Today I had therapy, and it was a harder session than I usually have. I don't normally talk about what goes on in therapy, but I feel the need to talk about what's going on now to kind of.. purge a little of it from my system, and also to maybe help people who are scared to go to therapy get an idea of what it can do for them.
I see my therapist weekly, and we talk about a wide range of subjects. Most sessions are about how my week went, anything that might have thrown me off that week, how my coping strategies are handling. She is a listening ear and advice that is completely about what is going on internally with me.
However for the past few weeks, since the fire and two car accidents and pet rescue etc. I have been having nightmares almost every single night. Bad enough that I hallucinate when I wake, carrying the dreams into the waking world, and the stress has lead to some pretty awful hallucinations during the day. Including a spell where I couldn't look at any of my family members because I kept seeing them on fire. Lots of dreams of my family dying and me being helpless to save them, lots of distress and fear and helplessness to protect them.
It's been so bad that I've been having trouble doing art, getting work done, creating or even socializing with anyone. The ideas are there, I have them all written down and worked out, but I'm just... so exhausted from constantly fighting to keep things stable that I don't have the energy to keep up.
The thing is, I didn't connect why I was having such a hard time, and I walked into my therapy session upset because I didn't want to have my psychiatrist change my medications again when they had been doing SO WELL. She was really patient and quiet, let me rant about how I hated changing meds and this was the first time I had a medication that made a good difference and I didn't want to lose all the progress we made. Then she started asking gentle questions that slowly walked me backwards until I told her about the day with the fire and accidents and witnessing that man die.
And I lost it. I just burst into tears, zeus in my lap doing his calming thing, and I'm bawling non stop because suddenly it was all there as if it had happened right then. And I was crying so hard. She set it up so I could have more time with her, rearranging her schedule, then talked me through the pain of that much stress, the ways that those events have unraveled a lot of the progress we've made because of ptsd triggers I have, and why I'm back to square one with the nightmares and the hallucinations. The dreams of fire and my family in danger, the intense feeling of loss already and the terror of losing anyone else.
It's hard. I feel drained. I feel exhausted emotionally and physically. I don't feel like crying anymore but I do want to curl up in a ball and not move for a week or two.
That's what therapy is. It's talking however you need to, and digging deep to find out the things that are making you trip up NOW, so you can heal and cope and carry on healthily and happily. And it hurts. And sometimes it feels stupid. And sometimes it feels like you're getting no where, or that you're taking dozens of steps backwards. But when you're in the darkest times, sometimes the only way clear is to just keep pushing forwards. Even if it hurts, even if it's scary.