Posts Tagged ‘nightmares’

Hello My Old Friend

August 7, 2017

So nice to get re-acquainted.

Not.

Fuck me man.

I got anxious today.

Now.

That should go without saying, having been diagnosed with clinical anxiety and clinical depression about a decade ago, that I would have anxiety now and then in my life.

But.

Shit.

I’d sort of forgotten.

Good grief.

It snuck up on me today.

Perhaps because I had suddenly some unexpected down time and that can make me a little tight in my chest, a little thread of something is wrong running down my spine, unscheduled down time, what the fuck will I do?

And I had plenty to do, I always have something going on.

I did loads of writing.

I did loads of laundry.

So happy the landlady replaced the washing machine, the gift of not having to go to the laundry mat next to the 7-11 on the corner of Judah and 46th is no joke.

I did yoga.

I had lots of lovely phone conversations today.

I went grocery shopping.

I cooked food for dinner.

I had a scrumptious salad for lunch on the back porch during the half hour of sun that came out in the Outer Sunset.

Man.

It has been foggy.

I’m about ready for that to be over weather wise.

I went and got right with God.

I did some meditation.

Life is great!

And.

I ordered books for school and looked over another syllabus that got published for my fall semester.

That’s when I noticed it, the corroding of my nerves, the odd feeling in my body, the small shivers of panic.

Oh.

Hello.

I had forgotten you.

And.

Oh.

Hello.

Fuck off.

I don’t need you around.

I mean.

I really don’t.

Anxiety pulls me out of the moment, catapults me into the future, where there is not god, there is nothing, there is only fear and terror and pain.

And it’s always a bad future.

It’s not a sweet, kind, gentle, loving future.

Nope.

It’s a.

YOU’RE GOING TO FUCKING FAIL SO YOU BETTER MOVE YOUR ASS NOW.

Kind of future.

And I still might fail.

And that’s ok.

I mean.

It is at least familiar.

I know this feeling, I have had it before, and I can live through it.

And I didn’t have a panic attack.

I had the scattering of one at the beginning of the last semester when I was super uptight about practicum and getting my internship nailed down.

Fortunately I was having a work day where the mom and baby were at her office and I was going to pick up the monkeys from school.

I had some down time at work to do cleaning and fold laundry and prep stuff for dinner and I got an e-mail regarding some financial aid thing and then another about registering for practicum and something in me just popped.

I got super wound up and it felt like a cement bucket of fear was riding on my chest and creeping up my throat.

Yay!

Anxiety.

For two and a half years I took antidepressants to deal with the depression and anxiety.

I stopped right around my five years of sobriety.

I came off them real easy.

I had been on the lowest dosage anyway.

But.

I felt like I didn’t need them anymore and I was riding my bicycle a lot and nannying some pretty energetic kids and I was doing ok.

I was also began eating a diet abstinent from processed flour and all sugars (except those occurring naturally in fruit, bring on the apples!) and that was a big thing too.

My diet got really clean, I got daily biking exercise, and I was out in the sun a lot pushing a stroller to and from multiple playgrounds.

The anxiety dissipated.

And.

The depression fell away.

I lost lots of weight.

I got happy.

Sure.

Shit happened.

Life happened.

When it was a dark and rainy winter the depression would slide back in a little, but for the most part.

Nothing.

Until.

I started grad school.

Anxiety nightmares.

Stress dreams.

Mild depression each winter semester.

Nothing that I couldn’t titrate with a touch more sleep or with a little more exercise and then I added some flax oil into my diet and rode it out.

The anxiety was easily the worst my first semester of school.

Now.

Today.

Not so much.

But.

It was there.

And truth be told.

It annoyed me.

It pissed me off.

I was like.

No.

NO.

I am not doing this again.

I know what this looks like and I know how to handle it and.

AND.

It never has been that bad.

It never has been the nightmare of not having enough time to do all the things and read all the things and write all the papers that my over active imagination likes to tell me it’s going to be.

Not once.

Not.

Never.

I never stopped blogging, which I told myself I would drop if it got bad.

I never stopped doing morning pages, ditto, I’ll stop if I can’t handle the writing load.

