My Nemesis, The Dreads – Part Two

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The Dreads continue to strike each morning around 5:00 a.m.  Fortunately, today I was able to discuss this nemesis in depth with Dr D.  We always cover a lot of ground in our thirty-minute-long sessions, and despite my morning grogginess, I used up every minute to the fullest.  

I worried the day before my appointment as I usually do, despite the fact that Dr. D. is the best and the kindest psychiatrist I’ve ever seen.  To settle my anxiety, I  jotted down a few talking points in my notebook.  Creating talking points always helps me to focus and guarantees my getting something useful out of the session.  

I was about to first place The Dreads down on the list, but then I realized that I needed to start with another topic.  I wanted my doctor to know that I had just spent five days with someone I loved who was verbally abusive to me, and emotionally unpredictable to be around.  Walking on eggshells for five days would be enough to exhaust anyone, and I’ve been utterly drained since the end of that visit.

I suspected that my emotional hangover caused the milder form of The Dreads I’ve experienced recently to become much worse.  Dr. D., who has a gift for therapy and almost became a psychotherapist, was able to shed light on the situation.  I hope to cover what he said in a future blog post as it concerns personality disorders and bipolar disorder as well.

After we spoke about that, the subject turned to The Dreads.  I told Dr. D. I tried to lower the Seroquel and it didn’t work – I didn’t feel it was the right time to take that plunge.  I added that I thought I should wait a few more months to try.  What was interesting to me was that Dr. D. asked why would I choose to make a medication change after what happened last week.  (I thought he had a good point!) He advised that I wait for a calmer time to try again and that I didn’t necessarily have to wait another two months to try, but to take it “day by day”.

I continued explaining The Dreads in gory detail to Dr. D.  I made sure to  differentiate them from their first cousin Depression in that my dread/rumination only lasts until I drag myself out of bed.  The feelings dissipate after a few cups of strong-ass coffee.  Dr. D. understood where I was coming from, and he mentioned an interesting point.  He said (and I’m not paraphrasing too well but I hope this makes sense) that when we are on the verge of waking up, our old consciousness can be stirred up.   Since I’ve been through so much trauma, that concept makes sense to me.  Then he emphasized something I already knew a little about: the importance of regular bedtimes and waking times, but with a different twist…

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I explained how difficult the mornings have been ever since school got out for the girls and that I stopped getting up at a regular time each morning; I also ceased using my Sunbox bright light first thing each morning.

As soon as I said the words “bright light”, Dr. D mentioned reading a recent study with findings that truly surprised me.   The study cited that getting early morning daylight (via natural light or a therapeutic light) & maintaining regular waking times/bedtimes were more helpful in improving depression than regular aerobic exercise.  

Dr. D. said he’d search for that study again to email it to me, and I’ll search for it as well – if I find it I’ll post it here.  He suggested that I consider going outside in the morning with a cup of coffee (programming my coffee pot the night before to get it ready) and hanging out to receive the natural light.  

Since Lucy Puppy is up bright and early at 5:00 a.m., jumping like a pogo stick to go outside, I could use her prodding to get me going.  Craig has been the one to take Lucy out thus far, which has been wonderful , but if I want to stop these damn dreads, I need to excuse him from morning puppy duty!

Wish me luck, kindred bloggers.  I realllllly need it.   The Dreads suck! 

xoxox

Dyane

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18 thoughts on “My Nemesis, The Dreads – Part Two

  1. I can completely related to The Dreads as it is something I go through on a daily basis. Thank you for sharing your story and for the terrific ideas to try. I do notice a HUGE difference when I get sunshine first thing in the morning and letting the dog out with some coffee is a fantabulous way to do exactly that!

    1. Thanks so much for your comment! I know you’ll come up with great ways to ease the dreads! While they have been in full force lately, the arrival of spring will be a huge help. Take care and thanks again for your positive and encouraging words! Here’s to recovery! 🙂

  2. Dyanne, I grew up with a dad who was undiagnosed, but I walked on eggshells my entire childhood. I’m certain he had bipolar (I have bp2), but may have also had bpd going on, too. I was always in a stressed situation, and depressed much of the time. Definitely not a healthy situation.

    Re: waking up at the same time – I leave my bedroom shades open at night (I’m upstairs, so it’s safe). That way, I know I’ll wake up with first light. I also leave a window open so I wake up with the first bird calls in the morning. For me, it’s become something I look forward to each morning. I take about an hour and sit in my special rocking chair, with coffee, my devotionals and my journal absorbing the morning breeze and aromas, not to mention the cacophony of singing birds. It’s a great way to begin my day.

    1. Hello Susan! I loved reading this post! The way you describe your wake-up routine makes it sound so relaxing and positive. What a great idea to leave the window open (yes, safely as you do!) to listen for the first bird calls of the morning. Thank you for taking the time to write about how you begin the day. You inspire me and give me hope that I too can come up with a better way to start my morning and make “the dreads” disappear! :)))) take care and have a wonderful day!

