I know I am not alone in the debacle that has happened to many peoples homes with the recent freeze that spread across most of the United States. And fortunately (or unfortunately) the events that led to our house damage are apparently not unique. Despite the struggle that continues at this moment, I am attempting to find some honest humor and grace. Difficult times call for drastic measures. For me, it was an honest moment to pull my friends closer and search for joy while the winds of hell swirled in our house- for FIVE FUCKING DAYS!! But, look, I am already digressing. So let me tell you…..what ha-happened was…… A comedy of errors where the only destination was death.
The oddest blessing begins our story. It was an ice skating rink in the parking lot of my office. I thought for a moment while pulling up that I would take up my usual space only realizing that I would likely bust my ass if I choose that option. Not long after, my most amazing land-lord Sherri shows up and begins the process of elimination to take care of what ever caused the problem. I inform her that I ran water, had turned off the hot water and had water the day before when it was 11 degrees…IN GEORGIA!! Turns out, the pipe broke in the front bathroom and a parade of plumbers were likely on their way. We gather the troops and make an executive decision to cancel the rest of the day not knowing what noise may occur. Therapy requires a great deal of concentration. Sound proof doors and sound machines were not going to cut it.
SERIOUSLY- 30 minutes later, the one plumber is done and went home. (I had a big W on my forehead for WHATEVA! at that moment). I used the time to start getting ready for the big race we host raising money for our local sexual assault center. This is my part in giving back to my community and my personal part as a sexual trauma survivor. Ya would think I was building on my good karma…..but. -NO.
Cuz, when I get home……..IT IS RAINING IN MY KITCHEN!!! I am expecting to hear sounds of thunder and lightening while I try to comprehend how in the HELL was this happening.
Oh, but now for the comedy. Really, this is NOT funny. But who in the hell will ever be able to tell you the same story, I just don’t know?
Okay, soooooooo (in my best Cali-Girl accent), my parents are going home on the day before the flooding fiasco and Dad informs me that he has dry tooth brushed (don’t ask me how you do that) and has dressed because there is no water working anywhere upstairs. My BFF says I made the pipes freeze just to make sure my parents would go home. Later that day I check in with a savvy handy friend on FB and he says I should let the water drip to release pressure if in fact there are busted pipes from the freeze. The idea of letting water drip with no useful purpose beyond dripping made me cringe. Naturally, I place a cup to catch the water in so I can later water my well named plants, Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dumb.
Here is the kicker of it all and really, kids, don’t try this at home unless you want the wrath of Noah upon your house.
Place a cup on top of the sink stopper, because well, what else is a tree huggin’ girl to do? You must pair it with a stopper that is currently not attached to the lever below that holds it in place. Get a drip from your frozen faucet pipe that looks like a drip, but will become a gush later on when the pipe thaws out. Voila! There you have it; water fills cups with magic gusto, pushes down sink drain (with no emergency overflow) and let the flooding begin! Now, how many of you just wiped your hand down your face? I promise my efforts were sincere. Destination Death was apparently the only possible outcome.
The folks at Servpro return to demolish our mess and dry us out. Love ya Servpro, really…Shout out to YA. I am, however, certain the wind machines and loud-ass dehumidifers are a special level of hell the pre-Cannon Catholics did not know about. I think it is meant for those people that are really good, but used up WAY too much of their karma in their lifetime. Oh, I forgot to tell you that we are two-timers. Yup- he even said it himself when he showed up at our house- A.G.A.I.N. He said,”I thought you already did our time with us.” Ugh- eyes rolling in the back of my head.
Our previous disaster with water led us to have pseudo-NASA under our house to keep the water out. Having a spouse with a PhD means sometimes waiting weeks on end before a complete decision is made on big purchases. After researching all the latest information, including looking up what the Department of Energy had to say on this subject, he choose encapsulation with a fancy water drainage system. It’s so pretty and cobalt blue under there that my seriously NOT OCD husband wants to get under there and clean the red mud that is Georgia out of it. Shout out to the B-Dry system- we actually think this choice has limited the extent of the damage we have right now.
