over a year, maybe 1-1/2 years?! But, ooops, sickness in our midst and we’ll have to reschedule.

Mrs. Ploppy of The Peeps, endured chemo for the last half of last year, only finishing this past January.  (She is now 14 months cancer-free!  May we have a hallelujah from the audience?!)  She has been an incredibly stable part of my recovery; she has been my friend.

Our Third is regular ole, regular ole, healthy and happy.  Her husband mused one day if perhaps Mrs Ploppy and I were keeping Third around for spare body parts.

power of the word

Apparently, my heart has transported itself to my right side, protected under the clavicle bone.  How do I know that?  Because when the masseuse told me to allow a word to surface from my inner self and then to store it under my heart, I felt the word being stored in my heart on the right side of me.

It wasn’t that weird dyslexic confusion that has been magnified lately.  With calm certainty, I knew that’s where my heart was.

Recovery-time is huge right now, the changes to my brain right smack in my face, like a crack across the cheekbone outta nowhere.  Repeatedly.  Daily.  Hanging on…

To lose my facility with words has been an ego-bashing.  Is this what the Buddhists mean by, to rephrase, flattening the ego?  I dunno.  Don’t care right now.

My words have been a source of power to me, a power that has fueled the Me for half a century, back to the moment as a toddler where I wailed that I couldn’t read.   Even then I knew that words were a power source, that words open worlds.  “Bushels and acres and stars and worlds….”

If I describe this time only as “disconcerting,” I leave out the internal, lonely horrors.   But “disconcerting” suggests a cacophony, a lack of organization, a lack of a unified whole.

Indeed, this moment is disconcerting.


Perhaps I will forget the former easy facility of my brain power.  Perhaps there will come one moment when I don’t compare now with then, that I don’t notice that I have to concentrate to be sure to get the day-after-day same ole ingredients into my cereal bowl, that I cannot think of something else at the same time.

Perhaps I will no longer notice that I have dropped into a dimmer-witted state, that I no longer am lightning-quick.  Perhaps I won’t care that I’m not as smartly-able as I was in the before-time.

Perhaps I’ll stop thinking I’m someone else, that person I’ve witnessed countless times in classes who struggles with concepts, concepts for me that in the before-time often just floated into my mind as whole bits and meshed with other remembered knowledge.  Perhaps I’ll accept the new way to be a student, a student who struggles to succeed and then to excel.

Perhaps the devastating disappointment observing my difficulties reading will fade to nothing so that as I struggle to get my eyes to follow the words into my brain, I won’t notice how sad I am to have lost that quick reading uptake.

Perhaps I will forget that I could spell any word in the before-time, that I always chose the homonym I intended.   That I knew that homonyms were fascinating choices instead of blobs of sameness.

Perhaps I will feel deep relief that in the before-time I studied English, Mandarin, French, Italian, Latin, Spanish, and Akkadian so that at least I was able in my lifetime to experience that intellectual joy and cultural connection.

Perhaps it won’t matter that I cannot remember.

Perhaps the River Lethe will welcome me to her banks.   And then, perhaps, I will once more want to talk and write instead of avoiding the dread of once more witnessing the dimmer-witted me.  Perhaps I’ll forget the old me and get to know the new me.

Alaska’s River Lethe, along whose banks I did trudge in the early 1980s.  Valley of 10,000 Smokes, Katmai National Park.  (credit:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:RiverLethe.jpg)

sunday sorrow

Watching lives being dismantled, to be re-assembled in new forms, tears my knowing to shreds.  Mom is in the rehab place and BJ, her roommate of 30+ years prepares to leave their home since Mom will not be returning.

To see that house disheveled with evidence of packing and lightening the load rips out the roots I had established there, unknowingly.

The story of this house begins in the 1930s at the purchase of these unimproved, timbered 10 acres by Mom’s family.  It continues to 1981, when Mom and BJ left Arizona to move to these 10 acres and make a home there.   I was a part of that even though I had finished college and was contemplating staying in Tucson for grad school.   Somehow, the power of time had the three of us moving north, although I would be continuing to Alaska.

We drove in caravan:  Mom’s VW camper van, BJ’s truck pulling a small mobile home, and a large rented truck.  I wasn’t particularly present for the trip or maybe I was inexperienced enough in road trips that I didn’t know how stressful the trip was.   Lots of vignettes from that time, especially the getting separated in one strange town.  No cell phones at that time.  The winds that would punish each vehicle and strain each driver’s ability to stay on the road.

