I’ve been getting a bit frequent in my blog-skipping recently. I’m just not feeling that same desperate drive to do something, anything that might glue the parts of me together, might stop me flying off in several directions at once.
I’m a little quick to skip to “I’m fine, I’m fixed, there was never anything wrong with me.” Well, maybe there was never anything wrong with me beyond my inability to cope healthily with existing in the world. I feel like maybe I can say that now.
Previously when my therapist had made any slight suggestion that I wasn’t wrong and weird and out of place, I took it as an attack. It felt like the core of my identity was under siege and threatened with dismantlement. It’s been so long – no! Not “so long”, it’s been all I’ve known in my life. Being “the odd one”. I feel like interactions have oscillated between a frenzied struggle to fit and be accepted, and mumming for the crowd once it became clear my first attempt could never plaster over all my deep innate differences.
Things are changing, things are slowly shifting.
I’m reminded of faerie stories where the protagonist is walking through some streets or woods, or even a blasted heath, and little by little – so subtly that it goes unnoticed ’til it’s too late – the world shifts. The colors change, more intense, more muted, or just different. The air gains a flavour. Sounds echo with an alien ring, and then, like that, they’re in another world without any true idea of which step took them over the line.
I feel like I’ve been doing that in reverse. I’m coming out of a world that’s felt harsh and alien and I’m starting to feel like maybe I could belong in this one. And that I could belong here just as myself. That I don’t have to tie myself up in knots, contorting to fit a socially constructed mould that probably no-one can fit anyway.
I had a teeny epiphany last night.
I’m coming up on menstruation time – which usually intensifies my feelings of difference and discomfort. It’s not feeling like quite the same usual spiralling black hole of spiking emotion and dragging exhaustion. At least not yet. All the same, I had a moment last night, that feeling of being hollowed out and not wanting to do anything. And just like that, I thought about it differently. My brain said “I’ve been drugged!”.
Nearly three years ago my GP prescribed Selincro for me to try and see if it would be useful in helping me to not over-indulge when I used alcohol. Well, it certainly worked to do that, in fact it worked to stop me desiring anything whatsoever. It made me feel so absolutely terrible – mentally more than physically, although I had a really uncomfortable physical symptom of restless legs. It made it impossible to sleep. Anyway, I got through the couple of nights I took it because I knew it was the side effects of the drug. I didn’t for a moment have to face the notion that I would live that way forever. (I wonder if some people’s mental illnesses have them feeling something like that the whole time?!)
In the end, Selincro became most effective in keeping me from alcohol because I couldn’t face the thought of taking the drug and so I wouldn’t drink (you’re meant to take it with alcohol or just before). And of course, that wasn’t really a long term deterrent, but we’re passed that point in any case.
What I had wanted to do was draw a line back to the feeling where I knew it would pass. Now, I’ve always (well, mostly) known brain-wise that my depressive or dissociative or even psychotic episodes would pass. I know intellectually that it’s got something to do with brain chemistry, blah blah blah. But it’s never really felt that way. I haven’t known it heart-wise. And last night, for the first time ever I felt that knowledge with certainty and surety.
It was a little like a religious epiphany (tiny and all of an epiphany as it was) in that it felt like the difference between things you believe in on paper and things you have Faith in. I have Faith now in the passing of all things. It’s sad to believe that the good things will pass too. But certainly thinking of the bad times as being akin to the bad side effect of a drug has been pretty helpful.