Thursday, October 11, 2012

Me and my Dogs

My brain is like one big mess of riddles to me. I'm trying to unravel it and understand how it works. It confuses me all the time and now when I'm trying to heal it after a major breakdown I'm really starting to seriously look for answers. I think too much and when I'm out on the balcony, smoking with the Bear, I talk and talk about everything I think about. That's when it all starts to fall into place. I make up metaphors and find words and images to describe the mess that is me. I've started to take notes, and draw images to explain to myself, and to explain to others. I came up with this metaphor of me and the dogs just an hour ago and it feels much easier to handle than the abstract knowledge that I'm mentally ill. 

The basic idea is that there is me. Emmy, the healthy, normal me that is creative, positive, social and happy. Sensitive but still strong in a way. A person that has strong opinions and follows her heart. The person I am and want to be. However, this healthy Emmy has three unruly dogs on leashes that she has to constantly keep an eye on, watch over, take care of and worry about. Let me introduce you to my dogs:
ADHD(ADD)-dog: This little fella is unfocused, confused and energetic. He loves to start creative projects, learn things and meet people, but he can't really handle it all so he does nothing instead. Starts, stops, gives up, gets frustrated and tries again. He's kind of cute and I can laugh at the mess he leaves in my home and in my brain. Sure he's annoying as hell sometimes, but he can be handled with a bit of kindness and a bit of motivation. He just hates pressure.

Depression-dog: An old, sad and utterly exhausted old dog that lies around and gathers dust in his thick gray corner. He never sees the light because of all that messy fur, and he's not very interested in even trying to sort it out. He crawls around in his own misery and looks at the world with apathy and contempt. Nothing is ever good, nothing leads to anything, so why even try? He might as well curl up in his gloomy dusty corner and sleep all the time, or die. What does it matter anyway?

This dog is heavy to drag around, and his dust piles up on everything around him and clouds my judgement. His misery is contagious and even though he's always tired and inactive, he's very manipulative in his hopelessness.

Anxiety-dog: A huge, imposing and scary beast of a dog that always walks around as if on his guard. Always waiting for some unknown attacker. He doesn't know where the next provocation might come from, so he's ready to bite at any moment. As soon as he is triggered he starts to howl, bark, bite and chase his own tail. He wants to attack something but only manages to bite himself. He bites hard and screams both in anger and in pain. The other dogs are scared of him but the one he scares the most is himself. Running in panicky circles until he is too exhausted to howl anymore.

This is the scariest dog to carry around. Always lurking somewhere and can be triggered by anything. Big or small. He is provoked by the depression-dog, and in turn he provokes back. They trigger each other until everything seems to collapse and they constantly fight. Anxiety dog only hurts himself, but he scares the ones who meet him with his fierce outbursts.

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These dogs represent the different parts of me that are separated from each other but together they become a very heavy burden that the healthy, normal me has to deal with somehow. Every dog needs it's own kind of treatment and management, and one method might trigger another dog in a bad way. Now when I'm going to go through therapy again I hope to get to understand all my dogs and how to make them less intrusive in my life. Depression-Dog and Anxiety-Dog are not supposed to live at my place at all. They are supposed to go away. ADHD dog will and can stay. I don't mind him.
Therapy in a way has been like watching one of those dog-shows where some really experienced person manages to control and calm an unruly dog in the matter of seconds. It looks and sounds so easy, but when you try yourself you're lost and don't really know how it's supposed to work. This time around I really want to understand how to use all these methods and once and for all calm my dogs down. It's not supposed to be this difficult to be a dog owner.

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