necessity had a baby

There was a birth in my home last night. I'm proud to announce the arrival of Uber Ellie. 115lbs, 66 inches. Apgar score of 10.

Uber Ellie was conceived in a moment of deep desperation. It wasn't a pretty scene, though as far as conception goes, it was immaculate, which made the cleanup easy. Not that that matters. What does matter is that she's here now, and she's ready to kick some ass.

I'll back up.

The past couple of days haven't been among my finest. I thought I was out of the woods, and coming into a place of, if not well-being, at least relative stability. I saw some friends over the weekend, which provided a very welcome respite from the wretchedness I'd felt since getting home from Tennessee. They asked me to come to Palm Springs with them next month, an invite that shot promptly to the top of my Reasons To Stay Alive list.

Indeed, there exists such a list at the moment. It's been that bad.

So yeah, I've been struggling. I've had a hard time taking care of myself on even the most basic level. Like, eating. Or, you know, procuring things to eat. Tending to responsibilities. Returning calls, paying bills, applying water and or some kind of cleaning solvents to the growing mounds of dishes and dirty clothes overtaking my apartment. Never mind having the inclination to engage in the activities that keep me sane, like exercising, or blogging, or taking photos. Even opening Instagram to double tap the screen and let my 'net friends know I give a shit about them has been beyond me. Sorry, you guys.

I know it's bad when I reach the nadir of apathy, where the lighthearted, fun things that I normally enjoy don't even appeal to me anymore. And it's been apathy central around here.

Last night saw me curled around Chaucer, sobbing. Just wracked with sadness and fear. Just a big mess of a girl, clinging to a poor, confused, and surely helpless feeling dog. I wish dogs really did go to heaven, because this guy? This guy would have a very special spot waiting for him.



Anyway, it was bad. The dark, really low place I've been going to lately is one where I feel so utterly alone. Which, ok, sure, I am arguably kind of alone, as far as things go. No family. No husband or boyfriend. I have friends, yes. Massively blessed in that department. But I don't really have anyone that has to be there for me, no matter what. I have no designated, official source of support.

I have no emergency contact. I lie on forms that ask for one. In case of emergency, please call: Norman Baker. Relationship to patient: father. Phone number: (813) 333-5444.*

*Might be a while before he picks up, though. 

I also recently realized that I am the only person I know that lives alone. That's sort of amazing to me. I mean, every single one of my friends is either married, lives with his/her partner or family members, or has a roommate. Even the guys I've dated over the past year or so - every last one of them has a roommate. Someone to at least be there, should they, you know, have the overwhelming urge to throw themselves off the roof of their building.

Not I. Forget having someone to help take over the daily crap of life while I get back on my feet emotionally. Someone to pick me up a sandwich when I realize at midnight that I've yet to eat anything all day. And forget having someone to keep me company when I slip into a black hole of loneliness. I don't even have someone to block my path should I decide to walk to the elevator, hit PH, and climb, dead as a zombie, the two flights of stairs between me and The End.

Like I say, it's been bad.

So there I was last night, feeling myself break into a million little pieces, wishing for the hundredth time that I had someone to look out for me for a little while, until I can look after myself again. And yes, I know the obvious answer to all of this is, Hey dipshit, look after yourself. Be your own caretaker. That's what adulthood is.

Well, I'm working on it. My friends and advocates would step in here and say something like, Yo girl, chillax. You are taking care of yourself. You're alive, aren't you? You're doing ok. Only they don't really know how remarkable it is that I am alive. Well, some of them do. And those that do are being pretty fucking amazing, in terms of support. But they're not in my building. They're not in my city. They're not even in my state. My innermost circle has a pretty vast diameter, unfortunately. I still feel all the love, but it's at a geographical remove. And that isn't always easy. And while I know it's my job and mine alone to take care of me, a near-lifetime of dependency in one form or another is a tough fucking habit to break, no matter what wrenches life throws at you.

