The Bright Guest Disappears

Stacy Campbell died at the worst possible time.**

Wow Kat, you don’t write  a post for two years – with the exception of two end of the year recaps – and you jump right into that? What a fucking “return”.

Yes, well, a return is also based on investment, and in this case the investment of time has created a poor return. (And while I’m at it, I love my penchant for using numerical alliterations despite being dyslexic.) But anyway. If you don’t know what the hell I’m talking about then we’re on the same page; I’m writing this shit and I don’t even know what I’m talking about.

No, that’s not exactly true. I unfortunately know exactly what I’m talking about, but it makes the dinner guest feel better if you volunteer that the meal is terrible.

Eat up, and please be assured that I hate the fare as much as you.

Stacy 1Stacy Campbell died at the worst possible time, but it apparently was her time – on her own time. Her official last day in this world is September 16, 2015, but the actual date isn’t known for certain. I can’t help but wonder if she didn’t actually pass on September 15th. I wonder this because Stacy had the most ironic sense of humor, and it would be so her to take her life on National Suicide Awareness Day.

And, as is the case whenever someone takes their life, I’ve being wrestling with that question of “why?”.

I know the answer, but I don’t understand it. And I hope that I never do understand it. I think that “why” is in itself part of the reason that I’ve been as frantic to figure out what made her reach that point as I have.

I’ve been low, and I’ve had those thoughts of the world being a better place without the burden of me and my insanity. I’ve also been to that point where everything hurts and you don’t want to end your life so much as you just want everything to just stop fucking hurting. I understand that pain so much that I cannot be angry at her for wanting it to end. I just wish I knew what I could’ve said to make her hold on a little longer, and that I could’ve been there to say it to her. I wish I could’ve told her that she’s not alone, and then I would’ve pointed to all of the people who have written on her Facebook wall saying how much she meant to them. The Interwebz can be good like that sometimes.

But then that very thing, the ability to connect to other people who understand your pain – the pain that “normal” people do not – is a double edge sword. I know that unless you battle mental issues you might not understand this, but people with our – ahem – affliction tend to gravitate to each other. We want to help each other, to assure each other that there are people who understand, that they are not alone. It helps, but at the same time I feel that our exclusive community of the tortured and the tested ends up being a macabre game of Russian Roulette. With so many players we’re bound to lose someone eventually. Depression comes in ebbs and flows, and everyone comes to a time when it’s their turn to pick up the gun. Thankfully the odds are in our favor. There are five empty chambers – family, and friends, and Faith, and life, and you, and anything else you value – they outnumber that single bullet. And life goes on… But people with depression identify and lean on each other, and unfortunately as soon as you put down the gun, then one of your friends picks it up.
Spin the barrel.
Fire the gun.
Someone dies.

That’s my own issues speaking though, and I want to talk about Stacy. Being a writer herself, I know she would have understood that diatribe.
Perfect segue.

Though we were both writers, I met Stacy through our love of animals. She had lost her beloved Jurgen, yet had found the strength to adopt another dog that needed a loving home. I so admired her for opening her heart again that it inspired me to dedicate my 200th blog post to animal rescue stories. I remember wondering what I should do for such a landmark post, and she was the inspiration for it.

nightmare dog, animal rescue storiesThat was Stacy though: kind and inspiring.

Unfortunately my own depression has been relentless for the past two years, and I didn’t talk with her as much as I wish I had. Like so many things in my life, I’d set her in my peripheral vision and only looked directly when something really fascinated me. I’m just thankful that she was so fascinating that I paid as much attention as I did.

Stacy just seemed so…”cool”. Even her name was interesting. Her full name was Anastasia, which usually garners the nickname of “Anne” or “Anna”, but she was a Stacy. I seriously thought that was the neatest nicking of names ever – so much so that I planned on changing the name of one of my characters in my book to that.
Stacy had the best Bucket List, and she was the only person I knew who actively worked to check things off of it. I loved it when a picture would show up on her Instagram feed documenting an adventure done, a check marked next to box on that list.

She skydived.

 

stacy 4
She went to a firing range.stacy 6
She went to concerts because she said she was going to stop saying she would see a band or an artist “next time”.stacy 5

She stayed in the fucking Stanley Hotel.stacy stanley i cant spell

I am a huge fan of The Shining and it had never occurred to me to want to stay in the creepy hotel that inspired the story until I saw Stacy’s black and white pictures of the infamous fourth floor. Not only was the fact that she was at the hotel so brilliant, but her pictures were taken with such a sharp eye that they captured eeriness without being campy. But this shouldn’t be surprising because Stacy was an incredible photographer.stacy stanley Her Stanley Hotel pictures were not just beautiful but they were complete with captions about hearing children playing in empty halls, and ordering Whiskey from a bartender named Lloyd. They were beautiful as only she could make them because they illustrated her vision, both also her wicked sense of humor and her mastery of words.

