My body has, for some reason, decided to completely give up on regulating its temperature.
At first, I thought it may have had something to do with the beer I drank earlier in the week. Then, I thought maybe my A/C was on the fritz. Or perhaps it has something to do with my completely erratic eating habits. All I know is that my feet are sweaty.
I’m not exactly proud of myself. And I have no excuses. I basically got a case of the “fuck-its,” and decided to drink. I would’ve had nine months sober today. Instead, I have three days.
I saw my psychiatrist today, and we decided that I will go back on a very low dose of Clozapine. I’ve been having breakthrough hallucinations and paranoia. I have also lost my ability to sleep for more than three consecutive hours, so we’re hoping that the Clozapine will help with that too. I stay up too late, manic as all hell, texting my friends complete nonsense, and then I’m up by 4:30 AM.
Food is not really going well either. Everywhere I go, people tell me how good I look and that I’ve lost a lot of weight. I know they mean it as a compliment, but it doesn’t make me feel good. My favorite pair of skinny jeans, which I could once barely button, now look like sweat pants on me. I actually want to gain some weight just so my clothes will fit me better.
One of the bright spots in all of this is the young man I have been seeing. He is so different from the previous men I have been with. He’s kind, funny, intelligent, and thoughtful. He doesn’t smoke or use drugs, barely drinks, and doesn’t drink around me. (And he makes fun of me for vaping.)
He is also an amazing cook. The other night, he made shrimp linguine. Honestly, I was terrified. I don’t eat a lot of pasta, and when I do, I usually go for the whole grain stuff.
I ate what I thought was about half of the food, and told him how delicious it was. “You barely ate anything,” he said. “Do you not like it?”
“I ate, like, half of it!” I said. He gave me a look. “Do you want me to eat more?”
“Yes. I want you to finish it.” He said it gently.
I knew I had two choices. I could’ve thrown a shit fit and left (like I’ve done so many times in treatment), or I could’ve a eaten the food. So, I decided to eat. In that moment, I was absolutely livid. I wanted to strangle him. But ultimately, I was grateful that he’d encouraged me to eat. I knew I needed the food, it tasted good, and sometimes it’s easier when someone just says, “Katherine, you need to eat X amount of food.”
I have told him about some of my past, and he is very understanding. He lets me take things at my own pace, and doesn’t touch my neck. He asks me all the time, “Is this okay? Are you sure?” And for once, I actually feel safe enough to say no when I need to.
I went to synagogue tonight. It was a lay-led service, and I was asked to sing and read a poem. Unfortunately, I had absolutely nothing to read, but I read from Mishkan T’filah (our prayer book) and sang “Shalom Rav,” my favorite song.
I have been having a hard time with my faith lately. The night I drank, I decided I was going to quit AA, that if G-d is out there, he had certainly forsaken me.
I did end up going back to AA—the very next day, actually. I hung my head, picked up my 24-hour chip, and ducked out of there before anyone could hug me.
Tonight at the synagogue, the band Jubilation was there. I absolutely adore their music. My main way of connecting to G-d is through music. As I swayed along with the gentle acoustic guitar and the beautiful harmonies, I felt a wave of peace wash over me.
Maybe, just maybe, G-d is out there and wants what’s best for me. Like my choir director, who used to drill us on proper singing posture and “tall vowels,” she wanted us to push ourselves to be our very best, but to never lose sight of the joy of music.
When it was my turn to sing, my voice flowed out of me. I smiled.