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8:33 p.m. - May 12, 2004
Snap snap snap
I'm worried that there will be a knock at the door and people will take me away to wherever people are taken after their psychiatrist issues a warning that a patient is suicidal. I am not suicidal but this afternoon said that yes I am tempted and I should not have said that, though in retrospect he sees past the facade as it is so why bother self-censorship? He mentioned medication again and the idea of it makes me feel like a failure, that somewhere along the line I've lost or never had a certain chemical balance that is taken for granted. It is mind over matter and what happens when there's something wrong with the mind? Someone asks, How are you? and I'm always fine, I smile and make chit-chat, I'm great, everything's dandy and I'm on top of things, same old. I'm a brilliant Ph.D. candidate who can wow people left and right and do it so naturally and easy I walk on water but nobody sees how I'm slowing down, how it's like the real me's been pushed aside and something else moves like mold slow and treacherous undoing everything I once was. I used to be an articulate writer and speaker and published articles and all this wasn't so long ago, I don't know what's happened. And for as much as I say that phrase, don't know what's happened there's a big part of me that just doesn't care. And I pray and pray to a God who's checked out and my support group are the trees in the backyard who do what they've always done, silent witnesses who could care less whether I fertlize and water on schedule or not. I have no job prospects for the summer because I didn't respond to contract inquiries on time. The agency is incensed that I don't answer my phone or erase the messages that pile up and the messages are from people I don't want to talk to, like the sheriff's association seeking funds for the annual charity ball. Or my brother wanting to know if he can housesit in July, thinking that I'm on top of things and will be away during the summer. I didn't file my state taxes and I'm ashamed I don't care but I do now and don't know what I'm supposed to do about it. My favorite blue ink pen is used up and the thought of going to Office Max makes my eyes hurt so I switch to a cheaper pen. Is this how it goes, a steady descent from general oddballness to something serious? And maybe I'm making everything into something it's not, maybe I'm perfectly normal and there's nothing wrong, and as much as I cling to that there's something moving in my cells that makes me know otherwise. There is mildew in one of the bathrooms and I am fascinated to watch it spread. Articulate, articulate, articulate, both noun and verb, either way it escapes me. And tomorrow morning I have a telebriefing with Barbara-the-Editor and when she tells me there's yet more to be done ASAP if not by Friday afternoon I'll nod my head and feel my guts churn but I'll say sure! No problem and I wonder what the author's bio would say were I to die. I don't even write here anymore. And when someone IMs, I'm fine, fine, crack a joke or be silly. It's not working, it's not working. I got an email tonight from a clueless practioner in Minnesota asking for some assessment tips and I stare dumbly at the keyboard wondering where to begin, this coming from the halfman who has literally written the book on the subject. I'm not reading anything, not even Newsweek because my hands don't want to hold anything. And I just said anything twice in the same sentence. And I don't care. It's a pathetic feeling because I know I will or I can snap out of it but even when I'm not in it it's still there, kind of like the forces that bring about El Nino and El Nina even if it's a non-tempermental year. I'll snap out of it.


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