Neurofeedback, Take Two

I woke up to the sound of workmen right outside my bedroom window at my apartment complex clattering away on whatever they were doing. It was jolting and triggering as all the racket made me all twitchy right out of the gate. I missed my appointment at the gym with my trainer because I was having trouble getting out of the dissociative state.

I hit the alarm at 8:40, and rushed out the door by 9:00 for the hour long drive to my neurofeedback appointment.

When I got to Doc’s office I was in a mood as I had a horrible headache from Tuesday’s session that took several hours to squash, and I drove an hour to this appointment in a less than ideal state of twitchiness. In short, I was in no mood for what seemed to be a waste of time.

I hate how when I open Doc’s door I am hit with a cold blast of air conditioning, along with a bevy of annoying door chimes announcing my arrival. It’s jarring to anyone, but especially me in my anxious state. It’s like a gust of sensory overload.

Doc then comes out, and waves his arms in that wildly expressive way of his, and says, “Come on in!”

He wants to know how I’m doing, and I tell him I’m not feeling great, as I didn’t sleep well. I also tell him about the headache.

It’ turns out that I should not have gone to acupuncture on the same day that I had neurofeedback. He had told me it was okay to go to acupuncture, but he did not realize I went to acupuncture for my PTSD. Apparently, both forms of therapy were too much for my brain, and that is likely why I had a headache.

Today I played EEG Chomper, which looked like a generic version of Pac-Man. Well, to be precise, my brainwaves played Chomper. I just watched. I am surprised at how hard it is for me to sit still for 30 minutes. It is very, very hard for me.

The good news is that I started at a 27 today, and got as low as a 5.5. Doc says I got lower faster than I did on Tuesday. Even though he annoys me at times, he is endearing. As soon as I was done he said, “Wow! Even better than last time!” It is sweet how he gets genuinely excited with good results. He is not a prim and proper doctor, which I appreciate. I’ve always preferred people who are a bit offbeat.

So far no headache today. I am so thankful for being pain-free today. I was actually humming at work, and singing along to music in the car. I almost don’t recognize myself. Doc did say that I will start to have different thoughts about myself, good thoughts. I can’t wait.

and it all came to a head …

I do a good job of convincing myself that it’s not evident to others that I am struggling, that I’ve hidden it well from the world. I learned today that I was woefully wrong about that perception. Wrong, wrong, wrong.

My director asked to speak with me this morning. She conveyed that she was worried about me, as I didn’t seem like myself. I was stunned, not because I disagreed, but because I thought I had squirreled it away from others. I was so wrong about that.

The dissociative sleeping has been a huge problem, along with transitioning from my therapist to a psychiatrist. My ability to deal with stress has been compromised. I certainly feel it.

I was then trying to figure out a solution for myself when the psychiatrist called me out of the blue today at lunch. I’ve had to wait to start my treatment with him because he did not want to see me while I was seeing another clinician. He called me because he wondered how I was doing, and said he was willing to start Neurofeedback therapy with me while I transitioned from my previous therapist. He even admitted that he may have been too rigid with me.

It’s like the universe came together with this phone call at the opportune time. I even had an offer of moving my start time at work back an hour so that I have more time in the morning. Still feeling anxious and teary, but more hopeful than I have been feeling all week.

No, not again …

You start to feel heavy, floaty, glued to the couch, and you fight this heaviness for at least a couple of hours. Around midnight you make a serious attempt to go your bedroom, but it’s like you are magnetically attached, and you finally just give in and drift off to sleep. You have that familiar fuzzy floaty feeling that means the dissociative universe is upon you. The alarm on your phone goes off at 7:00, 7:13, 7:30, and 7:45. You regularly set multiple alarms, sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. You turn off all of them in your sleep, at least you assume so, because you have no memory of them going off at all.

Mercifully, you wake with a start at 8:15. Shit! You have a meeting across town at 9:00, and it takes you at least 30 minutes to get to work. You look down, and realize that you are wearing the same dress from yesterday. In fact, you slept in everything from yesterday. You take off yesterday’s clothes, put on new clothes, try to fake that your hair is clean by pulling it back, brush your teeth, fall into some ballet flats, and run out the door.

As you’re trip walking down the staircase in your apartment building you start begging God to get you out of this dissociative trip because you have an important meeting, dammit! It’s bad enough to run out the door with unwashed hair, but it’s a whole other situation to be floaty in a situation where, oh wait a minute, yes, you’re LEADING a meeting. Shit! Wake up! Now is not the time be dissociative.

Somehow you pull into the parking lot at 8:55. You run in and take the stairs all the way to the fifth floor because it’s faster than waiting for the elevator. Thankfully, the run up the stairs starts to jolt you out of the dissociation. You get to your office cube, grab your laptop and run into the conference room right at 9:02.