“Waking up but I get to sleep
Cause I’ll be rocking this party eight days a week”
“No Sleep Till Brooklyn” Beastie Boys
When I opened my eyes Monday morning everything had changed. I was depressed. Finally, I guess? Again? I don’t know.
Soon after someone I know well did something unnecessarily hurtful and I think intentional. I was hurt and angry and almost lashed out. Luckily I caught myself, said wait a minute, I can only control things in my circle. I can’t control other people’s actions. I can only control my actions and reactions. Right? But aren’t allowed to feel hurt and angry? But I don’t want to make things worse. It was texting so I had time to think and I finished the conversation.
Later I was still ruminating so I tried something I learned recently which is write down a plan to take action. Again, the plan was to take no action. There was nothing to do to make the situation better, I could only make it worse. No action taken. It’s funny because earlier in the morning my negative inner talk and trashing myself had come back hard and I remember thinking, these coping skills work great when you don’t really need them. Even though over the weekend I had searched, “positive self talk step by step.” I was surprised the first site I found was not trying to sell me anything. No books, therapy, nothing. It just said 7 steps for positive self talk. Surprise. I already do most of them. I typed notes and printed. My favorite which I didn’t know I was doing consciously is “present tense thinking.” What can I do right now? If I can do something right now, do it. That was what I was doing. Look at me using coping skills.
I haven’t been drinking but my memory of this week is spotty. I was at Panera again. That was obvious because another sunny warm day. Two fucked up things happened. The first one, I almost did something stupid. I was smiling for some reason looking across towards the windows but out of focus. I movement caught my attention and my eyes focused. It was a woman at the opposite end waving and smiling at me. Did she think I was smiling at her? No way, there has to be someone behind me. I turned my head and there was a wall. No other person. I looked back and she had looked back down at her table. Okay, I’m imagining shit, right? Am I supposed to do something? What? I don’t know. If she looks up and smiles again I will know. She did! But not at me. She was smiling at her husband walking to her table and sitting down. Where was he when I looked behind me? I don’t know. Good thing I just sat there. I’m still depressed, I just want to eat this pizza and go home. I don’t even know how I got here. That was the almost stupid thing. If he didn’t walk over there I was thinking of walking over there.
Next, I’m the only person in there looking down at my food. This big titted blonde comes bouncing by in a tight pink track suit, I look up, she is smiling huge smile directly at me from 2 feet away. I almost smiled back but No! This girl is in her teens! I look back down at my pizza thinking that was weird, but couple seconds, whatever. This fucking pizza is never ending. I’m not even hungry. I can feel it and I turn my head to the right. The girl in pink is sitting sideways in her chair, facing me, big smile. This time I know we are the only 2 people in the place who don’t work there. I don’t know what the fuck her problem is, I’m eating my pizza and getting the fuck out of here. Still not hungry, I’ll just leave now. I turn to stand up, she is bouncing by again to get her food smiling at me. Now it’s only my peripheral vision but still true. Dump my shit in the trash and went home. I didn’t remember this until today.
Later Monday, I googled, “coping with major life changes” and surprise, I’m doing all of them except the ones I can’t drive and therapy. But way back in June, I made an emphatic request for a therapist to my Case Manager partly because I knew I would have major changes coming. Some of them I have been doing for years, like eating healthy, exercising and meditating. One I started in June which was keeping a regular schedule. Suddenly I was going to bed at 11 and waking up at 6 every day. Not anymore but that is how I started. Even though I was starting to get manic already.
I wanted to get out of the house but there is nowhere to go in my town. Okay, exercise. I don’t want coffee, I don’t care, I’ll walk all the way down to Starbucks. I check. They close at 3pm. What? Okay, I’ll go to Dunkins, it’s closer, yep, they are open. On the way there at 7pm the only places with lights on were 3 bars and they were packed. I got to dunkin’s and the lights were on but empty. I walked there, I’m getting coffee. I try to open the door. Locked. Drive thru only, Covid. Walk back home.
Tuesday was my meltdown in Panera. Still not sure why 2 people came up to me. I was crying but I had my hand on my forehead looking down at my phone. I wasn’t sobbing, or wailing or making any noises. I guess I’m glad they did. I remember seeing myself in the bathroom mirror and looking a mess. I’ve been shaving regularly and looking in the mirror so how did I not notice. I decided I was going to get my hair cut on Wednesday if it was nice out. I didn’t check the weather forecast. That night I had a dream I hooked up with the woman who cut my hair.
