It doesn’t get any easier, this living lark. Amount of food left in the pantry and fridge – 5 days worth. Amount of money in the bank – less than zero. Days to wait until that gets rectified – 10. Where I am – up the creek without a paddle.
Oh joy of joys, in the post comes the latest stage in my dispute with the energy companies. That symbol of poverty, the prepay meter card. It seems that every day brings a new battle, with an arm tied increasingly more tightly behind my back.
As you can tell, I’m not in a great frame of mind. It feels demeaning, not being able to make ends meet, and not being given any opportunity to earn a living. The repercussions to my life, both practically and in mind and spirit, can be clearly seen.
It hides the truth behind why I’m feeling so down. Despite all my efforts to carry on with my life, knowing that we are and have been long since finished, and realising that seeing her again would engender a very negative reaction from me, I miss my ex, I miss her company, I miss her humour, I miss her love. It still hurts and is a lot more raw than I really hoped and thought it would be by this stage.
Okay, enough of the introspection, it’s the last time today. Lesley and I. Therapist and patient. Eighth visit out of eight. End of the line. What am I going to do now? How will I cope? These are the questions that probably most people would have going through their minds on days like this. Me? Nothing. My mind is blank as I wander by the dank, overcast seafront. This is going to be a right bundle of laughs in my state of mind.
I try to recapture the stimulus that sparked this very blog, namely the magnolia tree that petal dropped from which showed me a way ahead. I wander up the same road, but without blossom, one tree or plant to me is much like another. I go by that magnolia tree without even recognising it.
When I get there, Lesley greets me cheerily enough, as I do her. It’s a relief, really. An hour or so here is an escape from being left alone with my own thoughts. Life is clearly better than my mind is making it out to be. I just need to find a way to believe in myself, in my heart and soul, rather than what I’m thinking.
Lesley is disappointed in me. A couple of weeks ago when I chose not to meet up with a writing group. I didn’t realise it, but Lesley saw it as an opportunity to increase my self esteem socially more than the purpose of it itself, and as a chance spurned in order to pursue something else alone.
She’s right, and I did beat myself up over it at the time, but I really didn’t consider the actual social, getting to know people as friends, aspect of it all. What was it I was saying earlier about not seeing things right in front of your nose?
As we continue a kind of review of my time in therapy with her, Lesley hands something over to me. “Put your finger in there.” I chortle as a wave of double entendre enters my head with her request and the Chinese finger puzzle she has in her hand. Thankfully, Lesley seems to have a Sid James laugh and giggles away when I make the least lewdest comment I can think of.
I do as Lesley says, and put my finger into both ends. “Now pull them.” I do so and, of course, they don’t release, so instinctively pull harder. “Don’t break i ….”
Lesley’s voice trails off as I pull too hard and the puzzle breaks. She looks a little, not quite upset, but that feeling everyone gets when they see a present they’ve given smashed up. I feel terrible about it and tell her so as well.
As an analogy for going with things, and not battling against myself, it’s a good one. What made the analogy even better was me destroying the puzzle. By pulling against everything for so long, my self esteem has been smashed into bits, and it will take time before I understand about how I can go with things and avoid that.
All too soon, as ever, the hour has gone well past the hour. A referral, no less, to a self esteem group therapy is in the pipeline. With my somewhat mixed feelings I had about previous group therapy, I’m surprised about how enthusiastic I instinctively am.
Another referral, as well, to a sex psychotherapist. Life between the sheets has been as unhappy, frustrating and ineffective sometimes as in other areas of my life. I know it’s all in my mind. We’ll see how that pans out.
We leave for the last time. It’s a mixture of sadness and uncertainty. The sadness comes from Lesley being a decent person, even if you take the therapist side of her away. You can tell when people are good or bad, and she’s definitely in the good books. It’s always a pity when they’re no longer about.
The uncertainty is about whether I’m really giving myself and the therapy the chance I really need to. It just seems to be a block in my mind once I get to a certain level of recovery. Where do I go from here? Will I always be like this? Am I wasting mine and everyone’s time?
I’m not sure. As I stroll home, with one therapy ending and another beginning, I know I can’t go on flatlining. The learning curve about myself and my recovery has to become just that again, an upward curve. It’s something I owe to myself as well as everyone around me to ensure it does.
Getting a job would help. Getting over my ex would help even more. Nobody has helped quite as much, though, as Lesley. For that, whatever happens to me in life, I’ll always be grateful. So …
Thank you for the magnolia tree, Lesley.