Monday, September 15, 2008

The Slow Pace of Acceptance and Change

I am so tired I feel literally sick, but I cannot sleep. 1:30am wide awake, 2:30, 3:30, 4:30 still wide awake. I started taking a low dose of Trazadone on top of everything else, but it hasn't helped me sleep and makes me feel really awful in the morning. Even more tired than before.

Part of it is the puppy, but I wasn't sleeping even before I knew of or brought the puppy home. Unfortunately, it's not that, "I feel so happy/wired I can't sleep". The kind that happens when my mood shoots up.

No, this sleep is my old, "I have a millions ruminations going through my head and my mind won't shut up, so I can't sleep" insomnia.

Today was my first day teaching a "Teen Group" at the Art Clubhouse. It was during the hours I regularly take a nap 4-6/7. I was so tired, until I began and then my enthusiasm and energy kicked in. Thank god. The class was really good and everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves. I also have a really great helper...which makes such a difference...YAY!

I see so many improvements in my life over the past few months. Actually, I look back, and even before any medication helped me I now recognize that I have been slowly improving over the past few years. The problem is the lability in my mood is such that when I feel good I feel I will always be perfectly well, but when I crash I feel like I am never going to be well.

I am trying really hard to accept I have a mental illness; to say to myself, "My fatigue is a symptom (of the medicine or the illness...who knows), my memory problems, concentration and word finding problems. my sleeplessness and sleepiness...they are all symptoms. Are these better than wanting to die all the time? Yes.

So life is improving, but I am trying to allow myself to accept that life has changed dramatically for me, and needs to change even more for me to become "well" (whatever that means). I am a different person because of the experiences with depression and anxiety I have gone through over the years. My functioning is different than it was. That is hard to accept.

I truly believe my old life is gone. I think my last wolf dream told me that, but my new life is just beginning and hopefully despite the side effects/residual symptoms it will be a life worth living.

I may fall into a depression again, but I think I have some skills now that I didn't have before, and I have a pdoc I trust and know is right for me. I know he will help me even if I get fully well and become sick later on. I also am working hard at integrating myself into a community that matters to me.

So I'm sickly tired, but I am much better off than I was. My being able to say that proves the point. I think my Mom sent me my new puppy as a symbol of the beginning of my new life. The black wolf killed the old me, and the white dog will protect and help the new me grow.

I say my Mom instigated the change, because my puppy came from a breeder named "Casamoonen". Casa means house...I see the name as "house of the moon". My sisters and I all decided when my mom died she became the moon. (which is full tonight by the way). Every night I step outside and see the moon and say hello to my Mom. My new puppy was sent to me by her. I believe that. He is a messenger sent to help me with my transition into my new life.

It is strange how I get sent all these messages in dreams, in life, in everything around me. Does this happen to others? Do you get sent messages that you feel compelled to heed or follow? It happens too often for me to ignore.

3 comments: said...

The problem is the lability in my mood is such that when I feel good I feel I will always be perfectly well, but when I crash I feel like I am never going to be well.

One of the most important things I have learned is to keep repeating to yourself that each swing will end eventually.

jcat said...

I think dreams often happen to reinforce a message that we should have understood already, but maybe need reminding off. Just, sometimes we need some time to work the message out.

You have changed, in the year or so I've followed your blog? I think it is for the better. Yes, there have been things that you have been forced to accomodate - the results of your illness, but I think you have used the time and space to grow enormously. You contribute a lot, to your friends and your family. To your pdoc. To your art colleagues and students. God, taking on a 'teen' class would flatten almost anyone before they even started! And now to your puppy.

And yep, taking on a pup and taking on a child are both huge challenges. So puppies eat and get house-trained sooner than a kiddle. But kids don't chew on your furniture for two or three years... (mother of 4 year-old CJ, the labrador that has just thrown up half the pool hose!)

bbar said...

Of help may be sequenced harp music. It's used at the Mayo Clinic for anxiety by Dr. Diane Scheinder. Check out