The Transitional Brain

I can’t stand my own thoughts.

My mind is carnivorous, chewing at me with thoughts like: no one loves you. you are undeserving. you are useless, pointless. why exist?

My therapist (Carli) says that these are passive suicidal thoughts, but I know what it is to be actively suicidal, and that is brutal. I am grateful not to be there now. I remember how it felt to obsessively plan my death, as if it was one small thing I could control. The pills I horded, the alcohol I poured down my throat (i didn’t deserve to survive what i did to myself.)

My girlfriend (A.) says that this is temporary, that everything will eventually equalize: the therapy, the drugs, the emotional upheaval. I try the words on my tongue: aripiprazole, lamotrigine, buproprion, and, of course, the alprazolam. It’s the benzodiazepines that make my life feel livable. The wonderdrugs that make it possible for me to leave the house without feeling like I’m going to crawl out of my skin.

My therapist is a happy little cheerleader, which is alright if you like that sort of thing. I prefer my psychiatrist, a serious Indian man with a rakish, windswept appearance. Dr. S. always asks me how I’m doing as if someone has just died and I don’t feel pressured to lie and say that I’m alright. Carli has this way of asking like she’s expecting great news, and of course, I hate to disappoint. Not that there’s anything wrong with being positive, but hey, there’s a reason I’m sitting on this side of the desk, right? Ironically, she’s the one who broke my diagnoses to me. At first, they slapped with me with the bipolar disorder, but that didn’t feel right at all. I’m all about labels, but bipolar disorder? I’m not impulsive enough, seriously. So after deciding that I was not, in fact, bipolar, Carli slapped the mighty DSM-10 on her desk and declared me the following: severe Depressive Disorder without psychotic features (thank god, right?) Anxiety Disorder with mild agoraphobia, Avoidance Disorder, Panic Disorder, and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Disorder disorder disorder. Ever say a word so many times it loses its meaning? Maybe it’s supposed to. Maybe it shouldn’t matter so much what combination of loose wires in my brain makes me who I am. Or maybe it’s the only thing that matters at all. Enough.

So if I hate my thoughts, I should get some new ones, right? In honor of the new year, I promise to dedicate my next entry to all the positive things in my life.

 

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