Thursday, May 26, 2016

Lessons in Leaving

Lessons in Leaving... title comes from song that Kenny Rogers' duet partner sang at concert, a Jo Dee cover.

Talking about brain retraining: I am trying to retrain my brain to see pain not as a source to panic about, but as a temporary and necessary part of being in the world that will get better given some time and patience. Man, that's hard!

The good from today: Well, first I was in the Western Prom and it was too hot and muggy. I went downtown and got there earlier than usual and was pretty anxious for an hour or so. Then I met my friend C, who saved me with her conversation and the ability to connect to someone, and then met with my therapist. And Amber, briefly.

Kenny Rogers was going to be on the maine state pier/ferry terminal and I didn't know if I had enough energy to go. I don't even like Kenny Rogers *that* much, but he is country. And outside, a 15 minute walk away, and free.Sooo, hard to pass that up given that the weather was quite decent at 7pm when it was time to go. Mid 60s, felt warm enough but less muggy.

Sooo, I was nervous about if I would be able to enjoy it or even have the energy to walk there, but I did. Concert started at 6 with opening acts, so I timed it to get there at around 730 because person on the phone who I called at Waterfront Concerts told me 7 to 730. Market closes at 7, so took my time getting there, got there at 7, and was told he was in his second song. Perfect!

It felt good to be doing something out of my routine and to have a purpose. I wasn't sure where I was going to sit, but I knew there was a bench right outside the ticketed area I had sat in last year. Found it, some people sitting there but was able to share with them. Got into some mild conversation about country with the guy next to me. He was a Kenny Chesney fan. Had an adorable blonded haired maybe three yr old daughter. There were maybe 20-30 people standing and hanging out behind ticketed area. One older couple dancing, looking totally in love, was so cute. People looked happy to see him.

The sound quality wasn't very good, and neither was the choice of songs. But it was still cool to hear him. His farewell tour. The songs he did that I know were: What Condition your condition is in - with the First Edition, which is a song the oldies station used to play.
Surprising. Very early in show. The song about "She believes in me..." I don't know many Kenny Rogers. There was a woman with him, forget her name. She did Jo Dee Messina's Lessons in Leaving, and THAT made me excited. Not a very good job of it, but exciting to hear a song I knew. Maybe 4 songs I knew.

I stayed for about 45-50 minutes, alternating between standing and sitting. Bench was not great for my back but not as bad as it could have been.

As I was leaving, I saw a guy sitting on the wall by the entrance to the ferry terminal with a sign asking for money. I was following other people hoping to beat my post-event anxiety but when I saw his sign, I didn't want to miss the opportunity for a good conversation. People who are .... disenfranchised often are also much more open, have big hearts and are very engaging to have conversations with. I actually walked back a block or two to give him a dollar, then got into a half hour conversation with him about country music, music in general, life, and the importance of being yourself. Very nice energy about him. We could just barely hear Kenny from there, but when The Gambler came on, his face just lit up and it was so nice to see. His dad used to listen to Kenny Rogers, and it had been his favorite song. He lost his apartment due to high rents, and his job when they found out he was homeless. He's moving to the South for lower cost of living and more jobs there. I just like open people willing to share their stories with me. It made me happy, and made him happy as well. The human connection was obviously worth more than the dollar, but the dollar was the key that opened it up. If only "normal" people were as easy to engage in meaningful, fulfilling, honest conversation as the panhandlers that so much of society denigrates. Not all of them, of course, but I seem to have a good sense of which ones will be. That's the second panhandler I've had a heart to heart conversation with this week!

He used to volunteer in an organization that gave out supplies to homeless people, but now finds himself on the other side unexpectedly. Sad.

The walk back, which I had been fearing so much, actually went fast. Places where I normally would have to take breaks I didn't have to this time. It took only 15 minutes or so to get from ferry terminal to Monument Sq and I didn't even feel exhausted after. I must have been happy because of him. Or else I was aware of my tiredness but not panicking over it, I dunno. I felt somewhat invigorated, like I accomplished something. Walking through the Old Port at night is invigorating also - the nightlife is just.... It's like a different world. I seldom am in the old port at night. All the people spilling out of everywhere, the people outside every resteraunt, it's... there's a sense of joy that pervades.

I timed the bus well and got back to Mon. Sq. around 9:15 for the 920 bus. Saw Mysti briefly. Got on bus. Saw a girl I've met before who works at the candy shop in town and had a very enthusiastic conversation with her the whole way back. We both were out later than usual. Just about the candy shop, being in the old port at night, fancy resteraunts that my dad likes, just a sharing of energy that felt very genuine. I felt in my element and happy to be sharing with her. I felt happy to have gone out of my comfort zone and done something different, and accomplished somehow. To be independent, to have achieved something fun on my own power, without having to beg anyone for help in any way. That was probably it.

So that's hopefully worth the fact that my back hurts more now, but hey it was already hurting somewhat before and a girl has to try to find a way to have fun in her life.

I know that soon after I write this I will likely dip back into anxiety or likely even the despair I had this morning and most of the afternoon, so I am enunciating every detail so that I can remember, joy is possible, even on humid, warm days when your apt feels like a dungeon and outside feels 10 times worse, even when you think there's nothing left in life that could possibly make it worth living, joy is possible. But it always comes where you least expect it.

I thought I'd be so tired I'd need to (try) to take a cab back, but it ended up being the best part, somehow.

The energy put out needs to be countered by benefits somehow.... Can't be all sensory/physical overload .....but if there are enough benefits to counter the risks and sensory.... then good can come. What a delicate balance that is!

Have to overcome my aversion to pain, sensory stuff, etc, in order to have some sort of life and not be panicking all the time. One day at a time.

So THAT was my day. Having a problem with apt, that I can't begin to solve yet, but trying just not to panic and remember life is still possible. One day at a time. I don't know the answer but I am trying to remember not to panic, and I will find my way. Now to eat, watch TV, hope the heating pad helps my back, hope I can sleep, and then do tomorrow. Goodnight all (soon)!

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