Category Archives: Psychology

But Then I Got High

I ate some gummies a few minutes ago. The special kind of gummies. although the ones I just ate are a hybrid strain, I totally prefer straight sativa. I like the head high more than the body high. I like communing with the universe, yo.

I have been mulling over the idea of writing while high just to see what comes of it. I have been wanting to do it for a while now but the last several times I got high I was hit with a heavy sleepiness and/or lethargy, and/or I was crossfaded. Anyway, I just didn’t write.

This time, though, I planned ahead, ate the gummies mid-day instead of evening, and sat my butt in front of my computer before the high hit.

As my regular readers know, I never edit my posts, I write and then hit “publish”, no editing. I do this because I like to stay raw, true… and I think it holds my emotion and thought process so readers can, hopefully, feel like this is an in person talk rather than a stranger reading a stranger’s drivel.

Oh, OK, I think it’s starting to hit.

I am ready to go.

I have decided my prompt for this experiment is going to be discussing a certain fantasy I have had since I hit puberty, I have had the same base for the fantasy that long, but over the years the players, setting, and circumstances have changed. Why do I have this fantasy? What caused it? It’s so different from who I am and want to be, so, why have it?

The fantasy always consists of me (but what I think of as beautiful, attractive, very feminine, etc.) and a “hero” or two or three, usually a man/men, a crisis, a battle, and me and the hero becoming buds.

I am an intelligent, strong, perfectly capable woman who just so happens to have gotten into a lot of trouble. Hero (s) comes along a helps me out of the imminent danger and then we partner up and fight battles together.

OK, that’s just the most recent incarnation of this fantasy. There have been many incarnations over the years. When I first started having the fantasy I was very much a damsel in distress and there was one “Hero” and he was my dream guy. At the time my dream guy was dark haired, brown skinned, slender but tone athletic build, average height, kind, strong, leader…. you know, a Hero.

Yeah, a very common fantasy for girls. A very common fantasy due to societal and religeous inffluences teaching girls they need a hero, they need to be taken care of, protected. They need a man.

I was caught in that world growing up. And because I was also struggling with my life and drowning in feelings of loss, helplessness, uselessness… I totally fell for the hero idea, someone to come save me and make everything allright forever.

My religious upbringing had a lot to do with it as well. religion is very much a psychological safety blanket. We feel lost – no one feels like they got it all together all the time- we have that fantasy of being saved; the church comes along and offers us a savior, but our minds don’t think of a soul savior, but a letteral person who comes along and fixes our life and is our sugar daddy for life. Hell yeah, I will hold that fantasy in the back of my mind while I follow this God dude as my security blanket, he will save my soul, keep me “safe” not just right now but for all eternity.

I fell for that gobblety gook, too. It felt safe…but it wasn’t real, it was just a coping mechanism for life.

As I got older the fantasy would take on a romantic and even sexual context. Now my hero is someone I fall in love with… and have sex with.

More comfort, more security. In all aspects of life, I am brought safety and comfort.

Throughout this time the hero was always a man, and I was always helpless and weak. And he always swooped in and took charge and rescued me.

As I matured, my view of the world expanded and changed. My idea of women needing help by men dissapeared, my veiw of gender rolls shrank and shivelled. My fantasy slowly and significantly changed. MY hero sometimes became a woman, sometimes multiplied, and ofted became characters from movies, shows, books, etc. Sometimes the hero was a villian I fought and overcame or befriended. Sometimes I was the villian who learns new ideas and values.

As I grew in knowledge and experience, and as I overcame my mental illnesses, my fantasy turned from me and my hero to me being the hero, to me becoming a member of a group of heroes who have saved each other and helped each other become their own hero and now fight together to save others.

I have no idea where I am going with all of this, LOL. I am having trouble concentrating right now. So, yeah, I have this fantasy, a lot of people have their own version of this same damned fantasy and it’s all because we were raised wrong.

Even our fantasies have mental illness!

But It’d OK, life is good. LOL, LOL, LOL>>>

Oh, I am having fun with this writing while hight thing.

Everything I write is so gotdamned funny! LOL!

OH, I am going to laugh so hard when I read this back later! LOL!

I am going to pee my pants! LOL!

Lee(from the other room): “Tamra, why are you crying?”

ME: “I’m not …*Sprshhshsh*… I’m trying not to laugh….*sshhshhshh*”

Lee: “OK…you have fun with that now…”

Still trying not to pee my pants…

Giggling…

Trying to get my thoughts together. Hard to concentrate.

