By winter my life was full.
My job was full-time even though as a senior flight attendant I only had to work a few flights a week which amounted to about twenty hours. My art classes and painting in the garage continued. I stopped by the Town Duck and danced once a week. I walked everyday. And I tried to go to church at least three times a month and took bible study when I could.
It all made me tired. It also kept me from brooding, from engaging in behaviors that Dr. Lebensohn believed would put me at risk for another episode.
I was still sick. I felt sick because of migraines and recurring sinus infections. I also knew I was not back to normal because of the way my mind seemed to work .... or not work. When I was on the job flying, I only felt comfortable limiting my conversations to "Would you like chicken or beef." There was a constant fear that I might enter into bizarre behavior if I trespassed into anything more substantial. When I talked in art class, I was able to feel more spontaneous because I had opinions I enjoyed sharing with amiable colleagues. And with my new friend Robyn, it was easy to talk about anything. She was open and off beat enough that I didn't worry about some psychological mishap being taken as strange or off-putting.
But deep inside there was still that nagging feeling that the person others saw in me really wasn't there. And sometimes it wasn't. My brother Russell would be talking with me and notice that my eyes would glaze over and my body language would show no sign of following. I was afraid that others might notice this too. And because I apparently wasn't in control of where my mind went during these times, the "I" that took these far off journeys seemed separate from the "I" that wanted to feel well and confident.
But this was my state. And Dr. Lebensohn knew all about it. He seemed to understand it and understand some aspect of me that was real and important. I would share these concerns, he would acknowledge and accept them, and then reassure me that I would be able to be capable, successful, and enjoy my life if I continued to build one, one step at a time. But it still made me tired.
To be continued ...