Mind Body Connection

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.

Hear hear.

Aside

I’m not sure what was going on medically with my brain when I had the kids. I find the whole thing was just very unmanageable for me. Through the whirlwind of the childbearing years, something was messing with my head very seriously and I didn’t know where it came from. I was seeing a psychiatrist, but my mood swings were just off the charts. 

My behaviors became manifested in sort of an obsessive/addicted way. I would latch on to some idea and pursue it vigorously until I didn’t pursue it anymore. I’ll share a couple of pieces of information and not go deeper because some there has to be a boundary.

When Dana was born in February, I was a stay at home mom and Scott was changing jobs for some reason and they assigned him to a route in New York City. At the time, I want to say it was April, Dana was very young and we wanted to stay together and they said they would put us up in a kind of apartment or something more comfortable than a hotel. 

But it wasn’t. We were in New York, me with a 2 year old boy and a 4-5 month old girl and I got around, found a petting zoo and took them there almost every day. I went to the mall and found a store with a train set and Noah would play with the trains.

There was a pool in the hotel which was cramped, and I couldn’t help Noah swim and take care of Dana really, so Scott would swim with Noah in the evenings.

He worked long, long hours. I don’t know if he worked too hard, or was a workaholic, if he did more than he had to or he just wasn’t smart enough to do it in less time, but he was always working very hard, and you know, I believed he was excellent at his line of work and I always stood by him. 

The long hours became difficult for me, especially since he was never really off the job even when he was in the hotel room.

In hindsight, I don’t make a judgment about what I chose to do or what I should have done. It was a difficult thing no matter how I played it.

So, in my hormonal, not-yet-diagnosed crazy self, one day I took Noah to play with the trains and when it was time to go and believe me I hated every minute of sitting in a store letting my son play with a display train. Nevertheless, he protested and began to scream and whatever led up to it I don’t remember, but he screamed in his stroller all the way to the car and in the car all the way to the hotel where I threw everything in the back of the car and left.

I had like $10. No credit card, no checks, just $10 cash and I didn’t even know which way to go. I got through the tolls, got on 95 south and kept going…I suppose at some point Noah stopped crying. It was 2 pm, I drove and drove until I had to change the diapers and get something to eat…Dana nursed, I had enough money to get Noah some chicken nuggets and a drink and I plowed my way home.

I do remember after that, Dana started to cry. 30 minutes before we got home and I just tuned it out and kept going. I was a relief. Isn’t it a relief when you walk into a house and  it smells fresh and cool air refreshes you.

That is my example number one of me doing something very crazy with no medication and not on alcohol or cough medicine or anything. That is the behavior of a woman with bipolar illness.

Second example tomorrow and then I have some interesting articles to share. I sure hope you are reading this far or else you will miss out. Hahahah.

Aside

We are all a piece of the  puzzle. Our lives interlock to form an image more beautiful than any single piece.

Nobody knows everything about me, but they all know something. It’s not what I convey in words, it’s also in what I do. I try to do the next right thing every day, but I don’t. Not by a long shot.

I suppose I want a relationship with God where I can get the good stuff from him and try to make myself feel better on my own. I’m not sure why I’m afraid to be honest. Fear is a knot inside of me.

We are driven either by fear or by love. It can be difficult either way. I used to say to the kids ‘we can do it the hard way or the easy way.’ True. But we can also do it by the hard way or the harder way. Sometimes that’s the choice. Perhaps if we do it the harder way God gives us more help.

Thats what I’m going to find out.

Aside