…was quitting smoking. It has been a few weeks now smoke free and already my lungs are clearer, food tastes exponentially better and I can breathe out of my nose for the first time in years. It hasn’t been an easy row to hoe, though, with Stacey still smoking. I realize from smelling her clothes after she comes in from my porch to smoke how much you stink – the odor just wafts through the whole room. I don’t want to become one of those bitter anti-smoking Nazis I always abhorred during my smoking days, though. Live and let live will be my mantra.
One of the most notable differences is with work. I no longer completely obsess over my next cigarette break – able to do a much better job. I took entirely too many smoke breaks at work much to my non-smoking supervisor’s chagrin. My addiction would force me to play fast and loose with our congenial relationship – her often letting me get away with far too much with regards to my many breaks to imbibe. I now feel some peace after a few weeks of abstaining and can safely say, now, that I have quit smoking. Now, to get that musty cigarette odor out of my home! Can you say Febreeze and Glade Plug-Ins?
Shying Away From the Family Topic…
Driving to Auburn for a visit to the psychiatrist or therapy is always a good excuse to get my favorite breakfast. I got my two steak biscuits, hashrounds and a diet Coke and sat in the restaurant eating as I used their Wi-Fi this morning with my iPad. It was an enjoyable experience following on the heels of a very productive therapy session.
I shied away from talking about family today to focus on goals for the future and implementing them. I needed guidance and encouragement that I am not taking on too much, too fast.
“Where would you like to see yourself next year this time?” my therapist asked.
“I would like to be completely independent, owning the current house I live in,” I replied. “I would also like to be fully self supporting with my new business.”
“Lofty goals,” my therapist replied with a smile. “But easily achievable.”
I then showed her my anxiety workbook – us discussing methods for dealing with my anxiety. I am officially diagnosed now not as Schizoaffective, but as suffering from Generalized Anxiety Disorder and social anxiety – just another list of disorders in the very long list of disorders I’ve had over the years.
“You have said before that you are very candid with your boss about your disability,” my therapist said. “Discuss with her ways that can ease your anxiety at work. What causes the most anxiety for you when you are working?”
“The unknown mainly,” I replied. “I never know when I will be asked by a customer out of the blue for help causing me social anxiety. I never know if it is going to be a very busy day or one of my more ploddingly slow days. I want everyday to be the same with little excitement or diversion.”
“I think we can all feel that way, though, about our jobs,” my therapist told me. “Work is stressful. You are performing a service for a wage. Most people have a lot of anxiety and misgivings about work. I think that is perfectly normal and not mental illness related.”
I felt better for our hour talk. It has been money well spent I have decided. I am going to try and stick to this therapy thing and maybe in a few weeks start to open up more freely about my family and it’s extreme dysfunction.
The Call on the Drive Home from Auburn…
“What you doing?” Stacey asked me as I drove up the interstate back to the Chattahoochee Valley.
“Oh, I am listening to Joni Mitchell’s Misses CD, just passing the Cusseta exit on the interstate and thinking about you and last night,” I replied.
“Next time take two Ambien so you will sleep the whole night with me,” she asked pleadingly. “I missed you after you left. I want to wake up in the morning’s with you next to me.”
I laughed at the thought of taking two Ambien. Surely, that would put me in a stupor to be remembered. I am finding a relationship with a woman to be a very careful game of give and take.
“I don’t think that would be very wise,” I replied. “I have already grown addicted to taking those pills to sleep.”
Stacey couldn’t talk long being at work, but we did both agree that last night’s experience was better than nothing – that my being over at her house with her is very important to her life. I said goodbye after we discussed dinner plans at my house – me coming home to defrost mom’s tangy chicken. For a woman supposedly with bipolar disorder, she is one of the more even keeled women I have dated. For that, I am grateful and enjoy spending my life with her.