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Thread: Musings: The Dragon Within

  1. #1
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    Dec 2013
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    Lightbulb Musings: The Dragon Within

    Journaling just does not do the same thing for me as writing where it feels someone is listening, so I am going to post my "musings" (a.k.a. ramblings) here. Maybe they will help someone, or maybe they will just be another way to pass the time.....either way, it feels therapeutic for me, so I appreciate the space to exhale these thoughts that may-- or may not-- really make sense.

    I am in the journey of recovery from what my newfound favorite author, Claire Weeks, calls "nervous illness." My doctor calls it Acute Panic Disorder with Agoraphobia. What has probably been building for a lifetime rose to the surface briefly a year ago, and then moved in full force at the beginning of October. Didn't have a clue what was happening to me. As these musings will not spill out in linear fashion I am just going to write what I have been thinking this morning. These thoughts have rolled together as a compilation from what I have gathered from my new community here at NMP, Claire Weeks, Nothing Works, and my own ever-whirring brain.

    I have been trying to "get to know" the assailant known as Panic who keeps attacking me. I have tried to sit with him. I have tried to banish him. I have pleaded, begged, threatened, exorcised, and bargained with him. But, he is obsessed with me.....and I am obsessed with him. I call him The Dragon Adrenaline. The Dragon is relentless. He invades every part of me. His wings beat so hard in my stomach that I feel it will actually open me up. His fire breathes hot into my brain and I can feel it start to simmer and boil from the heat. His talons claw into my arms, legs, neck, face. He releases a poison inside me that makes me feel like I am being electrocuted from the inside out, and my heart is affected most by his poison as it beats so hard and so fast that I am sure it will just explode at any moment.

    And, then.....I finally broke though. I finally got to see this beast for whom he really is. .......And, he isn't a he-... my dragon... is a she. And, not just any she......she is ME. I am the dragon. Well,....dragon-ness (not a word, right?). And,....get this. I am not trying to hurt me. I am a fierce protector giving all I have to protect me. To help me fight with all I have or flee with all my might from this adversary Panic who is attacking me.

    But, wait again.....If I am the dragon.....and I am protecting me from these "attacks"......then they are not really attacks because they are my own best defensive mechanisms. Uhhhh.....there is no attack? Then what is this that I am feeling??? What is this that is making my life unbearable?

    Miscommunication. Mixed Signals. I am not communicating with my dragon-self very well. We don't always speak the same language. We more or less "read" each other's body language and feelings. And, all my dragon-self knows is I am scared, miserable, and frozen due to my feelings, so my dragon-self goes crazy in trying to help me and protect me.....cycle, recycle, recycle, recycle......

    The Dragon and I are now in couples therapy. We need to learn to speak each other's love language.....and we will.

  2. #2
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    Re: Musings: The Dragon Within

    Good morning, Dragon Adrenaline- I want to reassure you that I am not in any danger today. You really don't need to be coursing through my veins the way you are this morning. There is no present danger that I need to "fight or flee", and I'm not going to "fight" or "flee" you either. You can come with me because I am going to make myself go ahead and do the things I would do if you weren't here. Maybe then one day you will save your strength for when it is really needed and will just rest calmly in the meantime.

    So- here we go. Let's go move the laundry from the washer to the dryer.
    Yes, you will have my heart pounding just in that one little task, but that's okay. My heart is strong. With every beat I will remind myself that I am thankful for my strong, pumping heart.
    Yes, I will have shaky hands and dragon wings beating in my stomach, but that doesn't hurt me. (It does feel terrible, but it won't hurt me.) And, I can still get those socks in the dryer with shaky hands- even if I drop them a few times.

    I can also go brush my teeth with those shaky hands, wash the baby bottles, and pack up food to take to my sick mother.

    It is beautiful outside today. I have too many things to be thankful for, so I will think of them instead of looping through the same thoughts of "will I ever be well again?".....because I am actually well now......I just have FEELINGS of un-wellness....