The arrival to see a vegetation-blocked entry to the property.  The clearing of space.  The hauling water.  A couple of weeks after arriving with them, I flew to Alaska and found home unexpectedly as I left the plane door and hesitated on the jet stairs.  Looking at those snow-capped mountains and the ocean.  Feeling the 40-degree October weather and wondering how I was going to survive the cold.  But also knowing in my bones that I was home.

Visiting Mom and BJ frequently and seeing, and helping with, the homesteading of those 10 acres.  Hauling stumps out of the ground, chaining them to the truck bumper, and then riding the damn things to the dumping ground.  Going home to Alaska and feeling bemused that my mother was homesteading and I wasn’t — and here I was in Alaska, where it’s expected!

Mom designed the house, by hand, on graph paper.  She considered the sun and shade and the correct angling of the house, and where the gardens should be.  Within 5 years of arriving on that overgrown land, the house was built.  There I visited until this February. I know that house almost as well as any dwelling of mine.  I knew where the cling wrap was and how to find the spare light bulbs.

After I got laid off in February 2010, I was able to visit Mom much more frequently since I wasn’t spent from giving my energies to an employer.  The year of school got in the way a fair bit:  I commuted on awful freeways and was always beaten up and tired.  Once I recovered from that, I got to see Mom almost once a week, for which I am grateful.

Mom will move this week to a new place that is an hour, plus two hideous freeways, north of me.  She will be within a few minutes of my sister and her family so at least she can have visitors.  I need to stay away from germy places until I have an immune system again.

On Sunday, yesterday, Big drove me to Mom’s house so I could say goodbye to BJ.  She and I have shared plenty over many years, including one Arizona mountain camping trip where my 65-lb dog got bitten by a rattlesnake and we had to carry him out of the remote area where we’d been hiking.   My neck still hurts.  Maybe that’s where all the neck problems started, with a semi-conscious dog draped around my neck.  My memory tells me it took us 5 days to get out of there, but that is nonsense; it only felt like 5 days.  Pretty sure it was only one long day.

The house has lost its life:  boxes in the great room ready to be loaded into BJ’s truck for the trek back to Arizona, where she will get a motor home so she can tootle around, birding and otherwise being her naturalist self.  Seeing those hollow places in the bookshelves.

Mom’s things where they were sitting when she was hauled to the hospital by ambulance.  For the last time.  We all had hoped so much that she could live out her life in her home, but it was not to be.

Deciding that since the house was going to be people-less later this week, I should take the valuables.  Oh dear.  Wrapping up Mom’s silver, the silver she and Dad had bought eons ago….  Wrapping a small reclining naked lady sculpture, remembering it back 40 or more years.   Packing the computer was easier, no emotions imbued in those electronics.

Looking around at the house, really trying to see beyond the gloss of familiarity in order to choose the valuables to safe-keep.  I left the china and good glass.

Finally sobbing my heart out at the dismantled lives, at the between time, before the lives are rebuilt into new shapes.  Sobbing for myself, for the loss of a place that has had my roots for 30 years.   I did not have roots until Alaska and I severed those in 1998, the phantom feelings of that amputation rising and pushing to the fore, the memories of dismantling my life well-lived, with adventures and with love.

Now, four bags of Mom’s belongings here in my house that will be re-united with her other belongings when it’s time.  Mom has already made an inventory of the house and her belongings, and has indicated which kid gets what.  That must be killing my sister, the one who hated it when Mom and I would joke about wanting this or that after the other’s death.  We’d phrase it as:  “Put my sticker on that!”  One time, Mom said she wanted her sticker on my Isuzu Trooper!   And now my sister is in charge of all of this.

I remain a bystander, a never-expected circumstance.  I have had to say no to helping with Mom’s huge transition in order to concentrate on one thing only–regaining my health so that I might have a future.  I have chosen and it is not easy.

This morning, Monday, started difficultly:  as I was responding to Calpurrnia’s order for morning tuna, I stepped on something soft.  Figured it was a worn out catnip mousie.  But from the vantage of my height, it looked wrong.  I picked it up, soft and light; it was a hummingbird.  Just a few days ago I was looking out my recuperation room window and saw a pair of hummingbirds darting around the few new yellow trumpet blossoms on the forsythia.  Another pair of lives dismantled and it is stabbing me with the pain of lost possibility and loneliness.




can’t sleep; heart is overflowing

This has been a difficult time and not just for me.  But it’s still about me because I’m sad about my Mom.

