Wednesday, January 9, 2008

The Ability to Think Straight Seems Like a Miracle!

I had a short visit at the psychiatrist's today. He seemed to think I was improving. I seem to think I'm improving because of the medication. He assured me the dosage was minimal and necessary for a bit longer.

I've been so busy with Poppet and work that I hadn't thought much about what I was going to tell him. But when I sat down there, it became easy. I realized - as I told him this - that for the first time in five years, I was actually "in control of my actions." Of my life, my surroundings, my actions related to my personal life.

Of course, I can't influence what happens to me, but I can influence what I do, how I do it.
Most important of all, I am able to choose to do nothing and make that choice in a calm and composed manner.
I am able to feel less negative.
I am able to look at my husband and no longer feel the urge to flee from his presence.
I am able to hold a conversation with him in a more-than-civilized manner.
I am able to choose my words more carefully.
I am able to not make knee-jerk reactions.
I am able to think about a problem and not worry about it.

Now for the million-dollar question: Can I sustain this on my own without the medication? The doctor believes I can. He said I was doing whatever it was that I was doing and not doing. It wasn't the medication. I believe him, and if that sounds naive, then so be it. I believe him also because I derive strength from that and this will help me in the long run.

My temper no longer flares up the way it used to. My mother always told me, "Learn to keep your temper under control." I had managed to keep quiet when I felt angry but she was addressing a deeper issue: why did I get angry in the first place? That was something I've never had an answer to. But now, I'm able to not feel angry. And that feels amazing.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not euphoric. I was never aiming for euphoria, anyway. But I do feel less disturbed, less uncomfortable, less desperate.

I look back at my life over the past five years and wonder how I survived the past two years. It is like I existed through that time but did not live it. There are patches of awareness, of things that touched my heart - including my son's eye problem and its treatment, or the fact that in some small way, I am repaying my mother for so much that she has done for me. But for the most part, it is like I didn't exist in that time. That just was not ME!

I realized that when I blurted it out to the doctor. That I've always been a person who tackled life's problems head on. Thought over what could be done, and didn't hesitate to do what needed to be done, no matter how difficult it was. And then, I had become this person trying desperately to change, to become the woman my husband wanted me to be. And the worst thing was that the harder I tried, the worse it got. The more I tried to behave the way he wanted, the more mistakes I seemed to be making. Which is what lead to my mini-breakdown and my decision that I needed external help.

I need to write more about those five years, especially the last two, if only to get it out of my system once and for all (if there is such a thing!) Dear God, show me the way...

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