One of the ways I have always used the strategy of distraction is to allow myself to investigate anything that interests me. I see this very clearly now, although it was not at all obvious while I was keeping myself busy. If I was busy, I didn’t have to notice the things in my life that weren’t being properly attended to.
Some areas of my life were fairly normal. Being clean and presentable was never a challenge for me, the way it is for some people who suffer with mental illness. Meeting the physical and emotional needs of my children was sometimes a struggle, but since it was a priority, I could generally pull it together, often at the last minute.
In October, I agreed to start taking a medication to address some of my ADD issues. The trial of abilify (2mg) that I agreed to in August was an epic disaster. My body rejected it almost immediately, and left me with a nasty reaction.
I was nervous to start Biphentin (10mg) but I was also ready for some change in my life, and my Psychiatrist felt it would be helpful.
I have always lived like I didn’t think I was staying very long. I had stacks of unopened mail. My home was a complete disaster 99% of the time. I ignored most of the problems in my life until they threatened to explode right in front of me. I rarely cleaned, and when I did, it was in a fit of guilt and self-loathing.
I am painting a horrible picture, but at the time, I only attended to things I saw, and I wasn’t interested in ‘seeing’ anything that was going to require effort. I suppose this is a form of depression, but I never thought about it at the time. I didn’t think about too many things that were ‘wrong’ because I was in such an overwhelmed state that I preferred to ignore it all. Not one person in my life ever mentioned that it wasn’t healthy to live that way. No one commented on the stacks of mail, or the tumbleweeds of dog hair that accumulated in the corners, or the overflowing crap on every surface of the house. As long as you are doing a decent job of taking care of your kids and being a good mom, you can get away with a lot of odd behavior. I don’t suppose it helped that I was an ‘artist’. You can be extremely different, and no one says a word.
What was evident to me now, is that my inability to cope was everywhere, and not one person recognized a problem. I was lazy, slovenly, and undisciplined, but I suppose that alone wasn’t enough evidence for the average person to suspect a deeper problem.
Within days of starting the medication, a switch had been turned ON. Something was present in me that had never been there before. I found motivation to begin jobs around the house that had long-needed attention.
I repainted my bathroom, and took on the task of repainting a shelf that took 5 coats of paint. While I was applying the last coat, it occurred to me that the ‘former me’ wouldn’t have touched this job with a 10 foot pole. I had the first example of how profoundly different life was for me, as the cloud of ADD began to dissipate. The med allowed me to be incredibly focused and interested in tasks in a way that I had never been before.
In between coats of paint, I cleaned painting supplies in my sink. My eyes ran over the counters, and the baseboards, and all of a sudden, every new place I looked had more dirt that had to be removed. It was a real eye-opener. There was a part of me present that had not been there before, and she was SO READY to join my life.
For the first time I could remember, I ‘saw’ dirt and needed to do something about it. It was like I hadn’t ever seen it before that day. By the time I was done, I had cleaned the entire kitchen cupboards, window, counters, baseboards and walls. I cleaned out all of the drawers, and cupboards until the space met the approval of my inner June Cleaver.
Within the first month, I deep-cleaned my entire home, reorganized closets and drawers, and was able to purge years of accumulated clutter. With the help of a friend, I cleaned and purged the dark, cement, scary basement, which I normally would not even enter.
For the first time ever, my home felt like home. Everywhere I looked, there was evidence of me, and the things I loved.
I got caught up on everything in my life. When I looked around, my world was neat and organized. I was able to stay motivated to keep organizing and moving through tasks that I used to distract myself to avoid. It was incredible. I finally found the ‘mother’ in me, that loved me so much she wanted me to be happy and safe in my environment.
This part of myself seems to have integrated beautifully, and now feels as much a part of me as any other part. I stopped taking the biphenton about a week ago, and I have not felt a difference in my life. I have heard that different alters have different needs, but is it possible that by starting a medication, an alter can have the ability to surface, and integrate, needing no further medication support?
I feel this part of myself very fully. It is a piece I have been missing. I have never taken proper care of myself, and now that I am able to, I see how I have been neglecting myself all of my life.
I ran across an interesting article about chakras. I was particularly drawn to the discussion of strengthening the root chakra.
“This chakra is fulfilled if your surroundings are pleasing to be in and you feel safe in your living situation. If you’re struggling with an inflow of resources, it has a direct correlation to feelings of security and what you’re putting your focus on.
Since this chakra has the most to do with physicality, manifesting it’s energies is a constant flow that can be seen as buying groceries, paying bills, cleaning, etc.
If you are able to keep on top of your societal duties, you are bringing forth the root’s energy.
Practicing this chakra can be as simple as taking care of your responsibilities and making sure you basic living needs are always met.”
Finally I am meeting my own basic needs, above all others. I began by meeting them emotionally, and psychologically, and now I am meeting them physically.
I am strengthening my own connection to the world, and to my life, and to all of my individual parts. I am not running from things that distress me. I am not living like my life is going to be taken away from me at any time.
I am not afraid to love myself enough to give myself what I need in this world.