I am trying to remind myself it's been a few months since I've been stricken with this evil Danna bug. I used to get it like every other month last year. I think it's my body's way of telling me to chill the hell out.
Man I hate feeling like shit. On the one hand, it's uncomfortable and achy and a drag to not be able to do the things I love. On the other hand, it's an ever bigger drag because all those activities that keep me nice n' distracted aren't there and so I can get really really effing depressed. Last night while eating dinner with bax in the kitchen (some frozen crappy meal that was all I could get myself to prepare) we listened to Prairie Home Companion. As Garrison Keeler sang the intro song, I just sat there, looked around and started to cry. Cause you know what? 3 years ago, Mike and I would have been getting ready to go do a comedysportz show together, listening to Garrison Keeler as we headed out the door and then in the car on the way to the theater. Saturday night at 6. Every Saturday night at 6.
Instead, I was feeling like shit, feeding my kid some sad excuse for food. All alone in my messy kitchen, unshowered... no smoosher to hug me. the spiral was quick and dark.
So, I was getting all ready to just wallow in my own self pity... I wiped my tears and decided I would just muster the energy to read some books with bax, wash him up and put him to bed and then my pity party would ensue. But after ready books with a very happy baxter and getting upstairs to wash him up... he changed my whole night - that Baxter Young.
I got him undressed and went into his bathroom.
"Bax, you want to go pee pee on the potty before we brush your teeth?" I asked him. He's been peeing on the potty lately. Huge victory.
"Yeah!" he called from his room.
"Well then, get in here."
"But I'm in here!" He called back.
"What? Where are you, Bax?"
And then he said, "I'm in here. In Baxter's room. You stay there. I'll call you."
What?? I'm thinking....did he just say that?
So, I go into the hallway, and peek into the doorway to his room. And there, in his naked spread eagle glory is Baxter, relaxing in the rocking chair pretending to hold a phone to his ear. HUGE grin.
"Mama, I said I'll CALL you. Go back in there!"
I laughed so hard I almost peed. And instead of being depressed, I just washed him up, tucked him into bed and went to sleep myself.
Thank God for that little man.
So, I really should just go to bed, but here I am. Needing to make some room in my head...
I had a great appointment with David (the beloved therapist) this morning. The past week has been a little tricky. The guy who got me thinking more seriously of a new life to come than anyone else I have dated thus far checked out early last week. I think the reality of my situation started to freak him out. He kept voicing his fears of my "not being ready"... but I fear that he was projecting his own apprehension onto me.
When I visited David last week (pre - "checking out") and expressed my frustration with bachelor #4's continuing references to his "caution" in response to my "not being ready," David laughed... "You're really pissed!" he said.
"I guess I am! Yes, I'm totally annoyed! Why am I finding this so annoying?"
He looked at me wide-eyed. "Umm.. because I think you're resenting being told you're not ready when in reality... you probably are ready."
By the way, "ready" does not mean "over it." "Ready" does not mean "don't think about Mike Young." "Ready" simply means that I have dealth with my grief and the trauma of the past year enough to embrace the energy and love of someone new - and to, in return, share my energy and love with them.
So, I have found myself engaged in a lot of negative self-talk over my fixation on finding someone new. But I have always wanted the romantic company of another person. It's true. I have always had a crush on someone. I'm not joking:
1st grade: Josh Watkins. I learned he loved the Redskins, so bought football cards til i got redskin cards and hid them in his desk
2nd grade: Bryan Claytor. I gave him hershey bars.
3rd grade: Aaron Luce. My first boyfriend. When he gave me love notes and pictures of us holding hands sliding down a rainbow, I pretended I was Marsha Brady in the "Davey Jones" episode, lying on my bed, looking out the window with my head propped up on my hands, tears streaming down my cheeks from sheer joy.
And the list goes on...
So, I was sitting in David's office this morning, going on and on about all the things I have to be happy about (goddammit!)- all the things I'm going to sink my energies into INSTEAD of this stupid obsession with finding someone to love. I'm going to work on my research, being a great mom to Baxter, gardening, spending time with my amazing friends...
Suddenly David raises his hand like an eager student in the first row. I laugh.
"Ummm. Yes?" I call on him.
"We are social animals. You are a social animal. All of those things you're listing so diligently may bring you joy and will help keep you entertained, but they aren't going to bring that feeling of contentedness you're talking about. It's O. K. to want to share your life with someone. It's O.K. to have this thought hovering in the back of your mind all the time."
Imagine that. I'm ok? Interesting. I really had gotten to the point where I feared that my desire to be with someone was just another stage of grief that I was stuck in - some abnormal fucked up land of neediness. But I'm not needy. When Bachelor #4 "opted out" so-to-speak, I was disappointed that evening... and then started thinking about other dating options. It's not that I need someone... I just really want someone.
As I reflected on these feelings a bit more with David this morning, I began to sob ... harder than I have in a while. When I caught my breath I explained to him that just the other day, sitting on my back deck stairs in the sunshine, I had a vision of Smoosher Mike coming up behind me and hugging me hard. It's such a simple gesture, but it's one that filled my days. We were so affectionate. Always holding hands, hugging, touching, and expressing our love for one another in words. "I love you so much, smoosher." "No. I love YOU so much." "No. no no... you don't understand. I love YOU SO MUCH."
To have these kinds of touches and exchanges as a part of your everyday life ... for years...and then to be without them... is heartbreaking. Even in the hospital Mike was so smooshy... feeling around for my hand, wanting to touch my face. I crave that. And crave is the only word that I can put on it, really.
What I got from my time with David today is that this craving is normal and I shouldn't fight it or try to fool myself into thinking that academic research, parenting and gardening are going to be the trifecta of happiness for me. Not so much. He talked about a Freudian notion of pain-avoidance... that in human beings' efforts to minimize their pain, they actually make it worse. Drinking, avoidance, distraction... all those things really make you feel shittier in the long run.
"So, if anything that I want to do to AVOID the pain actually makes the pain feel WORSE.. then what the fuck am I supposed to do?"
"Experience the pain. Be in it... work through it. Don't try to distract yourself and fool yourself into thinking you can can find happiness in that distraction. If you crave a partnership and that's what feels right to you, then that's where your happiness is. And that doesn't make you needy. That makes you human."
So, today, I spent a little time feeling shitty... and now? I feel stronger. Funny that.
I haven’t felt like shit in a while, so it was bound to catch up with me. The dissertation is totally officially done. Wednesday I told Dritsas that I’m probably not going to be coming back to perform with ComedySportz anytime in the foreseeable future. Meanwhile, I yearn for the same kind of emotional closeness I used to have in my life. And that takes time, I guess. I feel unreasonably lonely today. And very much like I’m floating here in limbo…waiting for a path to present itself.
Besides that, it’s Sunday and it’s pouring rain.
“Every day is like Sunday.” Thank you, Morrissey.
Oh yeah, Mike hated Morrissey. Too depressing. Morrissey and Depeche Mode - which he called, "Depressed Mood."