Anxiety, Drugs and PTSD Kicking The Shit Outta Me

I don’t look like PTSD.

I take a low dose SSRI, have a Xanax prescription for panic attacks (still fairly low dose), exercise regularly if not strenuously and eat a fairly healthy diet, although I could reduce the sugar and carbs a bit.

Post-trauma I completed two master’s degrees at a top-ranked university on time and with high grades, started my own firm before I graduated and have had a financially successful and solid first year of business. I have managed family health crises, dropped everything to run my mom’s company for a month last year when she was ill, run the household when my brother was injured and I take care of my grandma.

I don’t look like PTSD.

And that has been hard, because not only is it really hard for people to even recognize that I have a mental health disorder, I often don’t acknowledge it. I didn’t go on medication for two years, and even now I take very little. I work full time running a successful firm. I make and keep appointments, I make time to exercise, I work really hard on my thought life and am always working to be better…so many people who have challenges with the same name have such harder struggles than I do. It’s often hard for me to not feel like I really have it pretty good and that maybe I don’t even need the meds.

On Friday PTSD kicked the shit outta me, then kept kicking.

I had gone for a walk and not taken my keys, which was normal. Friday I had a lot of anxiety and decided I would go for a walk to see if it would calm me down, then when I got home I would take a Xanax and go to bed early. When I got home after 3 miles I was not in good shape, and I really just wanted the Xanax so the anxiety would stop. But no one was home, the house was locked and I had no keys. Yep, they had all left and locked me out, unable to access the pills I had been wanting for the last half hour solid.

I texted my mom to be sure, and yep, they were gone. I had mentioned to her earlier that I was not having a good day, but she didn’t seem to hear me. Now I was really not having a good day, but rather than sit at the door and get eaten by mosquitoes I decided to go for another loop. 6 miles and 2 hours after I walked out the door, I was sobbing and when I finally did get let it and get my hands on a couple milligrams of bitter-tasting drugs, all I could do for 20 minutes was lay face-down on a tile floor in a heap and sob.

I’m still recovering from it. I’m still not feeling great, I’ve had to keep working to meet a project deadline and so that I can be off work for my brother’s next surgery, and I am currently really adverse to walks. If I never walk again it’ll be too soon. And maybe a few slow days is the best thing, which is a little hard after putting so much energy into exercise and working on my brain, but I’m still pretty beaten and not looking for another fight anytime soon.

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