A bit sleepy now. Edibles come in waves, especially when you have delayed stomach emptying. Hehe. So I’ll have moments like this where I am more clear headed, then moments of total high where I laugh so hard I almost wet myself. Then less high, then high high again, and back and forth for a bit until the high fades all together.

Singing – “I want yoooouuu, you know what I meaaan….”

Hmmhmmm…

Lee’s talking to his gaming friends about me being “So super high right now…”

LOL

I love hearing him laughing with his friends. It’s been a long time.

My little butthole (my dog Tindi) is over here wanting to play with me… I just spelled ‘here’ ‘hear’ and I corrected the error but it just hit me as so damned funny! That type of error is hilarious! but what makes us make that error? the ideas are separate in our minds, but the spelling and idea get lost on the way from the mind to the fingers.

I keep stopping typing so I can giggle, concentrate on giggling. LOL

Lee – “Tamra, you still alive?!”

ME- *giggle* “yeaaaahhh” *giggle*

Lee- “OK” , to his buddies, “She’s still alive”.

It just took me sooooooo long to type that.

Giggling.

That word is so expressionate. That’s, like, exactly what you do when you giggle. expressionate, I am laughing so hard at how I spelled that. I’m not even gonna correct it so y’all can see it and laugh, too.

One thing I’m not typing down for you is the constant negative narrative I have going on at the same time as my hillarious shit. As I type something hillarious, my negative mind is telling me you all are not entertained. That I am dumb and this blog post is terrible, meaningless, and brings no good to this world because I bring no good to this world, I never have and never will. I’ll go to my death never having made one person truly smile or truly better. My bone shall chill in the fires of hell.

And on the outside I am laughing and feeling oh, so happy. LOL *big smile*

You know the constant alert beeps on your phone? I know I can turn off notifications, but subconsiously I leave it on because I need to feel a contextion to other human beings. I need to be loved,

“I diserve to be loved!”

My #SPNFamily will get that quote. LOL

I’m so tired. Sleepy.

Yeah, I just did that…I can hardly believe I cold handle it. LOL

Gonna go get somthing to drink. Dry mouth. From high, not high.

LOL, my #T1D peeps will laugh at that. LOL

Lee to his gamer buddies – “LOL, Tamra walks and giggles into the room, walks between me and the TV, grabs a soda, turns to me and giggles, walks back into the room.”

LOL “Lee, is Tindi outside?!”

Oh, wait, I didn’t say that outloud.

ROFLMAO

But, really? Is Tindi outside?

LOL

I went to let Tindi back in. One the way back remebered Lee got beef jerky.

“Didn’t you get beef jerky?”

“Yeah.”

“Where is it?”

Lee hands it to me.

“Egh, it’s the sticks…” I say, then shrug and tke the jerky with me, “I’m high…”

These are gross, but they’re fine when ur high.

Couldn’t find the meme I was looking for but this one gets the point.

Yeah, this was a jump back to the “high, not high” comment. #T1D.

Awe, the high is starting to die. 😦

This was fun, maybe I’ll start a series of writings while high.

So, I hope you learned a lot about why I have such a common fantasy.

Ba-dum, tiss. G’night all!

Strong People Go To Therapy

I was sitting in class, this was Dialectical Behavior Training (DBT), listening to the trainer discussing behavior chain analysis and thinking about my own issues and how I really need to use this tool more. My mind was starting to wander, I wondered how much longer until I was free. I was brought back to attention by a question the trainer asked the class.

“Why do you go to therapy?” She wasn’t asking us what our mental health issues were, she was asking more along the lines of what do we get out of sitting on that couch, and what keeps us coming back.

One by one each of us gave a reason:

“I feel listened to, I feel heard.”

“validation.”

“I feel comfortable.”

“I’m not judged.”

“I feel safe, we deal with and talk about tough and painful things; I know I can open up and be vulnerable and she wont hurt me – my feelings.” (this was my response).

We got around to a response that eventually lead to a discussion that really struck me. “Therapy is uncomfortable, we deal with uncomfortable things in there. I equate discomfort with growth.”

It takes a strong person to go to therapy. The worst and most inaccurate assumption I’ve ever heard about therapy is “I don’t want to go to therapy because that will mean I’m weak.”. That couldn’t be farther from the truth.

The first proof of strength is taking the first step to go to therapy. It takes strength to admit you need help and to seek it out.

