Situations, Bio-Chemistry, & Trauma, Part Three
So this brings me to what I really want to talk about: cause & solutions, which can be outlined in three broad categories:
1) Situations: People get angry and freak out because of the situations that they are in.
Lots of people lose keys and don't freak out - other people do. So the question is, "Who is triggered by external scenarios and how do you change the triggering for something less crazy?"
If people are triggered by situations, then what is happening is that something in the present is touching on something in their past. This is what psycho-therapy is for. For example, for awhile there, I seemed to be getting into violent confrontations with people every time I turned around. I spent some time in psychotherpy changing this behaviour - recently, someone hit me in bar and I didn't react in any way except with words. I said, "Hey - you can't hit me." But otherwise, I didn't flinch, and that was some real progress from before. And I was pretty proud of that.
Psychotherapy has you focus on what is unconscious so you can think it through clearly. It's a very rewarding thing to do - on the other hand, when I was told that people were mad at me for something I'd done, and I reacted with total (primal really) fear, then this was a situation which I hadn't dealt with before. And I've tried to understand all that, but it's pretty hard on your own.
2) Bio-chemistry - where you are reacting to external stimuli because of some imbalance in your system.
3) Trauma - now this is the thing I am most interested in now as a possible source of problems and their solutions. Because, face it - I've been dealing with lost things triggering my anger for a long-ass fucking time now. I hardly want to leave the house because I'm afraid of what will happen if I lose something again or feel overwhelmed. And I just keep thinking that there really *is* something in the body that causes the way I feel, which is often *very* physical.
Situations, Bio-Chemistry, & Trauma, Part Two
It's close to 2am - I slept all day on Zyprexa and of course, I'm restless now.
I just found out I got fired from a gig - good riddance to it. Early on in the situation, I screwed up a bit, pissed some people off for "speaking out of turn" (in a manner of speaking) and I could never stop feeling resentful about it. Obsessive grudge shit. That oughta be a warning sign for me - I spent hours burning up phone lines talking to people about it - I just couldn't shake how weird it made me feel to be reprimanded for something so petty. I still did the work as best as I could - and they fired me as soon as the work was turned into one of our "clients."
I should be really upset about it, but after the last few days, I'm so bogged down with having been upset over stupid things, I haven't got the time to care. In fact, it was worry over this dumb-fucking client that got me so worked up on Wednesday - let's call it Black Wednesday just for fun.
After I tore my office up on Sunday night, I seemed to calm down. The ring thing still had me upset, sure, but I was able to put the feelings down...until Wednesday. I had some things to turn in for the client, and I was at the computer by ten, only to discover that my lame boss had changed all the titles of the files were working with, so 1) I didn't know what they were without opening them, and 2) I had to re-name them so I'd know in the future. It just made me mad, because it made what should've been "easy" into a terrible chore. I was cursing her in my head, and getting more frustrated, and then I looked at the clock and saw I had about forty-five minutes to get them to the client. And I had to print and my printer is notoriously slow.
I put all the files in queue and then I made myself play a game to calm down. I was feeling okay, and I put the packet together and got dressed and was ready to go out the door - feeling like I was running late already - and I couldn't find my fucking keys. Goddamn, I just hate the things - whenever I feel frenzied it's the first thing I can't find. So I went in search, cursing the day I was born, feeling like I had so many loose odds and ends in my life, feeling like I was running ragged, and I got angrier and angrier, at the keys, at the dumb client, at all the little projects I was working on and how everything felt like it was at loose ends all the fucking time...
I WAS SOON SO ANGRY. Really, angry, and I knew I felt like breaking something. And I did.
I grabbed the dresser in the middle of the hallway (a bookshelf actually,) and just flipped it. I felt like the Incredible Hulk and then it hit this mirror in the living room and it shattered. I cared but I didn't care - I wanted my fucking keys and I wanted to just Get the Fuck Out and GO ON to my stupid meeting so it would be done with.
