Yesterday wasn’t a great day for me. I wasn’t feeling well for most of the day, and was having a hard time eating and drinking due to a sore throat and a canker or cold sore on my tongue. I ate and drank water despite this, though, and am doing the best that I can to take care of myself.
In the late afternoon, I decided to look at the sore on my tongue. When I looked at my tongue, though, it had(has) a white coating on it. I knew right away that this is likely thrush because one of my medications, my asthma inhaler, can cause it. And, because my immunity is down, it makes sense that I could get something like that.
The doctor that I saw confirmed that I have thrush and that it is likely medication related. I’ve been prescribed a medication for it, however, it took about half an hour of calling around to pharmacies and to my doctor to figure out where to get the prescription filled, as it is out of stock by the manufacturer. Finally I was able to find a place to fill the prescription, even though it’s a town away.
I assume that I also have this because I was on antibiotics a couple of weeks ago. Thrush is an infection of the mouth and can be caused by antibiotics because they kill both the good and bad bacteria in your body. To counter the effect that this has on my stomach I always take probiotics, but these didn’t do anything for my mouth.
I did talk to my parents about this last night and they told me that I have gotten thrush before due to asthma medications. They didn’t remember exactly when but they did remember it. My parents and other family members tend to remember some things from my past better than I do because I suffer from memory loss. But, when my mom told me that I’ve had this before, it did set off a slight memory of me having it. I just couldn’t pinpoint how old I was at the time.
It does seem, though, that I was able to find something positive out of this situation, in a way. While I was sitting in the waiting room yesterday, I caught myself trying to convince myself that my life is better today than it was earlier in life despite all of my current physical health issues. For some, or maybe even most people, trying to look at the positives in your current life can be healthy. But for me, it is something that I do in order to avoid the emotions that come with whatever difficult time that I may be having in my life. I know that for me this is learned behavior that I picked up in AA, where I was encouraged to find ways that my life was good even when I was having difficulties and particularly to find ways to justify that my life was better in sobriety than while I was drinking. While this did keep my mood up and helped me to stay happy despite horrible situations in my life, it also kept me from fully processing these situations and in admitting that my life had actually gone downhill since getting sober. Plus, it kept me from leaving abusive and toxic situations because I was too focused on finding the positives in the life to actually look at the negatives.
So when I found myself trying to justify why my life is better today, and, I realized that this is not a healthy thing for me to do. So I just stopped doing it right then and there. After that I soon found myself crying in the urgent care’s waiting room about my current predicament and also regarding the trauma that I’ve been through. I thought about how I went through 30 some years of trauma on and off and essentially spent my whole life in severely traumatic situations, only to turn around and have to deal with severe mental and physical health issues once I got out of it. To me it felt like these health issues, including the physical ones, must be a result of the trauma that I went through. I wondered if I will ever get a chance to fully live life, as I felt like I felt in the moment that I hadn’t had the option to fully do this yet, even though I’m 37 years old. Today, though, I realize that I was globalizing yesterday, which is a common thing for me to do.
David was with me and I shared some of these concerns with him. His reaction was hold me right there in the doctor’s and help me through it. I’m glad, actually, that I was able to cry because that doesn’t always happen. So, my efforts to stop this pattern of justification that I have seemed to help me quite a bit right away.
Later on, I began to think about other reasons why I might be sick other than trauma. I realized that my depression and physical health symptoms really started to flare right around the time that three of our cats came down with cancer, and that I haven’t been able to fully recover since. Our cat Patrick is undergoing chemotherapy right now too, so life is still stressful for me. I find it important to acknowledge that this situation in my life is likely attributing to my health problems, because I tend to fall into the trap that many trauma survivors do which is to attribute everything to the trauma that they went through. My understanding, though, is that this is a phase that many survivors go through and come out of successfully. I feel like this is a bit harder for me, though, because when I was in AA I was taught to attribute everything in my life to one thing (alcoholism), which led me to have pretty bad issues with globalization. This has made it hard to objectively be able to look at all of the issues in life that are affecting me at any given time, because I’ll tend to grab onto one and be blind to the others, or just to assume that everything is bad or everything is good.
But the fact that I’m even aware of all of this is a big deal. When I was in AA and in denial about the trauma that I’d been through I had no idea that I was justifying my time in AA and that my life was better in sobriety, and wasn’t even able to recognize that I was globalizing and tying everything into my drinking and my sobriety in an unhealthy and unrealistic way. I even remember tying my cats into this pattern by calling them my “sobriety cats”. Everything in my life revolved around my drinking and sobriety. And, I already had a habit of doing this to some extent when I came into AA because I’m a childhood trauma survivor. But, it quickly became 100 times worse within only a few months in AA.
So I guess that for me the main benefit that I found happened by leaving AA is simply that I am learning to live in reality. I feel like in AA that I was pretty delusional about a lot of things, and that this was not caused by any type of mental health problems. It was caused by all of the harmful dynamics within the program. Today, though, I can better see what is going on in my life and with other people/the world, even if it takes some time for me to think about it and figure things out. But, it’s getting easier and easier for me to think about and consider life itself and what is currently going on with mine.
I feel good today at the progress that I have made and am making in regards to the trauma that I’ve been through, including my time in AA. It is obvious to me that I am making strides with this because my dissociative symptoms are lessening quite a bit. The world looks more real, I feel more real, and I am connecting with others around me more. It feels like life is beginning to fall in place for me, and I am happy about this. I also am learning new coping mechanisms to deal with life in general and am feeling more balanced in my life than I probably ever have felt before. It seems as though I’m heading in the right direction, even if it is slowly. It’s been a long struggle for me and I am glad that I am feeling better today emotionally and mentally, even if I’m struggling with my physical health.
Thanks for reading! Feel free to comment below.