October 4th, 2003

alice facepalm

The Addict

posted in greatpoets

The Addict

with capsules in my palms each night,
eight at a time from sweet pharmaceutical bottles
I make arrangements for a pint-sized journey.
I'm the queen of this condition.
I'm an expert on making the trip
and now they say I'm an addict.
Now they ask why.

Don't they know
that I promised to die!
I'm keeping in practice.
I'm merely staying in shape.
The pills are a mother, but better
every color and as good as sour balls.
I'm on a diet from death.

Yes, I admit
it has gotten to be a bit of a habit ---
blows eight at a time, socked in the eye,
hauled away by the pink, the orange,
the green and the white goodnights.
I'm becoming something of a chemical
That's it!

My supply
of tablets
has got to last for years and years.
I like them more than I like me.
Stubborn as hell, they won't let go.
It's a kind of marriage.
It's a kind of war
where I plant bombs inside
of myself.

I try
to kill myself in small amounts,
an innocuous occupation.
Actually I'm hung up on it.
But remember I don't make too much noise.
And frankly no one has to lug me out
and I don't stand there in my winding sheet.
I'm a little buttercup in my yellow nightie
eating my eight loaves in a row
and in a certain order as in
the laying on of hands
or the black sacrament.

It's a ceremony
but like any other sport
it's full of rules.
It's like a musical tennis match where
my mouth keeps catching the ball.
Then I lie on my altar
elevated by the eight chemical kisses.

What a lay me down this is
with two pink, two orange,
two green, two white goodnights.
Fee-fi-fo-fum ---
Now I'm borrowed.
Now I'm numb.

First of February 1966
- anne sexton
alice facepalm

{I am moving forward but I still look back}

Friday, October 03, 2003

"It comes through the written and the spoken word; sometimes a word, a sentence or a poem or a story, is so resonant, so right, it causes us to remember, at least for an instant, what substance we are really made from, and where is our true home.
These transient "tastes of the wild" come during the mystique of inspiration---ah, there it is; oh, now it has gone.
Yet it is these fleeting tastes which come both through beauty as well as loss, that cause us to become so bereft, so agitated, so longing that we eventually must pursue the wildish nature. Then we leap into the forest or into the desert or into the snow and run hard, our eyes scanning the ground, our hearing sharply tuned, searching under, searching over, searching for a clue, a remnant, a sign that she still lives, that we have not lost our chance. And when we pick up her trail, it is typical of women to ride hard to catch up, to clear off the desk, clear off the relationship, clear out one's mind, turn to a new page, insist on a break, break the rules, stop the world, for we are not going on without her any longer."
Women Who Run With The Wolves
Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype
by Clarissa Pinkola Estés, Ph.D

I was explaining to Tracey my inability to write anything at all these days --- snail mail, journal entries, poetry, anything --- and her response was that she was suprised. She said, "but you are someone who needs to write in order to live!" and I hadn't been aware that she understand that part of me so well until that moment.

So far this month, I have perfect attendance. Today was a 'unpaid volunteer layoff day' and I took it. My hands are becoming increasingly worse. I'm at the bandage-stage and today the skin started to weep. I had a first aid report filled out Monday when the rash was just starting to show more prominently. The next few days it spread. It is not on the palm of my hand yet but it is on the back of both, on the left arm and crawling up onto the fingers on the right hand. There is someone new handling WSIB cases and she asked me if it was caused by stress. I said that my hands would have been long-since gone if that were so, considering the anxiety and depression I have experienced for the past few years. Yes, the skin can be irritated moreso by 'upset nerves' but it is most affected when I work. I have worked more hours in the past couple of months than I have all year and so that is why it is now getting this way. When I first opened the knuckle bandage wrappers, I said to myself, "Welcome home again" - this is all too familiar territory for me. What sucks is that I will most likely have to get to the point of having hamburger-meat for hands again since the new management has no clue about this condition or what I went through the last time. Looks like I should read up on the material I collected from before, keep good records and just hope that it doesn't get that bad. I will be seeing my doctor on the 10th of October and so I will be sure to show him my hands then. I didn't think I would be at the stage where I would require a WSIB form to be filled out but looks like I might be afterall, since the weeping has begun. I might even be cracked and bleeding by then. What a pretty mess it will be... just like me.

Wednesday was an interesting day at work. My dad was taken out of the factory by ambulance. Bob-my-supervisor approached me and said that my dad was being taken taken to the hospital and that I could go up and see him. I started walking but turned into a run to get to the front of the building, curving around equipment and bins. Not good to run in the factory but... Dad was on the stretcher, bundled up and tied down, oxygen mask on, and I got there just on time to make some jokes and he laughed a little. They took him away and then I was lead into the first aid room, sat down and asked if I was okay. My hands shook something fierce. Bob-the-supervisor had given me a box of the knuckle bandages earlier that day. Dad had mentioned numbness in his chest, his arm... he had heart attacks in the past and he has high blood pressure. I walked back with Jason-the-Chairperson and gave Dad's stuff to Dad's friend Laurel and then as I was going back to my job I started crying. I cried and cried and couldn't stop. My friend Tracey came back to me and and talked with me for a bit and calmed me down. My eyes were turned a bright crystal-like green from my gray or sometimes blue color. She took me to the hospital after work to see my dad. He is okay and home but needs to have more tests done by the doctor. It is considered a mild stroke at this time. I was told by a fellow worker to remember it this way:

numbness = brain
pain = heart

That makes sense on so many levels.

