Sunday, February 1, 2015

Relapse Isn't Failure

It's late and I am tired, wish I could spark a smile
The place is flying high but right now I want to be low
Don't want to move an inch, let alone a million miles
And I don't want to go but I know I gotta go

     Do you know what it's like to grip the counter, staring at your yellow reaction as it stirs round and round, with panic flickering throughout your entire body? People move around you and like lightning you feel their hatred

    - because in that moment, you know they hate you -
    and you know it's irrational but it won't stop. You grip the counter to feel something sturdy, to resist the urge to scream and cry and curl up in a ball under your desk.
    Your cheeks and throat hurt from suppressing the sobs and your muscles ache from resisting the urge to tear up your world.
    The pain pervades through marrow and soul and you wonder if your spirit is dead and is anything real?
    You know this is wrong, that you aren't thinking rationally.
    But even as the panic eases you can't stop feeling the agony. Even as you refocus and find that yes, you can sit at your desk chair. You can stare at your computer as your mind churns for help.

I just want to feel all right.

  "You were doing so well," says my psychiatrist with concern.

   I was supposed to be taking half the pills by now.
   Instead, I will be doubling my dose for at least the remainder of winter.
   As I gulp down the extra milligrams, I see the chemical structure flash before my eyes. I feel a little hopeful. I feel a little disappointed.  
   I don't feel like a failure. 

Seems like the more you grow, the more time you spend alone
Before you know it you end up perfectly on your own
The city's shining bright, but you don't see the light
How come you concentrate on things that don't make you feel right

    "Sometimes I wonder if I'm selfish or narcissistic for thinking about it, for feeling different and isolated because it wasn't normal. " I glance at her eyes, but only for a moment. I never look much into her eyes when I tell her what happened. I'm afraid to, though I don't know why. 

    "That sounds like PTSD; do you know what that is?" asks my therapist. "You feel compelled to keep thinking about it."
    Yes. Yes, I know what PTSD is. And I've long suspected I had it, but something about hearing someone else say it feels...feeling like a helping hand, really.
    There's a name. I'm not to blame. I'm not a failure.

The times you don't wanna wake up
'Cause in your sleep it's never over when you give up

    Most days, I don't want to wake up. I'm exhausted, my bed is warm and comfortable and I've been having glorious dreams, the dreams I turn into stories. 

    They instill energy. Oh God, I feel alive in my dreams.
    I have control and so I know in my dreams I'm not a failure.

The sun is always gonna rise up

You need to get up, gotta keep your head up     
     Real life isn't like my dreams. I have very little control. 
     Still, lab is soothing, chemistry is interesting, and cats always crack a smile. Friends keep me away from total breakdowns. I have a cat-loving roommate for next year. See, good things happen. 
    Yes, real life is frequently full of fear for me. Do I tell that guy I can't stop thinking about him? How much of my internal mess do I share with friends, in person and/or online? What if, say, my boss finds out that sometimes I have panic attacks - would he think less of me? Will my school think I shouldn't be here? 
    I dunno. But for now I know I can wake up tomorrow and crawl into lab. I can filter that darn methylation reaction and kiss my kitties and somehow, I can't shake the hope that there's good in people and God, even at the end. 
    I'm not a failure, and neither is my life. 

 Look at the people all around you

The way you feel is something everybody goes through
Dark out, but you still gotta light up
You need to wake up, gotta keep your face up

   We're all people. I really believe the world could be better off for everyone in it. 

    I have my issues, but I'm not a failure, and if you need to hear this today: neither are you. 




  1. This is actually exactly what I needed to hear today.

  2. This is exactly the way I would feel if I wasn't so numb! I have PTSD & I struggle to keep feeling and have emotions. I am trying to cope w/ symptoms of diabetes/depression. I made some art today(collage) wore my new shoes around the house. I scored bedtime at the st Vincent de Paul store in Eugene. I'm 63. Time to move into a better groove!