The Laughter Assignment (Or When Sort Of Has to be Enough)

So… I blogged a few days ago about the song 1-800-273-8255 by Logic, and the fact that my friend M has been seriously suicidal for weeks now.  The dirty, low down truth is that I’ve been struggling with suicidal thoughts myself for much of the past two weeks.  Not active, I’ve-got-a-plan thoughts.  Just passive, -what-is-the-point-of-my-god-forsaken-life thoughts.  I shared this with my therapist this past Monday in our session.  She wasn’t exactly stunned – it’s something I’ve struggled with on and off since losing E.

Here’s the thing I told my therapist, A.  I get up every day.  I shower, put on my big girl panties (or jeans – my uniform), check my Cozi (family calendar) and SHOW UP.  I do the things I’m supposed to do, every day.  I go to appointments, volunteer, make dinner, do laundry.  I occasionally even clean my house.  I try to work out once in a great while. As a recovering addict, I try and be of service to other addicts.  I am living my life.  But I don’t feel like I am living a life worth living.

So A reminds me that I am living for my daughter, N.  I say… well, sort of.  She reminds me that I want to go back to school.  I shrug, “sort of.”  She reminds me that I am working on my memoir and I halfheartedly murmur “sort of”…  I am sort of living for all of these things.  And I sort of wish all these things would just go away so that I had an excuse to well, you know, NOT be living for these things.  But A’s challenge back to me is that SORT OF is enough.  Sort of writing a memoir is a lot more writing than a lot of people ever do in their life time, even though they may pine to be a writer their whole lives.  Sort of living for my (albeit difficult) teenager is a lot more profound when I remember that I am lucky enough to have a living child.  And sort of planning to go back to school in three years can be the beginning of a pretty solid foundation considering I now have three whole years to plan my educational career, and maybe even get an odd class or two in in the interim.  Yeah, point taken, I guess sort of is a hell of a long way from not-at-all.

But the truth is that I am exhausted right now in my recovery, and in my life.  Staying clean, and parenting a challenging teenager on top of it, is all but sucking the life out of me physically and emotionally.  I have received a lot of discouraging news lately and people around me are depressed and struggling.  Life feels bleak.

So to rub salt in the wound, my ever-chipper therapist has decided to give me a happiness assignment.  Her challenge to me: find one thing a day that makes you laugh. ONE THING.  “Can I count the fact that you are giving me this assignment?”  I thought caustically.  Of course, I received the assignment on Monday, and so far, I’ve failed two out of the three days since.  But I’m trying, A, I’m trying.  I swear.  Yesterday, it was the fact that I informed N that Jojo (our dog) seemed to be enjoying his own testicle sweat as his breakfast of choice.  Hey, you had to be there.

In the mean time, I’m trying to wrap my head around the idea that Sort Of is good enough.  I’m staying in touch with friends, and being honest with a very chosen one or two about how deeply I am struggling.  I am listening to the Logic song a lot.  It helps.   Maybe for now I’ll go watch some stupid youtube videos.

Pain don’t hurt the same, I know
The lane I travel feels alone
But I’m moving ’til my legs give out
And I see my tears melt in the snow…