Written Saturday at noon:

I don’t feel particularly upset about anything in particular (she says, simultaneously aware of the fact that she cried herself to sleep last night but is going to blame the beer as she hardly ever drinks it anymore, and the trip down memory lane occasioned by putting together some scattered notes and links to some old folk songs and “family music”), and I don’t have that “too much/incompetent” feeling exactly.  But my stomach has been hurting and my hands have been a little shaky for 2 hours and 41 minutes now, that I’ve noticed. It hasn’t turned into full-blown freakout, but I do think that if somebody touched me right now I’d probably explode, or shatter.  I have two layers or something, going on at the same time. I am fine in one layer – the layer that goes to the bank and the grocery store and tells my daughter to clean her room.  But I think what this is is that under that layer, there is another one, and it’s a boiling, seething soup of crazy, and sometimes it leaks around the edges, like now. And I guess this is the same stuff that comes up as a tidal wave sometimes and just drowns me, and it seems to come from outside because usually I just plain don’t realize it’s there.  Maybe it isn’t always there.  I can’t tell it’s always there.  But I think the t-doc thinks it’s always there, and I know the p-doc does (Dr. Furrowed Brow, Dr. “I see lots of people with fairly minor problems that can be helped in the short-term, and you’re not one of them,” Dr. Resented).

So I’m just sort of sitting here, going through the motions, kind of keeping an eye on it but vaguely aware that it scares me, that that quickly on the heels of the noticing/feeling comes all that “you are poisoned/ruined/fucked up” internal litany stuff that a lot of me still kind of believes.  And this is how I get to the place where I really fucking need somebody, but the stuff that gets me to that place is exactly why I cannot ask anybody for help (and what could they do anyway?) and why I explode my messy shit all over the very few people that I “let in,” and then immediately withdraw and deflect and maybe even blame, because the very fact of feeling any kind of need is part of a big ugly tangle for me.  That, and not just plain old “exaggerated startle response,” is a lot of why I freak the fuck out when people touch me unexpectedly, or even “expectedly” but just “too much/wrong/i have to start assessing it.”  And maybe part of why I get so fucking angry at people I’m supposed to love and care about – they can’t fix me, and it’s not fair of me to expect them to, but a lot of times they want or need something and I’ll give it t them even though it makes me feel worse, whether that’s an ear or shoulder (that part of me is angry about not getting, but I don’t ask for it), or a hug (which usually makes me feel worse if it makes me feel anything at all). And right now I’m really angry at a couple of people whose touches affect me profoundly in ways that are extremely painful for me, for being here and then going away, for having the power to affect me at all, for having that much power and using it, for having that much power and not using it, for fucking existing and making me feel anything at all.  It’s a pretty big snarl and I’m not being entirely fair to anybody involved in, including myself.  So while I’m not so disabled by anxiety that I can’t work right now, I can’t seem to focus either, or can’t seem to find a place where I care about working in a way significant enough to actually do it.

[in response to a remark about people naturally having different operational layers – the grocery store you isn’t the parenting you isn’t the platoon sergeant you isn’t the filial you isn’t the PTA you etc.  I’ve left the spelling errors/typos intact, as they illustrate one of the side effects of my current meds]

Well, I of course agree – i think those layers and filters are necessary. But I think they can hinder too, and they do when the layers or whatever get too dissociated from each other and / or there is some ‘disconnect’ between mind/body or wahtever, or that feeling like my body is walking around doing all this stuff but it’s just a taped-together shell with a little bit of me in the driver’s seat and a whole lot of me boiling in this nasty mess and not accessible in any real way until it just breaks through and then I can’t control it. In my particular case I guess i am just testing the theory or topic on the table with the t-doc lately which is how anxiety really feels like something that comes out of nowhere and sideswipes me, something with its own agency and agenda, and how usually I feel fine just before, and in fact it happens out of nowhere more often when I’m “fine”. I’m not sure this is coming out in english. So the goal at this point is to try to “watch” it happen and pay attention to it so I can maybe stop it from sideswiping me without klonopin being a necessary thing. so i guess the controlled leak is the better thing here, instead of the “la la la everything’s fine” at one end and the Shattering of the Dam ™ at the other and nothing in between.

It’s not always as bad as i just made it sound, but when it is, it’s so awful i really think I’m losing my mind in a bad way. I really start to believe I am crazy, unfixable, that i’m stuck with this and it’s a fact/label/albatross. And I simultaneously believe on some level, at the same fucking time, totally in contradiction, that I’m just unfocused/too nostalgic/too weak-willed/have brought this all on myself and that all this trauma and therapy shit is just a bunch of hippie nonsense navel-gazing bullshit and it ought to be about bootstraps and if it’s not working, well, i just don’t cut it.

i kind of believe both of these things *at the same time.* And I believe very much that some people i know wiht similar shit on their plates aren’t to blame, and should keep searching for the right meds and the right docs and that it isn’t about bootstraps and is in fact “fixable” in the sense of treatable/able-to-be-improved on. But I can’t always get that to stick when I apply it to myself.

so trying to pick apart how it’s working as it’s working, or even to notice that it’s happening instead of to just suddenly get sideswiped by it, is theoretically a step towards getting somewhere where I’m not strung out in between two exclusive opposing poles but can find some middle ground that isn’t so crazy-making. in theory that’s improvement. and in theory it can get me to a place where i quit exploding my shit all over the place and doing these emotional and intellectual contortions as I force myself to live with contradictions.

in practice, i don’t know. I’m not sure all the anxiety is the same kind of anxiety, that it all works the same way at all, and that is helping vs. hurting. but i do know that klonopin has undesirable side effects and a cost, and can’t be forever, and i also know that the sSRI route is not for me. so i am doing this not so much out of faith that it’s helping as much as out of a lack of any better ideas to try.

Noted at 1 am Sunday morning:

after the klonopin, all the tension/shaking/adrenaline/feeling brittle went away *except* for the stomach pain.  I am alright now – so tired in fact that I might go to sleep in a  minute – and I’m holding comparably very little tension in my body (at least compared to how I was when I woke up today – nothing like a good night’s rest haha).  But I took the smallest dosage of klonopin, and while it was enough to keep me from going over the edge and I was able to relax enough to breathe and move the right way, and think of something to do to change the scenery/tendency, that dose will not stop the stomach pain and neither will any of the stupid breathing exercises or ice-cube-holding.  A few years ago I might have hit it away, or drunk it away, or fucked it away, but all that’s off the table right now, so I’m just stuck here noticing it.  And resenting it.

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