Thursday, February 21, 2008

emotional vacuum cleaner

I'm in the midst of switching medications. My psychiatrist finally agreed that my medication wasn't doing enough for me. The first two weeks have gone really well. I was surprised- I thought getting off of the paxil would be horrendous. I've really only had one headache. And while I'm still ramping up to the full dose of zoloft, I've noticed that things that would ordinarily bring on the stampede of horses in my chest haven't.

I don't feel in the clear yet, though. I'm not completely sure why, but I've had some major free-floating anxiety the past two days. My heart isn't racing, but I feel like a very large person is sitting on my lungs when I try to breathe deeply and relax. I feel awash in adrenaline.

One part of it is my tendency to absorb the emotions of those around me. My husband is cranky with work, and as the frustration spills out of him I feel like I'm sticking my finger into the electrical current of his words.

I read this a few weeks ago, and I just love how Uncle Douglas turns Vicky's empathic nature into something positive and valued:

Because you have an artistic temperament, Vicky, and I've never seen you be
objective about anything yet. When you think about Aunt Elena and how she must
be feeling right now, you become for the moment as though you were Aunt
Elena; you get right inside her suffering, and it becomes your suffering too.
That's empathy, and it's something all artists are afflicted with.

Uncle Douglas to Vicky in Madeline L'Engle's Meet the Austins

4 comments:

cathy said...

I have many conversations with my therapist about this. She wishes that I could "employ" my empathy/sensitivity in a positive way -- so that it could be valued and I could be protected somewhat for the "skill."

I haven't figured out a way to do this yet.

I'm sorry about the free-floating anxiety and adrenaline rushes. I send you soothing ease through the ether.

bipolarlawyercook said...

Yet another reason I love you-- Madeline L'Engle is one of my favorite writers. Hoping you're feeling soothed, and soon, keeping my fingers crossed that the transitioning is otherwise smooth.

rhonda said...

just want ya to know I'm thinking 'bout ya and looking forward to next week. : )

adena said...

I've had good luck with the Zoloft myself, and I do remember some adrenaline feeling at the beginning... so I think you are on the good road...