Lindsay went away to a Life Coach conference. It cost “a lot” of money. She would be gone for several days. We had just barely finished moving and a very busy week of accounting deadlines for her. I was tired and was bugged that I’d be taking care of the kids alone for a few more days. Just because I’d progressed leaps and bounds didn’t mean my anxiety didn’t still pop up.
Is this worth it?I thought. I want to support her. She is so excited. But does it have to be right now? Turns out I survived (unlike my brain told me would happen).
Lindsay came back walking on air. She was lighter, smiling more, energized, motivated, more confident. Not that she wasn’t already amazing. But something was different about her, in a big way. I...
As part of my mental illness, I had some suppressed memories arise from my childhood. I was sexually abused.
I would wake up to nightmares, sweating and panicking, unable to go back to sleep. My sleep quality and quantity became worse than ever. My anxiety would get triggered by the smallest things and then go from 0-60 instantly. I couldn’t even make decisions on my own when it was really bad. Lindsay would have to decide for me like, which sandwich to order from the restaurant, even simple things like that would overwhelm me.
I was incredibly jumpy and easily startled. My heart would race. I was experiencing PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder). For whatever reason, my body was finally ready to process trauma from the abuse. And it was not something...
Lindsay started working. That it had come to this was completely unacceptable in my mind. I should be the one providing. That was the plan. That’s what The Family: A Proclamation to the World says (at least that’s how I interpreted it). That’s what I promised her. I’m a failure, I thought.
I struggled with this. And even though I started including Lindsay in my struggle, and was receiving all this help, I still resorted to porn at times. Less frequently, but I still struggled to find success with this.
One therapist early on told me I wasn’t an addict. I was so relieved. But wasn’t getting the help I needed. Later on, a different therapist told me I was an addict. I tried this hat on for a while.
If we fix me this will all be better. I went to therapy weekly. I saw a psychiatrist for medication. I tried so many things: neurologist, endocrinologist, exercise, yoga therapy, naturopaths, supplements, chiropractor, acupuncture, neurofeedback, energy work, gluten free and sugar free and dairy free diet. There’s more.
My psychiatrist said he’s never seen someone try so many different things as I had. I was in a hurry to fix me. If I just get better, I can get back to work and Linz will be happy.
Why do I have this problem with pornography that makes things so hard for Lindsay? Why couldn’t it be alcohol? Or just anything els!.
I couldn’t handle Lindsay being upset about anything, but especially if she was...
My shaky hands got worse, not better. I could not work. Would I ever be able to practice dentistry again? All that school/training/money. Even if my hands did stop shaking, my anxiety was so out of control that I could barely leave the house. I could barely interact with Lindsay and the kids, let alone another person.
I had struggled with occasional suicidal thoughts for years at this point. But now they were really regular. I never got serious about planning or attempting. But would have the idea pop in my mind. Then I’d beat myself up for even thinking it.
I would go into deep depressions, feeling helpless and out of control and like there was no way this could ever get better. If I felt good, I would sabotage myself thinking it would slip away at any minute....
The week after telling Linz about my problem with pornography, I had a full on panic attack. I saw a doctor to help with my anxiety. He gave me medication. I met with a therapist. I never knew that my emotional health was out of wack and could be affecting my life the way it was.
My hands had been getting progressively shakier for months (very intermittently, never during a dental procedure). I had been able to do my work as a dentist. But the way my hands were that day, I knew I couldn’t work. I immediately cancelled the rest of my appointments for the day and went home. This terrified me.
My sleep had been getting worse for years. I started trying to learn to connect with my emotions better. Turns out I was feeling some level of anxiety...
One time when I was feeling down, like really depressed, part of me thought "well, may as well look at porn."
So I mapped out my real options to the best of my current understanding. And I want to share it with you.