I sincerely feel that my time spent at the crisis stabilization unit in my area was time well spent. It was the much-needed break from my relationship with KR and our home-life that I feel was necessary to clear my head and think a little more clearly. I was admitted on Friday (2-28-14) and came home Wednesday (3-5-14). Thankfully, they did not pressure me into medication, which was my greatest concern prior to reaching out for help. Everyone there, the staff and patients alike, were so supportive and encouraging. Most of the groups were somewhat helpful (something I’ve never said about group therapy before); but most of all, I just found it comforting to be around caring people, most going through similar problems with depression and anxiety. Being there didn’t exactly change any of the situations that I am currently facing. It simply gave me the pause from life in order to reassess how I am coping and think about what changes I actually need to make in my life.
I have to admit, however, that I’m neither closer to deciding what these changes should be nor figuring out how to go about them.
Looking back over my hospitalization timeline yesterday (this one made #10), I noticed a strange coincidence. Back in 2002, when KR and I dated the first time, I had another hospitalization (hospitalization #5) from, oddly enough, February 28, 2002 through March 14, 2002. Maybe, the admission date is nothing more than a mere coincidence; but I see a lot of similarities in our situation now as what we were experiencing at that time – like the financial stress, constant arguing and fighting, and the differences in sex-drive and sexual expectations. I was also going through a severe bout of depression back then due to all of these stressors in addition to a few others. I find this coincidence odd because it truly feels like history is repeating itself. In a lot of ways, our relationship has faced this déjà vu over and over again; and yes, it does feel completely insane.
This coincidence led me to spending today researching “triggers” and how to identify emotional triggers in myself. Emotions are an incredibly fuzzy area for me. I struggle to recognize, identify, and label them. Even expressing an emotion feels unsafe to a certain extent because I so often find them completely overwhelming. I’m one of those people who can be moved to tears by something as simple as a TV commercial or a piece of music. And it doesn’t matter, I cry if I’m happy, sad, angry, frustrated, or whatever else. To me, this is particularly confusing.
Then, there are the times when I feel completely shut down – numb. I rarely recognize when this is happening thereby making it extremely difficult to pinpoint what triggered the shut down of emotions. Sometimes, this void of emotion results in a lack of presence of mind. Nothing feels real as the present moment seems to evaporate into a muddled mess of vagueness and ambiguity. While I recognize this as a form of dissociation (as explained to me by my first therapist in 1994), it can be very frustrating, not only for me, but also for anyone I interact with (particularly KR).
In researching emotional triggers, I did run across one article that I found particularly helpful that I wanted to share, Find Your Emotional Triggers on this list. If anyone else knows of good resources for identifying triggers, please, don’t hesitate to share. I welcome the input.