The Pummeled Weasel

(NOTE: Based on time elapsed since the posting of this entry, the BS-o-meter calculates this is 10.854% likely to be something that Ferrett now regrets.)

So life’s been a series of body blows lately, and I’m not doing particularly well.

Which is to say my wife’s been having medical issues for two months, a cascade of problems that started with serious pneumonia and now has her bouncing from doctor’s appointment to doctor’s appointment as they collect more data to find out what’s wrong. And my Dad has been having some issues, and my sweeties have been suffering from profound depression and worsening chronic illnesses, and a friend of mine has been in and out of the hospital.

I’m starting to cringe when I pick up the phone.

And my resilience is slipping. I pride myself on being there for people when they need me, but even mildly bad news is putting me into a state of shock. I’m drinking more than I should be – which is not a lot, but I know myself well enough to know when I’m itching for the bottle – and the thought of being with people I like is sending me into spirals of self-loathing because I should want to be with friends and yet I can’t bear the company.

I’m trying to retreat. The problem is, there’s nowhere to retreat to. The only way to retreat right now is to abandon, and I can’t do that – well, I can’t do that and respect myself come the morning.

It’s foolish, because I shouldn’t freeze like a deer in the headlights. But even mild conflicts are making me panic, forcing me to fight past my own sluggish instincts, and getting anything done involves me staring at the computer screen for an hour before I finally, desperately, put my fingers on the keyboard.

I have a lot to say politically, too.

I feel like I’m letting people down by being silenced.

And what I don’t want to hear is how I should be easier on myself, because as much as I’d like it, that’s not happening and frankly I wouldn’t want it to happen. My ambition has always exceeded my grasp. I have big dreams and work long hours to make them happen. That’s a part of me that’s brought me to good places, and I don’t want that to be neutered. I *should* have broad goals.

Yet as I was driving to pick up food for dinner last night, I felt this burning urge to call my mother. I didn’t. Because I realized what I was going to beg my mother to promise me was that it was all going to be all right.

She can’t promise that.

Nobody can.

You don’t have to help. But if you do, well, just realize I’m being flaky right now to my real-life friends because everything since September has been a chaotic shitstorm and I am not coping well. Bearing with me as I get overwhelmed and shut down would help. I miss you but every time I think about reaching out another diagnosis drops through the door.

And if you’re not a real-life friend, gentle kindnesses are good. Sending pictures of smiling faces are good. Flirts are good, assuming you understand that sometimes I’m flirting and then Gini comes back from the doctor and I just forget everything.

Good news is good. If you’re happy about something, telling me that is good. I’m tired of cynicism, I’m tired of despair, I’m drained to redline by so many things going wrong that honestly, every time someone tells me of progress in their life it reminds me that progress can be made.

Progress has not been made around here in a few months. Or so it feels. There are good moments, and I cling to them, but they feel swallowed up in a sea of turbulent news that’s all terror and no firm way to fight.

Hearing your untrammeled happiness helps me fight. So I hope you’re doing well.


  1. Joshua
    Nov 29, 2016

    Good things:

    1) A game! – Unknown Armies 3rd Edition looks like it’s going to be magnificent, and if you end up with any free time the next time you’re in the SF Bay Area, I would be thrilled to run a game (of UA, CoC, or whatever) for you!

    Of course, do not feel compelled to game with me. I’m a stranger, etc., but I have found that when I am feeling stressed, having fun stuff to look forward to, even distantly forward to, helps.

    2) Hope! – Politics is bad. It really is.

    BUT! Keep in mind that same sex marriage was a dream in 2004 during the Bush Administration, to the point where Howard Dean (who supported civil unions but not full marriage equality) was considered a far-out radical. And then, ten years later, it was nationwide reality.

    And it was a change based in reason and empathy. We put our trust in reason and empathy and we were not disappointed. It worked!

    The culture moves. It moves in fits and starts, and sometimes it moves backwards a bit, but mostly it moves forward, and most importantly … it is not the president who moves it.

    The arc of the moral universe really does bends towards justice. We are better as a people than we were 10 years ago. Better than we were 100 years ago, or 200, or 500, or a thousand. And one vile little troll (that most Americans did NOT vote for) isn’t going to change that.

    3) Adorable! –

    Lookit him! Look at how proud he is of his new friend! He’s all like “Mom, I met a new dog. He’s gonna live with us, okay?”

    4) A Gift! – If you drop by Becker’s Donuts in Fairview Park, and let them know that you’re Ferrett Steinmetz, they will give you a dozen donuts! You might want to call the day before, just to be extra sure: (440) 734-9856

  2. Jacqui Bennetts
    Nov 29, 2016

    I do so empathize life can be such a bitch I find cute animal videos helpful. I send you direct from New Zealand video of our very mischievous native parrot (renown for ripping everything off cars and destroying innocent trampers belongings)
    I give you traffic management Keas

  3. Carol H Tucker
    Nov 29, 2016

    When the cone of silence descends, it is hard to keep communicating, neh? And it just seems as though once a downward spiral starts, it doesn’t stop

    yeah, this election and aftermath is tough and that is not helping. I lived through Nixon for crying outloud, Reagan and two Bushes — and I am emotionally drained and apprehensive.

    Where do I go when reality is too much? Books — rereading captivating series like Dune or Harry Potter. Binge-watching LOTR. Games [killing demons in Diable III has been curiously satisfying]. Second Life.

    And you have a vast army of friendly fans …..

    One day at a time. when that gets to be too much? One hour at a time. You tell yourself you will not stew. And you don’t.

  4. Tree
    Nov 30, 2016

    I have been unemployed and living with my dad and going to school. Recently money started to get scarce so I had to look for a job. After a couple of months searching, my best friend lamented losing the trainee for her previous position.

    Long story short, I now have a full time salary position making more than I ever have with a great boss and flexible hours. And it just fell into my lap when I least expected it.

    I have been unemployed for a year and I didn’t realize the toll being constantly broke was having on my spirit until it wasn’t a problem anymore.

    My heart is happy.

    I’m not sure what kind of music you’re into, but “Breathe” by Telepopmusik and “Kusanagi” by Odesza and “Black Chow” by Big Spider’s Back are huge feel good songs to me.

  5. David M. Crampton
    Nov 30, 2016

    Not only have I returned to LiveJournal and found it pleasant, but its Jabber-based IM still works! Holy Frank!

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