Being off of medication, I'm doing a lot of reflection on what I'm feeling. Very anxious, very depressed. I want relief from these feelings, but I wonder if I'm supposed to feel them for some reason. I've fought through the anxiety, logically talking down fears, and even though it's a lot less severe, I still can't sleep in the morning once I've woken up. Thoughts become scary and uncomfortable. Am I supposed to accept them and experience them, even though they interrupt my sleep? The depressed thoughts are becoming more prominent. It's hard to see meaning and value in our tiny and meaningless lives. I see too much of what is wrong with our reality and it infects my thinking. I see how much terrifying effort it would take to change anything on a large scale. Everyone is so angry and terrified. Everyone is suffering. And I feel it. I internalize it. I don't know how I'm supposed to work through this. I don't know how I can accept my feelings and see what "god" has planned for me. I'm just so very afraid. It feels like I will never feel okay again. I keep trying to remember nothing is forever, these feelings aren't forever, and I get relief sometimes. But every morning I'm reminded of my situation. Is it brain chemistry that needs to be regulated with medication? Or am I supposed to be this way? And if I'm supposed to be this way, will I actually get better by working through it? I'm afraid of starting medication yet again. I wonder what I will miss while on them. But in modern working society where I still am not creating art, it's probably more advantageous to numb a bit of these intense and awful feelings. I just hate what that means. We're pacified so we accept our unfair reality. I don't know how to accept the amount of control upon our lives (when I have so little control of my own). But I also don't really know how to start creating anything that reflects how I feel, especially while I'm still feeling the brunt of it. And that just makes me bitter about how I grew up. Lots of resentment. I wish I hadn't been so afraid, I wish I was more encouraged to express myself. Video games were relief, escape from reality. I wish I still got the same enjoyment out of them. I wish I got enjoyment out of anything. I keep trying to do the same things to find comfort and it doesn't work. I want so badly for it to be easy and it just isn't. I know I have to write. I know I have to read. I know I have to listen to and play a lot more music. It's so very scary and hard to. I fear the feelings that come with it and I don't know how to face that fear. I remember listening to music in my room in high school, feeling amazing while singing and wanting to perform in front of others. I still imagine myself doing what I actually want and putting myself out there. But I compare myself to everyone else who does music. I convince myself that I can't reach that greatness. And the downfall of me listening to music on a daily basis was feeling so small and insignificant in comparison with who they were and what they were accomplishing. I stopped listening to music because of feelings. Yet I know the only way I can utilize my feelings for the greater good is through music. Why is it so terrifying? Why am I so afraid to face what I think and feel when I know it will ultimately make me better? I fear the process of extreme emotion, I fear the discomfort and struggle. My brain tries to protect me by convincing me to avoid anything that makes me feel, because my feelings make me suffer. But I can't stand being a hermit and not utilizing my life. It's the back and forth of I have to do the thing and I really don't want to do the thing. Once again bringing me back to the resentment of how I grew up. I wasn't forced enough to do what I didn't want to. And now it's so fucking hard to do what I really need to. I want to be better but I want it to be easier. That's why I wonder if I'll accomplish more if I'm on medication. Or will I just become complacent and lazy? These are the cycles my brain makes every day. My energy and memory are eaten up by over thinking everything instead of doing anything. But I've internalized that doing stuff results in potentially bad feelings. And the cycle continues. So here I am, sitting here and writing this all out, chasing some sort of revelation that will make me feel better. When in reality, I'll just have to force myself to push through feelings and take action. I need to accept it. Sooner rather than later. Please.

Me: "I'm going to talk to him. Someone has to make the first move and it might as well be me."

Her: "Just be careful, don't bring me into it."

Me: "This doesn't have anything to do with you, this is between me, and him."

Her: "Don't do anything to upset him or make a scene."

Me: "Think back to when we first met. In the entire time that you've known me have you ever known me to make the kind of scene that you're talking about?"

Her: "Well no."

Me: "Would you have known anything was up when that guy complained about me to management if I wouldn't have told you?"

Her: "No, I don't think so."

