Thursday, September 9, 2021

Self-Care Amidst the Pandemic




It has been nearly 3 months and no crocheting. I thought I was on my way to more crocheting and patterns. But that wasn't the case. Near the end of June, I had a psychiatric emergency and had to be taken to the mental health center on an ambulance. I was very close to realizing my long-term plan: to kill my husband, to burn the houses in our neighborhood and to kill myself.

The backstory is, I was seeing a psychologist from June 2020 to January 2021. I thought I would get better, I was hopeful and positive and always tried to make good of anything. But I was actually getting worse, each week after "therapy", I got worse and worse. So I quit therapy altogether in February and tried to do my own therapy.

That worked well for a while, but I still kept having "breakdowns." The last and most dangerous "breakdown" was in June. When I got to the mental health center, I met a very good and experienced psychologist. Again, I had high hopes and thought I would finally be on the way to recovery. But something terrible happened.

My psychologist and a medical doctor invited me to meet at the town's health center to meet the volunteers working there. It would be a sort of meet and greet. So I went, with such enthusiasm and hope. But when I got there, everything fell apart again.

When I arrived, what I saw was a very dark, depressive place and it wasn't clear if it was open, it looked like it was boarded up and abandoned. I felt like I was in a prison, I felt like I was captured and could not escape. As the minutes passed I felt more and more threatened so I needed to get out, both physically and psychologically. When people started talking all at once, with the sound of motor vehicles outside, it was just too much. The noise was just too much for me. The side of the house facing the sea was closed, and a little opening at the front of the house allowed noise from the highway to come in and not come out through the back. The terrifying noise just stayed inside the interior space. And everything was just very very dark. It was like a nightmare. So I walked away, crying and screaming.

At the moment, I am so much better. It was my desperation (and self-reliance) that helped me find the answers to my problems. For certain now I know I am suffering from Complex Trauma, and not depression as psychiatrists of ten thought (thus the drugs which were useless to me). It's not bi-polar disorder (as the psychologists often thought). It's not borderline personality disorder, it's not intermittent explosive disorder. They were all wrong. At the very root of all my problems for the past 15 years is Complex Trauma.

So I learned as quickly as I could about EMDR (Eye Movement Desenzitation and Reprocessing) and self-administered. I am very proud that I am healing myself. I may have wasted so much time trying to get help but that doesn't matter anymore. Again, I am very proud that I am healing myself. I am very proud that I am able to face more of life's difficulties, even with the pandemic. I live away from family but I am doing well. Some relatives have died from covid-19 illness and I grieve and move on. The biggest challenge was when I was tasked as decision-maker for my elderly aunt who got infected with covid-19, and I saw her through all the difficult stages of the illness until her death. I am able to grieve and become stronger from it. I learned more about covid-19 and the treatments that I never knew about before.

I am making drawings, but still cannot paint or crochet. I will get there.