Don’t worry, I knew it wouldn’t come true. Wednesday I woke up, Fuck! It’s sunny. I’m just begging for a rainy day so I can get a break. Okay, probably should get a haircut. Do my morning thing and plan on it get my stuff, not sure if I still have to check in online. I will look. I didn’t look. I was halfway there no, I think they let you do walk ins. I got there and they were closed! And it didn’t matter because they reinstated the mask requirement. I didn’t have one. What the fuck! I can’t get coffee or a haircut but I can walk into any bar and sit with 50 other maskless people and get shitfaced? I’m looking around, Hobby Lobby? Dick’s Sporting Goods? Walmart? Panera again? I’m embarrassed to go in there. Fuck it! Go home.
Luckily Wednesday has 2 zoom meditation meetings with the only group I like. When I first heard of it, I thought, Yeah, I can really see myself doing this. Not. I was completely against putting Zoom on any of my devices. Now I look forward to every Wednesday because a couple of my favorite people are there. I missed my “just rolled out of bed guy in the morning.” But he was there at night. 7pm. I realized something weird last night. I’ve been doing these for a few weeks and I usually log in a few minutes early because I am forgetful. They have several different facilitator and you never know which one will be there. But when I log on they are on camera so I turn on my camera and I start talking whatever fucked up shit is on my mind. Usually not what I type here but… The facilitators like me and they don’t think I’m too fucked up but I’ll realize I’ve been talking for a long time and suddenly 3 other people will pop up on video and I realize they have been lurking and listening to me. Not just last night! That is just when I realized. Each time, I shut up and apologize for dominating the conversation. But they all know who I am and don’t seem to mind. They engage with me in a positive way. Last night my buddy who usually looks like her rolled out of bed was there and I know he likes me. I said, K—, I missed you this morning! He said, “You caught me, I had a late night last night and I’m in California right now so noon there is 9am here. I knew I liked this guy! That got me through the night. It’s not face to face but I can see their faces and they are all positive people. At least for the hour as I am. They tried explaining to me about the org. But I told them I already know and that is why I like them. It is the kind of meditation I like because it’s science based and they are legit, not trying to sell me anything. Some meetings they say they are funded through donations and if you want you can go to the website and other donors will match dollar for dollar. But there is no pressure and half the meetings they don’t even mention donating. I don’t have much money but I feel like I want to give something. I feel much better after. I’m listening to a SMART meeting on the side right now and it is fucking depressing me! But that is another post.
This morning, Thursday, I woke up, Fuck! Sunny again. Perfect temperature. This is not at all typical where I live. We are 10 degrees above average for October! I don’t care! I don’t have to do anything. I can get my hair cut tomorrow, next week, whenever!
I texted my mom and told her about needing a therapist because of changes in my life. She thought I already had one. I wasn’t going to but I told her the story of firing my therapist last January and all the fucked up shit that happened after. It was a long story and I was afraid my mom would think I was crazy cuz she kept saying, right, okay and I kept texting. Halfway through, she said, “Wow! Is there anything I can do to help?” I kept texting and at the end she said, “AWESOME, I am so happy you did that!” I said, not good still no therapist for a normal person problem of major life change and I figured out the feelings of grief I was having came from feeling I am losing my family again. Not completely, I see my daughter but less often and for less time and I don’t see her family anymore.
The short story is I shitcanned my therapist because I found out she was lying to me about something important and she treated me like I was delusional when I called her on it. Maybe I was delusional, (I wasn’t) but let’s just say I was. I can end my relationship with a therapist for any reason, right? Maybe I don’t like the smell of her perfume? My case manager and Doctor were pushing me to take her back and treating me like I was being irrational. In March they didn’t ask me, they told me she was going to be my therapist again. I didn’t like it but I thought I had no choice. I said okay and they said she will call you next week. I was seeing my case manager face to face weekly and speaking to my doctor on the phone monthly. I never missed an appointment and always picked up the phone on at most the 3rd ring. Each week my case manager would say, did A– call? No, she didn’t. She would say, “That’s weird, she should call next week.” After about 6 weeks I started thinking, Yes, it is weird, why are they asking me? They all work as a team, why don’t they ask her? Is she telling them she is calling me?
