We've reached the edge.

Life will be changing very soon. End of one chapter, beginning of a new - very unknown - one. At the moment I have no idea where I will be in 6 months, or what I will be doing. In a way it's terrifying and in a way it's strangely liberating.

I keep telling myself it isn't my fault. It's the damn school's fault. But it's on my mind. If I'd been healthy, it wouldn't be this way. If I'd been more supportive, it wouldn't have happened. If I'd been a star...

This is not healthy, I know, but when am I ever?

So, after the shock wears off it will be time to think about cleaning and selling the house, and figuring out where we will go next.

I can't say I'm sorry to be leaving. I feel as if, without doing a thing, I've managed to burn every bridge in this damn place. The whole town has its bloody back turned. A civic cold-shoulder.

It is my most fervent hope that they next place will be friendlier.



A shiny new diagnosis calls for a shiny new song. This one, believe it or not, came from my childhood friend - a film called Labyrinth:

Lyrics by David Bowie.
Music by David Bowie and Trevor Jones

It's only forever
Not long at all
Lost and lonely

You have to face the facts, sweetheart. It's not going away. You're not one of those people on the tv commercials, hawking now-trendy antidepressants that you've taken for years.

Pretty people stare into the camera, as though addressing a beloved but troubled friend/lover/employee. "You're not yourself," they say, their voices earnest but caring. "You're not living up to your usual standard..." "You're angry all the time..." "You used to be so much fun."

And the man with the low, comforting voice comes on and tells you that it's just depression and that it's a chemical imbalance in your brain. All you need is Paxil, or Prozac, or Wellbutrin, or fill-in-the-blank. We see pretty-but-troubled people sitting in their doctor's offices, nodding with sudden insight. Now they know why their friends were giving them strange looks. Now they know why they're being passed over at work. Now they know why they just aren't FUN people anymore.

In the twinkling of a cheerful eye, our formerly troubled pretty people are hugging their children; they're leading project teams at work; and - most important - they're having FUN with those friends again.

They're cured!

Not you, cupcake. When the folks upstairs offered extra credit for those souls who would agree to come in the world with mental disorders, you signed up for the advanced course. You know, the one with the lab component? That's you, hon. So listen up, because we don't want to have anyone lose points on the pop quizzes.

No one can blame you
For walking away
Too much rejection na na
No love injection na na

Of course, this is the heart of it all, isn't it? Here's the theory: someone (maybe more than one) significant person in your early life rejected you big time. Somehow you learned that the best way to handle that pain was to devise an ingenious threefold strategy for dealing with other humans:

1) The best thing to do when you are rejected by others is to retreat. This retreat should be swift and total if you are to keep away from the pain of being judged and found inferior. If the retreat is quick and thorough enough, you might be safe from that pain.

2) Keep that rejection fresh in your memory. If you don't keep remembering how bad that felt, you might forget and try to go out there and talk to people again, and we all know where that leads.

3) In order to protect yourself from situations that might cause that humiliating pain, you must be constantly vigilant when you are in social situations, whether in person or online. Developing a hypersensitivity to remarks/gestures/tones of voice that are possibly rejecting allows you to retreat before the bulk of the damage is done and the really humiliating stuff begins.

Life can be easy
It's not always swell
Don't tell me truth hurts, little girl
'Cause it hurts like hell

Well, that's the crux of the problem, isn't it cupcake? You work so hard on the strategy, and you get really good at it. The only problem is, this little disorder you've got makes you want those relationships. The desire for friends, for lovers, for crazy, wonderful partners in the crime of life, never lets up. You want it all so badly - and you have no way of getting it, because you also know that rejection lies just beyond that front door, just past that computer connection.

It's Catch-22, honey, in the very worst way.

But down in the underground
You'll find someone true
Down in the underground
A land serene
A crystal moon, ah ,ah

So what does someone like us do to handle the loneliness and the pain of the constant voice telling us we're not even worthy to be alive? Lots of us go underground... memories, fantasies, an interior life that rivals the most fiery of passions, the most complex of dramas, the deepest, most thrilling mysteries. You learn to live your life underground - inside your head - where you have the courage to live the way that other people live and they respond to you. They even affirm your right to exist. What would we do without our sweet and maddening fantasies?

