Vocabulary Vixen

July 27, 2009

Oh my god…for real

Since my most recent breakdown last week that involved smashing my own hand several times with a blunt (and not-so-heavy) object, I’ve been fighting to get back to a normal train of thought and existence. I’ve been fighting it, and I’m exhausted. The black vortex has been trying to suck me in to the bad, nasty thought patterns that are so common and prevalent with depression. I’ve been working double-triple-quadruple-overtime to get my brain back on track. I’ve been talking myself up: “Hey, I love myself! There’s NO reason WHATSOEVER to be feeling this way! Enjoy the sunshine! Enjoy life!” …Only to be met by the darkening cloud coming in to suck my soul away.

I’ve been trying to just relax, do fun things, watch my weekly rounds of internet TV, hang out on Facebook, read a book (though I read it already. Now that I’ve got regular access to my memory, this can be compared to keeping a cat entertained: “But I already saw this one two weeks ago and I flung it under the refrigerator! You’ve GOT to be kidding me! How about the little red bug? I never seem to catch that thing!”), write in my journal, distract myself from thinking these thoughts, or just try to get them to go away in general in a vain attempt to actually FEEL GOOD. Because now I know what it’s like, and like the cracked-out addict in the corner, I want more. I want more happiness. I want more love. I want more function. I want to be healthy. I want to be creative and productive.

…Since last week’s freak-out (nervous breakdown), I’ve been trying to recover and restore myself to a healthy balance. I’m working on it, but it’s slooooow going, and after still feeling the black void sucking me in today, I’m thinking “Geez! How much longer?” I’ve been eating lighter to counteract my non-activity over the weekend. I’ve been trying to eat healthy. Fruits, veggies, vitamins, etc. I increased my meds, I added Lexapro back into the mix. Although it turned down the intensity of the void, and I could feel the blackness shaking, I’ve had a HELL of a time trying to release it completely! I’ve been fighting it all weekend, and quite frankly, I’m exhausted. The internal banter is relentless. It’s two epic, HUGE, LOUD opposing forces in my brain, each screaming at each other at the top of their lungs, hoping that one will scream louder than the other and get the other to just shut the fuck up. …Not that I’m actually hearing them, it’s the feeling of wanting to be well, happy, and healthy vs. this black vortex trying to suck me in.

I sometimes feel like I’m fighting a losing battle. My husband says this, but he’s not me. Not that his plight isn’t valid, but I’m the epicenter of all the chaos. Anditblows. It blows fainting pygmy goats. I’ve had this “losing battle” feeling all weekend, and today, perhaps it’s a little bit of sleep deprivation with a teeny bit of stress creeping back in, but I’m going “Really?! For real? STILL!?!!?!!! GET THE FUCK OUT OF MY HEAD!!”

Before therapy today, I’d been trying to wrap my head around intellectually WHY I’m feeling this way. Because that’s what I do. I find comfort in looking for the reason “why”. Usually, if I find a concrete reason to go with, I feel better. So, I’ve been asking: Are my meds off? Well, I’m better medicated, and if I up the dosage any more, it will be akin to taking a blunderbuss to a grapefruit and ALL thought will be wiped off the face of Vixen’s brain… I ran yesterday to get the endorphines pumping and flowing to just feel good. I felt okay for awhile, but it was temporary. I’ve felt sort of wobbly, sick, and that “I’m going to vomit” feeling from just being nervous, anxious, and miserable.

I’ve been forced to cling onto the few things that I’ve earned and worked VERY, VERY HARD FOR over the past year in therapy. I’ve had to sit myself down and realize, at least intellectually, that I *AM* smart, funny, caring, loving, etc. …Even though there’s that tiny little critter in the back of my brain saying “WHO THE FUCK ARE YOU KIDDING?! YOU’RE ABSOLUTELY USELESS! WHY GO ON?!” That little critter that’s been lying in wait, waiting for a moment of vulnerability to come out to play again and grab hold of my soul in icy blackness. I say “NO.” I’ve been saying “NO!” all weekend, but it’s been starting to border on just plain irritating. I’ve been wondering why I can’t shake this, I’ve been going into anxiety overload because of it. It sucks.

It’s been wearing on me. It’s intrusive. I came up with a theory that it could be something to do with the OCD. There are obsessions about unwanted or intrusive thoughts creeping in the ol’e noggin. I’ve certainly had my share of those. They should have dissipated with the up in meds, though, not just merely dampened.

I’ve been desperately trying to analyze WHY I’m doing this. Intellectually, I *know* shouldn’t be doing this. It’s the height of summer, the weather’s beautiful, I’m not doing anything in particular but working and (supposedly) “enjoying” life, WHY AM I FEELING THIS WAY, DAMMIT!? I’VE BEEN TRYING TO GET BETTER! WHY AM I DOING THIS?!?!?!!!

I like to analyze and assess why I do things. I’ve really spent over a year doing this intensively, and I’ve worked very hard for the small semblance of sanity that I’ve found, even if it’s fleeting. It’s still oscillating, and it’s oscillating in my direction more and more. I want to hang on to that, so when my analysis of why I’m doing this vortex thing wasn’t going anywhere, I get effing frustrated.

My (brilliant) therapist pointed out today something very important. She gave me another piece of the puzzle by mentioning when I told her about ALL of this that: In essence, my emotions are also NOT me. Sometimes they will get unruly, but they do NOT define me as a person. Just as my mental illness does NOT define me.

…And that made all the difference. Being able to draw the line in the sand and differentiate between myself and these unruly emotions was the most enormously helpful thing ANYBODY could have helped me do today. And it helped me let go. My anxiety level dropped, I relaxed, and the skies parted and I was wrapped in a feeling of serene relaxation.

This thing had really been bugging me. So much so, in fact, that I was on a hair-trigger for *anything* today, and I really feel that I was going to be a walking Anxiety Attack. “Hi, I’m Anxiety. That annoying guy at the party that WON’T SHUT UP.” My heart was buzzing out of my chest with every phone call I received, every wayward glance, and it was starting to really stress me out. And I couldn’t get rid of the dark and evil because I was *too fixated* on getting rid of it (sounds a wee bit familiar… scratchy-scratch the head lice, anyone?).

But once my therapist pointed out that key differentiation between myself and my emotions, my whole body relaxed. I really thought I was GOING CRAZY FOR FINALLY AND FOREVER. And that I wouldn’t be able to fight this much longer, and that eventually, I’d have to be locked up in the padded room, in a straight jacket because I wouldn’t be able to function without injury. Yet, intellectually, I knew I had *something* to hang on to. I can’t let my poor brain and my talents go to waste! I SPENT A YEAR LOOKING FOR THEM! That is what kept me hanging on, by the barest, thinnest thread. I know that I’ve got intelligence, talent, and a lot on my side, instead of nothing. That’s why I couldn’t fall into the abyss. It was stressful. And tiring.

I’m *so* glad that she pointed that key bit for me today.

I’ve had a WONDERFUL day since then. It’s been relaxed, fun, and just general thought going on in the back of my brain since that conversation. I feel human. I feel like a real, live human being functioning on earth. I DON’T feel like I’m going to be sucked into this black, dark void that’s creeping in like fog. I feel pretty good. I feel stable. THIS is what I’ve been working on all week(end).

I’ll bet I sleep like a baby tonight. šŸ™‚

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