“Dying is an art, like everything else. I do it exceptionally well. I do it so it feels like hell. I do it so it feels real. I guess you could say I’ve a calling.—Sylvia Plath

If you want some wiser, more positive, less self-pitying views on life, I’d totally skip reading my journal today and visit Letters Of Note: On The Meaning Of Life. Anything I have to say here is just going to piss you off if you’re the kind of person who only wants to surround themselves with positive light and energy and whatnot.

This week, it’s been really hard not to feel down on myself, and to feel as if I’m not really worthy of existing. In fact, it’s been kind of hard to remember why there’s much good about me existing at all.

It all started with some random person I don’t know harassing The Guy I Am Currently Dating, outing the fact that, *gaspshockawe*, I had changed my name in the past. The next day, I attended a birthday brunch for a friend where I apparently offended an overly politically-correct HR person by using the word “crazy” to describe my personal feelings/mental state while on certain anti-anxiety medications. I then offended her the next day by posting pictures of the event, wherein I tagged everyone I knew. She was one of the two people at the event who wasn’t a personal friend of mine on FB, but she left a snippy comment about how she and another person were invisible because they weren’t tagged. (you can only tag people on FB if they are friends, and you know their names.) Then, to round out the offense, she “friended” everyone she met at the event, conspicuously excluding The Guy I Am Currently Dating and myself.

Then, of course, there was the communication from “G” I posted yesterday; fat, crazy, horrible person, nobody cares about you, more negative reinforcement.

This was all topped off by trying to go and play trivia last night, which I could barely manage. The first place, Las Margaritas, plays their music so loudly you can hear it inside your car while in the parking lot. They then close off the room with the speakers, so it’s a self contained patio area, and have decorated it with tons of white Christmas lights and heat lamps for comfort. I lasted two question, and on the way out, was shaking and had the typical desire to repeatedly stab myself with a sharp object. (a common and particularly dangerous side effect of whatever causes my brain to become agitated. Sometimes, I actually do it. I don’t intend to harm myself, it’s just a release of the energy that makes me feel like my brain is going to explode. Like cutting, for people who hate blood. As I said, whatever is wrong with me very easily makes me feel “crazy”.

We then went to a second location, which wasn’t much better. It was a build-your-own-stir-fry/grill place with loud music and the relentless chop-chop-bang of a metal spatula. I felt dizzy the entire time, and the feeling of tingling and wanting to rip my skin off only disappeared when I went home, took an Advil, and laid down on the bed for awhile.

Sometimes, I feel so depressed and hopeless. I don’t feel like there’s anything good I have to offer the world, and all the people who hate me are right to range from not wanting a thing to do with me to mocking me behind my back to actively trying to harm my relationships and cause problems in my life. I can’t even go out of the house to engage in quiet, sedentary activities with friends, much less go to an event where I’m social and likeable. It hurts when people call me fat and make remarks about my weight problem, because I don’t know what to do about it. I’ve gained over 20 pounds in less than a year, and my doctor has told me I won’t lose an ounce as long as I’m on my current medications. However, quitting the beta blocker that makes people feel lethargic and cause weight gain has unwanted side effects like heart attacks, heart palpitations, panic attacks, and high blood pressure. It’s not my fault…none of this is…but it doesn’t mean I don’t hate myself because of it, and I don’t hate the way other people judge me when they look at me.

I’ve always been attractive; not thin, not pretty, but attractive. And I’ve always been energetic, the life of the party; not always the most charming or the most interesting, but always up for a good time. I’ve always wanted to go out, be around people…and this illness has taken all of that from me. Now I sometimes wish I never had to leave my house again, because I’d rather not have other people see me this way. I have friends and family spread out across the world who ask me when I’ll be up for visiting and traveling again, and the truth is, I need my friends and family more than anything in the world, but I don’t want them to see me like this. I want to be the person they remember, not this listless, moody, fat blob that’s nothing like me, and will either burst into tears, have a panic attack, or attempt to rip her skin off with a pencil at any given time.

I would give 10 years of my life just to be able to live this part of my life healthy and happy again. But the truth is, sometimes I have no idea if I have those years to give. Out of all the doctors I’ve seen, only one made a diagnosis, and all my reading points to the fact that it’s often a cop-out diagnosis, one they give when someone has odd neurological and inner ear symptoms, but there’s no logical indications why. I sometimes think maybe I have some tiny little thing in my brain; an aneurysm, a tumour, a lump where one doesn’t belong, or that my heart simply isn’t working right, causing me to gain weight and carry around more and more water by the day.

Some days, I hope the secret thing that $50,000 of inadequate and less-than-informed medical treatment couldn’t buy me a diagnosis for will just kill me and get it over with, so I don’t have to spend more days hating myself, hearing how much others hate me, being criticised constantly, having no defenses with which to handle life. I don’t want to spend more days missing what I used to look like, what I used to feel like, how easy it was to find joy in things.

So, today, when I read Gala Darling’s journal about making a list of 100 things you like about yourself, I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. I can’t think of a single thing worth adding to the list, except for the fact that I did my work, didn’t get fired, and didn’t let my dog starve all day.

Sometimes, I think about how I’d trade places with a terminally ill person if I could, so I’d have the definite answers I need, the closure and the ability to just disappear that I want…and that person would have the skills to cope with living the kind of life that’s been thrown my way, whereas all I can do is curl up in a ball and cry because of everything that seems lost. This…whatever it is…has taken away my ability to feel young, to feel attractive, to look attractive or interesting to anyone, to go to the grocery store, to go for a walk in the park, to randomly go out and drink with my friends after work, to be a supportive and loving friend, girlfriend, daughter, sister, to do anything worth anything in the world. I feel like I’m just a shell now, and maybe if I knew I only had a year left to live, I’d be relieved. I wouldn’t have the time to miss everything that I’ve lost, and I’ve lost so much, at so many different points of my life…I don’t have it in me to keep starting over. There’s only so much life can take from a person.

Sometimes, I just want to be at peace with my life, say my goodbyes, and know I don’t have to struggle every day of my life, or cry because I’m not better, and I can’t stand being the person I’ve become.

I honestly wouldn’t have one thing to put down on the list, much less 100. There isn’t much that’s good or unique or special or appealing or interesting about me, period. Sometimes, I don’t even know if I *am* anymore. I’m just leftover pieces of a girl who once had a very difficult, adventurous, colourful, and unconventional life.

I think someone else would be able to make better use of the pieces than I can.

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