I dropped off the stuff in a haze, my left side tingling as it is now, and I went to lunch with a friend - there, I was all a flutter of worry about my Stupid Client. The *work* was so easy and manageable, but because of my screw-up I'd gotten an earful of the politics of the situation and it just scared me. It had _really_ scared me. And I felt the tingle of everything and I just wanted to Drink Beer. I had two with Dan and a couple more after he'd left, sitting at the bar, talking to this old guy about back in the day stuff, and then I headed to my next scheduled meeting - with my shrink.
In the back of my mind I was thinking about what my G-F was going to do when she saw what I'd done, and I was thinking that I'd go to the house and make dinner and clean the livingroom and sweep up all the glass before she saw it. I was an Angry Motherfucker in my shrink's office - I really was upset, and I told him something had to happen with all this shit, that I just couldn't take it anymore.
And then came the coup de grace - I went to the fucking grocery store and got all the stuff I needed - and no fucking credit card. Gone. Poof. Just DISAFUCKINGPEARED. All day long, for days in fact, I'd tried to hold it together, but things just KEPT BEING MISSING LIKE LITTLE BITCHES. Fuck, I was so angry walking out of that store emtpy-handed. Just Real Honest-to-GOD FUCKING PISSED. I couldn't win. I couldn't make anything work right.
Makes me mad just to think about it - see, sometimes, I look back on this stuff and I can't figure out why I was so mad, but the past few days - fuck, I'm still so angry about the ring. Found the keys. Ordered a new AMEX card but I'm STILL SO FUCKING ANGRY it was missing in the first place, that all of it was missing, just when I needed it most.
Situations, Bio-chemistry, and Trauma
So i spent the day under sedation on Zyprexa. I hate neuroleptics - sure, they tamp down the emotions, which makes it easier to think straight, but I can feel them all in there and it just isn't fair because I want them GONE. Dealt with, changed around, transformed. I want them to just not be so intense or something.
It must be winter if I'm spending more time writing here than elsewhere. I went months without a post in here, but I have to talk about this, write it out, because maybe I can get help for it for real this time.
This cycle began over the weekend - the previous week it might have been there also, because I was fixed on getting rid of my girlfriend. I even told my shrink I was going to dump her - and then I just had a change of heart. We were fighting and we just started ...I don't know, loving each other again. She really is a good person, and I have to try and make it okay for her to love me and vice-versa. I know longer no about the "marriage" bit - the very word seems to place all these expectations on myself that I really want to fulfill, but feel so overwhelmed by the world to do so.
In any case - Saturday put her back at work, and I suddenly felt like I wanted a fresh start. My office was and had been a total mess for months - stuff piled up and such - and I just decided to get some coffee on and just burrow away into my office and clean. Place papers in their place or in the burn pile. Mess with my CDs...just generally clear out clutter to make way for something new.
I felt restless doing it - I wouldn't have been able to tell you I felt manic, but by the evening, I knew I did, because when Lauren came home, she proceeded to re-arrange our living room furniture. She asked me what I thought of it as I finally let myself stop working and went into the living room to watch a movie with her. i said i didn't like it, but not to move it around again because I just wanted to sit and watch the movie. She insisted, and I flew off the handle and ran into the guest room shouting, basically upset because I just wanted to sit and I was completely exhausted.
I slept in the guest room that night (something I do a lot when I feel crazy because I sleep better alone) and woke up the next day feeling sorta sheepish and apologetic to her. Knowing that I was manic, I decided I'd try to do all the right things that day - I took a shower first thing, then had my meds. I went to the Baking Co. and had a real breakfast. I wrote in my journal, then got an iced coffee to go and went back to finish up office things. I decided at 4pm I'd go to the gym and exercise. Once at the gym, I noticed I was wearing my rings, and carefully took them off so i wouldn't lose them in the pool, and put them in my pants pocket before I changed into my sweat pants. I made a mental note that I needed to wash all my gym stuff, then went and worked out.
Later, at the house, I tidied up the last bit of my office, placing all the loose papers that I couldn't deal with on the counter, and then Lauren came home. I was glued to the screen, totally pre-occupied and feeling content. She asked me a question and I felt agitated. (She might've said Hello for all I remember) and I realized I didn't have my rings on. I dug into my pocket and only found one ring - the one I liked least - and realized the other one was gone and I just got mad. Really mad.
