Why I Only Talk About Weather…

The conversation we had today, I more or less just listened to you talk about your life. You seemed fine to hear about how my neighbor cut down their tree or that they are building apartments at the end of my street.

However, when I tried to turn the subject to my career, current or future plans. I merely shared two sentences. You shut down. You said you had to go to the facilities. And our conversation was over.

At what point did hearing about my life become hard for you?

Does hearing about my job pain you because you have trauma from them letting you go after working there for 36 years?

Does my schooling or my future plans pain you because you had aspirations of your own that did not come to fruition?

When I try to talk about my troubles around my skin, does that pain you because you feel responsible since it is hereditary?

When I had surgery this summery they asked who they should call to provide updates about my surgery. I said no one. They said you have your mother listed as your emergency contact and asked, should we call her? I told them no because she would just be surprised. She didn’t even know I was having surgery today.

You didn’t know because you don’t want to know about those things. You sound pained and you shut down anytime I talk about anything real.

So this is why I only talk about the weather.

It took me way too long and a lot of therapy to learn that this was never going to change. To learn that I need to stop trying to expect emotional support from you.

And even after I think I’ve learned it, I still find myself oversharing at times. Thinking somehow, maybe this time might be different.

I had to have EMDR therapy about the time I sat in the Allegiant airport after the Pulse shooting, bawling, and you sat stone faced next to me.

I had to have EMDR therapy about the times I spent, as a 6 year old, in my room crying and praying to a God who never answered, concerning the fact that I liked girls and thought I was broken.

Small traumas resurface in therapy like the times you’d yell at me for only wearing one of the 10 outfits you bought me for school. I only wore one, because it was the only one that I had managed to be brave enough to get you to buy me that came from the boys department. Because everything you made me purchase from the girls department made me feel terrible in my own skin.

So what is my part in all of this. My part, as I’ve learned in recovery about traumas we experience as children, is how I’ve allowed myself to carry that impact forward in my life. And yes, I do say trauma, although I know many had it worse. It took me a long time in therapy to accept that growing up as an emotional child with a non-emotional mother was trauma. It was traumatic for me.

One of the main ways I’ve carried this forward in my life is with my attachment issues. I tend to have insecure and avoidant attachments.

I have a hard time forming close relationships with others. In general, I feel reluctant to share about my life with friends because I think they’ll be bored or disinterested in hearing about it. Or that I’ll receive similar pained, judgmental, or non-emotional responses like I’m used to receiving from you.

I feel more comfortable sharing on a blog or through facebook to acquaintances or strangers. I suppose because there is no attachment there. I think sometimes this gives people a perception about me that is not complete. I think it provides them a sense of knowing me, without really knowing me. Sometimes I resent that, like, “you don’t know me.” Yet I continue to share, LOL.

I tend to overshare with those who’ve not yet earned the right to hear those shares. Because I don’t know how to set boundaries for that. This has at times placed me in a position to be hurt.

Brene Brown stated, “I only share when I have no unmet needs that I’m trying to fill. I firmly believe that being vulnerable with a larger audience is only a good idea if the healing is tied to the sharing, not to the expectations I might have for the response I get.”

I have absolutely not learned this skill yet.

Having self-awareness is great, but sharing it, when it isn’t something that is fully healed, with the wrong people, is extremely dangerous.

I’ve had situations when I’ve done this where it’s met with judgement or acknowledgement that I wasn’t ready to hear. Met with agreement, like, “oh yeah, you do that. Like when you do xyz.”

Thanks asshole. Another amends I need to make.

I literally just shared with you my awareness of that behavior. What I didn’t need was for you to provide me with examples of how I do it. Can I perhaps just get a bit of grace? I’m fucked up and I’m human.

But how can I be mad? I chose to open myself up to that by sharing it.

Speaking of sharing. I feel like I am done oversharing for the day. Thanks for listening.

Recent Mental Health Adjustments

It took me almost two years after getting sober to allow my therapist to convince me that I needed to be medicated. And boy did I. My emotions were so extreme and I was so sensitive to everything. It literally felt like I was an open nerve. I was in so much pain.

Finding the right medications and the right balance of medications was a long and painful journey. I went through almost 8 different anxiety meds before finally finding one that worked.

The current combination of pills my doctor has me on is 100 mg of Lamotrigine and 75 mg of Effexor once a day.

I had a bit of a manic episode several months back so my doctor upped the Effexor to 110 mg per day. This apparently was too much.

I went from some brief mania to completely flat. No emotions. To an addict, you would think this would be good. I mean, really! Who likes emotions?? But I felt like I lost myself and I even started to miss emotional pain. I felt like a masochist. I couldn’t find words and words are precious to me. Words help me feel alive and connected.

I had a hard time wanting to do anything but binge tv and lay on the couch. I became depressed.

In fact, I start fixating on thoughts of suicide. Not on doing it any time soon you see, but very stressed about having my plan and method to do the deed in place. If I could have a solid plan I felt I would be happier knowing I was prepared for when the time came that things became too painful.

The plan I started formulating was a drug overdose. I figured it sounded the least painful way to go. I had a surgery coming up for my leg, and I knew they would provide pain meds that I would not most likely need. And my plan was to store them and add to that stash over time until I had the quantity I needed. And then I’d be prepared. You know for the time. Whenever that was.

I even found myself googling, “what quantities of pills would a female who is 5’9 weighing 240 lbs need to take to die?” And “if you freeze medication does it make them last longer?”

I shared some of this thinking with my therapist, who proceeded to recommended that I go back to my med doctor and discuss adjusting my meds again. And to ask about going back down on my Effexor.

Clearly a bit of mania is better than suicide ideation. That’s the funny things about your own thinking. It can be so challenging to identify when they are off balanced or abnormal.

So it has been about 2 weeks or so since I’ve gone back down to the 75 mg of Effexor. I can feel the difference already.

I can get off the couch. And the shitty thinking that causes me emotional pain is back. But I am glad it is back. Because that means the words are back.

Man I missed words.

My perception issues of things such as, “my sponsor likes her better”, “I’m going to block these people from my posts on FB because… **some fantasized story**”, “my boss and co-workers don’t like me”, “pretty sure I will be fired tomorrow”…and so on.

Yeah, all of that is back. And yeah that sucks. But I have tools to deal with the thoughts.

I’m surprised to hear myself say this, but I prefer to feel. I prefer the thoughts. Even if they are shitty sometimes.

I suppose I can’t say enough about how important it is to prioritize mental health. I am grateful I have built this foundation with my therapist over the last 5 years of trust. So that even my most crazy I share with her. Otherwise I probably wouldn’t have shared it. I may not have gotten my meds adjusted. And then who knows.

Tonight I am grateful for my therapist. For words. For shitty perceptions and feelings.