Tag Archives: antidepressant

Depression without alcohol

Lynn lowered the Celexa from 20 mgs to 10 mgs and within a month I felt depression lurking. Oddly, I was clear-headed and “normal” for about a week while the medication slowly left my system.   This phenomenon has happened enough times that I’m certain others have been on this merry-go-round.

It starts with taking an antidepressant and as the ride goes up I begin to feel some relief.  When I get to the top, along with relief comes the negative side effects that outweigh the good ones or my therapist and I feel I’ve spent enough time at the top with medications and decide to withdraw me from the meds and see if the ride can continue on its own.  Will my brain be able to balance its chemicals properly?  I hopefully believe maybe I’ll stay on top and the medication’s side effects will go down.  For me, there’s a brief period where it looks like that’s going to happen – I’m on top of the world!  Look, Mom, no antidepressants.  I’m back to myself again.  I have normal emotions and the negative ones aren’t over powering all the others.  Then, every damn time, I begin the decent.  It’s happening as I write.  My emotions are morphing from contentment and acceptance to displeasure and a feeling of rejection with myself.

This time I don’t have alcohol in my system so I’m not self-medicating and the experience is all the more real.  In fact I think this is a first!  Depression without alcohol.  Man, does it suck.

About a year ago I told my therapist I need to treat my depression in order to stop drinking but she said I need to stop drinking to treat my depression.  Here is what my therapist said: “Your drinking is the big elephant sitting in the room.”

I don’t disagree with her analysis but who wants to live constantly aware of the elephant.  Not I.  I want a glass of wine to dull the awareness of my depression and forget about the actual depression.

A couple of days ago, I called Lynn and she suggested we increase the medication to 15 mgs and see if the side effects and the depression both lessen and I find a happy medium.  While I wait for the meds to kick in I’m sleeping a lot and eating more chocolate than I should.  I am also guilty of taking an extra clonazepam (Klonopin) last night.  But at least I waited 5 hours between doses and, more importantly, I didn’t drink.

I’m committed to getting my mental state under control without abusing alcohol.  No more drinking to numb out.

Sorry for all of the metaphors.  I’m not sure what’s up with that!

– Daylily –

Same issues; new year.

FAITH

Greetings to all in this new year!

I begin 2013 with the same issues I had going into 2012. I’d like to think I am getting closer to healing but it sure isn’t happening at lightning speed.  This is where mindfulness and compassion come in.  I must have faith, focus on my life now and not judge myself harshly in my haste to get well.

Follow the link to a post from the early days of my blog that succinctly explain why I’m in therapy and what I have to work on.  Warning:  detailed account of incest.

https://mydepressionchronicles.wordpress.com/2011/12/04/the-effects-of-childhood-sexual-abuse-or-what-i-have-to-work-on-in-therapy/

♥ Daylily

Bedroom secrets — antidepressants and sex

My blog gets many inquisitive hits about the use of antidepressants and sexual satisfaction. From time to time I do write openly about this topic. Here’s one of those times so be forewarned; exit now if you don’t want to read an honest post with regard to my sexuality and depression.

Many antidepressants have made it nearly impossible for me to achieve orgasm. All I can figure is antidepressants mess up my hormones and they don’t allow the tension to build to the point of being able to climax.  On Paxil I enjoyed manual stimulation but I couldn’t come. This wasn’t satisfying because sex didn’t feel right to me if I couldn’t complete the act. I would frustratingly try to get-off and all I would get is sore from trying too hard.

I took my prescribed medications and suffered with a poor sex life for a couple of years because I understood the benefits to my depression. During this time, life evened-out for me.  I learned to not be in a constant state of flight or fight.  I didn’t have to disassociate my feelings from my thoughts because they were basically under control.  Eventually, I missed the enjoyment of a healthy sex life so I sought out a psychiatrist to help me find a medication that did not have negative sexual side effects. During this time I was able to achieve orgasm but Lexapro, Effexor, Pristiq and Zoloft decreased my desire and having sex was more of a chore than something I desired.

I should mention that prior to getting on antidepressants, my sexual desire was strong. In fact, so much so that early in my marriage I was the aggressor and my husband would turn me away because he didn’t have the same level of desire. I could get off pretty easily with him and I wanted sex often. Because of these differences, I learned to use a power massager to have an orgasm on my own. The massager was made for sore muscles but I found it was useful in other areas.  Talk about quick. When I’m in the right mood I can come in less than a minute.