After work that day, I called Guy but hung up after 2 rings. I can't keep calling him whenever I go through a crisis. It's not fair to do for either of us now that we have broken up. It's just that for so long he was the only person that I could talk to or had and so that need or response is difficult to let go. I will always care for Guy and he will always have a place in me that no one else can ever have. I love him and think about him but know that it is best I let him free to get on with his life and for me to move on with mine. We were so unhealthy. It was over long ago, I think, but we still held on, with hope, with passion, with desperation. It was a fantasy-dream that couldn't be and it was time to stop the cycle before it destroyed completely one or both of us. I know that I was lost along the way. I became someone I am not. I had to admit that I am not the one for him and he is not the one for me. It is still painful to deal with even though this has happened so many times between us over the years - but it is long overdue. How do I know this is really the end? I filtered out his music cds from my collection and packed them all into boxes. Yes, I miss him very much and I wish that we were in contact, that we could be friends, but realize this might never happen. Despite everything, I think he is a good man with great talents and a good heart. I will not bash him and I will not hate him. I wish Guy well - happiness and health, love and peace - I hope he receives all of these.

{I am moving forward but I still look back}
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alice lost in labyrinth

I have run this trail before and I do it in my sleep.

Friday, October 03, 2003

"Once women have lost her and then found her again, they will contend to keep her for good. Once they have regained her, they will fight and fight hard to keep her, for with her their creative lives blossom; their relationships gain meaning and depth and health; their cycles of sexuality, creativity, work and play are re-established; they are no longer marks for the predations of others; they are entitled equally under the laws of nature to grow and to thrive. Now their end-of-the-day fatigue comes from satisfying work and endeavours, not from being shut up in too small a mind-set, job, or relationship. They know instinctively when things must die and when things must live; they know how to walk away, they know how to stay."
Women Who Run With The Wolves
Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype
by Clarissa Pinkola Estés, Ph.D

His name is Sean. He was named after Sean Connery. Sean is turning 28 on the 15th of October. He lives about an hour and a half away from me. He is allowing me to be brutally honest about who I am and we understand each other. I am an open flower. I am a raindrop on the leaf, ready to fall. I am careful cautious. I am reckless free. I am trusting. I am trusted. This is a fresh start. A beginning during an ending. This is causing me to experience both sadness and happiness at the same time.

And I have dandruff in the cracks of my cell phone.

"When women reassert their relationship with the wildish nature, they are gifted with the wildish nature, they are gifted wtih a permanent and internal watcher, a knower, a visionary, an oracle, an inspiratrice, an intuitive, a maker, a creator, an inventor, and a listener who guide, suggest, and urge vibrant life in the inner and outer worlds. When women are close to this nature, the fact of that relationship glows through them. This wild teacher, wild mother, wild mentor supports their inner and outer lives, no matter what.

So, the word wild here is not used in its modern pejorative sense, meaning out of control, but in its original sense, which means to live a natural life, one in which the criatura, creature, has innate integerity and healthy boundaries. These words, wild and woman, cause women to remember who they are and what they are about. They create a metaphor to describe the force which funds all females. They personify a force that women cannot live without."
Women Who Run With The Wolves
Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype
by Clarissa Pinkola Estés, Ph.D

For the past few weeks I have been remembering most of my dreams. Something in me has awoken and I have been connecting, have become connected - I am a connection. It is more than just a filter of events experienced during the day. It is difficult to explain. Being at work this past week was draining. I soaked people through my skin. Maybe that is another contributing factor to the severity of the contact dermatitis? Twice, at least, I would answer the phone and not remember speaking, not remember the call at all. This used to happen when I would take the gen-clonazepam (not remembering the previous nights' conversations) but I have not used that medication at all recently. I am going through a change. I am finding myself in strange places and dreaming of the girl I used to be - the child who was so much stronger than me. She is telling me secrets. She is showing me truth. She is the one who said, "welcome home" and she is leading me down the winding dirt path - the one that leads to the forest of trees - the place of knowing. I feel as though I am returning to myself. I have run this trail before and I do it in my sleep.

I do it in my sleep.
doctor who places you will go

I felt the finality when I woke up.

Saturday, October 04, 2003

"...they know instinctively when things must die and when things must live..."

At exactly 9am this morning, I broke out of my dream and stood out of bed. The last part of my dream was hauntingly vivid, specifically the final scene of the night's performance. It was daylight and she was in a small darkened room. She held a modern army rifle (could I be any more obvious?) and after shooting it off by mistake, it dropped to the floor. At that moment, two men were in the room and one of them retrieved the gun. He shot the woman several times. She lay on the floor screaming without sound. She was still alive. The other one drew out a sword. I watched it slide from the sheathe in spectacular slow motion. Pierced again and again, she would not die. And then one of the men lifted her up and pulled her hair back to expose her neck. And the other man decapitated her head. I fled the scene, now outdoors, daylight, street with at least four lanes and traffic wandering by. A sign mentioning a fair queen --- the woman's rolling head coming to a stop at the side of the road, not but a few paces away. No one driving past would notice the macabre sight. I felt the finality when I woke up.

I thought she'd never die.