Sunday, April 24, 2011

Guilt

I had a rare day off from work today. It was really nice to not have a time line to follow. I was a little reluctant to manage the Audi driving, organic goji berry eating crowd at Whole Foods, but since my mom was going to be joining me, I decided it would be worth it. I'm not sure how I spent $70.00 on two bags of food, but I did. It's true that I spent $7.00 on some kind of grain to stick my foot in as part of my rehab, but that's still quite a lot to fork over for general groceries! I haven't checked out the new Alfalfa's Market that just opened, but I'm glad they are back in business on Arapahoe, even if it bothers me that the sign that's right smack on the corner is half on one side of the building and half on the other. There's LFA's on one side, and ALFA on the other.

I'm filled with thoughts about what I should be doing: writing this article, finishing my laundry, getting out of my head and any a number of other more productive things. Instead I'm waiting for an old episode of House to start while I make another post here. I like how my cat can nap all day and (I assume) not feel at all guilty. I'm getting on my own case a little after a long afternoon nap, and yet also thinking how easy it would be to nap the day away, if it weren't for the guilt. I have to watch it too, because sometimes I feel like it's easy to sleep in order to avoid thinking. It's another escape, and right now it's tempting to want to run away in dreams.

It has only been recently that I was able to recognize various patterns I tend to fall into in some situations. That's step one, right? Only after awareness can one figure out possible ways to address or change any behavior. No doubt the meds are helping though. It is very subtle at this point, but enough to make me sad that I suffered so very much in my own head recently when there was a simple solution (well, maybe not solution, but a definite improvement) within such close reach. While I know there's nothing to do but move forward and try to avoid past mistakes, there's a part of me that is struggling to truly let things go completely. I am trying to avoid wallowing in guilt for both things I did and those over which I had no control. I bring up the meds, because I remember in the interview that I did with Diane and Dave, we addressed chemical imbalance and how that can relate to eating disorders.

When I was little, I was definitely depressed. I've fallen in and out of various holes, some debilitating, some not as deep, and I've been diagnosed with every possible disorder, affliction and mental illness from bipolar to borderline personality disorder. I'd like to say that I am not my illnesses, and that these labels are merely a way for doctors to put patients in nice little boxes. I'm not saying it's all a fraud, far from it, but it does nothing for actually treating the person. I think what made me extremely reluctant to try any kind of meds was the bad reaction I had in the past to the large assortment of various pills I was given. Now that I have found something that seems to be working with little to no side effects and is more "natural" than something like a cocktail of anti seizure medication and anti depressants combined with an assortment of mood stabilizers, I regret not going on them sooner. They are also helping with sleep, something I have needed desperately. It's not a cure all, so I still have to work on other behavioral things, but it's a start.

I don't know why this situation about a girl I knew who had split personality disorder popped into my mind, but I think it has to do with finding solutions. This lady used to write letters to her various personalities, so that she could keep a more balanced life. It was really interesting, because her main personality would write to her other personality (she mostly had two, though an occasional other one would come up now and then), reminding her that they were in one body. She kept this notebook with her almost at all times. It wasn't quite like Memento in terms of her completely forgetting things, but she definitely was like two different people, and not able to recall everything that the other personality had done. Somehow, telling her other personality about herself worked, and she was eventually able to live on her own after years of having to be supervised, mostly by her parents. 

Ultimately, I don't know if the meds are the type of thing that will eventually help ease the guilt and temper the way I tend to react to things, but I'm hoping the calmer feelings will allow me to think more before acting and especially reacting in the future. heh- at least my mom admitted to some of the same frantic behavior in her past. That made me feel a little better about things. I'm in very good company. I do have to say that while things have been exceptionally trying lately, I haven't gone down my old route of self-punishment. This is crucial, because often in the past when I have felt bad about myself and/or situations, I resorted to cutting back on calories, exercising more, adding more work hours to my schedule and having less fun all around. Instead, I have done the right thing by surrounding myself with good company, continuing my volunteer work at the Humane Society and keeping some balance in terms of eating and exercise.

Tomorrow I have PT. I'm going to keep in relax mode here and try to keep the guilt at bay. Really, things at work and in general are going well right now. I'm glad about that.


What a ride.

Uh oh, a Jem song just popped into my head.  :/

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