Things Are Getting a Little Better

I almost don’t even want to write that as the title of this entry, less the modest improvement I’m seeing slips away, but I need to document when this happens otherwise I have tremendous difficulty remembering the ‘good times’ when I’m feeling like shit.

Sunday was a pretty good day for me for almost the entire day. I saw the new Fantastic Beasts film and was able to actually enjoy it. For those of you unaware, it has a somewhat unsatisfactory ending… I did not realize it was not a standalone film as it evidently will be having at least one more installment to wrap things up. I guess I have to stay alive at least until the next film comes out.

I’ve been on the phone a lot with my wife the last few days also. In the last few days, she’s realized that a borderline diagnosis she received many, many years ago that she desperately pushed back on is actually spot on. I feel for her, of course. BPD sucks. I have been able to help her by talking about what I do to handle my own shit. I also hooked her up with my therapist. She’s going to do an assessment with her and then get recommendations for a therapist of her own. Even if having the same therapist weren’t some sort of conflict (and we suspect it would be), neither of us wants to be sharing our shit with the same therapist.

I’ve started filling out the intake paperwork for the Portland DBT Institute. I have my initial intake assessment next Thursday. The paperwork threw me off last night. I detailed my many treatment centers (8), psych ward stays (6) and suicide attempts (5) and thought I was almost done. I thought I just had two more short paragraphs to write. Then, I looked a little further through the packet and discovered pages and pages to be filled in, detailing the aspects of my eating disorder. I decided to put that off until today or tomorrow. It was the first time I’ve ever captured all that history in one place. I’ve evidently been really struggling for about 5 and a half years now (first psych ward stay: spring 2013). No wonder I’m so fucking exhausted all the time.

Finally, I woke up this morning and for the first time in a very long time, I didn’t feel like my chest was going to explode within seconds of opening my eyes. I was able to easily go 45 minutes, showering, shaving, doing laundry, feeding the dogs, in (relative) comfort before having my first kratom infused cup of coffee (and I reduced the amount I normally use at that time as well).

I suppose that’s about it for now. I’m still struggling, of course (I wound up smoking a bit more weed last night than I usually like, though I was certainly nowhere near being ridiculously stoned).

The flip side of this is that I start to doubt whether I need the higher level of care that the ED track at the PDBTI will provide. Fortunately (or, I suppose, unfortunately), it will only be a matter of time before I feel horrible again and want desperately to start that program. That’s not me being intentionally negative. It’s just a fact. I am definitely feeling better but you don’t just wake up one morning, after years (decades?) of debilitating mental illness, and are suddenly ‘cured’. But, it does seem as though my life is becoming ever so slightly more manageable and I’ll take it. The more ‘good’ moments I can capture, the more I start to believe that I actually stand a chance at long-term recovery. That recovery will always involve me having irrational thoughts about using heroin or starving myself but, if I can continue to improve my ability to effectively deal with the tsunamis of emotion that constantly roll over me, I’ll be able to ride those impulsive, self-destructive thoughts and emotions out, without doing anything that will really hurt me.

On a fun, family-bonding note, I spoke with my son (he’s 16 and lives with his mom and sister back in NJ) on Sunday. I was really touched when he asked if I had ever seen the Netflix show, Bojack Horseman. Omg. I got so excited. He evidently loves that show as well and thought that I would get a real kick out of it, if I hadn’t seen it yet. We talked about our favorite episodes. I told him not to do drugs. He hemmed and hawed a bit. I backed up a bit. I already know he drinks and I suspect he smokes weed too. I’m not thrilled about the alcohol but if he is smoking a little weed, I really don’t have a huge problem with that (and I told him so). Some of the things I said about Bojack Horseman probably gave him more of an idea of the severity of my own drug addiction and I think it may be getting close to the time to have a real talk with him about my drug experiences in an effort to, hopefully, keep him far away from the path that I have found myself on. I’ll have to talk to my therapist and, probably, his mother before I have such a conversation though.

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