Me: "That was a much bigger deal than this, and I had help, but I didn't involve many others in my drama because I didn't feel that was fair to them. You told me not to tell my manager so I left her out of it even though I could have really used her take on the situation and next time I will just tell her myself regardless of the outcome. I don't have a problem with this guy. He doesn't have a problem with me. We understand each other, we don't need words to communicate. He says hi and bye to me and that's pretty much what I say to him. He has his space and I have mine. Those are the rules and we both obey them. That's why the relationship works."

Her: "What about the conversation about where you work? I still can't believe they brought it up instead of either of you."

Me: "It was probably coming up sooner or later. It did and now we both know how the other person is going to handle that type of a conversation. The one rule I had was that I didn't want things to be awkward when I went there. He broke that rule and he found out what the consequences were for his actions when I ignored his question. That's why he smiled at me the way that he did on Friday. He knew that me coming back in there and wishing him a Merry Christmas meant that he had been forgiven and I wasn't going to hold anything against him. That's how we communicate."

Her: "Well I just know what happened when I tried to make him feel more comfortable. It didn't work."

Me: "You can't tell people like that things. You have to show them. I didn't have to say a thing for him to know that there was a power and energy shift. Words don't make sense to him the way that actions do. I was pretty quiet and he knows that's not like me. He doesn't look me in the eye, he really doesn't say anything to me, but everyone who works for him treats me like a VIP. The smile was his way of saying 'thank you' to me for coming back and being who I am. He trusts me, he respects me, and he wasn't trying to hold anything back. It was actually a really cool moment."

Her: "Well I'm glad they're treating you well there. What a mess. I just have to find a way to get over him."

Me: "I'm not necessarily sure that you should. You could, but if he's still on your mind and you're still on his, there's enough people who saw relationship potential between you for me to think you may be better off trying to move forward rather than back off entirely."

Her: "How am I going to do that? It's not like I can walk in there and apologize to him."

Me:  "Actually, I think you could. But I wouldn't recommend that strategy. I was really hesitant about going back because I didn't want to be in a position where he's trying to get information about you out of me and you want to know what happened when I went in there. But I guess that was kind of naive of me, and I do care deeply about both of you. He likes the same things about you that I do, he doesn't want you to change who you are as a person. Your habits are different than your personality. He's a lot quieter now, I don't know if that's just when I'm around, but even if it is, he did some growing and thinking."

Her: "You don't owe me anything. He has issues. I just have to work on myself and find a way to get over him once and for all."

Me: "Sweetheart, we all have issues. I think if you understood him better you'd see that some of the things you think are issues are just who he is as a person and there just aren't a lot of other people like him."

Her: "He couldn't even hand me his keys. That right there tells me he's afraid of me."

Me: "Perhaps. Or he could be respecting your personal space since he doesn't know how you feel about him."

Her: "He hands everyone else his keys. Why not me?"

Me: "Because he likes you. He doesn't know where your boundaries are at so he's trying to test them. He isn't making assumptions about you and your space and I actually think that was very smart of him."

Her: "It's just his keys. It's not like I'm going to attack him while he's in line."

Me: "You hand someone your keys and then they have to give them back to you. He removed the possibility of your hands touching by setting the keys down instead of handing them to you. He's telling you, look, you're safe with me even though you're trapped behind the counter and I'm coming through your line. You don't have to touch me if you don't want to, my keys are going to sit there until I'm positive that you feel comfortable enough around me for me to hand you my keys. That was the message he was trying to send in my opinion. It was respectful and you're interpreting it as a sign of disrespect."

Her: "Are you freaking kidding me?"

Me: "You told him you wanted to be his friend and that you weren't interested in a boyfriend. Men have to be super careful or their behavior can be misinterpreted as stalking or threatening a woman. You're a cashier, you have to ring him up if he goes through your line unless you want to make a scene and he doesn't want that. He wants you to be safe and he wants you to be happy. He can't go through your line every single time because that's not efficient and then he thinks he might deserve the creepy stalker label."

Her: "I tried being nice to him and I did flirt with him when he came through my line."

Me: "If you ask me, that's the single biggest reason he's where he's at today. Your words and actions were inconsistent. He was fine with the friend zone, he was fine with you flirting with him. But when you told him you wanted to be his friend and then you were flirty with him, he was very confused and that created turbulent emotions inside of him. You can say whatever you want to someone like him, but you had better make sure your actions back that up or he won't trust you."

