When most of the people on my flist started reading my journal, I was a fuckup queen. It\’s not that I didn\’t know what to do with my life — the problem was that I had known what I wanted and then started getting diagnosed left and right with a bunch of chronic conditions and diseases, some of which nothing much can be done for. As it turned out, I\’d had them all my adult life, but hadn\’t known, so I was living under the belief that if I just tried harder I\’d be able to live a productive life, that eventually, if I lived my life right, the pain and fatigue would go away.
After being hooked up to a lot of fancy machines, my outlook changed: it turned out that no, these things weren\’t just going to go away — I was stuck with them. A few months after living somewhere between limbo and denial, I snapped on the night of Halloween 2002 and tried to kill myself. It was around that time that I\’d already gained a reputation for being a rollercoaster. People read my journal because they wanted to find out if or when the train car crashed next. Apparently, I had (have?) a gift in eloquently phrasing the loss of my hope. Some people thought it was a good read.
In the past six years, I\’ve finally come to terms with my health. I know it\’s not going to go away and I\’ve accepted that. I\’m no longer despondent that I\’ll not be able to have any semblance of a life with these factors. I\’ve figured out what medication works for me — what I need to be on in order to function, what I need to take for the pain, what I need to take to lessen the fog. I\’ve learned what schedule to keep, with what pharmacological agents, in order to function at about a 60% \”normal/average\” level. (As pharmacology improves, I believe that my functioning levels will improve, too.)
As my health and life have improved, my readership has dropped off. Well, that\’s just a simple way of phrasing it. For a start, a lot of people I once knew have migrated away from being active in the journaling sphere. Additionally, I\’ve grown apart from a lot of other people I used to be close with. It seems kind of odd to me sometimes, but as I\’ve become less of a train wreck and have become more stable, more healthy, more happy, and more \”normal\” (holding down a job, maintaining a home, going to school), I\’ve actually lost friends. I know people grow on different paths, and as I\’ve watched everyone get better, I\’ve also watched most of us grow apart. I suppose friendships that grew in times of trouble may have less in common when there isn\’t so much trouble to bond them.
All this waxing poetic on friendship has taken me of course, actually. While that is one of the big four subjects I\’ve been wanting to write about lately (the others being birth/life, death/dying, and what the future holds), it wasn\’t meant to be my subject du jour.
Increasingly, I feel like I\’m living in a parallel universe. It\’s easier to make a list of the odd events than to try to write them all out. In no particular order:
1. I still feel like I don\’t have a lot of real friends, but that doesn\’t mean that acquaintances don\’t care in their own, fucked up ways. When some random guy kicked my cane out from under me, a group of five guys that I know tried to drag the guy outside and beat him up. Situation was resolved by my husband intervening and bringing the guy over to me to apologize, with all guys all standing behind him, watching. I\’d have been scared, too.
2. My wedding party show got written up in the Washington Post. Wa-fucking Po! We went up against a two huge scenester shows that night and still brought out a decent amount of people. We had passed out 75 invites and of those, 60-odd people came, so I think it was a good outcome. Everyone had fun and people are still thanking me for the wonderful, fun show. And we\’re still finding ping pong balls at the bar.
3. Booking the wedding party has led the bosses to start asking, \”What\’s up with Cassandra booking shows?\” This is apparently expected now. I ran into the other booker last week and he wouldn\’t look me in the eye, though he did tell my husband that he \”thought more people would show up at [our] party after a WaPo write up.\” But I\’m supposed to start booking more shows now. I\’m also supposed to start doing some other stuff, which hasn\’t been finalized yet, so more on that later.
4. I ran into half of Fugazi over the weekend; Guy and Ian congratulated me on getting married. Um, okay. They then proceeded to say they heard how awesome My Robot Friend had been at my party, and why hadn\’t they been invited/told beforehand so they could come? [In the \’80s, Matt\’s band and Fugazi played together; they were \”scene friends\” or whatever.] Ian then chastised Matt for drinking a beer (\”still drinking beer?\”). Because it\’s SUCH a high priority of mine to invite people my husband doesn\’t particularly agree with; who haven\’t socialized with him in over 15 years; and people who, whenever they come to my bar for a show, won\’t show their IDs, try to get on the guest lists and if they can\’t, get friends to open up the back fire doors for them so they can get up, then because they don\’t drink they put NO money to the bar at all, let alone tips. Yes, I would really just LOVE to invite that kind of person to hang out with me.
5. I was told that I am one of two of the most responsible people on staff. Me, responsible? BWAHAHA. But then I thought about it and realized that it\’s not just because of comparisons, but because I actually make the effort. School, I don\’t make the effort. Even when I worked as an assistant manager eight years ago, I was making no effort. I didn\’t care. I shirked responsibility any chance I got. I never did more than the minimum required. Now, I\’m consistently begging for more to do, for more responsibility.
I haven\’t quite adapted yet to the new changes in my life. There\’s verbal cues, such as still calling Matt my boyfriend instead of my husband, but there are much larger things, too. I\’m not used to being looked to for ideas, to being a do-er and not just a dreamer, and to being someone to lean on because I\’m considered responsible. For the longest time, I thought I was being given certain tasks because no one else could be trusted to do them, and I thought that made me the shit worker. It\’s taken me a long time to realize that no, that makes me responsible.