Friday, June 15, 2007

Changes Changes Everywhere

Wow - it's been almost 5 months since I've posted anything. 5 months is a long time. And a lot has happened in 5 months. At least I think so anyway. I wonder how many times I can say "5 months" in one paragraph? Hee.

In one of my previous posts from the beginning of the year, I'd pledged to begin taking care of myself. I'd gone to a psychiatrist and been prescribed medication and also had an upcoming appointment with a therapist. Let me say all of that is the best decision I have EVER made.

I'm still seeing the therapist. I've been seeing her once a week since January. Just being able to talk to someone objective has made all the difference in the world. I'm not a talker by nature at ALL and I thought it would be really weird. But you know what? It wasn't. And it's not. It's a very cathartic experience.

I feel so free. Much lighter. We started at where I was and now we're working backwards. I didn't really want to work backwards, because even though I didn't and still don't know all that troubles me (and really, who does?), I DID know that my troubles were most likely caused by past events. It's hard looking back but it's good for me. And it's making me stronger.

I knew I had many issues with my past. I knew my past made me very angry. I'm still angry. But at least now I can express it. Which is more than I can say of previous times. I carried that anger inside for so many years. I was angry that I was angry. I was angry that no one could SEE the anger. I was angry that I couldn't rid myself of the anger. I was angry that I couldn't EXPRESS the anger. And it was eating me up inside.

There are people in my life upon who my anger is projected towards. There are situations from my past that I am still angry about. Situations of growing up that made me angry as a child, and now as an adult the anger is very real and finally THERE as anger. As a child you feel something but there's no outlet, sometimes no name for it. And that stays with you, as it has me.

I've always been the "good" person. The calm one. The one that can "make-do". You have no idea how much that pisses me off. With the help of the therapist I am seeing what that has done to me. I am seeing what I can DO about it. I am seeing that though that WAS me, it doesn't have to BE me. Part of my anger is reconciling who I was FORCED to be (through circumstance and necessity) with who I AM.

I am going through so many changes so fast. I should be scared, but I'm not. I'm elated. I'm angry. I'm happy. I'm confused. I'm saddened. And I welcome ALL of that. I'm ridding myself of what I call my Tin Man Syndrome. I can FEEL.

For so long I felt dead inside. Unable to express emotion. Unable to FEEL emotion. No clue what I should be feeling in what situation. Only aware that "normal" people would feel something at some point in some situation. But I couldn't. I was so used to caging up all of who I was, that I lost my essence.

Depression is a bitch, ain't it? I am truly amazed at how much depression has affected my life. How much it has held me back. Medication has done wonders for me. I'm still on Lexapro and Klonopin. My Lexapro dosage was upped from 10 mg to 20 mg. My Klonopin, however, is being decreased gradually. By the end of the month, I will be off it completely. I've just gotten a prescription for Ambien because sometimes I have trouble "turning off" to sleep. But my sleep is so much better now than before. I used to go to bed late, still not sleepy, couldn't fall asleep, and once I fell asleep, I would wake up 4-5 times a night. So I was averaging MAYBE 3 hours of interrupted sleep. That makes the world so very gray and foggy. Now I'm working off of 6 to 7 hours of good sleep. And it has made a world of difference in how I feel physically.

I don't have panic attacks anymore (the upping the Lexapro dosage took care of that for good). I still have symptoms of PTSD (the sleeplessness), but nowhere near as bad as what it was. I know I still have the GAD, but its effects are being lessened every day through the medications and through therapy. And I still have depression. Depression is a part of my life, but no longer my WAY of life. I can tell if I'm in a down cycle. But I snap out of it. Being self-aware now, helps me a great deal. Therapy is teaching me how to deal with all of this.

No things aren't all birds and pretty flowers and trees, but at least I can see the world in color. I can't remember the last time I could do that. I have seriously been living in this horrible horrible gray state of turmoil AND nothingness for as long as I can remember. It doesn't seem quite so horrible when you're in it, even though you know something is wrong, but NOW, having some space and being able to peer from outside to inside, I honestly don't know how I lived in that.

I feel blessed this year. Very blessed. I feel that by finally admitting I had a problem and admitting I needed help, I started the process to free myself. By freeing myself, I opened myself up to new experiences and a new me. Something I'd feared before, but now welcome with open arms.

The amazing thing is that other people have noticed the changes in me. Being IN this, I didn't really think that there would be anything VISIBLY different, but apparently there is. My boss (now retired) was aware of what was going on (since therapy is during work hours) and she thoughtfully stated one day that I was such a different person. I was interactive. I was engaged. I was proactive. My roommate (who of course knew too) told me that I was different, as well. I was out of my room. Talkative. Animated. All of that shocked me. I had no idea that others could see or would see. It was and is still very touching to me that people care enough to validate what I feel inside.

At work, I'm doing well. Though my retired boss is still around two days out of the week, I am mostly on my own. I have a new boss, but she is our leader and very busy, so I'm entrusted to perform my own duties. That would've scared me shitless before, but now I'm confident. I've been at this post for 11 years and my feeling is "you can do this, girl". I'm smart, I'm educated, I'm well-trained, I'm fit for this job, and I'm qualified. So no problem. One thing at a time. One step at a time. And I'm good.

Also another very much unexpected change. I have been without a relationship for almost 5 years. I was not looking for a relationship. I did not want to meet anyone. I did not CARE to meet anyone. I was almost resentful that being with someone would take away my precious time.

Well wouldn't you know that shortly after staring the meds and therapy, I met someone. Wasn't even trying to meet anyone. But for whatever reason I was so open to him. And now I have a boyfriend. He means so much to me. We've grown close quickly but I'm very comfortable. It's still a fairly new thing for me, but I am blessed to have him in my life. Every day with him is a day I welcome. And I actually APPRECIATE him and enjoy his company. That is very very weird for me.

I am making an active effort to PARTICIPATE in this relationship. I'm 30 now (WOW!) and this is probably the most GROWN relationship I've been involved in. Real people. Real problems from the past. The real deal. And I couldn't be happier.

Once more I can see I wrote a lot. I've been writing for a half an hour at least. But that's me. I always love to write and now I have the energy to care enough to actually write. Gotta love it!