A bright, windy, chill-to-the-bone sort of day, the East Bay hills a crisp blue outline on the horizon, Mt. Diablo looming in the background. This morning as I drove west, the ocean was a lovely blue-green dotted with whitecaps, but as soon as I got out of the car, the wind cut right through me. We Pacific coasters love to complain about the cold when the temperature sinks below 40°, but I felt pretty wimpy when I checked my Yahoo weather page and saw it’s ranging from 9° to 27° where my brother lives in Nevada. This is Fahrenheit we’re talking, for those who use that other system. (Weird how entrenched you get in one system or another. When I worked as a nurse, we did everything in metric. I knew right away whether a baby’s temperature was dangerously high or low in Celsius but was less sure in Fahrenheit, what to be on the look-out for in a 1200 gram baby but not in one weighing 2-1/2 lbs. It must be that way for people who know a lot of languages, that it’s easier to discuss certain things in one language over another.)
I’m very happy to report that my dark mood is lifting even without chemical intervention, though I may still opt for that. I saw a shrink on Tuesday. She asked a million questions and asked me to take a memory test. “I like to do this with my older patients,” she said. “It’s good to have a baseline.” Sigh. I guess it’s all downhill from here. She tested cognition as well as memory, and one of the tasks was to draw this:
I couldn’t do it. It was pathetic. Had nothing to do with age, however. I’ve never been able to draw one…until today, that is, when my good friend who used to be an art teacher showed me the trick on the back of a napkin in the cafe where we were having coffee and croissants. (I would share it, but I’ve no idea how to do it on a computer.) Anyway, I flunked spatial relations, but I was able to recall five numbers in backward order and orient myself in time and place. The little gray cells have not entirely given up the ghost.
After my appointment with the shrink, I went to a CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) group for “depressed seniors.” It was really depressing. For an hour and a half, everyone sat there staring at the table while the man who led the group practically stood on his head trying to get people to participate. I and another woman were the only new members. We also were the only ones who talked, me a little, she a lot. This does not bode well for the efficacy of the treatment. I’ve done CBT before and found it helpful, so maybe it had something to do with the guy leading it, who appeared to appreciate his own performance a lot more than anyone else did. I’ll probably try it one more time just to be fair, then request a different group.
It feels SO good to be finding my normal self again. A mind is a terrible thing to waste, but a mind full of negativity? I can’t, I don’t want to, I’m too tired, it’ll never work, I won’t like it, people will hate me blahblahblah. Leave it by the side of the road and don’t look back.