The Weight Of The World

Atlas.

That’s who I’m feeling like right now. The only time he got a break was when Hercules offered to take his place so Atlas could go see his daughters. Ol’ Herc was a great guy.

I don’t have daughters.

It’s good and bad. The good part is I can now honestly say The Moreva of Astoreth has been critically acclaimed. Six out of 7 critical reviews, all stellar. I’ve entered it into can’t remember how many contests in the past month. Doesn’t matter. I’m not keeping track of anything. If I win something, they’ll let me know. Audio book still underway. I’ll be getting a solid chunk of change in the next month or so stemming from the bankruptcy–a company I had an outstanding loan with continued to debit my bank account after the petition was filed last April. All that money, almost a year’s worth, is coming back to me. What it means is that I’ll be able to afford the audio book’s sticker price as well as get some damned much needed stuff fixed around my house. Like the plumbing. Especially the plumbing.

Now the hard stuff. Ageing parents. Being locked out of family communications. The latest is that I learned my mother has mild dementia through an offhand comment my father made about the lawyer who’s setting up the trust. I knew there was an issue–nobody goes to see a neurologist for fun. But that was over a year ago, and when I asked about it, I was told everything was fine. And just the other day, I find out it’s not. With my family, this is business as usual. They don’t tell me shit about what’s going on. I learn about it, and it’s a big surprise. Oh, I hear what you’re saying–“why don’t you just ask?” Well, I’m sick of running after them. This has been the state of affairs for over 30 years. Really, I’ve never felt like I was a part of my family. Not even as a kid. It’s like the only connection I have with them is through blood. There’s a lot more stuff, but I don’t want to bore you.

Then there’s my continuing physical deterioration. Sounds dramatic, but that’s what it is. Right now, it’s my eyes. Sjogren’s disease, an autoimmune disorder. Incurable, of course. Its manifestation is that my eyes and mouth, especially my eyes, are bone dry. I’ve had several procedures already to bring it under control, but nothing’s worked. So the eye doctor is going to send me to yet another specialist. So what happens is that I’m constantly using eye drops and ointment to the point I have to wash them more than once a day because my skin gets absolutely crusty with the gunk. On good days, I experience discomfort. On bad days it’s outright pain. I weep mucus because my eyes are trying to lubricate themselves because I don’t produce tears. Did I mention that it sometimes hurts like a fucker? Burning, like somebody set my eyes on fire. And don’t let me be outside and there’s a breeze, especially in spring when all the pollen is floating around. So of course, it interferes with daily living. Like on some days, I can’t drive because the only thing that alleviates the pain is closing my eyes to protect them. That’s right. I’m basically driving with my eyes closed.

Oh, yes–it affects my job. What helps is for me to put some heavy-duty goop in my eyes and rest them for an hour. My boss in adamant that I be ready and available every hour of the work day. The last time I mentioned I needed to go down for an hour–just the other day–she emailed me bitching that this is a “daily occurrence” (it’s not) and that when I’m having trouble, I should just take the day off. If that’s the case, I might as well just retire because this shit never ends. It’s worse in the afternoon, because I’ve been up working at the computer, my eyes getting more and more irritated. But tell me–how is resting my eyes for an hour, even if every day, going to have such a negative impact on the magazine that all gets blown to hell for the week?

And there’s more to the job thing. Feels rather silly to say I’ve had a tough year, because everyone has. Still, there’s no doubt I had some major difficulties because I couldn’t understand what was wanted of me. And I don’t know why that was so. Could be my mental problems. Could be something else. Apparently, the topics I chose for my articles weren’t proper for my job. I was told my articles were more like glorified news reports instead of commentary and analysis. I was told to read articles written by my colleagues for guidance. I couldn’t see the difference in what they did and what I’d done. Well, I must have gotten the hang of it because I haven’t heard any complaints lately. And then, late last year, I made a totally major screw-up and goodness, you’d have thought the world was about to come to an end. At any rate, all this led to a meeting with my boss and HR, which was really embarrassing for me.

All this shit–family, job–got me so fucked up I had to call my therapist for an emergency appointment because I was losing my ability to cope. He talked me down from the window ledge. It’s not better, but I’m no longer about to go off the deep end. I’m just tired. No, exhausted. Like that old movie says.

Stop the world, I want to get off.

Ciao.

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