Tag Archives: self medication

Self-medication and depression

Depression is creeping back in through a side door.  I should have seen it coming.  Even reading my most recent posts on this blog are clues that it was making a reappearance.

Ruminations.  Negative self-perception. Exhaustion even without alcohol.  Hating my husband and my life.

I saw my therapist on Saturday and she raised the Wellbutrin to 100 mg. and lowered the Klonopin to half a 0.5 mg pill.  I continue to take 20 mg Celexa.  Lynn must think my depression is worse and the Klonopin is making me tired.  It’s been 4 days with a higher dose of the SSRI and still not feeling better.  My plan is to continue lowering the Klonopin but since I use it to sleep I fear insomnia so I’m tapering off gradually.

My resolve is down and I am weak right now.  I broke my 100-plus streak of sober days and drank on Saturday night.  It’s odd how I really don’t feel that bad about it.  In fact, I liked the tranquility.  Sad but true, self-medication is what I know when my thinking turns against me.

♥ Daylily ♥

Feeling vulnerable without alcohol

Telling Lynn my marital woes didn’t have the desired effect. I thought freeing my pent-up resentments to an objective therapist would help; but, strangely, the opposite happened. I walked in feeling confident and full of self-righteous anger and I left anxious and distraught. My original anger was directed at my husband for choosing the home and town we’ve lived in for 20 years. I was forthright with Lynn, divulging my frustrations. All that sanctimoniousness disappeared when Lynn asked a simple question, “What would your life be like if you had made the choices in your marriage?”

Lynn touched a sore spot and the truth hurt.  Fear crept in and I couldn’t speak of my own needs. Quietly, with eyes cast down, I sullenly spoke, I don’t have goals. If I had things to aspire toward I would be disappointed and let down. With tears and sadness I realize the reason my life is not different is because I haven’t spoken up about my needs or desires. I own the problem in its entirety.

Okay, so let’s get this straight. First my anger is directed at my husband and I see myself as the unappreciated and unloved victim and when that assertion is challenged I retreat to the safety of believing its my fault that my needs are not met.

Which the fuck is it? The answer to that question isn’t as important as how to stop my mind, no matter what the scenario, from arriving at the same conclusions. I constantly blame myself. I either don’t get something because I’m not worthy or it doesn’t happen because I’m weak.

This is hard shit to swallow because I reject either of those things. I stuff this down with my alcohol consumption and rarely do these feelings see the light of day. My wine signifies a glass of straight up denial.

Where do these ideas originate?

The obvious answer is survivors of childhood sexual abuse learn to feel unworthy. I assumed my mother didn’t stop my brother from coming into my room at night because she loved him more. With every nice gesture or favorable event that happened to this brother, I became more certain that he was worthy of good things and I wasn’t. I didn’t speak up about the atrocity that occurred against my prepubescent body; instead I stifled my voice and learned to endure life.

My therapist reiterated that my childhood left behind a belief that no one loves me but she stated, “You are not a child anymore.” She reminded me I have a voice and people around me do care what I want and need.

I wonder why I’m so stuck in my old ways.

I hate myself for turning the entire resentment issue into something bigger than it is. We “depressives” know how to blame ourselves about everything. It’s true my husband makes a lot of the major decisions but the reality is I don’t speak up for myself; I’d rather suffer in silence and allow resentments and anger to fester. How fucked up am I? I’m not a child anymore; what’s my problem that I wallow in self-pity instead of making changes to get things that I want in my life?

So, I pretty much left therapy feeling angry that my husband doesn’t do or care about my needs and, ultimately it’s my own fault because I don’t speak up.

I have always thought that no matter who I’m with I’m still stuck with myself.

Ideally I would like to learn to speak up for myself without shutting down with anger, resentments, shame, and self-blame locked inside and so, I had the best of intentions to not bring my befuddled feelings home from therapy. I didn’t want to be angry with my husband or have a pity party for myself.

Let’s just say, that didn’t work.

All day long I was a quiet, hateful, sulking angry wife. I tried to manage my feelings, but eventually I headed for the door to buy a mood altering bottle of wine. I honestly felt the need to drink was as strong as the desire a suicidal person may feel while they prepare to jump. I saw no other options to relieving my anxiety. The self-berating thoughts that play in my head were overwhelmingly strong and I did not know how to calm myself. I had no coping skills or tools in my tool box.

