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Little Nudges Toward Sanity

Posted Sep 12 2008 11:33am
Today was a banner mental health day for me. Really, it was. And it's about damn time I had one of those. Started out with a trip to the shrink, who after a grand total of three or four hours of getting to know me, has an uncanny bead on what makes me tick and what's keeping me from being happy and whole. Really, it's unsettling but very much a learning experience. At one point, he encouraged me to write - told me to write, even, and use the pain and anger as writing tools. And so I did - as I sat in the waiting room of the auto shop where they changed my oil and rotated my tires (my mental health is increased simply by not having to have the car beep "change oil" at me every time I start 'er up), I wrote about 8 pages front and back of just rambly bullshit, probably, but I felt better afterward.

That was followed by a great conversation - probably too personal a one-sided phone conversation for the Tire World waiting room crowd, but what the hell - with a dear friend who knows me very well also. He echoed the shrink's encouragement that I write my way out of the hole, and then went further to tell me in no uncertain terms that I *have* to write. And that I have to pull out my novel, the one I finished over a year ago in first-draft form and have kept nice and safe from my own scrutiny in a drawer, and start revising to a second draft. "If it sucks, at least you'll have done it, and be able to learn from it," he said. I couldn't argue. Said first draft is sitting at my left elbow in two dogeared legal pads, awaiting transition to the keyboard. This particular friend has offered me fabulously insightful words of wisdom at various times over the past few years, words which have anchored my soul as much as his brilliant metaphors anchor my desire to write. Thank you, T, your advice and your "Chin up, Tiger" were precisely what I needed to hear, and I love and appreciate you.

Then I test-drove a brand-new gelateria that opened Monday here in the Springs. And how can a peach gelato on a blizzardy, butt-ass-cold day not make you smile?

And then the youngsters and I went to McDonald's and a movie. Again, instant "mmmmmm."

And then we got home and I read an e-mail that made me a very happy camper - I'll not go into detail, but my well-being increased hundredfold as did my relief and optimism.

And: polished off the night with a lengthy and very candid conversation with the man I've grown so very fond of over the last six months, the kind of perfectly open communication that made us fall in love with each other in the first place before we started stumbling over all the luggage. Thank you, MTPBRF - I love you so much.

And then a long Calgon bath with a book. Aaaaaaah.

All this mental health has given me a headache. I'm going to bed. But going there happy and content and worry-free, for the first night in a long while.
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