(TL;DR subtitle, how She Curmudgeon’s Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day turned into a Movie Cliche Moment of Self-Realization. Also, abuse of ALL-CAPS and
It’s rare I have two days off in a row– before my promotion I was full time and now I’m even fuller-time, such that balancing out all the people who can do all my job duties is one of those things that rests on the back of a turtle that rests on the back of an elephant that rests on the back of… well. At some point it turns into turtles all the way down, but suffice it to say it’s a blue moon in June and all of that jazz. So usually we manager-type people get a weekday and a weekend-ish type day off during a week, but rarely two together unless we’re on vacation or it’s a special request. Very precarious turtles, you know.
Accordingly, my chances for accomplishing All Of The Things and winning my Fully-Adult Award Forever and Ever, Amen are limited to one weekday per week. It makes things a little bit hectic, since one of the things I need to accomplish is the necessary headshrinking at the tune of about twice a week around my work schedule to keep myself in sufficient countenance to not go all ninja on some entitled customer (or bookseller, hey, sometimes it happens) or just curl up in a corner and die– or even try to act on those thoughts because BAD THOUGHTS ABOUT HARMING OTHERS AND MORE LIKELY, ME . I SOMETIMES HAVE THEM. It’s just part of my daily mental checklist and mostly not an issue, but yeah. Lately? Stressed. And by lately, I mean off and on pretty much for two years, ever since I stopped being a lawyer and really dug that I had to stop repressing shit because I was in a glass cage of emotion and suffocating myself. (I’m not really trying to make light of the situation here, just moving the story along, because those of you who’ve read here are already down with what’s going on, and this whole setup does have a point.)
So. My own therapy two times a week, marriage counseling on top of that until it didn’t make sense any longer and all of the mutually fraught emotions and conversations and frustrations and work that went into that decision, work, life, getting out of bed every day and (on my part) checking off the “DON’T TAKE ALL YOUR PILLS TODAY” item. Yeah. Some days that item’s higher up the list, some days it’s lower, and then packing, moving out, packing the rest of my stuff, getting promoted and learning on the job, moving everything else, really, seriously working hard on the self worth piece and shoving that “TAKE ALL OF THE PILLS, TAKE THEM NOW,” bit down, sometimes a lot during the day and with just one or two of the little yellow anti-anxiety pills, and very carefully putting the rest back in the bottle… and as I mentioned in an earlier post, once even bothering my poor husband at work via G-Chat because my therapist was on vacation, my psychiatrist had pneumonia, and I was having such a shit day and couldn’t reach anyone else that I had to bug him to ask him to help me check that one item off so I wouldn’t do anything about it besides put it down and away and get on with getting along, even though I felt wretched.
Today was one of my days off, and one of those ACCOMPLISH ALL OF THE THINGS days. I needed to open a bank account of my own, get some jewelry repaired, see both my shrink and my therapist, do some random errands at the pharmacist’s shop, deal with the bollixed-up mail forwarding order, and then, after supper, I was supposed to meet up with friends for a record release party for a band one of our bookstore friends drums in. The show and party was long-planned, though of course I’d taken herding-cats point and been playing Our Lovely Cruise Director trying to get people together and have supper beforehand, as is my wont. I like to see friends, so I tend to
get bossy because I am an Adult Child with a Complex I’ll be working on it seems like, IDK, MAYBE FOREVER? take responsibility for getting things organized, and then I get exhausted and don’t have a good time when I’m there. So this morning, I:
- scheduled the car for expensive repairs and quashed the panic about how to pay
- called the post office abut the wtf mail situation
- responded to some way-overdue emails including trying to schedule meetups with friends
- got a call from a friend who was sounding … not her usual self.
Cue screeching halt. She’s been fantastic throughout this process of mine and is the most thoughtful person I know while also having the most wonderful, off-color sense of humor, so of course I could meet her to talk and get her out of the house. We did, and I hope that I made her feel a little bit better… and then I:
- saw the therapist across town
- saw the shrink just up the street from the therapist
- put in two more mail forwarding orders not that far from the shrink’s, because post office hours are weird and I was worried the one back home would be closed by the time I got there
- drove back home in the ZOMG HOLY SHIT WHERE DID THIS RAIN COME FROM WAIT WAS THAT A FROG OR A LOCUST ON MY WINDSHIELD rainstorm to open my bank account,
- realized as I sat in traffic in the pouring rain on Storrow Drive (aka, the slowest commuter road EVER) as everyone around me drove like even more crazy Massholes than I did that there was no way if I made it to the bank on time that there was any way I could go out to dinner even if I heard back from one of the people I hadn’t yet heard from about where we were going to go
and OH MY GOD WHY COULDN’T PEOPLE BE AS ANAL AS I WAS ABOUT RESPONDING TO EMAIL, much less stay up for the show, because I had to be at work at 8AM and the band wasn’t going on until 10. You see, I’d just spent three straight hours crying my eyes out about variants on … stuff to my psychiatrist and my therapist and I was a BEAT, DEAD-TIRED, EXHAUSTED, PUSHING UP DAISIES, EX-PARROT of a She Curmudgeon and now I was crying to Death Cab for Cutie’s “You Are Tourist” again, even though it’s been almost a week and a half since that stupid song set me off all weepy and shit.
