first off, a big up to to kurt for his inspiration in my madness
i had everything sorted. well, i fucking didnt, but whatever. that was my choice. my choice was to live in the chaos. to do everything last minute. to smoke a pack of cigs a day. to smoke weed on my way to teach my classes. to drowned out everything in a whirlwind of drugs drinking and general oblivion.
id always been too smart for my own good. always finished my work so quickly in class id become disruptive and get in trouble. always do my assignments completely last minute, but get higher grades than 90 percent of my peers anyway. necessarily complete essays in college while high. purposefully turn in assignments under the word count and somehow pass with an at least an 85. that was my choice. to drowned myself in drinking drugs and casual sex in my 20s, that was my choice. and finally, to become a teacher and attempt with some degree of success to fast track myself into a tenured position even tho i was the shittiest student in my master’s program – which i applied to and entered a month prior to the start of term – all of these things, these were mine.
and finally, after getting hired as the youngest and least experienced professor in my department at “the best community college in the state,” after getting a grant for being a bad ass at my job, after driving a minimum of 60 mile round trip with 3 hours a day in the car, getting high, smoking myself into oblivion, after i missed my first day at my second community college job because i simply spaced on the dates, after working 80 hour weeks at 3 different teaching gigs, after being told my hours were being cut the semester before i was to qualify for health care coverage – which i fucking needed because i paid 400 a month out of pocket because i had “preexisting conditions” whatever the fuck that means anyway – after spending 5 years of my life literally killing myself to make my students’ education count and realizing no one actually gives a shit and education is just a business, a big dirty one just like everything else, i got sick. i got so incredibly mother fucking sick. and i was devastated. because even tho i had self sabotaged and half-assed my way thru everything id ever done and succeeded anyway, somehow, i cudnt control this. i was sweating and freezing, shaking and hallucinating while trying to get thru my classes. i was in dr’s office after er after dr’s office with no answers and all tests coming back clean. i was so sick i had to quit my 10 year smoking habit because smoking wud send me into a tailspin of coughing hell and i cud not physically do it. i spent 3 whole months like this, in incredible pain every day and avoided opioids because id already been addicted to them twice. and i thought itd be better to die. because even tho i was a piece of flaming shit, i gave everything to those fucking students, and they were the only thing that brought me any joy, and theyd been taken away from me.
so i finally forced myself to rest, quit the drugs, stop drinking, and i thought i was better. i may have put on 35 pounds in 3 months, but goddammit the pain stopped and i quit the cigs and i was depressed as fuck but i got back to work at my 3 jobs and i said fuck it. southern california is a cesspool and education in the united states is a joke and im getting the fuck out of here. and goddammit im moving to china because if im going to work for the man and if im going to be watched by big brother and if im going to be poisoned by pollution and chemicals in everything at least i dont want to be lied to about it anymore. and so my train wreck of a self somehow convinced a reputable university to hire me on, and again i was the youngest teacher, well, the youngest expat teacher, to be hired in that year.
but the sickness came back. i spent a year putting myself, and god bless, the man who thru some miracle of god or whatever u call it who fell in love with me, thru literally the worst possible scenario for each of us. i had lost control of my body, and he was watching the woman that he loved turn into a depressed suicidal maniac. i was constantly sick for a year and a half. on antibiotics, off antibiotics. having kidney stones for 5 weeks. not being able to walk because my feet felt like knives were being shoved into them. throwing up and shitting out every single ounce of nutrient from my system. and after a year of this bullshit, the final week on IV and pleading from my doctors, i left that industrializing nation who is at the forefront of everything from forced labor to investments in alternative energy.
and so maybe i was using drugs and fucking up, but i was working and i was paying my college loans and i was living paycheck to paycheck, but i chose all of that. the illness, the depression, the overwhelming desire to just fucking quit life, i had no control over that.
months of catharsis, of hours crying, of failed attempts to end my life, months of meditation and healing have shown me one thing. my reason and my logic were thwarted by my body and my heart. or my soul. or whatever you want to call it. i was stopped dead in my tracks. all i wanted was to make money and pay off my loans and buy and orphan and get a house and just live in the system. my body and my heart had different plans.
i am an empath. i used drugs and alcohol to numb the emotions i felt. the emotions of myself, the emotions of my family, my friends, my colleagues and students. of the random fuckers on the street. of the thousands of people stuck in traffic with me everyday. i used work to bury my conscious mind in lesson planning and grading so that i cudnt feel. and when my body and my heart had finally had too much, when the emotions in my system overwhelmed my system – my system shut down. and im reaching the end of not a 2 year struggle, but a 12 year struggle to suppress who i am. i didnt want this. i didnt want this esoteric, hippified, new age shit. but here it is. staring me in the face. mocking me with its understanding and compassion and ethical bullshit. forcing me to take a year off work. forcing me to allow others to help take care of me. forcing me to rest and listen to whats actually going on. im an empath and i spent most of my adult life fighting tooth and nail, because i just wanted the mortgage, and the bullshit, and the logic, and i didnt want to feel anything.
but now i do, i feel everything. and i really dont like it.