Her words. I wish that I had read more of them while she was still here.

Through the power of the Interwebz and its promise threat that nothing ever really disappears from its depths I’ve been able to read her former blog “Jurgen Nation”. There is so much brilliance there. It’s not an easy blog to read – there is a lot of pain, and it kills me a little wondering if she wished that she could make her pain disappear as simply as she thought she had deleted the blog that detailed it…and how wretchedly ironic it is that her blog didn’t truly disappear after all. Nothing disappears.

Another irony – bloody fucking hell I’m beginning to hate you, Mistress Irony – is that the post that resonates most to me right now – the one that exactly touches on the punch in the throat that has knocked me into such a pit this year that I cannot fathom ever being able to climb out of it, on a pain that I cannot even yet put into words – was written only a few days after a post where she wrote a letter to herself twenty years from now. Or “then” since it was in 2009. It a post about how she would still be here in twenty years, even though she might think she won’t.

Stacy 2It makes me so angry that Life thinks it’s so clever with these little elbows to the ribs. You’re so not fucking funny, in fact sometimes You feel downright cruel.

There is so much that I’m going to miss about Stacy. Her presence was like birds singing: you don’t realize how much you enjoy their music, and take for granted that they will always be singing until they are silent. I think of all of the empty buildings that she will never photograph, all of the words she’ll never write, all of the snarky jokes she will never make. Stacy was caring, and beautiful, and wrong, and clever, and brilliant. I read the stories shared by people who knew her better, and I’m so jealous of them. I wish that I could justify this pain by proximity, where the equation would make sense. But there is a reason that artists are dyslexic, and numbers do not add up to us. stacy 7

Stacy was a true Siren, drawing so many people to her.
I’m grateful that I  heard her song and listened while I could.

I will see you later, beautiful girl. Keep the cocktail chilling.

In the mean time I am changing a character’s name in your honour. It is my hope that “Stacy” destroying demons in my story will give you the victory down here that you so deserved.

 

stacy brody

“Three things will last forever – faith, hope, and love – and the greatest of these is love.”

 

**The average time that people will allow you to mourn is one month. I wrote this entry nearly three months ago, and I still feel it so much that I decided to finish it and publish the bloody thing. It reminds me that loss has no timetable. Loss is not something get over, you just learn to live with it.

 

 

Migrating From Blogger to WordPress While Battling an ICD Attack Was Not My Best Idea

Um, I guess you’ve probably noticed by now that the place looks a little different.

That’s because, in one of the worst cases of impulsiveness I have ever executed, I decided to migrate Katoninetales.com from Blogger to WordPress. I did this because I was having an Impulse Control Disorder panic attack and needed a distraction to ensure that I didn’t do something to hurt myself, and in a spectacular bout of irony ended up causing myself more pain than any of my vices could have done. This is because I don’t know shit about how computers and the interbutz actually work. As far as I know I click a button on my laptop and The Computer Fairy casts a magic spell to turn the computer screen into a window to Interwebz Land. Migrations are never easy but when you don’t know what the fuck you’re doing it’s like being dropped into a foreign country with a map written in Braille. And the Braille is in a different language. And you can’t understand what the natives are saying but you’re pretty sure that they’re making fun of your Fanny pack.

In other words, there are a lot of ways to fuck up a migration I did every single one of them.

First,

I Changed Servers Before Migrating My Site

To be fair to myself I will tell you that I did not expect my former host server to cancel my service as quickly as it did. I had emailed my host for my site’s EPP code (this is apparently the secret spell to unlock your domain registration) and they took it upon themselves to boot me off of their server at the exact moment that they emailed me back with the code. I found this out because my site went down late Friday. SURPRISE! I emailed my new server and asked them when my site would be back up. They of course emailed me back with basically “What site?” It was then that I learned that websites are not magic windows but actual files that need to be copied onto the new server while the old server still supports them “to ensure uninterrupted website service”.

Picard Facepalm Star Trek Fail

I Thought That Free Migration Meant From One Writing Platform To Another ie Blogger to WordPress

Anyone with any shred of computer knowledge is perfectly within their right to be laughing their ass off at me right now. I honestly cannot believe that I was so stupid except that I was so focused moving writing platforms that I had blinders on regarding the bigger picture of the server move. No it turns out that “migration” refers to those precious website files and moving them to the new server. This is important because as soon as you leave a host, they take all of your files and feed them to the troll that lives under the bridge and they are gone forever. And I had not moved my files.
Double Facepalm Star Trek Fail

I Assumed That The Live Chat Help Was More Than a Guy Typing With One Hand While Whacking Off With the Other

I immediately panicked and went to my new host site and clicked on the live help. I explained that I was a moron and realized that I changed servers before migrating my site and to please tell me that I didn’t lose my site forever. He asked my site name and then came back to tell me to submit a support ticket and disconnected me. I let the rudeness roll and sent an email to support apologizing for being a moron and asking how I could fix this. I was pleasantly surprised to get an answer after a few minutes but when I opened the email I saw that it was just to tell me to contact my old company. Fine, that makes sense.

