How do you choose to deal with the pain in your life? The sad things that happen, although maybe not unexpectedly, still happen not on a schedule? I prefer to address them in a couple of manners – the first time completely sober, so I know what I’m looking at. The second time, I’m not sure that (sobriety) matters as much – I think because some of the pain has been addressed before. The third time and on? I tend to address it on a case to case basis, giving it space to be something that just is, in whatever other mindset it exists in or alongside.
For some reason I am full of everything today – love, sadness, joy, grief, and philosophy, to say the least. But I am remembering a time, a celebration of a time-person. I occasionally like to gather my thoughts on an event, a relationship, a book, a substance, and see what I can actually remember. What actually stuck in my mind – what my brain deemed important enough to go into long-term storage.
CN: depression, grief, alcohol use (in excess), marijuana use (illegal still), throwing up
For today, a funeral. Well, I’m not sure if it counts as a funeral if there is no body (only ashes) and the emphasis is on joy and remembrance, rather than sorrow. For my passed/past beloved Minx – for whom the memories are fading too fast and the feelings all I have left. It is hard when all that is left is feelings – there is nothing solid to back them up, no reason, so what is the point? But they exist.
I remember feeling sad. The sad that exists in a functional way. I can see and hear and do, but everything is tinged with sadness. There is no hope for it, just pushing through, gaining joy in each day until the sadness is no longer mentally overwhelming, but just a set of feelings, just memories filling a void. That is recovery. At this point, I am not even sure I was starting that journey. I had forced myself to exist in the world for awhile, so I didn’t have to contend with the profound grief that came with living in my own head.
I do not remember what I wore that day, only that it was colorful – couldn’t do black for someone that joyous and full of life. Probably purple because she loved that color.
I remember bringing two bottles of wine and finishing one whole one and about eighty percent of the second, along with at least some beer and most of a mixed drink. I do not even remember if they were good, just that they were white wines and intoxicating (I had not figured out how my body could do red wine yet (I was on the way, but I only drank full portions of whites).
I remember food, a huge spread of it, a potluck. I remember trying to keep it organized (for the love of god V, do something useful, don’t just stand around at an event – says my mother in my head). I remember it was divided up by whether it contained meat, animal products, or gluten. I don’t remember what I brought, though I think I made it myself.
I remember going on a walk with Musician. We had been broken up for close on 2 years at this point, but he felt for me. We took a walk around the property and just talked. It was talking in that odd way that exes on decent terms can do – I knew you well, once upon a time we were intimate, but now, now we can talk of, now we can do some reconciliation. Heal what can be done from the past, instead of trying on the immense boulder of pain that is the present grief. So walk we did, over rocks, through the forest, and talk we did: about the current pain, past pain, and what to do. I can’t say it was cathartic, but it was good for that time.
I remember being in a barn and vaping pot. I didn’t actually care what kind, just a bit of distraction. So I did. One of the very few times that the pot and alcohol mixed poorly for me and amplified each other’s effects. I think most of that was due to quantity of alcohol and the effects of the overwhelming emotions present.
I remember many memorializg speeches. Heck, I remember giving one and thinking about how bad it was, compared to others. I remember karaoke at the end of things, as the sun was setting. I know I got up there and my memory seems to say that I did passably well, but I doubt it, given the quantity of substances I had already consumed at that point.
I remember getting ready to leave, as I knew I had to head home soon, and only then noticing that I wasn’t the drunken person there – that was Raven. I knew how much I had consumed and if what he told me at that point in time was anywhere near a perfect recollection of what he actually had consumed, then he was far more gone that me. I remember a passing thought about us being the two people who had earned the right to be drunk (like at a wake, but a more lively one).
I asked Trydaen to drive because I was majorly incapacitated. We made it to a couple hundred feet outside the property gates when I asked him to pull over. And we were there for several hours as I proceeded to empty the contents of my stomach in an unfortunately forceful way. Then we managed to make it to the outlet mall (about a ten minute drive) where we had to pull over again for a bit more than an hour. I remember feeling physically and emotionally very ill indeed, with a hangover the next morning that was almost as bad.
I remember those last details very vividly. They are the basis for my more moderate attitude towards alcohol today – because I never wanted to be the cause of me feeling that fucking miserable again. And I haven’t, in the more than 3 years since.
In written form this seems like a lot of memories. But really, it all feels so small, so insignificant, in comparison to the scale of the feels present.
These days I am better. This grief has impacted my life and my brain permanently, there’s no way around it. But I have felt so much joy in this last year or so, and joy in learning how to interact with my grief in the time prior, that I am through a great majority of the pain and working to be through even more – not to forget, in fact the contrary, but to be fully present for my partners and not find them in comparison, but simply, as them.
The future looks so bright from here and I am so amazed at the potential it has for me.
I love, am loved, was loved, have loved, and that, that is joy.
This evening I met with a potential therapist, someone I knew to be poly, kink, and queer friendly, from repuatation alone. So, taking a chance on that.
From the second I stepped into the waiting room in her office, I knew we were going to be fine, even if we didn’t click – she had tea, books, and penguins. But we did.
I went in with my intake paperwork – I had originally intended to send it to her, but had been a bit intimidated by all the pages and had put it off until today. Such a wealth of information. A lot of it was questions about partners, medical stuff, and that sort. The intake form even had five slots for partners/spouses, which I thought was pretty neat.
But the big important question: what brings you here? Such a big question, so full of promise. So I thought very hard about it. This is what I came up with:
1. Balancing relationships and learning how to set boundaries, even if they are different for different partners and learning to be okay with that.
2. Figuring out my gender identity and expression, learn what that feels like to me, and what being comfortable in that skin feels like.
3. Putting together a plan to come out as poly and non-binary to my whole world, not just the limited folks who know now. It used to be more important to me to come out as non-binary, but with much thought and much time to reflect, especially on feelings around this holiday season – poly has become more important, more essential to my long term happiness.
We talked about these and their relative importance to me. We also talked about brain science and the connection between the mind and the body, that looping connection. We talked about Minx’s death and how it is still impacting me, still affecting my ability to successfully carry out romantic relationships, even though most of the pain is gone (well, the grief and the overwhelming sadness are gone – I am the broken china, repaired to be more beautiful than ever, shining with gold). Apparently it is not common to be as consciously aware of this effect as I am.
We talked about my anxiety – decided that would be the first thing to tackle. So, that’s that. I now have a new therapist. 🙂