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Internalization is My Weakest Point

  • Posted on November 15, 2006 at 12:31 pm

Once again, you can thank dear Isabelle for prompting me to post. 🙂 She made the observation that I haven’t posted anything personal lately and she’s right. She said that she hoped it was because I was just really busy and not because I was down. Well… probably a mixture of the two, honestly.

I am definitely conquering the “I don’t want to get out of bed” problem, so I am not doing too badly. The near-daily headaches were back last week, but seem to have taken a back seat this week, fortunately. In general, I’m still feeling a bit isolated, in my own bubble that I don’t particularly feel like coming out of. So, if you email me and it takes a while for me to respond, you know why. It’s not that I don’t like you. 🙂 I have been pretty good with emails recently, actually, so that isn’t the best example. But, you get the idea. I have to make a concerted effort to actually go out and be social with people.

Beyond that, it’s the time of year where I am reliving the deaths of family members around this time last year, so there’s a lot going on with me internally. And yes, the internally part is a big deal. At my last appointment with Dr. Steve, I was talking to him about my friend Mary and how I was dealing with my anxiety and grief over her situation and some interesting facts came to light. I am afraid to be angry, so I deeply internalize my anger. I am afraid of expressing it for fear of it growing out of control. My father was angry through much of my childhood and I fear that I have a propensity towards becoming that way myself, so I shove it all into a box deep inside of me and keep a lid on it. I’m afraid to even crack that lid for fear of the monster inside escaping. I could make a song out of that. “Stuffing it down. Stuffing it down. Stuffing it, stuffing it, stuffing it down!” Catchy, isn’t it? 😆

I think this really applies to a lot (okay, all) of my emotions. Working in a male-dominated industry like IT is very difficult for a woman. For a long time, I repressed my femininity and tried to fit in as “one of the guys.” While I now celebrate being a female at times, the overly emotional characteristics of the typical female are still undesirable and not well handled by males. So, I jam most of my emotions into that box, along with my anger. And I can tell when the box starts to overflow because I start swearing and cussing, which I normally don’t do much. When I start cursing at the television, I know that the box must be bursting at the seams!

The interesting thing that Dr. Steve noted is that I go straight to rationalizing a situation, without allowing myself to feel it first. I’m shortcutting the process and it’s not healthy. He made me work out my anger over Mary’s situation by hitting the couch with a short length of pool noodle. It makes quite a satisfying THWACK! when you do it. I think it could get slightly addictive. 😉

We decided that my lack of exercise is definitely not helping the situation any, so I need to get into a routine of doing SOMETHING (anything!) for exercise a couple of times a week. Add that to the pool noodle fun and I came to the same conclusion that Terry came to a while ago, that we should get a punching bag for the basement. If I can manage to get some exercise and take some time to meditate, I might start feeling a little better. Of course, we talked about that exactly two weeks ago and here I am, about to see him again this evening, and I’ve done nothing towards those goals. 🙁 The funny thing is that in writing that, I had this visual of me taking a jog down the street, with tears streaming down my face. Now that would be an attractive sight, wouldn’t it? HAH!

In other related news, since I have written about the psychology stuff in a while, I don’t remember if I’ve said this before or not, but Dr. Steve has referred me to a psychiatrist to maybe adjust my medications. I finally got a call back from the psychiatrist’s office and have an appointment for December 11th. It seems a way out there, but the initial evaluations take about an hour and are harder to schedule than 15 minute med checks, for obvious reasons. I’m actually excited about the idea of a professional taking a look at my medicine combo because I’ve been on the same antidepressant (Wellbutrin) for well over a decade and they have made a lot of advances in the pharmacological field around depression, so I am hoping for a change that may help me settle down (or up?) a little bit more. Especially that latest drug that I’ve been hearing about, called Cymbalta, which is supposed to help the emotional effects of depression as well as the physical (painful) effects. Maybe it will help with my headaches? Besides, I was originally diagnosed and giving the antidepressant by my family physician when I was a teenager and have just gotten refills ever since. No one who actually specializes in depression and its treatment with medication has ever seen me before, so a reality check is way overdue.

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