For the last couple of months I have been confined to a terrible, horrible place…my own mind. I haven’t written. I haven’t danced. I’ve hardly left the house. I haven’t been participating in life around me. I haven’t done much of anything except medicate to keep from going completely insane. I’m sick. I’m bored. Yet I’m so internally busy I don’t have much time for anything else except thinking. Thinking is a dangerous and slippery slope for me to try to navigate. My brain has always naturally gone to the darkness. It rejoices there and takes comfort. But I, as a complete person, do not. I am constantly reminding myself that, the darkness is not me and I will not be defined by it. I am fighting to retain my courage and to fight against the darkness in me.
Prior to beginning my new dosing cycle at the beginning of December, I was feeling pretty good (all things considered.) I was trying to stay busy and keep myself occupied with friends and family and activities. I felt fulfilled and was happier than I had been in a very long time. I was still having really bad days but they were far and few between. I was trying to regain “life” from within and to participate in the world around me. I was planning for the future and I was hopeful again. I knew that things would not stay that way forever, my dosing was changing and I would again, be even sicker because they were hitting me hard in my new dosing plan. I thought this would be physical. I’ve had a lot of practice with physical pain, that I can handle. What I was not prepared for is how hard dosing would be on me mentally.
The best way I can describe my journey is to compare it to a bonfire. When you first light a fire the flames burn wild and in a fit of chaos, the heat is intense. Once lit, the fire settles into a dancing flame and the heat becomes steady and you become accustomed to it. And then…you stoke the fire and it becomes wild, chaotic and unruly again. My fire was lit when treatment began. Throughout treatment, the fire has been stoked many times and I’ve adjusted (it’s never been easy but this has been mentally more grueling and prolonged than any other period (minus “24 hours in hell.”)) This time, my body is stronger but treatment has been aimed at my brain, the last stronghold for my diseases. Not only is the fire being stoked but the hot poker has been jammed straight into the deepest parts of my brain and held there to “burn away” the sickness while new fuel is added to the fire. This is wreaking havoc in places I didn’t even know existed within me. My brain is ablaze and I’m trying to put it out.
Every fear, insecurity, every negative thought has crept into the “Lymelight” at some point or another recently. It’s a constant barrage of bad that I am fighting every second of every day. With winter now in full force, the dreary days are only adding fuel to the fire. I accept that on dosing days, I have to medicate to stay in bed or on the couch to let the dosing meds do their job and to conserve my energy for my body to fight the diseases. The ups and downs of the weather are not being kind to my body but they are just as devastating to my mental condition. I can’t get outside the way I used to and while I know that spring is only a couple of months away, that seems like an eternity right now. I take comfort in the earth and outdoors. It makes me feel connected to a higher power and to the world around me. Stuck in the 4 walls surrounding me leaves me feeling alone and isolated and disconnected. I don’t have enough I can physically or mentally do that will keep me busy and distracted. I’ve been praying for snow so that I can get outside and do something. I know this sounds completely asinine because the precipitation will cause me more physical pain and add to that the shoveling that goes with it, really overdoing it on my body, but it’s being outside and taking in the beauty and feeling alive again. All in all, it’s a bad situation that just can’t be changed right now. So I’m doing all that I have to just to make it through each day.
I’ve never been one who likes to medicate for any reason. Even with a migraine, I’d prefer to wait it out or sleep it off before I take anything. I hate pills, which is ironic considering the amount that I have to take every day (even more when I’m dosing.) I have a long family history of addiction and I am terrified of becoming an addict. I have wrestled with the idea of giving into what I know I need to do because it goes against everything I want to do. After talking with my therapist repeatedly, I gave in to taking meds that do help. I still don’t take them as much as I know I should or as much as is prescribed but I’m trying. Baby steps until I can get there. I just hate feeling dependent on a pill to keep me calm and get me through the day. I don’t want to be zombie.
Relationships in my life are suffering from dosing as well. I’m withdrawing from people because I can’t be around them. Everyone gets on my nerves. I get on my own nerves. When I’m barely functioning, I can’t handle any outside forces coming at me. Even now writing this, I’m irritating myself. I’m trying to get out what’s trapped inside of me because keeping it bottled up doesn’t help and I’m hoping that someone who reads this who is going through the same thing knows that they are not alone. Someone else is suffering with you. Be strong and keep putting one foot (sometimes just metaphorically) in front of the other. We will get there someday.
This is probably one of my shortest writings but its taken me hours to try to focus enough to get out some of my thoughts. I wish I could be more positive now. I wish that things were different, that I wasn’t so mentally and emotionally destroyed and drained. I know that this is only another part of my journey and that I will come through it, hopefully stronger, in the end.
Hey, you are not alone. I can totally relate pretty much to everything in your post. The seclusion, the aloneness, the lack of energy. Your title says it all. Sometimes, it gets to where I have a very difficult time relating to those outside my head. This seems to come and go, fluctuating, but usually when I’m working is when I experience this mostly. Maybe this has something to do with disassociation but I’m not sure. It feels like a survival tactic at least for me.
I’ve been treating for about 3 years and at least one positive about this is it will pass. Also, I have to take pain meds myself or working would no longer be an option. I get how you feel about taking meds like this. I really worried about it too plus the stigma, the misunderstanding, the health effects. But I finally realized that right now, I need to use them, and I need to accept this fact. Sending you virtual hugs!