Monday, February 23, 2009

Wherein Miss Maybelle gets a big girl bed and quits her job.

      Listen, if you are going to go crazy and lose yourself and your shit to drugs and alcohol and have to flee an abusive relationship in the middle of the night, it is best if first you were a good person so you have people to call to come circle the wagons. Drug friends are no good for this, trying to get drug friends to circle the wagons is like herding cats. No, you have to reach back for your good people, and whether or not I deserved it when I did, I reached back and I had those good people and it is because of those good people that I am here today. That is not an exaggeration, they saved my life.
        I stayed for a hot minute in my friends' house, where they didn't make me pay rent and they didn't ask me for anything and they watched me with nervous eyes until I insisted on my own place and then they helped me move again. 
       That was a bad time, even with all the help I was getting it was a bad time and I'm not real proud of it. I was not yet in recovery, I'd fallen down a deep hole and had yet to even try to dig myself out but kept insisting that I was. That's the thing about crazy, when you have truly gone crazy you can't even see sane, you have no idea what sane looks like anymore. 
      I didn't have a bed. I don't think I had a bed since I moved out of my parent's house to go to school when I was eighteen. I slept in a dorm twin at New College, then a futon matrice that fit in my truck bed, then my new husband's bed, then another futon, then a boyfriend's bed... Well, you know, in your twenties it's pretty easy to sleep for years in beds that you don't really own. So when my world fell apart this last time I moved into an apartment and the only furniture I had held my clothes. And goddamn no money, I had to borrow money from my parents to pay my rent and get my utilities turned on, there sure wasn't money for luxuries like beds or shower curtains or say, food. (Stay away from drugs, kids.)
        Another old friend of mine just happened to have a twin bed that her daughter (a girl I used to take care of) had grown out of, and they gave it to me. I didn't even think about what a miracle that was at the time- not just a bed but clean sheets as well! The whole shebang, ready to ride! Mama and I set it up and joked that it was a nun's bed. "Nun shall pass" I said, "You aint gettin' nun" says Mama.
         I didn't even realize how uncomfortable the damn thing was until I got sober a little over a year ago. Even then, with my broken body and learning how to sleep through the night, well, it worked. It was a bed. 
         But then, oh glory, a couple of weeks ago, just for sweetness, my dad bought me a New Bed. It is new, it is big, it is wonderful. Honey, it is a Queen. It came wrapped in plastic and everything.
      I felt a little funny about accepting such a large gift. I feel like I should, at age 30 and 2/3 be able to buy myself a bed, but the thing about buying yourself something is that there is always something coming up that takes precedent over it. There's Christmas and birthdays and car insurance and the economy's bad and tips aren't good right now and what have you. And I don't live like an addict anymore. I have a shower curtain. I have back-up everything- toilet paper, paper towels, q-tips, shampoo, lotion, toothpaste, bars of soap. When I mop my floor I use a real bucket, I don't have to empty the trash so that I can use the trashcan for that purpose. These may seem like small things but you know most drug addicts don't have a spare roll of paper towels if you come knocking, they just don't. So I swallowed my pride and said, "Thank you, Daddy" like a good girl should regardless of her age and I am so glad that I did.
       Did you know that it is possible to sleep all through the night? That when you wake up to pee at four in the morning you can go BACK TO SLEEP? I thought I had insomnia but really I just had a shit ass bed. 
       Now I'm not saying that the bed has changed everything in my life, but it wasn't but a few days after I got it that I went and quit my job. Look, the bed is paid for, they can't take it away from me. 
       After getting enough sleep I found that I was not more able to deal with the craziness that goes on at my job. Instead I had the energy to be angry. More and more my boss was reminding me of that crazy drug addicted man that I left a couple of years ago in the middle of the night. Same walking on eggshells, same irrational bursts of anger followed by remorse, same super hero complex. Same me, running around trying desperately to put band aids on everything just trying to get through the day without everything falling apart. Everyone else just sitting tight and trying not to make too much noise, scared she might flip out over the least little thing. No thank you. I will not let another person's insanity run my life, I've got enough of my own to deal with. 
       I've got a couple more weeks there and eventually, when it's up and running, I'm going to help work that bar that my stepfather is building. It's time I hitched my wagon to the ones that would circle up if I came calling. And I'm going to go back to school. It may seem like utter foolishness to quit a job before another is ready, especially with the economy being as it is, but my hard won sanity is far more important than the one dollar raise that I've been offered to deal with the shit that I've been dealing with. Sugar-Babies, I'm making my bed and I'm sure as hell gonna lie in it.


Ms. Moon said...

Miss Maybelle- Every day, in every way, I grow prouder and prouder of you.
I am beyond words right now. I have to find you very soon and hug you up very tight and look into your eyes and tell that, again and again.
And by the way, do you want some turnips?
Your loving...Mama

Miss Maybelle said...

Yes I would like some turnips. You know, when I was a kid and we'd go to Morrison's I always used to wonder what those delicious little white things were that they put in their collard greens. Ha-ha!
Thank you Mama, for all your help and all your kind words. I will be looking for that hug.

Ms. Moon said...

I have too many turnips!
I am going to make soup, but still- too many turnips.

honeyluna said...

Miss Maybelle, you amaze me, but of course you should know that by now. I'm so glad that you have that new bed, I'm so glad to see my sister happy and in control. It's a wonderful, beautiful thing. Sleep well!

Petit fleur said...

Miss Maybelle!

You've leapt, so theoretically, the net will appear... That is a true act of faith.

I was so excited to see you had a new post, I almost peed my own bed!!

Good for you for sleeping through the night, accepting a gift graciously and for quitting the maddening job. You are wise beyond your years even though you may not always feel that way.

I also want to say that your writing brings me such joy. I love the way you think, and express yourself. Balancing your depth and humility with your sharp wit is one of the things I like best of all.

Keep posting! Please...?
xo pf

CMe said...

no one should have to be around that negativity and walk on egg shells every day - thats so stressful and bad for your health, energy, etc. so you go girl for making a decision to cut the bad out of your life! good luck (:

Maggie May said...

I was sent over here by your Momma and I see that you are just as fantastic as she. I will be back, and back, and back. You are a fierce writer.

Miss Maybelle said...

Sweet Miss Honey, Petit Fleur, CMe, and Maggie May- thank you so. Sometimes I think I write so infrequently so that everyone will forget I'm here, and then I get sweet comments and I think, "Oh, I should post more often". Thanks for coming by y'all.

Anonymous said...

This is the thing: Shit happens that can destroy us by 30 completely. Completely destroy. And it's not that hard to get sucked down a path and not even know it till it's too late. I have been struggling for the past decade, not often proud at my coping strategies, but trying hard as hell, and still I have to ask the family for large sums of money. Desperate sums of money. You go back to school, work with your family, treat yourself with love. You have nothing to be ashamed of. And I think that bed is the sign of the things that will eventually come, and you should embrace it and love it gratefully every beautiful warm night!
Bless You :) Change is hard, but you're doing it. Be nice to yourself cause you deserve it :)

Ms. Moon said...

I think QuietGirl is speaking a lot of truth.
Love you, darling...Mama