I went to my old server site and tried to log in but it told me that my password didn’t work and that I could blow it. I politely asked to have my password emailed to me and received an email telling me that I could stick my password where the sun don’t shine would have to contact my new server company. What? I had no idea why my new company would have my old company password.

I replied to my new company’s email relaying this and they said that was because they were my server now. Well no fucking shit. I again got on Live Chat where the same guy asked for my ticket number and then told me to email customer support. I asked him if he couldn’t look at my ticket himself since he asked for the number and he replied, “No I can not.” and then disconnected me again.
Triple Facepalm Star Trek Fail
I immediately signed back on and as soon as he answered I replied that “can not is spelled cannot unless the not is part of another construction” and then I disconnected him. And let me just say here that I understand that computer people must want to pull their hair out when it comes to deal with computer-illiterate morons like me all day but this asshole didn’t even give me a chance before he hung up on me.

As a last ditch effort I emailed Google support since they overwrite Blogger and was told that I had to email the server company (my old company). So basically we were all playing Play The Kat.

Finally I did what I always do and fixed the problem my fucking self. It meant staying up for 24 hours straight on the computer to teach myself Internet protocol suite and then moving my site files–which I actually had backed up because I’m a fucking rockstar though they were not in the correct format to upload directly to a server.

So all of that bullshit said, my new site is up. Just please excuse my site’s temporary appearance because not only do I have to work my other job, but my brain’s server is fried.

I’m a Disaster Area But I Make Up For It With Cute Dogs

The other day The Bloggess tweeted that she had fallen off of the self-harm wagon, and that she was having issues with ICD. A number of people responded with questions about what ICD stands for. Some attempted at being clever and others were genuinely puzzled about the acronym. For those of you that don’t know, ICD stands for Impulse Control Disorder. You’ll notice if you read the definition that self-harm is an “other form of ICD”. It then occurred to me that ICD is an oxymoron. And it was surely a moron with a fancy PhD in Psychiatry who came up with the term while he or she sat on the outside and tried to categorize the mess that people like I sludge through at any given moment.

anxiety girlFor many of us I don’t think that self-harm is an impulse control disorder because the problem isn’t so much the control, it’s about the impulse in the first place. Truthfully I have the best fucking impulse control in the world because for every stupid, manic thing that I’ve thought or done there are at least fifty that I don’t act on. A normal person doesn’t have the impulse to hurt themselves. They don’t know what it’s like to have to fight something that you intellectually know is incorrect but that your basic instinct is telling you is right. Logically I know that slapping myself during a panic attack shouldn’t make me feel better, but Jiminy Cricket’s evil twin who sits on my shoulder assures me that it will.

And the awful thing is that sometimes it does.

For a split second the sting in my cheek makes me forget the war raging in my brain, the irratic pounding in my chest. Unfortunately the moment passes all too soon and it’s followed by the return of all of the symptoms of my panic attack only made that much worse by the guilt and anger that I did something so stupid. You would think that the memory of the guilt and anger would keep me from hurting myself again, but of course it wouldn’t. Because I have ICD.

I’m almost to the next step in my novel, and the best way I can describe the feeling is that it’s like being in gym class when your asshole gym teacher makes you run the mile dash even though you forgot your inhaler and your almost to the end and you feel like your heart is laughing hysterically but nothing’s coming out of your mouth because you can’t breathe and all you can think is how much it would suck to collapse this close to finishing and silently telling that teacher that she’s a fucking cunt. And you hardly ever, ever use that term.

On top of this Kira has to have dental surgery on Thursday. I made light of how traumatic it is to take Kira to the vet and turned it into a funny anecdote because that’s what I do, but in truth it’s a challenge to not cry hysterically when Kira screams at the vet. On top of her screams though, I have the terror that something will happen during the surgery. I know she will be fine–I know this–but we’ve already established that the logical portion and the emotional portion of my brain are woefully disconnected.

Also the hard drive on my fucking shitty computer is going which isn’t stressing me as much as you would think, but it’s pissing me off that I have to waste time trying to figure out what to do about a replacement.

So that’s where I’ve been up to for the past two weeks. I did however make this month’s BirchBox Unboxing video and the bloopers video, but the big news was that Kira and Lily got their first BARKBOX.

If You Don’t Know Then You’ll Never Understand

And then I sat at my desk and made this.

im fine, depression sucks, skull pills

The most useful thing these pills have done all week.

Yes, I freely admit that I’m fucking disturbed. I like to think it’s part of my charm.
But then that’s coming from someone who just made a skull with her medication.

Depression sucks.