June 3rd, 2011

#2726: Dang, I feel better already

First session with the therapist down, and already I've learned something new.

Well, "new" is probably too strong a word. It's more a matter of perspective; after I laid out how my life has been for the past ten years, she told me, "This is a lot of loss!"

Losing jobs, girlfriends, fiancees, parents, friends, careers, etc, etc--you know, I knew it, but having someone validate my feelings is pretty refreshing. She arrived at the conclusion on her own; I just laid out the history of my past decade.

So I'm seeing her again this afternoon, because there's still so much initial discussion to get through before the real therapy can begin and I really need to talk to the so-called "sympathetic stranger" some more.

Don't ask me why it works better than talking to friends; I wish I knew.

* * *

I remember reading about "cool biz" in Yotsuba&! I wonder how many Japanese companies are doing it?

* * *

Vox Populi on government statistical shenanigans with unemployment figures.

Vox Populi on how to answer a simple question if you want to be a GOP nominee.

* * *

Yesterday I walked up to the "municipal center" to get city stickers for the Jeep and the Escort. On the way up there, I was cheerfully thinking about, WTF, just going ahead and spending the money on getting the Fiero street-legal so I could drive it. "Screw it," I thought. "I haven't driven the damn car since 2006 and I want to!" Put it on the Jeep's policy, get plates, do some maintenance stuff, and zoom, you know? Thoroughly clean it and put a fresh coat of wax on, and start going to cruise nights again. Shit.

I mean, it's been five years since I was able to enjoy driving my Fiero. Jesus. What's the point of having a car you never drive? I bought the damn thing to have fun, and it's not any fun to have it just sitting in the garage.

On the way to see the therapist today, I saw a yard sale (this weekend is a big town-wide yard sale weekend) and there was a motor scooter sitting there. I couldn't see the price that well; the asking price was either $750 or $150 and I'd wager it's the former, but that got me to thinking about how much fun it would be to have something like that. Well, I didn't go back to look at the price because I'm not going to buy that, but then I realized that if I were to get that motorcycle carrier from Harbor Freight, I could use it to take the Suzuki over to the DMV and get my motorcycle license...and then ride the Suzuki hither and yon. I'd just have to get the Suzuki plated and insured, and that wouldn't cost nearly as much as doing the same with the Fiero.

Food for thought.

The most important thing I can do for myself right now, to help myself get better, is to start doing things that get me out of the house. I think that's important.

* * *

It's been decided that most of the patio is going to be torn out. The square immediately off the back door is to remain, but the rest of it--

The window well floods because the slab is tilted towards the house, and rather than mud-jack it to the correct elevation my brother and sister decided that we're going to remove it and replace it with pavers.

I don't particularly have a problem with this. A brick patio would look very nice--much nicer than the concrete--and it'll be possible to get it to an elevation that is a better match for the way the house sits, anyway.

It does mean tearing out the old concrete, though. My brother got a start on it yesterday by using a concrete saw and hand sledge to clear out around the window well; I'm going to go to Harbor Freight fairly soon and buy an honest-to-god for-real sledgehammer (rather than a hand sledge) and I'm going to take out all my frustrations on the patio. I'm gonna get all up in that mofo. The bulk of the work we'll want to do with a jackhammer, I expect, but I can do a lot with a sledge, and I think it'll be therapeutic.

Someone will probably bitch at me for doing it wrong. *sigh*

#2727: I had a moment of joy.

I really did.

After seeing the therapist this afternoon, I deposited my paychecks from [employer], then went to Pizza Hut for dinner.

While I was pulling out the the bank, I realized--suddenly--that I felt happy.

Okay: I'd felt that good on Wed. when I was cutting the grass and listening to my music, so it wasn't unprecedented, but after the train wreck that was Thursday I didn't expect to feel that good again for a while.

The therapist uses a 1-10 scale for measuring depression. That makes sense; since they use a 1-10 scale for physical pain, why not use the same thing for psychological pain?

Okay, the four days before I cut myself? 10.

Being in the ER after it lifted? 4-ish.

When I got out? 0-1.

Wednesday? 0.

Thursday afternoon? 6.5-7.

