Thursday, September 12, 2013

Psychology Today

A roller coaster is in my psyche! I started out tired and somewhat gloomy, got a small lift at Jazzercise, back down when I had to do a marginally official task of picking up license plates from the car dealer, back to house where I almost tacked the beginning of a nearly insurmountable paper/bills/mail sort and almost cheered up, only to go to therapy where I ended up dropping back into a psychological pit.

I imagine the good news is that the yawning gulf of despair is not a permanent condition for me, and I only flirt with wholly jumping in, or getting chased in by intrusive memories and flashbacks. I suspect it is good to not have depression that never relents, but it sure would be nice to have no depression at all.  I have known a few folks with major depression, and frankly, they are not doing all that well, if they are still alive.  What would it have looked like for me if I had gotten treatment sooner, I wonder. But with my husband's activities and suicide I don't think I had a hope to avoid PTSD this year.

PTSD is kicking my butt, literally, but some days I think I am improving.  I had no idea what PTSD was like until I had it.  I didn't know what it would be like to sometimes feel that the only part of me that has substance is my eyes looking out and that my body is insubstantial below my chin, or the opposite sensations I can get that my feet are magnetized to the ground and can't be relied on to move up or forward. The most similar feeling I've had that might make sense to someone else is when my foot twists inside a slide style sandal and I find the shoe is sideways but still on my foot and not surprisingly, I am on the verge of falling.  Another mom I know who lost her son unexpectedly and also was diagnosed with PTSD asked me if I ever felt that the world around me was made of tissue paper.  It sounds so silly to envy someone else's wacky body sensations but not being able to trust the world around me sounds somehow better than not being able to trust my body.

Today I feel better than other days, my body has only betrayed me with arm numbness and anxiety. Hooray! And today I feel my sobriety is not in question, because I went to my rehab facility and facilitated a relapse prevention group. If you want to keep it, you have to give it away, and so I did, and I feel stronger.  I almost remember actual joy, and then I remember the rest.  But 10 steps forward and 2 steps back is still 8 forward.  Basic math always wins, right? The hardest to learn was the least complicated.  Thank you, Indigo Girls. Thank you sobriety.  Thank you, God.  Thank you, interwebs, for being my therapist.

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