Nothing change the madness of right now. But like all messes…..there lies real, genuine, blessed beauty.
My friends text me to ask about bringing us dinner. I, of course, agree because there is way too much chaos to remember to eat, except perhaps it really should be easier since the refrigerator is literally an arm shot from the kitchen table at the moment.
Everyone comes and they bring their joy and chaos without flitting an eyelid at trying to walk around the tented kitchen or looking for the garbage can that has been moved over and over because we all gravitate to its usual spot. We all laugh while telling the juicy story that has now become this madness and laugh more when I tell them how my diva Self immediately was trying to figure out how to navigate an up hair-do day while passing by the wind machine. It does give me the idea that this is the perfect opportunity to have my Marilyn Monroe Moment. It goes something like this…..
If you can believe it, there was a second nugget of utter glory in this madness. Apparently my sister planned a most delicious surprise for me (and I LOVE surprises). She cooked up something special with the help of my friends. My BFF Georgia (the most bad ass Rock Star of a jewelry designer you will EVER know-Gray Jewelers) and my new really awesome friend collectively decided on a piece to give me as a gift. Just imagining my beautiful sister conversing with them about what I may enjoy just made my heart smile.
So, just imagine that fan you run to make a little white noise while you sleep decided to go on a meth binge. That is what is now running in the back ground. See it….Even the toilet paper was waiving the white flag.
All the while, the blessing of my sister and a meeting of the kitty committee hover on the bed together. We talk about everything and nothing. Goats some of the time, but really it was pure lovely. Now it may be true that these moments do not have come sliding in quite so muddy and dirty, but for some reason, I seem to encapsulate them in my mind when the blessing runs in while wild madness is swirling all around.
So thank you to my sisters in spirit and in life. I will remember this ungodly beautiful moment every time I wear my treasure.It just gets easier and easier to remember gratitude with YOU present in my life. Sharing in the struggle whether directly or taking the time to read my writing makes my life worth living.
Overall, most Americans consider psychotherapy beneficial. In a Consumer Report where seven thousand individuals were asked about their personal therapeutic pursuits, more than half responded favorably to the therapeutic process. Even with that favorable response, how do we know what constitutes “good” therapy? Some research has indicated that the client has felt great benefits from therapy, but continues to struggle with chronic symptoms like depression and anxiety.
The essence of psychotherapy is the pursuit of treatment for mental health issues with the help of a trained professional. Most important is the relationship with an unbiased party to gain insight into unhealthy patterns of behavior. There are many times throughout life when the benefits of a safe relationship can help one sort out those troubling patterns. The difficulty for the consumer seeking these services is in knowing what to look for when seeking a “good fit” with a therapist. The following are a few guidelines to help assist in finding that good fit.
First, do not be afraid to ask for a phone interview. Therapists that are open to scrutiny are willing to answer any questions you may have even before the first appointment is made. Once the first session is scheduled, have a little knowledge in hand about what may be the problem. Several reputable websites offer information regarding psychiatric disorders and recommended treatment modalities. Here is an opportunity to show the potential therapist that you are psychologically savvy and come with some understanding of what may be ailing you. Most importantly, do not be afraid to provide feedback to the therapist. A good therapist will not only welcome input into your perception of the progress but will ask for it. Often, this will occur in the first session where the therapist may make a suggestion of a course of treatment with a specific “checking in” point during the process. Do not be afraid of rejecting the therapist, this is an opportunity to potentially strengthen the relationship between therapist and client. If there are overall concerns of the treatment effectiveness, ask for a consultation with another therapist. Once again, a good therapist will welcome this and hopefully suggest a few referral sources to get a second opinion.
Psychotherapy is not like finding a surgeon to complete heart surgery; this is an intimate and professional relationship between two people where the client will possibly reveal very personal details of their life. The client should feel like the therapist can clearly explain the nature of the issue, feel understood as an individual and feel that their therapist is both compassionate and nonjudgmental. May this information help you in finding your “good fit” when psychotherapy is needed.
Article by Dr. Richard A. Friedman, professor of psychiatry at Weill Cornell Medical College, Science Page of the New York Times, Nov. 2007.