Husband stopped me from blowing my 90 days of sobriety by talking me down off the cliff I was dangling from. When he asked, “Where are you going?” and I replied, “I need a bottle of wine.” He responded sympathetically and was very calm as I’m sure he did not want to upset me further. During this interaction I was unsettled and anxious but not angry.

My husband listened to me complain and then he heard me berate myself for not speaking up about things I wish for in my life. He said I haven’t changed or gotten better in all the years I’ve been in therapy. He meant I continue to give myself a psychological beating. We’ve been together for 30-plus years and I didn’t want to believe him but a part of me felt he was right. I thought I was making progress in my life but he thinks I live in the past and can’t let it go.

My husband reassuringly told me everyone has pain from their past but it doesn’t define them or continue to be the driving factor in their lives. His words were like a gentle caress to a baby bunny. They felt compassionate and forgiving.

I had backed off the ledge by this point and my anxiety was reduced to a manageable level. My husband hugged me and whispered, “I love you. I want you to be my wife and tell me what you want.” I shrugged and stood limp and lifeless, drained of all emotions.

I didn’t drink, though and I’m grateful for my husband who helped me through a tough time.

I’m afraid I still won’t know what to do next time. I need tools in my toolbox. So, I called Lynn and asked if she was available for a session on Saturday. This is monumental in my life. Me asking for help. Lynn agreed and said it would be good to talk while the conversation and events were still fresh in my mind.

Daylilyœ 

Sobriety and depression

I took a reprieve from My Depression Chronicles and focused on a second blog to address my drinking problem http://emotionaldrinkingdotcom.wordpress.com. You might call me a “high functioning alcoholic” and when I hit bottom (as they say in the world of alcoholism) DUI’s, prison, divorce and child protective service were not involved. My bottom was high. Drinking was a problem for me but to people outside my immediate family, no one knew. I did my excessive drinking at home, mostly on the weekends between 6-10 pm.

I am feeling slightly depressed and don’t want to confuse my followers on my drinking blog so I’m back.

I’d have to say that quitting drinking has not had a positive effect on my depression. You’d think it would. I expected as much given alcohol is a depressant so if removed shouldn’t I feel better? Less depressed?

Quit the opposite. I feel dreadful. It’s been 3 weeks and a few days since my last drink. I’m lifeless. Everything is dull. No color. I want to sleep more than I did when I was hung over. It’s strange indeed. I couldn’t explain it so I did some research.

There’s a test one takes to determine the severity of alcohol withdrawal symptoms called CIWA-Ar. I took the test yesterday because of the way I’m feeling.

The test is based on a rating scale of symptoms and my results showed no signs of physical withdrawal. I’m not having tremors, hallucinations, sleep disturbances, memory issues, or visual disturbances; the only thing I feel is cloudy in the head and tired. I guess that is a symptom but certainly not enough to warrant a detox facility. No impending seizures or heart attacks.

Researching further I discover there is this term “PAWS” which stands for post-acute withdrawal syndrome. The PAWS symptoms come 7-14 days after detoxification. These are more subtle but no less bothersome.  PAWS is “a bio-psycho-social syndrome. … It results from the combination of damage to the nervous system caused by alcohol or drugs and the psychosocial stress of coping with life without drugs or alcohol.” http://www.drugalcoholaddictionrecovery.com/?p=37

The way I feel is as if I were depressed. But, I wasn’t depressed before venturing into sobriety. On the contrary, I was holding steady and my depression symptoms were at bay. I was and continue to take my Celexa, Wellbutrin, and Klonopin as prescribed but they aren’t working like they were. My lethargy is remarkable and I recently began consuming large amounts of diet Mountain Dew and chocolate, purely for the caffeine. That can’t be good for my biological system but I have to do something for this malaise. I’m still wiped out even with the caffeine.

