Physician, heal thyself

There’s a darned good reason that physicians and therapists do not treat themselves..or their family members.  They are too close emotionally to really “see’ the problems and deal with them effectively.

I don’t know why I thought I was capable of dealing with my grief and fear all by myself.

I mean, I KNEW that after all the traumas of dealing with my husband’s medical conditions and emergencies this past year would affect me emotionally….after all I had practiced as a licensed counselor for years.

I KNEW all the possible reactions I could have to such extreme stressors, yet I blithely went on my way thinking I had dealt effectively with any issues and life would just go on as normal now.

Boy, was I wrong.

I knew it was possible that I could become a bit obsessive about controlling things around me…I knew it was possible I could either gain or lose weight..have sleepless nights..or even have horrible nightmares when I did manage to fall asleep.

I did nothing to prevent any of it from happening…even though I knew it all could.

For the past two months I have been a much worse insomniac than I normally am………….sleep has been something chased after yet not achieved…without the most horrible nightmares I have ever endured. I have always had trouble going to sleep. No matter what I do (or don’t do) sleep is something wanted on a regular basis yet rarely achieved. This past couple of months it is something that happens without warning or not at all.

I can sit at the dinner table and suddenly find my face in my plate because I fell asleep. I can sit in an easy chair and nod off within minutes…but when I manage to go lie down in bed I am wide awake, tossing and turning until I think I will go mad.

Then when I do manage to fall asleep the dreams begin..starting out as pleasant dreams of people and animals I love (or have loved) then turning into horrendous deaths of loved ones and me awakening crying out for this not to be happening.

It was so bad this morning that I called a few grief counselors to see about appointments……..only to discover that there is no way to afford such assistance.

So I took a page out of my own “tool box” of emotional assistance for patients…and am using a few of them in an effort to achieve some change. At the very least I want these horrid dreams to go away.

One of those tools is called “journaling”………….and that’s where the blog comes in. So if my journaling begins to bother ya’ll………..just realize this won’t last forever………….and take a break from reading my crap.

And if anyone knows how to interpret dreams (I sure don’t…I can guess but it’s probably wrong) I will not be averse to comments telling me to either pull my head out of my ass or just explaining the crap going on in my mind.

The Dream

This morning, I fell asleep simply sitting on my bed comforting my dog, Gunnar. There was a rather loud thunderstorm blasting us overhead and Gunnar was terrified. In my dream I was driving a car I used t own, going down the back roads from Texas to Arkansas…I was on my way to Virginia (my birthplace) for some unknown reason. I was alone in the car. I stopped in a small town for gas, and a parade was starting up that blocked me. I was then on a sidewalk with my purse, my BFF’s purse, a camera bag and my dog Gunnar beside me. We started walking and I asked every person we passed which road would take me through Nashville. (I lived there a thousand years ago).

I had a sort of following with teenagers and young men, all of whom were homeless (or at least dirty and smelly) walking behind me trying to pet Gunnar. I turned and a young man was spraying Gunnar with a green jelly. I screamed what are you doing? Gunnar started to get sick immediately, I frantically searched for a water source to clean him, and begged people to help. No one would. Gunnar died in my arms…..I woke up sobbing and yelling “don’t leave me”.

Afternote

Gunnar is fine if a little shocked at his mom’s strange behavior. It took me over an hour to calm down and stop crying. And another hour to find no help available and decide to start journaling.

7 thoughts on “Physician, heal thyself

  1. Oh I’m so sorry that you are dealing with so much. I’m not a counselor but I am still struggling with the loss of my mom. She died 3 years ago. I have nightmares of my dad dying, and they seem so real. I have nightmares that the people closest to me are actually Satan, and I know that sounds ridiculous, but the dreams seem so real. If you ever want someone to talk to who can relate to your experience, please don’t hesitate. I also battle with insomnia. I can’t remember the last time I got more than 4 or 5 hours of sleep without a sleep aid, and I really don’t like taking them. Hugs, friend!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Kristian…your words are very much appreciated.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m so sorry to read about this Susan, I didn’t know you had all this sadness going on around you. I didn’t follow you for a while. Obviously from my awake in the night posts I suffer with not sleeping too.

    Since my mum passed at Christmas I’ve had dreams about how she was feeling, hearing far away voices, I even dreamt that I was in the chapel of rest!

    Now I’m dreaming about losing John, I wake up if he makes the slightest noise or if he breathes deeply I think it’s his last breath. I think when we go through difficult times with our loved ones we realise ours and their mortality. This feeds through to our dreams because of our worries and fears.

    It will not last forever Susan, you a strong woman, one of the strongest I’ve known. This is only temporary and won’t last forever. Hang in there and write your journal and get it all out.

    Lots of hugs 🤗
    Elaine xx

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Journaling is a great idea. Keep talking about it. Is there any assistance available as the wife of a veteran?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. no. the va takes care of the vets only (as honestly they should). I know it is nothing more than the high stress I was under for so many months, and the fears of not only losing George but of everything we had worked for…the house, etc. that is causing the interrupted sleep, the ocd and the nightmares.I KNOW this. I just suck at taking care of ME. Gee, I don’t know why that statement should look so funny to me..think maybe Bill would get that? lol I am journaling like mad lately…just not too many accounts I wish to share with anyone other than my maker at the moment. And that little fourth step is sure handy for stressful times. I’ll work through it. I have good friends, mostly here, and a good support system..again mostly here.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah, Bill would understand.

        Liked by 1 person

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