there’s no place like home

I’ve been dreading today.  First, it’s the one week anniversary of Cleo dying.  I wasn’t sure how I’d handle it, honestly.  I’ve definitely been depressed most of the week and was not doing so well on Tuesday/Wednesday.  Yesterday felt a little less awful.  Nothing was different.  I have no idea why.  It just felt better.

I had an early-ish appointment with my therapist today.  I felt myself resisting.  Normally, I look forward to my visits with her.  I don’t even mind the ordeal of parallel parking in Cap Hill.

Over the weekend, I’d emailed her to give her a heads-up about what had happened.  But, as the days went on, I just didn’t want to talk about it anymore.  I wanted to put my fingers in my ears and just pretend the whole thing didn’t happen.  I get that way sometimes.  It’s how I survived my childhood.  Only I know you can only put your fingers in your ears for so long.  Eventually, they start to cramp.

But I understand, in more intimate ways, why I–as a  little girl–chose to cope that way.  It’s just a lot damn easier than letting yourself be sad all the damn time.

To my surprise, it wasn’t bad.  I definitely resisted.  I wasn’t my normal, chatty self when we talked about it–but I didn’t brick wall her either.

I like this therapist most because every session, she tries to get me to connect to my body.  The technique she uses has helped me a lot, outside of therapy, and it seems to really help me overcome some of my major issues.

I shared with her a major victory I had this week–all directly related to the Cleo thing–and she was so proud of me.  As I was telling her about it–and reflecting on it–it really reminded me that that’s how I want to be all the time.  For the first time in a long time–maybe ever–I realized that I could be like that all the time.  The fact that I chose it to begin with–with zero encouragement or prompting–all totally me–says that it’s more than possible.  I’m actually changing.

We have some big plans over the next few weeks.  We’re talking major, hard stuff that I’m not even sure I can do.  But–if I’m successful–one of the pillars of everything else will come crashing down.  It gives me a lot of hope.

One thing my therapist said today was that she thinks I’m stuck in one of the stages of grief–like from a long, long time ago.  Bargaining, in particular.  It’s probably why I’d make progress on my own and then circle back for more fun guilty times.  It’s why I have such a hard time letting go and being present.  It makes sense, and we have a plan.  The good news?  My actions this week were exactly the things I need to do to get unstuck.

###

After I left my therapist’s office, I didn’t feel like going home.  Finding parking by our apartment is pretty annoying, and I knew I’d have a better chance a little later–assuming people left to get lunch.  I hadn’t had breakfast, so I initially thought I’d go to Starbucks and get an iced tea (my latest obsession since coffee is mostly off-limits these days).  I was actually pretty hungry, though, and found myself on Colorado Boulevard.  At first, I was going to do Panera.  But Panera just didn’t sound good.  Then I thought I’d go to a favorite, non-chain burger joint–but grease didn’t sound good either.  Long story long, I somehow ended up on South Federal.

I don’t normally go to South Federal for quick lunch runs.  But I thought–huh–I need some good Asian food.  So, I went to one of my favorite places and got some food to go.  In an only in Westwood moment, the place actually was using to-go boxes, cups, and bags from a pretty well-known Chinese fast food chain.  I audibly laughed when the lady brought me my food.  I asked no questions.  That’s Federal for ya.

Luckily, it tasted nothing like said fast food chain.

I, of course, ended up at my park–and even got out and sat my the lake for a few minutes.

The older I get–no matter what’s going on in my life…what has changed…how I’ve changed–I’ve noticed that there’s really no place like home.  It’s flawed and crazy in so many ways–so many new, unknown (to me) ways since I left in 2005.  But, every time I go down there, it’s like I’m getting a big hug.  My inner child is right there with me.  I get excited about the silliest things, and I remember all the stories I grew up with.  It’s incredibly comforting just to be there.

I’m glad I left there–it was the right thing to do.  I needed to leave.  But it’s also nice to know it’s just a short car ride across town, too–and the important things haven’t changed one bit.

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