Her: "I was being consistent. Things were going well. A woman has the right to change her mind about how she feels about someone."

Me: "Absolutely. But then you need to communicate that to him in a clear and unmistakable manner. Until he hears an update from you he's going to be forced to assume that the only thing you want from him is friendship, and since he wants to be a lot more than just your friend, people like that are very loyal and they work very hard to understand others and see things from other perspectives, but when they think that a personal problem can't be resolved, they leave. They're no longer interested in conflict resolution, they're done."

Her: "You called it. I didn't think he would ever stop shopping there. Not when he came in every single day of the week. I'm only human. I make mistakes. This is what being in a relationship with someone like him would be like, one fight and he's done. I'm better off without him. I can't go through this ever again."

Me: "Did you read that article I sent you on why you should go out with the person who will break your heart?"

Her: "What? No."

Me: "I'll send it to you again."

Her: "What did it say?"

Me: "I"ll send it to you. Safety is an illusion. You aren't safe keeping him out of your life and he isn't safer because he doesn't shop there anymore. You're both suffering needlessly because you don't understand how the other person communicates. If you can't resolve this the same problem is going to keep cropping up again and again because there are other men out there who are like or similar to him, a lot of times people cross our paths to teach us these kinds of lessons. It's like math, you get stuck on one level because it builds on itself and you need that skill before you can advance. Otherwise you'll keep getting the same times of problems over and over and over again. You can run away from your problems or you can get new and better information and resources and face them. Do you think it was easy for me to reach out to him knowing what I do? Of course not. Do you think it was easy for me to walk away from a chiropractor I liked and cut ties with him for good? That was hard for me to do, but now I can see why I had so much trouble with him. I'm a thinker and he's a feeler. We had a ton of sexual chemistry and that was fun for both of us, but we had conversation after conversation where we talked past each other. Neither of us understood the other person. There is such a thing as too much emotional support. I do not need a man who fusses over me and wants to have a lot of discussions about how I feel. That is not sexy to me. That's dismissing what I'm good at and it gave him the upper hand so I felt like I was even more of an emotional train wreck than I was and I think that's what you're doing to him. We do not want your facts and feelings. We want your insights and solutions. Don't tell us how you feel, show us that you feel safe and comfortable, show us you can have fun and you can meet a lot of your own emotional needs because most of the time, we don't have that to give. That's just bewildering to us and makes us feel very off balance and unsteady. We're used to being in control. It's a pride and an ego thing and I don't expect you to understand it. Tell him what you need and want. But understand that he is who he is, I value your conversational skills because I don't have them. You make it very easy for others because you have a way of including others and putting them at ease by keeping it light and fun. You aren't going to have a lot of great conversations with him so if that's what you want, then I would suggest you move along. But if you can see that he needs help in that area and you can build him up and show him that talking to you isn't scary, if you can give him some rules and help him relax to the point where he thinks he can freely volunteer information about himself, then you just hit the proverbial significant other jackpot with him. He wants to know all about you, he thinks talking about himself is going to take away his opportunity to learn more about you. Tell him about yourself, see what he does with that."

Her: "I just do not get him."

Me: "He's playing a game with you. How can he extract the most information out of you while divulging the least about himself? You think he's fascinating, but honestly, he doesn't see himself as interesting. Make it very easy for him to learn about you. That will help him. Don't try to make him feel anything. Feel good about yourself. That's what he wants. He wants you to be happy, to have fun, to feel safe, to just be yourself, and to love life. That's truly what he wants, when you feel like that and he gets to spend some time with you, that makes him feel good. People like others who are fun to be around. You have bad days just like everyone else, but you're resilient and he likes that about you. All the things you want to do, those are things that would make him even prouder of you. You both want the same thing and I can't for the life of me figure out why you're not going after someone like that. He can and will break your heart. But he's also the person who can pick up the pieces and put them back together again. I chose the safe route and my heart was protected from that kind of breakage, but I wasted more than twenty years of my life dragging someone else down because I was too scared of romantic risk to go there with someone who could break my heart. You have to be willing to move toward whatever scares you most. Get curious about it, really get into yourself and ask why you're so afraid of him. Is it because you think it will fail, or because you know that there's a good chance you could succeed, and the idea of success and that work scares you far more than the most humiliating and abject failure ever could?"


