My therapists and psychiatrists offices are literally around the corner from each other. I call it the crazy corner. With my extreme anxiety that I've been having lately and with it increasing I was anxious to get in and see my psychiatrist. I only see him every few months and I knew I needed to see him but appointments are booked months in advance. I needed to see him STAT. When I ask to be put on the cancellation list I can usually get in within a week, most of the time in a day or two. This time I had to wait more than two weeks and I was starting to panic.
On the other hand I see Dr. B every week and it's the same thing over and over and over (and over) again. "You need to deal with Trina's death", "you're spending more energy pushing it away than if you just dealt with it", "if you were to accept it and understand that yes, she's gone and it's permanent you'll be able to maybe lower your anxiety level", blah blah blah. He also knows me well enough that I do things in my own time. Mom, as close as we are, still doesn't realize that I'm not going to do it in HER time. Not gonna happen. However, Dr. B said with my anxiety becoming almost overwhelming he thinks I'm close to having a breakthrough.
After therapy yesterday I walked the half block to Dr. H's office. I checked in and sat down to wait. Seeing something in the waiting room that seemed so minor turned out to be that tiny push that I needed to send me head first into the ravine. I had a full fledged, think-I'm-gonna-pass-out, panic attack. I was sitting in a chair and the room was spinning so much I felt like I was going to fly out of the chair, like I was sitting in a Tilt-A-Whirl. I got so dizzy I thought for sure if I stood up I'd pass out. I immediately took an extra xanex but still couldn't catch my breath. My throat felt constricted, I couldn't hear, my legs were like jelly. My biggest concern was that I would pass out, they wouldn't know what was wrong with me and I wanted them to know it was just a regular panic attack. At the same time the irony did not escape me that I was having a panic attack in my psychiatrists waiting room. Hey, I still have my dark and twisty sense of humor. Dr. H pulled me into his room and started asking me some questions and I didn't hear any of them. I explained what I was going through and he just let me work through it.
His take on my mental health?
My anxiety is holding hands with my grief, or my pushing away from my grief as the case may be, and they are intertwined. I'm pushing against that damn door that has GRIEF behind it and while I'm pushing it my anxiety is rising because I'm fleeing. However not only can I NOT outrun the grief but I can't outrun the anxiety either. He did increase my xanex to see if that will help me through my attacks and I have to go back and see him 4 weeks.
So what happened in the waiting room to make my crazy come out?
I realized in Dr. H's waiting room that my sister is dead.
She's not coming back.
There will be no more laughing in the waiting room, whispering to each other "at least we're not THAT crazy, like that woman over there hugging her knees and rocking back and forth".
It took a while for this to sink in.
It's been just over 30 months.
I woke up this morning and I had had yet another dream of sissy. I was seeing scenes of our lives together flashing up on a giant screen at a U2 concert and I was crying, realizing I lived more in the 33 years I was with my sister than I will ever live in the remainder of my life. I did more laughing in our 33 years together than I could ever dream of in the next 50 years. I LIVED my life with her. Right now I'm just alive.
I told mom about my dream this morning and I even shed some tears while recounting it. The thought of having to face the fact that my sister is gone is still just unfathomable. It can't possibly be real.
It just can't.
I also talked to Dr. B about my disassociative disorder. I told him how I was the one who made all the appointments for the funeral, I talked to the funeral director, I talked to the morgue, I called on the life insurance, I called all the companies where she had outstanding bills through and got them taken care of. In a span of the approximately eight months I took care of this stuff I had to say the words "my sister is deceased now. Where do I need to send the death certificate?" at least 100 times. At least. And each time I said it to someone new they would always say "oh, I'm so sorry!" and I would continue with a "thanks, so who do I talk to about this?" I probably sounded like the most cold hearted sister ever. Dr. B explained that I just go away. He said while I was saying those words my mind was somewhere else, somewhere I will never know. My mind is still somewhere else, somewhere I will probably never remember. He told me I learned to disassociate when I was young and me being me, whenever I do something I do it up good!
********* DISCLAIMER ********
All of this reference to developing disassociative disorder when I was young I'm sure makes some people think something tragic or traumatic happened to me.
******* I CANNOT STRESS ENOUGH THAT NOTHING EVER HAPPENED TO ME ******
It just happens that I have a low threshold for emotional pain and combined with my severe depression that started when I was about six (yes, six years old) I learned to disassociate. It's quite common with people who live with severe depression for a long time to develop this. Depression/mental illness/bipolar runs in my family and while Trina got hit big time with the bipolar part I got the depression part.
********** I WAS NEVER ABUSED IN ANY WAY SHAPE OR FORM, I JUST HAVE DISASSOCIATIVE DISORDER ***********
Anyway, Dr. B went on to say that I can use my DD (I'm getting tired of writing disassociative disorder, especially since spell check doesn't recognize it) to get me through things (like making the funeral arrangements) and it can help but that it can also turn into an addiction. I asked him if I was at that point and he said no, not yet, but that it is getting close. However, he has faith in me that I will have that breakthrough that he and mom want me so desperately to have.
I had a tiny bit of it yesterday in the waiting room.
And I don't like it.
I don't like it one bit.