I just finished five straight days of work -- rather, I did yesterday. And all I did was sleep, sleep, sleep.... Today, I felt like a member of a herd of cattle as I visited a doctor's office for my scheduled Social Security Disability appointments; I saw the doctor all of three minutes, then back out to the utilitarian waiting room for another forty minute wait...then an hour and a half memory test in a bland room. All what you'd expect from a streamlined government process. It was tiring and made me feel about three inches tall; all those questions, the impersonal nature of the people. How could you believe they cared at all? All gave little pieces of advice, but you could tell they weren't listening, just wanted to get me out and feel good at the end of the day.
The whole thing made me feel. Sitting at home, everything that's happened felt impersonal -- losing my health insurance (and try, try, trying to get new coverage only to get rejected time and time again), not being able to afford medications or doctors' appointments, the creditors and phone calls, pending litigation, being that person, the one who shops at Wal-Mart and has to decide between paying off my bills and getting medication. There's a point where you're just resolved to being such a person, and you try not to think about it.
But sitting there, in a clinic, with others in my position, with the impersonal, poor quality service -- I'm a girl who's grown up in the suburbs, who's mom was on the PTA and worked at my school, who has always had the best of everything -- doctors, schools, clothes, I felt it all on my shoulders. This is who I am. And through it all, I wonder where I went wrong. Why do I live someplace where someone can strive for the American Dream only to be marginalized, denied, rejected?
I escape through my journal. Some days, I wonder why I carry it around everywhere when I don't even look at it for days. But then I'm reminded that I need it to run away, to escape all this crap that's fallen on my shoulders. I can't even tell you how happy I will be when 2007 is finally over. My brother was in the hospital this year. I was in a car accident, lost a job, and had to sit and watch as my parents' marriage began to buckle under the stress (there are, of course, many other things to contribute, but this is public, and some things remain private).
I've made it through five days in a row of work, something I was terrified I wouldn't be able to do; I was almost in tears as I drove home that final day, amazed I did it, survived. And while I've slept the last two days away, at least I showed myself what I can do when I put to my mind to it. But now comes the freezing, the stiffness of can I do it again? Will my body heal enough to keep this routine up? In the end, I don't have a choice -- it is either this or no meds, no car, no new supplies, no nothing.
I know many of you are wondering where your copy of the 'zine is.
I'm sorry I haven't been able to get it mailed out -- at the moment, it's sitting at Staples, but after the drive today and the waiting, going, waiting of this afternoon, I'm not up to driving a half hour to grab it. The last issue had problems with spelling and layout, so I've been knee deep in proofs, trying to make sure everything's perfect, spelled right. I cannot tell you how many times, after my first video, I was corrected for my wrong pronunciation of 'gesso.'
Part of putting yourself out on the internet is putting yourself out there for both the good and the bad. Most of the comments here have been wonderful, but just last week I was called some pretty disgusting things, half of which I'd never say. And I don't even check the comments on my videos anymore; while I appreciate and was touched by the girls who went to bat for me, I don't need to see anything that can be perceived as negative. Can you blame me? With all that's happened, I can't handle my escape and method of sharing being shattered as my life has been.
Yes, the 'zine will be sent out this week. Yes, I have gotten your emails and comments. Please just be direct with me, okay? I know I've failed, have disappointed, haven't been even the shadow of a good businesswoman. I am trying my best, REALLY trying. I will catch up on my emails and mailing list, I swear. I feel so horrible about taking forever and neglecting you all, I really do. And I'm sorry.
I've posted new pictures in the In-Progress Journal album; many of the changes were done yesterday in-between naps. I hope they provide some insight that's been lacking here in the last week.