I made this list last April or so. I guess it's time to revisit it. I've not solved many of the problems in the interm. Things have, in fact, become worse.
|1. My mother is dying
1.1. She won't take her medicines
1.2. She ignores doctors advice
Well, Mom is still dying. She doesn't go to the doctor, take her medicine, nor listen to her doctor's advice. To compound the process, she is now living a hundred miles away with a cousin and has no contact with her kids, having been driven out of our home, and near to apoplexy by my kids. I think the rift is irreparable. I'm not happy with any aspect of the situation but I am incapable of resolving the issues. I hope she does not die unhappy or alone. She's a big girl, she has chosen as she has chosen. We all get to live with it.
|2. My sister is losing it
2.1. She is depressed
2.2. She is financially stressed
2.3. She doesn't make enough to pay her bills
2.4. She can't handle all the responsibilities around the house
2.5. Caring for my mother
2.7. She has a lot of pressures in her life
My sister is resolving her situation. She's worked out deals with creditors, paid off what she can, quit the abominable job that was making her sick, no longer has to care for my mother, for me, for the house, is moving down South (Southwest Missouri) to be with her boyfriend, and is generally shucking off troubles as fast as she can go. Her life isn't good, but she is making it work, and she has the chance for it to be good eventually. Brava! I wish her well. I'm going to miss having her around. Despite what anyone may read from my attitude, I like my sister, love her. I will miss her being around.
|3. My Health isn't improving
3.1. I don't sleep well
3.2. My feet twitch and wake me up at night
3.3. My legs cramp and wake me up at night.
3.4. I have had a headache since august
3.5. I am always tired
3.6.1. It's been over a year
3.6.2. The urologist says "well, we all get older"
My health isn't improving at all. I've been kidding people along for so long that I forget that I'm kidding. Not a good situation, huh? I haven't taken my diabetes for over two months. I just can't afford the stuff. What with moving and all I haven't been able to get even the basics. My sugars are running in the 300 range. I starve down to the 140's but tend to be so hungry I binge afterward - go out to eat or order a pizza or something.
I spend to much time convincing other people I'm fine. I'm not, I'm getting worse. I can feel things fading out. My feet are almost completely numb now. I can't really feel them at all. The twitching isn't so bad any more, but I still wake up with leg cramps. Usually if I just stand up they stop for long enough to get back to sleep. I just wish my nights involved some rest. Every night it's the same thing, I sleep about four hours and doze about four. I just never feel well when I wake.
I've had the same headache for over a year. Eye strain? Tension? I just don't know. The doctors don't either. Nothing helps. If I had medicine strong enough to stop the headache I'd be non-functional. I can't seem to win on these propositions.
I don't even wanna talk about E.D. I don't miss it much. Bullshit! I miss it a lot and I am savagely stressed over that fact that that part of my life seems to be over. I'm an old fart, but there's guys in their eighties fathering children. Am I supposed to quit at my age?
I just want to feel good now and then. I'd be able to live with "good days & bad days" but I don't get any "good" days.
|4. I am depressed
4.1. I'm seeing a psychologist
I'm not sure why I'm seeing a psychologist. His general take on my situation is that my life sucks and that I'm reacting to it in a fashion commensurate with a sucky life. I guess it's nice to have that confirmed and all
I don't really tell my psychologist everything I should. I have a lot of barriers. I guess I have to see him until those are gone. I may actually be required to be there, I'm not sure. I know the Dr. at the psych ward said I was to see him for a year. I don't know what kind of power she has
I keep hoping something will happen in my life to change things; I want an Epiphany of some sort. I don't know what it could be; every time I say that my psychologist asks me "Like what?" and I'm forced to go "Gee, I dunno." I would maybe like something not particularly dire and without long term consequences to happen to me. I would like to check out at the grocery without getting cancer from the scanner or step out of my car without my back hurting or something. I would genuinely like to live a day or two without being sorry I am alive.
|5. My weight is not under control
5.1. I don't follow my diet
5.2. I eat the wrong things
5.3. I over eat
My medicines make me hungry. What a son-of-a-bitch side effect for diabetes medication, huh? I've actually lost weight since I've been off them, but I'm doing the binge thing. I do without to keep my sugars down but then get so damned frustrated at what I've been eating that I blow it all on the weekend.
I've been good this year about not over eating, but it has come back full force the last couple of months - basically since my mother moved away. I don't think there's any connection, but that is the time I started gorging.
