“I sat with my anger long enough until she told me her real name was grief.” C.S. Lewis
The other night when they were setting the topics I wasn’t going to say anything but the first two topics were basic “Read The Fucking Manual” questions. I thought seriously? We are going to spend an hour talking about how to fill out a worksheet about the pros and cons of using? So I spoke up and they added recurring grief to the list. I don’t think it was out of line. What do people do after a funeral? They go to somebody’s house and get shitfaced and cry.
They spent most of the meeting on it but nobody hit the nail on the head. All I can remember now is the one guy who had to chime in with, “You have to learn to deal with your emotions sometimes, ‘Life on Life’s Terms.” Thanks genius. How ’bout I come over there and slap the dick out of your mouth? I don’t have to come to meetings anymore. Your slogan solved all my problems. Can I put that on a bumper sticker? Or did you fucking copyright it?
I hate that shit. That’s why I don’t go to these meetings. They make huge assumptions and project their life onto mine. Oh, this guy is older and he’s new here. He must have just crawled out of the bottle after 30 years of drinking and has no idea how to live life.
If the fucking guy had paid attention, he would have heard that I had dealt with it for years and thought I was over it and I haven’t been suppressing it, that’s why I didn’t understand why the pain came back just as strong after more than 5 years.
But luckily yesterday, it happened again. “Right place at the right time.” I was in a great mood until I left the stove on high and burnt the lentils. Fuck! Whatever. Perfect opportunity to walk over to the store and get a big greasy breakfast sandwich. Awesome! Sausage, egg and cheese on a raisin bagel. Decision made. Eggs florentine? That’s new. (Spinach again? weird) Looks like I’m getting two. Do I want a coffee? Sure, why not? I got to the register and I’ve seen woman a few times but I don’t usually go there in the morning. “How are you doing?” Great! How are you? “Fantastic! Coffee is on me today” Thank you. Crisis averted.
I don’t know why I wake up so early in the morning there is never anything to do. Do I really want to listen to another one of those meetings? It would kill an hour and a half. The worst thing is I don’t like it and log off. I looked up the schedule and one had started 20 minutes earlier. There is no law about logging in late. “Click”
What is the topic? Grief! Who is about to start talking? Regular Joe Sixpack looking guy. But I start laughing my ass off when he opens his mouth and the stereotypical hollywood gay guy voice comes out. Oh my god! He’s queer as a three dollar bill. I didn’t even notice the rainbow scarf around his neck. I’m not gay bashing, it was just the incongruity. He was my favorite person at the meeting. He spoke to my problem directly like he knew I was coming. He talked about grieving over the loss of a relationship and it’s cyclical and he’s working with his therapist and all that is normal. Exactly what I was going through.
When he finished talking I didn’t want to go on microphone so I texted in the chat. “Thank you so much, J—, I asked this question in a meeting a few nights ago but you gave me the perfect answer today.” He answered, “I’m so glad, ‘heart emoji'”, I said, “heart emoji.” But then they put up that fucking quote. How have I never heard that quote before? I know C.S. Lewis. Apparently it’s very popular. But, What the fuck?
How did I deal with my grief yesterday, Mr. AA Guru? Did I get drunk? No. I had myself a good cry and texted N—, “Good morning, powerful person” and I didn’t bring it up with her because she’s got her own shit going on and I’m not her responsibility anymore. The hardest part, the pure pain, was over a couple days ago, so there was just a little more crying. Then I moved on to another issue I’ve been working on which is changing my reactions to assholes like you. Why am I still pissed off 3 days later? You don’t remember it. You don’t know you’re a fucking moron. I’m making it my problem and stressing myself out.
What emotion am I dealing with today? Anger. How am dealing with it? By getting fucked up? No. I’m writing about it like I have done my whole life. I’m sick of these people thinking I suddenly came to some realization. I’ve been dealing with this shit my entire life. I’ve been reading about it since I learned to read. I had no idea why. Back then it was, “manic-depressive”, I saw it written a million times. Didn’t know what it meant.
Oh yeah, grief. I got sent to a LADC once. That dude was a freak. I don’t remember how it came up but I told him it was the anniversary of my mother-in-law’s death and I had asked my ex-wife how she was doing. He got pissed off and yelled at me, “STOP PLAYING GOD! You’re not responsible for her feelings! If she is still grieving after so long she belongs in therapy” (Umm… Yeah, she is in therapy, thank you. so am I, asshole.) Then he went on for the rest of the hour while I sat there wondering what I could say not to set him off next time.
I’m serious, Tuesday mornings I would spend an hour with my real therapist trying to come up with strategies to deal with the crazy LADC guy I had to meet in the afternoon. The first meeting I had with him he lied to me and said I was committed to him for the full 20 weeks because I had made an appointment and showed up. What? I called the people in charge of the program and they said, “I don’t know why he would say that.” (He lied)
He was a big Tea Party guy and almost every week he would say something about “Big Government.” I’m thinking, dude, I’m on disability, big government is paying you to sit here and bitch to me about big government. The only reason you are rich (besides being born into it) is your whole practice is based on referrals from the court system. Big Government. This guy would not stand for any disagreement. I found that when he argued about my diagnosis. He was wrong but I let him go. Big fucking copy of the DSM sitting there on the table, look it up.