Husband started showing more interest in me once I didn’t “need” him anymore. He joined me in the bedroom and overtime bought me a couple of different dildos to complement the pleasure from my massager. Truthfully, I was embarrassed by these gifts but also intrigued. Husband continues to like to satisfy me with my “toys” before he and I take care of him. I used to feel embarrassed that he was watching and helping me masturbate because it was ingrained in me that good girls don’t do that. Husband made me feel sexy and loved when I played with my toys so it began to be a part of our love-making. Ironically, Husband initiates sex more now and the tables have turned and he has the stronger sex drive.

This change is probably because of the nasty effects of antidepressants. They definitely lowered my sexual desire and my pleasure.  I began to feel like I could take it or leave it. Last November I sought out another prescribing professional to help me find a better antidepressant. I wasn’t as concerned about sexual function as much as my obsession for carbohydrates. Paroxetine worked best on my depression but it caused excessive weight gain and a desire to drink too much wine. I wasn’t sure if the wine was a craving or a way to self-medicate depression. (That’s another post but basically it was both plus a habit that is difficult to break). My newest therapist writes prescriptions and she currently has me on Wellbutrin and Celexa. This is a good balance of medications that treats my depression, lessons my craving for carbs, gives me more control over my drinking and allows me to be multi-orgasmic once again. My husband is initiating sex almost every night (we’re both on vacation) and I am eagerly responding to his advances.

I believe couples have to get creative when our bodies do less than what we want. My husband’s high blood pressure medication makes it hard for him to sustain an erection so getting-off by making love is nearly impossible for both of us. He helps me use my toys and I help by jerking him off and giving him oral. Even a guy with erectile issues can usually get hard if the woman doesn’t pressure him to penetrate her. (This is where my toys come in handy). No two people are the same so I can’t promise the medications I take would work for anyone else but my advice would be to keep looking for the ones that have the least amount of negative side effects.

I hope this post was helpful to those that visit my blog looking for answers about depression and sexuality. I recognize it’s unabashed and bold but in reality we are all sexual creatures. As a survivor of childhood sexual abuse I can honestly say I have healed from how the early trauma affected me sexually. It didn’t happen overnight. I became confident and self-assured in the bedroom because I have a great guy in my life who sincerely wants to give me pleasure and sex usually begets sex.

♥Daylily

Changing my thoughts for the better

Here I sit, at a round table within a historic stone library nestled in a small New England town. The library is having a book sale today so I had to climb an old wooden staircase in order to get away from the frenzy of people searching for bargain books. The librarian and I are the only people in this cozy children’s room. I’ve never been to this library; however my son’s soccer club has brought me here. I intended to write report cards but I don’t have the necessary form so I feel unhurried, with time available to focus on my blog.

I saw Lynn at 8:00 am this morning. She fits me into her private practice on Saturday’s. I’ve been descending the stairs to her home office for about a year and I cannot believe that it’s taken me so long to build a trusting relationship with my therapist.

I could go 2 ways with this post:

  1. What the fuck is my problem that it took me so damn long to have confidence in this particular therapy? The post would focus on my blatant and ridiculous flaws.
    Or
  2. Recognize my progress with therapy. Celebrate the giant steps I’ve taken and look forward in this journey of healing my spirit.

The precedent would be to choose #1, based on historical patterns that I can easily list negative thoughts about how fucked-up I am. I will not entertain this old pattern any longer. It is self-sabotaging and not productive.

Oh, what the hell? For old time’s sake I will give short due to these feelings, if nothing else but as a way of distinguishing them from my newfound “mindful awareness.”

Here goes:

  1. The self protective walls I’ve built around myself are impenetrable. I never learned to expose myself to others for fear of being hurt and rejected. If I let someone in, they would see my flaws, my shame and guilt and surely I’d be judged as harshly as I judge myself. These thoughts are so imbedded in my brain that even when I voluntarily seek therapy, and go each week without someone twisting my arm, my fucked-up self does not know how to get the help I need.

I have this crazy thought, I should just fix what’s broken. I know exactly what my problem is. I grew up hating myself. I should just let it go. It’s simple, right? Maybe for you and them but it’s not as easy for me.  I’m beyond help.

