Not Worse

Here’s everything I know right now about how I am: I’m Not Worse.

Not Worse. HOORAY!

I feel like this might be confusing. Or discouraging to a Normal Person. Not Worse when you’re really Fairly Terrible and like you Can’t Breathe doesn’t seem particularly encouraging, after all. But if you’re sliding naked down a steep hill, and the hill is covered in brambles, and also shards of glass, and also razor blades, and you Stop Sliding so you’re only bare and bleeding, but not actively incurring more injury, you feel a little celebratory. A little jubulent. A little like, yes, I’m still bleeding out, but SLOWER NOW, so HOORAY!

I’ve been to the behavioral psychologist. I have assignments. So far, I haven’t done them. The problem with assignments is you have to have a brain that Remembers Things, and I don’t. We don’t meet again ’til mid-July, though, so I’m hopeful I can remember by then. Optimism springs eternal.

Because I don’t Remember Things, I blew off my doctor last week.  I had an appointment Monday. I reminded myself all day Sunday then forgot by Monday. A Brain That Works would perhaps have set an alarm. But nope. No alarms for this girl.

I remembered an hour after the appointment with a sudden gasp and an OH SHIT which of course my children heard. Three giggled. The one who’s the rule-following Pharisee was deeply offended. She also detests sarcasm, though, and thinks laundry should be folded, so we can’t take her too seriously, you know?

After I realized I ditched the doctor, I called her office and rescheduled like a grown-up. But because we live in a small town, and because she’s been my doctor for more than 20 years, and because our daughters have danced together, and because she’s been called to the hospital in the middle of the night to prep me for surgery after I suddenly miscarried babies — because we’ve scrapbooked together, and because we’ve adopted children from the same country, because she’s treated me for depression and identified it for me when I couldn’t — she texted me, too.

“Get your booty in here,” she wrote.

I wrote my List of Excuses. The usual ones People Who Aren’t Well use. I meant to. I tried. I wanted to. I’m sorry. I’ll see you next week, I swear. And, because I’m grateful, truly, that I’m not doing this alone, I said thank you. Thank you for riding my butt. 

I ran out to the liquor store later. On my bike because my college kid has claimed my car for the summer to get to work, and because the bike is a good mental health choice. Sunshine. Exercise. Flashing the neighbors because I wore a skirt. All bring me joy.

I bought my dad a bottle of Scotch. I bought my neighbor a bottle of Kraken. I bought my book group a bottle of vodka and prickly pear syrup with lime to make froofy, summer drinks.

Then I rode home.

With my doctor behind me.

Small town, I tell you. Small town.

She asked if I was riding a bike.

I said I was.

She said she really was riding my butt.

I sensed an opportunity to seize some Squandered Mental Health points from the morning.

REDEMPTION AT HAND.

“Do I get to make up any of my lost mental health points by getting out and exercising?” Because we all know we’re on a Points System, yes?

I mean, I can’t keep an appointment with my physician, so Demerits, obviously. But LOOK AT ME: dressed, outside, exercising!

And, you guys, she said YES! I DID get points back!

It was a really lovely 3 seconds.

‘Til she asked what I put in my bike baskets.

And I had to say liquor.

So much for credit.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯

At least I tried.

Maybe I’ll accrue points next week.

Until then I’m Not Worse.

And I’m sending you love.

And waving in the dark,

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ABOUT BETH WOOLSEY I'm a writer. And a mess. And mouthy, brave, and strong. I believe we all belong to each other. I believe in the long way 'round. And I believe, always, in grace in the grime and wonder in the wild of a life lived off course from what was, once, a perfectly good plan.
11 comments
  1. […] By July, I could make myself food. Sometimes even a sandwich, which requires enough brain space to think about multiple steps. It felt like a miracle because, frankly, it was. […]

  2. […] I mean, I’m still sick. […]

  3. This post is fabulous.
    Speaking as a behavioral psychologist- mention that you didn’t do the assignments because of problems remembering them! That’s helpful info for us and something we are a) trained to help deal with! and b) should incorporate IN to how and what we recommend!!!!!!!

  4. Still praying because I told you I was. Every.single.night. Because I care and I love reading your blog. ❤️

  5. YAY YOU for being Not Worse! I get it. I really do, and that can be a great day for those of us struggling in the dark abyss. I’ve learned to be ok with “just ok” and some days “not TOO much worse” is all I can muster. So YAY for Not Worse! Seriously big hugs to you, and so glad your Dr is riding your butt literally and figuratively. 😀

  6. But the liquor was for building community, not just sitting around getting yourself drunk all by your lonesome. Getting yourself drunk (or at least a little buzzed) with friends counts as mental health sometimes, I think. =)

    1. Cherice, what about drinking water if you’re pregnant with your friends while they get buzzed?

  7. Xoxoxoxo. I have missed you since you are the only blogger I read faithfully. You are really inspiring to many. Bless you and I hope and pray for your health and well being.

  8. Thanks for the update! I’ve been wondering and worrying about you from Ohio.
    Also, I’ve been wanting to share this with you:
    https://youtu.be/x2xMucFo2uM
    because, really, it’s what we are all doing. My friend Travis just figured out how to put it music.
    Cheers to better boats! ❤️

    1. I love that song Kimberley, thank you for sharing it ❤️

  9. I absolutely LUV your naked vulnerability & your wicked humor. So. Much. Honesty!
    If I were t already in a book club I’d join yours. I do t have the moxie to speak up,
    but all too often, you are Me. You Go. You Skirt-Ride that bike. Seriously, you’re
    my favorite hero & I freekn LOVE Wonder Woman. Word-Hugs from over here.

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