Friday, August 30, 2013

Let's talk about PTSD, let's talk about you and me

That title has a tune in my head, just so you know. You can imagine your own to fit it you don't like mine. When I was more myself, and sometimes now, I sing in my head and sometimes aloud, though you wouldn't really be happy to hear it.

No one expects the Spanish Inquisition, and no one expects a train wreck in their personal lives. That dissappointingly inadequate what to expect when you're expecting book doesn't cover special needs in the way lives are ultimately experienced, no one expects a spouse's suicide or chronic and destructive lying, and when those things happen it is rather distressing, to say the least.  Did unexpected life events come when you were unprepared, and did you feel powerless to deal? Then you have trauma.  Do you relive it, get your ass kicked by it over and over in your head and heart and body, and find yourself lost in a loop of crap? Then you may have PTSD.  I didn't feel OK about accepting that diagnosis last year before my life took a turn for the worse in February.  I thought PTSD was for Veterans, police, etc., and people would think it was bullshit if I said I couldn't function because I feared losing my child if she didn't eat, but once I had even more trauma on a whole new level of awful, and stopped medicating myself with oxycodone, now I do really know it was real PTSD before and it got bigger and badder than ever this year. Among the many things I avoid that remind me of the worst things, talking about the worst things rates pretty high up there, but dumping some out seems to be part of getting well, and if it helps any of you, then let's get better together, 'cause staying lost in a mental health mire of nightmarishness is a lousy option for any of us. Self medicating was always a poor choice and is no longer an option for me.

What I didn't know about PTSD before would fill a large academic volume, and getting to know it on a personal level, it is full of assholery and deserves a poke in the eye, just in case you wondered.  I imagine the shrinks know that it is the result of self preservation mechanisms gone awry.  Much like an allergic reaction though, when you feel anaphylaxis you really have to wonder what good histamines are in doses that can kill. I am tired of intrusive thoughts, tired of a racing heart and pounding ears, tired of my arms going numb and tingly when I feel anxious, or even when I talk on the phone about anything of any importance.  I am tired of hostage dreams, I am tired of the fear I feel when I see a car that looks like my husband's (and I know where his is as it is disabled and in my back yard but it still scares me) and I am tired of wondering when I won't be so tired of these and oh so many other things that upset my apple cart hourly.  So now you know why I stay home and watch Downton Abbey on Amazon and don't take calls and texts and emails even from the people who love me and want to help. I don't really like having to explain how sick I am almost as much as I don't like how sick I am.

Sobriety is my most joyful thing, next to my lovely girls.  Sobriety gives me hope over PTSD, oddly, even though the power triumvirate of PTSD, anxiety and depression led to my addiction.  I feel my best doing outreach at my treatment community, and the most like who I used to be, but I know ifI don't kick some PTSD butt then I won't win the war.  So, let's get crackin'.  Let's talk about PTSD and women and mothers and parents and survivors of the unimaginable.

I will be staying home for a while, not working, as I find that my energy level tanks much earlier than before, and no one will think I am sober if they see how much my hands shake.  Frankly, if people knew how busy my mind is recalling memories, avoiding memories, and keeping myself from screaming then they wouldn't think I could pay attention to much else anyhow.  So I will be back and talk about this more, here, where it is safe.  Thank you.

1 comment:

  1. It is true that you never know when something will happen that will totally rock your world; when the only thing you want to do is curl up and sleep and let the world go by, because trying to deal with it is just too hard; when your body betrays you and your mind just will not stop; when bedtime comes and you can't sleep, and daytime comes and you can't keep awake. Thinking of you;