Last night Rich played music with some friends. Bob and John have been asking him to come over for their jam sessions for the past year or so. Rich is a drummer and sometimes the rhythms speak to his brain and calm him. Sometimes he feels a massive sense of sensory overload and cannot drum. Often he wants to go and participate, but a severe mood swing will happen at the last minute and he will refuse to leave the house. That happened last night, but he went. I think it helped that Dave came here to get him, which kept Rich in “go mode” and “not give up mode.” When we arrived at our friend’s house there was a person Rich had never met before. Historically that puts a ton of pressure on him to try to maintain some semblance of normalcy even if he’s crawling out of his skin. Last night, he simply stepped into “this is me… this is my funky brain” and had fun. All the guys, Bob, John, Dave, Rick and Dom (the new guy) were all very supportive and said, “do what you need to do. You need to go lay down or leave the room… just do it.” It was perfect for Rich and gave him a possible fun escape for the future jam sessions, too.

Of note, I also watched my reaction to meeting Dom, the new guy. I felt an instant need to protect Rich from misunderstanding and judgment. Like Rich, I stepped into “this is my husband’s brain mode” and let it go. It simply is what it is and letting his brain just do its thing is so much easier than trying to cover any possible outcomes.

What also worked was that while the guys were playing music, I went to dinner with two of my very best girlfriends, Brenda and Sam. I can be myself with them. There is no need to put on that fake smile and say all the spiritually correct things about the life Rich and I are experiencing. It was… well… fun. Maybe I can make that the new “F” word. Smiling…

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