My thoughts and feelings are deeply entangled in my mental illness and I’ll probably never be cured.

I’m on a roll with this train of thought. It’s so comfortable for me to berate myself. I want to continue. I want to write about how long it took for me to construct my sense of self and how nearly impossible it is to untangle fact from fiction.

STOP! I must learn to see these thoughts for what they are and so, I move onto #2;

  1. (#2 really, but I can’t edit it!)I have fabricated my life with amorphous things called thoughts and feelings but what are they, really? There is no truth to my thoughts of guilt and shame and yet I have allowed them to shape my life. I have conditioned my mind to hold itself separate from others. This has affected the way I connect with others, including the relationship with my therapist.

Truthfully, it is okay that it’s taken a year to let down my guard and share vulnerable feelings.

I will go further and boldly venture to say, I am making progress. I am beginning to see what is before me and not believe my historical interpretations that are riddled with self-judgment and negativity.

The practice of mindfulness is helping me investigate how I look at things and how I view myself.

The book I’m reading teaches me that my thoughts lead to emotions and my pattern of self-blaming thoughts has caused an undeserving feeling of guilt. I must begin to recognize my thoughts don’t represent reality. I will learn to recognize they are only thoughts; that these learned thoughts are arbitrary, nothing more.  Not realistic.

Ultimately, awareness of these thoughts will cause them to lose power. I will no longer be swept into a miserable psychological state of mind.

Realistically speaking, I will also depend on antidepressants to help me on this journey. Every doctor, therapist, psychologist and psychiatrist has told me so. The chemicals in my brain do not properly fire the right neurotransmitters in my synapses. Whatever the fuck doctors mean when they say this shit, I really have no idea except it sounds so technically correct – who can argue?

I hate to end on a bad note but, here’s the million dollar question, Is it the right antidepressant cocktail or my wilfulness to change my thoughts in a way that will transform my emotional health?

Daylily 2012

Reaching out during a depressive episode

The bottom of despair is a shitty place to be; I know because I spent the morning there. Schools were cancelled due to Hurricane Sandy so I took advantage of this day off from work to settle deep into depression. I didn’t consciously do it but the opportunity arose and I took full advantage.

Why am I talking like I did something helpful when I felt like such crap last night and this morning? Well, that’s where the silver lining comes in. There may even have been a rainbow.

I have never, ever climbed into bed and expressed my feelings of depression while there. My pattern is to wallow alone and then pull myself together, all the while hiding how awful I feel – to myself and those that love me. No bullshit. This is one of my learned behaviors leftover from childhood.

This morning I passed the hours curled up under my down comforter crying that I was so pitiful. I cried that I didn’t have the strength to get out of bed; I cried that I wasn’t hungry and that I had no desire to eat. I was alone in my misery for what felt like forever. I determined that I was really bad off because I could neither lift my head nor could I find the strength to eat so I should call my therapist. Isn’t depression the reason I was under her care? I contemplated this for a long time as I huddled under my covers with my cell phone. Eventually, I just did it.

Lynn answered on the second ring and I casually said who it was and then, “I see you’ve returned from your vacation.” She responded, “Yes, just in time for the hurricane.” Small talk out-of-the-way I said, “I called you because I’m really not doing well.”

I haven’t seen Lynn for close to a month due to her 3-week vacation. “Is it something that just came up or has it been building for a while?” asked Lynn.

“Well, I have to tell you, this is a first for me, to call my therapist and talk about how I’m feeling. I have never called for help before but I am really low right now.” I cried that I couldn’t get out of bed, that I wasn’t hungry and that I’m failing my family by not cooking for them, by being distant and isolated and I threw in something about my husband saying I didn’t know how to be intimate.

Then I stopped talking and asked, “Is this a good time for you? I don’t want to keep you from anything.” How stupid of me, as if she could hang up now. I’m just standing on the edge of this cliff but I can wait for you to call me later. In hindsight, that was a “duh” moment. After a brief pause from her, she said she certainly had time for me.

I quickly caught her up to speed about how I went to this “radical forgiveness” workshop to release feelings of self blame. She agreed that was quite a big step for me and when I told her I got overwhelmed with emotions and I couldn’t get away so I went into auto pilot, she asked about the facilitator. I told her I emailed the facilitator and I was reassured that I hadn’t done anything wrong although Lynn said usually a psychologist will tell you what to do in the event things become overpowering. I don’t know what to believe but it’s been 3 weeks since the workshop and I still feel like crap.