    Okay, Miss Dragon-Adrenaline-Me......I'm going to live as if things FEEL normal for the next hour....and then, if needed, I will sit down and talk to you (myself) again in order to live in the next hour,....and the one after that.....

  3. #3

    Re: Musings: The Dragon Within

    I really loved reading your two posts here. You have a wonderful way of expressing yourself and because I can completely relate to everything you are saying it made me cry a little and smile a little!

    I wrote a song once called "The Fire Inside" in relation to my struggles. I guess one mans fire is another persons Dragon!

  4. #4
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    Re: Musings: The Dragon Within

    Hi Craig,
    Thank you so much for your post! It really gave me a boost that has stayed with me the whole day!

    Wanted to tell you- I also found and read "The Fire Inside".......really, really liked it!

  5. #5
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    Re: Musings: The Dragon Within

    Well, I do have to say- Miss Dragon-Adrenaline-Me and I had a very amiable day yesterday! In fact, it was probably the best and most "like myself" day I have had since the breakdown/breakout/breakthrough two months ago. The Dragon was still pacing around and threatened to get stormy several times, but overall she just kept pacing and finally took a nap for a short while. Yesterday morning during one of her stormier episodes I just went about my business as usual. Well, it was slower going than usual, and I had to keep reminding myself I didn't need to put my hand to my chest to feel how hard my heart was beating, and I didn't need to keep holding my hands out in front of me to see how strongly they were shaking. I just kept putting one jelly leg in front of the other.
    It was so lovely to catch a glimpse of myself- well, my "old" self, my "whole" self.....as I am still myself now, but I am fragmented- as if I am looking at myself through a kaleidoscope. Sooo,....last night when I went to sleep I was feeling very positive about how great I would feel when I woke up this morning.....

    BUT, ALAS,....ALL POINTS EVAPORATE AT MIDNIGHT.

    I awoke at 230am and could not get back to sleep. Tried to think nothing of it and just let myself be. By 430am the Dragon was picking up her pacing and was starting to thrash her head around. Now, here I am at 740am...trying to remember how I did what I did yesterday. I am even talking out loud to myself to coach myself, but I seem to only be able to hear my heart pounding in my ears. I know I need to get some food in my stomach to stabilize my blood sugar after a long night, but I can only feel my nauseated-adrenaline tummy. And, I should try to get breakfast together for my kids, but the dragon has electrified my arms and they feel useless.
    Maybe I will try to breathe with her....deep breaths, Miss Dragon. We aren't in danger. That's right. Deep breath in.....and exhale.

    ....Oops. Bad idea. Dragons breathe fire........

  6. #6
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    Re: Musings: The Dragon Within

    Awesome post. It sounds like you have the handle to accept this dragon and eventually make your fragmented self whole again. Congratulations on putting one jelly leg in front of the other. Really enjoyed reading this thread.
    __________________
    Tanner

  7. #7
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    Re: Musings: The Dragon Within

    Ahh, Tanner, thank you for the encouragement! Right now writing these internal thoughts out and hearing back from my community here is really one of the best tools in the "recovery toolbox" that I have found.

  8. #8
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    Re: Musings: The Dragon Within

    I always thought of dragons as being nocturnal beings, but mine awakens about 4am and these days storms around until about 3pm. At that time she curls up in my stomach and rests there.....unfortunately, she is a very light sleeper and wakes up very freaked out at the slightest provocation.

    I have noticed though- she seems to be ever-so-slightly shrinking. She has seemed larger than life at times...., but maybe, just maybe, she is deflating just a tiny bit.....

  9. #9
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    Re: Musings: The Dragon Within

    You've perfectly put into words how it feels to have that thing lurking within.. I did something similar years ago, wrote a poem about it, in fact it was called 'It'.

    Funny how so many of us give it a separate identity.

  10. #10
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    Re: Musings: The Dragon Within

    Tell that dragon to go on vacation

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