Tuesday, October 27, 2009
It's like a whole new fucking death, this being cut out of the formality of saying goodbye. What was I thinking?
Friday, October 23, 2009
The light changed & I heard her telling her friend my remark. It made me think as I doled out ice cream to Daisy, freezer-burned enough that I think I may have lost my taste for the stuff for a minute. I've been low lately & using my blog as a way of talking. This strange zone of quasi-grief is not the only thing in my life. There is a buffet of moods, observations & tasks that I don't report here.
For one, after I posted yesterday, I took a galley & a gift over to Daisy's Uncle Gerry. We sat in his garden & I told him I'd ordered Eye Witness guides to Belgium, Amsterdam, Cracow & Budapest, but that I'd also been looking at a website called The Blue Army because I have an itch (mainly to buy up the girft shops) to go to Fatima & Lourdes. Fabulous tour but, we agreed, unbearable after a maximum of three hours because of one's fellow tourers. He gave me a handful of leaves to smell, lavender that kept breathing the scent of wellness every time I crushed them again. A small hour-long chat that did worlds to bring me out my morning funk.
I have decided that the only thing more wonderful than a slender woman wearing black balerina flats is a slender woman wearing red ballerina flats.
As Daisy & I were crossing yet another street (sans ice cream for once), we slowed our pace to match a whizzy-haired hippie mom with two kids who were ahead of us. She was loaded down with their backpacks & of course one had the name tag "Maya" hanging from it. I think even Daisy rolled her eyes.
It's odd that if I were to hop on a train & go ten minutes beyond New York City the leaves would either be in great yellow piles or blazing on the trees. Is it the ambient heat of the city that keeps the same trees that turn colors everywhere else from turning here. It's rare to see a tree in fall foliage. I didn't grow up with much of it in Montana so I miss it more keenly knowing it's out there, a ring of fire around the city.
Today I terminated & cut up two credit cards. One company tried to convince me the monthly fee & 23% interest was in my best interest. The other asked what they could do to keep me. I told them I wouldn't keep any credit card that was more than 14%. She very generously came back & offered me 14.99%. "That's 15%," I said. "Yes it is," she agreed. I terminated. Did Citizen's Bank think I would listen to the fourteen rather than the ninety-nine?
And finally, an overheard conversation between a yuppie mom & her eight or nine-year-old son.
Son: Mom, do you like nature?
Silence as both parties think about this question. Son realizes it's a sumb question.
Son: Like, you know, leaves?
Mom: Yes, I like nature. I like trees & flowers & animals...
At which, Daisy began barking her big scary bark for no discernable reason.
I wonder if there is a book in the Blue Army? I wonder what a year of Marion devotion would make me?
Now I have to deal with all the jewelry I brought back from Arizona & confirm the appointment with the possible new therapist. Noon on Halloween. Doesn't that sound...auspicious...?
Thursday, October 22, 2009
I've been sitting at my computer most of the morning doing the usual things, taking pleasure in none of them and wondering why I'm doing them. I need to get into my files, three feet away from where I'm sitting, and find some stuff for my publicist and editor. I planned to put away all the clothes that happen to be out. None of this is difficult work but I can't do it.
My brother called to tell me that my last and favorite aunt is in the hospital being treated for lymphoma. I spoke to the cousin I'm closest to in that family and it was good in the moment -- we cried about our parents and laughed about our parents, recounted the many ways her father (my father's youngest brother) and my father were tied together. But when I hung up I was empty. Empty or full. Full of a feeling of what's-the-point. I walked Daisy, then walked myself to the ice cream and cookies at Gristides, took two klonopin and we shared a bingelet.
Today I'm on the verge of tears.
The deal with me is that whatever happens, I accuse myself. Objectively, of course, I didn't kill my mother but it's easier to mutter "I hate myself" than be sad. That has to be fixed. So far, I haven't been able to.
When I realized I should get a shrink, I wondered what sort. I trotted my fingers over to the Psychology Today website to look for therapists in my neighborhood. Much as I love Dr. Miller, it was a three-hour commitment to get to the Upper East Side and back again. It's time to shop local. The website has a nifty diagnostic test and this is what it told me:
- You appear to have experienced at least one major depressive episode.
- You show signs of Generalized Anxiety Disorder.
- You appear to suffer from panic disorder with agoraphobia.
- Your responses strongly indicate that you suffer from Body Dysmorphic Disorder.
I also came up as having lesser symptoms, kind of like having a minor subject area in college, linked to "Social Phobia," post-traumatic stress disorder and Borderline Personality Disorder.
Who, I wonder, decides which of all these states gets capitalized??
My body dysmorphic would have been off the scale if it asked questions besides those concerning anorectia/bulimia.
I found a therapist a few blocks away and emailed him. I think it's time to try a male shrink again. Now I'll have a cigarette, brush my teeth and get ready to call my father about my conversation with my cousin. That may call for a nap.
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
I don't get it, frankly. I always thought that when my parents died, I'd be headed for Payne Whitney. Up until last May, Mother was the person I was most consistently open with, the person I went to for advice about everything except men. It's not that I don't have a lump in my throat as I write those sentences, as well as the operative phrase "until last May," but this frame of mind I'm in is more like a fog than a fire.
My concentration is almost nonexistent except for stupid computer games. Sunday I slept 19 hours. I never really unpacked from my trip to Prague and came home with some of my mother's jewelry and scarves so the Bat Cave is like a jigsaw puzzle dumped out of the box.
I keep losing things. My checkbook went missing in Arizona but I found it at the last minute and packed it in my suitcase. It did not, however, come out of my suitcase. I've looked ineffectually for it everywhere. Then my ATM card went missing. I found it but only after I'd gotten a replacement. And those are just the important goners.
Nor can I remember things. I sat down, sans checkbook but with a notebook, and paid bills, writing them down. When I looked at my checking account a few days later, there were bills I wrote down that hadn't gone through and bills I'd paid that I hadn't written down. It took an hour to find check blanks and a new ledger and then I called all my credit cards because I had no idea what their balances were after traveling for four weeks out of five. I bought a gift for friends, along with a few other items, and discovered when I got home that the box was empty.
And let's not forget handing over my passport at the bank to get a new ATM card and being unable to remember my social security number for a good three minutes.
I feel haunted -- not by my mother but by a feeling that I've forgotten something important. When I'm out on the street I'm in a rush to get home and do something but as soon as I arrive, I stall out.
It's a miracle my animals are alive and that I haven't walked into an oncoming delivery truck.
All this forgetfulness and losing stuff makes me incredibly anxious. Add stomach problems to the mix. I would love to be able to sit down and cry my eyes out if only I needed to. I'd much rather be in paroxyms of grief than in this light-headed Alzheimer's state.
I'm clinging to accomplishing small things and to the hope of another day's abstinence. I was so wound up over the bank card and keys I needed to return yesterday that I couldn't decide what to do or in what order. But I managed both as well as groceries. I went through masses of papers last night. It took at least two hours when someone else could have done it in 30 minutes, but things are paid and National Public Radio is $25 richer. Today I've done one load of laundry and found a photo for my Lab Lady blog. I've brushed my teeth and taken my morning meds. I remembered that a hungry stomach means I should eat before getting into a new twitter of disorganized organizing.
For the time being I guess I'm going to have to slow w-a-y down, keep my lights on dim and the windows open.
But if anyone finds my brain, could you let me know? I'll gladly pay overnight shipping.