One major trigger to my sense of despair could be a book I’m reading because it hits so close to home. Living with your Heart Wide Open is exposing so many open wounds that every chapter is like getting re-traumatized. It’s all about self-criticism and a prevailing sense of unworthiness. I can’t get to the part about self-compassion because I’m busy beating myself up over negative patterns the book says I’ve developed and that I must learn to break.

Lynn asked if I could talk about the one thing that is upsetting me – is it feeling unloved. “Can you tell me how you’re feeling?” I was still buried under my covers and I said, “I don’t know,” while I audibly sobbed.

For me to be without a word is rare; I typically control the ebb and flow of our therapy sessions. Of course, she was trying to figure out what was going on with me and, I’m guessing this response was a red flag that I was depressed and not thinking straight.

Lynn said I must ask my husband to help me. Explain to him how I don’t like to feel a lack of intimacy. I cried that I couldn’t, that he and I were berating each other.

Lynn suggested that I stop reading the book but continue with the mindfulness cd, which has been helping me to fall asleep at night. She said that it sounds like I’m aggressively trying to fix my problem through forcing it. I can’t recall the exact word but she insinuated that I’m trying to direct my healing by micro-managing every piece of it.

She’s absolutely right. I felt as much and it’s backfiring; I’m worse and not better. Self-help groups, self-healing books, yoga and a sense of being broken have exasperated my depression.

Lynn thought I should increase the Celexa to 20 mg (I’m on 10 now). I agreed and I made an appointment for 2 weeks out because of my busy schedule on the weekends.

After hanging up, I whimpered quietly, under the safety of my blankets and soft pillows. In the back of mind I was thinking of the “radical forgiveness” workshop, how emotionally charged it was and I recognized that I never released all of the stuff that was brought to the surface. Intellectually I thought I should have cried but I couldn’t – until today. It was like opening the flood gates! I have not cried in years and, as much as I didn’t like how it took me over, the release was good for me.

Well, I still couldn’t lift my head or consider going down to the kitchen to eat something so I called my husband (who works in his home office). He said he was in the middle of an important presentation (everything is tele-com these days) and he would be done in 15 minutes.

My husband walked in the bedroom and there I was, in bed, crying with my elbow covering my face. I felt so ugly I had to hide but when he asked what was wrong, I spoke. I didn’t retreat inside my shell or tell myself he doesn’t really care (which is a well-worn pattern). Instead I told him I was depressed and I couldn’t get up. He told me just do it for the kids downstairs. I said, “They are enjoying their day off from school and don’t even care where I am.” Husband said, “They know you are not downstairs with them.”

I swore I would never get up and he looked flustered. He was rubbing my arm and telling me nice things that I don’t remember. He leaned down and hugged me and my arms felt limp like spaghetti. I accepted his hug but couldn’t give back. I said I need to eat something and he said he’ll cook and I should pull myself together and come down in 10 minutes. Again, I said I can’t get up and pleaded with him to bring me something. I told him I wanted toast and grits (I’m not southern but I love grits, anyway). He came back and demanded that I sit up but I just couldn’t do it. I made him put the plate and bowl on the bed 3 inches from my mouth and I fed myself as if I were a sick bird or a dying man. Husband went back to work and I sniffled in my bed. With every bite the food tasted better and I gained strength.

How could I have missed that my depression was back? The tell-tale signs are night-waking, lack of appetite and emotionally distant from the family. I misconstrued all of that for necessary paths to inner compassion and mindfulness. This experience highlights how directly my childhood thought patterns correlate to depression. With each day that I focused on my past “stories” my depression grew worse. It’s uncanny.

Next I did the bravest thing of all. I called my mother, from my bed, in a deep depression. I prayed she would pick up and not my step-dad and my prayers were answered. I said, “Hi Mom.” Her quick response, “What is going on, it sounds like you’ve been crying.” I snuffled that I have been crying and went into the whole I can’t get out of bed thing. She asked about my depression, my medications, my therapist and my husband helping me. To the last part I told her, “Husband doesn’t even believe in depression.” She’s known my husband for 3 decades and she said, “Well you should take him to your therapist so he can get educated.”

