I send a volley of emails back and forth with the concussion specialist that amounts to; “I can’t do this anymore. Please prescribe all the drugs, I am desperate.” He doubles the Prozosin that’s supposed to help with the nightmares. I take my new dose–and Advil for the headache I have most of the time now, and some hippie motherwart tincture I figure can’t hurt. I gently redirect my falling asleep thoughts; it’s just me now. I’m going to have to get used to this. My friend is in the other room. It’s ok.
I have one nightmare that I keep spotting my abuser in a crowd. He doesn’t seem to see me, so I gasp and hide and flee, and then he crops up again and again as I slink along in the shadows of things. Then I find Kevin*. He says hello and hugs me and talks to me for a minute, and I feel reassured. Then he stops talking to me and walks away. I call after him and follow him frantically. He acts like I’m not there. He just keeps turning away, and I feel lost and terrified.
Finally I am with some other man I don’t recognize. He’s slender and youthful. He seems to be my boyfriend. He talks to me and I feel disengaged. I’m comparing him unfavorably to Kevin*, but he holds me so I let him and feel dim comfort to be held. Someone keeps bringing food I don’t want to eat, and our surroundings are cluttered and chaotic. I have the idea that this is as good as things are going to be for me, so I might as well give up.
I wake up nauseous and upset in the middle of the night, feeling as though I haven’t slept at all. I change positions in my narrow cot and hold the pillow tighter. I try to accept what I’m feeling, but I cannot. I try to breathe more deeply, but I cannot. I imagine myself with some kind, strong future partner who whispers softly into my ear, “I love you, I promise I will never leave you,” but that isn’t comforting either because I don’t believe it and end up spiraling into another fucking one-sided conversation with Kevin* in my head and then I really lose it, heart thudding, chest tight, clutching that damned pillow for dear life.
I don’t even give any thought to it before reaching for the benzos and taking one. As it dissolves under my tongue I pant, impatient for relief from my pain. I drift off a little and then panic a little, calm down slightly and then feel the familiar stabbing ache in my chest that prohibits breathing. I lay there and gasp and feel my head start to throb again and then I shut off my 6 am alarm because there is no way I can run like this. I lay there and attempt to get more sleep and wonder what the hell is wrong with these psych drugs.
Eventually I give up and sit up and then I start to cry because I feel so bad. I go through half a roll of paper towels and then start putting on running clothes and then think how I’m full of shit if I expect to do speed work like this so I curl into a ball and cry some more. Finally I stumble out to my yoga mat and cry some more again, and then I admit that I’m not running. I’m exhausted and nauseous, my head hurts, I can’t go ten minutes without bursting into tears. My friend gets up and says “Good morning” and I respond,
I have a couple hours of work I absolutely must do because I’ve promised it. I have about a million things I should do that might stand some chance of pulling me out of the hole I’m in, but it seems that once again my cognitive reserves are very finite so I’m going to have to accept my limitations. I’m really, really sick of my limitations.
I get out my yoga bolster, put myself in a supported twist with a blanket and set a timer. My friend calls this “larva position” but I have yet to unfurl into a goddamned butterfly. I settle myself patiently, with a great deal of gentleness, the way I would help an agitated student in my class. I gently wipe away my own tears and tuck my bare feet in warmly, and then I wait. My knees are against the end of the bolster, which support all the vulnerable parts of me that hurt. After a while my consciousness rests and I lie peacefully. The timer goes off and I switch sides. When I have finished I still feel weak and fragile. I know I have very little available to give today. I take a deep breath and prepare to try.