Every morning, when I open my eyes and I slip out of the cozy comforts of dreamland (I always have great dreams) and crash to the hard floor of reality, I tell myself, “Go, get up, you can do this. Go find something fun. Something to give you pleasure, something to bump your dopemine. There will be something in this day to make it worth getting out of this bed. Even if it’s just to smoke weed. You love weed.”
Weed never fails unless of course, I’m out. Out of pot. Nightmare.
This admission reeks of sad and pathetic. First that I have to give myself a pep talk Stuart Smiley Style just to get out of bed. Sad. Second, pleasing myself is vital. In a life or death kind of way. Pathetic.
Third, my fall back pleasure principle is marijuana (fill in your own judgy adjective here, I do).
Mary Jane wraps her Big Mama arms around my shoulders and holds me tight against her soft, soft (and maybe a little sweaty) bosom and rocks me while singing Everything is Gonna be Alright, in a perfect-pitch Bob Marley lulluby. I get sleepy and she strokes my hair as I am pulled back into Dreamland.
My boss doesn’t do that. The jerk-hole who cut me off this morning while having a fight with her crying teenaged son doesn’t do that. My cats don’t do that. My mother doesn’t even do that.
WHY DO I NEED THAT??
I can’t always smoke pot. Well, the law says I can’t always smoke pot. Really, it’s just bad form to let your professional associates see you stoned. That’s the only reason I am not high every second of this life. That and the conflict between my own taste for the good stuff and my beer budget.
Anyway, when I have to get out of my head and I can’t get out of my head, I use a tip I heard on a self help program. “List the things you appreciate,” is the advice. I dismissed this idea the instant I heard it just based on pure dorkiness. It takes way too much effort to summon my inner Polyanna to use it on the daily. I have to save that for family deaths and any child I may come across.
The idea announced itself again once when I was driving in my car alone after a huge disappointment that caused me to forget I was a lioness and had me howling like a hurt kitten. I had just put on some fresh makeup and this ugly cry just could not continue. I had places to be.
Through my tears and with a shaky voice, I recite the easy stuff.
“I appreciate my car,” I say out loud, giving the steering wheel an adoring stroke. It’s paid off and pretty zippy.
“I appreciate my family,” I say proudly. An image of the recent memorial services for my two closest cousins lost to alcoholism nine months apart came to mind. The tears come again. I am frantic for a new thought to replace this unexpectedly poor choice. The panic seizes any thought I might have and I wait it out a minute, sniffling and gasping like a four year old who skinned her knee.
I stop at a red light and have a quick look around. It was a beautiful, sunny day.
“I appreciate this beautiful, sunny climate,” I say with the voice of a four year old who skinned her knee. Pollyanna ain’t got shit on me.
“I appreciate this green arrow, because I remember what it was like to drive before green arrows and it sucked.” Not really a profound thought, but I’m getting the hang of it. I could maybe find a better descriptive word than, “sucked,” but not the time to be picky.
“I appreciate Circle K’s because they have Polar Pops and cigarettes and both of those things are… awesome.” My vocabulary is limited to the basics and I am not trying to pressure myself right now.
Conclusion: I got my Polar Pop (Dr. Pepper and crushed ice) and cigarettes and all was right with the world. Well, my world. For the moment. Sometimes that hokey shrink shit works.