Monday, April 5, 2010

Leap of Faith. Again.

A year and a half ago, I said here that I was going to be taking a leap of faith. Back then, I was terrified. Afraid it would hurt, be uncomfortable. Drag me down. Be difficult. Challenge me more than I wanted. Be too much to handle. And tonight, if I am going to be completely honest, all of those things I was so afraid of have happened.

I've wrestled with what to post here for so long... and instead of doing anything with it, I've stared at a blank text box wondering what to write.

Tonight, I am taking a leap of faith. I have been talking a lot lately (in "real life") about how much I admire those who are totally transparent. The people who let their lives - faults and all - shine for Him. Those who are raw and honest, and want God glorified more than they want to protect their own reputation.

So instead of just talking about those people, I am going to try it myself. Take a radical leap of faith, so to speak. Do what I believe God would have me do - and be real. Be raw. Be honest.

Truth is folks, I've been so close to falling completely apart. I've been struggling with the symptoms and manifestations of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. The nightmares, the flashbacks, the constant "hyper vigilance." The inability to fall asleep, and after I finally do, waking up easily and then being unable to go back to sleep. Unexplainable rage. Irrational fear. Inappropriately intense emotion some days, and some days no emotion at all. And that is just the tip of the ice burg. I am no longer employed by my previous (amazing) employer, as I was hospitalized for quite some time.

Just admitting that is so hard to do. Fear is telling me that "my readers" will judge me. That some will say I'm making it up. That there will be nay-sayers and put-downs. I can't really share details pertaining to the cause of this disorder, other than to say it stems from multiple childhood events. This diagnosis is new, but the problem has been persistent for the last twenty years. I'm twenty six. Do the math - I can't remember ever being any different than I am now. The symptoms have been mild, and I have been able to hide them, up until last year. And things didn't get out of control until this past December.

I am not crazy, by the way.

Since coming home, I'm almost never home. I have Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) for two hours every week. I also meet with a private therapist once a week, who is taking a two pronged approach as he supports the DBT as well as works in the realm of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). I underwent EMDR for nearly five months. It helped immensely in some areas, and in other areas, it stirred up things that probably should have been left alone. Once a week I see a different therapist to address one very specific issue. I can't really share that here - legally, not allowed. I also work with a psychiatrist, who is helping to figure out if we can use medication to control some of the issues.

Lest this all seem gloom-and-doom... I do have some good news. First, a new heart med (new to me, not new to the world) has been working really well to control my heart rate. Second, one of the meds from the psychiatrist has enabled me to get an average of 4.5 - 5 hours of sleep every night. I was previously getting between 1 and 3. No exaggeration. I am quite sure that the lack of sleep contributed very much to the major increase in symptoms. Also, I have been blessed with a husband who stands by me through all of this - even when he has no idea what to do. My church has been unspeakably helpful. Always there. Always helping. Always good. My dad, my step mom, friends... so many people have shown themselves so faithful. God has provided financially as well. He just never stops blessing us.

I have gotten back into Martial Arts. I never stopped being a Martial Artist, but I had been skipping class for years. And now, my husband happens to be hooked as well. Which is of course fantastic. :) It's great for the soul (mind and emotions) and helps the body as well. One of my best friends is the head instructor there. It has been such an amazing gift to spend more time with him. I first met him almost 15 years ago. He has been one of my closest friends for 14 of those years. It is amazing how much one single person can do for another, by merely existing. But that's a whole other post.

Now... if you have read all of this, I expect you to have questions. Please feel free to use the "E-mail Me" button over on the left-hand side of the screen. I will do my best to respond to every question, even if that means letting you know that I can't give you an answer.

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