Are these damn drugs ever going to kick in?

Post by Laura Summers for the Love for Love series.


print by KirstieLu on etsy

Are these damn drugs ever going to kick in?

I don’t really know how it happened. Gradually, over time-like everything else, I guess. My ever-so-slow descent from a woman of great emotional strength to the woman you see before you today. Somehow, I found myself in an emotionally intense and perhaps abusive relationship. It didn’t start out this way. It started out as a passionate love affair; all-encompassing joy. I couldn’t get enough. I wanted him mind, body, and soul. And for a time, it was a dream. A reckless height from which there was no way down, but hard. Our passion for one another fueled insecurities. Our insecurities fueled infidelity. And infidelity? Well, infidelity in this case, burned the house down.
I began to lose grip on my emotions. (Whatever hold I may have had on them to begin with.) In my feeble attempts to hold down the illusion of control, I managed only to crush spirits. Mine and his.

[This is where I go skipping merrily down the path of emotional un-wellness.]

Using a myriad of diversion and coping tactics to excuse my own bad behaviors and unreasonably magnify my partner’s. Did I get help? Hell no. Who needs help? I’ve got this completely under control. (Incidentally, if you ever find yourself thinking this…get help immediately.)

Raise your hands if you like to think of yourself as emotionally unstable. Yeah, that’s what I thought. I used to believe I was blessed with the mental and emotional fortitude of a Jedi knight. I counted myself as one of the lucky ones that had their shit together. ALL.THE.TIME. This thought process lead me to feelings of failure. Unable to maintain my own unreasonable standards, I began to hold others to them. But no one ever measured up. Because I had cut them down to size.

I didn’t feel love and I couldn’t love in return. I had hardened myself to any notion of trust or vulnerability. Suspicion, jealousy, and rage became go-to emotions over which I seemed to have no control.

When a control “freak” feels herself losing control, the magnitude of intensity is equal to that of the Hulk Smash. I started first with a low dose of an antidepressant which only served to kill my libido. Nope. Uh-uh. Next, I tried the newest “thing” on the market, which promised to return my sex drive, and quell my depression. Less extreme mood swings were the only thing on that ticket. Still, with hope in my heart, I made the leap to another something or other, that was going to do something or other.

When I started to be unable to talk myself out of bed, I knew. The latest variety of kill-the-demons wasn’t really working either. Tired, sad, and barely hanging on, I approached my doctor in tears. She couldn’t pull out her prescription pad quickly enough. “Yes, let’s get you off of that, and on to this.” I left there hopeful that what I had in my pocket was a handful of magic beans.

Today, fully medicated, I still walk the lonely halls of insecurity. I have given over my pride to chemical dependency in the hopes that it will lift this fog of uncertainty that hangs over my every move. And it has…I think. That is not to say I don’t have moments of great clarity and purpose. I most definitely do.

How then, you say, do you get from there to here? Willingly, I suppose. I absolutely chose to ignore my feelings of fear, guilt, and insecurity. I drank the Kool-Aid of doubt. Gulped it down, spilling over my lips and into the cracked façade of my life. People, haven’t you heard? Drinking the Kool-Aid is dangerous.

Over the course of several months of trying medications, and seeking therapy, I’m starting to come around. Starting to love myself – foibles and folly. I don’t have it completely figured out and I don’t think I ever will. Figuring it out means allowing yourself the space to heal, accepting your own misconceptions about yourself, and committing yourself to constant improvement.

I recently read a post from Danielle LaPorte in what she terms the brittle woman. I was struck hard by the truth of her words. I thought what I had been feeling was fragility. And to me fragile always suggested an innate delicacy that I simply do not have. Her notion of brittle helped me to see where I’ve been. Her words fell down on me like rain. Momentarily washing away my guilt, and offering encouragement for clear skies.

So many days I wondered, “When the hell will these drugs kick in?!”, like I was waiting for a miracle. There is no miracle. And this road looks different for everyone. What I do know is: It is work. And more work. Finding a way to love yourself through the pain and the joy. Recognizing you aren’t infallible. Confiding in friends and family (something I am still working on), I have taken baby steps towards good mental health. I try and celebrate my small successes, and not dwell upon my not-so-much successes.

I believe in who I am working towards becoming.

Laura Summers is a lover of full moons and rainbows, clean sheets and warm towels. Just don’t go spreading that around.

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