Now & Zen

I’ve been working on reducing my need for Ashwagandha, not remove it, but to lighten my dose a little to see what happens and what other supplements I can use in concert with my Ashwa habit.  I’ve done some research and I settled on L-Theanin.  It’s found in green tea, but it isn’t green tea…no caffeine, no tannin no thermos full of machta to get my RDA.  It’s suppose to sedate the mind without making you tired.  At the moment,I want to be sedated.

Perhaps starting this new regime while still trying to acclimate to my new job might not have been the best decision.  I added it to my morning meds on Monday and until Wednesday everything was peachy, nothing had really changed.  I even had the same trainer I mentioned in Training Is Fun-Da-Mental who seemed to want to kick my legs out from under me every chance she got.  (My paranoia has informed me she has reported every foible back to the boss lady.  It has been a struggle to keep my paranoia and anxiety from comparing notes.)  But I survived, that was my point.  I had therapy on Wednesday night and woke up tired on Thursday and struggled to do the morning draws and processing but I felt every prickly ounce of stress and salty drop of anxiety the whole day.  I came home, ate a bowl of cereal and went to bed.  Today was a re-run, just add diarrhea .  I did do better with getting through but the Zen-like calm I normally feel with the double-double dose of Ashwa was barely holding me up.  I hate feeling stupid, and constantly correcting myself when I call myself stupid, idiot, etc. 

I have noticed though when I am able to push through the initial onslaught of anxiety due to a new situation, or a change in process, correction and so on, I can quickly take stock and realize what it is I need to do to get it done, fix it, or who to ask to help.  I am asking for help.  I consider that a win and a move in the right direction.  I’ve been assured I am doing well, and my coworker has heard nothing but good things about me from the people who have trained me but when I have days like today and yesterday I wonder.  I soothe myself with the statement “lf if this job doesn’t work out I will just get another one”  I honestly don’t want another one, the benefits of this one is AWESOME. 

Tomorrow I work at a busy site that’s open 7/365 and I don’t think anyone in the group will assign me to work in the processing lab or checking people in so it should just be a busy day of sticking people with needles.  I am going to double my L-Theanine dose and see if I feel any calmer.  I can’t afford to lose my Zen.  I like my Zen.  I want to take it home, put it in a box and buy it squeaky toys.   Plan B of my Zen-Quest is to take the L-Theanine at night and the Ashwa in the morning.  Plan 3 is to just go back to the double-double dose  and keep and eye on my Thyroid. 

Wish me Zen.

UPdate

i was wrong. When I showed up on -time with my co-worker from my site I couldn’t find a lab coat in the room that was in my size. No lab coat, no sticking people with needles. I spent the first few hours on the front desk after everyone else on the team trickled in fifteen to thirty minutes later, giving the people in the waiting queue about and hour to contemplate how easier and convenient having your blood drawn on Saturday isn’t. The lead eventually found me a labcoat that would fit, almost, and I’m pretty sure by the wrinkles in the thing she pulled it out of the dirty dab coat bin. It didn’t smell and it didn’t have any unsightly or unexplainable stains on it so who am I to complain. It got me off the desk.

As for the re-mix of the morning supplements, the double L-Theanine did the trick. I still felt a little harried, especially when the lead would go through her personal exercises of correcting everyone, not just me. I guess that was something, I’m not the only one she feels is totally inept and needs “training”.

I was exhausted though. My mind work up at the normal time, 4:30am, and wanted me to get up and work in my journal, write, or do something productive. My body refused to obey. It’s been a nice quiet restful day. I did get the nibs and converters in my fountain pens cleaned and ready for the new ink I just bought….One is called writers blood. If I like the way it flows I might buy a big bottle and make it my signature color. I don’t feel the heart of darkness black ink I used to use doesn’t represent me any more. We shall see.

Doing the Needful

Boxes have been dancing around my head like cubed sugar plum fairies. In my first attempt at therapy with a Jungian therapist she diagnosed me with past sexual trauma based on an image in a dream she made me draw out (it was a doozy of a dream). I HAVE ABSOLUTELY NO MEMORY OF THAT KIND OF TRAUMA. She told me it didn’t matter if I remember it or not, the dream image was proof. So I’ve been carrying around this idea in my head and dreading the day I would have to unbox it and deal with something I couldn’t remember. Ellen and I talked about this. No memory means no memory. The dream image is just a dream. There are survivor behaviors I exhibit (behaviors defined by talk-shows and internet articles), but it’s still not proof of abuse. We discussed my childhood and some of the frugal techniques my parents employed could explain a lot of those issues. Something which needs reframing further down the road.

