Dentist, Etc.

I love my dentist, guys.

Like, truly.

She and I came full circle last night. The first time I went to her, it was because I was in so much pain, I’d needed a root canal. My second appointment was said root canal. I was so impressed with her and how she and her whole office treated me that I quickly adapted my life-long poor oral hygiene habits and became a person who takes care of their teeth.

Dentally aware”, we called it last night.

Now, after the root canal and gum surgery and multiple temporary fixes, a few years of constant pain (though varying degrees), I’m now completely pain free. As far as my teeth are concerned, anyway.

I almost started to cry last night when I was leaving the office. I haven’t felt this good in so long, I’d forgotten what it was like to not hurt. There had even been a piece of tooth which had chipped off and was rubbing against the nerve every time it moved, causing pain under even the temporary crown. My awesome doc cemented the fragment back into place, then put the crown on top and made sure all was well before fastening everything in permanently.

And THEN they gave me a discount because they’re amazing beyond words and knew my insurance wouldn’t cover the crown. I’d increased the limit on my credit card because I was ashamed at how little I could afford to pay right now, and wanted to at least cover the majority of it right away. Now there is a distinct possibility that I can pay the remaining amount in January, and I couldn’t be happier/more relieved/grateful than I am right now.

In other news, it would appear the only friend I feel I can talk to at the moment is the new one who barely knows me. Haha

I don’t know WTF.

Life can be so stupid sometimes.

At least I always have a friend when I need one. I just wish once in awhile it would be the same one.

Aside from my therapist, of course. I wonder if she’s around next week?

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Maybe

Saw my therapist last night after work. The session was much more difficult than usual, and I’m still upset and drained from it.

But she took good care of me while also pushing me to do the work, and didn’t let me pull back until the very end.

Like, I panicked a little when I saw there were only 2 minutes left (technically – she leaves space between sessions for occasions just like this one), and she noticed and said something like, “Just say it” because she knew I was breaking down and didn’t want to lose momentum. So I blurted out whatever it was and then she talked me back down so I wasn’t crying anymore by the time I left.

And even though I felt, like, beaten up, in a way, she told me it was good; that it was working.

I agreed.

But man – I am still really feeling it today.

The good thing – in addition to the bits of progress being made in the room – is that I’m consciously aware of my internal efforts to disengage from some of the things she repeated to me last night, which is what I usually do almost as a habit. If I don’t like something, I don’t accept it into my mind, and then instead dissolve into melodramatic despair and loneliness at how bad I am at expressing myself and how nobody “gets” me.

This time, so far, I’m managing to not accept, but also to not dissolve – I’m remaining still, in my mind. I’m allowing myself to believe that it’s at least possible that the things she said to me over and over are maybe somewhat accurate. And I’m trying to remember them, and what they actually mean, just in case.

I’m thus far preventing myself from deliberately misinterpreting certain things which would feed my pre-existing misinterpretations of myself.

If that makes sense…without having to go into detail.

Anyway. I’m exhausted in pretty much every way. But sometimes even small alterations in how one perceives themselves and the world around them are actually really huge steps.

I feel like – even though my heart hurts – this might be one of those times.

Therapy and Writing

I went to see my therapist last night. It was the first time I’ve gone in a long time…several months, anyway, and then even longer before that. Hopefully this will be the start of something a bit more regular now, though. At least for a while. It wasn’t an emergency session, exactly, but it was much needed, and very last minute. I wasn’t sure I could wait until next week, so was trying to figure out if I could go in the morning today or tomorrow and just be late for work. But she had an opening that no one else was taking last night, and she told me to just come in, so I did.

She’s the best. Takes very good care of me.

I’d made a list of the things I wanted to touch on, and while I’ll wait to delve into some of them more fully next time, I’m pleased that I made it through the entire list to some degree.  I also made sure to mention right off the bat that, while I was grateful and relieved to be there so quickly after asking about seeing her again (she’d just been thinking about me the day before, too), I was also extremely nervous.  Much more so that I thought I’d be.  It reminded me a little of the first time we met.  We talked a bit about that night, as well.

I forgot to tell her about my meeting with the Library’s Writer In Residence last weekend, but we can talk about that later. I told her about this blog, but then spoke more about communicating and trying to express myself better in general, rather than feeling the need to talk more about creative writing and the like this time. It wasn’t even a conscious decision, really. Just a result of the organic nature of our conversation at the time.

My meeting with the Writer In Residence went extremely well, however. It was very positive, and pretty much changed my mind yet again on how to move forward and strengthen my manuscript, and that was completely unexpected. I went in with a plan I wanted to float by her, and some questions that were on my mind, and instead, she was so supportive of the story and the characters and the way things are currently laid out, that I left feeling like I didn’t need to change very much at all. She gave me some valuable tips and advice on how to make specific lines more powerful, but as far as the structure and execution of the story itself, she was very pleased with what she’d seen.

