Life changes sometimes overwhelm me, and lately life changes are more common than things staying the same. In truth, I don’t handle anxiety and overwhelm all that well and I can be kind of prone to it. Usually I get really angry and annoyed. I get fed up with tiny things and my patience runs thin and my sensitivity to bullshit amps up. Other times I shut down completely regardless of whether or not that is the appropriate response.
Basically, anxiety and overwhelm do great at turning me into someone I’d rather not be.
As many of you know, last year I started EMDR therapy to treat my PTSD. When my therapist introduced me to EMDR, I was very skeptical. Despite years of therapy and trying everything, I had never heard of it. Surely if something worked on complex PTSD the way that EMDR supposedly did, everyone would know about it, right?
Well, not necessarily.
EMDR absolutely transformed my life. It is the most effective form of therapy I have ever tried. And that’s coming from someone who’s tried just about everything: talk therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), mindfulness, decluttering, float therapy, and various medications, to name a few.
Which is why I wanted to do a post on it.
I think I had what they call a breakthrough.
Since my breakdown two weeks ago… things have been eerily good. A few days after the PTSD flashback that sent me into the waves of grief that I had been avoiding, I felt lighter– calmer even. I’ve felt like more myself than I’ve felt in a while, as if my perspective went through a literal shift. It feels weird to feel so okay, so good that I was actually concerned that I’d have nothing to talk about in my therapy session.
I’m a little suspicious of it. But maybe that’s normal.
Depression is a funny thing.
It sneaks up on you when you least expect it. Some days, you forget you ever had it. You forget it was there, you forget that it pays rent somewhere deep in your brain. Depression can be a quiet, easy tenant– paying bills on time, never throwing parties and always taking out the trash.
And then again, there are times when it shows up in your living room. It waits until you’re out of the house, and when you aren’t paying attention– it comes up from behind you, pushes you down, and sits on your chest.
Go back to bed.
But wasn’t I just frolicking in daisies, sunshine and rainbows yesterday?
Sorry, mother fucker. Today you get a visit from your longest tenant.
It’s so dark you can’t see your hand in front of your eyes, or the lashes on your eyelids. It’s the kind of darkness that makes you see things that can’t really be there, like random shocks of red light, or an incomprehensible low throb of light pulsing in the edges of your vision.
It’s silent, but you can hear– hear isn’t the right word– you can loudly feel every movement inside your body– the crack of your spine, the pulse of your organs, the click of your fingers.