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Strange Star

Thread starter #1,153
I am so ready to go home.
I am very depressed to see my uncle's decline. I have a cold. It is cold and pouring rain here today. I have averaged 3 hours of sleep each night I've been here and I am exhausted. I am in this totally weird place where I am watching myself interact with my uncle and seeing what it was like for me as a child with my family. I am never right. I am not allowed to have opinions. People don't listen to me, or if they do, they laugh off what I say. I am meant to be personable, adaptable, happy. I am having persistent (but fast at least) flashbacks to my childhood (many visits to Washington because my grandparents and my uncle lived here).
The good thing... I can watch how depersonalization and derealization allow me to cope with familial interaction. I can see why I thought my uncle could help me when I was a child when he actually was totally unable to because of his own issues. This visit is blasting me in the face with stuff from childhood...not the physically traumatic stuff, but the much more amorphous emotional stuff. I see why I learned to doubt my own grasp on reality. OMG. There is so much going on. Far more than I can or want to write here. And I'm all worked up because Anthony posted a response to one of my posts that had a tone that set me off. I don't usually engage in that stuff, but I did this time. And I'm sorry I did. I don't like arguments or disagreements.
I'm babbling now because I'm trying to avoid experiencing the chaos that's churning in me. I'm sure it will make its nightly visitation tonight, but I am aiming to hold things together until I finish dinner with my uncle. He is coming to pick me up now.
God, I am depressed.
But another good thing...I did get to the exhibit I wanted to see at the Museum of the American Indian.

One step at a time. Get through dinner tonight and breakfast tomorrow, then I fly home.

I thought this was going to be a fun few days with no responsibilities. Wow was I wrong.
 
Thread starter #1,154
Finally, I am moved back into my house.
I haven't been on this Forum much. I have kind of a love-hate relationship with the Forum. I suppose some parts of me love and appreciate the friends I've made here, while other parts are deeply frightened of all I have revealed here, and still others are angry at the time I have spent poking around people's posts when I ought to be doing other things.

Mostly I have shifted my energy to writing on paper and drafting my book, doing art, and engaging in spiritual practices. The book and art are slow going. The three month trial on seroquel sunk me. No motivation to do anything at all. Exhausted all the time. I decided to go off of it. Took a break from meds for around six weeks or so, I think. Now I have begun a trial of low-dose lithium in addition to the 1200 mg. of Gabapentin that I've been on for just about a year. I know I need something to slow my brain down to the speed of my one aging body.

I do not believe I have bipolar disorder on top of the DID and fibromyalgia, as mostly nothing in the descriptions of it match my experience. I believe what's happening to me is a constant battle of parts to take control of my executive function, and that is why my head always feel like it is going to explode with thinking and why my nervous system is in chaos. My behavior in the regular world certainly does not look like bipolar. And I don't have the kind of thinking or experiences that are described in most of the literature, other than occasional euphoric experiences when I am meditating. Anyway, I am hoping that perhaps this medicine will help calm things down so that I can do the therapeutic work I need to do more effectively. We shall see. I am on Day 2.

Neurons are neurons, and their pathways are constructed in particular ways that need to be changed. Whether this is due to bipolar or DID maybe doesn't really matter.
 
Thread starter #1,155
It has been a wild ride since my last entry. I'm delighted to be back in my house after all those months. After living in the tiny place, my house feels like a palace. It's all relative. Probably good to change things up sometimes to get a new view.

I started on lithium. Ugh. Had discontinued seroquel after the 3 month trial because it was horrible--making me feel like I was swimming through mud in my life. Everything an enormous effort. I hated it. The psychiatrist seemed to think it was helping me, but I cannot in my wildest imagination understand what she saw to support that...and as far as I know, she wasn't able to provide me with any specific detail. So, I stopped it. And I felt a little more energetic and was able to make some progress on some creative work.

BUT...psychiatrist seems to fully believe that I have all this manic energy that needs taming if I am going to be able to do the work of trauma processing/healing. Although I don't believe I have manic energy or am bipolar in any way, I do trust her to some extent, and I do want to heal. So I agreed to the lithium. It's a bit better than the seroquel BUT...

Crazy stuff happening to me more frequently. Parts coming out/hijacking me. Flashbacks with new material. A really intense suicidal part that wreaked havoc with me so a 9-day hospital stay at the place I went last year and hated. I hated it this time too. They simply cannot seem to understand that when I am hijacked by a part, I am unable to do what they want me to do. I can do mindfulness activities perfectly well when I'm not scrambled. Anyway, I failed the psych hospital. They told me not to come back. LOL. Hopefully I will not need another hospitalization ever. But if I do, I guess I will land at our local hospital's general ward (where I was in 2015). It's like a prison, complete with gigantic burly men standing guard and a policeman. Yikes. It was terrifying that first time.

So now I'm living with all these parts coming out and taking over all the time. Sometimes it's quite humorous when I snap out of it (like what was in the grocery cart at the store yesterday). Other times it freaks me out, especially if I lose track of time and I'm not sure if I did or said anything weird. I think much of the time my shifts aren't too noticeable, and for that I am grateful.

