From the outside, it looks as if there’s nothing wrong with my life. I have friends I love and who love me. I don’t have to worry about money on a daily basis, and I am writing every day–meeting the goals I’ve set for myself. I am devoted to my cat, Shadow, and he to me–he’s making biscuits on my legs (the comforter over it) as we speak. I have things I’m passionate about, and I get to set my own schedule. For some people, this life would be damn near idyllic. But, as with many things, it’s what’s not being said that matters more than what is stated. Even though I have friends I love and who love me, I feel lonely sometimes. In addition, I get too much in my own head and start telling myself things I know aren’t true.
It’s the ugly head of depression, and it’s rearing itself up more frequently and higher than before. If I had to guess why, I would say it’s because I’m sick. Physical and emotional health are linked, and the longer the physical bullshit continues, the worse my mental health gets. It’s partly because I feel it’s a weakness on my part that I’m sick for so long. Rationally, I know it’s not true, but that little voice in my head is like, “You’re weak. You’re terrible.” Or, conversely, “It’s all in your head.”
Which it most definitely is not.
Yesterday, I was so exhausted, I skipped taiji. My sleep is shitty in general as I’ve documented before, but it’s been really bad in the past few days. I’ve woken up feeling exhausted with the chills, and I would struggle through the day, going to bed feeling exhausted and having hot flashes. Rinse, lather, and repeat. Last night, I was feeling perkier, but then I started coughing so hard, my voice turned raspy. This is one of the stages of sickness I get when I do get sick–hacking cough. I still have it today, but I’m feeling MUCH better in general. More energy, and not as if I’m death warmed over. I’ll take that trade-off any day of the week.
In addition, my ears are scabby and runny. Yep, both. Funnily enough, it’s more my right ear this time. Why is that funny? Because it’s usually my left ear. I hate when an ear gets full of puss and scabs, and I feel compelled to pick at the scabs. I know it’s not a good thing, and I know it only makes things worse, but it’s a compulsion with me. My right ear is sore and tender as well. I need to see a doctor. This shit has gone on too long. I’m afraid she’ll say it’s all in my head or the more generic version of she can’t find anything wrong. I also want to see an acupuncturist because TCM deals with the whole picture rather than just parts as piecemeal.
I’ve also been dipping my toe into Bumble, but I’m not in any physical shape to meet someone right now. nor, if I’m to be honest, emotional shape. Even though I just want sex (mostly), there is still a lot of baggage with dating online. I know many people have had success with it, but it’s so not in the way I like to do things. In the past, the people I’ve dated have mostly been friends first, so online dating seems artificial to me. I’ve done it before with varying success, but it took a lot out of me. Besides, I know my parameters are very weird for the gen pop, so when I scroll through the possibilities, there are so many reasons to say no. In addition, I set up a holder bio in five minutes and have yet to flesh it out. So, I’m a little suspicious of the people who have swiped…left? Right? I think right is the indication that someone is interested. I hope so, anyway, or I’ve been doing a lot of bad swiping.
I already know I don’t want to date anyone with children, even if it’s just for sex. That’s a nonstarter for me. Let me backtrack a minute. I am not looking for a LTR, but I’m not necessarily ruling one out, either. Right now, I just want sex and companionship, to be honest. I don’t want all the other stuff that goes alongside a romantic relationship. However, I am not completely opposed to the idea that one of the DTF situations might turn into something more ongoing and permanent. Not a monogamous LTR, but something that has legs, regardless. If that’s the case, then I don’t want kids to be in the picture at all. That’s a tall ask of people my age, give or take ten years.
In addition, I want someone who doesn’t drink. At all. Not even socially. I can maybe give a little to someone who drinks a beer every month or so. Heh. Initially, I wrote every year or so, which is definitely a Freudian slip on my part. I don’t want someone who’s way into the outdoors, which, unfortunately is a majority of Minnesotans. That is before we even get to pop culture or sex. You can see why I’m a bit discouraged. I know there’s a school of thought of being more open in the beginning, but, no. I’m approaching dating the way I approach Googling shit–I put in as many qualifiers as I can think of so the results I get are as specific as possible. My brother and I used to have this argument about how we Googled. Not an argument, per se, but a discussion. He preferred to put in as generic of terms as possible because he liked to winnow his results himself. I, on the other hand, use as much specificity as I can because I want to have less results that are more accurate.
It’s the same with dating. I don’t want to date a hundred people, perhaps finding ten or eleven with whom I’d click. I’d rather date three with the high probability of getting along with all of them. Plus, there are deal-breakers for me, and I’d rather put them on the table right away and be done with it. I don’t want to get married. I don’t want children. I don’t want to be strictly monogamous, though that’s squishier in my mind, and I don’t want to live with someone. No supporters of this president. Actually, no Republicans at all. At this point, if you’re still calling yourself a Republican, then, well, no. Kind of like Catholics–I’m not down with that bullshit at all. No drinkers, light smokers, and no druggers.
If I have no give, then it’s better to find out upfront if someone doesn’t fit the parameters. It’s not about judging other people (well, a little bit), but more about what does and doesn’t work for me. I’m old. I’m fat. I’m grumpy. I don’t need to waste my time trying to convince myself I really should give Ernestine a chance. In addition, I’ve done the heavy lifting emotionally in most of my romantic relationships, and I’m not doing it again. One thing I’ve learned from reading Captain Awkward is that women are trained to cater to men’s needs, and it’s so ingrained, we sometimes can’t even see that we’re doing it. All these women writing to her, basically asking permission to break up with their boyfriends. They list out all the reasons as if they need to justify it, which, frankly, this society demands. “Give him another chance.” “He’s not that bad.” “You’re overreacting.” “It’s just the way Jimmy is!” We tell little girls that Bobby pulling her hair means he likes her, but who the fuck cares? It’s still unpleasant for Chantal.
For me, it didn’t help that I’ve been the family therapist since I was a little girl. My mother groomed me to be her confidante, and it’s a habit that continues to this day. When she calls, she spends most of the time talking about my father’s health (read my archives for more context on that) without really caring what I have to say in response. When she asks about me, she’ll immediately turn it back to her. I said I was still dealing with this cold or whatever, and she said, “Oh, I had the same thing the other night.” She will acknowledge once in awhile that she hasn’t asked about me, but then she’ll continue to talk about herself. If we do manage to talk about me, it’s like we’re having two separate dialogues. She has a script running in her head, and she sticks with it, no matter what I say.
As for my cat, Shadow, who is snoozing on my legs as I type this, he’s a good boy. He’s the main reason for me getting out of bed in the morning. Afternoon? Morning these days. However, he’s developed this habit of consistently meowing at me to wake me up in the morning, and if that doesn’t work, he’ll rapidly claw at the blanket. Which reminds me. I need to clip his nails. It’s as annoying as fuck, but I don’t know what to do about it other than lock him up over night–which I really do not want to do. And, I hasten to add, by lock him up, I mean putting him downstairs for the night where he’d have access to his litter boxes, and I would put food and water down there if I did it. I hesitate to do it, however, because he’s had separation issues since his brother’s death nearly two years ago. It was really bad in the first six months as he would show signs of anxiety and stress any time I left the house. It’s better now, but I think part of his morning serenade is because I’ve been ‘out’ for so long. I mean, he has dry food in a bowl that he can eat whenever he wants, but it’s not the same as wet food, I know.
I’m tired. I’m done. I’ll write more later.