Right now I am trying to take some deep breaths.
On the phone this morning I told my sponsor about my visit to the new therapist and how painful it was and she said I am having a breakthrough, not a breakdown. I asked if I could consider mainlining anti-depressants and she said, "You can't escape this, you have to go through it and let yourself feel it."
I said I'd really rather escape it thank you very much and asked how people with intense emotional lives who are prone to hysteria and addiction and really jumping off the deep end allow themselves to feel everything AND hold down a job and live with other human beings who feel things, too?
She seems to think I can do it, but I'm not so sure. At least I've bought some presents, even if my house is in its regular, un-decorated state of chaos and it looks like everyone else in the world has Christmas trees and Hannukah bushes and holiday lights strung up everywhere and God do I want holiday lights, but I don't know where to start when it's such a victory to unload the dishwasher and then reload it again.
Luckily, because I teach creative nonfiction classes and people are honest, I know there's a lot more going on in these gorgeously decorated houses I drive past than uninterrupted holiday cheer. But I have to keep reminding myself of that. And I have to keep it simple. This would make me happy: to light the candles every night even if we don't do one other damn thing and I serve frozen pizza and canned corn under the Menorah. So far, mission accomplished.
The therapist yesterday helped crack and melt a thin layer of ice around my heart and though grief pierces like an arrow through the meat of it, I do think it's better than staying stuck and frozen and decorated on the outside but hollow and empty within.