Long, difficult weekend
On Saturday, I had a psychiatrist appointment over the phone. I spent the entire morning preparing, making sure I was physically taken care of, mentally and emotionally calm, using my breathing techniques, and had all my notes and safety objects around me. He called, assessed me, and it was over. He concluded that I "don't have a psychiatric disorder", which I think is an oversimplification but it is the answer I was looking for. I need my medical charts to focus on my yet-to-be-diagnosed physical health symptoms, not the already-managed mental health symptoms, and this is a great first step towards that.
[In reality, I experience symptoms of #CPTSD every day, but due to effective practicing of skills, the psych assessed that this no longer causes me significant dysfunctioning, and therefore he considered me clinically well.]
The emotional aftermath of this appointment was incredibly messy, with initial intense excitement, followed by paranoia about being "found out" (for what I'm not clear on), followed by an extreme exhaustion. I had trouble falling asleep, experiencing panic while lying in bed, as I often have in the past.
Then yesterday I saw my mom. It was another emotionally draining experience. I have to practice deep listening and loving speech so carefully, and use meditative thought to protect myself from emotion or concepts that have the potential to cause me harm. It is better, both in the moment and in the end, than the alternative, but exhausting work nonetheless. I woke up twice in the night with racing heartbeat and panic feelings.
I have also started cutting back on my medication recently. Although I've experienced a lot, I believe my increased difficulty at night has more to do with the dosage change. I have a lot of trouble at night during the winter, when the daylight is so scarce, so I have tools I can use when I'm not sleeping well. I can ask my roommates to bunk with me, use aromatherapy, set a bedtime routine, and I have a bedtime medication I use sparingly. If I'm up in the middle of the night, I can meditate, read, play or watch one of my safety games or shows, come on The Mighty, and I can get my roommates if I need help calming down. All that being said, I'm hoping my nights improve as my mindbody adjusts to the lower dose of meds and I continue to practice my skills.