Gratitude Challenge, Days 11-13

I thought it would be a couple days until my next post, and I was right. Funny how that works. My friend who was leaving Houston was crashing at my place all weekend, and so taking the chance to spend a little extra time with her before she left took up much of my time. It also made watching her go extremely hard on me; the last couple years have really brought out the big guns when it comes to making me turn on the waterworks, but that’s not what this is about. This is about trying to find something good in all the sadness. So, without further ado, the challenge steps.

So, nine things I’m grateful for. Well, one is just the ability to express my emotions. I still don’t do it well, but I’m slowly learning how to get things out when I need to; that might come in handy sooner or later. Second, Pandora Radio; I’ve listened to a lot of music the last few days, and it often seems to be reading my mind as to what I want or need to hear. Third, the ability to help out my friends when they ask, and to figure out where the line is for how far I can go down that road. Fourth, some of the ridiculous books I unbox at work; seeing some of the titles or topics is good for some laughs, even if I’m just cackling madly to myself. Five, Golem Arcana; it’s a game I picked up after a recommendation from Penny Arcade, and I’m looking forward to the chance to play it. Six, being able to reach out to a friend who I thought was gone, especially now; I’ll accept any help I can get. Seven, knowing that there are so many people who seem to care about me, even without my always knowing or acknowledging it; it’s hearing from someone unexpected that can really brighten a day. Eight, the simple joy of kicking butt in a video game, without having to worry about dying, strategy, or stress – that’s what always made the IDKFA code fun for me. And nine, the fact that I’ve been out of treatment for almost two years, and had a lot of stuff happen to me, and I’m still moving forward with life instead of wallowing in depression.

As I worked today, that was my exercise, but my weekend was somewhat out of whack schedule- and activity-wise, so I didn’t do much on either the exercise or meditation fronts; having a houseguest for three days who has an even stranger sleep schedule than me really threw me off. I’ll be trying to get those back on track, even as I try to process my friend being gone.

As for a positive experience over the last couple days…hmm. Well, Sunday night, my friend and I decided to go out for one last dinner in Houston, to a place she’d been curious about for a while; she’s a pescetarian (eats only fish and vegetables), and so she wanted to try out a salad place called – hold the groans – Extraveganza. It was a nice enough seeming place, though I think we got there just as they were about to start closing up for the night, so things weren’t as well-organized as they could have been. And while I didn’t order a salad – it wouldn’t have been much of one, considering that even with the abundance of veggies they had, they didn’t have most of the ones I like – I did order a flatbread/wrap thing, which turned out pretty well. She got her salad full of things that barely looked like vegetables, let alone food, and we headed back to my place. I don’t think it was as good as she was hoping, but I think she was happy to have tried something new as one of her last things in Houston and I was happy to have been able to do that with her, even if it wasn’t quite my scene. She, along with my other friends in the area, have been partially responsible for my trying a lot of new things over the last two years, and so I wanted to try something new one last time as a going-away gesture. So we came back to my place, we ate, we talked, and then I turned on Netflix and we watched the first couple hilariously bizarre episodes of the Netflix original series The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt before she conked out on my couch. I think that’s something that will stick with me for a while.

And so, to my friend: I don’t know if you still read my blog, but the two years I have known you have been two of the strangest and yet most enjoyable of my life. We’ve had a lot of strange conversations, supported each others through some very tough and traumatic moments, and you have been basically everything I could ask for in a friend. I’m grateful to have gotten to know you; a couple of weeks later, and we might never have met. I’m going to miss you stopping by and dragging me to get frozen yogurt, or bringing your dog over to visit so I could wrap him up in a blanket like a tiny canine burrito, and just the times when we would sit, late at night, and talk honestly about all the things that were going through our heads and what we might be able to do about them. I know this move will be great for you, and I have faith that even though you’re no longer in Houston, you’ll still be in touch, and you’ll be able to tell me about how awesome things start going when you get set in California. Good luck, and I hope for nothing but the best for you.

And yes, I was crying as I typed that last part. Don’t judge me. I know I haven’t lost my friend – but my life as it has been for the last two years has just had a major change, and it’s messing with my head.

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