It had been quite a long time since I’d been able to talk about writing and the process of putting a whole novel together and to even just revisit those characters and that story with another writer. I’d gone in ready to tear a few things apart and rebuild them, and left feeling like that may not be necessary, and that I can make what I have all the stronger and more powerful just by changing some of the language and sentence structure.

Not that line editing isn’t a huge chore in itself, but if I can get that all tightened up, bit by bit, I think I will be closer to my goal for this book than I’d anticipated prior to having that meeting. My plan is to work on one chapter a week, but since it’s now Thursday and I haven’t started working on this first week’s chapter at all, I’m not sure I’ll be able to live up to that plan, but we’ll see. I have several other things on the go at the same time, so I am not sure how much time I can devote to this right now, anyway. It was definitely a positive kick in the butt to get me focusing on it more again, though, so I am hopeful that I will be able to maintain that bit of momentum as we move forward into the dark times.

Also known as winter.

Uncomfortably Numb

Man, I have no idea WHAT is going on today!  Haha #storyofmylife

A couple of things I think I forgot to mention about Saturday – that Mark Hamill had his dog, Millie, at his table when I was in line, but she’d left by the time I got up there, and that I finally did manage to shake his hand as we went in for the photo op.

Though it’s possible I already said one or both of those things.  I can’t remember.

Yesterday, the final day, was more of the same.  Early morning, interviews, pain, fatigue, line ups, laughter, tears…mostly a blur, at any rate.

I took some SWEET pics over the weekend, though!  Pretty pleased with how they turned out, yet at the same time, unsurprised with public reaction to them.  Or, more accurately, the lack thereof!  Haha

Was very grateful to finally get home last night, though when a woman found Brody or me or both of us so scary that she ran screaming into the street as we approached her on the sidewalk, my first thought after we passed was that the incident had pretty much capped off my day nicely!

What else?  I’m pretty numb today.  A ton of emotion over the past few weeks has been overwhelming, and I’ve yet to attempt to process any of it.  At this point, I probably won’t.  Certainly not to the extent that’s needed.

Me not giving myself what I need is sort of an ongoing theme, though.  😜

The numbness I feel is on every level, though, not just emotional.  Mentally, my brain is a fog, I’m pretty sure I’m coming down with something, my limbs don’t really feel attached to the rest of my body, and while nothing physically hurts, really, nothing feels very good, either.

I’m far from present.

My heart still aches, but even that pain feels somewhat removed. Which isn’t better, exactly.  It’s still there, but I am disconnected from everything, and everyone, including myself.

I’m alone and can’t even rely on me today!  Feels very strange…and yet mostly like I maybe just need a nap!  😜

Also, I realize that I whine a lot.  It’s my blog, though, so suck it.

Carrying Things

I’m one of those people who can usually be found carrying around a lot of things. Physically and, like, emotionally, too, I guess, but I was thinking more about the physical stuff I drag around with me every day. I’m not sure how long it’s been going on, nor when I turned it into part of my conscious decision-making process, but I often will dream about packing quickly while trying to leave wherever I am, and having a hard time remembering to bring everything I might need.

I’d rather have it and not need it, than need it and not have it.

Which has resulted in my having a lot that I don’t need.

I think I’ve pretty much always had a plan in my head; the “what would I do if” sort of running through possible scenarios over and over. A zombie escape plan, sure, but so much more than that, too. Knowing that I can’t prepare for any and every possibility doesn’t really stop me from trying, though. I’ve spent the majority of my life watching, trying to anticipate what might happen next.

That I’m generally wrong doesn’t stop me from trying, either.

I’d rather have it and not need it than need it and not have it.

That I probably wouldn’t even survive half of the things I come up with doesn’t stop me from trying, either, actually.

In that vein, I also carry around some guilt and indecision as to how I imagine I would spend my last days, if I knew they were numbered. I mean, they are numbered for all of us, of course, but if I knew the number that was left, I like to think I would do things differently from how I do things now. I have ideas as to those I would want to spend that last bit of time with, and of the things I would like to spend that time doing. Those ideas don’t mesh with reality, and they certainly don’t mesh with what’s expected of me. I’m always torn between those things – what I want versus what others want for me, and/or expect from me. I go back and forth between what I think I would choose to do. If it was just my days which were numbered, I think I would probably do what was expected or needed by those I’d be leaving behind. They are the ones who would have to live with my choices after I’m gone.

If it was an apocalyptic thing and we were pretty much all doomed, then maybe I would finally decide to do as much of what I want, with those I want to do it with, as possible. Maybe I would finally take care of my own needs, knowing that it was unlikely that any of us would have to live with my choices for very long after I make them. The sad thing is, those on my wishlist don’t really have me on theirs – or wouldn’t, in the event of apocalypse times. So it’s quite likely that, even if I tried to do things for me, I wouldn’t really be able to pull them off the way I’d want to, if at all. There’d still be an imbalance, only I would be the one making hopeful requests of those who’d rather be elsewhere. And for me there’s no balance in that, either.