The reason I called my mom is I’m having extreme guilt that she wants me to host Thanksgiving and I don’t have the energy. I always try to do what is right and please her and I didn’t know how I would manage it this year. My mom recently moved to a retirement home and part of her down-sizing was dispersing things. To me, she handed down a large oriental rug for my dining room and her set of wedding silver. It is all beautiful and generous and I feel so obligated to use it for a family gathering. I told her I can’t host anything because I’m feeling like a failure in everything I do right now.

My mother’s response was better than I hoped because she was thoughtful and caring. She said she would stay at the retirement home for Thanksgiving. She offered to come and help me if I wanted her to. I told her I have so much going on with family, kids, sports, school, and work that if they came down it would be one more thing on my plate.

Then my mom asked me, “How did you get depression?”

I take the plunge and offer full disclosure, “It was caused by childhood trauma. I learned to tell myself things that weren’t true but that allowed me to grow up. I am still stuck in childhood thoughts that I’m not worthwhile or good enough.”

“Oh, honey,” she lovingly responds.

I reassure her, “It’s nobody’s fault, not my parents or my brothers; it’s just how things happened.” I stumble with words and say, “I learned to tell myself I wasn’t worth it.”

I tell her not to worry about me, that I will be okay. This is when she told me something that broke my heart in a good way.

My mom said, “I will worry about you every minute of every day. You know you are my favorite child.”

I quickly deflected her kind words by saying, “All of your children are your favorites.” But, I heard love and caring in her words. We said good-bye and I love you and when I hung up, I retreated back under my covers to cry some more. But, this time I was crying because my mom and I connected on a deep level. I was touched that she said I was her favorite child. Never in a million years did I ever think she would tell me that. I’ve got brothers who are successful, talented, intelligent and relate to my mom on an intellectual level where as, I fall short on all of those things that are important to my mom. Perhaps those thoughts could be part of the “stories” of my childhood that I made up and learned to believe. I just heard with my own ears that my mom thinks I’m special. I will try to hold on to that and use this silver lining to my advantage.

I slept after the phone call with my mother and awoke ready to get out of bed around 3 pm. The news stations cautioned that no one should be out on the roads so I was securely stuck in my home. We lost electricity around 4:30 pm and darkness set in. My husband set up our generator and so we have a few lights, heat, water and the refrigerator working, plus we have internet. I sit here typing and uploading to Word Press via backup generator. It’s nice to feel removed from outside forces after completely breaking down today. It looks like I have work tomorrow although many schools are closed for another day. I best listen to Lynn who said I must eat and get a good night’s sleep. The increase in my antidepressant will take a while to kick in. I’m hopeful because I do respond well to SSRI’s.

Daylily

Me depressed…”insecure with myself”

This morning Lynn left a message on my phone, asking if I could come an hour earlier than our scheduled session on Saturday.  My first thought, I’ve got an out, I can just tell her no and not have to see her.  I still have no idea what I want to talk about and I’d like to take that pressure off.  But, being the good girl that I am, I called her and left a message saying, “I can make the earlier time but if you have to bump someone else, we can reschedule because I don’t have any pressing issues that can’t wait.”  I wonder how that looks to a therapist?  Is Lynn thinking, She’s trying to get out of it.  She doesn’t want to come or perhaps she is thinking, Daylily is such a nice person to consider others before herself.

I wonder what the word is for a person who doesn’t like to trust other people and doubts herself when opening up to others?  Self-conscious?  Thesaurus.com defines self-conscious as insecure with one’s self.  Other definitions are: affected, anxious, artificial, awkward, bashful, diffident, discomfited, embarrassed, ill-at-ease, mannered, nervous, out of countenance, shamefaced, sheepish, shy, stiff, stilted, uncertain, uncomfortable, uneasy, unsure.

How depressing to think I am insecure with myself.  Sad, too.  All my relationships begin with me so that tells me nothing in life feels secure.

Have I just gotten really good at faking it?  How do I put on a strong front and live like I have confidence?  Lately I don’t.  Self-doubt and ruminations are creeping into my thoughts.

Tonight I went to a board meeting and attended a public hearing and yesterday I had a meeting with a group of important people.  I feel depression sneaking in the back door.  Signs and symptoms are that I doubt myself, how I acted, how I looked and what I said.  A voice is telling me I’m no good.

