i have a mouth and i can’t scream

i want to start screaming and never stop. but there lay tygers.

Dedicated to Harlan Ellison. Sorry to sully your words..

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Acupuncture for PTSD

My acupuncturist has asked me to write a short something for her regarding how acupuncture has helped me deal with my Complex PTSD. I figured I’d type it up here and share it.

I’ve been seeing Tracy for about 8 months. She sees all sorts of patients, but specializes in helping those dealing with trauma. My amazing therapist suggested her.

Early in our treatment, Tracy talked to me about how after years of untreated PTSD my body’s default setting was to run to fight/flight mode. My body was controlled by my fucking lizard brain. Using needles and talking me through how to hold on to the new feelings the acupuncture brought me, together we created a different pathway. A way for my body to react to stimulus that didn’t fire off anxiety or lead to dissociating. I called this new pathway My Road Not Taken until it became my go-to! After my second session I went to my “talk” therapist (she also uses reiki and cranialsacral therapy) and told her that what I had felt during the acupuncture was like an opioid high;  that I’d never felt that good before. Imagine my reaction when she told me that it wasn’t a high, that it was what I would be feeling like if I didn’t live in panic mode at all times. I was flabbergasted. I’m not saying that I walk around high all the time now, I am saying that compared to how I lived before I am so much more relaxed, mindful, and present in my body.

Tracy and I are nowhere near done with my treatment, and I anticipate both tough sessions and continuing improvement. The amazing news is that I have not dissociated in 3 months, and I used to on an almost weekly basis. I also have greatly reduced panic attacks, and when I feel one coming on, I am able to follow my new pathway, meditate, and return to the body-feelings I learn during our treatment in order to stop them.

Oh, one more thing. When I first started doing body work to treat my PTSD I was confused as to how it would help. Talk therapy is what has been used to treat PTSD forever, but it turns out that it doesn’t often help. For example, talking about a traumatic experience can be hurtful, and in cases like mine, there’s nothing to talk about because I blocked out what happened. I would encourage anyone with PTSD to seek out a trauma-based acupuncturist.

 

BTW, the Pentagon is actively studying acupuncture treatment for soldiers with PTSD and so far have had great success.

Rage? RAGE?!

I just had a phone-check in with my therapist. I texted her saying that i was feeling rage and felt dangerous. I meant “dangerous” in a good way. Not in the hop-to, avoid casualties, therapist-sit-up-and-take-fucking-notice way.

While chatting she asked if i felt scared. Hell no. I feel RIGHTEOUS. and a bit uncomfortable. She said “Alicia, you have a lot of good reasons to be angry. A lot.”

I’m thinking that this anger is mainly because i’m coming out from under the heavy depression blanket i’ve been under. I’ve been so buried under it that i haven’t been feeling. All i’ve been able to feel has been down and/or anxious. This has probably been going on for years, now i don’t know how to deal with real emotions and they are allasudden right here.  I’m thinking about the depression i’ve been living with as a mental health version of walking pneumonia. I’ve been living and feeling and caring; but only partially and didn’t realize it at the time.

 

homer quote

Slept Through Thanksgiving

which is yes, as depressing as it sounds. at least there were the dreams:

I was some kind of investigator of weirdness. Like the giant snake in the pool, the hatching SOMETHINGs in the muck. and we had a bar, us PIs of creep. I remember sitting at the bar while another ran computer forensics of a man committing ritual murder in a van. just watching it out in the open as this guy took his cultish volunteers in and brutally sodomized them until they cried and begged him to stop but he always cut a major artery while still fucking them. this was to lead to some sort of power increase of course. it appeared to lead to semen and blood.

that dream segued into one with ornate body art performed in Snafu’s house. he was the artist. myself, his sister, and himself the palettes. i remember powder and wigs and ropes and sexual tension. some of it must have been illegal because eventually we got busted. Snafu’s sister and I hid him and allowed ourselves to be arrested and flown away from our house. which is when i discovered i was a faery and if i concentrated very hard i could become invisible and change my size. i eventually escaped the humans who were hunting me. found my faery family. did some kind of incest sex melding with my never-met-before faery daddy because that supposedly makes our powers stronger.

some of the dreams were awesome. but when you sleep for so long (21 hours with a break to pee) it’s hard to hold on to them. they definitely weren’t so great that i’d rather spend the day in bed instead of seeing loved ones. now the depression is a fucking force. not only can i not wake myself to enjoy a fun day, not a single person i was supposed to see today called or texted to see where i was. not one. the misery is amazing.

We Weren’t Born This Way

I have this friend, a man I love deeply, have been in love with, and could easily fall in love with again if he let me. But he can’t. Like me he wasn’t born fucked up.

I can see him, striding out into the world, bold and mischievous, magnificent. Afraid of little and wanting much. Until that thing happened. He made the best and hard decisions, cared for others and his art, and then that one person got in and started slowly shredding. Until his mind and vibrant soul were so mixed up that he can’t trust them anymore. Until his nerves trailed behind him, bloody raw vulnerable.

This is what I think about when I can’t sleep.

I suppose he and I were born with predilections towards depression and anxiety. Our hearts, so (too?) open to the world. Perhaps through these biases in our natures the bad, the Jabberwocks and the Babadooks, find the cracks in us. The monsters crawl through the cracks, do their mucking about, and leave the cracks wide as chasms. And us, less protected than in all our glorious naivete. Doing our best/worst to minimize future damage.

I’d rather be thinking about the last time we made love.

Lonely

I’m super lonely tonight. Not even a good book and too many pets is helping.

At least I covered my bases; I went to work and did good work, I exercised, and I ate well. Maybe I’ll go to bed early and hope not to be depressed tomorrow.