I think I’d rather be the one who sacrifices what they most want than be the one someone else has to turn down in order to be where they most want. Or worse, be the one someone else sacrifices what they really want in order to give in to my needs. Not sure even the imminent end of times could assuage that level of guilt! Haha

Here’s the thing, though. None of us will live forever. Every day is one day closer to our own personal end. Yet so many of us are not living our lives in ways which fulfil us.

Maybe it’s time I start finding the balance between what I want and what is requested of me from others, and make my life more my own.

Maybe if I can do that, I’ll find it easier to dream-pack someday.

On Rules And Getting Therapized

Have you ever noticed how many rules, and guidelines and laws are created specifically to stop stupid people and/or assholes from doing things they should logically just know not to do? And it always highlights the possible punishment, not the fact that doing it makes you stupid and/or an asshole.

Like the emergency alarm on subway trains. It clearly states that it’s for medical, fire or police-worth emergencies. Emergencies. For when you need professional help in some or all of those areas. But just stating that much isn’t even enough, there also has to be the threat of a fine. Because it’s not bad enough that you tied up an entire line because you missed your stop, or need some air or whatever. For some, the only reason NOT to activate the alarm and grind everything to a halt is the threat of a fine. Losing money is a legitimate threat, whereas being an asshole and/or stupid apparently is not.

Don’t run up to dogs because you might get bit. Totally fine if you scare them with your unpredictable and aggressive actions – when you’re stupid and/or an asshole. But geez, you might get bit. And, of course, you’d blame the dog, but that’s a different rant. The only reason for some people to NOT scare an animal is the threat of personal harm, rather than any sort of empathy for causing distress to another individual.

How about just trying harder to not be stupid and/or an asshole, for a change? Unless you are comfortable in your stupidity and/or assholiness, in which case there should just be laws against you.

Anyway.

Finally saw my therapist again this morning! Was very late for work as a result, but totally worth it. I’ll do it again if need be, but I joked with her to stop leaving town for my days off and/or paydays. Haha

It was great to see her, as always, and her new puppy is ridiculous. His name is Cole, he’s a Scottie, and he is young, so basically comprised of fur and tongue. He loves belly rubs (at which I am expert thanks to Brody) and giving kisses. Not great at therapy-dogging yet, but he’ll get there. He’s very accepting, and somewhat distracting until he calms down. I can’t blame him, though. He did just meet one of his new best friends, after all!

(I mean me. I’m his new best friend.)

I didn’t get my list out until later in the session, just to make sure I’d hit everything I wanted to. It’s hard because we haven’t seen one another in so long. There was a period of catching up in the beginning (and doggie distraction). She remarked immediately on my hair, weight loss, and new tattoo, which was funny. Most of the stuff I just mentioned in kind of blanket statements, because there’s just not enough time to cover everything in depth. Or anything, really, when there’s that much build up. I opened several doors to several conversations that we’ll have, hopefully, over the next little while.

Some things we touched on more than others. There was a fairly big discussion about whether or not I can actually ask for things I need, which led to whether or not I feel like I deserve such things enough to ask for them. I guess that’s closer to the root of my communication problem when it comes to talking to people who aren’t being paid to listen to me. There was a similar thread about guilt, and about being “nice” and “polite”; about hurting other people’s feelings by taking care of my own and whether or not I want to do that.

In a weird segue, we talked a bit about my very first therapist. She said she liked when I talked about her because it seemed like we’d had a great connection. And we did. It far exceeded what I’d thought therapy would be like, and tested my ability to be open and do the work in the safe environment she’d provided. I talked today about how it was also the first time I’d experienced how cruddy the system can be, when decisions are made by unseen forces in offices instead of in the room. Decisions that affect lives. Both of us were affected when we were forced apart – she was angry, I was sad and panicked and feeling abandoned on some level that didn’t listen to logic. I guess it was hard to open up again after that because suddenly it all felt so temporary, and not within my control to say when it would stop. It’s hard to do all that work, and then be cut off by people who’d had nothing to do with it all along, and then try to find a way to work your way back to that space with someone else.

I haven’t so far, actually. Not quite like that. Different this time, but equally gratifying, for the most part. I know my guard is still up in some areas, but at the same time, I’m not there for the same reasons as I was almost 20 years ago. Everything is very different in my world now; I am very different. So we deal with me now, anyway, instead of whoever I was then.

Anyway, for the most part, I gave her the Cliff’s Notes on the things I want to talk about – including the fact that I want to talk at all. Maybe this way I can manage not to feel the need to burden my poor friends with some of this stuff, too. Hopefully. On the way to work after, I made notes in my phone to expand on the 4 or 5 main things I want to dig into more next time, too. Because, naturally, I thought of a few more things I wanted to say after I left. Happens every freaking time!

Oh! She also showed me a book that might help get creativity flowing again, which is awesome. I took a picture of the cover so I can look it up later, and she said that if I can’t afford it right away but want to investigate it more, she can scan the first chapter and send it to me.

But that I have to ask her for it.

#clevergirl