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Wednesday, April 4, 2012

The Hood Ornament - A Dream

I dream that someone stole the hood ornament from my car.  In the night, the black dots come back to the bathroom and my bed linens morph into puffy hills that roll in the dark like a belly dancer’s stomach.

Then there are the people and the words shooting from their mouths, missiles piercing the air.  I do not know these words.  Some are sharp chards of glass.  Others drift about like bubbles blown from a child’s wand.  They float slowly and drop onto the table, into glasses of wine and onto plates and into the bread basket.  They are the lost words.  I try to drink some of them, but they hold fast to the rim of the glass, dripping like Dali’s watches.

I have no words except the ones that shower down onto my little patch of sadness.

Ink black liquid drips from Belle’s neck where the vet punched the hole.  She breathes deep and blows words at me. Her breath is sweet.  Her words are not missiles.  I can catch them.  Her words are clouds of sorrow for her and for me.  We look deep into one another’s eyes and we are one, this creature of magic words and I.

I wordlessly slide back my chair and walk to my car, finding the hood ornament in its place and drive myself home.

© 2012 cj Schlottman

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Great Expectations Dashed - For Now

I bragged too soon.  It happened so quickly.  Though to a lesser degree than before, my wobbliness, my memory and my altered judgment have returned.  I’m not having a great deal of trouble with typing, so I can manage it so far.  I am again losing words, which makes any kind of communication difficult.  I feel as though someone sneaked up behind me and draped a heavy wet blanket over me.  It is hot and heavy.  It is disorienting and blinding and feels dangerous, as though the prickly heat will chew away at my skin until I have too little strength to fend it off.  It is terrible to feel this way.  I can't escape the knowledge that my illness literally paralyzed.  

I fell last night, fell right out of bed while reaching for the lamp switch.  The bruises are impressive.  

I am afraid.   I am very afraid.  The thought of sliding back into the black hole renders me terrified.  What am I doing wrong?  Shit.  That was a hypothetical question.  I’m going to contact my psychiatrist tomorrow.  I think this setback may be triggered by the fact that I am going to lose my job.  I’ve exhausted my leave, and my MD emphatically insists that I cannot possibly return to work in two weeks.  She is right, of course.  I wonder just how long it will be before I can say I feel like myself for more than a few days.  

I will stick to my plan, my self-imposed schedule that seems to help me stay centered.  It’s a sort of mental hygiene.  I plan my days around things that promote sanity.  

I get up when I am rested and ready.  I feed the dogs and give myself the first hour and a half of my day.  I use that time to keep my journal.  I drink coffee and make breakfast.  I may waste a little time playing solitaire or watching old episodes of NYPD Blue.  Remember, this is my time.

When my time is up, I clean my kitchen.  I think I may be a little anal about it, but this is my schedule and I made it for me.  I sweep and wipe the counters and sink.  Then I mop.  I use a little Swiffer mop, so it really doesn’t really count as mopping.  Right?  It takes about 20 minutes.

I walk Honey for about a mile and a half.  

I bathe and practice yoga.

Then there is more time for me. I work on this blog and on the new one, as yet untitled, about depression and how it has affected my life and the lives of everyone around me, even my dogs.

Most days, at about 4:00 PM, I drive all the way across town to Barnes and Noble where I drink a latte and eat a scone and write some more.  Sometimes  I drive through at Mickey D’s on the way home and get a couple of cheese burgers for Honey and Belle.

I have given myself some flexibility with my schedule, else it would become another source of guilt and angst.

I am fighting, doing everything I can to cast off the wet blanket.  I will beat it back and throw it in a pile until it’s dry enough to burn, burn like a bonfire, relieving me of some of it’s poisons.