Thursday, January 26, 2012

D is for Dialectic

Ever since I left my husband and got divorced, I have been dealing with depression. It has not gotten any better, either, so I finally gave in and went to the Dialectic Behavior Center yesterday. The only reason I went was so my physician and therapist would shut up about it. I was tired of hearing them tell me I needed to go. I decided that I would go one time, just to get them off of my back, and then that would be the end of it. The whole thing made me extremely nervous – I wasn’t sure what I was getting myself into.
The Center was in a big, old brick house in a residential neighborhood. Turns out, I had nothing to worry about. My appointment turned out to just be an intake session in which she asked me a lot of redundant questions (redundant because I had already answered them on the paperwork they gave me). Then she said she thought they could help me quite a bit and she "strongly suggested" that I go to their therapy group that night.

I did not want to go and told her I would not be there.

So, at group last night, my worst suspicions were confirmed: it is a lot of work. Work I do not want to do. I keep thinking, what if I just start running again? But I know that wouldn't be enough. I know that what I am doing right now is not working drastically enough for me to be ready to start school in August. I still am very far away from being smart.
I'm still undecided about committing to this. It is an eight- to twelve-month program in which I would have to go to group every Wed. for 90 minutes and then have a meeting with one of their therapists at least every other week, preferably (for them) every week. I do not want to stop seeing my current therapist, but I called my insurance company and they don't have a problem, so that is not a good excuse, either.
I'm very good at rationalizing things I do and do not want to do. This is something I REALLY don't want to do but I am trying to make myself because, if I take myself out of the equation, it does seem like something that could really help. After all, where else am I going to learn the pleasures of sitting in a room filled with people all smelling and passing around bath salts?

Sunday, January 22, 2012

C is for Cookies

            One of Ex’s favorite things to do when he was bored was make cookies. He spent days on the internet, trying to find the perfect recipe. He would find one that he thought looked good, make it, and then continue on his pursuit of the perfect cookie.
            I came home one day to find the house smelling great. Ex came striding proudly out of the kitchen, holding a plate with a cookie on it. I tasted it. It was absolutely delicious. Ex had done it – he had made the perfect cookie. It was a chocolate cookie with white chocolate chips. The edges were crispy and the center was moist and delicious. I don’t even like white chocolate, but that cookie was amazing. I asked him for another one.
            There weren’t any more. He had eaten the entire batch, saving one for me. You may think I am mad that he only saved one for me. No, I am surprised that he saved that one cookie for me to try. I think the only reason he wanted me to taste it was so he could show off his perfect cookies. Normally, he did not think of things like saving me a cookie.
            At the time, I was working three part-time jobs and going to school full-time. Ex stayed home all day, collecting unemployment. All he did was surf the internet and make cookies. One night, however,  I came home late, and Ex told me he was making dinner.   He said he knew how hard I worked and he wanted me to take it easy while he made dinner.
I was touched by his kind consideration.  I put my things away and took a text book to the couch to study while he cooked. I had learned long before that he did not want my company, so even though I would have preferred to be in the kitchen talking to him, I stayed away. He took forever, and I was starting to get really hungry. Then I heard him turning off the oven and getting things out of cabinets and drawers. The smell of hamburger permeated the whole house. My stomach rumbled in anticipation.


Then it was fairly quiet for about ten minutes. I was starving, it was late, and I wanted to eat, but I stayed out of that kitchen. Ex was being nice and I did not want to do anything to mess that up. Then I heard him washing something. Turns out, it was his dinner plate. Yes, Ex had made dinner. For himself.

I had cereal while he was in the shower.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

B is for Bathroom

                You may or may not know how difficult and uncomfortable it is to cry in a public bathroom. There are so many choices that have to be made. The hardest part is when you have different bathrooms to choose from. You should definitely pick the bathroom with the lowest traffic. Then you must carefully choose the stall. This is far more complicated than you may think.
              You either want the first stall or the one beside the handicapped stall. Studies have shown that the most used stall is the second stall, so taking the first stall means there is a high likelihood that you will have a lot of people go into the stall beside you. The benefit is people do not normally park there, if you know what I mean, so there are a lot of fast in-and-outs. No one will pay much attention to you.

             The stall beside the handicapped stall tends to be quieter, but people washing their hands have less on their minds and are more likely to see your feet and wonder why you are so quiet. Which stall you pick comes down to personal preference. These are just some basic guidelines so you don’t walk in cold and make a rash decision.

Now comes the third decision: stand, or sit? As an unpaid but still semi-professional bathroom crier, I will tell you that it depends on the situation. If you just need a minute to pull yourself together, definitely stand. If you are so depressed you can barely move (it happens more often than one would like to think), put toilet paper on the toilet seat and sit. Unless you are not a germ freak like me. Then feel free to sit on the seat with nothing on it. Just don’t let me know about it so I don’t get grossed out.
After you are done crying, your nose is blown, and you have decided the coast is clear, leave your stall and go to the sink farthest from the door. There will be less traffic, and if someone walks in, you can turn your head away. Washing your face will help a little, as will powdering your nose. Sadly, (this is all sad, who am I kidding?) no matter what you do, the odds are good that it will still be blatantly obvious that you have been crying.

That about wraps up all the tips I have for emergency crying in the bathroom.

Friday, January 20, 2012

A is for Alcohol

                                    Ahhhh Vodka Glass Style
      Leaving Ex was the hardest thing I have ever done. Once the decision to leave was final, I began packing right away, Unfortunately, every time I thought about the fact that I was leaving my husband, overwhelming sorrow would rise up and I would end up sobbing in a fetal position on the floor. Needless to say, I was not getting much packing done.

Not much, that is, until the night I figured out that if I drank just enough alcohol to have a nice buzz going, I could robotically sort through our things.

 Drinking got me through the next few nights. I would frantically and drunkenly pack until I reached the point where I was too far gone to continue. I tried very hard not to get to that point, but the horror of what I was doing was too much to face, so I just kept on drinking. After going over the line between buzzed and plastered, I would end up sitting on the floor wherever I was, bawling. At that point, I was doing far more drinking and crying than packing. Things were not looking good.

            Three of my closest friends came to help me move. We got things in the truck in record time. My friends said they would wait outside while I locked up. I looked around the empty house and reality came crashing down. I think that was the moment my heart broke completely. I was leaving my husband. I was ending my marriage. I was dying. I lay on the floor weeping, pouring the last of my broken heart onto the floor, and then somehow, I got up, wiped my eyes, and went out to rejoin my friends. 

I have been fighting the desire to drink ever since. I did go to one AA meeting. It was for women only and was held in a huge room in a gigantic, intimidating church. There were only two other women there. We sat huddled in a corner in the echoing room and they shared their stories. Then I told them mine, but their stories were so much worse than mine that I felt kind of stupid. They told about how they used to drink every night, had gone to work drunk, had gotten multiple DUI’s,  had alienated almost everyone they knew, and had basically hit rock bottom.

My drinking wasn’t nearly that bad. All I did was sit at home alone and drink every night. I still managed to go to school and work; I didn’t drive drunk, and, since none of my friends knew the extent of my drinking problem, had not alienated or even worried anyone. After listening to the other women’s tales of debauchery, my drinking didn’t seem so bad.
I decided that I did not need to go to any more AA meetings, because the twelve steps did not apply to me. Admitting that I had no control over alcohol was the first step, and I chose to lie to myself and say that I did have control over alcohol. I was not powerless to it, so the first step did not apply to me, and neither would the rest. I went home with my 24-hour AA chip, feeling better about my drinking. Of course, I drank as soon as I got home. I didn’t have a problem.  
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