A few months ago, when I started seeing a psychiatrist about my anxiety issues, she tried changing my meds. It didn’t really help, and the new medications had some really awful side effects. There were a few other factors in this decision-making process, but working with my doctor, we decided to try weaning me off of all medications to see how I’d do.
I added in a magnesium supplement and a couple of other herbal remedies that are supposed to naturally help with anxiety. And for the most part, I’ve been doing really well.
One weird thing, though: not being on an SSRI means that I’m suddenly feeling ALL of my feelings. I’m happier, yes absolutely, but I also cry more easily and I get frustrated more often. These are not bad things, mind you, just part of the basic human experience which I more-or-less medicated myself out of, for the past two years.
But I have a very hard time dealing with anger. When I’m in a relationship with someone, I don’t know how to fight. It basically scares me to death.
Growing up, my parents argued a lot (they still do, really) – and I remember going to my room and turning my music up so I wouldn’t hear them. They fought dirty, and they were mean to each other. I never wanted a relationship like that.
When I was married, I thought it was great that Dave and I never fought – how perfect is our relationship? We never even argue about anything! Turns out, that’s actually not a good thing, it just leads to years of anger and resentment build-up. And we all saw how well that ended, right?
I don’t really know where the in-between is, but I’m trying to find it with Chris. For the most part, we’re still in the shmoopy lovey-dovey phase where everything is all passion and sex, but we’ve talked about how this is something I struggle with, and I don’t want it to become a problem in our relationship.
And last night, I got angry. Well, specifically, he made me angry. I’m not even going to get into the whole backstory because it’s just way too long and drawn out to even start, but it happened. And I said the words out loud, “I’m really mad at you right now.” And the world didn’t end. He didn’t dismiss my feelings, or emotionally shut down and withdraw from me, or say something nasty and hateful in return. He hugged me and tried to make me talk about it. Which I couldn’t really do (there was a lot of “why do you think [whatever]?” questions which I could only answer with an “I don’t know”), but we tried.
Whenever we hit some new emotional raw nerve, I always feel sort of shaky and needy the next day. This was no exception. He spent the night last night (something he’s been doing a lot lately, which makes me happy), and before he left for work, I hugged him as hard as I could and buried my face in his chest.
He asked if I was ok.
I said, “Promise me you’ll still come back tonight.”
He said yes.
I said, “Then I’m ok.”
I don’t know if this is normal, I feel like I should be doing a better job at keeping my shit together emotionally than I do. But I appreciate that he’s trying to help make me stronger and more articulate about my feelings.
That whole personal growth thing, though. Man, that’s tough.
It will get easier. Just keep doing what you’re doing. Adjusting to a healthy relationship is going to take a little time, after what you’ve been through. You’re working it out.
First of all, I get really emotionally needy after a fight. I am conditioned to think that a fight that I don’t give in to means that I am not good enough/wanted. I think it’s awesome that you’re doing things the healthy way…it’s not nearly as easy as it sounds is it?! lol
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Magnesium! Interesting! I am still taking anti-anxiety meds (since January, I think? hmm) and also a Vitamin D and Vitamin B-Complex supplement. I still feel feelings, but in a really strange way. And sometimes I know I’m feeling a feeling but it feels so different on the medication that it takes me a little while to quite realize what it is.
Telling people you’re mad is like opening the door to getting through whatever’s bugging you. Awesome on you for saying it out loud!
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That personal growth sure is a bitch…I’m working on a ton of my own stuff and its hard but keep at it. Seems like you’re progressing 🙂
I watched ‘Garden State’ last night (Zach Braff) and his character had been on all sorts of mees, ssri, lithium, etc since he was 9. He stopped at 26 and was just starting to really feel emotions for the first time, good and bad. What you wrote reminded me of that movie. It is a tough road to figure out. Sounds like you have a good man to help you find that path.
You and me, we are the same person…it’s scary! Maybe that’s why I heart you so much.
I totally get this…it’s so hard for me to tell someone when I’m mad/sad/disappointed etc. But I feel so free when I do.
I’m so emotional as it is that I feel like adding any extra emotion is just too much!
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