Moody 2

Drew asked me if publishing my post yesterday made me feel any better. I have to say…no. It didn’t. No offense. I thought that maybe it would have, but no such luck.

In fact, last night was especially bad. Since Belle’s was gone for most of last week, I really wanted to be with her. Just be with her. But kids have extracurricular activities and she has work and it just didn’t come together until later in the evening. Going to sleep, it was all good. We talked a little. She read the post. She asked a few questions then she turned away from me and I snuggled into her and nearly fell asleep. I can’t really sleep spooned into her, so I had to flip over and that kind of woke me up. Then I laid there and the pillow felt weird and the covers were too warm and I woke more and more until I was fully awake. It wasn’t especially late, but I could only feel sleep moving away from me.

There’s this state I want to get to when trying to fall asleep where my thoughts get all thready and start to curl into themselves. It’s hard to describe, but when that happens I know I’m heading towards sleep. When they don’t, I’m not. When they just kind of flow around and stay pretty linear. Then, in my current condition, they take a turn towards a topic that’s stressing me out or a scenario that’s unlikely but also very stressful and that makes my heart start to thump and that makes me even more awake and pushes sleep further down. Then there’s that moment. When I realize I’m not falling asleep and am unlikely to do so soon. Like a little switch flips inside me and I know I’ll be up for hours. Then that freaks me out on top of all the rest.

About an hour and half after first trying to sleep, I took a Unisom. Those usually work well, but my anxiety fought back. About two hours later, I was totally under the influence of the pill but not asleep. I was dizzy and felt weird. I was, indeed, very sleepy but totally unable to close the deal. That woke Belle up. Waking her up made me feel worse, though she did her best to comfort me. I felt so damned frustrated. And angry. Mad that I didn’t feel like I had control over myself and couldn’t pull my shit together. Mad that I wanted to sleep so badly but couldn’t. Mad at the whole fucked up enchilada of my emotions lately. I ended up crying hard. The kind where you don’t make much noise and can’t breath between jags. Not from sadness. From frustration and anger. From hating how I feel. The only upside is, it tired me out and I did fall asleep shortly afterward.

These issues are not new. If I think about it, I feel as though I’ve been dealing with elements of whatever this is for years. Slowly feeling motivation and confidence ebb away and being unable to complete tasks. Having ideas for things that would have energized me in the past now just demoralize me since I can’t seem to raise the energy to do them. Setting myself up for more pain by making commitments with the idea that it alone would force me to act when all it did was multiply the anxiety over being unable to do so by about 100. None of this is new. It’s just worse now than ever. It’s forced itself into nearly everything I do or think about.

In the comments to my last post, there were some who might have misunderstood my reticence around writing posts like this. It’s not that I think they shouldn’t be written, it’s that I have a particularly difficult time writing them about myself. There’s still a healthy-sized part of me convinced my issues are not “mental health” related and are more about just generally sucking at life. Also, with regard to Drew, clearly I’m not in the best place to be dealing with some of the complications that come from having a multifaceted relationship structure. It’s sometimes a challenge for me to engage with him, but that’s not his fault. It’s just where I am right now.

I don’t know what to expect from tomorrow’s visit to the shrink. I need to temper my expectations that anything can change in the short term. But, it’s a step. Steps are good.

20 Replies to “Moody 2”

  1. Other than the chap above I know the support we can offer is metaphysical at best, but it’s there, and there are thousands of folk who think you’re pretty fucking awesome.

    Hope you get your thump back soon.

  2. Being able to recognize you can’t get a handle on it is huge!!! I am at that point myself I feel as if I’m going crazy some times. You have great support. Trust them and trust yourself. You are pretty fucking awesome and this is just a bump in the road. It won’t win.

  3. Steps are very good. Even tiny, seemingly insignificant steps are still progress.

    BTW, Ambien is freaking awesome. Makes sleep come easy and doesn’t leave that hangover feeling in the morning that some OTC sleep meds.

  4. Hi Thumper

    I’ve only fairly recently been following your’s and Drew’s journey and this is my first comment here but I felt compelled to write you about this post and the one yesterday.

    I’m going to keep this brief as otherwise I’d write a treatise.

    So much of what you wrote in the two posts resonated with me. The feelings you describe and the frustration and inner turmoil is something I am very familiar with. I’m also of the opinion it is far more prevalent than what it appears. You are definitely not alone in these feelings and to be honest I believe them to be somewhat ‘normal’ and felt to some extent by everybody at sometime in their life. What I think differentiates the impact on individuals is how they choose to deal with these feelings.

    I do not like the term mental illness in describing this type of inner sadness and I personally do not subscribe to having one. I’m sure that some people do have a mental illness and require specific treatment, but a lot of what is described as mental illness in my opinion is really learning to deal with life and all of the things that make it up.

    What I am slowly discovering is that I had less than ideal ways of trying to deal with these feelings and the habits and coping behaviours I developed were not taking me closer to where I wanted to be, but ended up reinforcing and feeding into the whole mess.