Once again I had failed at being an adult and had over-committed by trying to do all the things. But there was no way I was driving back into Boston after going to the bank, and goddamnit but I was going to get to the bank because it’s been weeks since I moved and a gal needs to get on with this stuff as much as it sucks for everybody concerned and I don’t want to pretend that the loss of my paltry pay won’t impact my husband, either. But still. Life has to go on, it’s just one of those things I’ve decided. (Remember? I have a daily mental checklist.) So I called my lovely friends and bailed like I was on a Titanic lifeboat.
The one I reached and didn’t have to leave a voicemail was lovely about it and even put her cat on the phone to cheer me up. (Awesome. He danced, I am told.) (The one I didn’t reach sent me a hilarious series of texts, like she usually does, and was understanding as always, thus proving
I am a stupid moron who has overly negative thoughts about her self-worth and people won’t hate her if she cancels plans every once in a whileI have awesome friends.) I got the bank account opened as well as the jewelry dropped off for repair. But the pharmacy was in the midst of IDEFK what– store restocking? revamping? WTF-ever and it was so soul-crushingly disorganized that when the first thing I looked for was all open and tossed-over looking I just bailed and came home and then promptly threw up, not a usual anxiety reaction of mine, so maybe I’m coming down with something as well.
Double gah. I FB’d the band-friend and said I was sorry I missed the show
and didn’t include TMI about how I wanted to go because I feel in not-too-deep-below-the-surface parts of myself like I’ve already missed a lot of “fun”, whatever that is, and this would have been that if I could have faked it until I made it but sometimes, that’s bullshit, then set about dinner, because wielding knives is my happy place frying bacon and leeks for crustless quiche is always relaxing. I had supper with Dad (who snarfed that quiche LIKE A BOSS) and decided I would unpack more books. I of course sliced my knuckle at one point with the knife and bled all over my dark maroon sheets, so that was ok since the stain won’t show up (oh my gosh, I hate laundry)– just the bandaging part was a pain because my Dad, see, HIS BANDAIDS ARE AS OLD AS I AM and it took me about 20 minutes to find a bandaid with any working adhesive. Guess the Rite-Aid gets the last laugh.
AND THEN I COULDN’T FIND THE KNIFE when I got back to my room.
Back, meet last straw. There were prickles. There were sweats. There were near-hives. Because HOW COULD I GO TO BED IF I COULD NOT FIND THE KNIFE? I COULDN’T SLEEP WITH A SHARP KNIFE IN THE BED! (AND. AND. AND. I’d just stopped taking so many of the lovely little yellow pills, too. Underweight + too many yellow pills = rebound mood swings + disturbed sleep + addiction = REALLY NOT GOOD after two weeks or so, so I’m back on my regular dose and hyperventilating about the damned knife and thinking I CAN’T TAKE A CHILL PILL, I’M TAPERING TO MY REGULAR DOSAGE, JUST, FUCK.)
Somehow, I stepped away from the bed and the place where I’d been blankly just staring as I got ready to pat the bed down. With my hands. For the knife I’d just cut myself with.
As soon as I did, I caught a glimpse of the knife, because I was now standing in a different place. And I realized, in a way that because less and less inchoate as I put my hands on the handle and got the stupid thing off the bed, thus effectively ending a day that should have had a half-dozen less things in it to start with–
It’s okay to back away from the things that will hurt you if you can’t get a handle on them. You can always try later and see if you can get at them from a different angle.
It just so happened that the “later” tonight with the knife handle happened to be within the same minute. I’ll reschedule the get-togethers with the friends a different day. And everything else? I will allow myself to take a step back. Breathe. And then try again. Later.
Guys? I think
we’ve I’ve learned something today. And in enough time to get a decent bedtime to boot.
Hell, at this rate, by the time I’m 40, I might be half-way to making it most of the way through my to-do lists without breaking into a flop-sweat or telling myself I’m a worthless person because I didn’t get everything done. My goodness– I might even learn to make smaller to-do lists, and get everything done, with time over for fun! (I know. Let’s not push it…)
Oh, look, I could have also subtitled this USE ALL OF THE TAGS.