I developed chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia in 2009. The symptoms of these illnesses came on right away after a surgery in December 2008. It was pretty shocking, and soon I found myself missing a lot of work, not being able to stay up late, missing meetings, and have to bow out of social activities. Basically my life changed within a matter of months.
One thing that I have had to work on is boundaries. I have had to learn to say no and to say it with confidence. However, when I started having repressed memories and working through trauma, it seemed that all of my work with my counselor around saying no and setting boundaries kind of fell apart.
I’m not sure why this was, but I suspect it’s because I felt extremely vulnerable at the time. I also seemed to be coming in and out of acceptance of all of my health conditions, including my physical health conditions. So, I ended up pushing myself in ways that I never would have before this started to occur.
Again I don’t know why this was. What I do know is that I just lost some of the assertiveness that I’d learned to have while setting boundaries. I still set them at times, but I tended to give people chances even more so than usual.
One area that this caused problems in was my inability to say no or to stand up to counselor or psychiatrists about medications or treatments. Even though I didn’t like a lot of the counseling that I was receiving, I wasn’t able to firmly say no to it on a consistent basis. This led to me having to endure a bunch of counseling techniques that are harmful to patients with DID.
I also found myself driving more than I should. In about 2011 or 2012, began to get migraine headaches and severe fatigue if I drove more than about 15 minutes at a time. But, in the new area that I live in, some of the doctor’s offices are further away from that. Also, the way to one of my counselors that I saw for a couple of years was down a stretch of highway that always fatigued me when I drove on it.
For some reason, though, I kept finding myself driving to counselors or clinician’s offices to the point of exhaustion. I ended up in a cycle where my mental health and physical health were just on the decline.
The other day,though, my psychiatric nurse suggested that I get EMR for PTSD and depression. I knew that the office this is done at was at least a 35 minute drive, so I was skeptical about this immediately. I called the office and in turns out that you are required to get at least three treatments a week. Instead of deciding to just try it, though, this time I just said, “That won’t work for me.”
The receptionist asked what would work for me. I told her that I might be able to make it to the clinic once a month if that. I also told her that no, I don’t have anyone to drive me, and even if I did it would still be too much of a strain on my health to try it. I made it pretty clear that this was not an option for me.
I emailed my psychiatric nurse and said the same thing. She emailed back and tried to give me some directions that would make the drive easier, but I told her that there is still no way that I can do it. After this, I felt really proud of myself for just immediately saying no to a doctor/provider about something that I know would be harmful for me.
This happened on Monday. By Tuesday I actually felt like my depression was lifting a bit. I don’t feel 100 % yet or anything but I am feeling better and am feeling a lot more empowered.
Today my latest counselor emailed me to tell me that she had found a clinic that treats patients with Dissociative Disorders. Of course, though, the clinic is about a 35 or 45 minute drive from my house if you go at a time that avoids traffic. If you get stuck in traffic a drive like this can last well over an hour. Again, this is not something that I can do without having serious health complications, as has been the case for years. So I also immediately told her that this will not work for me and that I will just have to find something else.
I’m really proud of the fact that I am beginning to stick up for myself again, and am doing so in ways that actually seem to work. Maybe I am having a turning point in my life. I sure do hope so!
Thanks for reading! I hope that you found something here that you can relate to.