I don’t miss alcohol. The idea of drinking makes me feel ill. Truly. I drive by the liquor store and feel glad I’m not self-indulging because it leads to feeling crappy the next morning. I seriously don’t miss it. In a dream I envisioned having to drink after a Saturday afternoon nap and when I woke up I was glad it was only a dream because I no longer want alcohol. I’m sure you are all saying that is weird. I think so too.

In the early days of sobriety I jumped full steam into A.A. literature and meetings. I shared my feelings with strangers and cried in my car after hearing the stories of alcoholics hitting low bottoms. I openly shared my struggles with my family. It’s as if I purged myself; now I’m either exhausted or shut down. Which is it? I don’t know. I have a sponsor who I have avoided in the last couple days. I don’t want to talk about drinking and praying and A.A. meetings. I have separated myself from that struggle because I’m tired of all of it. Is it normal to want to get away from the problem? Or the perceived problem? Or is this depression rearing its ugly head and my pattern of isolating myself when I feel low and lethargic?

I’ve not seen Lynn (my therapist) for a few weeks and I don’t want to. I have this negative attitude of screw her. When I was at my lowest I shared my feelings and she told me to stop drinking. Where was the empathy and support? Nowhere on that day. So, now I’ve stopped drinking and I’ve also lost the sense of safety I was developing with her. Emotionally separating from her can’t be good for me. Having just quit drinking one would expect this to be the time when a therapist is most needed.

I pull my hair in front of my face and take a deep sigh. I don’t have the answers.

My history of childhood sexual abuse taught me to be selfish when I feel physically or mentally distressed. I can only share my state of my mind with others for so long. Inevitably the time comes when I need to shut my feelings and thoughts inside myself. Okay, I shared how I feel and think; I learned how other’s suffer with painful feelings and thoughts; now let’s go to our separate places. 

I need alone time.

This chosen inaccessibility is where similarities with others end. I notice most women can reach out, express their troubles, and accept the assistance of others. These people join self-help groups, make lasting connections, and grow to have a broader support system. They actually appear happy and socially adjusted. Not me. I’ve been in this exact place before. I rationalize that it’s in my best interest to share painful emotions and so I force myself to do it. Then, like a turtle I retreat into my shell; returning to the safety of my private life.

Is this wrong? Have I not made some progress? I would have to say I absolutely did. Now, people in my real world, leave me alone for a while. I need time to process my newfound sobriety.

♥ Daylily ♥

Therapy feels wrong but who knows?

Admittedly, I am one of those people who doesn’t look any different from anyone else but my inability to stop abusing alcohol makes me a person that needs some kind of help.  I feel like it’s love, empathy and support that I need but my therapist is acting indifferent and tough.  It may be the right tactic but it feels wrong and hurts.  I want to push her away and isolate myself.

I know the therapeutic relationship mimics my personal relationships outside of therapy and I don’t know how to get help from someone who portrays themselves as indifferent.  To help understand, a total lack of affect and an abundance of intellect is my family of origin.  How can I heal within a relationship that feels so similar to my upbringing, where I hid my feelings from powerful, intelligent people.

As a survivor of CSA I battle the inner demons of self-hate and a sense of not deserving anything good.  I am dumbfounded as to find something inside me that believes I should recover just because I’m worth it.

This leads to my question: How can a person like me, who feels completely inadequate, trust her therapist and be able to get the help she needs?  This is a major road block to my success.  I want to enhance my sense of self which in turn will fuel the desire to stop drinking alcohol for my own good. Is this thinking backward?

My therapist says I must first stop drinking because it is the elephant in the room.  Sounds logical to a person with inner resources but sounds like jumping from a plane without a parachute for a person who lacks self-worthiness.

♥ Daylily

Therapist betrays me (or so I feel)

I truly believe Lynn wanted me to breakdown and cry in therapy today. There was some crying but I did not breakdown. It wasn’t because she didn’t try her hardest. She absolutely did! Contrary to what she hoped, I got angry.  I’m so pissed off I am thinking of ways to get out of therapy.

Before proceeding, I must point out that this is my perspective. By no means am I accusing her of crossing ethical boundaries but my retelling will make you think so. My perception is one-sided and self-protective.

Lynn purposefully challenged my thinking today. It came on the heels of last week when — for the first time — I opened up to her, admitted that I missed therapy and divulged a great deal of painful feelings regarding my past.

