I decided that I would write every day for Lent 2013. I felt the spirit lead me away from fasting because I default to prefering suffering instead of the goodness of the grace. I haven’t written much this week because it’s been a rough week and I’d like to explain why.
I get into moods where I’ll get to functioning and be mostly dissociated. I begin to think that I’m fine and that this is over. But then I trigger into crashing depression and am immobile for a few days. The combination of last Thursday’s therapy* with finishing our insurance application has emotionally overwhelmed me. That’s pretty easy to do at this point.
At therapy we discussed the 9 months I’ve been seeing her and all of the emotional progress I’ve made during our time together. My therapist said things like, “Caitie, you’ve begun to feel emotional sensations during real life interactions. WooHoo!” But remembering these triumphs reinstated how far from “healthy” and “normal” I am right now.** Which made me feel sad. Which tipped over my emotional bucket of un-felt sadness and left me struggling to stay afloat in my flood of tears. I’ve taken to curling up on Ted’s pillow because it smells like safety. Which makes me feel crazy and cry even harder. These episodes are not infrequent, and they take a lot of time to recover from. Sadness lingers in my soul like the smell of smoke.
During this time Ted and I have been applying for insurance through his new job. Ted the lawyer has, of course, done most of the applying. This included a lot of details about my “psychiatric condition.” Boxes filled in with all of the correct codes and lists of the proper diagnosis and prognostics all inquire if my therapy can be covered. Fortunately, yet painfully, Ted was informed last night that our health provider “does cover mental health disorders.” Ouch. Another strong dose of reality that I am not well. But we’ll take the insurance, thank you, even if I don’t have a mental health disorder. I have PTSD. Restoring my mental to health does not cure the depression I experience. It can chemically numb but not fix because I’m responding to real situations with–for the first time ever–real emotion. My anxiety and depression and night terrors and triggers must each be faced and dealt with. And, thankfully, now the insurance can help.
So I haven’t written consistently like I committed to doing. But there is grace for me in this practice of lent and writing.
Today in my writing I practiced honesty. Something I wish our culture would also practice more.
*I’m always late to emotionally process things that happen in real life. That’s why it’s a week later and I’m still emoting about last week’s therapy. When I first thought I had PTSD, I forgot about the ‘T’ and thought that it just meant that you processed stress after the fact. For example, College Caitie always did great during finals week, because she didn’t feel the stress everyone else was feeling until a few weeks after exams were over. This still happens.
**I am encouraged to add the “right now” caveat to how I process what I feel, because I don’t have much hope that this is just a short period of my life.