Last night, I sat down and wrote a blog post. It’s a monster of a post, at 1,535 words, and goes into detail about what I’ve been dealing with for at least six weeks. Or more. I don’t really keep track, as such things can be a bit depressing. Best to forget about it until nighttime rolls around and you’re reminded that, yes, fuck, you can’t fall asleep.
But I don’t want to share that post because it’s depressing. And in the past. I’ve gotten sleep over the last three days, more sleep that I’ve gotten in the past two weeks, and I’m all about forward momentum. Let’s not dwell on what has (hopefully!) passed.
An excerpt from my Morning Pages this morning:
Everything’s just been such an uncontrollable whirl-wind for me, lately, that the world is still spinning a bit even when my feet once again hit solid ground. I can’t hit it running; rather, I need to take baby steps to regain my footing and balance that hands from helpful friends gives me. I can’t mend bridges overnight, but I can take those first humbling steps to begin the process of rebuilding those relationships worth saving.
On Sunday, I had a major panic attack/breakdown. I don’t remember much of it, other than I was shouting, “What’s the point!” a lot and hitting my head while saying, “This isn’t my brain!”
It was scary.
Really, really scary.
It’s only happened to me twice before, but never like this.
Sleep issues morphed into insomnia.
I’d sob as I watched the sun rise and I still wasn’t asleep.
No matter what I tried — no more caffeine, calming music, medication, no sugar or HFCS — I simply could not fall asleep.
This wasn’t all that bad in the beginning. I just dealt with it. Went to class, did art, ran errands. Was always tired, but what could I do?
As time went on, I felt myself unraveling. A thread being pulled.
Sleep is imperative to manage my FMS symptoms. When sleep went, the pain skyrocketed. I was forced to take 3 of my heavy-duty painkillers every day just to get through it. The only problem was that my pills give me energy instead of making me drowsy.
You can see the problem here.
And so, after five weeks and two medication tries, I found myself a zombie. My brain wouldn’t work. I couldn’t focus on things longer than five minutes. Words escaped me. I was always in pain. I took to the couch, hoping to distract myself with mindless TV. I sketched my portraits — my only savor, the only connection I had to the thread swirling around me.
The second medication sent me into such a deep depression, I was suicidal.
(I’m not anymore.)
I’ve smiled on the outside. Feigned happiness. On Facebook, my true self came through a few times, and I often deleted status updates the next morning. I learned who my real friends are and who are fair-weather friends.
But inside there was a maelstrom.
I was falling apart.
I called my doctor and told him I was so desperate to fall asleep, I was going to bash my head into the wall until I knocked myself unconscious. And I wasn’t joking. Wasn’t embellishing. It would distract me from the fire that had become my body, flames of pain licking at the last cool solace in my mind.
Deadlines passed. Emails weren’t answered. Content wasn’t prepared. Art wasn’t made past the sketches in pencil.
There was nothing I could do. I was gone. I didn’t care. I couldn’t — to care would mean to un-numb myself, and then the agony and frustration of my condition would hit me.
And I was afraid of what would happen.
Friday, we tried a new medication. I was warned that, at higher doses, it would have an interaction with my omg this medication cost half a month’s pay meds that I need to stay on. We were confident this wouldn’t happen.
My father ordered me to bed. Brought me tissues. Gave me something to help me relax. Checked on me.
Everyone was scared.
Me, most of all.
So that’s where I’ve been. And I’m sorry if things fell apart. If I owe you something and it never materialized. I’m sorry that the plates up in the air crashed down around me.
In the middle of it, I had no idea why God would hate me so much as to throw all this at me. To break me into pieces.
Maybe it was so that when I finally pull myself back together, the armor isn’t so thick.
The art can pass through it more easily.
And I can know where true support is (clue — it isn’t really Facebook but my friends on there).
We all have things we are dealing with. Problems and deadlines and obligations and families. But when you’ve shattered apart, cursed the heavens, finally snapped, none of that matters. Only a hug. A call. A text message. Something.
But I’m rebuilding.
Growing again from the sand at my feet.
I’m a different person. I’ve gone through that dark night of the soul and am walking towards the light. I’m not there, yet. I’m still on the final med and walking on eggshells, afraid that I’ll go into an attack at any moment. I don’t want to — Sunday was my Darkest Night and I never want to go back there.
Things may be different around here for awhile as I regain my footing. I’m painting more. A lot more. Working deep in my journal. Smiling as I realize how far I’ve come. Looking over my portraits and wondering who’s hand drew those. (Mine.) My smiles are real. I’m happy. Not jumping-up-and-down happy, but faithful happy. And I think that’s better than anything else.
I’m kinda excited about where I may go.
(And that means I’m not totally numb anymore.)