Ellen pointed out the issues are in boxes and neatly put away. They are safe and secure and they don’t need to be dealt with right now, if ever. Not avoiding. Not ignoring. JUST NOT NOW. I can adjust their position on the shelves, but I don’t have to do anything right now. Right now is just too busy to be opening a possible cobra-in-the-box to scare me back into the void. I don’t need that right now. Relief doesn’t even describe what I felt at this realization.

Then why have the dream? Why would my subconscious bring this to my attention? One of the ideas which came to mind is I am starting to reduce my dependance on Ellen. It’s nice to have someone help you sort out the threats from the paranoia, if you will and it’s easier to have her on my calendar then to deal with things as they happen. I am doing okay on my own but I’m always afraid I’m going to mess up. When I start spinning on that fear I eventually stop myself and correct it with: “So what? You mess up. It’s not the end of the world.” Considering how many time I’ve found myself at the equivalent of square one due to mis-calculations and didn’t die or get arrested proves messing up isn’t the horror my brain has always made it out to be. Though the tool doesn’t present itself at the start of the spin, it does work once I get my hands on it. As long as I don’t stop trying I will succeed. As long as I get up every time I fall, I will cross the finish line. Right now, doing the needful is enough.

Dream a Little Dream

I have always had vivid dreams. I think of it as the wellspring of my creativity and imagination. You know, if you dream it you can do it. Unfortunately flying is still only capable in a plane, but I love flying in my dreams. It means you’re happy. I haven’t flown in months. What I don’t normally have are nightmares. Dreams where you are so relieved when you wake up and realize it isn’t true, when you have to repeatedly assure yourself ‘the monsters aren’t real’. I realize now that writing in my journal on Saturday defining my current mental state and having a frustrating conversation about my mother and brother with my sister the night before might have been enough to crack open the door of darkness.

The Dream

I was with my mother again and she was ordering me around like a five year old. I felt compelled to move around boxes, like wood shipping cartons, in a storeroom to “straighten things up”. The containers were too heavy, too over my head and the utter helplessness made me feel too weak to tell the monster of my dream “No, I don’t want to”. I was plotting to let one of the oversized vessel fall carelessly on my forearm and I could vividly envision the ulna and radius shattering about one third of the way up my right arm; essentially hurting myself to escape the situation I was in. I was successful at talking myself out of it because there was the an urgency of having to have to move in a set amount of time oppressing the whole psychodrama. I felt as trapped as I was when she was alive. Back at the time I didn’t realize I was feeling trapped because I committed to taking care of her, I just felt tired and drained. Not knowing I was trapped it never occured to me to gnaw off my leg to get away because it would be better than to be dead. I was trapped again, I was terrified and I couldn’t find a way out. Then I woke up.

My Interpretation

  • The boxes: Boxes that are out of the way, tucked high on shelves in a dark warehouse-y environment I see as the major issues I still need to address in therapy. They were on huge gorilla racks and I needed an industrial step-ladder on wheels to reach them. The shelves below were empty. There was trash on the top shelves around the boxes I was able to remove but trying to get my arms around these sharp edged monstrosities was not really an option. I’m not sure I was able to even shift them on the shelf much less navigate them to break just my arm, I did try. Luckily unsuccessfully.
  • The Warehouse: This is rather obvious, but the portion of my subconscious where I store all the things I don’t/can’t deal with right now.
  • The Shelves: The lower shelves were empty. To me, that is a confirmation of the work I have completed. I have done a lot of work. However, I have done the stuff that was in reach, the more recent trauma/drama of the last, I dunno, fifteen years or so. Having made the room, maybe that means I can move the bigger boxes down to the lower shelves and spread out the items in the box one by one. This would negate the need to accidentally lose control of the box and break something in an act of defiance and avoidance.
  • The Trash Around the Boxes: I’m not completely unaware of the storage facility in my subconscious. I know there are big things in there that need to be addressed. Since the lower shelves are clean I keep making a superficial attempt at moving the boxes around to make it look like I am working on it. Its like I can’t open those boxes until everything in my life is perfect. I need to stop studying the trees with a magnifying-glass and take in the scope of the forest ahead of me. I have tools, whether they are strong enough to fell trees we will see.
  • Mom: Other than being the general dragon in my dreams, trapping me and stripping me of all power, I don’t think she has any more weight in my dream than that. I believe your subconscious pulls the best characters in your mind to put on the scariest, freakiest and most unsettling drama it can to both scare you away from what it’s protecting and yet to encourage you slay the dragon.

what’s Next

I don’t know if it needs to be said, but I need to slay the dragon, (overcome my fear), bring the boxes down to a safe and comfortable working height (figure out and deconstruct the hidden trauma) and then store it in the light and close down the hidden place where only trauma dares to tread (bravely confront the past injuries, resolve the confusion, and end the subconscious suffering to move forward).