Me: "Do you like other people?"

Her: "Some of the time I do."

Me: "I would like to go to the library in Delafield. Would you like to come along or should I drop you off at home?"

Her: "Why that library?"

Me: "I prefer it. It's nicer than the one here in town."

Her: "Which isn't like two blocks away or anything."

Me: "Exactly. Would you like to come with me and see it for yourself, or would you rather go home?"

Her: "I have to buy Christmas presents."

Me: "Okay. What's your plan?"

Her: "I could go to Target if you're going to Delafield."

Me: "Can I drop you off there, go to the library, and pick you up again?"

Her: "That would be okay."

Me: "Why don't you communicate with me and let me know when you need to be picked up unless I'm done before you are, how would that be?"

Her: "Okay. I'm indecisive so it might take me a while."

Me: "Just let me know. I'll call or text when I'm done at the library. That should give you enough time to shop. I love you."

Her: "I love you too. Bye mommy." She walks off and I'm silently profoundly grateful that my children are old enough to go shopping by themselves. The idea of walking into a store like Target on a Friday night when most of the parking spots are filled is too much after the day I've had. I drive to the library with a smile on my face until I get there and read the sign announcing that they are closed. They were kind enough to have posted the hours area libraries are open and I take a moment to appreciate the irony of seeing that the library I snubbed is open and the practical decision would have saved me this trip and the accompanying frustration. I decide to go grocery shopping that night until waiting until Sunday when I would be in anyways. Someday I'll figure out how to merge shopping and working so I save myself repeat trips, but today is not that day and it makes me happy to walk around the store with her so I have a better idea of what to buy that she will actually eat. A friend of mine buys her a vegan mint truffle and it seems like such a little thing, but all of the dairy free items out there mean that me and my family can enjoy some of the holiday treats everyone else is having, and that makes me feel a little less Grinchy than I did before.


Her: "Can I have a drink of your water?"

Me: "Did you have any gluten today?"

Her: "No."

Me: "Are you sure?"

Her: "No, I swear I didn't."

Me: "What did you have for lunch?"

Her: "A yogurt."

Me: "That's it?"

Her: "I wasn't very hungry."

I'm silently angry and scared. I don't know what the long term repercussions are of a person who has food allergies routinely eating things their body doesn't know how to break down and digest. I'm transported to a time where we didn't know what was wrong or why my children had some of the health problems they did. I'm pretty good at assessing health in others. Their eyes, skin, hair, teeth, nails, posture, mood, what they say and how they say it, the habits they have, how they treat others. Health is easy to spot and she doesn't have much of it. From the white spots in her nails to the lack of clarity in her eyes, her skin, and the dullness of her hair. It's a problem that I have no idea how to solve and it's one of the biggest things in my life that causes me a lot of grief, fear, anguish, and pain. It's easy for me to see how she should change for better health, then I take a look around at some of the things I'm doing on a regular basis and I can see why she has trouble motivating herself to take that harder, longer, more troublesome path.


Her: "How do you know?"

Me: "Intuition. It's my strongest and primary function."

Her: "How do you know it isn't just all in your head?"

Me: "To a certain extent it is in my head. You want conversations and I want that type of silence. I don't know how to explain it, but I can pretty much walk into a room and pick out who is responsible for the feeling no matter how far apart we are from each other or what the other person is doing. It's typically an instantaneous reaction on my part, there's something about them that makes me feel better when they're around. They don't have to talk to me or interact with me, it's like they're transmitting invisible signals that I'm receiving. It's a conversation without words, sometimes I do this consciously, I think about them and send them positive vibes or energy, whatever I think they might need or want to be feeling. If I feel like they're already in a good mood then I want to affirm that. Your distress causes them to feel things they don't want to be feeling and then they don't always know what to do with that since they may not know what is causing you to feel that way and they might think that they're the cause when it may be something else entirely. Attitude and energy are extremely powerful. I'm either flying high or I'm in the depths of despair and I can switch back and forth within seconds, sometimes because of what someone else is doing or how they're making me feel. I can bring a room full of people up or down based on how I'm feeling and I can't always regulate that very well so I try to be careful with that kind of power. You need to hear that you're loved. I just feel it. I don't question that feeling either. If I feel loved, then it's because I am. Go ahead and argue, I think I know the difference between internal love I give myself, and the type that comes from another person. It flows over you and surrounds you instead of coming from within. Self love wells up inside, other love comes at me differently. I don't need the words, I almost think they might even take away from the moment when you're standing there feeling that kind of love and acceptance. It isn't sexual, that's tension and that's a different feeling entirely. This is pure, it's warm, it's soft, it's in the here and now, it's like time stops for an instant and the two of you are sharing time and space together and everyone else melts into the background. Call me crazy, maybe nobody else has this experience, but it's not just in my head, or at least I don't see how it could be when you find the same people and personality types create and contribute to whatever phenomenon this is, it's ultimate peace, tranquility, joy, and humility. Like just you being alive is enough for them. It doesn't happen very often, but when it does, it's simply incredible."


