As you saw in Shaun’s most recent post, there’s a lot going on at Polyskeptic Compound in terms of new people appearing on the scene. It appears everyone has new partners and is excited about them and that is pretty awesome!
Well, not everyone has new people. I don’t…but I have something else: an increased Zoloft dose, a new therapist (soon) and emotional development! And really, people, isn’t that the BEST partner?
I’m sure it’s easy to read sarcasm into that statement, and sometimes when I am feeling alone in the ginormous emotional task I have presented myself with maybe I feel a little broken and bitter. But honestly, this time I don’t feel alone. I feel loved and supported, and despite all the newness around everyone has been there for me. I feel very cared for, which will make my recovery speedier.
The last few months have been harrowing, to put it gently. In this time I have: Come clean about the fact that I was raped with those who love me, had terrible experiences with unprofessional and uncaring therapists, made a final attempt at civility with a biological family I already felt abandoned by at the time of the attempt, finally said things in a not-so-civil way so that we could just get this shit over with, ceased communication with said bio family, spiraled deep into depression and anxiety, made an appointment with a therapist my dear friend goes to and thinks will be an excellent match, lost my sense of humor and had panic attacks about my partners replacing me with their new partners and my chosen family falling apart because I am not worthy of them, got a Zoloft dosage increase, got my sense of humor back, and am happy for my family’s new connections.
I cannot say enough good things about antidepressants. I fought with myself about the dosage increase, calling myself weak and undisciplined. I was also depressed and depression lies. When I made the decision, I let everyone in the house know (since adjustment before was really tough). The first night was awful. I had been really depressed all day (and all week, which is why I made the call to up my dose) and taking the second pill in the evening threw me for a loop. Meanwhile, Wes had one of our friends over so I felt inclined to try and hide my anxiety, but that never works very well. In addition, Shaun was in the process of getting things to work out with his newest partner and was bringing her over.
I was convinced that this was the beginning of the end, that I was obsolete and imminently replaceable. I envisioned everyone in the house finding families that fit better with them than me. I was waiting to be told that I am the weakest link and that everyone would be happier if the family I want didn’t exist. I was absolutely terrified and had the closest thing I have ever had to a full blown panic attack. Wes came upstairs to comfort me and as I fall deeper into chaos I whispered, “I would die without this family. I don’t want to live without all of you.” When I uttered these words, something crystalized for me and I gained a greater level of understanding. Then Wes said, “Me too.”
All the while, I was very aware that this was my depression lying to me and that these fears I have are deep rooted and persistent as they were taught to me at a very young age. It is so easy to learn the wrong things, harmful things when you are young and unaware and soaking everything up like a sponge.
While this may sound dire and horrible, it was actually somewhat positive. For one thing, I wasn’t feeling jealousy. I was feeling fear of abandonment while also feeling in favor of the new relationship. I recognized the fear for what it was, and while that did not make it go away, I was able to see a light at the end of it. Forcing myself to think through what is happening while have an emotional meltdown meant that I clearly saw the problem and that pinpointing it allows me to have well defined, achievable goals for therapy.
The next day I woke up still not doing too well, but I took the next dose anyway and hoped for the best. By lunchtime I was a different person. Or, more to the point, I was what I have learned to accept as Normal Gina. I was talking to people, getting work done, laughing, cracking jokes, and being helpful to coworkers. Even better was I was observing myself and felt confident and could see, finally, why people would love me and want me around. This may sound trivial and absurd, but the belief that I am worthless is entrenched and ruthless.
It has been a few days and I am still feeling like myself. I have a lot of work to do, but I feel capable of doing it and know that I will succeed. And though I am still feeling some of the stress and fear of new people replacing me (it will take a while and a lot of effort to remove that fear) or of being treated poorly because I am now Old News and Broken, I will trust in my loved ones and let them show me that neither of these things will come to pass.
Don’t get me wrong, antidepressants are not a cure-all. I am still having a very hard time with life but I can manage and even have fun and have some release. I was getting to the point where I wanted to be a hermit on a hill somewhere, and the Zoloft brought me back down to the village at the foot of the hill.
So, no, I don’t have anyone new in my life. But I am working towards something just as exciting: A new me. A freer me. A happier, more self-possessed me. A sexually liberated me. A me without constant shame and fear. And then? Maybe new people. Maybe not. Who knows what the future holds?