The second proof comes when you get into the room and start talking. Therapy is really tough, you have to open up, talk about your struggles, recount your pain, get deep and dirty in all the turmoil of your past and present, face your demons and fears. That fucking takes strength, dude!

The third proof is the work. Going to therapy doesn’t just mean sitting and talking. No, it means talking, working with your therapist to figure things out, to untangle the yarns of life and the abuses it has brought and wrought on you, and to develop a plan of action to repair it. And then to implement the plan which takes a lot of work, and that work is 98% up to you to do and accomplish!

“Therapy means strength.” The trainer said, “Therapy causes distress, and it teaches us how to handle distress effectively.”

The fourth proof is the fact that you’ve sat in that room and ripped your heart out, cried yourself dry, relived your horrors, explained your troubles, and worked yourself to exhaustion… and you keep coming back.

That takes so much strength.

Life With Agoraphobia

I’ve been thinking about writing a post specifically about my life with agoraphobia for a while now. Over the past couple of weeks I’ve been planning it out in my mind but just couldn’t really come up with a good way to describe agoraphobia from a personal point of view. I have a ton of medical and scientific definitions/descriptions, but how do I describe it personally? I can describe it, yes, because I live with it, but I just want to be able to make the reader truly understand what it is like.

Oh, well, I’ll stop worrying about specific words and just dive in.

I’ve had social anxiety my entire life. Really, I was born anxious! However, it wasn’t until my 8th grade year that I first presented with agoraphobic tendencies. I ditched school, a lot. You see, no one was home during the day and I was usually the last to leave in the morning ( I walked myself to school) so I knew if I didn’t leave and go to school no one would know I was home alone all day. It was glorious. I was alone, I was invisible, I did not have to interact with people, I did not have to feel the anxiety (worry, profound discomfort, embarrassment, fear, etc.), I didn’t have to feel these things because I simply stayed in the comfort of my own hide-out, my home. This lasted for I think 3 months before the school caught on to my forged notes and notified my mother. I had been ditching a couple days a week for several weeks, if I remember correctly. Once my mom found out and confronted me I straightened up and went to school as required for the rest of the year. It was difficult, I was miserable, but I knew what I had been doing wasn’t good, I knew it wasn’t healthy on many levels, I didn’t know the depth or totality of my problem (agoraphobia and social anxiety) but I knew I had to act like I was fine, I had to buck up and do what needed doing. So I did.

Agoraphobia is an anxiety disorder. People with agoraphobia tend to avoid open, crowded, and public places and situations that make them feel trapped, helpless, or embarrassed.

The word agoraphobia comes from the Greek ‘agora’. Agoraphobia translated means “fear of the marketplace”.

For most agoraphobics the issue is coupled and fed by social anxiety (anxiety brought on by social interaction and situations).

Agoraphobia is often described in “phobia lists” as the fear of open spaces or fear of places hard to escape. Agoraphobics often find it difficult to leave their home (the idea of going out into the world, out in public, induces severe anxiety).

Many of the places agoraphobics experience the highest amount of anxiety are places like public transit, malls or similar places, theaters, and places where help would be hard to get if something bad happened (wilderness, etc.).

Many agoraphobics find they experience less anxiety ‘out in the world’ if they take with them a ‘security blanket’. I was surprised when I learned about this common coping mechanism for agoraphobia because I had naturally latched on to my ‘security blankets’ already. I find it very difficult to be out in the world without either my husband or my mother with me. I stick to them like glue when I’m out in public. This security blanket does not have to be a human being, many agoraphobics have pets or inanimate objects (a favorite blanket, jacket, trinket, toy, etc.) with them for coping tools.

Agoraphobia, like all anxiety disorders, tends to have its ups and downs. After the 8th grade, for many years I didn’t even know I had agoraphobia. I was a home-body, that’s for sure, but although if given the choice I’d rather stay home, I didn’t think I had any difficulty in leaving my home. I worked in customer service for over 15 years and although I hated it, I didn’t usually have any issue with social interaction that I’d describe as unhealthy. Yes, I had a lot of anxiety I dealt with, I called out of work more often than I should have. I even had a nervous breakdown once that was related to my social anxiety.

And then there was the fact that I couldn’t stick with college partially because of the classes required for my degree that weren’t available online. I just could no longer cope with classroom settings. And especially with group projects, presentations, and anything at all remotely social. there are many reasons not related to agoraphobia and social anxiety that kept me from getting a degree (financial mostly), but the anxiety was a big part.

And then things got worse.