The answer of what to talk to Lynn about is surfacing.  Poor sleep, negative thoughts, ruminations, a lot of self-doubt and a general sense of being out of control.  These are signs of depression.

This morning I reverted back to an old thought, I should not eat and see how thin I can get.  I haven’t been thin for years but when I was first diagnosed and treated with antidepressants I tried to cling to anything and I chose dieting as a way to control something in my life.  This morning I recognized my thought to not eat as a coping mechanism I’ve used in the past.  Back in my late 20’s I was down to 12% body fat on a 5’8″ frame.  I was basically anorexic but very muscular.  I don’t know why I’m going on about this except I wish I had control of my thoughts but I don’t so I’m fantasizing about controlling my life through diet and exercise.

I haven’t had a glass of wine since the weekend but my head is crying out for relief from these torturous thoughts and ruminations.  And it’s only Wednesday.  Sigh.  ♥ Daylily

Post that gets the most hits on my blog is…

Husband doesn’t believe in my depression. It sucks to have a mental illness and be around people who believe it’s all in your head.  But the proof is that there’s a 3rd person telling us we aren’t as bad as we feel, people do love us, we have a job where we are needed or a husband or child who depend on us.  On a deep level we know that every single one of us is born equal.  Our behaviors or thoughts do not change our inner goodness.  Then, we ask ourselves, why am I depressed, feeling worthless and unloved?  I sincerely believe there is a chemical imbalance in our brains that causes ruminations and self-defeating thought and behavior patterns.  Most often early trauma can cause faulty wiring but it can also be as simple as genetics.

Due to all the hits about husbands doubting the diagnosis of depression I feel compelled to say that even if no one else you know believes in “mental illness”  that doesn’t mean it isn’t so.  Doctors, nurses and therapists all know it is a real illness.  There’s no need for shame or self-blame when it comes time to seek help, regardless of whether you get support from your close family and friends.

I’ve been on a path of healing from early trauma and depression for 3 decades.  My husband doesn’t believe in medication but I do.  I have a doctor and a therapist that also believe in the efficacy of antidepressants.   The family I grew up in can understand it on an intellectual level however, I feel judged as being weak for needing antidepressants.

I don’t fight about my medication with my husband or my family of origin because I do not seek them out for support with depression.  Occasionally I’ll bring up my depression with my husband but he will usually reply with a quick answer like, “Maybe it’s that you are getting too much sleep.”  In my head I know I’m sleeping too much because of depression but I don’t argue with him.  I go and tell my therapist or my best girlfriend.  Acknowledgment of your pain and suffering is very important when you don’t have immediate family and friends supporting you.   You can love your family regardless of their ignorance and get help elsewhere.  ♥ Daylily

Antidepressants make me tired and lifeless

Is it so wrong that I love to take naps during the day on my memory foam mattress?  Do I have a problem that I sneak off early to my bed — in search of alone time — to go to bed before the rest of my family?  What about that I sleep with ear plugs and a pillow over my head?  Does that say This girl has issues?  She does not want to be a part of  life? 

My husband sleeps in another room.  Not far away, less that 20 feet from my head to his but still it’s not the same bed.  When we sleep together, he snores and I don’t like to be touched at night.  I wake easily by his light snoring and I go into flight or fight reflex if he wraps his arm around me.  I complain and he leaves the room so he can get a good nights sleep.  It’s become easier for him to sleep in the guest room across the hall from our master bedroom.  No one gets woken up with this situation.  (Now might be the time to mention we’ve been together for 30 years, married 23).

My Husband came to my bed and woke me up this morning with a need for intimacy that I did not feel.  I kept the ear plugs in and the pillow over my head.  All I said was, “I wanted to sleep late today.”  I feel so guilty that I don’t respond if I don’t feel like it and this morning I had no desire.  As I lay in bed, pillow over my head, I thought I should be wearing pretty panties for husband.  Not the big, white, Hane’s hi-cut briefs that are so comfortable.  What happened to those days when I bought Maidenform matching sets for hubby?  I used to go to great lengths to buy stockings, garters, bra and panties, back in the good old days.  But, Hubby doesn’t complain.  He sees beauty beneath all the outer stuff (like big white undies) and truly seems in love with me for who I am.  He appreciates the essence of my femininity and gets off on something he sees in me that I often lack the ability to see in myself.  I feel he needs pretty lace panties to find me attractive but he doesn’t.  It’s been years since I bought that stuff.  I shouldn’t even be thinking that’s what he needs.  He would rather just have his wife take the ear plugs out of her ears and the pillow off her head and engage in mutually satisfying sex.

