Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Lord of the Super-Fly

My therapist's name is Yoda.  Well, really it's Karen...but I call her Yoda and she clearly digs it.  I think I'm totally her favorite patient because she says things like I'm "very entertaining" (um, clinically?) and that she can't believe how much happens in my life in one week.  She once showed me a sample of the notes she took during an appointment last fall and they were hysterical.  It was like a dating flow chart.  "Quinn? Still in.  Freddie? Out.  T?  Questionable."

2010 was a rough year.  In fact, 2010 will go down in the history of my life (as if anyone is compiling one) as The Year I Died in Denver.  It started in January when I said goodbye to my foster daughter of 6 months.  It heated up when I lost the promotion I killed myself to get in February.  It continued with my husband almost drinking himself to death in March (he had a .43 blood alcohol level when I checked him into detox).  It kept on rolling when we decided to separate in May and when he finally moved out at the end of June.  And then on July 26, I died on an operating table during the surgery to replace my defunct defibrillator.

(To be fair, they killed me on purpose to make sure that the defib would work properly.  Which to me is a little like amputating a leg to make sure that your artificial knee is a keeper...but I'm sure they know best.)

I started seeing Yoda in May 2010, I think.  So she sort of got onboard the Titanic late, like Jack Dawson and Fabrizio when they won their tickets in that ill-fated poker game.  And she's been helping me analyze the iceberg ever since.

Yoda is very perceptive and a great listener.  She also is maybe the only person who gets my attachment to Barry Manilow and truly understands what I mean when I say that there were moments last summer and fall where I could distinctly hear a huge Barry Manilow song swell up in the background, as if my life were a tear-jerker of a chick flick.

Yoda, listening to some awesome Barry Manilow tunes.

And to be fair, in 2010 it kind of was.  I struggled mightily with depression and with dating and with just about everything else except sarcasm, self-loathing and snarky Facebook status posts.  And during my darkest hours, Yoda was there in my head, guiding and navigating and fundamentally changing the way I think about things.

A sample exchange from last summer:

A:  But how will I shovel my driveway?  I'm not supposed to do anything that strenuous because of the whole heart failure thing.  Who is going to take care of me?
Y:  It's July, Andrea.  How about we just get you through the next 24 hours?


Y:  What is that you're really afraid of with the heart surgery?
A:  I'm afraid I'm going to die.
Y:  Let's go with that.  So, you die.  Big deal.  Depending on your belief system you'll either go to heaven or everything will just stop.  Either way, no more pain.
A:  Okay, but no deviled eggs on the buffet or non-premium liquor at the bar at my funeral cocktail party.  And my obituary better have a skinny photo of me.  I don't care if it has to be photoshopped.

Then something miraculous happened...I got better.  And on my last visit, we decided that we'd start throttling back my appointments to every other week.  Mostly we're still working on my self-esteem, which ought to buy her a nice weekend place in the mountains at some point.  It seems I tend to base my self-worth on my relative attractiveness to the opposite sex and this isn't really how it's supposed to work.  Who knew?

A sample of our conversations on this topic:

A:  Whenever I get on a plane, I always check the other passengers to make sure I'm one of the most attractive women.  That way, if the plane crashes and we have to build a new society on an island somewhere, I'll be favored as a breeder.  Is that normal?
Y:  I think what you're really asking is "is that healthy?"  And I'd have to say it's on the extreme end of the bell curve.  And by the way, you can't have children, so how would you be favored?
A:  But they won't know I can't have children.  I'd totally tell them I have 4 kids at home.  And then I'd go all Lord of the Flies on them.

It is so strange to me that other people don't feel or think this way.  That some people just have an innate sense of their worth... and don't have to spend thousands of dollars on pencil skirts at White House Black Market to get there.  And what is the point of looking this cute if it doesn't really matter anyway?

So I think Yoda and I will have many more discussions on the I work my way to the other side of the bell curve, where I'll apparently be wearing Birkenstocks in a Drum Circle, feeling deliriously happy about how spectacular I am. 

Til then, I'll keep trying to appreciate how life looks atop 4 inch stilettos.  Plus, White House Black Market is having a sale!


  1. It was a .326 at detox - it was a .43 at the emergency room. Although reading this post I *do* see the tendency for exaggeration...

  2. ER = doorway to detox. Exaggerate? Act like you know me.

  3. had to go to detox with a .326? pussy.