pages 74-76

   I've spent my last two weekends attending weddings and parties and honestly, I'm fucking spent. I'm not sure I've ever been more emotionally exhausted, and that includes Alex's memorial service, the last presidential election, and the Thanksgiving my dog spent projectile pooping blood all over the place. The first of the two weddings was my youngest brother's, which was hard for all the obvious reasons. It was our first family event after Alex's death, and his absence was felt heavily. The next was my best friend's wedding, and our mutual friends from all over were there to help them celebrate. While it was great to see my long distance friends again, it's also hard to talk to people I haven't seen since my brother's death. I am not the same friend they had before. Like, yeah, I still tell everyone what to do and eat too fast and dance really hard, but once you've been to the dark side, you don't see things the same way anymore. I used to answer, "How have you been?" with the polite and expected, "Good, thanks! You?" but I can't tell that lie anymore. At the reception, a good friend asked that very question and I told him, "Miserable, but I'm here and managed to put lipstick on." It startled him. I could see it in his face, but I didn't care. I can't care. I spend so much energy trying to be a functional human being that I have had to force myself to let some things go. Putting on a happy face for my friends is one of them. Obsessively cleaning my hardwood floors is another.  I don't want to be off-putting to the people I like and love most. I don't take pleasure in dumping my problems on others, and I don't believe that's what I'm doing. I am, however, starting to believe that I need some help in this.
    Before you send me the names of your therapists, know that I have thought about it and have decided it's not for me. I've been to counseling before, and while this may sound very, um, stupid, for lack of a better word, was taken aback by the amount of talking required. If you know me, you likely know that I like to hang out in small groups wherein I feel comfortable telling self-deprecating and exaggerated stories of my various personal failings. I also like to exclaim things at the television when the Cubs are on. But for every day I see people, I need at least one day off. Talking is hard, guys. It's really, really hard. So hard in fact that after two weddings and one retirement party for my in-laws I spent all yesterday sobbing on my couch, pausing briefly to run 10 miles then watch the Cubs game. I would rather put a stranger's cigarette out in my eye than talk about anything, especially my feelings, for a prolonged period time. It's actual torture. Seriously, if I were a captured spy, I would tell my captors anything they wanted immediately if it meant that they'd stop asking me questions. This would inevitably lead to my execution when given back to my home country, but hey, being dead is better than having to explain yourself in court.
   So what do I need then, if I don't want to talk about my feelings? When I told my friend flat out that I was miserable, he flinched, but he stayed right there next to me. That was enough.


  1. I feel you. in so much as I can, without obviously experience the trauma you have. I had an intense kinda like/hate relationship with therapy. I went both to a couples counselor [had legit panic attacks driving there] and to a therapist on my own. And I would DREAD going even by myself. Because it's so much easier to smash that shit down and carry on without talking it to death. And you may think I'm heading towards saying it ended up being awesome and I highly recommend it.. but I don't. I think it's maybe a worth a try to see how you respond to it, but I also know the most harmful thing someone can say to an individual in your position is to "go see a therapist." I know you have people in your life -myself included- who will sit with you, for however long, while you need to expel feelings outta your mouth. And maybe a therapist can help supplement that. You know you, you need to do what's best for you.




                I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. My body is a lot smarter than my brain. That’s not saying much, seeing as the t...