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The Grieving Room

Welcome, fellow travelers on the grief journey
and a special welcome to anyone
who is new to The Grieving Room.
We meet every Monday evening.
Whether your loss is recent, or many years ago;
whether you've lost a person, or a pet;
or even if the person you're "mourning" is still alive,
("pre-grief" can be a very lonely and confusing time),
you can come to this diary and say whatever you need to say.
We can't solve each other's problems,
but we can be a sounding board and a place of connection.
Unlike a private journal
here, you know: your words are read by people who
have been through their own hell.
There's no need to pretty it up or tone it down..
It just is.

Other diaries I've written in this series are: Fade to white | Somewhere warm | Day to day | Haunted | Strings and Stakes | The way out is through | The Great Okay

A careful kind of balance.

The pills are an amphetamine. I suspect they’re making it more difficult to sleep but the doom cloud is more distant now. Still visible, the way you can see storms approach from the next time zone once you get outside Columbus. Maybe that’s just how depression is. A disorienting from nature, away from the elemental self. The grey sky reminds me of home, the peculiar Pacific Northwest cold.  It’s a wet-cold that makes you think mildew and mold might grow on your skin. Things rot faster out there.

I like fall. I think I’ll always associate it with school and the end of summer. Never could stand the sun. The walk to work is peaceful except for the two streets where no one remembers turn signals or right-of-way, but the colors are beautiful. I feel myself drain from my body. Ever since I was a teenager I had this image of a sort of beige Jell-O was draining from my ear canal. Whatever it was would flow in gobs and I would see these things whenever I was burned out which was always but I’d pretend was sometimes.

When I come home from work I can’t think anymore. I love my job. But my brain is crying for rest, turning on itself, an Ouroboros in my frontal lobe. How is it that I can hear screaming so loud when the house is quiet? I can feel myself become hypersensitive: my boyfriend brushes my shoulders and it hurts. Sleep at nine. Wake up at three. Sleep at half past four. Wake up at seven, a dream still in my mouth. Small, simple acts set off chain reactions I contain by sublimating. I realize creativity, learning, and sensuality are the same feeling in my brain. This is not as great as it sounds. I feel arrested. Broken. As though I'll never be quite right and everyone can see.  

Almost every assignment this semester is late and for the first time since about 2008 or so, I don’t care. I am out of care. I switched over my classes because I was tired of proving to people who weren't invested in my success that I was intelligent. I don’t have much to prove to anyone anymore. I spend more time online. Everybody needs a hobby. My work for the class I do want to do well in is terrible. Disorganized. For an English professor, too. Somehow I always manage to fuck it up.

In a stylist's chair I rejoin the raven flock. People like it. I don't look dead, just more like I fell out of a Tom Waits song. It's more comfortable somehow. And yet, I feel as though I might melt into air, insubstantial and outside my body.

Online all your profiles have turned into memorials. Facebook, tumblr, the occasional re-blog or post asking if anyone has more information about you. They call you brave and fierce. The really persistent ones find me. My name is on all the memorial shit. I don’t know what to tell them. The truth? It's not what they need. I think of keeping a file to copy and paste for these questions, inquiries from strangers. How did you die? What were the circumstances, if I don't mind discussing them? Why does this responsibility fall to me?

Your digital life is so fragile. One link is already broken. I’ve ask Facebook to memorialize your profile. It is all finespun glass spider webs and I hope someday the memory of you fades the way a library might burn, red and black and blowing ash and feel without overflowing.

Have I ever been able to do that?

Originally posted to The Grieving Room on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 05:01 PM PDT.

Also republished by Community Spotlight.

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