When the going gets though, the though get going. I love this phrase, it always made sense to me. When life gets you down, you have to pick yourself back up again. Struggling with mental health is 1 step forwards 2 steps back. But you have to keep pushing to get yourself through this. “Time doesn't heal. It’s what you do with the time. Healing is possible when we choose to take responsibility, when we choose to take risks, and finally, when we choose to release the wound, to let go of the past or the grief.”
― Edith Eger,
I mentioned my homework in my last post. The quote above is one of the thoughts, sprung from the mind of Edith Eger. Contemplated and created over the course of her life. And it couldn't ring more true. I have a ton of other quotes of hers, I'd love to share, but I really suggest you read her book. Even if you have everything in order. It is a wonderfull and sad story, but it gives us a perspective to see things in a different way.
What are the treatments like?!
When last I left you, I started my treatment and eventually recieved some homework. Since then a lot has happened. The treatments took their toll. Going through reliving those memories and talking about the little things inside. Or even the things you had forgotten. Talking about what you feel when you see certain aspects of that memory. Focusing in on that aspect and figuring out why that part makes you feel that way. It's hard and pretty much indiscribable. I don't think I could ever find the words to describe how much that hurts. Even when the things I see did not really happen to me, but to someone else. I've found myself being angry a lot during sessions/ Angry at the people who hurt themselves. Angry at myself for being angry at someone who could not see a way out. Shouldn't I be able to relate to them, especially now? The major difference is I still have hope. I keep on striving towards my goal and that is finding a way out of this valley. Finding a way to overcome this and once again be there for my family. Sometimes I lose sight of that goal and then the melancholy sets in. But even then, even when I think to myself, wouldn't my family be better off without me? Even then, I can see the smiles on the faces of my sons when I play with them, I can feel myself be proud and support them. I could never leave them! Maybe that's why I'm angry at them. I feel like they just stopped fighting to get better and chose the easy way out. Sometimes during therapy I feel disgusted by what I see. Then I get mad at myself for feeling that way, even though it's perfectly normal to feel disgusted by some of the things I've seen. Most of the time I just feel very sad. Sad that someone could be driven that far. That they see no way out except taking their own life. All things summed up, the treatments are a real rollercoaster of emotions and all this is accompanied by the lights, the sounds and other things to keep my working memory busy so my mind can do it's thing and place my memory back the right way.
Since all of this started I've been on edge most of the time. This includes the treatments. It feels like I've been wound up to thight. Because of this, my body subconciously tries to fight against these strong emotions. I wont allow myself to feel the profound sadness I experience while looking at my memories. Or even the agonizing pain I feel when a part of the memory connects with my past. Usually, only after going through about 40 minutes of EMDR therapy will my body allow myself to give in. Sessions usually last for an hour, that barely leaves any time to work on the memories. That's why my psychologist recommended me for HITT (high intesity trauma therapy). This will be a 6 day long admitance to a clinic where I will work closely with two therapists who will work with me to reduce pain and tension around memories. During the HITT, I will have two trauma-focused sessions per day, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. Both about 3 hours long. Giving my body and mind no chance to fight against the emotions. I will do trauma therapy, exposure therapy and trauma sensitive yoga.
Since then I have been to the clinic, and they have accepted the recomendation by my psychologist. While being there the psychologist I talked to felt that HITT would be a tremendous step in the right direction for me. She said this intensive week of therapy without distractions would at least take the edge of. Thereby making my life a little easier. She promised we would also work on my panic attacks. So I'll be starting my HITT soon, I'll keep you posted.
On to happier thoughts!
After the last post we finally went on vacation again. Just being away from home, driving towards finer weather and having nothing to do except what we wanted to! Having nothing to do and all day to do it in! We love camping, we bought a new tent a little over a year ago. We have all the equipment, wich also makes it easier for us to get away for a large weekend . But this time we were going for 2 whole weeks. I was a bit anxious about everything. Last time we went away I had some difficulties. This time I was a bit better prepared. We took the smiling squid with us. We took the laptop, my running gear and I had my e-reader with me.
The last couple of major vacations we booked together with friends of ours. We met them while camping and we hit it off, then booked our next vacation together again and had a blast. We booked the same camping, a spot next to each other, but still have our own vacation wich makes it very nice. When we decide to go somewhere, we ask them if they want to come or if they feel like doing something else and vica versa. We don't have to do everything together, I think that only leads to frustrations. But we have the occasional dinner together or we go swimming together. They have 2 kids around the same age as ours and they play together wonderfully. That actually gave me some peace of mind. Knowing that my wife wouldn't be stuck alone with the kids everytime I couldn't handle it. And that she had someone beside me to talk to, especially when I had it bad was a relieve. The camping was fairly big, had 3 major swimming pools and 3 slides. We were in the Dordonge region of France, so we had an amazing surrounding.
The things I ran into were the crowds of people. The swimming pool was swamped everyday. Who could blame them, it was above 30 degrees celsius everyday. I tried several times to go with my wife and kids. We found a pool in the back. Easy and fun for the little ones, with a tube slide for the bigger ones. I really tried, but after several minutes it was just to much. The noise, the people, I was overwhelmed. I felt panic comming on and told my wife I had to leave. I left them and went back to the tent. There I put on some music and distracted myself by reading or writing The swimming pool just wasn't going to work. We eventually found a nice secluded rocky beach on the riverside. there were only 15 people there and spread out over 200-300 meters of rocks. Here I could swim with my kids, I could catch fishes and find rocks with them. It was awesome.
We tried going to a market, there were so many people there. It felt like running in to a wall. I tried a ton of things but we just had to leave. Later I tried several times with my music on. By listening to the music, it cut down on the amount of things that triggered me. The noise never reached me. That worked a bit better. As you can see. Most of the vacation was focused on the things I could do instead of the things I couldn't. And this once again brings to mind the latest quote of Edith I'll bother you with: “Here you are! In the sacred present. I can’t heal you—or anyone—but I can celebrate your choice to dismantle the prison in your mind, brick by brick. You can’t change what happened, you can’t change what you did or what was done to you. But you can choose how you live now. My precious, you can choose to be free.”
― Edith Eger,
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And when I'm done writing this, I'll know, I have done what I can today and that's enough!