A good majority of people from previous therapists I have seen to just about anyone else that I’ve sat across from, not close friends unfortunately cause at the moment I have none…yet anyway ask me how I am able to live like I do. Meaning the constant lonliness, isolation, the lack of a supportive family…I have a Mother she is elderly & mentally ill herself but she is unable to provide any comfort. So I’m asked this question. My answer…I don’t really know. All I can say to anyone that asks me this question is I take it one day at a time or in my case one minute at a time because how I live is so incredibly astronomically difficult that most times I scream out how I can’t take this anymore. What most of you out there don’t understand is that depending on where you live it is so difficult to make friends. And the older you are much like hoping to get married…that it becomes all the more harder to meet anyone. I sure as hell don’t want to get married I don’t believe in the instituition of marriage anyway gay or straight. I’ve tried over the years too. I’ve become active in many things…in fact I’ve been an activist with a few groups, this was in the 90’s. I’ve volunteered with various organizations. For some reason I’ve really had no one take an interest in me no matter how nice I was or how friendly & outgoing I just never would make any lasting connections…unsure why either. Perhaps jealousy, I do know that theres a lot of backstabbing & meanspiritness that goes on with women that’s just the truth. It does take a toll I know it has on me. So much so that I’m really scarred psychologically from it. These experiances have certainly changed me and not for the better either. I’m just like a soldier that has returned from a war zone. I don’t trust anyone, I envy anyone that has more than me because I don’t have much to work with & very little emotional support. I feel at times like I go through a complete withdrawal like drug addicts who quit drugs if you’ve seen documentaries of what they go through. For me I go through total manic episodes that are pretty scary. So how do I do it? I take meds that only helps some…about 60-75% of the time however everyone out there meds are not magic pills life is still one big struggle for me. So I take refuge in DVDs, sometimes I go to the movies but as you all know movies are real expensive even going to a matinee will run you 9 dollars then I usually sneak my snacks inside cause those concession stand prices…..JESUS! but its high. I go to the library ALOT! I read a lot as well, but I go through books pretty fast & due to the budget crunch here in Washington and the increase of library patronage you now have to reserve nearly all library books you want. Since I pull titles from recommendations from either authors or the internet I usually have like several people ahead of me waiting for the exact same book that I want…sucks. I do watch TV although I cut back so I don’t end up a couch potato or fat. My mind is constantly & I mean constantly thinking up things I could do, because when your out there on your own & alone there just isn’t anyone who will come by to say “Hey ______ lets go do this or that” It’s not like those shows like Sex In The City where Carrie Bradshaw has these great friends that come to her aide when things go wrong. I don’t have that at all. Although it would be nice to have caring friends like that, well this is real life and while friends like Carrie’s probably do exist in the World they just don’t exist for me. So I have to be sort of my own daily planner from the minute I get up there is always the question “What will I do today”? Sometimes I just don’t have a clue even with internet access available to me, because lets face facts everyone you have to know what your looking for on the Net to get whatever information you need. You need to know just what questions to ask when your on Google or Bing. I suppose a newspaper would help with the internet I just never think of buying one. Living on your own is not as easy as you might think….its real hard. So up until very recently I’ve stayed home ….ALOT with no one to call, no family….I would just stay home it was the best way to keep out of trouble. As a single woman there are a whole lot of pitfalls for women…especially African American women because of the negative stereotypes that we’re easy. So while on an internet search to check out a Buddhist temple over in Seattle that I am thinking of checking out on Sunday I saw on the Buddhist website a festival that I haven’t been to since I was in high school. Its the Bon Odori Japanese festival. I had completely forgotten about it. Back in December of last year while I had my hospital stay over at U.W. medical hospital I was told about Circle Of Friends a sort of non profit place where people who suffer mental illness can gather to do art, photography, drama. COF has various locations according to their website up until recently I had also forgotten about COF then one day while sitting in my recliner COF popped into my head. On Saturday of this week I will go for the first time to check out their photography class. Best part is that if I don’t own a digital camera which I don’t the group or instructor will provide one. So on Saturday its off to COF then after that I will go to the Bon Odori festival. I know that its taken awhile to figure out what to do with myself during the day. But hey, good ideas for me just take a little longer with out anyone else around. When that happens I tend to deteriorate a bit & I run into what I call a mental block. This is the best I can do to describe just how hard it can get for me.
So I will try to get out but its not as easy as it sounds whenever I leave outside of my apartment to do anything I put a tremendous amount of thought into it. Oh yes. I know for example that there are a lot of shady types of people out there and for some reason when a woman is by herself? Its almost like a lamb in an arena full of lions. In other words I must be careful of the predators and there out there. I try to put a plan into place of how I’ll get somewhere, then how I will get home safe. This particular festival is in a somewhat sketchy part of town. Gangs are everywhere these days & the crazy people. Now days, I worry about getting shot. So after I hang out at the festival like a couple of hours cause I can’t stay until 10PM when the festival ends…it would be too late, I will take a taxi to a bus stop out of the area then go home. I’m on a tight budget so I try to figure out these kinds of things. I don’t want to end up in trouble and I also want to get home in one piece. This is the reality of living in 21st Century America everyone. And this is all during the day. At night I never go out too dangerous especially in Seattle. I live in the suburbs outside of Seattle. To survive I also must use my head to keep myself safe. Its a pretty stressful way to live that’s for sure. Another way I keep from going crazy is blogging. I use to write poetry but I haven’t really wanted to put together anything in quite sometime I don’t know why. Then throughout all of this I try to find some mental health help which is a real arduous task because trying to find the right kind of help everyone is like trying to find the goose that lays the Golden egg. It’s real hard. Especially if you have very little money and not the right kind of insurance. As of this typing of this blog I was given a referral by a caring coordinator who runs Hero House so I’m going to this agency on Monday where I hope to get some mental health counseling to help me sort through all the mountains of emotional baggage I carry around with me every single day. Sometimes I’m not a very nice person to be around. I don’t like being that way I don’t excuse it but that’s what it is today. I’m really wounded and badly so with the right help I hope to be a happy (at least some of the time) and well adjusted individual. I work hard, really hard at finding ways to improve myself and in the process of doing so I sometimes relapse & badly into a person that I don’t like…this is my reality. I’m thankful that I’ve been blessed with incredible insight into my situation because without this I would surely have fallen into some real self destruction, drugs, the streets, hooking up with the wrong person or with the wrong people. I ask you all to send some special prayers my way and hopefully one day I will see that light at the end of the tunnel. Thanks for reading pass this blog along to others that are suffering & struggling out in the World.