There’s the rub

Last night, I slept like a pancake – a side effect of my anxiety and rapid cycling. My thoughts flew around in my head as though they were on broomsticks. I sat up every so often and watched the clock count down to 6:45 a.m.; I wake up at 7. Fuck.

Work was a blur. I was so busy I didn’t even notice my anxiety or remember yesterday’s depression. Whether or not that’s a good thing, I’ll have to figure out later. In between patients, I could feel myself dragging my ass due to lack of restful sleep. I made sure to leave at quitting time; I’m not trying to overload myself like the past few weeks. I’ve sworn off 11 to 13-hour days; I just can’t and won’t do it in this state anymore.

I feel my body responding to the stress like it did when I was younger. More migraines, more fibromyalgia flare-ups, more panic attacks – all symptoms that had been controlled and almost non-existent since I graduated from college. Funny, I was under less stress in graduate school than I am right now.

I can make sense of someone else’s life, someone else’s pain or triumphs, but little insight into my own. I guess that’s why I’m not my own counselor.

A part of me feels judged being on that side of the desk; a part of me doesn’t care because I need to get my feelings out or they will turn on me and spill over onto other facets of my life. I guess I’d rather deal with whatever judgment exists (or I’ve imagined) and get my shit together than ruin whatever good things I’ve managed to create out here.

STIGMA-ta

I remember as a junior in college,  I had a huge breakdown.  To date, it was probably in my top five.  My symptoms were at their peak – I was having terrifying visual and auditory hallucinations, most of which I still do not discuss, but have not had since.  I didn’t sleep for days at a time; I would attempt to rock myself to sleep in the corner of my dorm room, but to no avail.  I had unending amounts of energy, but I felt drained – as though someone sapped my soul out of my body through the bottom of my feet.  My paranoia was at its peak – mostly due to the hallucinations – I slept with a sharpened knife under my mattress.  This scared the shit out of my boyfriend, who after some time, took me to the nearest hospital.

The hospital psychiatrist had been a professor of mine from a freshman course I took on abnormal psychology; I was comforted to see a familiar face in the sterile and intimidating environment.  While the doctor looked over the details of my case, I told him “I got a B- in your class.”  The look he gave me said enough.  There’s no distorting or reading into a look like that.  The lowering of the eyebrow, the turned-up lip, the sudden push back of his head.  He almost screamed, “How did someone as crazy as you pass my class?”

Seeing that woke something in me.  I knew then that my psychiatrist wouldn’t be the last to question my abilities (and he wasn’t), but he shouldn’t have been the first.  Knowing solely about the plasticity of the brain should demonstrate how amazing it truly is.

Amazing and terrifying.