Yesterday I posted about mental illness, sin, and abuse. I said I am experiencing greater compassion and forgiveness. I am.  I have periods of peace, IF I have low stress and plenty of time to myself.

I also have, to varying degrees at different times, a shock sensation in the middle of my chest, fear of failure-the future-making a wrong choice-regret-hurting others-making mistakes-not coping,  memory problems, sleep problems, rapid-fire thinking, feeling like I’m living on the perimeter of what is supposed to be my own life, bursts of anger when stressed (especially at myself for not coping as I think I should), long-term utter block about making some huge decisions, near panic that I have to get moving paired with total stall about steps to make anything happen, because that circles back to the HUGE decisions, suicidal thoughts (rare, I get through them, hope, don’t want to hurt those who love me).  Run-on sentence.  Run-on experience.

12 years in a  paragraph: It was better for a time after I divorced. I was moving on with life, re-educated for better pay (M.S. Soil Science), married a great, calm, loving man. Then I encountered workplace abuse, repeatedly.  Really.  (This is embarrassing: do I have a “please torque me around” tattoo on my forehead?)  I tried to see it through – then resigned. I tried to see it through again – then resigned. Tough for a while. A lot of anger. Better again, working at a couple of low-responsibility jobs with few other demands. Better yet after eliminating food sensitivities, and with hormone support and stress reduction to improve my screwy adrenal pathways that divert to produce cortisol rather than progesterone (hence, anxiety and sleep problems). The adrenal issue is, apparently, a possible byproduct of (drum roll) long-term stress. Happily and comfortably off antidepressants after 23 years. Now, my wonderful 90 year-old parents need help and change but can’t quite get around their deeply ingrained collecting and habits – 1700 miles away. I’m just back from 2 1/2 months with them. No quick fix there.

I live in a small town, and have talked to the local counselors and psychiatrist, (who has almost flippantly said that I might be bipolar, or obsessive compulsive, or that depression may have just burned out brain cells that aren’t coming back – as he writes out another, different, prescription). In counseling, I heard a lot of, “well, what do YOU think?”

Overwhelming? Not compared to what many of my blogger friends deal with. Maybe quite manageable for most people. Even to me, it sounds like a soap opera. Sounds like high drama.  Sounds like excuses. Waah, waah. Time to get off my pity pot? No one can do it but me. So, in the absence of a voice from heaven, or real insight from counselors, friends and clergy (a couple of lovely bloggers excluded), I am troubleshooting it myself. I want to be stable, wise, calm, clear, faithful, peaceful, responsible, steady, trusting, decisive (about anything!!!), resilient, FAITHFUL – but I’m not. Could this be the after-effect of 20 years of “running the gauntlet?” Or is it just me? Hey, God, what do you suggest?

So I have recovery to do. The abuse is in the past. Now I live with the ME that is left picking around in the debris of my emotional health.  The me who has some big decisions to make that will affect the rest of my life, my dear husband’s life, and my parents’ lives. Now it is ME who fears coming unglued and being vilified and ostracized, who expects those I love to decide I am just too heavy to be around (and would be almost relieved if they did – then I wouldn’t have to take their needs into consideration, too).

Self diagnosing….I wonder if it might be the constriction characteristics of complex PTSD. Not full-blown. No flashbacks, or anxiety attacks. Definitely triggers. I’m looking into getting different professional help. Try, try again, I guess. I never before thought it could be PTSD, because I haven’t had a life-threatening trauma…just lifeSTYLE-threatening, SANITY threatening, long-term HELPLESS-feeling trauma. Some family members may see me as a lazy hypochondriac. Oh, well.  Can’t do much about their opinions, if they even have them. My husband doesn’t “get” this, so he patiently and passively waits on me to figure it out. My closest friends are devout Christians. They have their own ideas. Tremendous love and support, but this is my baby.

Often lately I am able to relax,  to “hear” God, or myself, or the universe….in any case… to feel calm, loving, hopeful, strong-enough, get to the core of the issues without freezing again. Able to bask in forgiveness and let my heart out of its tight little cage. To quiet my mind, and open myself to faith, in whatever I am able to believe. I nurture that most protectively. It feels like the beginnings of real healing.

This is what helps – A LOT:

  • Bloggers who encourage and empower with their stories, prayers, courage.
  • Gratitude, and lots of time alone and peaceful.
  • Meditation, prayer, massive journaling (and blogging).
  • Visualizations of spiritual protection and barriers against bad energy, soul ties, or spiritual strongholds, for lack of better terms.
  • Writing and speaking affirmations of progress, faith, hope, self-encouragement.
  • No Bible advice (book or human) – too misused, too confusing – staying open, asking questions, but not willing to juggle jots and tittles or commit to blind obedience.
  • Physical care: good nutrition, avoiding food sensitivities, avoiding blood sugar spikes, exercise, rest.
  • Complete start-over with God/universe – no expectations, but being wide open to a more positive paradigm than via churchianity. Being still enough to “hear” and maybe see the Person beyond the hype.
  • Some very good books with really relevant information.

This is a long, odd post. I know. Makes me feel very vulnerable. But there is a purpose. How do other people know what it feels like if no one talks? How do people support someone when they HAVE NO CLUE? Other bloggers have blessed me with their honesty. My turn, I hope.

At this point, enter from right stage, my friend “THE HAMMER.”  (Tomorrow’s post)


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2 thoughts on “Self-help…HELP…..HELLLLLLP!

  1. Denise Hisey December 30, 2012 at 1:29 pm Reply

    Hi Diane,
    Your struggles tug at my heart…I continue to pray for you.

    • ranthegauntlet December 30, 2012 at 5:18 pm Reply

      Denise: Your prayers mean the world to me. Thank you so much!


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