I never put a lot of stock in the theory of a mind/body connection. My thoughts are my thoughts and they have nothing to do with my physical being. I don’t eat organic foods, I don’t go the holistic medicine route, I just sort of forge ahead, trusting what seems to be the ‘moderate’ people suggest….the food pyramid, that kind of thing. Actually I don’t even do that. I just want to say I did it.
I say that I never did. I do now, and it’s really within the past 2 years I recognized and realized how responsive the body is to emotions, food, situations, and all of that. I really saw most of my feelings as involuntary and I was at the mercy of them. To a certain extent, that is true, and I will explain why, but I’d like to deal with the part that’s false.
When I started sleeping 2 or 3 days straight, I didn’t associate it with depression. When I was awake, didn’t feel depressed the way I thought a person should feel depressed. This sleeping problem went on forever…for like 15 years. I’m so chaotic and disorganized, I just didn’t see where this issue was coming from. Things in my life were bad and scary and overwhelming all of the time.
When my former husband did some bad things online, I felt nothing. 6 weeks later I started smoking again. I never put the two together. I had told a therapist I felt these addictive urges returning to me and she kind of blew me off….or maybe I didn’t listen.
I am in so much denial all of the time, I didn’t really connect the dots. But I think I blamed myself and I think he blamed me, so we were perfect together. I even got a diamond ring out of the deal.
At some point he said that he couldn’t take responsibility for the smoking anymore. He was right in the sense that I had a choice, even if it was a difficult choice to deal with the problem. I guess I didn’t want to deal with it. It was easier to smoke. Then I could cry about not being able to quit.
That sort of went off and on, off and on, just like all of the substances I was abusing, but there was a shift. Alcohol did not remain my drug of choice. The Delsym did. To write that sounds so weird. The addiction behaviors were just really unpredictable.
I reacted to things by using, eating, smoking, exercising, all of these ways of inwardly punishing myself for not being as good as I was expected to be.
I’m really trying to just own my own stuff, but when your spouse tells you you don’t love your kids because you don’t turn their shirts right-side out before you fold them, something is very wrong.
Since the separation, I have slept too much maybe 5 times or less….which, let’s say is way down from sleeping throughout half of 2012.
All of a sudden, I was out of the house, away from my husband, and I’m not sleeping all of the time. I’m able to put together what circumstances would cause me to sleep too much. Having an intense emotional week with family. The kids not calling on my birthday.
The things I get upset about, are foreseeable. So I think they must be containable. But they just aren’t…..I need to learn a new way of expressing my feelings. I can’t say ‘oh the kids didn’t call on my birthday because they are teenagers and teenagers do that kind of thing.’ That would be a correct statement. At the same time I have GRIEF that it happened. So, I’m at a loss as to what response I could have that would keep me from sleeping for 2 days straight. I obviously have strong feelings about it.
The family dynamics aren’t important right now. What is important is this way of dealing with things.
I learned from DBT Therapy that feelings are something you feel in your body. So I started to pay attention. When my shoulders prickle, it means I am anxious. A canon ball in my gut is dread. Sleep is depression, shaking hands is nervousness.
My hope is that I can identify these feelings and do something about them that does not entail me going to bed for 2 days.