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Arvo Part and story 4 Katy, Katia

Posted by BarbaraCat on September 14, 2003, at 19:05:59

In reply to Re: Transporting Arvo Part BarbaraCat, posted by katia on September 14, 2003, at 14:04:11

Hi Katia and Katy,

Katia, do you have a particular Arvo Part to recommend? Amazon has 137 hits for him!! The reviewers all seem to love his music.

Ladies, I surely can relate with the upheavals you're going through. Not the same situations, but similar in how terribly uncomfortable it feels to be in that volatility and how exhausting it is to be bouncing all over the place emotionally and physically. I'm probably 2 years ahead of you with the Bipolar dx, adjusting to new meds, desperately trying to find some equilibrium and a good night's sleep. I have an insight based on my own experience that you might relate to (as we all seem to be doing for each other). One year ago around this time, I was a wreck, my nerves and emotions were all over. I was already taking lithium and I think I was taking Lam as well, but not very much.

We live in a rural area in foothills terrain and the main road can be hair raising especially in the winter when it's foggy and dark. It's really not so bad at all now that I'm used to it, but the first few winters here I was through some very tough times. I could barely drive myself and would white-knuckle it the whole way collapsing on the bed unable to do a thing but sob once I got home.

My husband and I were working a contract position at the same company and he would drive us home. Every single night I would either be curled up in fetal position moaning, or shrieking 'Slow down! I can't stand this!' and we'd have to wait by the side of the road until I calmed down enough to continue. My husband would just roll his eyes and humor me because he knows better. But reaching the home stretch was even worse because I was CONVINCED that I'd find at least one if not all of our cats' mangled furry little bodies run over by trucks and strewn all over the quiet country road we live on. Or if they weren't all accounted for within the first 30 minutes of arriving, I'd be CERTAIN that a coyote had gotten them and was out haunting the streets with a flashlight calling for them or looking in the bushes for their mangled little bodies. Life was a series of trajedies for the kid, all products of my poor fried imagination. Any time I start getting pissed at my husband, I think about all he's put up with and it brings the annoyance level down a notch or two.

Needless to say, my work suffered and that caused stress. This wasn't anything new and that level of anxiety and dread were with me off and on for many years before. But it was becoming a chronic condition that was interferring with everything. I couldn't go overnight anywhere without being tormented with thoughts of the house and cats getting blown away in a freak tornado. There were real problems as well, serious financial problems, health issues, but I knew I was overreacting to everything and could not help it. Sleep? Hah! Not without my arsenal of sleep meds, and I'd frequently wake up in a panic and not be able to get back to sleep.

I'd always clucked and smirked at those 'nervous women' it's so easy to make fun of, but here I now was, after a rather wild and crazy earlier life, a pathetic nervous woman. Benzos helped alot once I decided I needed something. I should have started taking them before this panic set in, but it was still a constant feeling of fingernails on a blackboard. Not only that but I was really constipated. Maybe not bruxism (I'd already had that one) but bad enough. A great day consisted of being able to plop little marbles into the toilet and it didn't improve much from there. A bad day was pretty damn awful. I look back on my journals as well, Katy, and am amazed that I survived such horrible misery on all levels of my being.

I was really in a precarious place, ping-ponging all over the place and felt that I would really die if I didn't find relief. When it got too bad I'd to to the emergency room, mainly to feel like I was doing something to get help, but nothing really helped that much so I was feeling very despondent that this was my lot. Alcohol was the ONLY THING that could lift me out of it immediately (and they wonder why we drink) but that became not an option with the fibromyalgia flares that were getting worse.

I was thinking about all this yesterday as I was zooming around the curves in the road - at night, enjoying the little zippy thrill feelings and thinking 'Wow, no way could I have done this last year!'. What a difference from back then when a little thrill might have sent me into orbit. Life was hell with occasional breaks, but I was exhausted from the constant strain, really depleted and out of whack in every way. There was no middle ground. I was either totally exhausted and out of it or severely agitated and despondent. Those madcap manic sprees were by this time a fond memory.

I guess I'm relating this as an 'inspirational story' to show that yes, it is possible to settle down and heal and eventually feel better. I've come so far since then, even with my Mom's death and the blips I've had since then. I'm not sure what it's due to, finding the right meds and reaching equilibrium with them, finding a great naturopath who is treating hormonal imbalances, whatever. Really, not much is all that different medicinally (well, actually, the hormonal thing has helped hugely). But something finally clicked and I'm so thankful that I made it through. This stability has persisted long enough now to trust it and, except for some bumps along the way, it is expanding. There was a reason I so anxious, not because I was weird or defective or didn't try hard enough. I was out of balance and couldn't think clearly, and now that I'm getting back in balance things are much more straightforward. I still worry about the kitties and I still have lots of problems, but the biggest thing is that I now know I can handle WHATEVER comes up, not explode, and even grow to appreciate the adventures (it's only a movie).

I think that if I had only been able go back in time to tell myself 'You're going to make it. It will take time, but have faith, it will get better!', maybe I would have relaxed a bit and not wore myself out so badly. But maybe not, because it's so hard to believe that we'll ever get better, even if God proclaimed it Him/Her self. But perhaps you can stretch a little and pretend that this is a letter to you from your future selves that you are making it and you will get better. How can I know this? Because of the commitment and heart you're putting into this journey. It's the Hero's Journey and you win no matter what and incidently, get to feeling better as well.

It's the fear that it will never get better and we won't be able to stand it that is the worst part of all of this. Isn't this so? So have faith, dear friends. I'll bet a short time from now when your meds kick in, or something else settles into place you'll view this time with amazement at how far you've come and how much you've learned, and will think you're some pretty hot mamas for persisting in the face of some Super High Intensity Training. - Barbara




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