Sigh… I suspect the medication is causing a lack of desire.  ♥ Daylily

Therapy was unproductive

What my therapist is thinking… (ptsdforum.org)

I’m back from vacation and it was wonderful. I forgot my worries and enjoyed lying around on the beach reading a good book on my Kindle. I recommend it for those who like to read autobiographies about mental illness. I got it at Amazon for 99 cents . Check it out https://mentalhealthwritersguild.wordpress.com/2012/05/19/eye-locks-and-other-fearsome-things-learning-to-love-as-a-bipolar-aspie/

I returned from my trip Monday and saw my therapist on Tuesday (yesterday). My ability to forget my issues from only a week ago (can you say dissociation?) had me re-reading my blog entries since the last time I saw Lynn so that I could discuss what was bothering me. The stupid thing is I rambled on, repeating what I wrote without any affect because the emotions had passed. I shouldn’t have reminded myself of how I felt before vacation, instead I should have gone to Lynn with how I am now. It was an unproductive session because I wouldn’t shut up.  I walked out of her office saying, “That wasn’t very useful because all I did was talk.” I saw her do her little eye roll as if to say, “Now you say that as you are walking out the door.” Lynn’s parting words were, “Sometimes it’s good to have someone to bounce your thoughts off.” That is true if you are a person who thinks what they say is worthwhile but since I have a feeling of worthlessness, a sense of stupidity prevails.  My life is not that interesting to go on and on for 45 minutes. I can only remember 3 times Lynn cut in and made comments. I should have stopped talking and done more listening. I felt like I was on automatic pilot and couldn’t stop, as if I had to catch her up on the last 3 weeks. We meet again in a month and I will try not to waste the 45 minutes talking about the past.

Lynn’s office clock irks me! It sits on the table between us and is set 5 minutes fast. I’m sure this is due to the patients who get so involved in their stories and lose track of time. But, that’s not me. I always end on the ¾ hour because Lynn told me her sessions run 45 minutes. In the time it takes to set up the next appointment and discuss my meds, her clock says 10 minutes before the hour. I leave, get in my car and my clock says 15 minutes before the hour. This is inconsequential but for some reason the purposefulness of Lynn cheating me of 5 minutes bugs me. It shouldn’t because I’m the one who watches the clock and walks out at that time. Lynn wouldn’t stop me if I kept talking for 5 minutes longer. What is the big deal? What the hell is my issue? Just let it go. I can’t and one session when I’m feeling frustrated I will tell her I know that she sets her clock to be 5 minutes ahead of the actual time. I can see her face now, turning her head, rolling her eyes and giving me a look like, “Why do you speak up about these small things?” My answer is, being straight forward and blunt keeps distance between me and others. It’s a safety thing.

I work in a school and things are getting busy because I must have all the paperwork in order before the school doors open. I have a management/supervisory role and it’s time for me to be on top of my game.

I’ve mentioned my issue with drinking as a way to reduce anxiety and this summer I have not successfully stopped that behavior. Okay, what I’m saying is I’m still drinking way too much white wine. Delving into my past and the issues with my narcissist mother has only escalated my drinking. So, I look forward to getting back into work-mode and curbing my drinking to only on weekends. If I had one goal for myself it would be to stop drinking for 6 months. I really think I would sleep better and my mood would improve. Right now the medications I take are working but they would certainly be more effective without the alcohol.

GULP – I hate writing down goals because when I don’t obtain them I feel like such a failure. But, I won’t take it back. My goal is there, in black, white and bold. Quit drinking for 6 months. I’ve done it previously for my children during pregnancy and breastfeeding and now I must do it for myself. Daylily

Progress is slow…

No major breakthroughs since I last wrote.  I see myself as slowly evolving and, regrettably, few forward steps took place in the last week.

I again went to visit my mother to help her post-operative and this time I brought my 11-year-old and I chose to stay in a nearby hotel.  Mom was disappointed and said, “I wanted you to make me breakfast in the morning.”

