diana nyad, friends in pain, and deep books

Diana Nyad, 64, just made history by being the first person ever to swim from Cuba to Key West without a shark cage. She also didn’t have a wet suit or flippers. It’s her 5th attempt. She’s been trying this for 35 years. Amazing.

I am not completely positive that she’s gay but I think she is. All the best things are done by gay people. We have nothing to lose. (Sorry, going through a tough patch).

Not that i’ve seen her land. CNN had only one guy with a camera and this one guy was 200 ft from where she touched land. Dude had to rely on regular beach goer (there were thousands) to tell him that she actually touched land and what she looked like (fine). Meaning: CNN cannot spare TWO GUYS to go and check whether this history making lady is actually making history.

S’s email this morning crushed me. I am absorbing everyone’s pain these days. As he was describing his pain I felt NO DISTANCE, like what he was experiencing had ridden the ethernet and landed right into my psyche. I feel his falling apart and I feel that I, too, was falling apart.

I’m persisting with Tell the Wolves I’m Home but it’s not carrying me. Plain language. Competent, nice, but plain. I want depth. i want so much depth I can lose myself in it. That’s what I need. No depth in this book or any of the dozen  i’m in the middle of reading. No depth at least that speaks to me. No depth that taps into me.

It’s not easy to find books. I could start and drop a hundred, but it’s not as easy as that. One develops a relationship with a book. There is emotional investment. At least this is how it is for me.Last night i couldn’t sleep until the middle of the night again. This morning I woke up at noon. If it continues like this, I won’t be able to make therapy on wednesday. I’ve resigned myself to this. I tell myself that it’s okay even though it isn’t.


Working on this online class has floored me. Flattened me. At some point, like S, I felt that I, too, was flying apart in a million little pieces. I had to up my meds. Nightmares, terror, this fear of breaking breaking breaking.

Why this class? Why now?

I feel I’m reliving something deep and traumatic. Something early. My therapist suggests I’m reliving the beginning of suicidality. A little kid that wants to kill herself.  A little kid who wants to die. Maybe as young as a baby.

I remember being on my grandmother’s balcony and feeling suddenly dizzy with fear that I would jump. I retreated inside immediately. How old was I? Was it the same day that I felt like I was leaking out of my vagina as I was climbing her stairs? Maybe my first experience of the terror. My self, leaking out of me through my lowest orifice. Vagina or urethra. Who knows. I felt so abysmal, I had to lean again the wall. Couldn’t keep climbing. My mom barely noticing, telling me “I’m going to go ahead inside.” Six, seven years old?

A six years old stops climbing the stairs, leans confused against the wall — you can bet I’d be paying attention. I’d reach him immediately, sit on the stair next to him, scoop him into my arms (if he can bear to be touched), ask him what’s wrong, ask him to tell me everything. I would keep him close to me all evening. I would keep an eye on him like an eagle.

My dog is off color today. S (different S) and I are both acutely aware that she’s a bit off. One might not even notice. We are on it like it’s serious. My mom didn’t know serious when it came to me. I guess it was all very very serious. It had been serious from day one. She had taken an early stance: she wouldn’t do serious.

Yesterday I told her (reformed and much improved, often lovely self) that I was going through a tough patch. She talked to me about Syria. I said, “I’m going through a tough patch. ” I said, “For a while I considered asking you to come.” She said, “I didn’t tell you, but I had thought of starting to pack.” So you did notice. “Of course I did.” Why are we talking about Syria? “I think about you all the time. I pray about you.” Enough with the prayers! “Excuse me, I believe in prayer.” I believe in prayer too! But I also like it when people fucking TALK to me! If you have to choose between praying for me and talking to me, please talk to me. Talk to me. Talk to me.

“Honey, I’m sorry you are having such a hard time. I’m really sorry. I wish I could make it all better. I realize it’s very tough. I’m sorry.”

Thank you.


Good things about me:

  • I love my dogs well and I have a great bond with them
  • I figured out that the clock would give away the interview-tampering in The Newsroom almost immediately
  • People feel loved and understood by me
  • I have a preternatural capacity to empathize (see Octavia Butler)
  • Everyone loves me (I must be doing something right?)
  • I am smart, though I suspect that my emotional intelligence may make up for some weaknesses in my rational intelligence
  • Yesterday I did yoga. I’ll do it again today. Hopefully.
  • I have an amazing fashion sense.
  • I’m an articulate speaker

Sucky things about me:

  • I exist in the world
  • I exist in the world
  • I exist in the world
  • I exist in the world
  • I exist in the world
  • I exist in the world


I’m fighting a very tough fight these days. I have some good companions. I wish I had more. I wish I had a close female friend. But it’s okay, I have good companions. They help me. It helps me. It helps me survive.

I don’t know why I am surviving.

As I said, I am reliving the beginning of my suicidality. It’s no joke. A little baby, wanting nothingness. Me, now, wanting that nothingness, and all the nothingnesses I ever wanted since. As many as the stars in the sky. People, if you do one thing, please don’t belittle, ever, the tremendous effort it takes to just be alive — however poorly one does it.