    1. You said it perfectly, Glenn! He’s so cool – and he deliberately undercharges because he knows how ridiculously unaffordable psychiatrists are in this county, even with insurance!

  3. I knew you had a difficult week, but I forgot how traumatic family reunions can be, especially when you love someone who may turn on you with no warning. Yes, loving someone with borderline personality disorder (?) can be difficult. I’ve been there. Difficult, too, when that person has no insight, little empathy, and no ability to take responsibility for their behavior or to apologize for how their outbursts and vicious language may destroy others. I’m projecting my experience. I really have no idea what your week was like. But if it was anything like what I’ve been through in my lifetime, then give yourself a break, realize that being on the receiving end of verbal abuse takes a huge toll and requires recovery and a good dose of coffee in the sun with an energetic and affectionate puppy.

    1. I like the part where you mention about taking responsibility. I can see what you are saying. I have borderline personality disorder myself. The main path to betterment is realizing where you are going wrong. Accept what happens and make efforts for improving. The only way you can manage it is by actually realizing something is wrong with u. I can only imagine how hard it is for Dyane. I have all my sympathies with her and anyone having to deal with a person like that. I really like your advice about the break thing. I think she needs a big nice break. I feel a lot for her and hope things get better in weeks to come

      1. Thank you for this comment, Zephyr – for you to be able to even recognize and accept that you have the challenge of borderline is incredible. I’m not sure if I already wrote this, but my doctor advised me to regard her a a “wounded child”, for childhood wounds contribute to personality disorders profoundly. That makes a lot of sense to me and the concept/perception brings out more of my compassionate side. Still, the whole situation is difficult, to say the least and there will never be an easy answer to it, but I will focus on the things that are going well in my life! 🙂 Having your support is a godsend – much love to you and your family!

      2. Zephyr, I commend you on your compassion and empathy, on your bravery in owning your personality disorder, and on your commitment to working toward positive change and better mental health. For all of us who struggle with mental illness, it is SO important for us to own up to how our behavior affects others. When we love someone who cannot do this, who cannot take responsibility for their abusive behavior and how it may negatively affect us, we must distance ourselves emotionally and perhaps physically.

    2. Dearest Kitt, I apologize for my late reply, but I know you understand it if I take a bit to respond. There is a book about borderline personality disorder which you may know about called “Walking On Eggshells” & that is the perfect way to describe being around someone with bpd. I hold my breath most of the time, which is absolutely terrible, I know. I worked on that this past week, but it’s a very old and hideous habit of mine to hold my breath during stress.

      You understand. You didn’t project about any of this, by the way, – you summed it up perfectly!!! I LOVE your recovery suggestion of hanging out in the sun with my precious java and even more precious pup…but you forgot one thing: premium ice cream!!!!

      p.s. thank you as usual for a thoughtful comment – I can’t help but gush that you are a “dream blog follower” and Becca agrees with me on that point! 😉

      1. Why, thank you. Problem is I don’t actually write very much original content on my own blog.

        I must read that book you recommend. Thank you so much for mentioning it. Walking on eggshells perfectly describes what we feel we must do to avoid the outbursts and emotional abuse.

      2. Just found the book on Amazon. It’s called, more appropriately, “Stop Walking on Eggshells: Taking Your Life Back When Someone You Care About Has Borderline Personality Disorder” by Paul Mason and Randi Kreger. Buying it NOW!

  4. Oh dear, what a hard week for you. Remember you are amazing and brave to have survived through a hard week. I hope things turn out okay and you do figure things out. Routine is very important and I am glad that your doctor is really helpful. Hope things work out fine. Always in my prayers. Love ya. xoxoxox

  5. My dear, SO glad you survived “the week.” I’m sorry to hear about the verbal abuse (wow, some things just never change), but more important at how differently and much better you are handling things. I am so, so proud of you and love every insight in all your posts. You rock, my sweet one!

  6. I identify with this so much! I MUST wake up at the same time every morning…because even if I go one day sleeping too late, I find it difficult the next day to wake up early again! My sleeping routine should be my first priority to stay healthy, but unfortunately I tend let it go too much!

    1. Wow – I m so impressed with your consistency with waking up at the same time every day, and with your awareness of its importance. Today was a little better for me as far as getting up went, but it was still really hard.

      The way I woke up today was poor, sweet Lucy puppy throwing up beside my bed. That was NOT my ideal way to get me started on the day! It was kind of funny, though, I must admit, and she’s fine, thank God!! She ate chicken droppings yesterday and that’s what caused it to happen. We try hard to clean them all (we let our 3 chickens walk around each day in the yard) but of course we miss some of the mess.

      Let’s both encourage one another to make the sleeping routines THE priority. It’s so easy to let them go during the summer….

      thanks for reading, my dear, and for your comment!!!!

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