The Futility of Fighting Back (but doing it anyway) -First in the Fragment Files

Fragments

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                                                                                 Just out of reach…

4 years old

I remember my mom let me walk to our only neighbour by myself. I had a doll (I think it had red ringlets) and she was in a toy stroller. I walked to the end of the road where the neighbours lived. I was greeted by their large German Shepherd. It “attacked” me, knocking me to the ground. It was much bigger than me. I think I knew it wasn’t trying to hurt me, but I knew that it could. I was scared.

It was mauling me, rolling me around on the ground, pawing at me with its claws and nipping at me. I remember the futility of fighting back, but doing it anyway. I remember grabbing whatever I could from the ground–clumps of grass, pebbles–and trying to throw it away from me so the dog would get distracted. It didn’t work.

Eventually I heard shouts from the porch of the house and the dog was gone. They brought me inside. I don’t remember what happened after that, but I ended up with two horizontal tear drop scars, one under each eye. I remember, not too long after this incident, they put the dog down. I think I felt guilty because I thought it was because of me. I was told at some point that it was more because it was chasing their cattle.

Thoughts:

This was one of my first experiences with a dog. It surprises me a little that I grew up to love them so much. But the sound of a dog barking at me still causes my heart to pound. Not sure if it’s from my experience, or related to my sensitivity to noise and anxiety.

My therapist suggested I start a chronology of childhood memories, because mine seem to be so scattered and hard to reach. This seemed a daunting task. But I’ve been working on it. I’m going to post some of them here in hopes that it will motivate me to continue with it.

*Image found on Deviant Art by grr9

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Just Be.

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In February of this year I found a therapist. The last time I went to therapy was with a counsellor at the university (and I don’t even want to think about how many years ago that was). I’m not sure yet if the therapy is making a real difference, and I’ve had to downgrade the frequency of our appointments due to using up my insurance coverage.

But, since starting therapy I have been trying to be more active again by getting outside for walks, and buying a yoga pass. I even bought a bike which is something I’ve been putting off for years, (in part because it all felt so pointless and in part because my anxiety makes shopping for a bike a nightmare). But I did it, and it’s locked up outside my door, just waiting to be used.

If nothing else, meeting with my therapist has given me a reason to get out of the house on the weekends, when I’d really rather play hermit and watch Netflix. Once I’m out of the house, I try to take advantage of it. I usually end up at a coffee shop with a book or my work-in-progress. I’m trying to be okay with just being there, among the humans, without getting too frustrated that I can’t concentrate in public. My therapist has pointed out that I tend to think and do in extremes: it’s all or nothing. And most of the time I choose nothing because I’m somewhat of a “perfectionist”.

So I’m trying to just be –outside, in public, visible.

My therapist also pointed out to me that I might have ADD. I never really thought of my symptoms as ADD but she’s right. She asked me to set up an appointment with a psychiatrist to get an official diagnosis. Two months later, the appointment is over. Yes I do have ADD but “let’s treat the depression”.

Because I’m not too keen on starting antidepressants again (last time I took them was in 2005), my psychologist thought treating the ADD would help me get back on track, give me the focus and energy to make positive changes in my life which would then help my depression. I made peace with taking something like Adderall. However, I got to the psychiatrist and he agreed that I have ADD but wasn’t at all interested in focusing on that.

He’s quite convinced that I need meds for depression, and wants me to start with a newer drug called Trintellix because it might also help with the cognitive symptoms I experience, like problems with memory, focus, attention-span, executive functioning of the brain. I remember the long list of side effects of antidepressants and the severe discontinuation symptoms that lasted two weeks or more when I very responsibly weaned myself off of them. I remember the vertigo if I forgot to take one pill. I remember feeling that the minimal improvement to my mood wasn’t worth it.

I left his office feeling defeated. I didn’t agree to anything. I can still call him back and say no, I want ADD meds only, or I can go the Trintellix route. I can also be a part of his research for this drug which would at least mean more follow-up. He also told me about ECT treatment, which I was interested in, but apparently it means two months in a hospital, so that’s probably out.

I don’t know what to do. And I need to decide soon.

My therapist suggested I start a chronology of childhood memories, because mine seem to be so scattered and hard to reach. This seemed a daunting task. But I’ve been working on it. I’m going to post some of them here in hopes that it will motivate me to continue with it.

In the meantime, just trying not to spiral too fast so I can get my footing again.