I feel trapped because now she knows I trust her so she went in for the kill.

I know I’m skirting the issue. You are probably asking yourselves about now, “What the heck is Daylily talking about?”

How I opened up. How I exposed my weakness and how my therapist turned it around and pushed my problem right up to my nose.

Once again I stated my modus operandi: change takes time. I not only tell my husband this but I also use it to reassure myself that I’m headed in the right direction. I need time to put a safety net in place for the fall out when I stop drinking. I have no idea what I will do with the feelings and thoughts that I’ve learned to numb and push down with alcohol. Admittedly, I’m scared to be alcohol-free.

I disclosed the contentious marital conflict last weekend.  I told Lynn my husband yelled at me, “Therapy is not working because you are still drinking.”

What felt like a sucker punch, Lynn followed up by saying, “You must stop drinking and then work on the emotions. The drinking is the elephant sitting in the room.”

I expected her to tell me, your husband doesn’t know how hard you’re working. Instead she sided with him.

Lynn threatened to withdraw my medications if I don’t stop binge drinking. She said, “It is the policy at our practice to decrease and eventually cease all prescribed medications if the patient has an issue with alcohol.”

It was then that I shut down. I couldn’t look in my therapist’s eyes. I felt betrayed.

Lynn asked the number one therapist question, “What are you feeling right now?”

My answer, “Cornered. You are threatening to take away my medication for depression.” I began to cry softly but not enough to ask for her help with it.

Survivors of sexual abuse are good at believing no one really cares.

When I feel cornered I want to bolt out the door. I waited as I watched the minutes tick away.

Lynn said things like, “You always have options.” And, “You can find another therapist who will not tell you what I am.”

My nasty response, “I know I have options.”

Lynn said I was angry.

“Yes, I don’t like to feel that you are siding with my husband and ganging up on me.”

She said my husband could come to the next session.

“Right,” I replied sarcastically, “So the two of you can both tell me I’m behaving badly.”

I said, “To get through that session I would need to wear a protective plate of amour.”

Lynn tried to offer assurance that she would be on my side to help explain to my husband the hard work I’m doing. I didn’t believe her. I still don’t feel she was sincere. What she was offering was an intervention. The same thing my husband suggested.

My nasty side came out and I said, “Let’s just invite my whole family and have a true intervention.”

Lynn told me she wasn’t going to take away my medication today. She tried to reassure me that she knows it’s a process. Blah, blah, blah.

My protective inner-self was hurt and I did not absorb any of what she said. She was judging me and that’s all I felt.

Lynn did offer suggestions about what to put in my “basket” to help me when I stop using alcohol as a crutch; but this is not the positive post to express hopefulness. First I need a place to express a sense of betrayal and disappointment.

Please no comments about my therapist being right. I’m a bright woman and I don’t need to be told that. What I need is support and understanding on this journey.

♥ Daylily, in a nasty mood

Binge drinking among females

This morning a news story about binge drinking among women jumped out at me on the MSN home page. I googled the topic of “binge drinking women” and found all the big news agencies are reporting a recent CDC study. Women are binge drinking more than ever.

I’m not proud of it but I fit the category. Here’s a direct quote from the article.

Recognize that most binge drinkers are not alcohol dependent or alcoholics, but may need counseling.

Oh, is that ever me. I am working on finding new coping skills in therapy. I don’t want to use alcohol to cope with difficult emotions. Really. Truly.

Here’s the link: http://www.cdc.gov/features/vitalsigns/bingedrinkingfemale/index.html

Daylily

Retrogression

Encarta® World English Dictionary

My session with Lynn yesterday was the best I’ve ever had. I was open, vulnerable and felt safe being that way. I talked to her about moments when I disassociated in situations that involved my family over vacation. I only remember the events because I consciously wrote them down before my brain worked its magic to lose the memories. This is not a topic I’ve talked about much but it is common practice in my life. I especially “forget” fights that I have with my husband if he hurts my feelings (which can be often because he is gruff and controlling a lot of the time). The other times I disassociate are talking to my mother about my feelings and whenever I feel angry. I don’t like to carry anger. Forcing remembrance of negative feelings will allow me to handle them. Not “handle them better” because I currently just separate my head from my heart and forget.