Me: "To you baseball is a game. To me, it's a way of life. It's a family, a community, entertainment, a way to pass the time, I use it to connect with others and they connect with me. Baseball saved my life on more than one occasion. There's no way I could ever turn my back on that, I won't ever be able to repay what it's given me, I like the quote about you holding it, I forget who said it, but it says something along the lines of you spend a good part of your life gripping a baseball and then you find out that the whole time it was the other way around. I wouldn't walk away even if I could. Life, death, baseball helps bridge that gap for me. I no longer care how strange that seems to others. I always have a game going in my head. It's like an instant vacation when I need it most. The green grass, the blue sky, the order, the precision, the accuracy, the things that don't go according to plan. A friend of mine told me it's both art and music and I agree. Christmas to me is hearing Stan Musial playing Take Me Out To The Ballgame on the harmonica while everyone sings along. There are 108 stitches on a ball, it takes about a week to manufacture one, if I could paint I'd riff on that meme where it shows the person who has a baseball on the left side of their chest instead of a regular heart. I'd unravel a couple of those stitches and send them out into the cardiovascular system because that's what I need to keep living and breathing. During The Great Depression theater sales rose and so did cosmetics. Those were luxury items people could afford, we're in danger of pricing people out of affordable entertainment and that's a terrible social crime to me. You don't have to love sports or baseball or get interested in theater or politics, but they are all related and what happens in one sphere affects another. The worse off someone's life is, the more they need those reminders that there is a better life out there waiting for them. You should never rob anyone of hope. That's a cardinal sin to me. We don't know what the future holds, we may think we can predict it and to some extent we can say what we think may be likely, but there's no point in anything other than optimism despite arguments on the other side that people call realistic. What is reality? Isn't what we think contributing to what we call reality? If you can change your thoughts, you can change your life. Nobody can take hope away from me. That's a lot of what I do at my job. You want some free hope? Here, I have extra, take as much as you need. Knowledge is great, but sometimes hope is even better."


Her: "Thanks for calling. It's my first holiday with this, whatever it is. I just needed a friend today."

Me: "It's a loss and you're grieving that."

Her: "Yes, I couldn't figure out how to put it into words. I feel guilty because I have so much to be thankful for, it just sucks."

Me: "It does suck. Feel your feelings, just let them wash over you. Trying to submerge or repress them is just delaying the healing process. It does suck. We do have much to be grateful for, but that doesn't mean we can't feel those feelings of loss and mourn that. The trick is to avoid letting it keep you down. I'm not always very good at that either. I'm sorry honey."

Her: "What's so funny to me is how I used to use food to avoid my feelings. Now that's gone and I don't know what to do anymore."

Me: "To be that in touch with your feelings is really a beautiful thing to me. I think you're way ahead of the game as far as that goes. One of the worst parts about going to therapy is sitting there and having her ask how I feel. I struggle and try to go through the words I know, it's completely exhausting and then I feel worse instead of better. Next time I go in I'm going to tell her to ask me what I need. That's helpful. Even if I can name the emotion, it doesn't really help me. I hurt my back on the second day of June. Do you realize that I am just now going through and figuring out what I felt back then? I have no idea how people who feel things manage their energy levels, the people who are frustrated with me because I don't know how I feel aren't being fair to me, how would they live their lives if it took them almost six months to understand and process how they were feeling back then? I go through things and I'm numb, I do things to try and move past, I get past or through or move on somehow, I don't even know how I did it, only when enough time has passed to give me perspective can I go back and unravel some of what I was feeling. And then the conclusion is so simplistic it makes me feel even worse about myself. I was mad. It took me this long to figure that out, wow, what a stunning insight into myself and other people. I'm grateful for people like you, you are braver than you think. Seriously. This is a great skill. I admire it and you tremendously."


