Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Letter to my Therapist

Not long after James died, I was put in touch with a therapist who was also widowed young.  I saw her faithfully for about two years until she had to go and retire on me-right before the holidays.  She is seeing patients again sporadically once a month on a Saturday to wrap things up and I decided to make an appointment with her for this coming Saturday.  Since it's been 6 months since I've seen her, I decided to bring her up to speed before then. (Names have been changed to keep with my blog practices.  I also edited out some details I don't wish to publicize).

Hi Therapist,
I’ve been thinking the last few days about how I am going to cover the last six months and still have time to discuss it in an hour long visit and decided to just e-mail you a summary.  I hope this is okay.  I write the way I talk but will try to make this the Cliff Notes version.
The Holidays
My friend Guy Pal was instrumental in getting me through the holidays.  We co-hosted a Christmas potluck at my house for the New in Town Meetup group so those who didn’t/couldn’t go home had somewhere to go.  There ended up being about 9 of us in attendance.  For New Year’s Eve (also my and James’ dating anniversary-this would have been 11 years), he and I and another friend went to dinner and to hear a band play.  My birthday is in January; he put together a birthday dinner for me although I did have control over the guest list.  For the anniversary of James’ death on 2/6 (Superbowl Sunday-James’ fave team played), Guy Pal didn’t want me to be alone so we went to see a movie and to dinner.  I also “commemorated” this day by purchasing a new leather couch and love seat.  My old couches were hauled off on Valentine’s Day with the new ones delivered on the 15th.  The Sunday before Valentine’s Day, I held an “Anti-Valentine’s” Day potluck and movie night at my house, again for the New in Town group, with about 12 or so attending.  Guy Pal has become such a great friend, though we’ve had some ups and downs lately. 
Dating (or not)
In December, I signed up for one of the free sites-OK Cupid.  That lasted for about a month.  I didn’t meet anyone from the site nor did I really generate much interest, other than to have someone tell me he didn’t think we’d be a good match but wondered if I wanted to be “friends with benefits.” Um, no.  I decided that when I was replying to e-mails from guys I wasn’t interested in by telling them about James in hopes it would scare them off, maybe I shouldn’t be on the site.  In April, inspired by a few friends having various levels of luck with them, I tried Match.com despite having been rejected by them before.  Again, I gave it a month; again it went nowhere.  The biggest mistake I made there was comparing myself to my friend who is much better looking than I am in terms of not getting any results (her profile was viewed over 900 times in a month, compared to about 240 for mine).  Online dating definitely takes a very thick skin, which I don’t possess but at the same time keep feeling the urge to try.
In March, I met a guy named Cute Joe at a Meetup event.  Prior to meeting James, the thing I heard most was “You’re the type of woman I can see myself with” or “I want to meet someone just like you someday.”  That always annoyed the hell out of me because you know who’s just like me-ME.  And now I get it.  Cute Joe is the type of guy I can see myself with.  We have very similar senses of humor, he’s a genuinely nice guy, we like to do a lot of the same things, he’s really cute, he likes dogs, etc.  But, there’s just no spark there.  We run into each other quite a bit at Meetup events.  We get along great but it’s pretty clear he’s not interested and deep down, I don’t think he’s the “one” either-there’s a Spidey sense thing going on that I can’t put my finger on, but every time I see him, I can’t help but think “Man, I wish I could meet someone like you.”  It’s just as frustrating to think it as it is to hear it. 
I realized I am holding on to James because I’m not having any luck elsewhere and I don’t think there’s another chance for me so I’m holding on to the one that did want me and who can’t possibly hurt me anymore than he already has.  I keep hearing Dad “what’s so wrong with you that you can’t attract a man?” and I wish I knew the answer to that. 
I keep telling people I want a relationship, just not the commitment.  Right now, I’d be happy just to go out on a date!
In December, I had a sinus infection.  I had a bad reaction to Amoxicillin and had to be taken off of it after three days.  Nothing was prescribed to take its place so it never really went away.  In February, I tried acupuncture for it and had a bad reaction to that as well.  It went dormant but came back with my allergies, so I went back to the doctor and got an antibiotic I can actually take and I think it’s finally gone.  However, the timing of the Amoxicillin making me so sick I couldn’t keep anything down coincided with Guy Pal challenging me to eat vegetarian for a week.  On July 4th, it will be 7 months since I stopped eating meat.  Along with that, I stopped eating a lot of processed crap as well as pasta (though I do still have that on occasion).  I do feel healthier.  I have also started to exercise more: walking the dogs around the ‘hood, walks/hikes with the Meetup groups, and my co-worker and I have been taking a zumba class since April, but it’s not in an air conditioned building so it’s getting too hot for us to continue for the time being.  I really enjoy that class-for the first time in my life, I actually look forward to exercising.  Physically and mentally, I do feel better, even though I still don’t sleep.  Emotionally, however, I am a wreck.  I am much more irritable and crankier in general and cry at the drop of a hat, so I can’t help but wonder if I am releasing some feelings I buried by not taking proper care of myself after James died?  I also have reason to believe my hormones are out of whack so when I see the doctor next month I want to have some blood tests done.
Out and About
I’m still keeping myself busy with Meetup events and volunteering-probably a little too busy.  I was in Sacramento over the weekend to see James’ mom and cousin and while I was bummed about the cool events I was missing up here, it was so nice to not  have to be anywhere at any specific time.  I love the social life but at the same time, it is hard to keep up the always on the go pace.  I’ve been trying to have more gatherings with friends at my house too as I have a great setup for entertaining and love to do it.  I’m pretty much just running into the same people at this point, but it’s nice to walk into a room knowing at least one friend will be there.
But, even surrounded by awesome people I love, the bottom line is I’m still so very much alone and I just don’t feel like I belong anywhere.  I found myself thinking this weekend that I have a lot of relatives but I really don’t have much in the way of family.  And even with this active social life I have, I can still go for days without the phone ringing.
The Bottom Line
I’ve been trying to figure out how it is I have rebuilt a pretty damn good life for myself but it just doesn’t seem to be enough.  I keep telling myself that I need to just focus on the things that make me happy, which are my dogs, volunteering and having friends over and the rest will just fall into place.  Then I decided to analyze why are those the things that make me happiest?  I realized it’s because with volunteering and entertaining, I am in some small way taking care of someone else and making them happy and that is what makes me happy.  I’m at my best when I feel needed or when I feel I am contributing to someone else’s happiness-even if it’s just making sure they have plenty to eat and a good time for a couple of hours.
My life is good.  There’s hiccups (like the A/C going out and BMW having a hard time figuring out what’s wrong with the car) along the way and I do need to find someone I can vent those hiccups too so I don’t let them build up.  But in general, I have a good life.  I just don’t know how to make it so only taking care of me is enough.
So there you have it.

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