September 29, 2012

The Void

I don't really have much to say, but I haven't posted in a while...

I've been trying to pay attention to what triggers this feeling of emptiness that I have sometimes. It's a really strange feeling - I don't feel incredible depressed, it doesn't make me want to curl up and never move - but I still want to just disappear because it's a pretty unpleasant feeling. It feels like nothing can fill the void so when I feel like that I just move around from one thing to the next trying to do something that will make it go away. I did a lot of cleaning last week, and it helped to distract, but it always comes back when I run out of things to clean.

It definitely gets triggered by being by myself - it's like the emptiness of being physically alone triggers the feeling of being empty inside. I also notice it sometimes when I get triggered with trauma stuff. I'm not really sure what it is - sometimes it makes me feel like my life isn't entirely real... so does that mean it's derealization? Am I dissociating a little bit to deal with anxiety? I don't know, it's confusing. I've tried to talk about it in therapy but I got even more confused because I couldn't describe how I felt.

When I was little, before anything bad happened, my family went on a vacation to California and we visited Alcatraz. I was completely freaked out by it - there are pictures of me in a jail cell and I look completely miserable. I remember that afterwards I had this weird fear that I was still really trapped in one of the cells and I was just asleep and dreaming my real life. It's kind of a good analogy for how I feel now. I'm trapped in the jail cell of my mind and the rest of my life is just a dream.

September 14, 2012

Feeling Progress

Wow. My most ridiculously stupid post, in which I tried to say post as many times as possible, is already one of my most viewed posts... Kind of strange. I'm not usually that crazy! I swear!

On a different note, I talked a bunch this week with my therapists about how I've been frustrated about talking about trauma stuff and feeling like I'm not making progress. It helped me realize that just saying what happened isn't really enough - I've been trying to avoid facing and dealing with the feelings associated with the memories. So I ended up asking my therapist to help me talk about that part more and I also asked her to kind of validate what I talk about in a way that might help me stop minimizing what happened. I was so nervous about asking, but my other CBT therapist has been encouraging me to ask for things that I need. So I tried to ignore all of the thoughts that tell me that I don't deserve to ask, or that she would think that I was criticizing her or that I was being indulgent, or even that she would just reject me, and I asked her. It turned out to be so empowering and positive. She was glad that I had asked and told me that I should always bring something like that up because she wants to know how to best help me. We also talked about progress and how sometimes it's so slow that I feel stuck but it helps to look back a year and think about where I was then. This time last year I was between hospitalizations and I was just reacting and not really coping all that well. Now I am making choices about what to do, I am coping, and I am (with the help of medication) not feeling so horribly depressed and anxious. I felt so much better after our session and I'm now feeling really positive about how things are going.

September 10, 2012

Just Some Thoughts

I've been feeling pretty frustrated recently about what to do with my traumatic memories. A lot of things keep triggering me into having intrusive thoughts - the meds keep them from being all-consuming and overwhelming, which is a huge relief - but I don't know how to process my past, so I'm feeling a little bit lost. The same memories play over and over in my head and talking about them helps a little but I feel like I shouldn't talk about it more than once because that just seems indulgent to make someone listen to it multiple times. I know that's probably not something I should be worrying about, but I feel ridiculous bringing the same crap up all the time.

On a completely unrelated note, I've noticed that my body has become really good at keeping me from getting too drunk. For a while after my suicide attempt, while I was doing really badly, I wasn't really interested in going out with my friends at night. Going out and not drinking made me depressed because watching my friends all having a good time while I was feeling like shit wasn't really all that fun. And if I had gone out and had a drink, I would have become completely suicidal. But since I've been doing really well recently, and I'm off of the medications that were dangerous to mix with alcohol, I've been able to enjoy a few drinks. I don't know if it's because of the medications that I'm still on, but I'm no longer able to have more than a few drinks before I feel sick. And I'm totally incapable of taking shots without gagging and having to suppress the urge to throw up. I'm actually mostly happy about that because it stops me from getting too drunk, which would still probably be really bad for my mental health. And it also means that I don't have to suffer through horrible hangovers,  which is great.

I don't have any art to share because I haven't felt like drawing anything recently. I have a few ideas in my head, but for some reason I don't really feel like putting them down on paper. So I guess for now I'm just going to write random thoughts and ideas down until I can bring myself to draw again.