I’m having a hard time. My stress tolerance is at an all time low even though I’m not having PMS right now. Since going out on disability that was the only time I felt like I was on the edge to any huge degree. Now with my brother dying as well as some other stressors of note, I am dealing with symptoms worse than I’ve had in years. No one said this would be easy. Withdrawal alone can make one symptomatic and now with the situational depression and grief I’m feeling like I’m losing it. (It’s important to point out that “feeling like I’m losing it,” does not mean actually losing it–I am, in fact, coping–just not as well as I’d like)
The last time I was this intolerant of stress was when I left my job. At that point I was on up to 6 mg a day of Klonopin. I’ve since learned that benzo’s do a number on the ability to cope with stress. People who go on benzo’s for muscle relaxation, for example, start losing it mentally after some time, even when they’ve had no history of any mental health problems. I’m on 3 mg of Klonopin now and suffer some intolerance to stress at all times, but expect this to change once withdrawal is complete as it does for most people. In the meantime I’m still on enough Klonopin to continue exacerbating my stress tolerance. I can’t say I’m having anxiety attacks–that’s not it. I just can’t handle stress. I’m driving my husband nuts and he’s been a wondrous support to me. He doesn’t deserve my snapping at him for imagined insults. (yes I can, after an outburst, see that I am overreacting. (and just so you know–I’m not going around yelling or anything–I’m just impatient and irritable)
The other “stressors of note” I mention is the uncovering of feelings around abuses I suffered in childhood and early adulthood. Feelings that were rudely numbed by drugs starting at age 19 are arising into my consciousness. Memories I pushed aside are intruding into my mind and refusing to be ignored. I imagine I have the emotional maturity of an abused 19 year old. I’m on a hair-trigger. But this is what I’ve signed up for; dealing with the reality of my life drug free. It’s time to really address my psyche in ways I’ve never done before. I’ve never even talked about these abuses to anyone. I never thought of telling and no one ever asked. These insults are not chemical imbalances–they are real life events that would challenge anybodies mental health. I am grateful I now have the opportunity to look at them and heal them–not numb them out of consciousness.
To be clear–I am not any worse than any time I was fully medicated. Medication never helped me and that was why I kept upping the doses–because I believed they should help. I was out for the quick fix for close to 20 years. More and more drugs and they never did a thing and ultimately destroyed my coping capacity to the tune of disability. I have come off over half my meds and seen no sign of worsening. I see emerging memories and feelings as an improvement. At least I now know what I’m dealing with–what I was trying to run away from so desperately. Now I have access and intend to deal with it in therapy.
I haven’t seen my therapist in a couple of months due to running back and forth to California for various family duties. My father’s been sick–had to go take care of him. He got better–had to go move him from his home to the town my sister lives in. And now my brother and his cancer–went to California for two weeks to be with him. I’ll be going back to California as he worsens–could be as soon as another two weeks. Shit, do I have my plate full and when am I going to be able to get back to me?
And then there is how all this drama is effecting my marriage. There has always been an imbalance in who needs more support. My husband has always been the source of support for me and he doesn’t always get all he needs. This pains me. I know I’m difficult and I know he deserves more from me. But I don’t have it to give. That is a source of guilt. Not only am I not always emotionally available, but now, with my chronic fatigue, caused, most likely, from the withdrawals, I’m not particularly physically available either. We have a half of acre of land to maintain. I used to do the mowing of the grass. We have a hilly property and pushing the mower over it is about a 2 hour intense workout. I can no longer do it. It must be done at least once a week. And then all the other chores. I’m only up to them occasionally. I’m not pulling my load. My husband does all sorts of heavy manual labor around the house. He’s built a shed, put in a floor, made all the wooden raised beds for our garden and much more. I’m not skilled with my hands–the lawn mowing made me feel like I was doing at least one physically demanding thing to balance the work load. Not being a productive part of the household is not good for my self-esteem and strains the generosity of my husband.
And what happens when my brother actually dies? Will I get worse? The thought of him being truly gone forever overwhelms me when I think of it. Shit–it’s just around the corner.