Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Pasta therapy

Last night my mother called to tell me my grandmother is dying. She's been dying in slow motion for years, but apparently the end is now close. Neither mom nor I think it makes sense for me to go see Grandma; she won't recognize me.

I thought I was okay. But I wasn't. And I scared a bunch of friends with some twitter posts:

Grandma is dying. I'm sad we're losing her, sadder that her last years were so painful- physically & emotionally. Dementia is a cruel thief.

I don't ever want to be old, alone, in pain, and not in my right mind. 3 of my 4 grandparents died in slow motion from dementia.

William Styron suffered horribly during his last 6 years.

Saw my psychiatrist 2nite. More convinced than ever that I can choose my expiration date. Old, alone, miserable -- taking the easy way out.

I want to be clear: my psychiatrist is not on board with my little "expiration date" plan. I just talked about it during the session.

2 be clear: Not going 2 do any harm to self now or soon. Just need an escape valve. Have 2 believe I don't have 2 be in pain indefinitely.

It helps to vent like this. To imagine a real end to the pain. It's a relief.

After all that, I was in a serious funk. What helped get me out of it was a phone call with a FB friend who, coincidentally, works for the university of which The Bad Place is a part. On a whim, I called him and told him about what happened to me there. He was very nice about it. He wasn't surprised -- he's heard other stories like that. He didn't think I deserved it. And he thinks that significant changes have been made so shit like that won't happen again. He really cheered me up.

And then I was ravenous. I wanted Italian food. Actually, I wanted to order Italian food, but I'm trying to be frugal, so I went to the supermarket and got pasta sauce, whole wheat spaghetti, and watermelon.

I cooked the entire 16-ounce box of pasta.

I poured an entire jar of mushroom garlic marinara sauce on it.

I ate the whole thing.

That's kind of a binge. It wasn't even comfortable -- my stomach felt distended. But you know what? I woke up this morning in a fantastic mood, and I've been in a great mood all day. Went to therapy, which was fabulous. Got a Brazilian Keratin treatment (purchased before I was fired), which was fabulous. Learned that when I color my own hair, I'm neglecting the back of my head; fortunately that's only noticeable when you pick up sections of my hair to flat-iron it. Walked more than 40 blocks to two 99-cent stores looking for discounted hair color, which I could not find. I have two weeks, since I can't do anything to the hair until the keratin fully sets.

Then I came home and tried on my second-interview suit, and it no longer fits. Not even with a foundation garment. I have one interview suit. And I have an interview tomorrow, and an interview next week. One interviewer called this morning before therapy, the other emailed me this afternoon.

I also heard that the program I interviewed for last week is now on hold because the New York State Office of Mental Health is appealing some Medicaid decision. At least it wasn't my fault....

But even so, I'm in a good mood. Even though I'm not getting much eHarmony play (after spending $148 for a 3-month membership). Even though I'm fat. Even though I'm single. Even though I'm unemployed.

It could be the sunshine, which has lasted for several days this week; last week was dark and rainy. (I'm also happy about the sunshine because I can't get my hair wet for 72 hours.)

Or it could be the whole-wheat pasta. I don't know. But my mindfulness-based therapist is teaching me to live more in the present, enjoy just being without planning or worrying. So right now I'm happy, and that's a good thing.

I also had an interesting conversation with Fred yesterday. He has stopped pushing the Landmark Forum and came up with a good suggestion: do something I enjoy and find interesting. So I'm going to join Toastmasters. I like public speaking, I'm good at it, and they do improv exercises sometimes, which are always fun. I'd love to do some acting but I don't want to commit to a full production, and NYC commuity theater standards are probably very high anyway.

CY also does Toastmasters. I emailed him to ask if he was cool with me joining his group (it meets a block from my apartment). He was so cool with it, he invited me to watch him compete tomorrow night. I have to say, I'm mighty curious to see how he speaks without stuttering. I guess we're going to be friends, which is good. I'm usually not friends with my exes, but in this case, we're just so incompatible that I can't feel offended he doesn't want to be with me. 'Cause I don't want to be with him either. So we're cool.
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"


  1. Ha! Some pple at my old job did Toastmasters. I considered doing it as well. Please let me know how it is.

    So so glad to hear you are feeling good! I pray this is the beginning of a streak of cheery days for you.

  2. Gray skies are gonna clear up... put on a happy face! I hope so too, FTT.

  3. Or it could be the whole-wheat pasta

    My personal experience is that with white flour, I tend to lack the slow, steady stream of carbs I need to keep my blood sugar up. White pasta, like other refined carbs, can give you a quick high and then a quick low. Carbs with a lower glycemic level, like whole grains, can supply you with a slow, steady stream of energy that can keep both your body & mind alert.

  4. Take it from someone who knows, self-medicating with food is unhealthy, not to mention expensive. Not just the potential health-care costs, but the extra clothing costs! You're gonna have to buy more interview suits.