Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Flat

So today is a new day and I'm trying again.  I must sound like a wreck because when readers start asking me if I have a therapist, it's then that I realize how bad I sound.  And for my newer readers, yes, I do have a therapist who I have been seeing for quite some time.  At least once a week.

Reading over my post from yesterday, I did sound depressed and I was.  I still am.  And once again I am at the point of retreating to the hills of my head or sticking with the present.  I am learning that this is a choice.  It is a hard choice too. 

But in making that choice I am learning a lot about myself.  I don't do stress.  I don't do pain.  "Flat" was the word that kept coming up in therapy yesterday evening.  I've given it a lot of thought between then and now because I argued last night that flat was easier than feeling. 

I was wrong.

Flat really is hard.  Exhausting.  And I think I create a lot more stress and pain, the very things I try to avoid, for myself in trying to be flat.  I really thought that this was how people wanted me to be.  However, as I look at my emotional responses to others, I can see that my flat response was the last thing they needed or even wanted. 

I do not know how to change this overnight.  Flat used to my safe.  If I showed no emotion, the chances of being hit a lot or worse went down.  Flat let me mirror the emotions around me and let me remain invisible.  I focused on other's feelings instead of my own.  I thought this was safe.  But in doing so I added layer upon layer on my own pain which seems to fester into depression.

I have one assignment for the next week.  Cry.  And cry some more.  When I am in the car I am supposed to cry.  That is a long way from flat and I am scared.  What if people don't like my emotions?  My trademarks are levelheaded, calm, logical, a rock... all a nice version of flat. 

My next step: call my shrink and tell her that I don't have any of my meds nor have I been taking them because "someone" threw them away.  I've been too embarrassed to make that call but I need to.  I also need to do some housekeeping in here and figure out "who" threw them out.  And after that...

Cry some more.

22 comments:

Deborah said...

It makes a lot of sense to me, your wanting to be flat - back then. Seems like this is quite a revelation, and it's good.
I've read that people who allow hope to be part of their vocabulary, who nurture it and believe that it exists recover from depression better than those who don't. That's what I felt when I read this post. Hope. Keep going, Jennifer.

Saranne said...

I understand flat...it used to be safe for me, too. There came a time when flat didn't work for me anymore...and it seems that you have reached that crossroads yourself. It IS a choice...and you may be tempted over and over again to retreat to what used to work for you. But you are strong - you are courageous....and I applaud you for your willingness! Keep on keeping on, and feel my hugs as I reach across cyberspace to you! oxox

Cassandra Frear said...

Praying for you today.

Zan said...

Yes I get that too, flat. My battle right now is to connect the whirlwind of emotions inside to the outside because on the outside I am - flat. I find crying so difficult! Hope you get past that step.
hugs

Journal of Healing said...

cyberhug, and all of my shoulders that can be available for you to cry on are yours. I know we are new to you, but, i get it. hang in there...yes, flat is harder. so amazed you know that. nodding in agreement as i type.

praying hope your way...ang

Shattered said...

Deborah, you are right. Hope is good. Sometimes it is hard to find but it is always there isn't it?

Shattered said...

Saranne, I think I am getting to that point where flat doesn't work. It's a hard place to be and I hope it is worth it to move forward. Thank you for the encouragement. I really appreciate it.

Shattered said...

Thank you, Cassandra. :)

Shattered said...

Zan, that is a tough battle, connecting the inside emotions with the outside world. Hang in there... I'm right there with you.

Shattered said...

"hang in there...yes, flat is harder. so amazed you know that."

Don't be too amazed. My therapist gets the credit for explaining it to me. I just decided to believe him. ;)

Thanks for your encouragement.

svasti said...

I have a story in my head I've never written, but it sort of guided my process of healing in a way.

I imagined a bear walking in the woods and one day, he walked across ground that was covered in nasty, sharp thorns. They pierced his skin and embedded themselves in his body.

He cried and yowled, growled and screamed. He lay on his back panting, bleeding. Wondering what had happened to him and how to make the pain go away.

Eventually, his body adapted to the thorns and grew a protective coating around them. Now the bear could move around without too much pain, as long as he was careful in how he moved.

He lived like that for a long time. It wasn't like he could be his normal bear self - he was still in pain every day but it was easier to handle if he only did certain things and not others.

But after a while, his body got sick of protecting him from the thorns and started to work at pushing them out of his body! This caused a whole lot more pain - new pain, too. It was sharp and extended pain, and the bear felt he couldn't do much about this either.

Then he came across a tree where he was relieving an itch in his back. While he scratched his back, he accidentally rubbed up against one of the thorns, now half protruding from one of his back legs. But he noticed too late and the rough tree caught on the thorn, pulling it all the way out!

Of course, the removal of the thorn hurt a lot. But now it was out, it was a relief! So the bear formulated a plan and slowly over time, worked all of the thorns out in the same way.

Each time he managed to get another thorn out, he felt better. But he also felt weak, too. His body was sore and so used to holding on to all the pain that he realised he was tired from all the stress.

So the bear took it easy. He didn't try to do it all in one day. He rested in between his efforts, getting as much food and sleep as he needed to face his next battle.

And when it was finally all over, he took an extra long rest. Because healing is hard work...

sarah said...

crying was hard for me...really hard....took a long time and still...
Stay strong girl....it does get better.

Journal of Healing said...

well then, kudos to a great therapist. :)

Kathryn said...

I do most of my crying in the car. My own little bubble....try it - it's safe.
(unless you can't see where you're going).

maggie said...

I think you blog post says so much. You are shattering into one piece. You are falling apart to come together anew. That's my 2 cents.
Falling apart can feel crazy and painful so its great you have a therapist and friends online here to remind you that you will get through this.
Svasti, I loved your story. Metaphors really work for me.

Shattered said...

Svasti, that is such a powerful analogy! I'm glad you finally put it into words and shared it here. It makes a lot of sense... And you are right, healing is a lot of hard work.

Shattered said...

Sarah, I'm hoping that crying will get a little easier at some point because it's so hard to do right now.

Shattered said...

Kathryn, that's funny that you mention crying in the car; that is precisely where my therapist wants me to do my crying. I've done it a few times... so far, so good. :)

Shattered said...

Maggie, it's funny because I didn't name my blog thinking of what you describe. But you are right, that is exactly what is happening.

Journal of Healing said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c_L7faw0Nm0

hugs if you want some...

ang

Shattered said...

Thank you, Ang! You are awesome.

Journal of Healing said...

you are too sweet. I needed to hear that. *sigh*...ang