Anyway, last night it just got to be too much. I couldn't bear it anymore, the not having anyone to just, like, stroke my hair while I cried. (It probably didn't help that I've been playing Family Friend by The Vaccines nonstop. "If you need a bit of love, put your head on my shoulder, it's cool." Yeah.) So I said Fuck this shit. And I decided that since there wasn't anyone, I'd make someone up.

And that's when Uber Ellie was born.

Uber Ellie looks exactly like Ellie. They're indistinguishable, in fact, except for the expression on Uber Ellie's face. The determined set of her jaw. You can tell just from looking her that she's a fucking badass.

Uber Ellie's job, first and foremost, is to keep Ellie safe. To keep her alive. She's a bodyguard and a guardian angel combined. She doesn't let anyone or any thing harmful anywhere near Ellie, and that includes impulses towards self-harm. Uber Ellie checks that shit hard when she sees it coming. But more than being a source of protection, she's a source of comfort. She steps in when Ellie's shittastic self-soothing skills fail to do the job. She lays with Ellie and holds her tight when she cries. She strokes her hair. She shushes her and whispers the special, loving things in Ellie's ear that her mother used to. Even better things, in fact.

I realize this all sounds really fucking weird and very, very sad. What can I say? Necessity is the mother of invention. And in this case, a bit of mild schizophrenia is what was necessary. Because I want to go to Palm Springs next month.

Uber Ellie lets Ellie be sad and scared for as long as she needs to. Uber Ellie doesn't tell Ellie to "buck up", or that her horrible feelings are a choice. She doesn't brightside Ellie. She just lets Ellie climb under the covers and hide from the world. And in the meantime, she takes care of Ellie's shit.

Uber Ellie floats up and away from Ellie like a shade, like a facsimile. But she's real as fuck and she gets things done. She makes the calls Ellie doesn't want to make, because she isn't afraid of what she's going to hear on the other end of the line. Uber Ellie is absolutely fearless. Ellie is a thinker, but Uber Ellie is a doer. While Ellie lays in bed wondering, being anxious and unsure about her future, Uber Ellie is busy smashing the obstacles to Ellie's happiness and well-being.

There is nothing Uber Ellie can't do.

(I sort of went all out, when I made her. Shoot for the moon, etc.)

Uber Ellie doesn't give a fuck about men. While Ellie moons about, second-guessing herself, engaging in texting Tomfuckery and other ridiculous shit, guys are the absolute last thing on Uber Ellie's list of priorities. Way down past, like, keeping Chaucer's nails trimmed and, say, alphabetizing the spice rack. She's just got too much other stuff going on.

Uber Ellie is stoic. She takes things one at a time, and doesn't waste time worrying about just how many things there are. She is a girl of action, not words.

Ellie, in the meantime, gets a break. She gets taken care of for a while, until she can take care of herself again. When you talk to her, it's really her - not Uber Ellie. Uber Ellie doesn't socialize. She doesn't have time to. Ellie is still in charge of her friendships. She still handles all the fun stuff. She's still the creator, the writer, the friend, the dog mom.

But if Ellie needs her to, if things get too hot in her relationships and she needs back up, Uber Ellie will step in and handle that shit, too. Uber Ellie will not let anyone hurt Ellie.

And here's the best part: Uber Ellie will never leave Ellie. She'll never die. She'll never divorce her. She'll never move away. She'll be there in one form or another for the rest of Ellie's life, providing as much or as little presence as she needs. She's going to teach Ellie all of her tricks, too, and slowly impart to her the fearlessness and no-bullshit competency that she so sorely lacks. But she knows it's going to take time, and she has patience. Eventually, though, yes, Ellie will be the one in charge. Uber Ellie will fade into the background and wait to be summoned, as needed.

She hopes it's sooner than later that Ellie can take over. But for right now, Uber Ellie is here, and she's in charge, motherfuckers.

Hell, she doesn't even have time for umlauts.