She had her 87th birthday in the rehab center last week where she is recuperating from pneumonia.  I think she went into hospital around the 1st of April, but I can’t quite recall.   Tonight when I talked to her I was filled with the feeling that it was the last time I’d talk to her, that she will die from this bout of pneumonia.

Since I need to stay away from care centers and hospitals because my immune system is shot (Big says a visit to one of those places would be me courting a death sentence), I have not seen her since early February, a week before my own hellish roller coaster ride began.

The overflowing sadness is maybe I won’t get to see Mom again before she dies.  How crap is that?  It’s not supposed to be this way.  Of course, she nearly didn’t get to see me again, if you follow.

Big Mister has visited her in hospital and even on her birthday in the care center.  He took her little pastries as birthday goodies.  Will my last visits with Mom be by proxy?  I’m reminded of when Big’s mother was in hospital and dying two Februarys ago–I’d had extensive oral surgery and was on major drugs, so I said goodbye to her by proxy.

I can’t afford to have too many feelings about anything–I have way too much going on just getting through a day.   Can’t help anyone else until I’m whole again.  Can’t be much of a friend.  But I’m sad.  Partial brokenheartedness that is at a distance, the way so much still is for me.

And then, just because Life is full of lifeness as minlit says, BuddyBoop the cat, who adopted us through the kitty door, just came in the house, talking all through the rooms, in his monosyllable questions — Meowr?  Rowr?—  looking for someone, anyone and me responding to each syllable with a quiet BuddyBoop so he’d know where to find a monkey who is awake.  Cat and monkey call and response.

He jumped up here right onto my chest and scooched forward until his 15 fuzzball pounds were sitting almost under my chin (never mind that there was a computer on my lap).   He pressed his forehead against mine for several seconds–a very new thing for him–then turned around and stood on my belly so I was graced with a full view-and-sniff of cat-butt.  Thank you BuddyBoop.

I do not shrink from her pain

Will she dump me, too?

This to me from my elderly and infirm mother who is realizing that my sister has actually dumped me from her life, the way our father did to each of us, the way he did to my sister 12 months ago as he lay dying, and 6 years ago and 16 years ago and 26 years ago.  And forever ago.  Again and again.

My response to Mom seemed right as I said it, but wrong just after I spoke:  Of course not!  She adores you!

Oh.  She adored me, too.  How do I comfort my aged mother?  How do I assure her she is loved by all the children?  How do I help her hold this pain?  I cannot do anything.  It is not in my power except to continue as I have with Mom, she knowing I am with her always.

So, I stand strong with my mother as she reels in the knowledge that my sister has done to me what father did to daughter.  That sister could also do that to Mom.  I deal with her pain, not the one who is causing the upset.  I will not leave her alone to fear quietly.

My father caused terrible pain, the worst kind in his children.  If I start from the end, perhaps you will understand that he died the way he lived:  when his (6th) wife wrote and published his obituary, there was no mention of the children.  We did not exist to him.  We were disposable to him.

I am not disposable, despite being tacitly taught to believe I was.   My sister and brother were also shown that they were disposable.   My father showed our mother that she was disposable.  Can you imagine the strength it has taken to dash aside those lightning bolts of pain and doubt and to settle into knowing that there are people who are constants, who don’t have in their repertoire the ease of leaving, of disposing?

When my father died last February, I had been estranged from him for almost 20 years.  I left him because his behavior became ever more egregious to the people he purported to love.  That was not love; that was pain embodied in a genetic father.

The father of my childhood was nothing like the father of my late teens and beyond.  He loved me, clearly adored me, and always encouraged me.  OK, there was that one time in 1972 when I was leaving the house in holey bell-bottoms with the peace, love, and beansprouts patch (War is not healthy for children and other living things).  He told me I wasn’t leaving the house like that!  Um, yes I am.  See ya.

The father of my childhood did not show me that he had leaving in his repertoire.  I’m relieved I did not understand how he came to be married to my mother, how he left his first wife and infant daughter and moved on.

Then, he did it to our family.  Left.  Began a string of marriages that ended with a 6th wife.  Kidnapped my sister from us, leaving teenage me with the blame through his adult machinations.

I swam for years through the fog of the disaster he left behind.  Not well.  Always painfully.  But I came through it, strong and sure about how to love.  Leaving is an option of last resort, of such dire seriousness that it is simply not an option, even during anger, hurt feelings, and bitter argument.