    I can’t recall the exact moment of this realisation but it certainly was only recently and is tied up in the steps I put in place to change my relationship with N. I had been too selfish and self serving in my attempts to find happiness that I lost sight/lacked understanding of what truly made me happy.

    So as not to drag this out, what I found is that happiness comes from within, by taking joy in the present, and having strong meaningful and close loving relationships. I’m not there by any stretch but I have more good days than bad and I’ve started repairing my close relationships. So I’d like to offer my support and to offer you comfort that there is a way forward in this and you can find peace and happiness again. I hope that your experience with the counsellor is a positive one and that they can offer you some tools and techniques to help you find what works for you.

    If you would like to talk further or explore more specifics I am only to willing to. You can find me on Twitter and DM me or by email. Take care.


  5. Can’t help but think how many, many people think you’re an extraordinary human being, myself included.

    I acknowledge you for sharing the darker parts of yourself. Seeing you keep it just as raw and real when it hurts most gives me the upmost respect for your character. From the bit I know of you through your writing I bet your vibrant life living self will come roaring back soon.

    Best to you,

  6. Thumper, just when I thought you could not get more raw, you did, and, I appreciate it and know the interwebs do too. Here in England I suspect it’s easier to see someone than there (I lived in NYC for a few years and healthcare dumbfounded me), but I am just guessing. So, you know I am a Drew fan and am about to comment on his raw post today, but I had a chuckle today because you two are just funny in explaining how you deal with things. In his post, he described you two as having to adjust your communication as…

    “The coolest thing to me is that Thump says that because of his issues that he didn’t think he was there enough for me and I would say that because of my issues I was not there enough for him, but in reality, he and I went to a generic conversation pattern about baseball, politics, and cars where we would throw in the occasional “how are you?”, “anything I can do?” In fact, this showed me, at least in my head, that the relationship word he and I have jokingly, yet seriously, thrown around for the last few months is solid and more than a fuck buddy could ever be, because we have learned how to just be there without being irritating or too obvious. This is by both design and by nature because our primary relationship partners (the spouses)are always going to be the rock, but knowing we can and would be a stone, if and when needed, so to speak, is a really nice feeling (Did that make any sense at all?)”

    And you say it in a much more succinct way with “you have trouble engaging with him” but I suspect you each actually mean the same thing and this is such a great example of your style differences.

    Just amused and thought I’d try to lighten this up.

    Good luck to you tomorrow. Hugs from the other side of the pond.


  7. As I was reading the first post, I was saying to myself, “being there, doing that right now.” I’m not at the point of needing pro help yet, though adopting a puppy hasn’t yet been the good therapy we were hoping it would be. Best of luck tomorrow with your shrink; we’re all thinking about you. Hugs from Colorado!

  8. I have anxiety like this. Buspar and therapy have helped immeasurably. Please don’t beat yourself up over biochemical reactions fucking with your brain. You’ve done nothing wrong. You can do every single thing right and the evil hamster wheels of doom can still start spinning of their own accord. That’s why it’s a neuropsych thing. Not a willpower thing. Not a “being good enough” thing. It’s just fucked up neurochemistry exacerbated by specific triggers. Meds will help the panic. Therapy will teach you how to manage the triggers.

    FTR, there are therapists who are kink, queer, and poly friendly. Finding them is kind of a challenge, though, depending on where you are. Best of luck finding someone who fits your needs. (Remember you can audition as many therapists as it takes. You’re the one in charge, not them.) Good luck with the psych tomorrow, too.

  9. It’s a long journey you’re on, but recognizing and acknowledging the fact that it needs to be recognized and acknowledged is a significant step. And it’s important to remember that even tiny steps in the right direction are still steps. I hope your meeting is productive and gets you moving in the right direction.

  10. As said by others… We all go thru stuff and it’s so brave of you to share so honestly… Hoping the steps are mostly forward… Sending good vibes…that’s all I got.

  11. Hi Thumper,

    Assepoester (my Thumper) sent me your post and I had to reply. For me it took a lifetime of anxiety that didn’t quite feel like depression and two years of ‘this will never go away because I am not strong enough to fight it, but it has to cause I cant live like this!’ full blown anxiety attacts to find a sort of working cure.

    I found it hard to except that I did do all I could. And it wan’t just ‘working harder’ at it that was going to change the way my world seemed to me.

    Eventually I found out that a combination of anti-depressant and Vitamine B12 (injected in my ass, with some other vitimins) did the trick. Mostly my thoughts are managable, but I even have days without any bad thoughts ehatsoever. Nice and a new experience. 🙂

    I also recognise the problem of finding good help. I started to mention my kink during the first session and found out it didnt matter much if someone was a sex-therapist or not, eventually I found someone who is new to kink but I am comfortable talking to her about it.

    Anyway, good luck! Try B12 and remember mental illness is also physical.