I picked up some more healthy food this last trip to the grocery. Meaning I bought some Lean Cuisine frozen dinners for my lunches. If I eat those I am, at least, not over or under eating for one meal a day. Breakfast is hard for me. I don't like to eat breakfast at all, but now I wake up with food as the first thing on my mind.
|6. I don't take my medicines as religiously as I should|
Well, I guess it's stupid not to buy my medicine then complain that I don't take it properly. When I had the stuff, I was developing a tremendous reluctance to take it. When my sugar is "normal" I feel crappy. When it is high I feel better, still crappy, but better. When I take the fucking glucophage I have diarrhea all damned day. I spend an hour every day on the fucking toilet as it is, the glucophage made it worse.
|7. I can't read
7.1. Talking books are irritatingly slow
7.2. I have no alternative forms of input
7.3. I am dying for a source of information and stimulation
I'm not making much headway here. I began getting talking books back in July or August of 2k1. I still haven't found a better way to read and genuinely dislike listening to books.
The business my psychologist has come up with, that of listening to more than one book and playing music or TV at the same time does accomplish somewhat its stated purpose - it forces me to concentrate. The problem is that once I am concentrating, I hate it. The process engages my full attention, which is more or less my complaint about talking books. They are so slow that my mind wanders. It does not - at least it does not yet do so in any enjoyable way. In the past when I read or went to a movie, my mind became absorbed ... I got "into" it fully, almost a trance-like state. Any reader is familiar with the phenomenon - it's that book "you can't put down" and discover when you finally do put it down that hours have passed. Nothing engages me that way and has not for over a year. I am going fucking crazy being unable to get out of my head once in a while. I have no escape - into escapism - as it were
I hate being starved for new ideas, information, grist for the mill that my mind has always been. There's a newsline out there that reads the papers to me. It is boring beyond toleration. I never much read the papers anyway, just a smattering of articles from them and magazines. Newsline is exceptionally obnoxious as it carries mostly newswire information which is the same in every paper. It also seems to abbreviate the want adds and classifieds. My paper has many more than I can get on the phone. *sigh*
|8. I have no topics of conversation left|
This goes back to what I was just writing about my by-phone newspaper. I don't have anything to talk about. I always did repeat myself; now it is chronic. Even I'm spotting my repetitions and am bored by them. I can't stop talking; why can't I stop talking? Even when I see their eyes glaze over I just keep going.
I think it really comes from a lack of interaction with others. After two years in my cube, I don't know most of the people who sit around me. I've got all their names, but I can't connect the names and faces. Nobody actually has anything at all to do with me. I don't really understand it. I am pleasant; I speak to people; I do my best to participate; I buy the raffle tickets; I donate to the causes; I cook for the dinners; I never actually interact with anyone. It's like I'm somehow unimportant in the scheme of things like I've been a shorttimer as long as I've been here.
I don't feel like I've done anything to deserve this treatment. I am "weird" always have been but it never prevented me from forming my own little cadre of friends. This now seems impossible. I just don't have the personal resources to go any farther than I've gone. Nobody ever takes a step toward me, the best I get is that sometimes they don't step back.
|9. Braille is unpleasantly slow
9.1. All my input is very slowly acquired
9.2. My output is slow too, my typing speed has dropped from ~95wpm to just over 20 wpm (guesstimate)
9.3. I am spending my whole day in high concentration mode
9.3.1. Figuring out where things are on a page
9.3.2. Memorizing sequences of things to identify graphics and the like
9.3.3. Counting steps to various places
9.3.4. Memorizing landmarks
9.3.5. Memorizing phone numbers
Nothing much has changed here. I thought that some of the activities I've listed above would eventually become "second nature" but they haven't. I don't want to keep functioning at this level. I don't have the energy for it. I don't want to do it. It should not be hard to walk to the bathroom and it is. It should not be hard to go to my boss's office and ask a question and it is. It shouldn't be necessary for me to remember where I put anything I touch all the time, but I do. I hate it. I really hate it. I am getting to the point where I'd rather just step on things or bump into them than go through remembering where they are. My life is too complicated, my mind is too filled with this crap, and I can't get away from it. Blindness sucks.
|10. I'm broke
10.1. My entire income every month goes to others
10.2. Any really big bills would wipe me out
10.3. Because of this I can't quit my job or change jobs
I'm still broke. I've shucked my white elephant of a house but now have to pay the mortgage while not living there. Maybe it'll rent.
A really big bill came in, taxes on the house, on my brother's house, on his car, and on mine. About two grand all together. I am wiped out.
I just quitting my job or changing it remains my perogative. It often seems like I"m hanging by a thread.
|11. I hate my job
11.1. I can "read" JCL and COBOL but can't retain much and can't use what I read effectively.
OK. I admit it. I don't hate my job, I never did really. I've always been in love with computers, programming, all the tasks of learning and teaching and doing programming.
I hate the fact that it is now all of it hard. It is so fucking hard to do things I used to do effortlessly. I don't understand why this is so. I can get around on the computer as well as anyone, Hell, my speed in moving around in TSO or Office leaves others in the dust still. I just can't do anything once I get there. It is so fucking frustrating to be able to pull up a program, find the variable in question then have no idea what to do next. I've lost my ability to synthesize information from the program. I can't read the fucking thing anymore - I have to endure having it read to me. It's all being read to me in an accent more difficult than the Swedish Chef's.
