Monday, December 27, 2010

Current Events

It has been quite a while since I have blogged, and there has been a lot going on.  I have been extremely frustrated, and often very angry, but that is beginning to shift to a more positive outlook.   I have not seen CAROLINE since we met at my cousin's home in October.  It has been decided since her lack of maturity and my inability to develop emotional bonds, that a "time out" should take place.  This time has been spent trying to develop ways to overcome my troubles, and give paws4vets adequate time to assess, train, and develop CAROLINE so that she can be of maximum benefit to me.

Since my last visit with CAROLINE, Kevin and I have begun to explore some of my issues with emotional bonds, looking back through my life to determine what may have caused some of the problems.  I will not go into specific details, but some of these problems started as a very small child, even some of my first memories support the observations of others.  I detached very early in my life, and began to use alcohol as my coping mechanism, and never developed the tools to effectively develop and sustain relationships.  PTSD only compounded the problem, and was ultimately the "straw that broke the camel's back.," but not the initial catalyst.

Kevin and I have worked over the last several weeks on ways to slowly work back into a practical way to overcome this particular problem.  One of the things that I have decided to do was to start to cut back on my medication.  I have been on the same dose since I was in the hospital a year ago.  I felt that the high dose of medications I was taking could have some affect on my general lack of feelings.  The medication I have been on numbed me to a certain extent, and I felt that given my current situation, that the less detached I am the better.  Over the last 2 months I have drastically reduced the amount of antidepressants and anti psychotics I have been taking.  This has been positive.  Although my anxiety, irritability, and other side effects have begun to surface at a more noticeable level, I feel that it is important for me to start managing these without medication.  I have been medicated in one way or another for over half of my life, always resorting to either alcohol or drugs (prescription or not) to manage my emotions.  The recent drop in the amount of medication I take has brought this to the surface and is forcing me to manage in other, healthier ways. 

Kevin and I have determined that my level of anxiety is fairly new, not going back to my younger years.  I do not remember having troubles with anxiety as a child.  My rage has been present my entire life, as well as some level of depression and detachment.  All of this mixed together makes me an extremely complex and at times (more often than not), difficult individual to read, and work with. 

I applaud Terry and paws4vets for their efforts to continue to work with me, and to remain positive given the cards I have dealt them.  I am going to keep on truckin', working with Kevin and with other Vets and alcoholics to help with my recovery.  One thing that I have found is that I benefit more from sharing my experience with others than anything else.  This is how I will recover, by helping others.  I recently celebrated 1 year of sobriety, and I think the only way that was possible was by sharing with others what I have done to try and move through some of the situations I have been dealt.  I have shared in meetings that others my not exactly want what I have, but if I can share my experience, strength, and hope, they can take what I have done and learn from it.  Whether it be something they want to try, or something they want to steer clear from, I am still sharing what I have done.

I have really missed CAROLINE.  It has been very hard not being able to see her.  I have been told that there is a noticeable difference in my demeanor when I am with her.  I am more engaged with others, I actually laugh and smile, and I truly believe that having a companion, CAROLINE or not, is going to aid me to become more engaged in my life and the life of others.  I feel that something is missing, that a key part of my life is not present since I have not been able to spent time with her lately.  I am really looking forward to the next couple of weeks to hear of her progress with Terry, and to continue to move forward in my recovery.