Into Life

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Why do you leave the house so early all the time, Beeps? Perfect example this morning. An online check revealed my train was scheduled to depart at 8:23. In reality, it was 5 minutes early.

I made my connection by taking the 7:44 metro rather than the 7:54. All went smoothly; my previous trips gave me enough confidence I wasn’t clutching my backpack the entire time. However, all of this earliness meant I arrived at 8:30 for my 9:00 appointment.

I smoked.

Yoda – whose name I still don’t know, but he’s short and old, so I’ll call him Yoda – was 15 minutes late. My first thought as I sat there was ‘I guess I don’t deserve a full hour’, but I’ll give the doc props – he gave me a full hour despite the fact that it probably put him behind for the day. Yoda looked remarkably like no one in my family, no one I’ve ever even known, so I felt comfortable right away. Best of all, after a few standard greetings in Dutch he asked me what language I was most comfortable with, and proved himself fluent enough in English that I felt comfortable tossing in the odd Dutch word or phrase when I could.

My entire history unfolded under his scrutiny. The fact that I was bounced from the first place after only a phone call discussion merited fast notes on my file. We talked about my RA, music and writing, bipolar and ADHD. Smoking was something that we came back to, fluttering around it like moths around a flame, but I was clear each and every time that I’m more interested in dealing with the other shit in my life, and that I think if I wasn’t so damned wound up all the time I’d smoke less. He saw my tears when I discussed how my condition was ignored by my family, he heard my speech pick up to fast mode when I discussed my favorite music. Medication was talked about, and Yoda said he wasn’t a big fan of medication if it could be avoided, because oftentimes it just becomes another crutch. We’re in agreement on that issue. I was not told to stop smoking, or even consider it right now. Not until I spend more time with them and we’ve got a real plan to move forward with. I guess Heike can be a cheerleader and spout rainbows from the sidelines all she wants; Yoda’s looking at things a bit differently, and I’m glad of it.

…And Yoda asked to hear my music. I’ve directed him to our website. Got some interesting pieces out there right now; one listen to them and he’ll stop asking me if I get depressed. He hasn’t asked to read my blog or stories yet. We’ll see how this relationship goes.

More than anything, I understand today that this is a long process. I can’t expect a fast fix via medications or anything else. It will be slow. Continual. Gradual. Thinking that I won’t be smoking except for pleasure by the end of the year is probably out of line. It may take two years. It may never fucking happen, either, and right now I feel that Yoda wouldn’t necessarily see that as a bad thing.

I guess I wouldn’t, either. As long as all the rest of the shit was under control.

Been thinking of how I could treat myself today. It may be a girlie day, complete with deep hair conditioning and (brr!) nail work, ’cause mine look like shit. Put my feet up, put a facial masque on, toke away while I watch girlie films that my bro will tolerate but doesn’t really care to watch WITH me. I honestly don’t know if I can sit that long and be that languid. It sounds pleasant, tho. Of course, I think those perfect beach pictures look good, too, even tho I know I have zero tolerance for hot weather. And spas? I’d love to go, but you may have to tie me down to the massage table. Nothing worse than telling me to relax.

SO glad smoking isn’t an issue for Yoda. Heike will hear that. And the little check mark I just made didn’t feel all that bad.

It’s not too cold here, yet I feel like this weekend is scheduled for a blizzard. Time to curl up under a blankie with a cup of hot cocoa. Close the drapes on the dark and the rain and turn on my colored lights. Order in tonight. Be a little babyish and indulge myself. Monday it’s back on the early train for my appointment with Heike. But the time between now and then is all mine, mine, mine. I don’t want to try to cut back on smoking. I don’t want to do the dishes.

And why not? The world won’t fucking end.

Something tells me I need the down time. I need the pampering. I need a fucking reward system so I keep making my way down to the counseling sessions even if Heike does turn out to be a rainbow spewing twat. My back’s been loaded up with ‘obligations’ – mostly to myself. To do more, to try harder. With EVERYTHING. Language, basic communication, honesty, exercise, diet, housework, music, writing, personal appearance. While each success makes me feel good and gives me confidence, I also need a break from the pace. Sloth time. Indulgence from myself. Because all of this is difficult.

The thought occurs to treat it like a job. Take on the challenge, 9 to 5, Monday thru Friday and then take the weekend off. Wait. I’m in Europe now; why am I still pushing myself on an American schedule? Okay. Take on the challenge, 9 to 3, Monday thru Friday and then take the weekend off. Because 30 hours is more ‘standard’ here.

Okay. But I begin with a holiday Friday; I’m NOT pumping ’til 3 today. Forget it. Every new schedule needs time to break things in. This time I’m breaking myself in. Into life.

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8 thoughts on “Into Life

  1. Don’t forget that some medication works to combat the damage done by bipolar to cognitive functioning and so on. It’s not ‘all in the mind’. Yoda sounds good, I’m really glad he didn’t puke rainbows (or brimstone).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, I’m all for meds. I think I need meds. I just don’t want what happened to me in Ireland. By the time I left, I was on toxic levels of shit for my RA because that’s what they did there: keep piling on the medication rather than seeking another way to help me. That’s not going to happen here, and I’m glad for it. I want that hard edge taken off me, but I don’t want to lose ALL my edge. You know, I read your blog and others out here….All your problems with meds, the sleepiness, the upset stomachs, the lack of drive. That concerns me. I don’t want to be a zombie..well, not all the time. 😉 I’ve got too much to do these days. Hells bells, I have GOALS these days. Not ethereal dream goals, but real concrete things to work on daily. I want to be able to KEEP working on them.

      Mmm..retrospectively, I’m wondering about some of the things we talked about. If it was his way to tease out a what would be a ‘normal’ reaction from me. There was no reason to talk about my favorite musician or author, other than to get my enthusiasm up and see how fast I picked up my speech. Or maybe it was just one of those making a connection with the patient things. Either way, I can’t help but like him, which is a great place to start.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That sort of talk also shows em whether we ‘respond to social stimulus’, or start having pressured speech or something. And he just plain ol needs to get to know you. It’s a good sign that he’s looking at you the person, not just you and whatever acronyms you might have. I like the sound of him so far.

        I’m a particularly difficult case, hopefully you’re not xx

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Interesting. Thanks for the info. I think I’ll be easy compared to you or Morgue or some of the other people I follow. I know I’m probably borderline on a lot of stuff. Being borderline is fucking difficult enough; I can’t imagine being hard core. And usually I respond well to medication. So with luck (and patience, always patience) maybe I’ll be able to make real changes in my life.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah. While I feel antsy in general – get it done, get it going, get it over with – I’m glad he’s not rushing. And may I say, it was also DAMNED refreshing to have a doctor older than me so I could once again hear ‘but you’re so YOUNG!’. ;-D

      Liked by 1 person

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