Oh.

Sure.

There were days here and there when I didn’t.

But I was pretty steady through it all.

I also know from experience, this for me is the most basic form of faith, that I always get things done.

And that there really is no need to be anxious about things.

I sent out a few messages, got some sweet responses.

Made a phone call to my person.

Wrote out a gratitude list.

And went about my day.

There are things I am going to have to do and my fall semester this year will look different from my last two as I am in practicum and I am seeing clients and I’m basically a practicing psychotherapist.

Not a psycho.

Haha.

Sorry.

Gallows humor is probably not the most attractive thing in a therapist.

Or is it?

Anyway.

I reached out to my supervisor about my schedule and I saw some openings and some things that I may have to adjust to and change-up.

But.

Overall.

I got this.

I got my books ordered.

I am still waiting for the release of one more syllabus though, I may still have to purchase a few books, but that’s fine.

I got my first text-book in the mail and I started reading it yesterday and yes, it will start traveling with me as I go about my week.

I worked through the anxiety.

I had a nice quiet talk with myself, assuaged my worries, gave myself the you can do it pep talk and basically really breathed into it.

All in all.

I can handle this and I was told that this would be a challenging year.

Haven’t they all been?

But.

That I have seen others walk through it and I know if they can do it so can I.

Plus.

I have a pretty amazing support system, fellowship and community.

I’m going to be just fine.

Because.

I already am.

Today.

Right now.

In this beautiful moment.

There is nothing wrong, and my life.

Well.

Let me just say.

It’s fucking fabulous.

Amazing really.

Luckiest girl in the world.

Seriously.

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The Magnificent

December 9, 2015

Reality.

Is so much better than fantasy.

I was listening to someone who was fondling the idea of drinking a martini to celebrate an anniversary.

It made sense.

But it also creeped me the fuck out.

I am grateful I don’t go down that path.

However.

I hear a lot of folks talk about it this time of year, the holidays.

I didn’t really need an excuse to use or drink.

I was happy.

I was sad.

It was a holiday.

It was Monday.

I had a great day at work.

I got fired.

It didn’t fucking matter what time of year, it could be any holiday, Arbor Day was a fantastic day to do blow.

I have no idea when Arbor Day is, but I was ready to celebrate.

As I round the corner toward my birthday, Christmas, New Years, I see how that old story used to work with me.

It’s time to celebrate!

Hey, I know!

Let’s celebrate all my rent money going up my nose!

Yay!

It was a white Christmas, a very, very, white Christmas that last year.

And I’m not talking  about the kind of powder that makes skiers happy on the slopes.

Although I was carving out some lines in the snow.

I started out with a martini that night.

Top shelf.

High end shit at a fancy pants restaurant in the SOMA.

I ended the night at some bartenders house in the Tenderloin playing strip poker with my dealer and some “friends.”

Actually, that is not true.

I ended the night a day later hiding under the covers in my bed having stolen a bag of blow from a friend and shoving it all up my nose and then resigning via e-mail to my job.

Yeah.

Bring me a martini now, motherfuckers, because that shit looks so good.

Eek.

So very grateful to not be in that place.

I shared about that, in a rather vague sort of way, I only had a few minutes to speak, and how I was much more fond of reality, the magnificent reality, all around me.

Sometimes it’s hard.

And often times there’s feelings.

Fucking feelings.

Can’t I just feel good all the time?

Heh.

I know that’s not the answer, not by far, and I’m ok with that too.

I used to drink and use to not feel.

Or I would eat those feelings away.

Or fuck them away.

But the thing is.

They never went away.

They just got bigger and blacker and heavier and denser, compressed at the bottom of a very dark, very bleak, very black well.

Gah.

The nightmares I was having.

Ugh.

I remembered that today.

How horrible the nightmares I was having.

So, well, nightmarish does not even begin.

In fact, what I find wonderful, amazing really, is that I don’t have nightmares anymore.

The worst I had was an anxiety dream a few weeks back and I am fairly certain that was stress related around school.

I am feeling a lot better since that point.

And that dream was unicorns shitting rainbow butterflies in comparison to the nightmares I used to have.

