Tag Archives: vacation

Hypersensitivity to smells (gonna whine now, feel free to skip reading this)

Back in November-ish, smells started to bug me. I’m not pregnant; I’m 100% sure of that, but strong (and many food) smells turn my stomach.

I mentioned it to my doctor, and she suggested I contact a local taste and smell clinic. They have a long wait, and I just sent out my paperwork yesterday, but I’m hoping they can give me some answers.

The hypersensitivity to smells is just one more thing that seems to be piling on to my list of weird symptoms that come along with the muscular pain.

While I’m waiting to hear back from the clinic, I’m struggling to get through the day dealing with most smells making me very uncomfortable. I’m hyper aware of the smokers in the building, I can’t stand the smell of cooking food… it’s so uncomfortable, I find myself wanting to cry (well, that & the muscle pain/cramps). Mint is a tolerable smell, so I’ve gotten into the habit of dabbing mentholatum rub under my nose to curb the nausea…

I dunno… the clinic’s website says they generally can only help about 1/3rd of the people they assess. I hope I fall into that 33%; I don’t want to have to live with this hypersensitivity (though my mom also has a similar intolerance for smells. She developed it in adulthood…)

I’m so tired and run down. Triggers around loss abound, and it’s not helping anything at all. A friend’s 6-year-old daughter died unexpectedly Sunday morning (in her sleep, cause as yet unknown, though she had several serious medical issues), it’s coming up on the anniversary of Chow’s death, my brothers in law’s dog passed away the same day I felt like someone died, but couldn’t think of any anniversary… and my 40th birthday is around the corner. I don’t feel 40. I don’t want to be 40. I shouldn’t have ever lived this long… Dr. C suggested that maybe this dread of age is rooted in past experiences (especially since it’s paired with the feeling that someone’s passed away)… it kinda makes sense… doesn’t matter though, since she’s now off for 2.5 weeks in the tropics, so I can’t really process that with her beyond Monday’s brief conversation.

I guess I have a fair amount of reasons to cry, but it still feels unwarranted… I’m just so tired.

The depression hit super hard a week ago Monday, and very suddenly; it felt like a switch was flicked. The intense depression hit, the muscle cramps and pain started, that bitter taste came back (it colors everything I eat or drink)… the smell thing is just intensifying… it’s all so oppressive…

So yeah, whining…

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Planning

I can’t really remember all of what we covered in session today, but it mostly consisted of me catching Dr C up on the past month… then we talked about being present in my body. I admitted I haven’t really been present for quite some time (several months, if not years). We talked about the barriers to being present. I mentioned liking the disconnect especially after the almost-3-years of constant flashbacks and intrusive memories while living down south. 

That brought us to the topic of what to do about the trauma work. We talked more about emdr and I was able to verbalize my concerns; namely that, while it has felt like the most successful treatment option to date, the last few times I tried, it had left me more triggered and dissociated. I expressed my desire to find some plan for maintaining safety if we are to go ahead with more emdr. 

We talked more about that, then we penciled in a very intense week of emdr to commence during my “vacationless vacation” coming up in October. I half-joking told her it would be awesome if I could enjoy sex again with my wife on our wedding anniversary… so now we are scheduled to do 7 consecutive days of 2-hour sessions, most of which will involve emdr (with talk and art mixed in). 

::gulp!::

I hope the nearly 2 months we have before that time will be enough to establish a sense of safety around the work we will be doing…

We arrived at the intensity of it after talking more about my fears moving forward. Both Dr C and I agree that the ideal setting for me to tackle my trauma work would be an inpatient/residential trauma unit. I don’t always have it in me to tackle the work in the single hour a week insurance pays for, and sometimes things aren’t ready to surface till odd hours when Dr C is unavailable. Other times, it takes a few hours of processing stuff internally before I need to talk about it again with someone. Since all of that is rather impossible, the next option would be a php or iop that specialized in trauma combined with seeing Dr C. Again, rather impossible since there’s nothing like that locally. So plan C is some really intensive therapy for the week both L and I are “on vacation”. The hope (from Dr C) is that L could drive me to sessions and provide some moral support afterwards. I personally think it’s a bit much to ask of L, I guess I can hash it out with her. It’s far enough away at this point that Dr C and I can still change the plan or arrange for iop…

Anyway, so yeah. That’s what we did today. I’m kinda happy we have a plan since I’ve been feeling stalled in therapy lately. 


Transference and loss

I couldn’t get out of my own way yesterday to be able to address anything I had hoped to yesterday. 

My defenses are working overtime. 

I’ve “figured out” (again) that my reactions to Dr C’s vacation are mostly a reaction to the loss of my aunt almost a quarter century ago, and to the other losses that have come around this time of year since then. 

