"Don't tell God how big your storm is; tell your storm how big your God is."

I believe in God.

Friday, March 18, 2016

This and That: The Sequel: Mainly About my New Psychiatrist (part I), and Clothing, and Something Sad

--In just a few hours, I will be meeting with a potential new psychiatrist.  This is a big step in getting settled into living in the city (I've been working by phone with my current/former psychiatrist, which is not as good), and I am very excited and a little nervous.  He speaks Russian; no I don't know why I care.  Also, his first name (withheld for privacy) is a foreign form of Alexander; my family and I joke that I collect foreign Alexanders, because I also have two friends with that name root.

--How did I pick this psychiatrist? Simple.  I googled my insurance, "psychiatrists," and "NYC."  All the others that were convenient to get to had at least one negative review, if only about office staff; I don't want to have to deal with that.  This doctor had chosen not to have reviews showing; however, I figured a lack of reviews was better than the presence of negative reviews.

--What do I need in a psychiatrist? First of all, I need someone who is accepting of my unconventional Judaism.   (The kippah on a woman is not as unconventional as most people seem to think; the tallit katan on a woman absolutely is.)  I'm pretty sure that will happen; the doctor in question does, after all, have his office in Manhattan.  Secondly, I will need someone who will not "run screaming for the hills" (my mother's terminology; I love it!) when s/he sees how many medications I'm on.  I am open to adjustments; and my current/former psychiatrist and I have been trying to lower things recently, so I even have data as to what is safe to lower and what isn't.  I am not open to dropping a whole bunch of things really far all at once.

--I reversed which skirt I am wearing today, and which Sunday, in honor of this appointment.  I had been planning to wear my long black cotton skirt with multicolored flowers, with black tights and a denim button-down, today, and my medium denim skirt, with black tights again, and perhaps a purple long-sleeved tee, on Sunday.  I realized yesterday, however, that wearing the black print skirt obligates me to wear my gay pride, rainbow kippah, which I did not want to wear when meeting a stranger for the first time.

--When I thought about my reasoning for not wanting to proclaim my queerness to a new person, I realized it was all about me, not about him.  This is a doctor we're talking about, with an office in Manhattan for goodness' sake; he has to have met queer people, and even queer Jews, before.  No, it's not about him; rather, it's about me completely.  The plain, simple, unfortunate truth is that I still haven't come to terms with my identity.  That will take time, work, and therapy...maybe I'll bring it up at my next therapy appointment.  (I see my therapist once every two weeks; I would have preferred every week, but she's only in the city every other, and she seemed so perfect for me I decided it was OK.  In any case, my next appointment with her is on the twenty-third.)

--I also changed around the rest of my outfit for today.  I am wearing the medium denim (now listed in the "To Take In" column of the "To Take In"/"Not To Take In" list I am compiling) with black tights, but I decided not to wear the purple shirt because I didn't like any of my purple kippah options.  I have my big purple and white "birds and flowers" hat-kippah, which I am obviously not going to wear on a weekday.  My bright, magenta-purple hand painted silk (the one that was supposed to have a blue backdrop, though I have come to like it better this way) I am planning to wear to synagogue tomorrow, so that means it's not an option today.  I have two purple suede, a dark purple from my Bat Mitzvah and a lavender from "Emily's" wedding, but I don't like the suede ones and really try not to wear them.  That leaves my purple and black "kippah srugah" (crocheted kippah) I got in Israel.  It's a very nice kippah--I don't wear it nearly often enough--but it's very small.  I prefer something a little bigger.

--Here's a photograph I took of all my purple kippot:

--I ended up going with a gray check button-down shirt.  The kippah I am wearing is much larger than any of my purple weekday options.  (The suede ones at the bottom and the silk painted one on the top left look much larger than the crocheted one on the top right, but that's a trick of the angle; in reality, all four of the ones in the corners of this photo are basically the same size.  Let it be noted, however, that the one in the center actually is that big.)  It came with my older brother's Bar Mitzvah tallit gadol; I found it in a laundry basket this past Summer, and he said he didn't care if I claimed it, so I did.  It is black and gray with sparkly silver embroidery; the designer is not my favorite Yair Emanuel, but rather Gabrieli (I think).  It's OK: Gabrieli makes nice stuff too, and one cannot have an entire collection by one designer!

--Now, the something sad.  My last Ketamine booster did not have the desired effects; we're doing four days more March 28th-31st.  All of that is to say that there's no way on Earth I can get to and from synagogue in the evening, and then again the next morning.  Therefore, I am not going tonight, because it is important to me to go tomorrow.  Tomorrow I get to see Sami (he doesn't come Friday nights) and give him his military prayer book, for which I know he's been waiting a long time.  Also, the Friday evening service lasts about an hour; on Saturday morning, services are about two-and-a-half hours.  I "get more" if I go on Saturday, so Saturday it is.

--In the same vein, the holiday of Purim is this coming week (23rd in the evening through the 24th); there's no way I'm getting to both services.  I have thought long and hard about which service I want more, and for Purim, I want the evening service.  More people come in the evening (it's not a big-deal holiday, so work is still allowed, and most adults have jobs the next day), and people bring their kids, who tend to be cute.  Lots of people come in costume, too.  (I'm not doing one this year, but I have in years past, and I know Sami will be coming as Peter Pan.)

--One more thing, a good thing, to end with.  While I was turning over my drawers from Winter to Spring (lightweight skirts, lightweight long-sleeve shirts, tights) I discovered a blouse I last fit into in eighth or ninth grade.  I started gaining weight from psych meds when I started a certain anti-psychotic in tenth grade, and after that it was hopeless; however, it looks to me as though I'll be able to fit into it again.  The blouse is white, with white embroidery at the collar, and three quarter sleeves.  I am not sure it will work, but I will try it with a white, flouncy skirt and black tights tonight; I haven't yet decided which hat-kippah and what jewelry I want with it.

--I know you're wondering why I'm bothering to dress up, in a fancy skirt and top, jewelry and a hat-kippah, when I am spending tonight at home.  The answer is both beautiful and simple: the Sabbath is for God, not for people although they are a nice side effect, and even if I stay home, God still sees me.

And now...please meet..."TANNER."  (Just a side note, I have started going from the bottom of the page up instead of from the top of the page down.)  "Tanner" ages out NEXT JULY and is diagnosed with Down syndrome, deafness, and strabismus.

Tanner 2014


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I am a bipolar, Jewish young adult (had my Hebrew birthday, the one I count, and turned 23 this past January) who also suffers from Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy. I love life and I live for my best friends: they are my purpose and my reason for trying so hard. I remain passionately devoted to those I love; I will not let my disorders make me totally self-centered. I like to read, write, and sew. My Rabbinical school plans did not work out, and I am now hoping to go into the field of Early Childhood Education. Please note: I am currently maintaining only Carried in His Hands. Enjoy!