The First Very Hard Day

On the way home from work I felt dread bubbling up in my chest. The Kid had an incident in school that I didn’t clearly understand and his therapist would be there when I got home. I wasn’t sure what I was going to walk into. Chaos? A board game? The Kid hiding in his room?

I sat in the car for a minute when I got home. After managing to bypass the wine store, I told myself that no matter what, I was not going to have a cocktail after the therapist left.

I told Drunken Little Birdie if I still wanted a glass of wine on Friday night, I could have one, but it’s Thursday night and I just wasn’t going to do that to myself.

As I sat there with my husband and the therapist, all of the annoyance and frustration I’ve been feeling about the lack of progress on the root causes of why The Kid was struggling came out. I was probably more terse than I should have been. And once again, we didn’t really get a roadmap for what we were going to do differently moving forward.

By the time the therapist left I was seething. Everything today was hard, from the time I woke up feeling like I barely slept to the moment I sat at the kitchen table with nothing to buffer my feelings.

Why couldn’t I just have a glass of wine to chill out like a normal person?

Why did I have to deal with my problematic drinking now, in the middle of everything else?

Anxiety Bird and Drunken Little Birdie pecked my nerves raw.

I tried to figure out what I was feeling, what my body and brain needed, what would help me feel better…and nothing. I didn’t have a clue what I needed. When my husband made some suggestions I snapped at him, too. “I’m going to leave you alone,” he said, “it seems like you just want to be angry and miserable.”

I don’t want to be angry and miserable. I don’t want to feel like this, not for a second.

I just don’t know how else to be.

So I went to bed at 7:15. Damage control, I told myself. I was toxic.

And then I spent the next half hour beating myself up for not spending time with The Kid or making art or writing or cleaning or cooking or tackling anything else on the long list of things I needed and wanted to do.

I sense Depression Bird perched on the windowsill, waiting for me to stop moving long enough for him to swoop in.

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