The psychiatrist says the parts need to come out for me to heal. She says sometimes things seem to get worse before they get better. I hope this is true. Maybe it is true that the lithium has slightly slowed the spinning in my brain that keeps my past experiences from my consciousness. Maybe this is why the parts are coming out more. Maybe, finally, I will be able to process something of the mess of my past. I have remembered a lot. But remembering is not enough. So...onward.
 
Thread starter #1,156
I am having a challenging day.
Yesterday I spent the whole session with the psychiatrist discussing this issue of resting vs. pushing myself to do things. The answer is always "listen to your body." Well, hell, my body sends me a lot of very confusing messages. So generally I just push until I KNOW I'm near crashing. She says not to do this...that I will just keep making myself sick. "But!" I insisted, "I can't just stay in bed all day!" And she says maybe I need to.

I simply cannot wrap my head around this. She claims it is not the medication that is making me exhausted. Perhaps she is right. Perhaps it is the fibromyalgia.

But if I didn't have my alarm, and the gargantuan list of things to do, I would probably end up in bed all day. This seems wrong to me. But she says, "You're sick. You need rest. You need to accept this." AAAAAGH. She says, "It takes a lot of energy just being you." Well, LOL, she's right about that one!

I suppose I know she is right. I don't want her to be right. I just want to have energy and feel better. This argument has been going on since I started therapy. Maybe I will have to experiment with it. Maybe I can stay in bed with no alarms for a week. I am having surgery on Tuesday, so that will probably crash me out for a week anyway.
 
Thread starter #1,157
Yesterday I had surgery. Voluntary. To finally change my body. I don't know if it worked and she did what I asked...there are still lots of bulky bandages and I can't see. tomorrow i can take a shower. my hands are shaking too much for capital letters right now.
The pain medicine is totally useless. Worse, it is giving me terrible flashbacks of a kind i havent had for years. freaking me out enough that i am up out of bed doing things to fend them off.
i cant seem to sleep, but i am supposed to. ugh. i thought maybe the surgery would slow it all down and i could rest. but i am trying best i can.
also trying to wrap my head around how i will feel if the surgeon didn't do as dramatic job as i had requested. I was clear, I thought. well, we shall see. sigh.
 
Thread starter #1,158
Slowly I am recovering from surgery. The surgeon did not do exactly what I asked for, and that both enrages and disappoints me profoundly. But at least things are better than they were, and hopefully will relieve some of my neck and jaw pain, and help me with my posture. Which, in turn, perhaps will help with the pain in my legs. Time will tell.

The recovery has been miserable for me. Not so much because of the pain, but because of exhaustion and panic and intense flashbacks. Psychiatrist says this is not surprising, that surgery is traumatic for anyone and in particular for already traumatized people, and that anesthesia is quite toxic and takes a toll on the body. My surgery was around 5 hours, so that's a long time and a lot of anesthesia.

Today marks two weeks. I am feeling somewhat better, so that is encouraging. Going to get bloodwork this morning (YUCK) and for another follow up with the surgeon. Just to make sure there is no infection. I have gigantic incisions across my chest. Feel like Frankenstein's monster.

Other than having two kids by c-section, and oral surgery when I was around 9 or 10, I have never had surgery before. I hope I never have to have it again. It does not jive well with Fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue, and it certainly seems to have dredged up a lot of awful stuff from my past that I've kept conveniently hidden from consciousness.

I am glad it has been cold and rainy for days and days because it keeps me from getting too frustrated by not being able to get out in the garden or on my bike. Just read, rest, repeat. Which is probably mostly what I need now.
 
Thread starter #1,159
I am feeling so profoundly sad today.
Working on "just being" with that. Not fighting it. Not shutting it down. Not insisting that I have no reason to be sad. Just feeling it.

All my parts are sad. They're other things too. But mostly just scared and sad.
 
Thread starter #1,160
So I guess I am back to the Forum and back to my diary for a bit. I'm not quite sure what is motivating this, other than feeling really lonely and wanting to talk about some of the stuff going on with me that is frustrating me. I just posted a thread on the link between chronic pain and psychiatric issues. It was really helpful to get the responses I did.

I have been sleeping most of the day. I woke up feeling exhausted and in pain and I let myself go back to bed. I've been up and down a few times, to eat, let the dog out, and move my body a little...but mostly I have slept. I don't know if it is the humidity (blah), or something cosmic (after effects of the eclipse), or something burbling in my unconscious or subconscious, or the stress of being involved in a fight with my private disability company, or just that I allowed myself to surrender in today's fight to be normal and productive. Probably some bizarre combination of all of these things.

I am not as sad as I was on Friday. Which feels nice. Today, I'm just a swampy mix of a lot of different emotion. I'm being rather taoist about it all. At least I like to think I am.

I am getting better at identifying emotions in my body, rather than just intellectually. This is HUGE progress for me. I have this thing about being embodied. I could write many thousands of words about my "thing" with this, but I am just too tired and it would all be intellectual anyway.

The problem (which is, I think, also the solution) is that the more I am able to connect with my body, the more I realize how truly awful I feel. But I am practicing practicing practicing just being with all the awfulness and not trying to do anything about it to make it less awful. Because I know, in my head, that I have to process all this stuck feeling if I am to heal. But it is very hard to not switch or land in flashback or rush to some action to fend off the awfulness.

I am going to re-read the book called The Language of Emotions, I think. I forget nearly everything it said.
 
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