Well, amazing what can happen in a few short minutes.
This morning, I pulled down my holland blind; this is how I learn that they are held up by magnets. I just pulled gently, I swear. I’ve never had much luck with blinds. Like that time in 1987 when I was living at this old woman’s house in Geelong when I first moved there for uni and it just fell down when I pulled it. She was so mad. But her house smelled of cauliflower and death anyway.
Maybe I should rest today, but I know I should get up, make up and dress up like I do every day.
Today there are classes about Values and Goals. So I decide I am going to be curious.
Last night. Should I tell you about last night‽ What’s there to say, really? It was shit. I cried in my room. If I was at home, I would describe it as that night when I drank too much and took all the pills and wanted to die. I went to bed at 5-ish, thinking it would go away but it didn’t. By 7.30, I raced with my cardigan over my head so nobody could see me sobbing like a crazy person (Holly, it’s my old lady grey cardi with flowers but it doesn’t matter much here). Sorry for the bleakness but there you go. Luckily I was able to take the Seroquil, Valium and whatever else all at once. I called Jeff, which I swore I wouldn’t do because I don’t want him to share the really bad times. He video phoned me with the dogs and cats and I think it was worse because I saw everything I had to lose and still didn’t care. I cried myself to sleep, which, thankfully, came on quickly.
I’m not eating much, which is a fucking miracle.
Jo Vraca has lost her appetite.
You know those illnesses where they say that you’ll lose your appetite? Well, that’s never happened to me – except that one time I drank water in Burma and couldn’t eat or drink for days.
I always hoped to get a tapeworm. I also hoped to get Karen Carpentered. I never got the former, but I definitely got the latter.
My eyes are burning today, like they do after you’ve cried a lot. But I’ve decided after last night’s shenanigans that I will not cry.
The wonderful thing about being in this sort of hospital is that you can totally be yourself. You can:
- Sing to yourself (although people will complain about you during the weekly community meeting)
- Have tics
- Not eat
- Be moody
- Go and hide away – although not for long because they’ll come and ask you if you’re feeling safe and wanting to harm yourself
- Listen to sad bastard music all day
- Wear Furkenstocks
My shrink visits me today, although I wasn’t expecting her. I wonder if it’s because of last night. Yep. She already knows about it.
She tells me I can go out tonight still. We have tickets to see Jen Cloher at the Spiegeltent, but I don’t trust myself to not drink or have another episode like last night and I just can’t handle that. Jeff will go with Genn. He deserves a good night out, and Genn is always a good night out, as is Jen!
Our values workshop
B (he’s 75-ish and very different from my parents) tells me that people don’t like his style of living, that he drinks too much. Everyone wants him to live a certain way and yet all he wants to do is sit on his back porch and drink. So he’s given up. I feel like he’s my future, and it’s bleak, but also feels inevitable. My dad was an alcoholic, I know now, but he’s changed. He’s mellow, and boring. My futurr. But it’s come early.
I’ve said it before, the only reason I don’t drink and take a thousand Valium is because of other people – they don’t like me when I’m drunk, they worry when I drink and take multiple Valium at a time (pussies).
But it’s like the guys at the pub recently when I did some secret day drinking. They started off strangers sitting away from each another. The more they drank, the closer they sat to one another. By the end, they were sharing a table and having a good old laugh. What’s wrong with that? Why is this not okay.
B and I have a lot in common like that – we could be those old dudes at the pub. But it really freaks me out that he’s given up because he’s comfortable with where he is and that’s the future I foresee. These values and goals workshops work for people with some drive. What if you have no drive? What if, like B, you’ve been there and done that? He’s been coming to these places for years. What hope do I have? Booze used to be my Obi Wan Kenobi – nobody else saw it that way, but I did, and it was fucking fun. And what business is it of theirs anyway?
I ate lunch today. Yay. I actually felt like it – veggie frittata with roast veggies and a slathering of Lurpak butter!
This is not public hospital, yo! We get Lurpac butter!
Then I come back to the room and dance in the mirror to some Nick Cave. This one.
I’m creating a playlist I’ll keep adding to. It’s called Jo’s Sad Bastard Hospital Music
I sit back down to write this and wonder why I’m not as talented as these sad bastards. I think of all the creatives who, at least, seem sad and depressed, and yet they’ve nurtured their creativity. I think of Lou Reed, Nick Cave, Patti Smith, Courtney Barnett, Adalita. I don’t know. Maybe they’re really happy and solid, actually.
There’s this guy, T, who hears voices. He’s 26 so Saturn Return and all that (I swear I don’t give a rat’s about astrology but the Saturn Return is real, man). So this kid is also in the drug unit, so I guess that hasn’t helped the voices. I used to hear the voices, for maybe 20-25 years. But then I met my shrink and the meds helped. Anyway, T tells me that he likes my eye shadow, that it matches my hair. I’m flattered because it’s true; it looks especially nice today. I feel especially nice today, actually. I washed my hair and it looks pretty.
But then I think, Jo, you’re taking a compliment from a kid who hears voices and clutches a pillow everywhere he goes.
Other than the two groups, lunch and meds, I haven’t left my room.
By the way, I hate my new nurse. He is a a fucking cunt who asks too many questions about why I need to take my Valium exactly 4 hours after the last time. He asks me if I’m anxious, and I go into tapping mode again. I tell him I don’t have anxiety, I have depression, mania, and I am pre-empting the overwhelm after what happened last night. Does he know what happened last night, no? Then stop giving me a hard time. I actually say these things to him and it’s obvious that five days of group sessions about managing interactions with people have NOT rubbed off on me.
I want to call him a CUNT and wonder what the consequences will be if I do. Anyway, he’s my nurse and he hasn’t even said a word to me all day.
I think my mum’s been trying to call me because I get calls from a private number, but I just can’t talk to her because I know I’ll lose my shit and she’ll say all the rubbish people who have no idea always say:
Don’t worry about it.
You’ll be fine.
Think happy thoughts.
Think of everything you have in your life.
But your life is so perfect.
Where’s my fucking rifle?