  12. Best of luck with your session, I hope you find someone who clicks with you and you feel comfortable with. And don’t be afraid to shop around a bit until you find the person who you feel comfortable with, psychology is a big and somewhat mystifying field of medicine and care. There are multiple avenues of therapy and treatments and many psychologists/psychiatrists major in one school of thought so to speak in regards to diagnosing and treating your symptoms.

    Not to mention your issues are going to be going through the filter of their own mind, through their experiences and beliefs and all that. Personally, when I sought treatment the first therapist I talked to put me off, he was very nice and I hate to be ageist but I think he was just a bit out of touch. I felt and still feel that I have serious issues, the same anxiety and depression and feelings of failure (or fear of failure) that you described, and his attitude seemed to be one of triage. Patch me up and get me back in the fight.

    The therapists I’m dealing with now (one for group therapy, the other for one on one therapy) both have a much more positive approach in my opinion. They make it about you, on getting you healthy, on getting to the core of what’s making you feel the way you do, and focusing on bettering you. And sex therapist or not, any therapist worth their hourly rate is going to help you get better, even if you are a kinky rabbit.

    As for the sleep, definitely talk with your therapist about it and try to stress the difficulties you’ve been having. Sleep problems are really common with mental illness, and a really big deal with causing and/or exacerbating your illness. It’s sort of a chicken and egg deal, not that a bad night’s sleep is going to cause depression or anxiety but when you don’t sleep you’re naturally going to feel down, you’re more likely to make mistakes, you’re going to have a negative outlook, etc. All things that are going to just feed that vicious cycle of depression and negative self-talk and anxiety.

    Your therapist should be able to offer help in this area but even without sleep meds I can offer a few tips that I’ve learned. Breathing or meditating before bed can help, spend maybe five minutes before bed just taking steady, slow breaths and try to just clear your mind. They don’t have to be deep breaths, more oxygen intake can actually more alert and awake, but just steady.

    Try to put down the laptop or iPad at least twenty minutes or so before bed, try to turn the TV off too. Maybe read a magazine before bed, bright screens all shown to trigger alertness and make it harder to fall asleep. And if you can’t fall asleep or wake up, down to just lay there, get out of bed and go do something. Don’t go for a run or anything, but going in another room and reading for twenty minutes might get you to the point you feel tired enough to go lay down and try again, hopefully with more success.

    And, melatonin might help you. I take one 3mg tablet before bed, and it helps keep your circadian rhythm working properly. It’s sold with all the other vitamins and such and it’s not a sedative, but helps your body maintain it’s proper sleep cycle. It’s used to help treat a lot of people with sleep problems and it’s a chemical found in the brain normally so it’s not habit forming or packed with side effects.

    At any rate, best of luck with your visit, and just know you deserve happiness, we all do. One good thing, it sounds like you have a lot of great people in your life, don’t be afraid to turn to them. It’s easy to withdraw and pull away, but having those connections can really help you in fighting back.

  13. I know addiction and anxiety are not the same but as I watch my son struggle with recovery related anxiety I know how much of a struggle it truly is. I have seen a once determined and self confident young boy get to a point where he questions if there is anything in the world worth doing.

    Your post this week have given voice to that challenge for me as he will not discuss it with anyone, but his counselor. Getting professional help is the right thing to do and I applaud you for not only getting the help but being so open and honest with the folks who have come to truly appreciate you.

  14. I found your blog about a week ago and have been reading it out of order which is bit good, but somehow the only way I can make it work. This post troubled me in multiple ways because I felt like I wanted to find you and give you a hug and then I got mad at you in a slight manner because you made Drew out to be a bother and just something you “had to force yourself to deal with”. I felt sad for him, but I know he’s a grown man and from what I gather married to a psychiatrist, so I suppose he can deal with it, but I still felt bad.

    Belle sounds amazingly supportive which is wonderful and I know how lucky you are.

    Are things better? You have a way of making even a stranger care deeply about all of the facets of your life, so thank you.

    1. “…I got mad at you in a slight manner because you made Drew out to be a bother and just something you ‘had to force yourself to deal with’.”

      When you’re dealing with depression, everything is something you have to force yourself to deal with.

      Things are better in some ways. Sooner or later, I’ll write about it again.

      1. Wow, you are fast and a reply is very very appreciated. I understand that about depression, but you just did the same thing to Drew again in my head, so maybe it’s just a post I haven’t read yet. I think I just wanted him referenced with a bit more caring or concern as, whether mentioned or not, I suspect this is hard on him too.

        I’ll catch up before commenting again so I won’t sound so stupid or judgmental.

  15. Thumper, I am up to date and just wanted to 1, apologize if I seemed cold and mean about Drew and 2, tell you I will say a prayer to whatever magical being people pray to that things right themselves fast. I caught up on Drew too and didn’t know how dark he had gotten, so at least muster a hug for him on the readers’ behalf. Thank you for such a great read (the last year I have read), I plan to start from the beginning if I can figure out how.

    Hugs and apologies.

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