But what even is my baseline?

“Grief is like food poisoning, you have to let it work through you and it’s going to be messy”

This is what I pay the big dollars for. That and so I can cry and say “So when I’m crying and I’m sitting in my loss, what do I do then?” and she says “yeah” and I say no, I’m asking you, and she says again “yeah”. 
This is me being glib but counselling continues to be good but hard. She asked how the magnesium and b12 are working, but because I’ve been an emotional roller coaster, I don’t have a baseline to measure from. There is no control subject. When I am in limbo I don’t know what feels normal. We might start EMDR next week, beginning with grief, but that needs a stable base to work from so I don’t know. 

More than three weeks alcohol free now. The only time I’ve had a compulsion to drink was when I was was pouring out vodka to make a scent diffuser (cinnamon & peppermint) and I wanted to take a gulp, but only in the exact way that I’m compelled to lick the spoon when I’m cleaning out cat food because I know it’s something I really don’t want to do. Does that make sense?

Everything is of course sharper without the comforting blurring around the edges that a couple of glasses of wine used to provide. I’m overly conscious of where my hands are when I’m with the babe that I’m seeing, checking if it’s okay to put my arm around her, a hand on her leg or what have you. Obviously a huge part of this is awareness now of my aggressive drunken past, and making sure of consent, but my psychologist says this is also extremely common in people who have given up alcohol, a new sudden hyper-awareness. I hope this will fade a little, that obviously I will still be considerate and careful, but not quite as on edge as I am now. Reasons that I drank are so much clearer now. 

Conversely, I’m also having trouble trusting my instincts right now, because I’m not sure what are genuine beliefs and what is cognitive dissonance. Remember when you were young and you wanted a Cabbage Patch Kid but your mum said no, so you decided you hated them instead and would gleefully sing “I’m one of a kind, I’m a cabbage patch kid and nobody likes me, nobody likes me,” but it wasn’t actually really all that gleeful? This is again where a psychologist comes in handy because you pay them to be on your side, but more neutral than friends. She’s good at asking me what exactly it is that I want. And what I want is to not feel like I’m in limbo anymore. Am I terrified of the consequences of a move out of that? Absolutely. But I can’t move forward to anything if I’m stuck and don’t know where I’m going. 

2 responses to “But what even is my baseline?”

  1. “So when I’m crying and I’m sitting in my loss, what do I do then?”

    This was absolutely the hardest part of therapy for me. “You just… do that.” “NO YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND I WANT TO DO SOMETHING OTHER THAN THAT.” “But then you wouldn’t be doing the work.” “… dammit”


    1. Right? Like it makes me want to take up Catholicism or something. Prescribe me a certain amount of hail marys to say as a cure.


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