My sister has not reached the same conclusion I have.  She lived with my father and was taught that leaving is always on the table.  And why shouldn’t she believe that?  He left her over and over.  When he kidnapped her, he caused a leaving from her mother, sister, and brother.  It must have been, and continue to be, excruciating truth, the depths of which I never comprehended.

I am finished with my father’s legacy in whatever forms it takes.  Done.

I hope for her a healing of the tissue-deep damage his example showed.   I hope for a healing for anyone who has been left holding the emotional bag.  I hope for the courage to put that bag down after coming to peace, leave it in unclaimed luggage, and never open it again.

You are loved.  See it.  Know it.  You are not disposable.

© No Stealing!  That’s what the little c in the circle means!
© lahgitana and Rockin’ the Purple, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to lahgitana and Rockin’ the Purple with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


Oxford English Dictionary, 1971.

Exhausted.  “1.  Consumed, used up, expended.  2.  Emptied of contents.”

Living requires internal energy production.  Feeling colorful requires a regenerating internal energy source.

Physical starvation uses up stored energy, then begins to consume living tissue.  Starvation of the self depletes the core, leaving weakness and vulnerability.   So, continuing to live in the exhausted state, we use up our selves.   I wonder sometimes what of the self is consumed when exhaustion has been reached and surpassed.  Do we ever get those parts back?  Do they regenerate?

After that philosophical doo-dah is done, it’s time to face the exhausted state.  It isn’t depression.  It isn’t even despair.  It’s just being done.  Feeling empty.  Going through the motions.

Exhaustion narrows the world experience:  think basics.  Think getting out of bed, eating breakfast, and staring out the window.

Chronic tiredness is different from exhaustion, but it is a stairway to the hell of exhaustion.  Always teetering at the door to those basement stairs, with their spider webs, dust of years, and scary things under the treads.

Chronic tiredness is hell.  If my brain didn’t know how much I was missing, I would be a little more pleasant.  Instead, I rail at the injustice, marvel at the physically demanding and satisfying life I had before this hell, and mourn the losses everyday.

I can’t have friends and have a job simultaneously.  One or the other.   Not enough oomph for both.  Why bother to make friends?

Now, let’s look for a job in this economy, with half-energy days as the springboard.  Here comes despair, except it requires oomph to feel the depths of despair.   So never mind.

© No Stealing!  That’s what the little c in the circle means!
© lahgitana and Rockin’ the Purple, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to lahgitana and Rockin’ the Purple with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

My Peeps

I went today to see my former work partner at work, who is also my friend (we became true friends very quickly upon working together).  (Along the way, I was reminded why I loved working there–see previous post.)

She and I and one more woman made up The Coven there at work, so named cuz our husbands could feel our power when we were together bwah-hahahhahah.   That one other was laid off the same day I was, about 15 minutes before I was.   She got a new job within 3 months.

I needed to be with at least part of my group because our now-separated group of 3 recently took a big hit:  the new-job lady has ovarian cancer.  Stage 1, but an aggressive version.  She is 46.

I’m numb from the wackiness of my life recently, so I can’t exactly feel the upset.  I did finally today, very briefly, when I got to see same-job lady.  She hadn’t talked to our friend who had just passed the news to me yesterday.  We know better than to call same-job lady at work with anything upsetting–she’s a big ole softie and is private, besides.  So, I told her today.  We are both in the stage of “yeah yeah, we know, but the unthinkable that we’ve been thinking about can’t happen to her.”  No matter that her elder sister four years ago died of the same cancer.

Let me tell you how new-job lady came into my orbit.  I had been working temp there along with regular employee same-job lady.   I was making breakfast–bowl of cereal–and had retrieved my container of soy milk from the fridge.  New-job lady worked in the cube attached to ours and she and I could see one another.  That day, we may have exchanged a pleasantry or two and she was practicing her social-interaction skills, and upon spying the soy milk, casually asked me if I was lactose-intolerant.  I turned slowly to look at her, paused, and asked “Are you asking me if I have gas?”  That cemented the deal!  We 3 laughed until we cried.  Loudly!

Please don’t take that away from me.  I don’t want only the memory.  I want that woman who takes no nonsense, is so very bright, and makes me laugh like hell.

©  No Stealing!  That’s what the little c in the circle means!
© lahgitana and Rockin’ the Purple, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to lahgitana and Rockin’ the Purple with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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