Thursday, I met with M.M. at the Ghetto Clinic for my first session that shouldn't have involved paperwork and cranky computers, and then my first Depression Support Group. Two hours of over the top fun, yay!
I made coffee, chewed a Clonzepam, and headed into The Jungle. Great parking, watched the little nursery school kiddies line up in pairs, holding hands. "Who's your buddy? Find your buddy." Little pink sun dresses and tiny t-shirts and shiny black shoes. I smiled at a little one in pig-tails.
I enter the building and am reassured that all is well when I see that way overweight black lady asleep in her wheelchair in her usual place by the wall. Head loosely hanging backwards, a small snore gasps as I walk by to the marble stairs.
My session begins on time. I think I said two sentences along the lines of "yeah, a couple of weeks ago, I had a terrible relapse...suicidal thoughts, the tiredness, the fetal position, booze, etc."
"Did you make it to work?"
And then he launched into some hippie-nature, re-align your chakras, stop drinking filling your body with poison, friendships/connections are hard when they don't work out the way you plan, breath in with the good out with the bad, smell the roses, and here's a couple of books you should read.
Apparently, I don't need Therapy, I need a fucking Library Card.
It's cool, I mean the stuff he talks about is interesting, and I even agree with most of it. But, shouldn't I be saying something?
Then, on to the Support Group-- 15 minutes late because he was telling me something. The Clonzepam had really kicked in. Hey, man, I am totally focused in on your head. I got a touch of motherfucking Tunnel Vision going on and everything is calm and outlined in black ink...like the first time I got High with T.T. by the Riverbend Park/The Resevoir and then in the Mall parking lot in summer 1988. "Mac, if I have to smoke another damn joint to get you high, I am going to kill you. Get out of the car and turn around 3 times. Let's go to the arcade."
Only two people showed up for Group. Someone forgot to call anyone. To my left, a maybe 65 year old thin white woman who loves babies, kittens, puppies, and, to my right, an Arabian (?) man with a shag carpet worth of the blackest hair on his arms suffering from Depression, Anxiety, too much sleep, loneliness, lack of interest in life, and Schizophrenia, and a sloppy fashion sense. Basically my Middle-eastern Doppelganger.
M.M. throws in a tape. It's one of those Sounds of the Forest relaxation tapes with a voice-over done by a sexy, seductive female voice like Lara Croft in a sterile lab coat.
With canned birds tweeting and barely audible "whooshes" of leaves in the wind, Lara instructs us to get comfortable and prepare to relax. Breath in through our noses for four seconds, hold it for four seconds, then exhale slowly out our mouth for four seconds. Rinse and repeat.
She guides us to The Gate. This is our Gate. Picture The Gate (we can choose what it looks like...mine's a stone one with green metal arch). Now open The Gate and step inside and shut it behind us. Lock it. No one can come in here unless we specifically invite them. Velvet Rope Access only, fuckos!
Now let's walk down The Path. What does The Path look like? Is it paved or earthen. (I went with a well-trodden dirt path, thank you). Imagine walking along the wooded Path. The trees, the bushes, the lush green ferns, wild flowers, and other such pretty nature stuff. The sun is shining on the leaves (Breath!). We walk awhile and come across a stream (or brook or river: you decide!...Breath!). We can sit on the shore, or on a rock in the middle, or put our feet in the water, or pick up a pebble from under the water (Choose Your Own Adventure!). Then we lay back under a tree and stare at the blue-blue sunny sky, um, well, breathing.
Now it's time to go, so back up The Path, through the woods and back to The Gate. We lock The Gate (ain't no one stealing my ferns, punk).
The clock over M.M.'s head says it's 1:30 p.m. I have a half hour to go home, change, and rush to work. What little relaxation the lovely Lara's given me is quickly ebbing away.
At work, I down another Clonzepam because it's been rather nice feeling even all day. Not totally even, but for the most part, just a delicate hint of anger and sadness, a sprinkling if you will. The drug allows me a gentle calmness, a bit Zombied, relaxed...a sort of Enjoyable Apathy.
And then I realize the following quotes have been running through my mind all day long:
"It don't mean nothing, man. It don't mean nothing...Come on, man...You owe it to yourself...It don't mean nothing. Not a thing, man. It don't mean nothing. Not a thing. It don't mean nothing. Not a thing."
"I don't give a fuck, holmes!"
"Never get out of the boat. Absolutely goddamn right. Unless you were goin' all the way."