Seeking Beauty beyond PTSD

Written on Wednesday, October 26th, 2016

“It feels like I’m falling away, I’m getting deeper and deeper everyday.
like nothing has changed or ever will. It seems like I’m going insane, getting farther and farther every day. I just swallow the pain and always will.” Ivan’s refrain triggered a flashback early this morning. I don’t share flashbacks because they can harm both of us, yet I can break the rule here because this incident was far from gruesome or horrific. Just briefly terrifying, and perhaps appropriate to where I find myself now. I’ve been trying to come to the metallog for the past couple of weeks but can’t even accomplish this. Perhaps the flashback is a push.

“Unleash the beast from its cage, I feel like a puppet on sage. It only adds to the rage.” If I’m a puppet Ivan, someone has cut the strings. I feel I am in a free fall, dropping deeper into a dark place I can’t see clearly. The regret, angst and terror I feel constantly are intertwined and are physical forces. If this is what it means to come off the mediation then I am the first to say it’s been a mistake. Let me get to the flashback first. It was late march and a heavy rain was causing widespread flooding I was on a remote wood road near Shubenacadie where what should have been a small brook had rolled over the road stranding several families.

I was alone, shooting at the edge of the ice when it opened up and down I went. The water pulled me under and carried me through the culvert beneath the road and tossed me, under the ice, on the opposite side. I could see air bubbles and light through the ice. I was beginning to come to grips with the terrifying fact I was on the wrong side of the ice sheet when a branch or a tree swept me out from under and popped me onto the shoreline. I made may way quickly through the trees and back to the road. My car was there, my tripod and camera stood next the hole that swallowed me. The fear and adrenaline hit then, too little, too late. Not for the first or last time, I cursed a job that had me putting myself in harms way with no one to dial 911 if something went bad.

“I’ve got one foot on the platform, the other’s on the train.” Yes 5FDP does covers. Appropriate lyric though Ivan. I am in two places and I don’t not know up from down, just as I didn’t when that current swept me through the culvert and spit me out. It’s like being beneath the ice again. I can see through to the other side, to where it is, what it is, to be human. Yet it is outside my reach and there is no tree branch sweeping me along. If anything I’m sinking. The level of constant despair defies my ability to describe with language. I am crushed into a frozen useless state. I can’t write, hell this exercise has met with false start after false start. Real writing, forget it.

“I’m over it, so over it, this is goodbye. I’d give anything just to cut you free.” That was my attitude Ivan. I was over the whole medication thing. I knew what was best, and now I’m stuck beneath the frozen ice with no way to break through. But, here is the question neither Ivan, nor the docs, will answer. How long do I stay stranded here, sinking in a cesspool of raw emotion that will attach itself to anything and to nothing at all. A simple lyric can evoke breath taking sorrow at one moment and at another the sense of fear and loss leaves me flatlined and unable to feel anything. The upside is the flatline shuts down the fight or flight urge for a time.

I was warned about bounce back caused by discontinuation, it’s a return of the symptoms that led to the medication at an even higher level. I hope that is what this is. “Now I know, that I don’t belong, I don’t care, you’re a scar burned into my skin, can’t hold on, can’t move on your the weight beneath my skin.” Very much so Ivan. It is a weight and a scar both. I don’t want to wear angst and horror on my skin like some badge of dishonour. I need to break through the ice and feel what it’s like to be human again. I want with everything in me to crawl back up on that road, and get my camera and go on as though this was just a crazy wild ride in the rushing water. I’m not supposed to think like that, doctor’s orders. I’m also not supposed to feel like I’m at a wake with everyone pausing and passing on condolences as I sit afraid to look inside the box because I know it’s me. So there you go.

“It’s caving in around me, what I thought was solid ground. I tried to look the other way but I couldn’t turn around. It’s okay for you to hate me for all the things I’ve done. I’ve made a few mistakes but I’m not the only one.” Perhaps I should have started this one with that lyric Ivan. “You will never see what’s in side of me, I’d pull you down, just to save myself.” I take that lyric inwardly. It’s my fear. I am pulling myself under in an attempt to save myself. Who the hell am I, that I should be able to cope without a key medication. “Step away from the edge…” But when Ivan, when. Getting this clean and sober has been torture. Giving up too soon would be such a tragedy. I’m nobody’s guide on this journey, but I promised to share it good or bad. Don’t follow my lead or use me as an excuse to convince your own doctor to give it a try. Things are getting worse daily and exponentially.

I am not living. I am existing, barely. The difference is painful. A callous Dr. sliced me in two with a heartless question as he filled in a form on Monday. He was well aware of the state of my case and what I’ve been through. So how are you coping, he asked. I had no answer. Because I’m not.

“I’m tired of trying to please the world that spins around me, this time I’m doing it for me and me alone. I don’t need anyone, don’t think I ever did. Not trying to be selfish just doing what I know. I’m a madness.” Sometimes these metallogs can sneak up on me. I suppose that’s it. I don’t accept what the doctors say recovery is. I don’t accept what even I said recovery would be like. I have one life and I am wasting it. Minute by torturous minute. I’m not ready to give up on this detox trial. I hate it, it terrifies me. But surrendering and reaching for a new pill bottle is more frightening. There are beautiful moments just beyond that ice flow of CPSD and medications. I just have to hold my breath a little longer.


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