I recall one that made me so afraid I was going to lose my mind.

It was close to the end and I actually am not willing to write it out here.

I prefer to focus on what’s in front of me right now.

Like.

The lovely conversation I just had with my darling Parisian friend.

I am so grateful to have her in my cohort at school and we talked things to do and places to go in Paris and school and life and got caught up and I feel connected to not only my graduate school program, but just to a new important person in my life.

I love connecting with people.

Being human is what it’s all about.

Having this amazing human experience.

It is amazing.

I actually shared that I had cash and prizes tonight.

They just rolled off my tongue.

Graduate school.

A new scooter.

A trip to Paris at Christmas.

Getting a raise at work.

Who is this person?

I have worked super duper hard to get here and it just feels like it’s really just now beginning.

Of course I wouldn’t have wanted to hear that when I was newly sober, who would, ten years of work before I get some pay off.

No thanks.

And of course.

That’s not true.

The payoff has been happening for years now.

It just hasn’t always looked like it on the outside.

But.

Oh.

How I have changed.

Hell.

How I have changed in this last year.

I got out of a relationship that was not working with the most honest and kind break up I have ever experienced.

When we saw each other for the first time two weeks ago, it was awkward, but we  hugged and it was fine.

No hard feelings.

Just gratitude for the experience.

I wasn’t going to Paris last year at Christmas.

I wasn’t in graduate school.

I wasn’t riding my scooter–it didn’t work and I was too gun shy to get on and try to make it work after barely healing up from the accident in June.

I wasn’t happy last year.

I was in a sad, lonely, terrible place, but I knew it would pass and that I would get through, I could fantasize about it being different.

Or I could do some heavy lifting and do some work.

I chose the work.

And I am amazed.

Just amazed at what this last year has wrought.

Oh.

There’s still been ups and downs, I suppose there always will be.

But I feel softer, sweeter, less stressed, on the path, sure in my journey, happy in my skin, and when I am sad or scared or upset or pressured or anxious, I let myself have the feelings.

Stuffing them down does no good.

Letting them wash over me like the crash of the giant waves at the beach.

Surrendering once agin.

To the ecstasy of being completely carried.

And.

Loved.

Tender Is The Heart

November 16, 2015

I have to remind myself this.

Soft.

Go lightly.

Be gentle.

Be sweet.

Hold yourself like a little kitten.

Don’t swing yourself out over the high stairway by the scruff of the neck and threaten to drop you down the stairs.

That doesn’t work.

It’s ok.

There are feelings there.

The stuff.

Well, it will come.

And.

Yes.

It will go.

And then the tenderness, to be soft, to be kind, to be sweet, to be compassionate to myself and the perfectionist child who is so afraid to fuck up and god only knows what will happen, what catastrophe of destruction will be wrought if I don’t get it all right, if I don’t do it perfect, if I don’t, I mean.

It’s the end of the world.

I look at my stacks of books and all my little post it notes.

I am preparing to write another paper.

One that I thought I would be able to do today, but I realized I was too exhausted from the writing yesterday to make any head way on this new paper.

I did do all the reading for it, but I didn’t absorb as much as I felt needed to do the writing.

I took notes, and they are funny, these little post it notes with a scrawl and a page number.

The article i have to write on is on-line and though I could print it off, I don’t have a printer, and take notes on it, I just decided to read the 21 page article on-line and stick little notes on my laptop to point to pertinent pages I needed to reference to write the paper.

But.

I will need to go back and re-read the article.

I don’t often have to do that.

I can usually do one read through.

But the directions for the paper were not sticking in my head and I wasn’t sure what exactly I was supposed to be reading for and it wasn’t until about page 11 or so that I had an inkling what I might be writing about, which is half way through the article, so I need to go back and re-read.

I had done a lot of reading prior.

And it opened up a box.

Perhaps not a Pandora’s box.

But some links were made in my mind and I noticed a lot of myself in the reading.

It was on trauma.

Sometimes I am able to be a little flip about the things that happened.

Sometimes I normalize them to deal with them.

Sometimes.

Most times.

I run the fuck away.

