Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Hae you gone Mental (LVI)

Things take on a different hue when things in our lives change. For me, at least, routine is important at this time in my life. I feel like I'm compulsive or ob- sessive or something like that. I depend on things being as they are to reduce my susceptibility to depression-anxiety. I'm speaking, now, of relationship proximity. Even though the "change" may be positive for me and the other person I find myself fearful and unsure of the outcome at times..

Janet drove to Colfax, Washington to visit our daughter and meet our new grandchild. Beth needs a little help already having two small boys in her home. Blake goes to school all day but Phoenix (not nearly kindergarted age) is a little pistol and demands a lot of attention and TLC. Janet is splitting her time between TLC and loving up on the new girl in the house.

I remember a time when having my wife gone for more than a few hours at a time kept me totally immobilized...depression and anxiety deepened and I was, generally, a basket case, sitting in my chair with my blanket watching TV and using my newly developing bag of tricks. Although I can feel the basket hovering over my little bald head it has not dropped yet and I do not expect it to. Whereas there are many other things that may "basketize me" for periods of time, this almost childlike dependence on my wife has dissipated tremendously ov er the past 10 months.

I can still feel the absence, though. She has been a true rock in my recovery and has loaned me some of her strength to make it as far as I have. We all probably have people in our lives like this; a spouse, a partner, a sister, brother, or friend. When there is not ready personal access to them anxiety sets in. We have become dependent (over-dependent?) on them. Don't get me wrong. The state of our recovery cannot be measured by our dimished need for people. That is, in part, what got us into this mess... not having a true confidant with whom to share our deepest thought and feelings on a regular basis. I know I isolated myself and this, added to brain chemistry, circumstances, and who knows what else plunged me into this hellish abyss.

My advice? I don't give advice. I don't tell people what to do. This I know. The person with whom we share everything is necessary to our lives and recovery from depression-anxiety. When they go away (even seven hours away) and the time away is going to be "lengthy" (only six days)our equilibrium can be set on its ear. Look at me, she has only been gone since I wished her a safe trip at 5:30 this morning and I feel something is missing ... her presence and wisdom. This is different than a statement of puppy love, it speaks of a relationship that has become more important over the last 10 months than ever before. It is a lifeline for me and I hope to her.

Although she will be back Monday night I will talk daily to her and probably access the others on my support team to try (in vain) to take up the slack. The boys are here, Mom is here. Although there is no lack of things to do as a distraction, nothing takes the place of our primary support person when we need them.

I need also to say that having this time apart is a good for her in many ways and good for me in one: learning to live in a positive, healthy manner without ready physical access to my prime supporter. There is sense in which I feel like a child learning to walk. This a good first step for me. I know all will be fine and she will return happy and refreshed from a different atmosphere and from being an upclose and personal grandma to the three kids. I am glad for her and glad for the growth it will stimulate in me.

Please don't think of this as something pathetic in your life. This is real life stuff we experience and grow from. Thanks for reading.

Tpos and all . . . God bless you.

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