As always, I do my best thinking, or “communicating” with myself in the car, get home with the intention to write, and then go blank. There’s a metaphor in there but I’m too tired to dig too deep J
Things have been going pretty well for a change. I’m feeling really well medicated. My combo of 120 mg of Cymbalta and 6 mg of Abilify seems to be really making a difference. I don’t feel numb – I’d say I can feel a pretty full range of emotions. I don’t get terribly depressed. And for whatever reason bumping me up on the Cymbalta seems to have gotten me over the hump of sexual side effects. My libido may not be what it once was, but when I do feel like being intimate with my husband I can do so without feeling frustrated and useless.
One of the most magical things is the sharp decrease in anxiety. I went from needing Klonopin 4-5 times a week to MAYBE once a week. I’m also sleeping without a sleep aid. I’m having more dreams, but that’s not always a bad thing. I have realized however that it takes a lot of coffee to keep me going during the day. Where I used to feel jumpy after more than a cup (10 oz) I now drink four times that. But it’s not motivation that’s lacking – I sometimes just get so tired.
Part of me is concerned that this isn’t really about medication but rather a part of my personality system that maybe doesn’t carry the depression as profoundly has come out to play. If that is the case then I don’t want to be screwed if that part decides to go back into hiding. I’m not really sure how all this works.
One of the thoughts I was having in the car on the way home is that part of me is scared to let my therapist know that I’m starting to latch on and embrace the idea of a complex personality system. (I had to resist putting that in quotes.) Actually there’s a part of me that’s downright excited about it – like I finally have an explanation for what I knew deep down but couldn’t seem to put into words for other people. Like that there are times that I’m here, but I’m not.
When things were pretty bad with my mom I think I was actively dissociating. My clue to this is that whenever I would walk into my house I would lose my keys. Ok, everyone looses their keys. But it got to the point with me where my whole family refused to help me look, and would get really angry at me. It happened every time and would sometimes take hours to locate them. I would be a crying mess beaten down by my mother and father’s recriminations by the time I found them. But not only would I not be able to locate my keys but I would not be able to remember coming in the house – not be able to “retrace” my steps. It would make me panic.
My therapist at the time related it to the trauma of living with an alcoholic – never knowing what to expect when I walked in the door my mind would be focused on anticipating what horror would be waiting up the steps, so my putting down the keys wouldn’t register. Now I wonder if someone else, someone more able to handle the trauma, was walking in the door.
When I drive I’m acutely aware that there are other parts to my head. I hear them talk to me, or sing, and sometimes I puzzle things out with them. I sort of feel like a component of healing is going to be learning how to communicate with them and convince them that I am capable of “driving the car.” (Oh yeah, here’s that metaphor!)
But back to being afraid for a minute? What am I afraid of? I guess deep down I’m afraid that if I admit out loud that I am this way, my therapist will be forced to proverbially lock me up and throw away the key. I will magically become incapacitated and have to go on disability and never have a job again where I have to communicate with the world in any honest or meaningful/skillful way. As if someone is going to find out that I’ve only been pretending to be a healthy individual.
This past weekend was mother’s day, and of course that was a bit difficult. I struggled for a bit with whether or not to plant flowers at her grave site. I eventually played out a scenario in my head that I could live with and let it go at that. I imagined myself planting and talking to her. “Well mom, I don’t know what to say. I’m grateful you decided to have me, because my life today is pretty wonderful. While I do have issues and problems, I have a wonderful husband, two great brothers, a father I get along with, two beautiful dogs, a home, and a fantastic job with meaning. I’m grateful you didn’t take that away too.”
And so it goes.