I liked my psychiatrist. Raised in Buenos Aires, there were a couple of times I had to ask her to repeat herself, but she was sharp as a tack. She wanted to change up my protocol, but only a little bit. Step up from 200mg to 250 on Lamictal slowly, go down from 60mg to 40mg on the Celexa, and replace Atarax with Klonopin at night. The Klonopin is a temporary measure because I am starting therapy with a trauma specialist, and she could tell that I was struggling. I told her that I can keep all of my appointments, and I am not scared to look for work, but I haven’t left the house otherwise except for church and grocery shopping. That I am afraid of conflict, so I go out of my way to stay home and read. She said that there were worse things that I could do with my time, but at the same time, I am in my own little bubble. Ummm…. yeah. You guys know me. WE’VE MET.
It’s part of my personality type that I like to stay home and read, but it is not me to completely isolate from everything for days at a time. It has been for the last two years, but those years have been extraordinarily atypical. The only thing I know is that for the first time in my life, I am actually taking steps to make the problem better, instead of pretending it doesn’t exist. I do not have to tell anyone and everyone just how fine I am. Nothing to see here.
I also told her about the possible youth director job, and how it didn’t bother me to be in front of people like, in “show mode,” but it bothered the hell out of me to really connect with people because there is only so long you can know someone before conflict arises, and that’s when I feel the impulse to run. I don’t believe that it’s not because I am incapable of intimacy, or that I have a personality disorder. I think I’ve just had a lot of emotional trauma dished at me since I was a kid and now I am in the long process of rediscovering society… I can’t take it all at once. It needs to be in measured steps.
She seemed to understand that innately- perhaps doctors are the same way, or perhaps I am just not as alone as I think I am.
I went to Starbucks after my appointment and had an Earl Grey (Teavana…. yum…) so I could have a few minutes of peace to stare out the window before I began my long trek back to Silver Spring on the Metro.Then, I found that I wasn’t quite ready to go home yet, because for the first time since my mom left, I was truly hungry. I got some beef stroganoff at Noodles & Company, and then noticed there was a grocery store across the way that might have Haribo Happy Cola. I walked over there, and it was a natural foods store. I did not find anything I wanted, except for a flavor of hi-caf they don’t sell at Whole Foods, English black. Disappointed, I finally got on the Metro and read until this young couple got onto the train in front of me. They were insufferable. He was one of those theater boys who cannot talk about anything other than himself, and she seemed to adore him. However, from my perspective, it was like he rattled on incessantly and I just wanted to interrupt and say, “ummm, does she get to talk?” A few minutes later, my suspicions were confirmed when there were all these things he wanted to do with her, and she mentioned one thing that she thought was going to be cool and he was all like, “I’m so busy… I mean, I’m like doing a thousand things with my plays and I’m still writing songs for Megan…” She accepted this like it was perfectly okay to do whatever he wanted because her thing didn’t matter, anyway. I am sure I have been guilty of this at times, which is probably why it bothered me so much. I was glad when I got off the train only to find out that they were getting off at Silver Spring, too, so the endless repetition of everything going on in his life continued all the way to Colesville and McDonald’s next to the 7-Eleven.
I turned the other way on purpose, and climbed the hill to drop off my prescriptions at CVS. I spent an inordinate amount of time searching for the aforementioned Happy Cola. The last time I went, they had several bags, and this time they were out. That did not stop me from staring in disbelief for quite a long time as I walked up and down the aisles. I thought about walking to 7-Eleven, but it was getting late and rain clouds were starting to gather. I settled for some rice crackers and wasabi peas at Whole Foods, steps from CVS on Georgia. You could probably just take the -ers off the end, because I am pretty sure that crack and rice crackers are synonymous. Have you ever been able to stop eating them? I haven’t. I divided mine up into snack-sized Zip-Locs so that the entire tub wouldn’t be gone by tomorrow morning. Also, Cliff’s Kids were on sale, and if you have not tried “chocolate brownie,” your life would undergo a miraculous change if you did. Brownies with vitamins. Look into it. I also remembered to get bananas and milk, because I’d used most of my milk for tea and I have Peanut Butter Cheerios in my pantry that need attention. Again, Peanut Butter Cheerios are life-sustaining, especially if you mix them with the chocolate ones. Trust me on this one.
It was raining when I came out of Whole Foods, so I called Uber to pick me up. I don’t think I would’ve if it was just sprinkling, but the skies opened up and I would have been drenched to the skin in less than three seconds. This is because I don’t have an umbrella because I’m still such a damned Portlander. Umbrellas are for tourists. It doesn’t work that way in Maryland- the rain is too sudden and too fast, not like Portland spitting in the slightest. But have I changed my ways? I’m gonna call that a NO.