Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The courage to jump

Its Christmas next week... how the hell did that happen so quickly? I'm not going to let myself go into a rant worrying about the multitude of dramas that are possible when my family gets together for extended periods of time. I'm not going to waste my time catastrophising, predicting and worrying myself to death over something that hasn't happened yet. I'm just going to wait and see. The other factor that comes hand in hand with this pesky holiday sneaking so surreptitously up on me is the break from therapy. (D) has arranged for me to have my normal Thursday appointment on Tuesday next week as she wont be working Christmas Eve, understandbly. So, I will see her on Monday and Tuesday and take the chance to bulk up on my coping skills, before I head back up North to see the family. After that I will not see her for about a fortnight, as she won't start back at work until the 4th. The same goes for (M), my Case Manager. It is really quite scary how in a period of less than six months I have become so used to (and attached to) the containment of seeing her twice a week. The longest that I have gone without seeing her (apart from when I was in hospital and even then she called me every day or so) was a week (or two sessions) that she has off a few weeks ago. And I must admit I struggled.  I didn't call her, but I had the back up of (M) being available, and support withstanding, my mood and anxiety levels took quite a major dive.

On the otherhand, as aprehensive as I am about it, there is another part of me that is actually looking forward to a bit of a holiday from therapy. A break from the questions and ruminating that therapy throws up, the over analysing and forays into the darker places in my mind, a chance for the voices to feel not as 'challenged' and perhaps quieten down for a bit. I think, if I am to be completely honest with myself, that a good part of my recent discomfort in therapy comes down to a fear of change. Not that I don't want change, but more that I am scared of what it will look like, or that it will turn out badly and throw up more issues. As much as I don't want things to stay the way they are, at least there is a certain safe feeling in knowing what its like. Its kind of like being told to jump out the window of a burning building. I know I can't stay where I am, and I know that she is setting up a safety net below me for me to fall into, but what if she is not in the right position, or the net is not strong enough to catch me? What if I take the chance and end up smashing into a million pieces at the bottom? But nonetheless, the smouldering fire is gradually pushing me further and further out the window. Its a leap of faith. And I do have faith in her, more than I do with most people, but I also know she is fallible and human, and regardless its just not in my nature to trust implicitly.

Things are beginning to really unravel at the moment, and aside from the other additional stressors of Christmas and the poisonous atmosphere I find myself living in, I put it mostly down to the insomnia.  I think it is getting to the point where it is really starting to push me over the edge. I am nervous and anxious and my hands are constantly shaking. My brain is so foggy and unclear, I'm finding it hard to make it through some of the most basic daily living skills. I get in the shower, and I can't remember whether I've washed my hair, so I do it twice, or I forget to rinse the conditioner out. I go to put clothes on, but I can't make the decision what to wear, so I sit in my towel staring at the cupboard for an hour. I sit in front of the tv for hours staring at it, without ever actually watching anything. I realised tonight that I hadn't eaten anything since Sunday night, not deliberately, I just forgot I guess. So I've existed for the past 48 hours on juice, diet coke, meds and cigarettes. The hallucinations (?) delusions (?), seem to be ramping up, I'm seeing colours and patterns bouncing off the wall. I'm still able to ground myself and tell myself that this is just my brain throwing out weird signals and that it is not real, but the fact that they are there and I have to have this conversation with myself is worrying. The last couple of days in particular has been a real downhill slide.

I am trying to keep it all in check by continuing on as best I can with volunteer work and school work. By making it to my therapy appointments even though leaving the house is the last thing I want to do, by keeping my dates with Bachelor Number 1 on Thursday night, and friend (F) on friday. I called and cancelled my appointment with BabyDoc tomorrow, as I figure that a) I'm going to being seeing BossDoc on the 7th anyway b) BabyDoc seems fairly committed to cutting the medications back, so I don't really see the point in going c) I'm not sure I really want to tell anybody, especially him what's going on as far as the little trips my brain is throwing out. I discussed it briefly with (D) when I thought it was a one of thing, but now that its happening more, I'm a little scared in case it is more than just severe sleep deprivation, and I just want to bury my head in the sand and not deal with it. I am too ashamed to talk about it, even if there is a chance he might be able to do something to change it. And finally d) I was just not up to going up to the purple building of despair, to be locked in an airless, claustrophobic room, and risk another panic attack like last time. I just don't have the energy for it.

Still, I am trying really hard to use the coping skills I have been taught, the deep breathing and the mindfulness to deal with the anxiety. Ensuring I still have a reasonable schedule to provide me distraction and going whether I feel like it or not. I got out the razorblades for the first time in a long time yesterday night, but managed to talk myself down from doing anything, before I risked losing the ability to say I have been self-injury free since 2006. It was bloody hard though, the temptaion was (is) strong, and to be entirely honest it came more down to the fact that I didn't want my bf to see new cuts and I know if I was to go home for Christmas and stay out of the water it would raise too many questions. Honestly, if I would have been able to do it without the risk of anyone finding out, as I was able to do previously, I probably would have. It may just be a distorted recollection, but I can just remember the sense of immense calm and control that would come over me when I used to do it, and its ability to (in that moment) pull me down and ground me.

There are the predicatble late night forays onto google, researching (again) the different fatal toxcicity levels of my medications ect (Information I really already know, but find comfort in reassuring myself time and time again is accurate) I find myself stopping on the freeway overpass near my house and thinking what if. But Suicidal Ideation and thoughts of self harm, are just that, thoughts... I am doing my very best to keep my actions under control, even if I can't control the thoughts in my head.

When I made the decision to reengage with therapy this year, it was because I noticed I was beginning to decompensate and I was trying to be proactive about it before things really got dire. Since I've been back in therapy, I have noticed things have continued to slide back quite rapidly. And I don't know how much of this would have happened anyway, as I was already on a downhill slope, and how much of it is produced by having to rake up the past. I believe wholeheartedly it is necessary that I do this, as I know even in my period of apparent stability, I was constantly on edge, trying to keep myself in check, and trying to keep the unresolved issues of the past from taking over. I was managing the symptoms at best, but had yet to really deal with the underlying issues. I knew that I didn't want to go through my life on a constant vigil, with all of this darkness looming reay to slide out and king hit me the minute I dropped my guard. I was existing sure enough, but not really living. And going into therapy I was aware I was reopening Pandora's Box, and thus opening myself up to a lot of emotional turmoil, but I was hopeful that by enduring through this that there would be a better outcome at the end. I still cling to that hope, but it is getting harder to hold on, to believe there is something good at the end, some kind of peace or closure, to believe that is possible. But I know that my brain is clouded by all the negative stuff it is being exposed to, and that I have to do this on faith alone.

But, I am tired. So very exhausted and lacking in the energy to really care. And afraid, afraid of not being able to cope with what I am trying to confront. Afraid that I am slipping further and further into a place I won't be able to climb out of. Afraid that I will never be able to achieve the desired outcome.

But what else is there to do? I can't turn back, I've opened to many dark closets to try and stuff all the skeletons back in now. Besides, I don't want to live life like that anymore, I would rather take the express train out of here if that is my only other option. So, I must plug on, and keep trying to do whatever I can to force myself to keep my head above water. Even if the coping skills seem pointless or don't really seem to work.

Maybe I should be more honest with (D) and (M) and even BabyDoc about where my head is at, at this point, but faking it seems to be the best way I have to keep my head above water at the moment. So, here I stay, clinging to the window sill of a burning building, trying to find the courage to jump.

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