Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Independence Day

It has been a very eventful last couple of weeks.  I have started to have quite a bit of trouble getting over my medication hangover in the morning.  I had been staying way out in left field for a couple of hours sometime.  I had a big trip planned to Charlotte last week, it was the first solo trip that had been planned.  All the earlier trips that I had made, I always had someone with me to do the driving.  Terry had different plans.  It had been almost a month since I had seen CAROLINE, during the break I was supposed to show that I was making changes to improve my quality of life and gain more independence.  Trips to the grocery store, making more recovery meetings, going out to dinner with my parents, brother, and grandmother all became part of the routine.  I finally received an email from Terry giving me a schedule of events for the trip to Charlotte. 

The morning I was to leave for Charlotte, I woke up in one of my dazes.  When I finally set out, it didn't take but about an hour and a half for me to start falling asleep at the wheel.  I pulled into a gas station and ended up falling asleep for a couple of hours.  I was woken up by three Middle Eastern people screaming at one another in Arabic right outside my car door.  I went into a rage.  I didn't do or say anything to them, but I was boiling inside, and certainly wanted to act on what was going through my head at the time.  I pulled out of the gas station and called my sponsor and told him what was going on.  He had a more reasonable and logical way to look at the situation.  What threat did they really pose to me?  What is the likelihood they are armed?  That of course wasn't at all what I wanted to hear or what I wanted to think about.  I just wanted to take them out.  He told me to put some tunes on the radio, remove myself from the situation and call him back in 30 minutes.  By the time I called him back I had calmed down for the most part, but to be honest, I still get really angry just thinking about that situation.

I made it to Charlotte much later than was planned, so I didn't get a chance to get CAROLINE until the next morning.  I was supposed to meet with several folks from paws4people, Buf, and a couple other people that I really can't remember much about.  Terry had asked me to tell my story.  I was stopped a few times by Terry and Allison so they could ask me questions like, "What do you think the purpose of this trip is?"  It is a pretty huge step for me to travel such a distance by myself, to actually do something where I am not relying on someone else to guide me through it, or to just do it for me.  So, obviously, to gain some sense of independence, to prove to myself that I could actually do it on my own.  Allison clapped for me after that, thought that was pretty funny.  I was able to get back to the hotel for a little while to spend some time with CAROLINE while Buf had his turn to share. 

Buf and I met and went to Walmart and Starbucks.  It was actually quite a bit easier then the last time he and I were together.  When I had my anxiety attack at the commissary at Ft. Stewart, he and Terry were with me.  I was getting pretty anxious by the time we had arrived at Starbucks, and ended up having a bloody nose that last quite a bit longer and bled quite a bit more than normal.  Buf took me back to the hotel, and I had a little bit of time to relax before dinner.  There were a ton of people at dinner, too many to list.  I had got Jack a gift and when he saw me walking up to the table the first thing he asked was, "Is that for me?"  I had a little chuckle at that.  When I went to visit Jack the last trip he REALLY like blowing bubbles, so I got him some bubbles, a Spiderman coloring book, and a toy for CALEY. 

Allison asked me if I was proud of myself when we were standing out in the parking lot after dinner.  I still have a problem recognizing accomplishments, and taking credit for doing something new and challenging.  I told her that instead of feeling proud for what I have done, I have started to change my attitude and thought process concerning my situation.  I have begun to see that I can function on a more normal level if I make that effort.  Instead of getting stressed and withdrawing to my room, I have begun to work through some of that stress and anxiety.  I have begun to manage my stress better than I have in the past.  This is a completely new idea to me.  Before it was always how hard it was, how much it sucked, how I do not want to do this or that.  Now, the idea that I can do that is there.  I still think about how much doing something like going to the grocery store sucks, but I do it.

I will saw that after the trip to Charlotte I did isolate, withdraw, not communicate with anyone, and spent the majority of my time in my room.  Now I am in West Virginia, and tomorrow I am going to pick up two dogs and take them to Ft. Stewart.  I did have my Mom come with me this trip because of the issues I have had with my medication, and this is by far the longest drive I have made.  I did drive the majority of the trip, and did pretty good with it.  The morning did start off pretty rough, I think my Mom asked one too many questions, and I exploded at her.  I calmed down, she calmed down, and now everything is back to normal, whatever that may mean.