It's only forever
It's not long at all
Lost and lonely
That's underground

But we still live here among the others, don't we? They're all out there, reminding us of what we really want; reminding us that fantasies fade without touching the skin, and that phantom lover's kisses are cold.

So we try to make ourselves better - to earn the right to live with all those normal, cheerful extroverts out there. We want it so badly we can taste it. We fear it as much or more than we fear death itself. So we stand here, at the very threshold of the door, waiting on our meds and counting on our docs. Waiting...

Sorry, Mr. Chbosky. You didn't write about the real wallflowers. That's us and we're here to tell you - there aren't any perks.



A Song From My Grrrrl

The perfect little tune for a cynical girl in need of a perky song:

Joan Jett and the Blackhearts cover the Theme from The Mary Tyler Moore Show.


I play this one while I dance around my living room like a headbanger, or sit in front of my computer, doing that early 80s kind of speed skating dance move.

Oh yeah - turn it UP.




You are an obsession. I cannot sleep.
I am a possession, unopened at your feet.
There's no balance, no equality.
Be still, I will not accept defeat.

All my life I've had obsessions. Some have lasted years, some only days, but the feeling is the same with each. Relentless, delicious, maddening thoughts.

I will have you, yes I will have you.
I will find a way and I will have you.
Like a butterfly, oh wild butterfly,
I will collect you and capture you.

Usually my obsessions come solo - just one, shining thing that takes me over and drives out reality as I know it. Tough to live a normal life that way, but actually I've adjusted over the years to where I can handle it quite well.

Then the trio arrived.

You are an obsession. You're my obsession.
Who do you want me to be to make you sleep with me?
You are an obsession. You're my obsession.
Who do you want me to be to make you sleep with me?

Three obsessions, none of them moving out and giving up their rooms for the next one coming in. Three new roommates that feast on me and feed on each other. And they never clean up after themselves.

How does anything get done? How do I get out of the house? How can I stay in bed when the roommates are knocking on my bedroom door telling me we're out of frozen pizza?

I feed you, I'm thinking by day and by night.
I need you, I need you by sun and candlelight.
You protest. You want to leave.
Be safe, there's no alternative.
Yes there he is again. I see the fugitive.
But I see danger, strange everywhere.
A circumstance in your naked dreams.
Your affection is not what it seems.

So I need a plan to outwit them. My plan, mind you, doesn't make normal life any easier. Lately it's involved staying up until 1 or 2am, watching strange television programs that involve medical examiners in Britain, or people on blind dates, or, Ilúvatar forbid, "crossing over." (I think Tolkien would have referred to this as "taking the straight road.")

Of course, that means lots of commercials, which would be the prime time for the roommates to come and pester me, so I hold them at bay by doing crossword puzzles the minute the commercials come on.

I had no idea how many commercials there are on late-night television. I've done a lot of crossword puzzles. But hey, it works, damn it.

You are an obsession. You're my obsession.
Who do you want me to be to make you sleep with me?
You are an obsession. You're my obsession.
Who do you want me to be to make you sleep with me?

What is life like for people who have a chance to give in to their obsessions, to really let everything else go and wallow in them? If you spend every minute of the day and night with your roommates, do you get sick of them faster? Or do you go even deeper and get more lost than you were before? I suppose Real Life is a safety net in some ways. But what good is a safety net when you want to feel like a bungee jumper?

My fantasy has turned to madness
and now my goodness has turned to badness.
The need to possess you has consumed my soul.
My life is trembling, I have no control.
I will have you, yes I will have you.
I will find a way and I will have you.
Like a butterfly, oh wild butterfly,
I will collect you and capture you.

The best I can say about life with my current trio of roommates is that it's been productive. For good or evil, the one obsession that hasn't left me for years is the desire to create web pages, and we all know how obsession and web authoring go together. I can almost convince myself that I'm doing something legitimate with my time.

But now, the roommates are pounding at the door, and I have to spend some time with them before it gets too late.

After that, the crosswords call.

You are an obsession. You're my obsession.
Who do you want me to be to make you sleep with me?
You are an obsession. You're my obsession.

Who do you want me to be to make you sleep with me?