Her: "So, can you give me a ride to work tomorrow?"

Me: "I have to think about it."

Her: "Are you going to that funeral?"

Me: "That's immaterial. When I tell you to do something and you sit there and it doesn't get done right away, that's disrespectful to me. You disrespected my time, do you think it's fair to ask me to respect yours?"

Her: "No."

Me: "I agree. Today someone was late at work and that affected me. Your actions affect other people and you have to live with those consequences. When you choose to make me wait for you instead of calling to let me know you got off early, that meant I had to stay up later than I wanted, that means now I'm tired and crabby because I could have gone to bed earlier and instead I'm staying up later and delaying sleep I could have gotten to come and get you. I told you when you got this job that I wasn't always going to be available to give you rides to and from work. I would have been more than happy to give you a ride or arrange one for you had you been respectful of my time, but because you sat there on the computer and ignored what I asked you to do, I'm not really in any mood to put myself out on your account. Whether I go to the funeral or not, I wouldn't count on me giving you a ride to or from work. I have to figure out a way to recharge and take care of myself after this conflict and giving you a ride doesn't fit in with my plans tomorrow. I give people rides when they respect me and my time and I'm sorry if I gave you the impression it would be otherwise. Did you have anything you wanted to say to me?"

Her: "I'm sorry."

Me: "And?"

Her: "It won't happen again."

Me: "Don't apologize unless you mean it and don't tell me it won't happen again if you have no intention of changing how you behave. I forgive you. I love you, and I hope we can put this behind us, but I will absolutely not tolerate being inconvenienced like this in the future. Is that clear?"

Her (very subdued): "Yes."

Me: "Okay. Let's not talk about it anymore. I'm sorry I'm upset, this is what happens when I stay up late and don't get a good night's sleep. Tomorrow is a new day. Let's focus on making it a good one."

She kisses my forehead and I suddenly feel close to tears. I hate being alone at night, and I know the feeling is more intense because I'm overly tired. Everything seems overwhelming. I make the decision to skip the funeral and take the day off. That seems like the right decision, but today I'm missing those who will be there and thinking about the woman I've known since I was nine. Every year we went to bake cookies out at the farm. Their family is Scandanavian and Swiss. Mine is German and Scandanavian. We made cookies and desserts most people had never heard of, we spent days and nights making hundreds of treats that were divided up amongst the bakers. People were shocked at how much butter we bought and how many pounds of sugar went into those delights. I haven't been able to participate in cookie baking for decades and that feels like a greater loss today.


Her: "You're right. Instead of saying I'm going to do these things, I'm going to write out a list, make a chart, and actually do them every day no matter how I feel."

Me: "Hooray. Good for you."

Her: "You're like a cheerleader. I've been stuck for so long. That's what that dream was about. I was stuck."

Me: "That's why you need my brand new Unstuck Program. Instead of sitting in your car, you can get out and flag down your friend who drives the tow truck. We'll get you up in the cab, hitch up your car, and get back on the freeway again."

Her (laughing): "I like this new program. You should tell him to sign up too."

Me: "Sweetheart, he's already signed up, he just doesn't know it yet. This is his side benefit of me going to PT. He can participate in my program for free without even realizing he's getting unstuck along with you."

Her: "You're really optimistic and future thinking. I get stuck in the past too much."

Me: "The past already happened. Once you have a plan you're clearer about where you want to go. If he likes you, and you like him, and you both want to work on yourselves and getting unstuck, why can't this relationship go forward so you both get what you want?"

Her: "My whole life I've wanted to get into shape. Guys look at you differently when you're in shape. They do. I feel like he would want someone who can keep up with him, the way that I am now, there's no way."

