DIET COKE & FLASHBACKS

um, that's not 007 by those words. it is me. really. i mean it.

um, that's not 007 by those words. it is me. really. i mean it.

Yesterday, while in therapy, something was explained to me that I never knew.  These horrible sensations that have been haunting me in the most unrelentingly manner for almost two years now — and, indeed, for most of my life in far less incapcitating ways — are not “panic attacks” “freaking-out” or “stress” but are actually flashbacks.

I have always associated flashbacks with leftovers from bad acid trips or veterans who end up thinking they are still in battle/war. But, I guess the true definition of a flashback is not as hallucinatory or limited as I had thought.

FLASHBACK defined:

a psychological phenomenon in which an individual has a sudden, usually powerful, re-experiencing of a past experience or elements of a past experience. The term is used particularly when the memory is recalled involuntarily, and/or when it is so intense that the person “relives” the experience, unable to fully recognize it as memory and not something that is happening in “real time”. The medical term for the phenomenon is “hypnagogic regression”.[citation needed]

Flashbacks are not necessarily episodic — that is, the re-experienced memories may not include specific identifying features (such as images and sounds) that were part of the original event or experience. Because there is a strong emotionaltraumatic event. This is especially true for young children who were lacking the cognitive abilities needed to define and characterize the trauma when they experienced it, but who may, nevertheless, relive all of the emotions associated with the traumatic event. In addition, those adult survivors of childhood trauma who have component to memory as well, flashbacks can occur as a rush of feelings, emotions, and/or sensations associated with a solely these emotional memories to draw on, also may experience them in flashbacks.

When they occur involuntarily, flashbacks may be due to a disorder such as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (in cases of war-related trauma, physical or sexual abuse trauma)

eraserheadAs always, it made me feel really odd to hear a term like that applied to me. It upset me. I was up all night. Just couldn’t sleep. And, my nicotine patch be damned I think I nearly off’d an entire pack of Marlboros just to make it through to the sunrise. That sucks because this is my fifth week on the patch and I’ve cut back to only 2.5 cigarettes a day.

see? i dyed my hair and eyebrows. this is how i apply my patch.

see? i dyed my hair and eyebrows. this is how i apply my patch.

But, i think it was unavoidable as the cigs kept me from crawly out of my skin. I fell into sleep around 5:30am and woke up at 9am. Odd thing is that I woke up feeling pretty damn good.

I went to the beach, took Little Bagel for a long walk and did some basic errands.

I think, maybe, given some time to digest the information I feel a bit relieved to know that there are real names for what is experienced. And, as “we” continue to work through all this shit in therapy — I will gradually learn tools/techniques that will help me get through these episodes.

The goal of therapy is obvious: To get ME and MY LIFE back. To be able to once again enjoy my life, live it and work again! I keep having to remind myself that it will happen. It will.

…just would be ever so nice if there were a pill or some medical procedure that could remove several years of my childhood from my brain.

Last night I sat in the midst of flashbacks — Actually, I think I was in Flashback City.  Anyway, I sat in that sad little city and just wished that all pedophiles, rapists and other evil-doer’s would just evaporate. …in a really painful way!

…And, I was also thinking that I wished cigarettes were good for us, that Diet Coke could act as a major vitamin, that chocolate/sugar conatined 0 calories and that working out was bad for us. And, that vegetables and fruit turned out to be the dangerous stuff.

Well, that is my post for the day. Now, if you will excuse me I think I might go out into the sunny day armed with my Diet Coke and my patch. I hope to leave the flashbacks in the apartment. …Maybe Little Bagel will eat them like she eats everything else.  Tho, I doubt it. Little Bagel tends to only eat the objects we value. Like photographs, art and pretty glass lamps.

poor Little Bagel. she was up all night with me. but, this is an older picture.

poor Little Bagel. she was up all night with me. but, this is an older picture.

July 8, 2009. Tags: , , , , , , . Uncategorized. 12 comments.