Lynn gave praise for my efforts and said I should continue to write triggering moments down on paper because even if I lose them on a cognitive level she said I am pushing the feelings that were produced by the events deep down inside of me. I understand this. I need to learn to handle them better.  The feelings are intimately a part of me, causing depression and a need to numb myself with alcohol. Lynn and I will work toward helping me find new ways to manage difficult situations.

I asked Lynn, “What do I do with the feelings if I’m not able to do my usual forgetting?”

Ironically I can’t remember what she said. Whatever it was is out of my grasp right now. Last night I ended up resorting to what I know. I drank too much wine to help myself feel calmer. When I drink I feel relaxed and easy-going. I don’t complain or yell. I get things done around the house and then say good night and go to bed. Drinking is my form of self-medication.

Last night my husband got pissed-off and went into one of his rants. He accused my therapist of not helping me and said he doesn’t see any improvement. Husband stated, “You said you are seeing her to help you with your drinking.” He yelled, “I’ll let her know that you are not better. You still drink. Let me come to your next meeting and I’ll tell her that.”

I tried to explain that change takes time but he was too angry to hear anything I said. A big argument ensued where I walked outside with the dog and my husband followed asking, “How much did you drink?” I didn’t answer and he nastily said, “Do you even know?”

I know it was too much but I felt I didn’t deserve his anger. I’m trying to heal and learn new skills but he is only seeing my bad behavior. I closed myself off from him and I don’t recall much else because I don’t want to. He was mean and hurtful. He said, “What do you need, an intervention?”

What does he think I’m doing in therapy? I am allowing Lynn to help me with my problem. He does not see it.

I admit I drink to cope. I have cut down to only drinking on the weekends and this weekend it was only last night. I’m not condoning my habit because I do want to stop. Drinking prevents me from being the best I can be. In order to change I need alternatives, strength and self-love. Dear God, how I would like to stop drinking because I care and think enough about myself to do it. I am working toward that goal.

I wanted to walk down our road during the heated argument but husband said if I stepped off our property he would call the police. He took out his cell phone to prove it. I work in the same small town where I live and I have a reputation to up-hold. Many people know me, including the police with whom I have a professional relationship. I cannot have the police called. Husband had the upper hand. I felt trapped and I began to sob and cry. I hated myself, my husband, my life.

Husband changed his attitude to be more caring and he wanted me to go inside. The last thing I wanted to do was go anywhere with him. I wanted to run away and be anywhere than with the man who hurt my feelings. I looked at our big house from the driveway and all I felt was dread at the idea of going into it. I cried and husband tried to console me but the fight moments beforehand broke me apart. He was hurtful and turned me into a mess of crying tears.

I eventually did go inside and my children hugged me; I kissed them goodnight and went to my bedroom with my dog and climbed into my bed. I cried as if I were 10 years old. My house felt void of love. One thought kept repeating in my head, Shelter and warmth is all I have. I had a flashback to my childhood home around the time I was sexually abused. I was overcome with the sensation of feeling completely alone and emotionally neglected. The roof over my head and the blankets around me was all I had. I felt self-pity and sadness. No one cares about me. I am not worthwhile. 

I connected how my husband treated me to how I felt growing up in my own family. I’m always alone in my emotional struggles. No one who cares about me has ever known how badly I want to feel emotionally steadied by another human being. Even when my husband tried to calm me down outside all I felt was unloved and scared he would hurt me again. He told me I have so much good in me and he will stand by me forever; but his inability to understand the work I’m doing in therapy put a big wall between us.

I fell asleep by myself, literally sobbing into my pillow.

Here it is the next day and the tears are still perched on the edge of my eyes. My heart is heavy with self-hate. I feel even my blogging friends think less of me. You are probably sickened by my lack of resolve. How can I be such a failure?