In May I got a letter from my former therapist saying she was going to close my account at the Mental Health Center because I didn’t return her calls. I called her immediately and she said, “that’s not what I wrote.” Like I’m delusional, I was holding the letter in my hand. Then she said, its’s a form on the computer a mistake, I aske did the computer writer the letter stick it in an envelope and mail it to me? whatever.
I showed my Case Manager the letter and she was surprised and no, I’m not crazy. That is what the letter said. But she told me, “Don’t worry, she can’t close your case, that is my job, I am the ‘Case Manager’.” Okay. I let it go but kept thinking if it is not her job, why did she write the letter and not tell my Case Manager who is technically her boss.
They kept pushing her on me and saying I’m being irrational. Like what the fuck? After my Doctor put the mind fuck on me by telling me my medications are making me worse but he wants me to double the dose, I said, I really want a therapist. My case manager asked if A– was okay! I told her if she had called me when they said she was going to call me I would have and appointment this Friday, but after the letter, no way.
I didn’t know what to do. I got out of bed at 3am, went to the Board of Mental Health website. Followed their instructions. I made a copy of the letter, Wrote a shorter version of what I just wrote here, included my Case Manager and Doctor’s names and phone numbers as witnesses and walked it over to the mailbox. Apparently, the board did not think I was delusional because within a week I got a response saying they are investigating and my former therapist has 30 days to reply in writing. Nothing will happen to her but since that day there has been no more talk of a therapist (I still want one), no more talk of me being irrational. I still see my case manager weekly. I have talked to my doctor 3 times. Twice he said I sound “great” and the third time he said, “really great, instead of two weeks would you like to talk again in 1 month or 2 months?” I said 2, he said great call my office. (Sorry, this was going to be another blog post but I really want a therapist and my case manager is coming tomorrow and I am afraid to ask for one because I don’t know if they are pissed. She has known me for 8 years so there is no way I am faking, being “better”)
Back to the haircut. Today they were open and I walked in to see the last girl who cut my hair. I have never had the same person cut my hair twice and I’ve been going there for a long time. They just have a lot of turnover. Don’t worry, this doesn’t get too weird. She is very nice but there is no physical attraction. I told her it was funny, the last time I got my haircut was 3 months ago when my daughter got her license and I remember telling you. She looked confused and I said don’t worry, I don’t expect you to remember, I’m just saying I usually never go that long without a cut. She was still nice and we talked about a lot but she works for tips so who knows. I’ll talk to anyone. And my mom worked for tips when I was a kid so I always overtip. You have to do something horrible to get a bad tip from me.
When I first sat down, I noticed in the mirror a good looking woman getting up pulling her hair back and telling how happy she was with it. I thought of course she was leaving when I get there but what would possibly happen anyway so that was a ridiculous thought.
She got to the end of cutting my hair doing the touch up and asked if I would like it square or rounded in the back? “Square please.” She said, “Okay, but only cause you asked nicely.”… “I’m always polite.”….”Are you sure about that?” (ahhhhhh) “Only in public.”…. “Oh, you like to cause trouble?” Good thing I was wearing a mask because I was biting my tongue to keep myself from saying, “Why? Are you trouble?” Stupid, I know but if I had said it I wouldn’t be sitting here typing this right now. It was easy not to say it. I had no interest, that is just where my mind goes. I don’t really want to hook up with someone I’m not attracted to in the only place I can get my hair cut. I just gave a little chuckle and she got professional again and we were done.
Shit! I almost forgot the point of the story. I paid, (gave a good tip) walked out the door, one foot about to step off the curb and from my left I heard, “Wow! You look great! Much better than before! I turned my head and tried to stop motion but momentum was too great. It was the woman in the mirror. “Thank you so much! I feel great!”, Catching my balance as I hit the street. She opened the door and went back inside.
What the fuck just happened? Why did she come back 30 minutes later? Does she also work there? So many questions… I’m so confused. I’m slowly walking into the parking lot but nothing is out there. I got my hair cut, I gotta go home right? That’s been my frustration this whole time is there is nowhere else to go. I’m still thinking, was that real? I looked back and the same woman was back outside walking towards a Mercedes convertible. Okay, that’s better. I’m sure I’m the guy she is looking for, on disability for schizophrenia.
It felt good. Why am I looking for validation from others? Isn’t everyone? (over generalization) That’s why people give compliments. To make other people feel good about themselves. Family, friends, loved ones? But random strangers on the street? Why not?