Saturday, June 14, 2008


A few nice people seem to feel a need to know how I'm doing. They've suggested that they want to know what's going on around here.

No they don't.

I don't really want to go into ugly details, but things are coming to a head here, and the prognosis is not especially promising.

Let me make a few points, as cryptically as possible:

1. I'm now quite convinced that the hospital stay in late February/early March left me with some lasting changes. I wonder, in fact, if it took longer to revive me than I've been led to believe and that popped a fuse or two in my head. No matter the cause, I've lost some critical faculities, and they negatively affect my ability to do my work;

2. What little work I've got to do isn't helping. Frankly, it's all crap stuff, interesting enough if I had a flow of the "normal" writing assignments I've grown accustomed to over the years (all of which seem to go to other writers) but impossible to deal with when it's my sole diet;

3. I am, and always have been, lousy at getting anyone to cooperate with me. Quite a while ago, I hatched a plan to get a regular and steady sale of "mainstream" writing going in my field of expertise, but when I reached out to those whose forte is selling (I couldn't sell water on a desert island, believe me, so I thought combining my expertise at what I do with the expertise of someone who knows how to represent a product/service made sense) and even offered what I consider a generous percentage of the take to anyone who could, shall we say, pimp my product, I got encouraging words but no action;

4. Allied with #3 is my inability to find help when needed. This is strange; the hospital told me there were programs out there to assist me in paying/reducing my staggering bill. I contacted the relevant agencies and found, for a variety of reasons including not being totally incapacitated, not having children, not having had a credit card to put the bills on and a couple of others I would be branded a racist for repeating, I'm not eligible.

Some people have helped. None of them were those who can really afford it. I understand that; I've done the same a few times (though not as often as I'd like). Through my work, I have met dozens of people who could easily assist in getting me back on my feet and alleviating my total financial meltdown without even noticing it; none, of course, have stepped up. I guess that's how they got wealthy.

PARENTHETICAL I-HAVE-TO-SAY-THIS NOTE: I fear that the mere mention of the financial woes that make up 99% of my misery right now will prompt those same wonderful people who have previously come through to think about trying to help again. That would, frankly, only increase my misery.

5. The "if-only" factor is weighing me down as well. And this is mainly self-loathing: if only I hadn't made this or that decision (and we can take this back some 30-35 years, at least) I wouldn't be in this position right now, this hole I have spent so many years digging. I can't seem to stop kicking myself for a long, long line of screw-ups. That doesn't help, even if it's all true. I am most bitter about my own failures.

I haven't done much work in recent months. This was not exactly what I'd call a "break" from the routine, as most of the time has been spent berating myself for messing up and feeling ever more frustrated because I couldn't write down the thoughts I wanted to (and, as much as anyone has paid, get paid to) express. Even writing entries here is a far more aggravating and time-consuming process than it used to be.

You're all fortunate I'm not doing a podcast; talking isn't easy for me these days, either. Anything much beyond simple sentences can reduce me to a stuttering, frustrated bundle of red-faced nerves.

PARENTHETICAL I'VE-BEEN-TO-THE-DOCTOR-THANK-YOU THOUGHT: I've mentioned this to the doc, but somehow I managed to pass all the basic tests he put me through to gauge my state. It's strange, and unpleasant.

I suppose I could have avoided all this by simply staying indoors on that February day when I died. I could have not brought my condition to my neighbors' attention; then, they would not have called 911 and nature would have taken its course, for better or worse.

Damn. This is horrible, personally embarrassing and not at all cryptic. I don't even know if a miracle (and who gets those? not me) would do more than postpone the misery.

I may delete this shortly and post some pictures from today so all y'all will think everything is fine.


Anonymous said...

Oh Scribb.... I feel your pain. I just want to give you a big 'ol hug. I so wish I could do that right now. You are such a wonderful person. I wish I had words of wisdom for you, but alas - I have none. My finances are quite embarrassing these days. Big hugs to you...


WMC said...

No, no, don't delete it, Scribbs! We need to hear from the real Mr. S, not from a facade.

So, if $$$ only increases your misery (a catch-22 for both parties, eh?), tell us in what other ways (besides "air support") we might be able to ease your burden.

Anonymous said...

It seems like more and more of us who are essentially trapped into what we're doing because we're too old/entrenched to do anything else, are just sitting around beating ourselves up. I've played that coulda/woulda/shoulda game more times than you can imagine. I just hope I can hold on until retirement age, which it seems like they push back another year every year and then just to rub it in announce it on my birthday.

Like wmc asked, can we do ANYTHING to help? I'm always available via PM.


Kelly said...

I have no answers but I do know that dwelling on the should have beens and living in the past solves nothing and tends to make misery even more miserable.

Birdie said...

I agree with the others. And even though I have a relatively good paying job, that doesn't mean I'm happy either. As you may have read in my favs only entry recently, it is coming to a point that I'm about to jump off my 8th floor balcony (don't worry, I won't... not yet anyway).

I think one of your biggest problems is being alone and not having someone around to share all this with. That makes you dwell on it all too much.... which is very understandable. Believe it or not, in spite of having family around me, I can still not share lots of what's going on with I also dwell.

Hang in there! Here (or on JS) you have friends that do care and who "listen" to your words and what you share with us. I'm flying over on Aug 20 and I sooooo hope we get a chance to meet again. {hugs} until then!

Anonymous said...

I too wish I could give you a hug. I know the feeling, really I do. I know that when our mutual friend gets there you'll feel a lot better. You can't help it with him, he's special. :)
Take care, MrS, we love you.

Japee said...

I was worried about those medical bills. They can be enough to give you another heart attack. I hoped you would get some relief and help and I will keep hoping for that. I suspect the hospital will tolerate nominal payments as long as you keep paying something.

Make another appointment with the financial counselors and let them know you are willing but in a fix. I am guessing they will write off a significant portion and work with you on the rest.

Hang in there. We are all glad you got help that day.

justfly said...

Appeal to the programs. That is what I was told to do if my son gets turned down, appeal, appeal, appeal.
Good Luck Scribbs.

Anonymous said...

Appeal, appeal, appeal and don't take no for an answer. You are deserving of assistance.

Speaking of assistance - check your mailbox and then go and have yourself a great day!

hugs hugs hugs