I had a hangover yesterday morning. I knew I was giving up sugar for Lent, so I sat watching Netflix with Lauren the night before (like a condemned prisoner), eating all the Valentine’s candy she had in the house. I get a sugar hangover. But it was more than that…
The minute I got up, I knew I was “out of sorts”. Out of sorts is a nice way of saying I felt like crawling out of my own skin. I had this weird feeling in the center of my stomach (part nausea, part terror) and everything I tried to do was TOO DIFFICULT. I don’t mean I was building a house or solving math problems; getting Fiona to poop and making coffee in a Kureg were beyond my capabilities. The best thing I could do to alleviate the rat-gnawing feeling was to sigh.
I looked at my “TO DO” list, which for once has legitimate things on it, and felt overwhelmed. Everything on the list required using my mind. I tried to work on a joint blog post I’m doing with one of my favorite bloggers and every word felt false or (worse) cute-sy.
So I brushed my teeth and hair and decided to run errands. My first stop was a Mailboxes where I get my mail and use the printer. I wanted to pick up Fiona’s heartworm meds and print the work books for my Recovery Coach course. I walked into the Mailboxes and was greeted by a tiny child peeking around a copy machine like a gremlin. His mother was negotiating with a clerk and while she was distracted, he came out from his hole, grinned up at me demonically and said, “I’m going to KICK you!” He got in a solid ten whacks to my shins (me looking down at him in shock) before his mother noticed his abuse and ran over to get him off of me…
My phone screen was stuck and I could see I was getting important messages, but no amount of touching the surface of my phone would bring them to life. I knew I should call Jon Jon and my mother (two people who are always happy to hear from me) but I couldn’t get the gumption. I left the Mailboxes feeling worse – my shins smarting – and decided to take a drive to St Augustine. I got half way there and I realized I had to respond to one of the truncated messages I could read on my phone, but I needed to read an edited version of a document that I could not unlock from my screen.
By now, dear reader, you are probably feeling like crawling out of your skin. I am sorry about this ramble or rampage, but yesterday I had a legitimate panic attack or something and I think you need to understand that some days are really BAD for me and it has nothing to do with outside influences because it comes from inside me and the phone rang and it was Jon Jon. He said, “Are you avoiding me?”
I smiled. I said, “My phone screen is stuck and I was just thinking of you because I NEED you to tell me what to do to make it work again. I think I touched a switch and now my screen in impervious to my poking finger and…”
He said, “If you hold the bottom button and the top button at the same time it resets the phone. That’s probably all you have to do.”
So I did it and it worked and I still have to call my mom and I feel better today.
I really thought getting sober would make everything alright. I actually envisioned myself on a path with sunlight and chirping birds, timid forest creatures (not horrible little child-bullies) looking up at me out of the fronds…
It doesn’t work that way. I still have deadlines and worries and bad days. But I now have some techniques to help me muscle through the tough times. When I’m feeling completely consumed, I break it down. I put everything into a big box and take one thing out at a time:
- Use purse as shield until mom pulls budding frog-torturer off my shins. Check.
- Press both buttons on the phone at the same time. Check.
- Take on one writing assignment at a time and finish it. Check.
- Call your loved ones. Check.
- Pray for a better day tomorrow… Check.