homework

I finally took the plunge and went to see someone qualified to deal with the mountain of crazy that has recently taken up residence in my head. Or maybe it has always been there and it just took all this time for the fog to clear away to reveal it. Either way, I found myself sitting on the stereotypical couch, plucking at invisible strings on my t-shirt and twisting a wad of soggy tissues in my hand. Good times.

He asked me the standard series of "getting to know you" questions and I fluttered between wanting so badly to bare my black, black soul to this total stranger and wanting to make nice. Nah, life is fine! We kinda like it here in Looneyville! The water's great, the air's clean... it's a trade off for the steaming pile of rot that we walk through on a daily basis, but every place has it's "issues". I wound up staring at the fire alarm thingy up in the corner of the room a lot, searching for the right words that wouldn't make me seem too crazy but still make the point that capital H capital E capital L capital P is what I'm in the market for. Preferably a quick fix. Something that will get the job done by tonight, perhaps? No? Maybe something in a two week trial package? No? Nothing available without a long-term commitment, so it seems. And yes, the word commitment is filled with double meaning. See how very clever I am?

The focus of our conversation kept coming back to my complete inability to face up to what is really bothering me. Any college graduate knows the term for that. But did you also know that "cleaning cat hair off the bed each morning after it has been made with a lint brush, followed by a longish strip of packing tape wrapped around the hand" falls into the "avoidance issues" category? Me neither! Turns out I tap dance from morn 'til night! And I don't even own those fancy clicky shoes! Go me!

The good news is he didn't tell me I'm too crazy to treat. And he didn't tell me I'm completely normal and just need to suck it up and deal with it. The bad news is that he wants me to come back more often than the pre-agreed once every two weeks. Apparently I've got more crazy than his office trashcan can handle bi-monthly. Frequent empty-ings are in order. So until we've managed to shovel of the first layer of insanity, he's going to shift his schedule around to make room for me once a week.

Today he sent me away with this bit of homework. When the crazy (aka obsessive shining of the rims of the bathroom cups. Need a mirror? Grab a goblet!) strikes, I'm supposed to make a note of how I feel. Not stop the behavior. No self-flagellation or penance, just pause and consider how I am feeling in that moment. Take a little time for self-reflection. A moment of zen. Peaceful, no?

No.

Shy of actually pushing LG from my hoo-ha, it's quite possibly the hardest thing I've ever attempted. Not the reflecting part. I had a field day with that. Mopping the kitchen floor? Master of my destiny! Scooping out the kitty litter? Poor, poor pitiful me. Folding the laundry? Bored, a little hungry, and more than slightly irritated that I didn't get that damn pair of pants hung before it wrinkled for the eleventy billionth time.

The part had me quivering like a rabid raccoon was the whole not taking any action part. Here I am recognizing my obsessive behaviors with blinding clarity and all I'm supposed to do is nod blithely in their direction and keep on compulsing. Heh? How's the crazy going to stop if I keep offering it a brownie every time it comes by for a visit?

And the worst part? I failed. One little task, one little non-task, and I failed. Bet you can't guess what comes next, can you. Sure you can. A neat, tidy, carefully bulleted, copied and then re-copied and finally typed out little list. Behavior on the left, Feeling on the right. Did I hear someone say tap-dance? I'm so effed up that I can't even just let my emotions simply exist. No, they've got to be tidied up, categorized and spell-checked. And let's just see if the impact is more forceful in Verdana font. Times New Roman is simply too analytical. Comic Sans? Too playful. This is serious business. But not too serious... wouldn't want the crazy to think we don't have a sense of humor, now would we? Georgia. We'll go with Georgia.

WTF, people? DOUBLE-U TEE EFF?

The one bit of enlightenment I got out of this exercise is that the descriptors appearing most often under Feelings were "anxious" and "purposeful". Any amateur psychologists in the house? Other than probably relating back to some traumatic event in my formative years, blah blah blah, does this somehow seem to underline the before mentioned psychosis re: avoidance behaviors to anyone other than me? My head is full of barf and chaos. I could deal with that or, hey! My floor is covered with macaroni and cheese! Dun-dundle-dun: Super-squeegee Girl to the rescue! It's a spray bottle! It's a microfiber cloth! It's a guaranteed half hour of flicking at little spots on the floor and frantically wiping up any trace of moisture before it has time to dry and leave a streak on the floor that might be visible if someone were to lay down on their stomach and squint at a 35* angle when the sun comes streaming in through the dining room window at precisely 3:53 in the afternoon! See Super-squeegee Girl defeat her archenemy Fingerprints on the Dishwasher and live to avoid her issues another day.

You can only imagine the field day my inner-critic was having. Her billable hours must be through the roof after a day like today! Note to self: Seal up all the really sensitive places with some sort of industrial strength steel. That biotch is probably out shopping for a new pair of shoes right now and she doesn't need an invitation to kick you when you're down.

Aren't you glad you stopped by today? Here, take a plate of crazy with you... I've got more than I'll be able to get through before it spoils. Ooohwhee! Nothing stinks like a rotten pile of crazy!

4 comments:

Amy Jo said...

Not to make light of your troubles, but Steve was wondering if perhaps we could execute a trade of sorts. I could send you a dish of my ultra-lackadaisical (read: lazy) attitude regarding housework and you could fedex me some of your special formula.

Good idea, no?

Take care, and please call me any time you need!

Lora said...

Good for you, going to therapy. It's the best thing I've ever done, I guess. I think I'm getting better. I'm blogging less, if that's any indication.

If you ever want to wax nutsy call me, I've got tons to share!

Love you. miss you.

Lenka said...

OK, I'm trying to decide whether or not to laugh my ass off at your writing which is always so much fun to read, or reach out and give you great big hug. Either way, i'm afraid that neither is what YOU need right now. I'm not sure exactly what word in our language means both "calm down, take it easy, and don't be so serious about it" AND "for heaven's sake keep looking for help and a place to be happy." Fluggin' is about as close as I can come. That and to let you know that with no pity involved, I'm here WHENEVER, HOWEVER, and FOR WHATEVER, you need me. And no one needs to know where you are if you need to escape. Hell, we're in Alabama, they'll never find you!! They'll just hear the distant sounds of the duelling banjo's. LOVE YOU, LOVE YOU, LOVE YOU!!

annenahm said...

Good for you for going - I think that is rather brave.

Also, I agree with other commenters - you say "avoidance", I say, "come over and avoidance my house, plz!"

If my husband caught some therapist trying to remove my bare vestiges of housecleaning, he'd deck the guy.