September 26, 2018

standing in the high school hallway in your underwear

Usually when I have that dream, I also can't find the right classroom, so I'm actually walking around instead of standing there, popping my head into classrooms to ask if I belong there, but I'm in my underwear so no one takes me seriously, and then I realize that and I'm mortified.  A convenient hole never, ever opens in the ground and swallows me.  I resent that.  My brain could at least give me a hole.

But who needs embarrassing dreams, when there's reality?  I had my slip fall down around my ankles while at the post office counter years ago, and a line of people behind me saw it happen, and I had to step out of it and pick it up off the floor with as much dignity as I could muster, pay for my stamps, and walk out with my head held high.  And that's nothing compared to what happened with the moving truck.

I had the hubris to drive a twenty-seven-foot moving truck back when P.J. and I bought our house together and I sold my little dive.  I freak out driving a minivan, so this decision baffles me now, but I wasn't in the financial league to hire movers.  I drove it home without colliding with anything.  I'm proud of that.  I tried pulling into my driveway and ended up snagging the neighbor's street-parked car under the rear left tire and wrecking the shit out of it, slowly crunching it into an accordion as I gave the van gas and tried in vain to pull forward.  I lived across the street from an elementary school and it was dismissal time, so there were two lines of cars full of parents watching this happen.  If it happened today, there would be videos of it all over Facebook and Twitter and YouTube (which the Kruger Brothers have termed YouTwitFace).

I had to do a thirty-point adjustment to disengage from the mangled car and finish pulling into the driveway, after which I sat frozen in the cab for forty-five minutes, until I felt sure that the very last possible witness to the debacle had long since departed.  Then I freaked out.

I can't even drive down that street now.

Fast-forward to yesterday.  I sat in Therapist Gumby's office broken, ashamed that I had allowed the suicidal thoughts to return after having achieved victory over them, listening to his words of hope and re-framing and trying, trying so hard, to embrace what he said, to work through difficulty understanding the words in complete sentences, to concentrate on what he was saying.  All I could see was the combination of drugs in my house I could take, make that thought fight with needing to teach The Kid to drive, needing to stick around.  Sharing the war within.

The Monk called in the augmented lithium as promised.  I picked it up, as promised.  I asked P.J. to hide meds, as promised.  I made grilled cheese sandwiches for dinner.  I let The Kid drive us to his dad's house.  I came home and did laundry.

P.J. surrounded me with her love, many hugs, softly brushing my cheek and looking into my eyes with understanding.  She is my rock.

At bed time, I got out my weekly night pill container and dumped Tuesday night into my hand, and went to replace the 300 mg lithium with the new 450 mg tablet.

Except the 300 mg wasn't there to remove from my hand.

And I started thinking.

I stood thinking for a good while.

And suddenly, I was standing in the high school hallway in my underwear.

I refilled the lithium last Friday.  I hadn't had enough to finish out the pill container for the week.  And I had forgotten to go back Friday and add what was missing.

I can swallow eleven pills at once.  I never pay attention to what's there.  That's why I make a pill box.

I had not had any lithium since last Friday.  I forgot to put it in.  I had inadvertently quit cold-turkey.

The sudden numbness during beautiful music on Saturday night.  The abrupt onset of suicidal ideation, wistful longing to execute a plan, on Sunday morning.  The reluctantly reaching out to my support system, telling those who needed to know, even though they were the very people who would try to thwart me.  All of it.  I brought it all on myself.

A simple mistake.  One I know I will not make again.  And in a few days, I will feel better.  That is a thought I can hear loud and clear.

The hard part, though, was e-mailing The Monk and explaining that this was my bad.  I think I would have preferred walking into his office in my underwear, trailing a slip around my left ankle, missing my mood chart and totally unprepared for class.

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