Monday, May 27, 2013

Downgrading the War to a Battle

I'm off my medication. Read with caution.

It began this morning. What a struggle! Didn't know what to do. Do we follow through with our plans with Husband and go to Water Park? Or do we kick back at home with Husband and watch movies, play with our dogs, and listen to music? I stayed home where it was mentally safe. The pro-recovery action would have been to go to Water Park, absorb some Vitamin D, and relax. But the other side of me didn't know if we would have the strength to go through with it.

Since then, we've become a bawling mess, chugging beers, and eating candy Klonopin. In hindsight, Water Park was a better choice, but I don't know we were capable of it today, which is why it is hard to beat myself up for not going to Water Park. Only a few internals were capable of going, which meant the rest of the crew would struggle and be unhappy.

A subsequent war ensued between us that I recognized as one occurring often,, and it left me feeling sorry and sympathetic.

What I discovered this morning is that the “recovery” side is warring with the “I don't know what the fuck to do now” side, but it really isn't a war at all. Everyone is trying to do what's best, but that looks like different things.

We are all trying to cope. Sometimes one side knows what to do, and sometimes the other side still isn't able to find the pulse in the day; however, it seems more of a conjoined effort to get through the day in the best way possible as each member knows best. Who could argue with that?

We have made some good choices lately, Therapist be damned. We went to dinner with a colleague Friday night. Spent Saturday at Theme-Park when we just wanted to stay home where it was “safe”. Sunday, the anxiety was so personified and formidable, we went on a 28 mile bike ride to exhaust ourselves so we would be too tired for anxiety and panic attacks (still had the attacks, but, hey, the thought counts.)

In other words, we've tried to do the right thing in respects getting by.

But there are days like today when the “recovery thing” is impossible. We are tethered to pain killers, Klonopin, and alcohol. We didn't start the day that way. We had every honorable intention. But then we see a whole day in front of us and there are too many hours in the day to endure, to stave off the impending insanity, and we just can't face it. We can't legitimately fill the hours and we don't have the energy to pretend recovery.

But I finally recognize the beauty in the mechanism of coping: at least we aren't all trying to kill each other anymore and demand our needs be met over others. We are a system that is trying to muddle through as best as we can.

True, our good intentions can have damaging consequences, and we will deal with that in probably another ten years. But for now, there is a relief and a sense of peace NEVER known that we are all on the same page just trying to make it through each crazy day.

I've learned in teaching high school that when my students misbehave and act out it is because they are trying to communicate to me something they can't or won't verbally say. I believe that is what we are doing: acting out to communicate our inability to adapt. 

Days like today, when we can't seem to make it to the life we are meant to live, I am being taught that my members need something. I don't always know what it is, but I am trying to honor it, trying to push them where appropriate, and finding the need to ease off when it is too overwhelming.

And I know later I will hate myself and probably wrestle with panic attacks, weep uncontrollably, and be one drive short of the mental hospital, but for now, we will hold our breath, not blink our eyes, and try to preserve the tenuous calmness of not hating each other so damned much.