I don’t duck and cover.

I bolt.

But there was no bolting.

Little rabbit.

There was no hole to escape down.

There was no closet to hide oneself in under a pile of clothes in a dirty laundry basket hoping that you wouldn’t be found out, in the middle of the night in the dark, in a closet, under the pile of clothes.

I used to have that night mare a lot.

Thank God I don’t any more.

But years.

It would just pop up out of nowhere.

Hiding in the closet in the dirty laundry basket waiting for the closet door to open and the nightmare would mimic exactly the acts that I would do.

Except.

For one small thing.

There was never enough clothes in the closet to hide underneath.

Some part of me was always showing.

Some corner of my leg or a foot or an elbow was poking out.

And the footsteps.

They were coming.

Down the hall.

And the door was opening.

The light from the crack between the door and the wood panel door frame.

The way the line of light fell on the floor and I could see that line of light and then the shadow coming in through the door.

And well.

Anyways.

Nightmares.

Trauma.

PTSD.

You know.

All the good stuff.

I read some powerful things today in one of my text books and the pot.

Well.

It got stirred.

And the thing is that’s going to happen.

So when the stirring stirs something up.

What do I do?

I do my best to take care of myself.

It may not always look like what other people think is what’s best for me, but it’s the best I have in the moment and I have to acknowledge how fucking far I have come and all the work.

Gah.

The work.

It never ends.

This work.

I think.

There’s the rub, that’s the problem, I think.

That by this time I would be clear of it.

But I also know that I have come to a softer resting place with a lot of the material.

And so much of it is still blocked out.

I have dissociated with the material.

Does it surprise anyone other than myself that I am pursuing a degree in psychology to become a therapist?

Ha.

Ah.

Life.

She is a funny cookie sometime.

Fortune cookie fortune brought to you by House of Pancake:

You love hard.

Take easy on self.

Let self be loved.

Lucky numbers 18, 7, 25, 48, 53.

If only.

I’m getting better though.

I can see the progress and when I was feeling disconnected and unable to concentrate more on the reading I was supposed to do for the paper, I cut myself some slack and I took a break.

Not a big one.

Just fifteen minutes.

And when I sat back down to continue reading.

I read something else for school.

I can come back to this material when I am not so tender.

It was a big weekend.

I did a lot of work.

Emotionally.

Outside of school.

Although school was the platform that provided the emotional entrée into the stuff going on behind the scenes for me.

I am glad to know more and I am grateful to be in school and I showed up in a really big way this weekend and wrote a gigantic paper and did hours and hours and hours of reading.

And.

Talked to Professor Dubitzky about a time to have a phone conversation with her about my Psych(e)analytic paper.

We have an appointment for Tuesday night at 8:30p.m.

Not sure how the hell it’s going to work since I’m getting off work at 8p.m.

I suppose I’ll hit a cafe with my laptop and sit on the phone and do the deal.

Note to self bring laptop to work on Tuesday.

And.

That’s the weekend.

Back to work tomorrow.

Not that I ever really left off working.

Although I did double dip tonight and get to see a lot of lovely people.

Grateful for all the love in my life.

All the lovely people.

All the love.

All the things.

All the god damn time.

Even when the pot is stirred.

It just makes for a sweeter stew.

Go Where the Resistance Is

January 29, 2014

Sheesh.

Why did I call you?

Oh yeah.

Perspective.

Ah.

Go through the difficult stuff, accept that there will be challenges, but I don’t have to allow myself to be hurt and I can get out of my own way.

“Darlin’ you’ve been resisting this for years,” he paused, “you crying yet?”

Affirmative.

I have to stop wearing eye makeup.

Or just surrender to the fact that on the occasion when I connect with certain people in my life I feel safe enough to cry around them.

I was not feeling so safe tonight in my normal spot on Tuesday evenings, there was some disturbances in the force, so to speak, and I felt for the first time what it meant to have some PTSD in my life.

Like I flippantly will acknowledge that I am most comfortable with my back to the wall.

I like to see what the fuck is coming my way.

I like to be prepared for all eventualities.