Me: "Don't you think that if he wanted a woman like that, he would have one? The guy is a PT and he participates in a lot of events where there are women competing, women are literally knocking on his door and asking them to help him. He doesn't want that. If he wanted that, you wouldn't have been on his radar in the first place. He likes you because you're smart, funny, cute, and kind."

Her: "I don't feel like I'm any of those things because of my weight."

Me: "You're all of those things and more no matter what you weigh. It wouldn't matter if you weighed twice what you do now. How can I help? I don't feel like anything I'm saying is really helping you."

Her: "No, you are helping. I'm just frustrated. It just hurts when you open yourself up to rejection like that."

Me: "It is hurtful, but I also think that you're misinterpreting some of his actions."

Her: "To not even thank me or get back to me after I dropped off the note? I'm a person and I have feelings too you know."

Me: "I don't see that as him rejecting you. I see that as him needing to pull back to preserve his space and sanity. Him leaving doesn't mean he doesn't care. It means he cares so much he can't take it anymore."

Her: "How do you know? Did you ever think that there's a chance he stopped shopping there for some other reason that had nothing to do with me?"

Me: "I think you'll remember that it was me who advanced several theories and you insisted it was because of you, but I'll humor you. Of course it could be for another reason. When I called and told him I wanted to come back, but I didn't want it to be awkward, he didn't question that. He knew why I was calling and what I was saying. A guy who left for another reason would have questioned why it would be awkward and he didn't. Make sense?"

Her: "I suppose. But then you asked to come back and he won't work with you."

Me: "He could be doing that because he thinks I don't want him to be my PT. He could also be avoiding me, but it doesn't really feel like he is, everyone there is falling over themselves to be nice to me except for him. Doesn't that strike you as odd since he's the person who knows me best and it's his clinic? He sets the tone there. They're following his lead. If he didn't like, trust, and respect me that would be immediately obvious to others and they would wonder what's up, that woman he works with is no fool and some of those other people are pretty sharp too. They know him well. If he hadn't done this to himself, I'd feel worse for him. It's his clinic, but he has to follow my rules and I think he would really like to be hearing more about my friend and what she's doing to improve herself these days. I could work that into a conversation very easily. He knows who I'm talking about when I say my friend. I help him out like that when I can."

Her: "I'm just scared."

Me: "He is too. You can try to avoid fear or you can get a plan together and work on yourself which is what you want to be doing anyways. There is only upside here. You two are getting the biggest bill from me when you finally get married."

Her: "I'll buy you, a house. How does that sound?"

Me: "It has to be on the lake. I can be your neighbor."

Her: "What if we do get together and then he goes away again?"

Me: "Then he does. He and his Whole Foods girlfriend can sit on the beach together and watch for shooting stars while you sit at home reading articles on emotionally unavailable men. Focus on what you want, not on what you don't. You told me you thought he was emotionally unavailable the moment you met him, you already know how to do this so why waste more time reading up on it? Learn something new. Read up on how awesome it is to have the man you love in your life on a daily basis. See that vision, get really clear on what it looks like, sounds like, smells like, feels like, the more detail you can conjure up, the better. You have to believe that this can happen and that you're worthy of someone who will partner in a healthy relationship with you. Why worry about what can go wrong when half the time the things we worry about don't come true and we see that we should have been worrying about a totally different thing? Most men do not want a doom and gloom woman who sits around worrying about what could go wrong when most of the time more things are going right rather than wrong. Instead of him going home and trying to run faster or giving up more foods and you sitting in your room getting lost on the world wide web, move toward each other. You don't need to abandon everything and make radical lifestyle changes, okay, it might seem like radical change, but really all you need are a couple of tweaks and some better habits along with improved information and resources. You're super smart people. You can figure this out, if you want to let him go and walk away for good, that's your call. I'm saying in my opinion the relationship is far from over and I'm willing to help you to the extent that I can by going to PT and being his friend, and yours."

Her: "Are you sure that this isn't just all in your head?"

Me: "It very well could be. Remember that video we watched this summer where the woman talked about being delusional? Do you think I'm delusional? If someone came to you and said, I'm worried about Jessica, I think she's delusional, what would you tell them?"

Her: "That video was funny. No, you're not delusional. You're logical."