This won't make sense to anyone but a COBOL programmer, but my machine can't pronounce COBOL. I have been teaching it, but there is no way to do better than pathetic. When I read, in the past, a name like WK-BTH-DTE-TBL, I heard something in my head like "work birth date table". Now, I could teach my screen reader to pronounce it that way, equate WK to WORK and such, but what do I then do with W0-WK-ENTRY-BTH which is "Double-U zero week entry for batch" and which would be be pronounced "Double-U zero work entry batch"? When is resume resumé? There is no rational basis to cope with it.
It is this sort of shit which is driving me insane.
|12. I hate Missouri
12.1. They have attitudes I hate
12.2. It is a backwater culturally and socially
12.3. The people here don't like me and I don't like them
12.4. I hate the laws
12.5. The bureaucracy is inefficient and obnoxious
12.6. The weather sucks
12.7. I can't find good restaurants
12.8. The groceries are poor quality and not much variety
12.9. I'm not having any fun
I'm told that much of the above is a matter of perception, that if I decide to like things here, they'll get better, that I need to come to terms with "the way things are" and not project "the way things used to be" onto this locale.
I'm sorry. My good friend who reads this, I apologize for not saying so to you directly, but that is arrant bullshit. It's nonsense. I've always prided myself on dealing with what I've got instead of what I wanted or expected or wished to have. I'm good at it. My flexibility is diminished these days; I haven't the personal resources to be very accepting of change and am not very fast on my feet in coping with change, but a decision to accept doesn't change the reality.
I realize that many people live here and don't regard it as Hell, but I just plain don't like the place. I moved away 20 years ago for the reasons I listed above and they still obtain.
Missouri has attitudes that I hate. So many people take pride in ignorance and bigotry here that it disgusts me regularly. And I'm not talking about racial ignorance and bigotry, I'm talking about people here disliking things like debit cards. I can't deal with that.
I don't like the laws here, the law makers, nor the way they pass their laws. This state has argued incessantly about how to spend the "tobacco money" windfall. How can it be argued for years this way? Why not spend it on health care for people who used tobacco? Was not that the theory under which it was awarded - compensation for damage done to smokers by the tobacco companies? And this is the most benign of my comments. We will not go into the contradictory attitudes about abortion or the confiscatory nature of traffic laws.
The weather here was one of the major reasons I left. I hate being cold. It is going to snow tonight. I don't want to deal with it. Cold feet! Wet clothes. Buildings always too hot or too cold. Cold fucking toilet seats in the morning and a frigid breeze around the edge of your shower curtain. I hate this shit.
Restaurants, grocery stores, clothing, computers, even books,music, movies. All of these are at their pinnacle at the local Wal-mart. 'nuf said?
Apart from the fact that I don't like this place, I have nothing whatsoever to do here. The local movies are pathetically small and of poor quality. Don't get me started on the sad state of local theatre a thing of which I was no particular fan to begin with. Let's not even consider more rarefied opportunites to expand the mind, poetry readings, book signings, or anything of the sort. There is a poetry reading here, quite regularly. Both of the participants read to one another. They tell me they are good.
|13. I don't socialize
13.1. Don't want to very much
13.2. Can't find people with whom to do so
13.3. I have no hobbies
13.3.1. Tried everything I know and don't want to revisit any of 'em
There is nothing to fucking do here. I don't want to raise three more damned kids and have a house and a yard and a station wagon that's the primary occupation of the residents and the only thing this place seems good for. I don't need it.
I can find nothing I want to do, I have no hobbies. I am trying to revitalize some of my former pursuits, I've dug out canvas and brushes and will try painting. I suppose my style will have changed now. I also have my father's leather working tools. I'll see if I can summon some interest in such things again. The only " hobby" that has lasted in my life is writing. I don't enjoy that much anymore. It is a painful process that once was almost automatic. This entry has taken me since Friday evening to compose - about seven to eight hours of effort. I used to do such in an hour at the most. It sucks to be driven to write this much and to dislike it as it goes along.
|14. I don't do anything for fun
14.1. Can't think of anything
14.2. Don't have the energy to do much anyway
Nothing more to say on this. I covered it earlier. Nothing much has changed.
In short, it sucks to be me. Things are not getting better. I can function like this for a while, but I can't go on forever. One of these days the crash is coming, I'll freak out, probably when I lose my job, wind up homeless somewhere coping with only one task a a day - finding food. I hate the thought of mumbling my way through the streets. I always had a special horror of madness and I see little hope for much else in my future. There just aren't many avenues open to me anymore.
None of the things I've listed above are inevitable, irreparable, or completely beyond my ability to cope. I just can't continuously cope with all of them and all the new stuff that arises.
I never had a picture-book family life, but I never thought my family would break up, separate, and go off to die estranged from one another. That's what we're really doing, my mother, my sister, and I.