This outpatient therapy Jesse is going through sucks. It hits her right where she hurts the most, and it’s a raw, exhausting, emotion-provoking process. I think it’s the emotional equivalent of what a burn victim survives — dead skin and hardened scabs painfully scrubbed and peeled off to expose fresh raw skin, day after awful day, and a mirror waiting to haunt you as you try to re-discover what’s beautiful under the scar tissue. There is no escaping it if Jesse wants to get better.
Also it takes us out of commission from 2 to 7 pm every Monday through Thursday, when you consider the nearly-hour-long commute each way to the clinic. So I really don’t get to spend any quality time on those four days with my little Nick, who is a delightful, easy-going little guy who serves as an important pick-me-up in my life.
Sure, I’m already seeing glimmers of hope for Jesse with each new day — some baby steps toward control over the obsessions and compulsions, passing moments of relaxation and happiness, a re-engagement with some simple pleasures in life. Like digging for worms to feed the robins nesting in our front yard. Jesse did that by herself yesterday evening when we got home from the clinic. It was a sweet and peaceful thing to see, something I’ve missed with a deep ache.
Still. I can think of a lot of things that probably would be more fun than therapy right now. Like…
1. Working out or going to tae kwon do classes.
2. Cooking fresh meals that contain actual fresh vegetables.
3. Going on a five-hour hike someplace beautiful, without bringing a timer, a motor activity box, or a submit/resist/competing response log.
4. Going to an art museum. Without children.
5. Doing all the home improvement tasks I’d been putting off – a couple tables to plane and refinish, some drawers and shelves to build into 5 closets, all the interior wood trim to varnish, some re-leveling and tile to lay on the front porch, a 3-foot-tall retaining wall to build in the back yard. You know. Little things.
6. Washing my family’s underwear by hand.
7. Going to a local chiropractor with the lowest possible rating on Angie’s List for an adjustment.
8. Beating myself senseless with large sticks from the back yard.
9. Eating a bowl of Japanese beetle larvae raw.
10. Cleaning the men’s toilets at all McDonald’s locations in Milwaukee.