Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Chicken Soup for the Bus Adventuring Soul (Or, My Trip to the Bookstore)

Having nothing to do and no-one to meet, a rarety for me, and getting up too late to even go to the hot dog stand, I was left with a decision. A decision of how I would engage with the world for the requisite couple hours to shut off my brain and distract myself from, well, me. You know how it is - getting out of our heads can take an act of Congress. At least for me! I have to remind myself there is a world outside of all the crises and paranoid visions of disaster going on in my head on a daily basis, in order to survive. Which, given my problems tolerating the outside world, is an interesting dilemma sometimes!

So, I had been doing so well tolerating the Westbrook bus, I decided I would try the mall bus and go to the big chain bookstore by the mall. (I am never going to the mall again.) I haven't been on the mall bus in several years, and like everything else, was scared of it. But, having little to lose other than the rest of my sanity, I decided to try it. I had tried the bookstore a few weeks ago with my caseworker and tolerated it.

The bus driver on the way there was the guy who used to drive the Falmouth bus when I lived in Yarmouth 2.5 yrs ago, so it was nice to see him again, a friendly face. My knees are killing me now, but I'm trying to be positive.

Books A Million: Where you can walk around for an hour ooh-ing and ahh-ing over all kinds of interesting things and still not get around to perusing a single book. Because the books definitely take second string to the toys,games,magazines and etc there. But hey, it amused me, I enjoyed looking at stuff, and when I was done, O grabbed a book and sat on the surprisingly comfortable chairs and read for half an hour. I also found some things to get for Rob's birthday, which is a good thing, as well as something for Nate and for my grandma. For me, I found a sticky note pad that said OY VEY and made me laugh. I spent more than I would have liked, but only a few dollars an item and it seemed like as long as I was there, I should make use of it.

Getting back was a little tricky. The bus driver told me I could go to JC Penney or Hannaford, but dropped me off at Macy's, and neglected to tell me that the bus comes to Macy's BEFORE the time listed on the bus schedule, not after. I got there 3 minutes before but apparently still missed it. I figured, it's a bus stop, the schedule says 750, it's 747, what's the problem? 20 minutes later, it became apparent it was not going to come. Back to the bookstore to wait an hour for the next  bus, and this time I decided to use the Hannaford stop. Which was somewhat nostalgic as it's what I used to do in 2007 when I used to come a lot. Finding Hannaford took me a couple tries (it's BEHIND the bookstore, not in front!), but I got there, and this time the bus came exactly when it was supposed to. A kind driver explained my mistake. No fragrance issues, knock on wood.

I still thought I'd miss the 925 bus back to my apt when we got back downtown, and have to wait 45 minutes in the dark for the next one, but as we got closer I realized we were very close to Maine Med. So I asked the driver if he went near Maine Med. He turned at Congress and St John (I think) which APPEARED to be very close. However, it turned out to be a 12 min walk uphill, and I was very frustrated by the end. I was yelling out loud to release my angst and swearing never to do that again. Live and learn. I've not walked further up that hill than the Mexican grocery store a few blocks down. On the plus side, now I know what Salvage BBQ looks like. It's quite hard to figure out where you are in the dark when you've passed the last thing you recognize and just want to be home already, but I suppose it was better than waiting 45 minutes for a connecting bus. I was going to take a cab, but thought it would only be a 5 minute walk.

So I am home, and I know my knees will hurt, but I am glad to be able to say I tried something new, and made myself get out of the house and out of my head for 2 hours. I may complain about physical pain, but thank goodness that the sense of desperation, anxiety and depression over having nothing I feel capable of doing has been at least lessened for another day.

And so I fight, one day at a time, to be part of this world in a way I can tolerate.

Thank you  for coming on this journey with me.

I spent half the time I was in Books a Million reading a copy of the Chicken Soup for the Soul book on Positive Thinking (Okay, yes, I'm still a hidden self improvement junkie) so I might as well apply that here if I can.

Lessons Learned: That huge Maine Med sign that you can see from like a mile away? Yeah, objects in the distance may apear closer than they are, lol.

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