My reaction, which I did not express was, where’s I want to spend more time with you?  It was nowhere because that would require her to think beyond herself. (Daylily—check yourself on the negative thoughts!)

My son said to me, as we drove off to our hotel after dinner, “I want to get up early and go back to Grandma’s to make her breakfast.”

Didn’t I feel like an asshole?  Who is the selfish one now?  Me, who was only thinking of my needs when my mom is scarcely able to walk.  Sometimes it takes a person who is not enmeshed in the psycho-dynamics of a relationship to see the picture more clearly.

So, the next morning my son and I brought Grandma breakfast from the hotel’s buffet.  Mom enjoyed the donut while Grandpa ate the hard-boiled egg, sausage and bagel.

You may find this hard to believe but my brother, the perpetrator of incest upon my prepubescent body, went off with my son and Grandpa for a day of fun while I stayed back at the house with my mom.  My ability to accept my brother’s apology, the sincerity in which he confessed to me and went to counseling with his pastor, leaves me confident he will not harm my son.  Of course, my son is not an 11-year-old-girl and my boy was also with Grandpa.  But, I wasn’t in a panic so I feel good about moving-on and letting the past go.  I haven’t forgotten it but the traumatic events no longer have their hold on me.

Upon returning from my trip, house guests arrived from my husband’s side of the family and they stayed for the weekend.  Our nephew is 32-years-old and drinks beer like a freakin’ fish*.  The first night he drank a dozen beers and then, in the morning, he went to the local liquor store and bought more beer and began drinking before lunch.

I make it a habit to never drink before the acceptable “cocktail hour,” between 5 and 6 pm.  I – in no way – want to begin the day with the hair of the dog that bit me.*  (The only times I’ve had a drink early in the day is on deep-sea fishing excursions where it feels like time stops and it’s just you, the ocean and the sky.)  Our guests were lounging by my pool all day and possibly this nephew feels the same about pools as I do about the ocean…but I doubt it.  Husband and I discussed his excessive drinking and worried that he is following in his father’s and grandfather’s footsteps.  There is alcoholism on my nephew’s side of the family (not on my husband’s side but the in-laws.)  We worry if he doesn’t get intervention it’s not going to end well for him.

Well, my point is, when I see someone overtly abuse alcohol, it concerns me.  I know I will never be that person because I have so many boundaries around my drinking.  When I over-indulge, it’s private and self-destructive.  I don’t socialize/drive or go out partying.   But, I still admit it feels like a problem because I use it as a poor coping mechanism.

My two books from Amazon arrived (plus a fiction for when I have time to kill*).  I have been reading the book about narcissistic mothers and I’m seeing a lot of my mother but it’s not completely ringing a bell* for how my mom and I relate to each other.

I never wrote my “vision of wellness” that I mentioned in my last post.  I’m standing in stagnant waters* and not making progress.  I really should write that.

I give myself credit that I’m thinking hard about my intentions to heal and I’m preparing for the day when I stop using wine as a crutch*.  I am the type that needs time to intellectually prepare for change, time to psych myself up for success.  If I fail, I will have trouble forgiving myself so it’s best to get all of my ducks in a row.*

I saw Lynn and she and I discussed triggers that cause me to block out painful emotions with wine.  She agreed that any feelings outside of the norm cause me to doubt myself and self-criticize.  I do not handle emotionally-packed situations without remaining completely calm and in-the-head.  I’m all intellect.  Then when I’m in private, and the emotionally-charged event/activity has ended, I don’t have the skills to manage the psychological aftermath.  I usually have no idea what I feel, except I dislike experiencing anything negative — it makes life feel out of my control.  I need to be in charge of my response to a situation and when a monkey wrench gets thrown into my plans* I suffer later.  As I said, I handle the moment with poised perfection but the shit hits the fan* when the dust settles*.  That’s when I wait until the acceptable hour and drink to continue to blot out the emotions of the day.  I just don’t think AA will fix this problem.  I need to recognize my emotions and express them appropriately.  That means learning self-acceptance.  When I put it like that, it’s fucked-up really.  I apologize for the harshness of my language but it is the best description for when I’m overwhelmed and not sure how I feel or how to proceed, such as now, as I write.

Okay this is spiraling downward* and we’ve had enough idioms for one post. ♥ –Daylily

*idiom