I started an entry on the 16th that was titled "Deep Dark". It was dark, but I don't know about the deep part. I left it without posting, went back and read it today, and just as I assumed, it was a bunch of brain garbage that needed to be dumped. It doesn't happen very often that I write an entry and not post it, but that was certainly one of those times.
I'm grateful for being meeting-free today. I'm also grateful that Lilly likes to e-mail with me as much as we do - she's a stitch.
I don't feel whiney. Just blue.
This Sports Illustrated article about what Americans can learn from Greeks.
2003 - Arizona is out of gas.
2002 - Snagged.
2001 - No entry. I was in Maine.
August 18, 2004
Today is the third anniversary of Grandma's passing.
I'm sad today. I had the hardest time leaving for work. I kept looking into the back yard and admiring how bright and bloomy everything looks, and wished I could just stay home and spend the whole day out there. But we're taking off for a few days at the beginning of next month, and I can't afford to take the time off. At least I have no meetings today - thank the Lord for small blessings.
I decided to see a therapist, and had my first session yesterday morning. I made my decision to finally go based upon the fact that I can't for the life of me get the physical knot of anxiety out of the pit of my stomach. It's with me 24/7. Also, I know that my base personality is such that, if I don't have something specific to feel bad about, I'm a happy person. Except that right now, unless I have something specific to feel excited and happy about, I'm kind of just going through the motions of life. I also had several kind e-mails from readers and friends that made me feel like I am allowed to feel bad without having a very specific reason why, and that I need not feel a sense of "failure" that I couldn't figure it out myself. And finally, I have support and encouragement from Calvin, who just wants me to feel better and is secure in the knowledge that NONE of my bad feelings stem from him, or our family, or anything at all like that. I guess it's rare to feel the need to go to a therapist when you're not having family/relationship problems, but here I am. A rare chickie.
So, the therapist. She's a very nice lady, and very easy to talk to. She suggested that I was probably dealing with anxiety and depression (um, yeah), the roots of which probably stem from a life spent dealing with worry and stress and loss; added to by my history with the Witnesses and my ex; and topped off with a heaping dose of my job. She apparently treats a lot of people from AcronymCo who have "problems turning their brain off". She emphasized that she wasn't trying to "analyze everything that makes me tick in an hour", but that was what her first impression was, based on how I was answering her questions. She said that even though I feel like I've adequately dealt with each individual trouble in my life, the sum total is sometimes overwhelming, especially when specific stressors occur and cause my anxiety and depression to "spike". Then I have a harder time dealing with normal levels of anxiety or feeling down. The anxiety feeds the depression, which feeds the anxiety, which feeds the depression... this vicious circle gets out of control and is hard to manage. She scheduled me in to see a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner (not a Psychiatrist, who are generally busy and somewhat impersonal in their prescription dishing, but a Nurse with a Master's as opposed to a PhD, who can give me drugs, baybee!) next week to see about the latest and greatest in Panacea Drugs that can cover a multitude of concerns. Then I go back to the therapist the week following.
We talked about grief, and she asked me if I felt like I needed to see a grief counselor. I don't think I do - I don't feel like life is not worth living and that I can't go on, I just feel sad, and Grammy's on my mind - always, but especially at this time of year. So I cry when I feel like I need to cry, and I don't feel ashamed of it.
The therapist asked me what I do to honor my grandmother's memory. I told her that I write about her - I mentioned this on-line journal, and she asked The Question Everybody Asks, "Why would you do that?" She seemed to think it was a neat concept, though - I imagine that if I give her the URL, it'll help in her analysis of me. Heh. Anyway, I told her that I also honor my grandmother by cooking her recipes, I talk about my memories of her with anybody who cares to listen, and my sister and I call each other every year on Grandma's birthday and on the anniversary of her death. I'm not afraid of missing her or grieving for her. It just makes me not so much fun to be around, when I am.
The therapist also asked me if I thought I would see my grandmother again some day. I really didn't know how to answer that. I mean, yes of course I believe that "she" is somewhere, that essence of whatever makes her her. I also believe that she watches over me and observes my life. And I hope that someday we are reunited. I just don't know how that is going to work - nobody knows. I'd like to think it's going to be something like what was depicted in the movie, What Dreams May Come. It makes me bawl my eyes out every time I watch it, but the thought of being able to be with your loved ones in a perfect, happy place is, of course, immensely appealing. That bout with The Witnesses did a number on my confidence in religion, but thankfully left my faith intact. But without the mechanics of a religion to place structure around my faith, I can't envision what I expect things to "be like" after death. Every religion has a theory, one that devotees hold onto with conviction. I am theory-less, just left with the faith that there will be something.
She also asked me if there's a history of depression in my family. The weird thing is, I don't know. I know nothing about my family's medical history (except for Mum's heart stuff), I don't know what we're prone to, I know very little about my mother or her side of the family (other than Grandma), and I know nothing at all about my father's side of the family. Logically, I realized all the lack of insight into my family history, but in this case it just felt weird to have absolutely no idea if Granny got the blues or if Mum had a hard time dealing with stress.
I guess there are signs. My father's alcoholism (according to Grandma - I was too little to remember it), my mother's hard partying (so my sister told me, but I do remember my sister babysitting all the time), my Grandmother's reluctance to talk about feelings, my uncle's need to start drinking Jack and Coke at eight in the morning, my sister's avoidance issues.
It is an auspicious bunch I associate my genes with, mentally speaking, eh?
At any rate, I feel like things are significantly less hopeless than they felt even two days ago. I feel like at some point I'll look up and realize that I'm feeling like my old self again. And really, right now my current self isn't so bad. For the most part, I'm happy enough. Just not as peppy as usual, I guess. I'm having trouble sleeping, and yet wish I could sleep all the time. I get distracted easily and have to work harder at concentrating on things. I'm perfectly content to stare off into space for minutes at a time. Stuff I stayed on top of, well, I'm less on top of and more off to the side somewhere. Weekly dinner menus are less of a structure and more of a theory. I don't feel like cooking, or reading, or really doing much of anything that I used to find pleasant to occupy my time with. And there's this ever-present dammit-to-hell KNOT in my midsection that no amount of deep breathing will dissipate.
But yeah. Other than that, I'm perfectly normal. Feh.
And I miss my Grammy.
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