I woke up in the middle of the night last night, panicked because I realized I had forgotten to tuck in the ends on the middle of my last spiral, which, in real life, is not that big a deal. I also couldn’t remember if I’d approved my assistant’s timesheet–again, not a big deal in real life, because the system sends a reminder Monday mornings if you forgot to do it on Friday.

As I was laying there, the orange cat came over and demanded head scratches. I became convinced, utterly convinced, that this was not my cat, that it was some strange cat that had been coming into the house at night and sleeping with me and, if I turned on the lights, there would be this stranger.

I was completely panicked about it. And then I thought, this is insane. How would a strange cat be this comfortable? Why would the dog be so nonchalant about it? And then I was like, oh, yes! This is insane! You are having anxiety. And that dissipated it.

But a thing that’s been very hard and embarrassing for me to admit through this whole process is that I do have a lot of obsessive weird thoughts, which bother my life, and which I have just assumed were normal things everyone goes through, so, if I can function, why bother to worry about them? But waking up from a dead sleep and becoming convinced a strange cat is demanding head scratches from you is not really functioning.

Still, I find it deeply embarrassing, though I don’t know exactly why, to realize how much of my adult life was me being all “I’m utterly normal except for these few things, but I understand them and avoid them and all is well,” when really I have been fucked up in this minor but affecting way that I was just ignoring.

Anyway, I know part of it is that I fucked up my medication this weekend. And part of it is just the disappointment in getting rejected. But this weekend felt like backsliding. And that sucks.


5 thoughts on “Setbacks

  1. It happens. Get your meds straight, get some sleep and you’ll feel better. But don’t beat yourself up for being yourself. Becoming aware of things is the first step to conquering them.

    And, though you’ll probably have to learn from your own experience, don’t screw up your meds. It took me many fits and starts over the years to just finally decide that I have to be on the meds, all the time, forever. The last time, I ran out and thought “Oh, I’m OK.” I was looking for a new doc and figured I’d be OK until then. But I wasn’t. I really wasn’t. It was scary. So I might miss a day here and there, but not anything more. And I don’t ever run out. Ever. To the point that I was totally nuts when I thought I’d lost the bottle I’d just refilled and made them give me another one and then found the original bottle a month later and felt really stupid, but hey.

    Hang in there.

  2. I’m just now getting back on meds myself and yeah I’m kind of embarrassed I let myself go so long without realizing how messed up my brain had gotten. I was way lower than I realized. I was *not* coping healthily.

  3. Sometimes it’s amazing what will settle anxiety-brain down.

    For example, during a time when I was stalked by a violent ex, re-arranging my furniture did more for me than any meds. Someone was trying to take control of my life, and the assertion of physical control over my environment served as a constant reminder that I was still in the drivers seat, no matter what he did.

    Is the late-night irrational fears thing happening more than once lately? Because that would make total sense with the Butcher having moved out. Your brain is asleep doing the crazy fire-neurons-in-all-directions sleep thing, but the waking thought percolates through that who lives in the house is now different, somehow, and then your brain tries to interpret that based on fragments of what it knows. So “wrong cat” is a totally unsurprising outcome. There might be something like patting each of the animals before going to sleep that might settle it down.

    I used to have bad incidences of the late-night-irrational-fear-state thing. It was cured, completely, by going to a friend’s house twice. That’s all it took. Twice when it happened, I called her, she said come over, handed me a pile of blankets and pointed at the couch, and I went to sleep. I never had that problem again. It was tied to the belief from childhood that there was no help to be had until morning, and proving that belief wrong, twice, put it away forever. I hope there is something similar that can be found to disrupt whatever pattern your brain is coming up with at night.

  4. Thanks, Helen. I kind of feel like it was inevitable, since we’d been making such great progress, that there’s be a set-back, but it’s just been a little disheartening to work through.

  5. Not too surprising that your mind is working through some anxiety because of the change in your living situation. I would not be surprised to hear this setback does not last long. After all, it is dealing with something identifiable and real. Take your melds and establish a new bedtime routine. It will be OK.

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