100 Days of Healing – Day 100

I’ve spent the last two days busting my ass to get a report done. Not because I have to, not because I don’t have a choice, but because I showed up, let myself be seen, was authentic to who I am, said yes and worked my ass off for the opportunity. When I emailed the draft for review, I didn’t eat a second slice of pizza just because I finished or because I was stressed or because I felt like it. I didn’t eat anything. I wasn’t hungry. I acknowledged how I was feeling, let it go and took a shower. I’m proud of myself. I WORKED. I didn’t balance, I didn’t “do self-care”, I did give myself a break or grace, I pushed myself, focused, stayed on task, was proud of what I accomplished, handled my shit while not always being totally present and did exactly what I wanted to do – and finished early.

Contrast that with 100 days ago:

I have recently become aware of how often I disassociate – I am presently lacking memory of a lot of time. I hurt everywhere. My weight is at its highest ever at 216 lbs. Getting out of bed is unappealing. Vigorous exercise is less appealing. Healing trauma is appealing, but it’s hard and makes me tired. I kind of just want to quit, in a general sense.

I’ve been sleeping this week. I’ve been trying to let my body rest as much as possible. That has meant I am also dreaming vivid dreams every night. I’ve noticed that the last two nights my dreams have shifted from a seemingly random and meandering narrative and wandering around places then waking feeling disturbed to dreaming that I am taking control of and addressing situations I don’t like. Last night, for example, I was eating dinner outside under a large awning and someone was flying a drone right over our heads and up under the awning. It was disturbing and unpleasant, so I reached up and pulled it out of the air, knowing that I could do that with no injury to myself if I caught the part that rests on the ground during takeoff and landing. I shook it to break it out of radio control and tossed it on the ground, to everyone else’s shock.

I like to think it’s a sign that I’m ready to take charge of my life again.

I don’t like myself right now – I don’t like who I’ve become post-trauma. I realized this yesterday evening. Disregard the weight gain – I’m not comfortable in my own skin because I don’t like my skin. I don’t like my limitations, and I am not willing to make peace with something I don’t like. Changing myself will be hard, but this whole effort to heal (and therefore be a person I enjoy being) is hard anyway. I understand that self-judging and criticizing isn’t helpful to me right now, and I don’t think I’m doing that, I think I can just admit that I don’t honestly like ME and want to be someone I do like.

So here’s to the start of 100 Days of seeing where I can go with an intentional effort to heal, with a big curiosity about what I can learn and who I can be.

That’s how far I went. And it was good. Here’s to the next 100.

100 Days of Healing – Day 99

The days march on whether I heal or not. I get the chance every day to do the work or not. It never looks quite the same, the challenges are never quite the same, how I feel is never quite the same, but there are always and only 24 hours in a day to what I can. Yesterday I did the best I could, today I’m doing the best I can and tomorrow I will do the best I can.

And it’s enough.

100 Days of Healing – Day 98

I still get triggered. Frequently. And I’m still surprised every time. Even more so when it’s not clear to me two hours later what exactly happened. Was it because I had dessert for dinner and the sugar tripped a wire? Was it because I did exactly what I wanted today and my body didn’t like it? Was it because I put myself out there and took a risk at work and my brain connected that to trauma somehow? Was it because I want better in an area of my life that I need to be patient with and the discomfort of having to be patient and keep working lit up a neuron path that reads DANGER?

Hell if I know.

100 Days of Healing – Day 97

For years I have coped with anxiety by numbing with food, work and spending money. I started spinning with anxiety at the end of the workday, and got agitated, not able to sit still but not able to find anything to do with myself, and I just wanted to eat. And I would have, normally. This time I went on a walk instead and listened to You Are a Badass. I ate after I got back because I had too much of a calorie deficit for the day, but by that point I wasn’t eating to numb or distract myself, I had resolved my anxiety and was starting to get a lot of creative thoughts and ideas. I don’t expect the challenge of changing how I cope with anxiety will be any less difficult anytime soon, but change starts with the first step.

100 Days of Healing – Day 96

As I near 100 days of being intentional about healing, the thing that is most evident is that I still have a long way to go. Nothing has become easy, none of my challenges have miraculously disappeared, I’m not some enlightened being, I don’t have my shit together, I still have trouble setting and maintaining boundaries, I didn’t achieve my fitness or weight loss goals, I don’t have better friendships or the relationship of my dreams, I don’t have a flush bank account or a wildly successful business or anything spectacular.

I have the ability acknowledge the small things that quickly build to big things when live with severe anxiety. I have the belief that I can change and grow, that my spiritually holds a critical place in all of this, that I can hold two opposing things to be true at once, that discipline and hard work are available to me, that I’m not trapped by my circumstances or by what life hands me, that I can have a life I deeply enjoy and that the magic is not in achieving the things on the horizon but in appreciating today for what it is and what it teaches. I can be and have been present, and I can be increasingly present in my life, which is what I have not been able to be for years. And that alone is worth the effort.

100 Days of Healing – Day 95

I finished keto three days ago, I’ve been eating carbs, and – shocker – I haven’t gained weight.

I am much more conscious about what I eat, how much I eat and why I eat. I’m still watching the calories and not eating large meals. I’m still not eating or drinking much sugar. I still have 30 lbs to go.

I’m still a bit paranoid about binge eating and blowing my progress.

I’m generally paranoid/have severe anxiety about at least one aspect of my life, so I can probably assign paranoia about sabotaging my progress to some persistently fearful corner of my brain that has thus far been resistant to healing. It’s hard, because the more anxiety I have about eating, the more I want to eat, the more of a challenge it is not to eat, the more…

PTSD is hard. But I am going to get through it, one little bit of healing at a time.

100 Days of Healing – Day 94

As I’ve worked – so hard – to repair what I can of my brain, I’ve hidden at home a lot. Leaving the house for work and necessary errands is usually enough for me to handle, and it feels like a long time since I’ve been social. I don’t go out. I don’t have that many friends nearby (most of my close friends are in other states or countries and I keep them forever but also don’t see them often) and I haven’t really exercised in something like a month (the weight loss thing has made me stay in more than usual, and I reckon will keep me in until I can fully resolve that one). I haven’t always been like this, and it’s not a form of existence I particularly like, so I find myself increasingly pondering thoughts like, “I wish I were strong enough to do ___________________________ (fill in the blank).