At the mercy of my own hubris

I suppose I need to have days like the last two, whenever I get thinking that I have a bead on everything.  The emotional setback I’ve just been through will benefit me in the end, but I am awfully uncomfortable while it’s happening.

My most confident declarations have a way of coming back to bite me in the ass.  Seems like whenever I am feeling particularly successful, managing my emotions, I get a big setback, something that makes me doubt everything.  That happened over the last three days.  I allowed myself to go a couple of nights with almost no sleep, and as a result, I went back to the hallucinations that have plagued me when I am overtired.  This time, I was sure that I had tiny white worms crawling out from under my skin.  Gross enough, I know, but then I started digging my arm with my fingernails in an attempt to get them off me.

By the second day, after getting several hours sleep, I could see that nothing was there, but by that night, I was up till all hours, and the worms were back in the morning.  I was not calmed by anyone’s insistence that they weren’t there — I could see them, touch them, feel them moving.  By late afternoon, I believed I had one in my right eye, so I went to the ER, where the doctor was quite quick to tell me that nothing was coming out of my skin, but that this hallucination is relatively common.  She kept me there for a few hours, did some blood tests, and sent in the crisis team to talk with me.  I resisted their efforts to help, because I have very little faith in peer support in general, and in our local agency in particular.  But they sat with me until I finally had to allow as how I might have been imagining the problem.

Finally, I was ready to go home, and I took a cab from the hospital.  By the time I was home, I was deep in self-condemnation and shame over the picture I must have presented in the ER.  I went to bed, slept until 11AM, and I’ve been feeling crappy about myself the whole day.  I know what I would suggest to someone else in my condition, but I can’t guide myself, somehow.  I can’t get past being horribly embarrassed for such stubbornness and for thinking that I was right and everyone else was wrong.

I thought that writing this down would help, but so far, just more tears and feeling bad.  I try not to be sorry for myself, especially in my writing, but here I am, and I think I may be a while getting past this.  I thank you all for your good wishes, as I know you are pulling for me to snap out of this.  I will be back and try again in a couple of days.

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20 responses to “At the mercy of my own hubris

  1. It’s really hard to get over the shame and embarrassment for a situation like this, but what really helps is remembering that they’ve seen worse. They told you it was a fairly common hallucination, remember? A few weeks from now, they won’t remember or know who you are.

    You’ve overcome other bad habits. As you recover, remember how your changed other behaviors and when you feel good, try to work out some new behaviors for when the insomnia strikes again. How will you address if the hallucinations come back? Going to the ER is not a bad solution to have in the arsenal, so you’d have to work at not being embarrassed by it.

    Insomnia was actually how I got started with Pinterest. At 3 am, it’s a low brain impact way to occupy myself and not obsess that I’m having trouble sleeping. After an hour or so, I’m ready to try sleeping again. It’s not optimal, but sleeping in 2-4 hour chunks (11pm to 3am, 5am to 7am) was a lot better than not sleeping.

    Does this make sense? You’re smart and you’ve done a good job of overcoming other problems. Insomnia will always come and go, but having several plans of addressing it might help you find some better ways of coping with it. You might also want to try some medications, other-the-counter or prescription. I saw a good article recently on melatonin for children with sleep issues, but have no idea how that would interact with your other medications.

    Other tricks of mine for insomnia? Reading of course. Changing venue – sleeping on the couch or in the easy chair. Warming up the bed with a heating pad; cooling off the room with a fan. A hot bath is always good too, even at 3 am. I tried exercising at 3 am, but it really screwed up my next day so I haven’t done that again, although some gentle yoga or stretching might not be bad.

    My 25 cents, as usual.

    Nancy

    • Dear Nancy, thank you for your two cents — which are always worth mountains more than two cents! I will try some of your suggestions, and try to ease up on my self-recrimination, as well. I so appreciate you for passing along what has worked for you. And, fyi, melatonin occurs naturally in the body, so it shouldn’t react badly with other meds. I tried it once, years ago, and I think I’ll do so again. Thanks for all your kind words of encouragement and support. XOXOXO

      • Remember that no one thing will work all the time, which is why you need an arsenal of things to try. You might put together a notebook to pull off the shelf as it’s hard to remember the plan when you’re stressed out.

        I find it beyond coincidence that you felt the worms crawling around your skin when you’re dealing with the Morgellons. Makes me wonder if some more of the symptoms were manifesting themselves and your hyper-sensitivity made it feel like worms. In other words, it wasn’t all in your head and there was something physical happening, just not what you thought it was.

        Lastly, consider having some sleeping pills to use when it gets too bad. You don’t want to use them all the time, but you don’t want to be so sleep deprived as to hallucinate either.

        I’m glad you find my advice worthwhile. You usually do, which is why I take time to write it out, but I can never be certain how someone will react.

        Here’s the article on melatonin that I referred to. I don’t know how long it will stay on the free side of the Wall Street Journal, so if you like it, print it out asap.

        http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324637504578567670426190246.html?KEYWORDS=melatonin

        Nancy

      • Thank you so much, Nancy — I will be starting that coping mechanism journal as soon as I’m done with this reply. Great idea. Thanks as well for the link — I picked up some melatonin yesterday, and will use it if I get stuck awake too late, (like right now, at 2AM.) I always find your advice helpful, and I so appreciate that you make your knowledge available. You are one of the bloggers to whom I referred in my Gratitude post today — you are my online family, and you in particular are a wonderful bliss! Good night for now! 😎

  2. Oh honey please do not beat yourself up for something that first was a mistake in not getting enough sleep, and two something that is not anything you have control over once it starts.
    Though I do not have the hallucination my severe insomnia manifests frightening dreams that I am unable to shake one awake. Even though I rationally know what happened was only a dream I feel the pain & hurt as if the events had actually happened. And the people in my dream are blamed for things they never did.
    Try as I might to convince myself that my emotions are being spurred on by false memories from a dream I still have a terrible time shaking it.

    Sleep… not enough..o r too much.. major determent to our minds.

    On a cheerful note, at least I hope you will see it as and not a chore.. (I understand)
    I want to award you these two awards because you are if not my most faithful reader pretty close. I actually have not even looked of late. But I love you and love knowing I can always look forward to your input. Please feel no obligation on how you accept. Just enjoy the awards.
    Hugs to you sweetie ~

    http://barefootbaroness.org/2013/07/03/friendship-awards/

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