Please don’t think that of me. I do not intend to harm anyone. I want most to be the peace keeper. When I fail I am my worst critic. I hate that about myself. Why can’t I care for myself enough to take care of my body and emotions as well as I try to take care of everyone else’s? I quit drinking for years at a time for my babies because I didn’t want to harm them. I quit drinking for months when an illness and surgery forced me to. Why oh why can’t I stop drinking and just cope with my feelings? I don’t like my husband to be upset with me. I don’t like it when I inflict self-abuse. I have no way out of this funk. Hence, the title of this blog post: retrogression. I am stuck in the past without a clue how to get out.

I work tomorrow and I will put on a happy face and act intelligent and professional even though inside I feel like a lost puppy who wants nothing more than for someone to love me who will not emotionally harm me.

The world does not feel like a friendly place right now.

♥ 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

Family dynamics

My husband, kids and I have been home for Christmas vacation. Husband and kids are having a grand old-time but I am busy cleaning, organizing, doing laundry and keeping the kitchen up. To my kids credit they helped clean their closet yesterday (because I forced them to). There is some pride in getting that nasty job done; but last night I was pissed off that I was not enjoying the same vacation as my husband. I expressed my displeasure a few times and each time my kids and husband say, “Don’t do it.” That’s easy for them to say. If I don’t do it everything will pile up for me to do later. I have ignored the kitchen for 24 hours and the counters are piled with dirty dishes because the dishwasher is full and someone needs to empty it. The roaster pan from Christmas still sits on the stove top, waiting to be cleaned. It’s been there for 4 days. (During this writing I hear the sounds of my husband cleaning the kitchen and making the kids pancakes).

Last night I was angry enough that I wanted to run away. This coping mechanism is totally a mental escape that allows me to not feel trapped. I learned it as a young girl who suffered in silence with the shame of incest. Maybe getting older is not such a good thing because I realize I can’t simply “run away.” I have a house, husband and kids.

So I did the second best thing I know to cope with a shitty situation. I opened a bottle of beer and then had a couple of glasses of wine. I went to bed at 8:30 pm just to get away from everyone. The alcohol worked by easing my anxiety/anger but I wondered why I’m afraid to demand my needs get met. What would happen if I told my husband to help me instead of what he does, which, when he is not working, is hobbies or sitting in the recliner and watching TV.

Earlier in the day I tried to express myself in a non-confrontational way. I asked my husband, “Will you do me a favor?” His answer was an immediate “No.” I responded, “Why would you answer that way?” He laughed and said, “Because it’s the way you ask it.”

I’m not even going to go into the conversation because it triggers a sense of helplessness. I really should address this issue in therapy. Well, I have and Lynn tells me to make lists but I can’t get my husband to do anything on my lists. That would be a topic for therapy.

I am writing on a new laptop I received for Christmas. My husband surprised me with the gift even though we had agreed not to spend money on each other. I know that was sweet of him and I shouldn’t be so angry. He knows a lot more about computers so he spent hours on Christmas day installing Microsoft Office 10, updates and virus protection. When he transferred all of my files from the old laptop, I became nervous that he would open one of my blog posts that are kept in a folder called “Weblog.” He passed right over the specifics and I worried for nothing.

I had to enter a password for access to my new computer and so I typed it in without showing my husband. It asked for a hint in the event I forget so I wrote “flower.” Husband needed to get into my computer so he asked for the password. I said, “It’s a flower.” The children guessed sunflower and Mayflower (that’s my younger one who was thinking of the pilgrim’s voyage to America). Husband guessed daylily, typed it in and got immediate access. “How did you know that?” I asked. His answer, “You told me you had a handle by that name on some website.”

I felt a wall of self-protection go up. Oh crap, what if he has been to my blog? Quick, think, do I say bad things about him? I wondered, Is he the one who visited the day I had one visitor read almost all my posts. I quickly decided he hasn’t been to my blog because he really doesn’t have an interest in what I write. He’s never liked my ramblings on paper and the times he has suffered through listening to me express things similar to what I write about he looks bored. He spent all day on my computer and I know he didn’t read my documents. Emotional stuff is boring. I know this about him.  (I changed my password anyway).

