Friday, August 28, 2015

Holding Strong

Friday, August 28, 2015

Today is one of those days when I feel as if I can taste the bad days of 2013 all over again.

I went to the Abbott Hospital campus this morning to get my left knee examined. Those that know me well know that Abbott Hospital and its surroundings are a familiar part of my recent 'psychic geography'. I went to an outpatient treatment program at Abbott Hospital in November 2013. Though that time in my life now feels like ancient history the painful memories of that time in my life sometimes  come to the forefront of my conscious awareness when I visit that part of Minneapolis. It's very easy to remember times like the day from the summer of 2013 when I broke down in tears while going to what at the time seemed like an endless sequence of medical appointments. I had a lot of fear and anxiety coursing through me at the time. I didn't know what was amiss in me. But I did know I did not feel good. And it turned out a lot was off in my life.

Twenty-five months have passed since those trying days. I feel much better now. In fact I am well enough now that I was able to contemplate successfully transitioning off sertraline just last month. In the first weeks after I completely titrated off the medication I had what I considered some minor withdrawal symptoms. I experienced a few episodes of minor dizziness. I also experienced an unfamiliar sensation in my head; it felt as if the space between the cells in my brain was expanding. Does that sound bizarre or impossible? Perhaps it does. But that was the best way I could put words to the sensation.

Yet despite my immense improvement compared to this time two years ago I still have moments when I feel extremely vulnerable. And I experience these moments much more often than I would like to. Yet it seems to me this isn't unusual considering how my life is still (hopefully) arcing in the direction of improvement. But when I read of events in the world at large I feel exasperation and anxiety. Indeed, reading the daily newspaper seems like a virtual act of courage these days. Whether it's news of Republican candidates being called terrorists, George W. Bush having the incredible nerve to make an appearance on the 10th anniversary of the devastation of New Orleans by Hurricane Katrina, the massive refugee problem in Europe or the latest sad gun violence tragedy in America I can't help but wonder what world we are throttling towards. What kind of world are we creating?

I used the word vulnerability because I think it is a word that aptly describes the quality of the intersection of many individual American citizens' lives and our society at large. With issues such as growing income inequality, the issue of persistent gun violence (which I personally believe eludes resolution to the complexity of the problem) and an incredibly unproductive Congress is it any wonder that many Americans would feel anxious about their individual futures as well as the future of this nation?

As for myself I feel a bit inclined to hide for the rest of today. Being required to be perpetually strong in the face of grinding challenges can be debilitating over a long period of time. Knowing this and given my early personal history it no longer surprises me that on a warm June day in 2013 I was given a diagnosis of PTSD. As I noted above I feel much better today as compared to two years ago. But there are many days when I am not encouraged by how I see many of the adults of our world behaving.

No comments:

Post a Comment

I invite you to accompany me as I document my own journey of healing. My blog is designed to offer inspiration and solace to others. If you find it of value I welcome you to share it with others. Aloha!