Last Saturday I attended the funeral of a friend. This required me to return to the place where I grew up and to meet with people of my childhood. While at the funeral, I was told some things about myself that are causing me some stress because until now I have had no memory of them. After we talked, my memories have been triggered and now I can't stop remembering. I sort of hate this part of me--this ability to suppress memory until it no longer exists for me, only to be haunted by its return.
So I'm not myself once again. Small things cause me panic; things I've done daily for years. Being online makes me feel completely unsafe. Chatting with people I know and love causes fear that is overwhelming. Being in rehearsal, teaching classes and private students, working online--all the things that make up my day--are giving me panic attacks that are difficult to manage.
I know what I'm supposed to do. Therapist and I have worked on this for years. I'm just not good at it yet.
Discovering memories, the existence of which I had completely forgotten, adds one more "thing" I have to process. I was the person in those memories. I did those things. I was in that place. I knew those people. So why did I forget? Why was I not strong enough to just cope with the moment and move on, allowing the event to be written in my history and continuing to live my life? Why did I feel that particular part of me needed to be erased?
For me this is is distressing to the point that I've not slept for a few days, and I've only been able to talk about it with one person--and now I feel guilty for talking about it with him. He is facing a number of large changes in the next couple of months that will completely remodel his current life. He doesn't need to hear about my trivia. Sometimes I forget that my life just isn't that amazing and I don't need to talk about it.
Still, when 4 a.m. rolled around this morning and I realized I hadn't slept--again--I started wondering how long I can go without sleep. I've had about three hours total in te past four nights and I'm starting to feel ill and paranoid. And I know, on the scale of Really Bad Problems, this is pretty trivial, but I don't really know what to do next. I could talk to Therapist, but I'm pretty sure he'll tell me to live in the moment, make cookies, talk to a friend, do something soothing...all very good suggestions, each of which is highly likely to send me into a panic attack from which I'm pretty sure I won't recover. Did I mention I was feeling paranoid?
Okay--I'm going to grade assignments. It has to be done, right?