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Random Thoughts [Started 4/20]

I have found that there is always someone higher up, there is always something greater. I wonder where the chain of command ends, or is it really just a demented circle?

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I look younger now than I did a year ago. I wonder why. Is it because I've lost weight, and that in turn made me look younger, or is it because my mind is a year older, and I am more aware of how young I really am in comparison to the potential span of my life?

-----

All the forces of the universe have been bent against me today--everything has taken so much more energy, effort--but my heart managed to dislodge itself from my ribcage and roam freely outside my body all day long. I have no idea why it did, but the experience was in turns pleasant and bizarre.

This out-of-body weirdness needs to stop. Am I not eating enough? What's wrong with me? Is my heart messed up again? I know my heart has been freaking out these past few weeks, but I don't know what I can do about it. I've started exercising on a regular basis again, and that should help somewhat, but other than that, I'm at a loss. Then again, cutting the caffeine should help as well....

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[Continued 4/21]

I'm now officially completely off my anti-anxiety medication and ohholylord how did I manage to survive all those years without it? No wonder I had psychological, social, emotional problems. I have taken them virtually every single day for about the past ten years and it's really unsettling to feel my body, my mind, my feelings react to things in ways that make no sense. The medication made the abnormal reactions stop when I first started taking it a decade ago, but it was years of cognitive therapy that helped me learn how to behave normally. How to function without fear. So my current behavior is in line with what I learned from psychotherapy, but my inner workings are screaming in sharp contrast. There's really no way to describe it adequately, but "perpetually unnerving" comes pretty close.

You know how when you hear a conversation between two people, you can sense the moment when conflict starts? There's a increase in the tension in the air, warning bells go off in your head, you look up to see if the expressions in the speakers' faces reflect the bite in their words? Yeah, that moment of recognition that something's wrong--I've been feeling that all day. It's a flash of "a fight's gonna break out," but the only problem is that nobody's upset. Nothing's wrong. No one's angry or tense. But the emergency lights keep flashing in my head and it's really distracting. It's only when the conversation smoothes on to other topics, when the danger has been averted, that I can look at the situation critically and realize that there was no conflict in the first place. The alarms sounded for no reason.

Was it always like this before I started taking meds? Jeez. No wonder I had problems interacting with people. No wonder. How can you react normally when you've never known normal and everything feels like a threat? I'm really tempted to never have children because it just seems so selfish to inflict mental illness on a child. It doesn't matter who I have children with, my offspring are pre-disposed to have mental problems of some kind, whether it's anxiety, depression, or something worse. How could I pass on this heavy knowing, this extra awareness to someone who doesn't have the vocabulary to understand it or the capacity to deal with it? I know it can be overcome--I overcame it, barely--but it just seems so unkind to do something like that to a child....

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The way my skin pulls over the muscles and bones in the backs of my shoulders is lovely.

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[Continued 4/23]

I looked at myself in the mirror today and realized that at some point, I turned into a pretty girl. I don't know when it happened, but it's strange. The slope of my nose, the arch of my eyebrows, the gentle point of my chin. The lines in my neck, the solid muscles along the sides of my waist, the curve of my calves.

I have to admit that it sort of bothers me. I have identified myself as being an ugly girl for so long, so very long, that suddenly being pretty is disconcerting. Who am I? Hating pretty girls used to be my secret hobby when I was younger. Lovely blonde girls who didn't think, didn't hurt, didn't have to try. I recognized years and years ago that I was prejudiced against stupid people, but it wasn't until today that I really started to evaluate my feelings for attractive people.

All I had to do was dig a little and suddenly all these old feelings, thoughts, voices came flooding up through the ground. There are the faces of people I hated because they were good-looking and that in turn--in my mind--made them shallow.

What worries me most is that people may look at me and not bother to break past the surface and explore the universe in my head. I wish I could pass out tickets for a free trip through my skull. Not only would it be painfully entertaining, but then, at last, people would really be able to understand me.

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[Continued 4/24]

So I've learned how to understand other people. That's not to say that people can't still shock me, but now I can work through their thought processes and come out on the other end at the same place that they did. Which is great and all, but if I'm the only person who does that, what good does it do? So I can feel compassion for anybody now, what does it matter? When other people are happy, I can taste their joy. When other people hurt, I suffer their pain. This is exactly how I used to feel as a child. I was so freaked about making sure that nobody was unhappy, uncomfortable, because if they were, I was, too. This being able to get into other people's heads, other people's bodies, other people's lives needs to stop. Maybe I need to get back on that medication again, after all.

It's upsetting to find that your body just isn't strong enough on its own. The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak, indeed. I want to be mentally and psychologically well, but my body just doesn't produce the right chemicals in the right amounts.

The most frustrating thing is that I can understand all this, but other people can't. If I had never dealt with mental illness and I heard about somebody going through what I'm going through now, I'd think they were weak. I'd think they were lazy or stupid or inferior. And the thought that people, just like that healthy version of myself, think or would think ill of me makes me angry.

There are some things that can only be learned through experience.

It's tempting to keep all this to myself, to give no one a reason to judge me, but I'm living in a country where mental illness of any kind is ignored, and I know that that's not the right answer.

Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
lalenalefay
May. 1st, 2005 11:03 am (UTC)
yes.

what's cognitive therepy?

i'll write back to your wonderful emailcomment soon, i just needed an lj fix...
alexakaruda
May. 7th, 2005 11:39 pm (UTC)
Cognitive therapy (CT) is basically psychotherapy. For people who've been depressed for a long time, their actions and ways of dealing with things tend to reflect their depressed feelings, and CT helps them learn how to react to and deal with things "normally."

In my case, even though the medication had balanced out the chemicals in my brain and I was no longer suffering from depression on a chemical level, I still did things that made me feel down. I would sit in the dark in my room all the time. I didn't go out and have fun with people. I didn't feel bad, but I didn't feel good, either. I didn't smile when I talked to people and although I was kind, I wasn't outwardly friendly, either. I had to learn to smile when I talk, to get out of my room, out of my house more frequently and enjoy the outside world. It took a lot longer than finding the right medicine did, because I had to do a complete overhaul of the way I acted. Also, when people would invite me to hang out or whatever, my natural reaction was to say no and stay in my room where it was "safe." But that made me miserable and I was always feeling sorry for myself. Now, whenever people ask me to hang out, even if I feel like staying home, I make myself go out and I'm always glad I did.

That sort of behavioral change really has nothing to do with medication--it's a choice that CT taught me that I have. Before the CT, I didn't know that I had behavioral patterns at all, much less that they contributed to my depression. How you use what you learn in CT is, of course, up to you, but it gives you tools for reshaping your lifestyle.

Hope that answers your question.
alexakaruda
May. 6th, 2005 03:10 am (UTC)
Thank you, sweetie. I really appreciate that, especially coming from you, because I know you only tell it like it is. ^_^ But then, if you weren't blunt, you wouldn't have Lee blood in you, would you? ^_~
(Anonymous)
May. 1st, 2005 10:40 am (UTC)
Could you look younger because you're happier than you were a year ago? (Provided that's the case, of course...)

~Leona
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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