I have a great business idea that someone needs to create. You know how there are Doulas to help out new mothers? There needs to be such a thing as a mental health Doula who will come to you for a week or two, say around 10-4, and help you to recover after a particularly intense mental health setback, by shopping, cooking, doing all the stuff, until you get your strength back. Because there is a lot of happiness, gratitude, and triumph out there on the other side of this crippling malady, and what is critical to getting you back to yourself is an extra layer of nurturing above and beyond what you and your partner are capable of. For some, this extra help could mean the difference between life or death. I would want it to be a non-profit so that it could reach those who cannot afford it. Ideally, it would be geared toward adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse. It’s a dream. Miracles happen every day. I’m in the bathtub forming actual sentences and sharing them with the world. THAT is a small miracle.
Until Thanksgiving, I had never felt better, but Depression and Anxiety, especially when there is Complex PTSD involved, takes daily maintenance. I put a lot of work into my healing. As a matter of fact, it has been my full-time job for quite some time now. But there are times when triggers get set in motion that culminate in a snowball effect. Once the door is ajar, and I succumb to one, the hyper-vigilance begins and suddenly I am once again, unrecognizable to myself. Once I arrive in this state, my body feels like a lobster trying to moult, hiding in a cave. This episode’s current physical malady is Conjunctivitis. Went to Dr, got drops, lost them within 24hrs(because in this state, things go missing!) and went 4 days until they turned up…. inside a sneaker in my closet. Good times. Crusty swollen eye, CHECK. I just got my hair did so at least THAT looks fabulous. I even managed to smile! Makes me so proud of myself. When I’m not curled up in a ball, shaking, my sense of humor is still intact. It is essential to celebrate even the smallest of victories.
So, I am still the same good-natured, silly, deeply spiritual, witty, and optimistic person that I am known as, however, there is a sadness that sweeps over me like a 180lb weighted blanket, and as I am trying to regain my balance from the trigger, I get random waves of a sorrow so deep that I am physically unable to hold back tears. Sometimes for hours. I can’t sleep at night. Whatever minimal sleep I do get is interrupted when my significant other snuggles me with concern and soothing whispers, because I was whining for help or catterwalling from another hellish dimension where someone is constantly trying to murder me.
I cannot cook, nourish myself with food and water, or do any of the things that a normal, healthy person does everyday. I don’t even watch TV. I am just stuck in bed, afraid of what is around the corner. And when I say afraid, I mean terrified. I do not feel hungry, but when I do eat, I remember that I love food. I dissociate by distraction. My thoughts are like a million separated cabooses, some stalled, others barreling down the track, all lost. In a way it’s like having an out of body experience, minus the mystic wonder. Say whatever you want about how I have the POWER, I know this, and yet I am just here, riding it out, wrestling with the same old lie; that I am incapable. This is the trauma brain. Clearly no picnic.
Be that as it may, a person in the throes of such affliction needs help. I feel like a helpless newborn baby, unsure of how to work my limbs, and unable to do anything besides cry. God, I HATE IT SO MUCH. It is supremely challenging to not dwell on how pathetic I feel. Who is this person?
I will tell you. She is a person who is on a lifelong adventure mission of deep healing, and while she lives to shine her light and make the world a better place, the journey can become perilous at times. And that is just the way it is. So I try to be gracious and compassionate with my twisted, crusty, moulty lobster-alien self. I take her under my wing like the popular girl who commits to making-over the ugly duckling into the beautiful swan. Because I AM that popular girl, that Queen, but I am also the ugly duckling. And together, we will create something beautiful.
Oh, look at me! One lil’ caboose just found its train! This brain of mine may be challenged, but me and Toots are gonna keep chugging up the hill. I don’t just think I can, I KNOW I can.
And now I will soak in a bubble bath by candle light and enjoy a good book while counting my blessings. Because other than this brain funk junk? My life is mostly sublime. You’ve gotta roll with the tide, at least until the Mental Health Doula arrives.
That’s the kind of magic I aim to conjur.