As much as I love the summer weather, it’s generally been a season filed with losses. It’s a time wracked by hugely ambivalent emotions. I love aspects of it, but hate others… 

I’m glad Dr C is going away on vacation because it means she’s taking care of herself, but I hate it because I’m losing my entire outside support system. That’s the downfall of having your individual therapist also be your group therapist…

I was going to try to see her colleague, but turns out she doesn’t take my insurance. Other options are seriously limited. So I’m just going to have to suck it up for the month. 

All this transference and displaced grief are making my chest feel tight. It’s starting to ache from the constant tension. 

After tonight’s shift at work, I’m not on the schedule for another 6 days; another break I really could do without at the moment. At least I won’t have to deal with the customers. I’ve not worked much with the dogs these last few weeks because I needed to cover the customer service end of things. Hopefully next week skeleton pot me back into camp again. I was back there over the holiday and it was much needed. There’s something to be said for cuddles with 30+ dogs who want to pile on top of you. 


Therapy vacation coming up… :/

Dr C will be on vacation for a month starting in about 2 weeks. I’m not sure what I want to do during that time. She gave me the option of being set up with someone else while she is away, kinda a check-in thing. I told her I needed to think about it. She mentioned having someone that will cover for her in case of emergencies. I wanted to remind her that I would likely not bother that person, but I remained silent and nodded… I’m not really in a place of definitely needing someone to talk to while she is gone, but I also know it’s hard going even 1.5 weeks between appointments because of holidays… I know I’d be overall fine at the end of the month, but getting to the end of the month will be difficult.

She’s also considering having someone take over and run the group for her while she is gone. That would be good, since I think all of us have her as our therapist.

If I see someone while she’s gone, not only will I be keeping it all surface stuff, but I’ll have to do the copay at the time of the sessions… I hope she can find someone to cover the group. At least that copay would be cheaper (by a lot)…

At least she’ll be here for the shitty anniversary… hopefully once that’s over, I’ll be able to balance better.


Confused by my reaction

I talked briefly with Dr C on Wednesday about my anxiety over her vacation… we talked a bit more about it as a group on Thursday…

I’m still taken aback by my reaction. I’m not falling apart. I don’t feel this desperate need to talk to her (it’s happened in the past, with several of my therapists when they took vacation that happened to fall during a vulnerable time for me). I don’t know why it’s suddenly worrisome that she will be away for two weeks. I thought I was in a better place. I was fine when she left for vacation over the summer (though it might have only been a week)… I keep reminding myself I’m doing well. I remind myself that she has every right to a vacation. I remind myself I did fine the last time she was away… yet the little voice in the back of my head echos with whimpering and tears. I dunno…

Sure, I’m a bit stressed with my recent change in schedule, but it’s a positive stress. The paychecks (as minimal as they are) bring so much relief. It gives me something to do that also has me feeling successful and competent. It’s a really good thing, yet it’s still throwing me off-balance ever so slightly. I guess it’s easier to muddle through that when I can touch base with Dr C during the week.

This next two weeks, I will try to find connection through working on my art journal. She had shown me some “mini squares” she has been doing lately. I think I want to try that. I kept meaning to draw the grid into my journal, but I couldn’t find a ruler (not that I looked very hard). I know I’ll get around to it, I just have to find the energy. They are fairly easy she says, since there isn’t the commitment of a large spread in one technique or style. She does hers without much thought to cohesive order or meaning. I hope I can pull off something similar… I just have to find that damn ruler.


Depression colors everything

I woke this morning wanting to cry my eyes out. Depression sucks. It’s a gorgeous day. There was a quick shower, and a pretty rainbow, and I want to cry harder.
L reminded me there are only 12 days till my visit, and I was overwhelmed with a heaviness. How is it that such a happy experience should make me so sad? because I know the sadness at leaving will be heavy and wet and incredibly intense. I know, I shouldn’t focus on the ending before it even begins. That’s the fun part of depression though; it doesn’t give a shit…
An acquaintance made the move to initiate friendship, and that made me want to cry also. People shouldn’t be nice to me. They shouldn’t put forth the effort, they’ll just be infected by this black sludge that invisibly oozes from every pore. I admit, I do my best to hide it if you see me out and about, but it’s there. It’s sticky and heavy and traps everything in its path…
I wanted to cry when I read an account of someone’s snakes living well into their 50’s. I wanted to cry because I was both happy that mine may be with me for a much longer time, and sad that the hurt would be huge when they do finally pass… I know, you are thinking “but they’re snakes!? They’re icky and slithery and snakes!?” But they have their personalities and they are not icky at all… and I will miss them when they move out of my life, like I miss every pet I have ever shared my life with…
So yeah, depression is loud and very present this morning despite my best efforts to smile and decide to be happy. It’s coloring everything with those dark storm clouds… I can see the rainbow, but it’s very faint and fading fast, leaving only the gray clouds.

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