the caged bird sings.

written, designed, and edited by Bee Butler

Thick and thin.

Bee ButlerComment

How do you admit to yourself, and to the world, that you are not okay, that the scars you thought had healed over were actually still very raw, very open, and very painful?


He wasn’t always like that.
Maybe he was, but he didn’t show it.


A few weeks into us talking, he sent me Tom Keifer’s “Thick and Thin” and said it was how he felt about me.

To a girl in an eating disorder rehab intensive, those words were like water to a dying man in the desert. Not only was I not throwing up/starving/eating my feelings anymore, somebody loved me! He hadn’t SAID it yet, but I knew then that it was coming.

He used to play it all the time in the mornings, when he got out of the shower, and he’d kiss me and make me laugh, and my entire being would be engulfed in happiness that I had only felt once before.


He did that a lot.
Made me laugh.
I didn’t have to be drunk for him to be funny.

We used to sit on the steps of the old converted tour bus we slept in and smoke our first cigarette of the morning, and I’d sit on the second step, he’d sit behind me, and he’d wrap his arms around me while we both slowly woke up. And I would not take back those moments for all the money in the world. Because for then, even if it was only for me, it was real. It was love. It was the kind of love that overtakes everything else on earth, and you fall into the gravity of someone else, held to them by an unstoppable force.

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Tonight, I’m remembering that force. Those moments. That damn song.
And it hurts so, so badly.
But at least I can feel it.

I’m still alive, and I know what love feels like.

For now, that’s enough for me.


It's amazing what a difference a drug makes (with apologies to Heather Armstrong).

Bee ButlerComment

Early last week, my pill sorter “ran out”, meaning I needed to refill it. I noticed that something had gone wrong, because there had been a pink and white capsule in my morning meds for two weeks… and it was nowhere to be found in any of the bottles covering my nightstand.

That’s when it hit me.

I’d accidentally filled TWO WEEKS of my morning meds with my old antidepressant PLUS my new one, meaning I’d been on an insanely high dose… which would explain why I’d been doing so well, but also why I was starting to flag. I was also somehow nearly out of my sleeping meds, despite having extra from having filled my prescription early. I genuinely do not know how this happened, but all I know is that since then, I have been in hell.

Not sleeping. At all. In fact, last weekend I didn’t sleep a wink for three days straight, at which point my mother had to put me in her bed because I was hallucinating and having a conversation with a dog we housesit for who WAS NOT HERE. I kept coming in and out of consciousness, but during that time of being “out of it”, I had still been talking and moving around. My brain was turning off; my body was not.

Eventually, I crashed in Mom’s bed and slept for several hours. When I woke up, I felt like I had the flu, and it has gotten worse every day since. There’s been crying spells (again, thought we were done with that), there’s been sleepless nights, there’s been irritability, there’s been an inability to take care of my basic needs (I’m back on the Ensure diet, because I only remember eating three or four times in the last week and cannot trust myself to get food when I’m hungry, because I’m so exhausted that I register every bodily reaction as “tired” and shut my eyes tighter while I play episodes of the Simpsons on loop on the DVR.

That’s been my life. It’s been getting worse, and worse, and worse. And I called the crisis line for my health center, who called my therapist, who called me back and said, “Dude, tell me when your meds aren’t working” to which I replied, “I had no idea that was part of your job, but okay… hey, my meds are not working”. She said she’d speak with my doctor on Wednesday, so by 4PM today when I hadn’t heard back, I called and left a message. She called me back within 30 minutes and let me know she’d pushed up my appointment from MAY FREAKING NINTH to Monday morning at 9:45.

So that’s where we are.

I called out of all my church stuff this week. I didn’t make it to youth group on Wednesday and I highly, HIGHLY doubt I’ll make it to service on Sunday, let alone my community group afterwards, unless God decides to beam me down something to take away these hot and cold flashes, body aches, head-swimming disorientation, and sleeplessness.

But then again, this is God. And He pulled me out of this before, and when He did, I got by. I was able to start functioning again, and if He decides to yank me back together just so I can go to church on Sunday, or even Bible study tomorrow night (on the Levi Lusko book I bought the night I got my calling and life started making sense again), then I am more than happy to let Him.

In the meantime, sleepless-for-three-days-me withdrew me from LAPU, enrolled me in Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary AND South Houston Bible Institute, and I have no idea what happens next. I’m leaving that for clear-headed-by-Tuesday-me to figure out, at which point I’ll update all of YOU and hopefully get my life back on track. A new track, one I think will be focused on getting a seminary certificate instead of an unobtainable degree from a $46,000-a-year university in California that I can’t keep up with anymore (or afford, as I’ve hit my aggregate federal loan limit).

Honestly, I don’t know right now.
I don’t know much at all.

I’m back on Twitter, if you didn’t catch that, and I’m trying to navigate the political and pottymouth universe I used to inhabit without pissing off my church, although that damage may have been done since none of the pastors will get back to me this week. LOVING the anxiety THAT has brought on.

I just don’t know.

But Monday, I will.
And by Tuesday afternoon, I will have slept a full night and be on a high dose of antidepressants, and honestly, that’s what I need, along with Jesus and some friends down here, to make things okay again.

Because I don’t remember what that felt like anymore, and I really wish I did.

(I also DM’d Heather Armstrong during my no-sleep period, and it was such an absurd rambling that I was too embarrassed to message her again and apologize. So that’s fun too. Basically I screwed my entire life up in three days and now I want to crawl in a hole and die a little bit. Meds are fun. So is sleep.)