A lot of my posts these days about my ability to breathe. More like my inability. Well here I go again. I don’t know what to do and I want to cry. This is a not-often, but all too familiar feeling.

I am busy and driven crazy by the normal mom things: fighting kids; kids trashing the house; the noise; the mess; the lack of space; the lack of sanity. Those things that all parents identify with.

Dad calls. I’ll take the kids tonight. Drop them over at five. I’ll drop them off in the morning. The feeling of relief and the hope that knowledge brings. I will have down time. I will relax. Maybe I will go to a hip coffee shop and write.

Quickly my mind starts turning against me. I know I will be bored. I know I will not know what to do. I have no idea how to be me. I read a chapter of my book today. The first in the last month. I could read another. I could write. I could ask a ‘friend’ over.

First let’s get rid of these kids. Let the madness stop and the scarier feelings take over. I drop the at their dad’s. He attempts to talk, but I am dying to drive away. The second I do I panic. What the fuck am I supposed to do now? I drive to my local Starbucks. God I’m fed up with this place. I sit in the car for a while as I often do – too paralyzed to move in any direction because each is as pointless another.

The phone rings. It’s our realtor. We’re selling our house. One of marriage breakdowns’ sad effects. My husband, and he, and I are on conference. He explains about the offers we have had that day, what the ins and outs ae. What he thinks next moves should be. He is optimistic. My husband is ecstatic. I just am. Of course, I’m glad that we are likely to get a great price, but thinking it all threw causes me to drift off into further oblivion. I ask him to do what he thinks is best. When we hang up, I feel the need to sit in nothingness for a little while.

I decide Starbucks is off the menu. All Starbucks and with them every Dunkin Donuts. So, I google maps ‘coffee shop’ and scroll through the swathes of the two previously mentioned chains. A few interesting independent places pop up. A few I’ve been too before. Others are closing soon. I settle on Java & Mug where I’m sitting now. As I drive past it and don’t actively try to find parking, I recognize my behavior. My letting myself off the hook. Pretending I couldn’t find parking and going home. I went around the block.

I guess that’s a victory. For who? It should be for me. I don’t feel it. For my psychiatrist? He’s in it when I’m in it. It can’t work, and there is no point in him trying to make it work if I can’t push myself forward. So, I sit in the car again. I just saw a Muslim family together. The son about the same age as mom and dad. The parents gardening together. A distraction. A hugely beautiful that normality still exists and lives in Chicago. Yet I choke up again at all the people who aren’t white, Christian, straight, male… and who are treated like shit. Pull yourself together. So easy to cry. So tough as shit.

As I drove past the coffee shop, I saw people inside. I imagined they were regulars. Who else would hang out in a board game/café on a Saturday evening? Sitting outside all these feels were being felt. I knew I needed to write about them. I pushed myself and went in. It was just right. A few tables taken. Maybe one third of the place. Quiet enough yet not devoid of human life.

So, what did I feel? Did I realize? I realized I was not a person. Not one with a life, a being, one who loves things and hates others. Not one with a sense of excitement. One thing they teach you on the psych ward is doing things that you like and/or are good at decreases symptoms of anxiety disorder. It is not that keeping busy helps you not think of your issues. That is a misperception of society at large. It is the feelings of success and enjoyment themselves that eases the symptoms of mental illness.

I tried to get back into reading. I enjoy it but stop after ten pages. I try to get back into TV. I just don’t give a shit about it. I got into and have stayed into writing. When I have writer’s block, I feel crippled. It feels like the only thing like on a regular basis.

I’ve dabbled in a couple of dating apps recently. No way am I rushing into anything having just left my marriage. I have learned much about myself. I am reminded over and over that I am nothing. Not by evil men out to hurt women. By the profiles of mostly regular decent guys. They do things. Things other than getting up in the morning and surviving.

John and his friends cook dinner for each other every Wednesday. They pick random countries and cook a dish from that country. Michael love grunge and r’n’b – a weird combo. He founded a small venue that lays both and is becoming more popular bit by bit. Jay had been to four continents… and on and on.

Ingrid likes to read. The end.

I blame a stroke of mental illness so genius that it robbed me of a potentially full life. Making it feel impossible to do anything. Taking all the things John, Michael, and Jay do and many others and mocking me by showing but not allowing me to do.

The only interesting things about Ingrid are the fact she had her heart cut open twice, and she suffered from such a severe depression, she was in the hospital for 18/52 weeks one year. Oh. I’m Irish. That’s minimally interesting at best.

I am a mom – barely. I am unemployed – completely. I am separated. I write. My heart is shit. My head is shit. I eat more pills than food. I am a half-person. A not real person. A flat person. A cardboard cutout. A 2-D cartoon character. There is no substance to that Ingrid one.

I have nothing to offer anyone. I hug my children. That is all. I somewhat guide them. The younger two. I do not know how to parent the oldest. Not in the same way most parents say. In a totally crushingly painfully lacking of skills way. I have nothing to offer an employer. I don’t care right now. If/when I work again, I would like to have such a job as to care and to give to the what I can. Back to my children. I know I’m worth more to them alive than dead, yet I am still a half/cardboard/2-D mom. My family of origin? Of course, death is the worst, or is the constant feeling that it might happen even worse?

I have nothing to offer myself. There will be no cure. Magic or otherwise. It is not out there. I’ll be that woman who lies on her deathbed wishing it were all different. Even then not giving a shit. Can we hurry up this whole “last-breaths” thing. I’m bored already. I won’t get a do-over. I’ve fucked this one up in every possible way. Let’s just get it over with.

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