Thursday, January 10, 2008

Despite the sensitive gal sensory overload event below, today wasn't so bad. Really.

See? A smile.

I've been trying to practice resilience this week. Monday was great, awesome. Wonderful therapy session, blue skies, a walk around the lake with the breeze keeping me cool. The ability to look at small things and appreciate them. I had decided to focus on my husband, to notice him, to be his friend, and not just co-parents of the same children. And somehow this was misinterpreted. It is hard to change patterns. Either the new efforts aren't noticed, or misunderstood. Add to that some work stress for him, and some hurtful things were said. Honest to goodness sobbing followed, on my part anyway. I just couldn't understand how my good intentions could have been twisted into something so hurtful. Here I was, working so hard to make things different. And boom. Explosions.

Emotions have always lingered for me. Wait, scratch that--negative emotions have always lingered. How many hours did I spend in my room as a kid/preteen/teen feeling that burn? Stoking the fire of sadness, anger. I find it difficult to accept an apology and move on. Things just hurt too much, and I need time to recover. And so it went on Monday night. I was pissed that my great mood was so fleeting, and wondered how long it would be till I could recapture it. I wondered how long the feeling of wishing I weren't alive would last (note: to me this feeling is very different than feeling like I'm going to actually run out and commit suicide. It is simply feeling so blue, so awful, so misunderstood that I wish I didn't exist). And then I tried something different. I am not sure if this idea was born from my head fully grown like Athena, but somehow I told myself that I could feel crappy all night Monday, but that on Tuesday I had to keep doing what I'd done Monday morning to feel so good. To continue trying to change my patterns of communication with my husband, even if he didn't understand the new pattern at first.

Like I mentioned yesterday I wonder about this. Did I not learn to handle my emotions well as a child? Is it a product of being anxious for as long as I can remember--did stewing feel better than worrying about everything, wondering if I was good enough, doing enough, doing things correctly and perfectly? Is falling down the rabbit hole of depression and gloom a product of having a mental disorder, or is it a habit I fell into somehow? What do "regular" people go through when they have a bad day? Do they just naturally bounce back, or do those days have the potential to multiply like dirty dishes piling up next to the sink?

I definitely believe that I need my medication. There is a place for new skills and coping mechanisms too. I know that I've been working so hard on myself for so long. When did life get so much harder for me? Was it having kids that made everything so much more complicated? Marriage?

Huh. I guess part of me wonders if I'm faking it. Have I just latched on to the word disorder as declared by my psychiatrist and therapist? Rationally I don't believe that, but the thoughts are down in there somewhere I suppose. I know my husband has a hard time with it. A broken arm, or diabetes, or a cold-those are things he can wrap his mind around. Generalized Anxiety Disorder? Not so much. Yet those three words have helped me understand my life so much better, and I really have been better able to translate myself and my behaviors for my husband.

So I think I'll go to bed with hope filling up my heart. I did turn the week around from the direction it was headed on Monday night. Whether it was my medication, an amazing meditation yesterday morning, self-talk and determination, or this nifty gadget for my Google home page giving me a smile every time I see it doesn't really matter. I just need to keep on practicing.


adena said...

hang in there! you are so self-reflective... constantly analyzing yourself ... maybe you need to give yourself a break and just BE? There are good days and some that aren't so good... don't blame it all on yourself, okay?

BipolarLawyerCook said...

Good for you, whatever works. I am firmly convinced that sensitive, smart people are better at driving themselves even more crazy, simply because they don't stop thinking. I try to Not Think a little bit every day.

As for the disorder, no disorder thing, there are lots of studies that there is a higher rate of MI among wicked smarties, and artistic creatives. So no, I don't think you talked yourself into it.

Finally, yay for freckled women and big smiles and your photo site! I am enjoying all of them very much.

cathy said...

What a great idea: to focus on your husband, as you were. Don't be afraid to try that again. It sounds very loving, even though he was too freaked from his own stuff to appreciate it.

I have these very intense memories of sitting in my room as a pre-teen and teen and just brooding. I have journals to prove that I went over and over and over certain episodes. I also re-wrote some stories during my brooding and wrote plays with some of the "characters" in my life. It was fun to add new dimensions to people and to direct their dialogue.

Not to dismiss your feelings but to affirm you, I think that most of us have a hard time accepting apologies and moving on.

Love your smile!