Even through the midnight hour the engines never rest

(Night and Day – Thomas and Friends)

 

Yesterday I changed the category title on my budget from “residency” to “job-getting.” Does it really matter when all of the money is coming from the same place anyway? Not really, but somehow it feels good and productive to attribute the expenses to getting a job rather than having to put them in the more specific categories and feeling like it’s just a waste of my resources…’cause that last $25 dollars was totally going to break the bank…lol..jk…it kinda hurt a little at the same time to let go of one more little thread connecting me to my dream, but I did it. Yeah, when the only therapy method with which you are super comfortable and understand well enough to perform on yourself is exposure therapy because you are a pharmacy grad and not a counseling grad, everything looks like an opportunity for exposure…Is exposure the right way to deal with grief? IDK, but it is what I’m planning on doing…I’m making this stuff up as I go. Someday I’ll even start adulting and update my linked in page…

 

I figured it was time to start getting a little more intensive in the recovery process because I wasn’t spending so much time just trying to be okay and make it through life anymore. I definitely am still fighting every day, but it is more internal pain that doesn’t spill onto the outside as much anymore.

 

I see recover as three stages. Stage 1: learn not to cry in front of people. Stage 2a: learn not to cry constantly when alone. Stage 2b: learn not to cry very often when alone (because never is hard to define…). Stage 3: learn to keep the pain away for most of the time most days (again, because never is hard to define, and for big events probably not a realistic OR desirable goal – it is okay to be sad about the big things that have hurt me in life. While stage 1 and 2 can usually be measured in months, stage 3 is measured in years. Okay, and if I am being super honest, it is definitely possible to fall from stage 3 back to stage 1 briefly since my primary mechanism of progression is numbness, so if the numbness fades I can end up where I don’t want to be – crying in front of people. I work really hard on becoming as numb as possible. I don’t really like being numb, but I like it a lot better than the alternative. Eventually I can usually gradually reduce the numbness and localize it to something that can be turned on when triggers might be present but turned off other times so that excitement can trickle through more easily other times. I am currently hovering between stages 2 and three which is why I decided it was time to start using exposure to conquer recovery. I am so excited to be hovering at least close to stage 3. I hate crying. The pain is so intense sometimes, but not crying is a good step in the right direction…even if it is 95% because the dehydration is a little bit out of hand right now…

 

This might be a stupid way to do things, but it is my way and I am going to do my best with what I have. In retrospect I perhaps ought to have waited until I wasn’t using dehydration as an important emotion-management tool, but that thought didn’t come until I was too far into this to give up…

 

So yeah, I really haven’t had trouble eating at all in a few days (okay, yeah, I really didn’t think this one through and should definitely have given it another week or two before trying this)…I am still struggling with fluids, but I am doing my best…besides, I know from that first week when I was on spring break that I can make it on minimal amounts of fluid, especially because I then drove all day and had only a couple sips of water which definitely was not nearly as much as I was losing through sweat…not to even mention insensible losses…

 

Because until last night when I was still working harder than usual because of that first intentional exposure I’ve gotten pretty close to back to a normal for me sleep pattern I’ve gotten at least the 16.9 ounces of water that my water bottle holds pretty much every night at 2am I am not too concerned because that means anything I am getting during the day is in addition to that. I know that is not really enough so I’ve gone back to drinking water mixed with apple juice. That was my saving grace in getting what I needed in my body every day at school…juice is usually a special treat that at home has always been limited to only one cup per day and I almost never buy for myself when I’m on my own, but desperate times come with desperate measures. The best ratio in my opinion is about 1\3 to 1\2 apple juice to 2\3 to 1\2 water. Filling my water bottle that way in the morning meant that I could get the fruit group for lunch without any extra work than just getting the liquid in my body and making it something fun made it a little more rewarding to drink it…and last evening I was back to using the juice and water technique to get myself to drink more because I knew I had been gradually getting more dehydrated, and I know that when it is starting to make me feel dizzy that it is time to get serious about fixing it.

 

But because I am stupid I still decided that today would be a good day to try wearing a logo t-shirt. I am still deciding whether the t-shirt is going to stay on all day. I know it is best in exposure to wait until the emotional pain is down to a 7 out of 10 (okay, so the real goal is probably 2-4, but ain’t no one got time for that). I also know that it isn’t that safe to drive at a 10 or more out of 10. Also, I know that it will feel like failure to not make it through the day which also isn’t ideal, but on the flip side I also know that I have definitely been just fine driving at like a 50 out of 10 when I could barely see through my tears…yeah, I probably should have let my friends help me figure out safer alternatives, but that’s not who I am. I wasn’t going to worry anyone and I wasn’t going to ask for help that would inconvenience anyone…especially with a situation that didn’t in my head have any practical solutions…My car couldn’t legally stay parked where it was the next day. My clean clothes and other basic necessities were not with me or in my car. There were probably homework things I needed that had been forgotten that morning in my room. I had my nightlight, but my alarm was still set to go off in the morning. I had pretty much my entire breakfast and lunch leftover but was going to need a refrigerator to keep it safe to eat the next day. So basically, the only solution was that I really needed to be able to drive to church to be with my friends and I really needed to make it back to my room for the night…and hey, I made it alive so it worked out fine! Like they always say, you need to learn to drive well and how to handle your car not for you but to avoid the other people driving poorly on the road. They just don’t say that sometimes that person driving poorly will be you.

 

I got up this morning not interested in eating bread, but very interested in cooking it and bringing it to work to share…luckily I realized in time that I didn’t have any evaporated milk. There are directions online for making it from regular milk, but I’m not sure how that would work with the choices I have: vanilla and light vanilla soymilk. It also would bring into question how much vanilla and sugar to subtract. The sugar wouldn’t be bad to calculate using the calories from sugar and googling grams of sugar per 1\4 cup, but the vanilla doesn’t have that kind of information available…and my guess is that both ingredients would be in higher quantities than I wanted in the first place…it is an interesting phenomenon that I’ve read about that when people aren’t doing well with eating or drinking that they take joy in feeding other people. I don’t really know why it happens, but I’ve definitely heard that it is common, so my experience of wanting to make bread seems to fit into that pattern…

 

There is always a fun quote written somewhere in the homecare pharmacy where I work. The other day I saw “When life gives you lemons, say YAY!! Free lemons!!” I really liked that. And that reminds me that I should probably stop writing and start packing my lunchbox.

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