My health declined to the point where I ended up having major heart surgery, a triple bypass. During my recovery I stayed at home a lot due to energy issues. For some reason the staying at home more led me to be more reluctant to leave home. I felt safe and comfortable there and convinced myself it was perfectly OK to do so. I worried a bit about my mental health when I even often resisted leaving home to go have fun with friends.

Things only got worse when immediately following my heart surgery recovery I began a year long journey consisting of four eye surgeries, with very restrictive recoveries in between each. So it was more staying at home, which was fine with me because I loved being home. I did have a job during the heart surgery time and eye surgeries. Obviously I missed a lot of work because of recovery times. I ended up leaving my job because I felt terrible about all the medical leave I had to take, and I had no idea how long this was going to continue for. Having to make the decision to leave my job triggered a depression and strong guilty anxiety which I’m sure fed my ever growing agoraphobia.

I used to have gorgeous eyes. They were big, hazel, with thick and long lashes I never needed mascara for. After my four eye surgeries on my right eye, I noticed the eye was smaller and sunken in which made my eyelid look droopy. I felt ugly. I felt like my once gorgeous eyes were forever ruined. Now, I’m not the kind of person to worry or care about what other people think about my appearance. But I have always had a kind of pride over my beautiful eyes. So I sunk into a deeper depression, and I felt overwhelming anxiety over being seen in public.

“People will judge me. They’ll stare at my droopy eye.” I don’t care! Why am I anxious over this stupid stuff!

This is why phobias are called irrational fears. Because they make no sense! They are overreactions to stupid meaningless things!

But we can’t help it. We don’t choose to react this way, to think and feel these things. But we try to cope with it, to control it and move on.

From here on out the agoraphobia won the higher ground and ran rampant. To this day (over 4 years since the heart surgery) I only leave my house if I have no choice (doctor appointments). Sometimes I am able and willing to leave if my mom invites me to join her for a day of shopping/running errands. I’m able to do that because, as I stated earlier, she is one of my two security blankets. Also, I still hang out with friends and go to parties sometimes, as long as my hubby is with me.

People often point out that I’m never not stuck to him like glue when we go to parties/gatherings, etc.. Agoraphobia is why.

I never got another job after I left the one for medical reasons. I’ve tried to get jobs since, but haven’t gotten picked up, yet. I’ve only applied at my hubby’s work…because he’s my security blanket and I’d be able to handle working there with him around.

I don’t qualify for disability… not that I’d want to have that label, anyway.

I had a fairly big agoraphobia flare up this past week. With all the holidays, I guess, and going places to celebrate (always with my hubby to hang on to) it just wore me down. the week between Christmas and New Year’s Eve I was moody, grumpy, and anxious. We had planned for nearly a month to go to a party hosted by a friend for New Year’s Eve. A day or so before the party I became so overwhelmed with anxiety I decided I didn’t want to go to the party. I felt guilty, and I did want to hang out with my friends, I just couldn’t deal with the idea of leaving my home, being crowded around people. And then there was the fact that my hubby wanted to drink and since I can not drive due to vision impairment he was my driver and I’d be trapped there if I wanted to come home early and he was still too drunk to drive. And on top of that no matter what I’d be stuck there until after midnight anyway because it’s a New Year’s Eve party and the whole point is to ring in the new year!

This is what we mean by the ‘fear of being trapped’ part of agoraphobia…

I’m happy to report that I did make it to the party, but I had gone back and forth and was super anxious about it all the way up until I pushed myself out the door to go! And as soon as midnight struck and we all cheered and hugged I was bugging hubby to “let’s go home”.

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You see, even though I love my friends and had an absolutely wonderful time at the party, my agoraphobia and social anxiety make me anxious and want to ‘escape’ even happy, joyful,fun  experiences.                                                                                                                                                                  Yes, I’ve gone to therapy for depression, social anxiety, and agoraphobia. It helped, but I convinced myself a some point that I no longer needed it. I’m fine! I’ve got my shit together! I’m functioning just fine….

Well, truthfully, the depression is gone, and the social anxiety is under control, but the agoraphobia aspect of all of this is raging full throttle.

I’m good, though. All’s good. I’ve got my Facebook, twitter…..agoraphobia isn’t as bad a condition as it used to be since social media has come into existence.  LOL

The Overlooked Treatment for Diabetes

One big thing I have encountered over and over this past year since I have made a huge effort to get in touch with the diabetes community is the fact that although there are tons of medical treatments, diet suggestions, exercise routines, medicine, tools, aids, etc.,  the fact that diabetes ravages our psychology and emotions is very rarely addressed, and there exists almost no professional help whatsoever.

