Monday, October 28, 2013


I pride myself on trying to be objective.  I will listen to others.  Everyone gets the benefit of the doubt.  It's the way I choose to live my life.  Because I know this intellectually, this may be one of the most difficult things to share.

I am on an emotional collision course and I can't, not matter how hard I've tried, slow this train down and put it back on the right track.

A few weeks ago, I said something about "impulse control" in an string of email messages when it dawned on me, "this is not a joke."  I began to do some serious soul searching.  This is not to say I haven't always been able to hold my own in an argument.  Yes, I have that hot blooded Italian temperament.

I do love the sound of glass hitting a tile floor.  It stops everything and the act of cleaning up the glass is therapeutic.  I know.  Weird.  It doesn't happen often, that glass breaking stuff, and when it does, I have the presence of mind to toss a cheap water glass.  When I run low on glasses, I make sure the next set is even cheaper.  To put it in perspective, the deliberate breaking of glass only happens maybe twice a year.

Impulse control?  More accurately, a lack of impulse control, a daily occurrence.  Just like the realization that the work piling up around me was not due to an increase in my work load but rather, my inability to keep up at the same level I could before cancer fallout, I have taken a personal inventory.

I know I am my own worst enemy.  I know, too, on every level that allowing myself to be distracted from one task to the next without completing a single thing is, at its core, a loss of control over my concentration.  I give in to the distractions. I act on impulse.  I don't think.

The only one being stressed out or damaged by this lack of discipline or impulse control or however I want to frame the language, is me.  My work, my obligations, my bills, my exercise time, my writing time, my appointments when I'm rushing out the door because I could not force myself to move ten minutes sooner.... it has only affected me.

Until now.  I've become intolerant and I know it's me.  I was never intolerant.  Fly off the handle?  Sure.  But intolerant of any and every little thing?  That's not me.  And yet, suddenly, or perhaps gradually and now it has gotten so bad, it IS ME.

I'm on a path of destruction and it's no longer self-destruction.  I've lost my patience with everyone.  No matter what those closest to me try to do, no matter how much I appreciate what is being done for my benefit, my happiness, my comfort, my enjoyment, I can go from zero to sixty in a millisecond.  Over nothing.  Literally.  Nothing.

I have no idea what to do to remedy this mess.  I practice yoga, I exercise, I meditate, I get 7-8 hours of sleep each night (yes, even on those nights when I'm on west coast time), I do my best to maintain a decent diet.  I have medication to use as needed and professionals to turn to for guidance.  But none of this helps one iota when I lose control.

I hear myself in my head.




"Inappropriate response."


And.  I Do It Anyway.

I wish I could convey how much this is hurting me.  I'm floating above myself looking down as I behave in ways I don't recognize.  At the expense of others.  I defend my actions with a self-righteous attitude.  As if I have good reasons for acting in ways that are so hurtful and so harmful.

I apologize.

And within 72 hours, another eruption.

They are happening more frequently.  The triggers are stupid.  Sometimes there is no trigger at all.  It's just me, being a bitch.  For no reason.

I don't like this person one bit.

Is it anxiety?  Depression?  Fear?  PTSD?  Damage to my brain which, of course, I researched before I began typing.  Except for depression, my guess is that it's a combination of all of the above.

What I fear most?  I have taken every possible step to address anxiety, fear and PTSD.

That leaves me with one last possibility.  I hope that recognition of the problem, if indeed it is something that has short circuited, will enable me to change what I have come to despise.

Acceptance that I can't change what may have happened to my brain will, I hope, enable me to take back the reigns and regain control.  The act of recognition and acceptance is where I am going to try my very best to focus my energy.  I simply must learn to stay at least a half a step ahead of my destructive acts of impulsivity.

Frankly, my behavior is, and has been for quite some time, unacceptable.  Behaviors can be relearned or unlearned or adjusted.  I'll simply have to find a different part of my brain to use.  And I will.  There's no other option.

Like I've already said, breast cancer is not the great success story it's hyped up to be.  It's simply the one that's been marketed the best.  And the marketing tactics have hidden much and done quite a disservice to those who struggle with things every single day, on one level or another.  Yes, there are far worse levels, but I'm not fond of the levels I've reached in recent months.

Cancer has already stolen so much.  It's not going to steal my soul, too.

Like it?  Share it!


  1. What a brave and very powerful post for you to make. I agree, recognition of the issue will help you overcome it. It's a process, you're in the "eye of the needle" which is the hardest part. Thank you for being so open and so brave. We all go there, often, and it's a mark of a brave soul to put it in writing.

    1. Thank you, Claudia. Your words are comforting to me. I mean that and I am deeply grateful.


  2. oh, Anne Marie, you've laid bare your mind, heart, and soul, and I so admire you for that. it takes effort and strength to face head on troubles that reverberate and make us take stock; often it's much easier to say to ourselves, "i'll think about that tomorrow". but you are actively confronting what is troubling to you - then writing it all out on a blog post. I hope that just the act of laying it all out has helped you feel better. i have no doubt that you, in your inimitable Anne Marie way, will tackle it step by step. and i also know that with your raw, honest and up-front account of what you are going through you will have helped so many of us who are struggling to keep it together. i wish i could just hold you in my arms, and give you gentle hugs, and comfort you.

    much love, then more love, and the light of hope to help you find your way,

    Karen X X X X X X X O O O O O O O

  3. I'm so sorry this is happening to you. There's nothing worse than wanting to be who you were and not being able to find the pathway back. It's there, though--just go slow. And remember to not beat yourself up--it will only make things worse. You're human, AnneMarie, and you're allowed some human foibles.

    There are supplements that might help, but you should probably get genotyped first. See (In the meantime, you might try some brewer's yeast and lecithin--together they work wonders.)

  4. Much love to you, AM. And major kudos for getting to the point where you recognize that you are having problems. You are well on your way to a better place.


Something to add? Do Share!