“Diapers, water, sunblock, sweatshirts, snacks, water bottle, wipes, sand shovel and bucket,” I patted myself down, “phone.”

“Oh yeah,” I said and smile, “babies.”

Or boys.

They are boys really.

I am a good nanny because of that but I forget that just because I am adept at my job that it is an easy job.

It’s not an easy job and I think that I am just some lazy person who has to work really hard to just get by, that struggle means I am doing a good job.

That is such bullshit.

I don’t have to work so hard and I bet if I wasn’t trying so much things would come easier.

I can advocate for myself and as I have been writing about I have some amazing people in my life who are urging me to do just that.

I am the one blocking my way.

Which is why it’s great to have some folks in my corner to give me suggestions and I am, defect of character that still works, a people pleaser.

I don’t want to let my friends down so I will take their suggestions.

Besides I know when I am balking that this is where it’s at.

“You only get hurt when you resist,” he concluded.

And then the tears really did overflow.

I looked up at the tops of the trees brushing the low hanging sky, the fog starting to rumble in like the wet wooly beast it is, weaving through the tops of the trees, obscuring Twin Peaks, a few dense, bright breaks of blue, then grey.

I think that my life is grey.

When that is me resisting.

I am resisting going over to that blue light, that clean, brightness scares me.

You know, I am most comfortable in the dark, hiding behind some clothes.

I used to have nightmares that would keep a therapists in caviar for decades and I remember often in them that I would hide in the closet to escape whatever was coming for me.

I would get in the back of the closet, beneath all the low hanging clothes and burrow under the dirty laundry scattered along the bottom and hope fervently that I just looked like a crumpled bit of laundry in the heap and not the scared child I was trying to still my breath to non-existent.

It wasn’t until recently that I began to wonder if those were really dreams or perhaps memories.

Just because I felt safe did not mean I was.

Hiding in that closet did not save me from being hurt.

It didn’t then and it won’t now.

So, here’s to traveling through the resistance and finding out what is on the other side.

“Honey, I have been doing this for 29 years, and I’m in my sixties, how old are you?  In your forties, you have 40, 50, maybe even 60 years to go, get the fuck out-of-the-way.”

Yes indeed.

Get to living.

“Go to Paris,” he said.

“Paris sucked,” I said, in a hot flash of tenderness that felt like I was poking a canker sore I thought has healed but is still there just below the skin healing slowly.

He laughed.

“No, your perspective sucked,” he said.

“Ah, yes,” I said, “Paris did not suck.”

Sigh.

I know this all sounds vague and nebulous but things are cooking and I am loath to take the cover off the pressure cooker until the meal is done.

Suffice to say I am walking through the resistance, taking the next action in front of me and listening with open ears and an open heart to my advisors, friends, and support network.

It takes a fucking village.

But fortunately I know that my walking through this and all other things that I have gone through, enhances my life and is of great service to others.

I mean I help a lot of people and I don’t do a lot of talking about it.

There’s just no point, it’s just what I do and it keeps me in the mix, in life, showing up, again, so that others will be pleased, but also, because, it saves my life and gives relief from the consistent wah, wah, wah in my brain.

Habits of a life time take some time to break, I have to wear some new grooves into my brain channels.

To that affect I am also going dancing, ecstatic, with one of my best girl friends on Saturday.

Can’t tell you how long I have told to go get my dance on.

Time to suit up and show up and I don’t know, dance, meet new people, spend time with my dear friend.

You know.

Rocking my life.

Because the real resistance is thinking that something needs to happen.

HAPPEN NOW.

To make me better.

I am better, for fuck’s sake, I am great.

I don’t have to always be on this improvement kick–let me stuff yoga, surfing, maybe re-pledge to do the AidsLifcycle ride in 2015, lose some more weight, finish a book, get published, go back to school, take a class in sign language, French, accounting, or make up–the list goes on.

I dont’ have to get up and do a thousand crunches.

Oh yeah, I did that once for about two months.

I was nuts.

Let me stop, pause, look at the resistance and say, go here, rather than go run a marathon, you don’t need to improve.

You just need to take a deep breath and go through.

Going through I am.

Here’s to seeing you on the other side.


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