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Adventures in Therapy: A Relatively Incoherent Update August 30, 2013

Posted by Gina in Skepticism and atheism.
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“Good lord.  Did I really just weigh my comfort and safety against how good a beer special is?  What the fuck else is wrong with me?!?”

That’s how this all started and, my friends, it has been a bumpy ride.  I am not alright and I find humor and happiness where I can.  I will be alright though, and that’s what matters.

This whole thing has really dredged up some nastiness from deep inside of me and has set off some gladiator style contests between okayness and AHHHHHHHHHHH in the arena that is my brain.  Except it’s not really Russell Crowe style gladiator stuff, but more like American Gladiator with Hulk Hogan as the host.  Instead of lions and cool helmets, there’s a lot of kind of hilarious stunts involving bungee cords and human sized hamster balls and, of course, a bunch of beefed up gladiators with stupid names trying to push me into a pit or something.  We’ll call them Insecurity, Anger, Fear, and…Nitro.

Ok, I don’t know how far I can really take this particular metaphor, but it amuses me greatly and IT SHOULD AMUSE YOU AS WELL, DAMN IT.  Really, it’s that I like the idea of my mental health being a show hosted by Hulk Hogan.

Hulk Hogan: Well, Brother, you took a pretty big fall off of that skybike.  You only managed to get 3 foam balls into the basket!

Me: Heh, yeah, it’s a pretty tough course. *pant pant* Insecurity really got in my way.

Hulk Hogan: Yeah, I know, Brother.  Insecurity is one tough mofo.  But you fought hard.  That’s something to be proud of.

Me: Yeah.  Yeah, I guess.

Hulk Hogan: YEAH! *rips shirt in half and throws a chair at the audience*

hulk hogan

So yeah, I’ve been having a tough and somewhat unpredictable time emotionally and at this point I feel depleted and ill and weak.  I’ve been eating really healthy and drinking a lot of water, so I’m doing what I can, but trauma and horse shit take a toll on you.

I started with a new therapist this week and I am looking forward to working with her.  She is a trauma specialist and diagnosed me with PTSD.  We will be doing EMDR therapy and brain spotting.  Look it up.  I don’t really understand yet what we’re going to be doing but it sounds like actual treatment and I hope it’s not bullshit.

I have been describing my current struggles as the Boss Fight of my mental health issues.  I feel like I have dug down to the source of pretty much all my firmly entrenched issues.  As such, my brain is doubling down and torturing me in an effort to save its idiotic and wrong beliefs about why people love me and my worth as a human being.  But thanks to all the work I have done over the last several years, I am finally willing and able to face these things and I am surrounded by a support system of people who will act as healers and melee attackers.

Yes, I have switched my brain metaphor from American Gladiators to Final Fantasy.  Deal with it.

Today the win is that I dragged my ass out of bed, got dressed and didn’t stop at Dunkin’ Donuts for 2 donuts and an iced coffee, and arrived at work on time.  This is how we have to look at things when we are struggling.  Take the wins where you can find them and don’t dwell on the failures.  Crying at my desk is a thing that happens.  Getting Vanilla Ice songs stuck in my head is another thing that happens, apparently, on days like these.

So yes, this is just an update for those of you following my story.  I hope to be more coherent in the coming weeks as the therapy takes shape and effect.  I should understand more about what these particular methods are and how they work and I am hoping beyond all hope that I start to really release the hold I have on myself.  It is time to really start living.

No take-backsies.

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Comments»

1. Caroline - September 3, 2013

Dear Gina,

My psychiatrist and therapist also mention that I have PTSD. Right now however, I want to deal with my processing limitations which seem to be derived from ADD or so I thought. I was told that trauma can also effect processing function and create symptoms that look very much like ADD, so there’s more for me to investigate here. Was my PTSD suspected of being severe, I do believe there would have been some insistence of therapy and referral to EMDR. So I mention this not to draw attention to me but to establish a bit of a connection. A bit of a “I get it” to some degree because surprisingly (to me) there are those who don’t believe that brain/mental dysfunctions/disorders exist unless symptoms can be connected to obvious physical markers and characteristics such Downs Syndrome or the exhibition of extremely disturbing behaviors. Otherwise, “You’re just weak and need to pull yourself up by your bootstraps.” Eesh.

There are other posts I will be responding to but I have days I feel my game is really “on” and so I write, and days that feel more like my brain is sputtering and not maintaining an easy flow of worthwhile thoughts. So while right now I feel very compelled to write and have for a while, I have also learned that it’s also okay to wait for the best processing groove to happen and then respond. At the very least however I wanted to give SOME kind of response until I do get that groove.

You’re on a fascinating journey Gina and you have such a creative way of expressing your thoughts. Thanks so much for sharing because even though I’m 49, I’m only now becoming aware of how our brains function (heuristics & neural mapping) and the social conditioning trap I’ve fallen into. Your humor and insights offer a perspective that helps me with my own challenges. Even when we don’t sense it sometimes, there’s so much good in this life to look forward to!


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