Tomorrow we are traveling to visit my mother and step-dad. They are both 78 years old and live a few hours away by car. We have a reservation at a hotel and will hang out with them most of the time. I look forward to the break from all the things I do around my house. My mom lives in a retirement home and wants to show us off to all her friends in the dining room. She also said her place needs a snowman out front. This is how my mother is. She likes to show others she has the perfect family and so I will play along. I do love her and I like to make her happy. So, I’m bringing along a scarf, hat, carrot nose and my kids snow gear (We haven’t thought of what the eyes and mouth will be yet). My boys will be instructed to build a snowman and just as I was the dutiful daughter so shall my children be the dutiful grandsons. I know I sound sarcastic but all kidding aside; I want my boys to make Grandma happy. I am bringing my Sony Handycam to get some video. Life is short and she is getting older. I want to have video to look back on as a way of remembering my mom.

We’ll see my oldest brother, who was the perpetrator of sexual abuse upon my prepubescent body. Ironically, he has always been my mother’s favorite. I feel slightly sickened by the reality of such facts but otherwise I’ve forgiven and moved on with my life. My brother has admitted his mistakes (been counseled by his pastor) and we have made amends. It took years of therapy but I no longer think of what he did to me when I was a young girl. My boys like to see their uncle and all of this will make my mom happy.

I have been open about the sexual abuse within my family (with my siblings, not with my children) but my step dad has never been told. I sometimes have the desire to disclose this family secret because he has been part of the family for over 10 years. I love him for the wonderful grandfather he’s been to my kids. He is also so good to me and my husband. What would it serve for me to share this? I wonder why I want to. If my mother hasn’t told him would it be wrong for me?

œDaylily

Old patterns revisited

I like to be upfront in my blog and – as much as I wish I could say all this self-compassion and mindfulness is helping – right now – it’s not.

Things suck. I’m getting over a sinus infection and I’ve been experiencing a migraine for 2 days. These are physical and can wreak havoc on my emotional stability.

I fucking hate being unstable. I fight it or fake it until the feeling passes.

My home life is wrought with anger because I feel burdened with the household chores. I have two growing boys and a healthy husband yet if I go out for the evening, the kitchen remains as messy as when I left. I angrily make clear how I feel, “I’m not the only one in this house who knows how to clean a kitchen. So, why am I the only one doing it?” As you can probably imagine this reaction makes everyone clear the room and grow further in distance from my rage.

My family knows when I’m not feeling stable and they joke about my anger and interruptions. “Not funny,” I say. They really don’t understand this is my worst and I need them the most.

There’s a break down in communication because I never learned how to express uncomfortable feelings. Survivors of sexual abuse either take it out on themselves or get angry with the world. It’s seems there’s no normalcy or middle ground.

I can’t fix my emotional self until the physical self is better. I took charge of my health and called my doctor three times in the last week. Once to get on an antibiotic for my sinuses, the second time because the first antibiotic didn’t work and again because my migraine was not responding to a potent medication that I can only take every twenty-four hours. The medication (Imitrex) lasted 15 hours and I called my doctor. She said I was experiencing a cluster migraine and prescribed a tapered steroid.

So, I’m taking antibiotics, steroids and my usual cocktail of Wellbutrin, Celexa and Klonopin. This is positive because I’m healing the infection, knocking out the migraines and treating my depression.

I wish I could feel optimistic. But, the stress of not being on top of my game has made me lose focus on mindfulness and self-compassion. Somewhere along the way I heard the voices telling me, “You’re sleeping too much.” “You need your doctor too much.” “You haven’t put up one Christmas decoration.” My head has been  full of self-defeating thoughts that I can’t run from.

I fall back on my old way of numbing the pain – both emotional and physical. I self-sabotage with a bottle of Pinot Grigio. I know I binge drink. I hate myself more for the lack of self- control.

My appointment with Lynn this week was focused on my emotional health and how I’m striving for mindfulness. I told her I recognized moments where I beat myself up with an inner critic that no one would want as a friend. She asked about my drinking and even after I told her I am drinking as a way to disassociate, she told me I’m making progress with the work of being present with my feelings.

I cannot believe she praised me even though I feel defeated and weak. Lynn told me to keep working on my emotions and allow those feelings to come to the surface.

I wanted to hug and thank her for recognizing my effort. Never have I expressed all of my vulnerability and had someone say, “Good for you.”

Daylily