At the bank this afternoon? 0.

...as soon I realized it, it meandered back up to between 1 and 2, but still, that's excellent.

Right now, 2, maybe.

* * *

...so I told her "the rest of the story", including about the gunk from my sister on Thursday, and the therapist looked horrified.

So, yeah, I'm not wrong when I think my sister hollering that she was mad at me because I wasn't doing anything and I'd "had a day to recover!" was less than sensitive. The therapist confirmed what I've been saying all along, that I wasn't released from the hospital because I was cured; I was released because I was stable and no longer a danger to myself.

"It took you a long time to get to where you are now," my therapist said. "It's going to take some time to get back out."

My brother and oldest sister are very, very smart people, but they don't know dick about psychology, and they have the sensitivity of a pile driver.

As for the house? I'll make a note of that: the next time I cut myself because I'm having a nervous breakdown, I'll clean before I call the ambulance, so my sister isn't inconvenienced by the accumulated filth of my existence.

Jesus Christ.

* * *

But I felt pretty good (and I feel pretty good now) and the pizza tasted good. I'm thinking now about laying down for a while, just because I didn't sleep as well as I'd wanted to and I feel sleepy.

Having completely lost track of Smallville while in the hospital, I guess I'm going to have to get the last eps of the final season from Sailor V. *sigh*

* * *

The other thing is, when I was at the church yesterday the pastor encouraged me to come to worship services on Sunday, and I'm leaning towards going. I agree with his opinion that it'll be good for me; and further I want to make a habit out of it. I need to be more involved with stuff outside the house (as I said in the prior post) and being involved in church is something very, very positive that I can do for free. They don't charge admission at church! (Not the good ones, anyway.)

So there's that.

* * *

Anyway, the therapist validated my thoughts on things; and she also did not hesitate to try to get me to set aside other thoughts that weren't constructive.

Such as when I told her about yelling at my sister that I'm an f-ing failure: The therapist--I'll call her L.--spent several minutes explaining to me why I'm not a failure just because I got overwhelmed by the losses I've experienced and the stress and pressures of the past year. And further, I know that; I'm not a failure: I'm human, and human beings have limits to what they can endure. Some people have higher limits than others; I simply reached mine...and what happened to me could happen to anyone who was pushed beyond his limits.

One of the reasons I find L. such a good therapist is that she doesn't hesitate to tell me when I'm thinking something wrong or non-constructive. She explains the error to me in words of few syllables (so that even I can understand) and shows me where I'm incorrect.

Rather than, y'know, just say something like, "I'm a doctor, and I studied [this], and...."

So I'm seeing her again on Monday, and I'm already looking forward to it, because talking to her makes me feel better. It makes me feel like I'm doing something about my problems (mainly because, y'know, I am) and it helps me to work out everything. Oh, Lord, did I desperately need that.

* * *

I still worry about having a relapse. I don't want to go back there; I definitely don't want to end up in Tinley Park again, not ever. So I'm afraid of that, and I think it's justified; but as long as I don't get too down, it ought to be all right.

* * *

So I watched the ends of a bunch of series Tuesday night; here's the new playlist:
Dragon Crisis
Fractale
Fairy Tail
To Aru Majutsu no Index II
...just four series rather than five, and most of them are fairly recent at that. We'll see how I like them.

Fairy Tail is just about over; I watched ep 45 out of 48. But then I've got the second series of it (eps 49-73, with more coming out all the time) so I ought to be good for a while.

* * *

Bad timing dept: I was getting ready to go see L. for the second session when there was a knock at the front door.

Turned out to be a guy with a "we buy cars!" t-shirt on. He asked if I was thinking of selling the red Escort. I told him I wasn't (though I'd sell it to Sailor V if he wanted to buy it) and bid him good day.

Five minutes later it hit me: "Dumbass! Why didn't you tell him you've got a '77 MGB in the garage you'd like to get about a grand for? Shit!"

...and consoled myself with the thought that I hadn't had the time to deal with it right then, anyway. Besides, the car's not running, so getting $1,000 for it would be difficult.

"Old too soon, smart too late," as Mom used to say.