The only emotional and psychological aid I have ever received has come from family, myself, and other type 1 diabetics I have met. A lot of my physical problems could have been avoided if I had been able to, say, see a professional diabetes psychologist or counselor soon after diagnosis.  But I don’t think they even ever existed until very recently.

REALLY?! Why has no one ever recognized the physical impact emotional and psychological diabetes trauma has?

diabetes9Being diagnosed with an incurable, potentially physically devastating and deadly disease at a very tender age is most definitely gonna screw you up psychologically and emotionally.

Why has no one ever addressed this issue?  Why does no one ever take psychology and emotions seriously?

Our thoughts and feelings drive our behavior.  It’s obvious.  Mom and Dad are getting divorced.  Child acts out because they are confused, devastated, insecure, sad, angry….

It’s the same with being diagnosed at a young age (or even any age) with a chronic illness.  I was frightened, confused, insecure, angry, you name it.  What did I do to deal with these thoughts and feelings?  I rebelled.

If I had been able to have help processing these fears and feelings, maybe I would have come around to taking good care of my diabetes much sooner and avoided all the complications I suffer now.

I did have some support from my family.  But there was no real addressing of my feelings.  I suppose because I hid it fairly well, I internalized, and so everyone thought I was doing better than I was. But the fact is I needed help.

Six or so months after my diagnosis I was at school.  It was after school, actually, and I was playing with some friends on the playground while I waited for my mom to come pick me up.  My dad was in the hospital recovering from a grand mal seizure (he was type 1 as well).

I had been acting out I think, because all I remember was my friends abandoning me and me ending up in the bathroom washing my hands.  My mom called to me and I didn’t answer her. Finally she came in to the restroom and asked me why I hadn’t answered her, she had been looking for me and we had to go.  I turned around and just burst into tears, crying loudly.

“Tamra, baby, what’s wrong?” She asked, obviously concerned.

“I don’t want to be a diabetic!” I yelled and ran into her arms.

She held me there for a bit and told me it was going to be alright. She wished I didn’t have diabetes either, but it was all going to be OK.

diabetes6I had just been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes and my dad was also a type 1 and now suffering in the hospital with complications I was probably going to eventually have as well. I may have been young, but I understood the immense weight of it all.

I was scared to death! And I had no idea how to deal with this fear.

It only got worse.  My dad, just two years later, died from a stroke brought on by complications of his diabetes. Up until this point I had been rebelling, scared of my diabetes.  My father’s death just pushed me over the edge.

I completely gave up all hope.  I spiraled into the fear and anger.  I shut down and ignored my diabetes as best I could. Hiding from something that I could never escape because it lived within me.

????????????????????????????????????????????????????This emotional and psychological trauma was only compounded upon in the coming years when my aunt died from kidney failure brought on by type 1 diabetes.  And then my type 1 cousin died a few years later.

The fear, depression, hopelessness; they just fed my rebellion.  Some people look at this and ask why seeing my family members die of the disease we share didn’t cause me to try as much as possible to be healthy.  No, it all had the opposite effect on me.  It killed any hope of a long healthy life I might have once possessed.

My diagnosis began with fear, and I was never given the opportunity to witness a happy, healthy story with diabetes.  I was continually surrounded by the truth of the devastating effects of diabetes.  Not only did I witness my family die, but I was also drowned with horror stories of amputations, blindness, ect.

No one ever bothered to tell me how good and long and healthy my life could be.

No, it was always, “If you don’t straighten up, you’re going to suffer and die.”  It was always negative.

Diabetes was always evil.

Nobody addressed this issue.  All I got was stern looks of disappointment and frustration when my A1c once again came back outrageously high.  No one thought to treat my emotional and psychological issues in order to help my physical problems.

No one bothered to make the connection…

diabetes8

Eventually I made the connection on my own.  This came after nearly dying of heart failure and having open heart surgery.  I looked at myself in the mirror, quite literally, and asked myself what the fuck my problem was.

“Why can’t I do what I know I need to do?”

Then through the tears and a good hard long look at my  life, I finally figured it out.  It’s all in my head.  It’s all in my psychology and emotional reactions to my diabetes.

I worked on it.  I am fixing it.  And the more I deal with my feelings, the better I do at getting physically healthy.

We need diabetes psychologists and counselors.