"Fine, I try to do all the right shit and clean my stupid fucking office and try to make sure my rings are safe and OF COURSE the one I really like DIS-A-FUCKING-PEARS." Jesus, I was so angry, so fast, I felt tricked and mocked like I always do when something I like just goes away, and I swept all the stuff on the counter off to the floor, just saying, "FINE. Far be it for me to try to do the right thing, I'll just get pissed on in the end no matter what I do."
I was SOOOOO ANGRY about that ring. Just livid. And I tried to forget about it but I just couldn't, it made me feel so fucking mad inside that I'd even bothered to try and pull things together when it would all just get torn apart in the end.
Days have passed and I'm still really angry. Losing something has been a trigger for years - but this one *wasn't* a question of being careless. This was a question of being thoughtful about it and losing it anyway, and it sucked in that way.
Next: Part Two
Another flip-out: New Meds, New Direction
I flipped out again. Three times.
Morning: Lost my keys so I overturned a bookshelf.
Early evening: Couldn't find my credit card at the grocery store so I came home and broke a couple glasses.
Evening: Couldn't sleep and thought I'd get up to hammer a nail in the wall by the door to put my keys on. Couldn't find the hammer. Broke another glass. Then found hammer and put up a nail for the keys.
Spent a long time talking to Peter my personal therapist. Called him at midnight suicidal because the tingling sensation I'd felt all day was driving me crazy. I said, "Clearly, this rage crap has nothing to do with being bipolar. There's a physilogical cause brought on by trauma - PTSD. Do I treat it with somatic experiencing or EMDR? Something's gotta give."
We talked for awhile - earlier in the day, my shrink saw me and prescribed more Zyprexa and said I wasn't stable enough for EMDR. I won't get any stabler if I don't stop trashing my house. There's something so deep within me that just gets *triggered* by losing stuff - other people don't do this - I've done it forever and I'm sick of just loading on more meds.
So much anger today. So much rage. So much sadness that this shit STILL hasn't gone away.
I Want to Be Bigger.
I'm sorry. I'm a bit of a mess, and when I'm a mess, I get self-centered and ridiculous. I am actually manic at the moment - have been all weekend, which is okay until I get agitated by something (which could be anything) but tonight it was that I went to the gym today and put my rings in my pocket of my pants and then tonight there was only one ring, and all the stuff that's been bugging me lately just came up. i was going to drive to Phoenix - I didn't go because I just didn't feel like I could justify leaving, with so many projects hanging in the air and my place is a mess, so I cleaned it, placed manic nose to the grindstone to make the fine grit of OCD (I am not OCD, were I OCD my place would never be a mess, but as a bipoloar I can occasionally manifest ALL of the mentally ill symptomologies, I can even be schizophrenic but I try not to be...)
I am better now - the ring is still missing and my office is a mess again, because all the piles of random shit that I stacked up on my counter got swept into the center of the room when I was overwhelmed by losing my ring. I kept telling myself it wasn't the ring, that the ring was just a catalyst for all the sad feelings I had all day, that I'm inadequate, that I'm not famous enough, that I'm really just a freaky freak with too much time spent on this stupid computer, banging out nonsense no one wants to read. People tell me I'm a good writer, I get paid for it sometimes too, but I am So Damn Caught Up in the locality in which I live, and really, Santa Fe is a closed circuit most of the fucking time, and I just think my words and stories and ideas belong in a bigger picture and yet I feel so Goddamn Stuck Here.
Sundays are the worst. Always have been, here in Fe. A hush descends over the city of St. Francis, and everyone is home, one presumes, praying or something. But I am a secular humanist, a second-generation hippie whose second coming came and went, or is yet to be within the arcane theological theorems of 2012. So I shiver and try to clean house, to make way for something new and it all just feels so futile, like i'm kidding myself and I start to think of ways to destroy everything around me. The laptop is like a loaded weapon in those moments, and yet I can feel it coming on and I am (mostly) powerless to stop it.
I hurt. No one is here. My floor is a mess (again.) I just wanted to make something perfect and it never works out.