Once again, I'm here typing when I really need to be sleeping. I've always had lifelong sleep issues, but things have changed since I started up meds again. As soon as my head hits the pillow my mind starts dredging up and reliving in vivid detail various events from my past. These aren't flashbacks per se, nor are they necessarily "bad memories" in most cases they're actually good memories....or memories that should be good, but because they are a reminder of happier times that are now lost, they are very bittersweet. I honestly don't know if this is some kind of necessary healing process, or simply a side-effect of the meds.
When it first started, it was a revelation. It was like my memory, mind and feelings were coming out of a long fog. Like I had been trying so hard to just forget the good and the bad, and my mind was suddenly getting the message that it was ok to remember. I started remembering all kinds of things in great detail. Not that these were things I had necessarily forgotten (I'm not talking about repressed memories, or anything) but just suddenly my memory started going into overdrive. I remember details of the paving stones on streets I walked down in foreign cities. The smell of my old friend's apartment. Whole conversations in detail that I had forgotten I even had. Parties I went to, people I met, places I visited, lived and loved.
Lying in bed wide awake for hours every night means I'm not getting enough sleep. Somehow I manage on what sleep I do get, and I'm definitely relieved that I'm not plagued by anxiety and hypnagogic hallucinations like I have been in the past. However, these life reviews aren't pain-free, often quite the opposite. I feel like somehow my mind is churning through all this stuff, like it needs to relive this stuff until it's out of my system or something. Is it a blessing or a curse? I guess this remains to be seen.
When the memories hurt, maybe this is pain that I need to feel, face, and some how process? I get scared, though, because I know I have a tendancy to get really stuck in the past. It seems to take me so long to get over things. I try not to dwell, but it seems like I'm just built that way emotionally. I don't know if normal adults lie in bed reliving their past this way. Is it a sign of trouble that tonight I was reliving some high-school experiences and mulling over their meaning? Is it normal to imagine entire conversations with people you have been out of touch with, or mentally compose letters that never get sent, hashing out details of events that happened year ago, and which the other person sure wouldn't even remember, but which affected me profoundly? Some of these were transformative, others were very emotional and painful experiences, and though they aren't something I think about on a daily basis, they are still there in the back of my mind. But I get the feeling if anybody else went through similar experiences they would have long ago stopped thinking about them. Am I stuck back there? Am I stuck back in Edinburgh? In many ways the answer is yes.
I'm trying to figure out a way to deal with this state of affairs. Sometimes the memories (good and bad) paralyze me, but at the same time I want to hold on to them. I don't want to discard and forget pivotal moments, special experiences and sepcial people. At the same time, I need to find a balance. I need to find a way to live with my past without letting it overwhelm the present. It's something I find very difficult to do. I've been struggling to do so for so long, I wonder if I had somehow cut myself off emotionally from memories, and now that things are changing with the meds I am more free to allow the memories to come up? I'm really figuring things out here--trying to figure them out, I should say.