I didn’t bring it up but for some reason he spent the whole second meeting talking about the 2nd amendment and the right to bear arms, blah blah, he ended, “are we to the point where they are kicking down doors and taking our guns?…. Not yet.” Fucking guy knows I’m schizo and the reason I’m in his office is indirectly related to a suicide attempt. Why is he trying to convince me I need a gun? I’m at home looking online to see how much they cost and shit and my girlfriend had to talk me down. That’s another thing. He would make racist comments. Good thing I didn’t mention my girlfriend is black. I was stressed, I had know idea what was safe to say around this guy.
One meeting he spent the hour talking about god. He started out about AA and higher power and telling me it doesn’t have to be god, it could be, “Group Of Drunks” or, “Good Orderly Direction”, I’m thinking, why does it have to be the acronym G.O.D.? Then he went on to tell me how to pray, when to pray, how many times a day to pray… The whole fucking hour. I just sat there. The most he ever talked about alcohol or drugs was about half our meetings he would start by asking what the speaker had to say at the AA meeting Friday night. I would start to tell him and he would interrupt after a few sentences and tell me how long the speaker had been sober, why they asked him to speak, he probably relapsed a lot…. (Like he was at the meeting right next to me. Whatever, I’ll let him tell it ) then onto whatever was on his mind that week. I knew how much he saved each month by refinancing his house. He spent an hour bitching about calling tech support. Dismissing the whole country of India. Like, when was the last time he learned a 2nd language just to get a job? Any of this was better than him trying to focus on mental illness because he had some bizarre ideas.
Finally I had my case manager go in with me to ask him to stick to substance abuse issues and leave the mental health to my doctor and therapist. I was going to do the talking but at the last minute I changed my mind. Good thing I did because she didn’t even finish the first sentence before he flipped out and yelled at us to get out of his office and on and on and good luck finding another LADC to accept me. (I had one the next week) we were walking out and he’s still yelling. “God has held my hand for 14 years!…” I did the math and figured out he spent 12 years treating people for alcohol abuse while he was a practicing alcoholic. Nice.
I asked the next LADC not to tell me god could cure my mental illness. She asked me why I said it and I told her about him. She said that was certainly unprofessional.
I wrote a complaint the board of mental health. I called first and the woman said I would have to write to the board of LADC if I wanted to make a separate complaint. I told her I didn’t care about that I just didn’t think he should be practicing mental health treatment on my cat, never mind a person.
My case manager and therapist had to go testify and then a few months later I had to go testify. I was in a room with about 8 other people and they said one of them was the head of the department in charge of LADC’s. Things were getting pretty serious. I was told specifically I had to write a separate letter of complaint to get her involved, I did not write a separate letter. I was nervous because they put a recording device on the table and started asking me questions. But first they told me they were very impressed with my writing skills. They went through the letter with me and asked if there was anything else. I started talking and remembering a ton of stuff I didn’t even write about. The letter I sent them was 3 fucking pages!
A while ago I googled to see if this asshole was still in business. I saw his obituary! He died young at 60. No cause of death listed. I was thinking probably liver cancer but secretly I hoped he had a heart attack because I caused him to lose his license.
See. I have to learn to let things go. I’m working on it.
Yesterday the woman from the meditation group texted me through whatsapp to make sure I knew the schedule of their meetings. I logged on last night and figured it out. There were three meditation groups based on this particular yoga practice and they all had a big framed picture of the same woman and they would show a clip of her speaking. They talked a little about who she was and she started the practice in 1974, blah, blah…. OMG! This is a cult! They are trying to indoctrinate me! They worship her. I’m serious, they started the meditation, “Mother, Please forgive us…” The woman in the picture is who they called Mother. I bailed out of there!
A little while later she texted me saying, I hope our talk didn’t disturb you. I said, No, it wasn’t you. I have another issue. She said something. I was going to just leave it but I was bored and so much strange shit has been happening, I had to push it. I eased into it but of course I knew she would be into synchronicity. I told her a little and she said, You’re spirit is guiding you! But when I told her the coincidence wasn’t her meditation group but that she was a LADC. She lost interest and ghosted me. I told her directly I wasn’t trying to use her as a counselor. I just thought the whole thing was weird. Meditation practices go back thousands of years. How did all these people started worshiping a woman from 1974? I’m not drinking the Kool-Aid.
My new meditation buddies have another meeting at noon today. I really hope I get the see that guy roll out of bed. He is my new role model. I’m trying to get back in time. I have to leave hear at 11 but maybe a few minutes earlier.