Me: "Logical people can be very wrong. And I have been delusional in the past. I'm not going to try to persuade you one way or the other. You either trust my inituition and insights or you don't. I have better things to do with my time than try to help you get a guy you don't want. Believe me, there are many other women who would love to meet and fall in love with someone like him. I would if I wouldn't happen to have the same personality he does. I need another intuitive thinker in my life, or at least I think that I do. He makes sense to me and as you know, I like it when people make sense."

Her: "I would love to be a fly on the wall when you go into PT."

Me: "You're selling yourself short. Get a game plan together and start following that. Even if you don't end up with him, you'll be in a better place when the next guy comes along and no matter what you say, there are plenty of guys out there and I'm not even going to address the comment about there being more men to marry down in Tennessee. I can't believe you made that statement. Why drive or fly down there when there are men who live and work in Wisconsin that are interested in you? That seems very inefficient. I once read a book where this guy wanted to fly down to Argentina to try and catch a murderer. His boss told him that he could do that, but it made more sense to check the surrounding area before spending money on flights to South America. I have to get going. Take care."

Her: "Oh, I see how it goes. Seriously though, you know you have a good friend when you can spend an hour and forty minutes on the phone with someone and it feels like five minutes."


Me: "My throat is sore. I think I'm coming down with something."

Him: "Hot tea with honey works for me."

Me: "Please send a sexy guy over so he can put on the kettle for me. Thanks."

Him: "I would if I could!"

Me: "Look, I don't ask for much, I'm disappointed. This is the kind of thing good friends should do for each other."

Him: "I'll hunt him down and put him on the bus."

Me: "Have him call or text first please. I need him to pick up a few things. One of the main reasons I need a man in my life is so I can send him on errands I don't want to run."


Me: "Are you hungry? I made steak, chili, and lamb."

Her: "Lamb?"

Me: "You can be like Mary if you only have a little."


I had a conversation with my mom that did not go well and now I owe her an apology, but I'm not really sorry so it will have to wait. I didn't realize I wasn't feeling well. I'm glad I got a couple things accomplished, I'm grateful I only have to work for a couple hours tomorrow. Hopefully the time will go quickly and then I can rest up on Christmas Day. Yesterday I went to two grocery stores twice and still managed to forget celery which is annoying. Today I was kicking myself for not having stocked up on cold and sore throat products at work, but I wasn't going to make yet another trip in there and spread my germs around further. I hate it when people who are sick come into work and wish our attendance policy would change because why are we penalizing people for a lack of health instead of promoting wellness and teaching people how to take better care of themselves? Grumble, grumble, grumble... 

Until next time,



Me (answering my phone): "You have the wrong number."

Him: "Hey, I heard through the grapevine that you're not coming to Christmas tomorrow. What about the girls? Is there any way they could come?"

Me: "My throat is sore and I'm not feeling well. I have to work and I don't want to drive into work, drive back home, and then drive back out there and back again. Sorry."

Him: "I get it. What if I picked up the girls? I'd really like to see them and it sounds like this will be my only chance, unless, are you coming to, no, I forgot about the cat. So this really will be the only time we get to see your family unless they're coming to the party."

Me: "Jill is allergic to cats too, but it doesn't bother her as much as it does me. Ever since they got the cat, I feel bad, but they don't get it. I can never go to any function at their house now that they have a cat. Cats plus shrimp and wheat is not an ideal combination."

Him: "You need a gluten free raw vegan who has, what's that skin condition, alopecia? He'll be totally hypoallergenic. You can put that in your e-Harmony profile."

Me (laughing): "I can eat meat and I like facial hair, but it has to be the right kind on the right person." This is a dig because my brother has a soul patch that we are constantly criticizing. In my family, if people aren't picking on you, there is no true love. "I can just imagine going out with someone like that. I'll cut into my steak and eggs while he drinks his strawberry banana smoothie. It will be our one and only date and neither of us will be able to kiss the other person when our meal is over, most guys are totally cool with women who bring their own utensils and dishes to a restaurant. They like it when their date grills a server about whether the maltodextrin is sourced from corn or wheat. I heard it drives men wild."

Him: "Ah, Jess? Wild isn't the same thing as crazy. Just saying." 


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