Two-thirds of the way through a focused effort to heal a lot of the damage wrought on me by PTSD, I’m astounded by how far I’ve progressed in two months. My sleeping and eating habits have improved, my relationships have improved or been released, I’m spending less time trying to control what I can’t, I’m much more aware of when I need to pause and get to a place of calm, I’m more focused, I’m much better at managing triggers and I am getting to the root of a problem more quickly and with less time spinning in anxiety. I have more creativity, more critical thinking, more problem-solving and more willingness to try new things.
I really struggle with fear of what people I care about are doing. Even a little bit of unknown can send my anxiety skyrocketing, and when some of my family or other people close to me are out and about, it can be really challenging for me to stay calm. I like for everyone to be home safe. I like me to be home safe too.
Part of it is I don’t trust them. And I’m not sure why in particular? Because none of them have given me a reason not to trust them. But instead of being happy about what they’re doing or the opportunities they have or going about my own business, I worry endlessly about their well being and safety. It is emotionally exhausting, and not something I even want to do. It’s one of the instances in which a PTSD symptom seems impossible for me to get a handle on or control, and I feel scared and beaten by it. It can really affect my sleep, and certainly affects my ability to be calm.
I don’t go out much at the moment unless it’s necessary because just getting back to full steam with work has been challenging enough. I also like to have a plan, and planning is hard because I only have so much mental energy before I burn out for the week and have to recharge. So I work hard as much as I can, then get to a point in the day (which is earlier in the day as the end of the week nears) that that’s all I can do and I need to rest.
It’s infuriating at times, because I feel stuck this way and don’t yet see a way past it.
I’m in the process of separating from my business partner. It’s a process that he isn’t really participating in, which is no real surprise sine he quit participating in work three months ago. It’s been hanging over my head, and while he’s been absent for personal reasons, it’s an absence that neither I nor the business can tolerate.
He had initially agreed to sign things over to me in exchange for his half of the assets, but he has since changed his stance, although he cannot give a time that he will be back to work. After a few unproductive phone conversations I decided to send a letter giving him the option to keep the company or sign it over to me, but either way I cannot continue to be his business partner for a number of reasons that stem from issues that existed prior to his absence, but which have certainly been exacerbated by it.
I have yet to receive a response from him, and I am in the middle of projects that are about to require a great deal of involvement and some travel. There are conference registrations coming up. There is new work that needs to be gotten. And I have no idea how our business divorce is going to go. I am the face of the company and can independently perform our work, so it makes sense (and people close to me argue it’s the “right thing”) for him to take his part and let me continue building the company that arguably would not exist without me. But people don’t always do the right thing, and since he has changed his statements on this, I don’t have a lot of confidence that this is going to be a smooth or quick transition. It could be if I just walked out, but walking out has its own consequences and challenges.
This is a lot of uncertainty, and uncertainty about my livelihood. And I am having to sit with it, because half of it I cannot control, and the half that I can I have done what I can do for now.
I hate uncertainty. Take the normal human response and add PTSD to it and I can experience so many negative effects, because my experience with the negative tends to be magnified. I was at a rodeo last night, and was crying as the women rode in with the rodeo flags. That’s not my normal response, it was a magnified emotional response, but it took me until today to realize that the uncertainty with the future of my company and my work is weighing on me that heavily, and that I am that emotionally disregulated.
But how grateful I am that I can now recognize it for what it is and continue to sit with the uncertainty.
Yesterday I completed the yoga session I had to stop in the middle because it was activating me. I’ve lost 2.5 lbs in 2 days. My resting heart rate is almost back down where I want it. I’m eating mindfully and not to cope. I’m drinking my water goals. I’m focusing on work deliverables and getting them out on a timeline I’m satisfied with. I’m saying no.
And this is in the middle of an emotionally challenging and physically tiring week. I’m taking a hard look at what I want and where I want to be and how I get there and who I get there with – and without.
I’m sitting and working on my laptop for long hours, I was in a three hour meeting last night and since I got back from the desert I’ve had very little time for things like cutting my nails and dealing with all of the sand that seems to be clogging my pores and cooking healthy meals. I’ve done those things anyway. I feel like I just have no time right now, which usually sends anxiety skyrocketing for me and freezes me. I’m still moving through my day, doing what I need to and doing things that take care of me, including sleeping and staying calm and reasoned instead of engaging with the thoughts that send anxiety skyrocketing out of control.
I quit drinking for now. It wasn’t a big decision, it just came up last night when I declined an offered drink because I decided I didn’t need that.
Understanding that alcohol is a social lubricant for a lot of people made me realize I don’t have that need, and the benefit to me of not drinking is enough right now to make me lose interest. Practicing mindfulness is really starting to pay off.
I’ve realized over the weekend that I can come across as cold. My guardedness toward potential triggers, being overwhelmed and not being able to control or escape things I don’t like leaves a bit of a snarky shell, and it’s not a good look.
As I’ve given myself the time to rest, sleep and dream so that my brain can get busy processing (and has it been busy processing!), revelations about what things I don’t like about myself are coming to the forefront. So.
I’m not sure how I feel about letting my guard down, but I do know I want to be less cold. I can pretend in social situations in which it feels expedient to be talkative and responsive, but none of that gets below the surface. So.
Time to practice being less cold.
I’ve been feeling change the last month or so, like it’s time to move into a new phase of recovery. Once upon a time I think I might have been who I was meant to be. I’m starting to feel like I’m there again. This there is different from that there, but I’m there, and I don’t want to be stuck in a place of not-fully-realized me.
I’m working out what it is that I want, what I can live with, what I can live for, how much capacity I really have and just how much I’m willing to let go.
If I ignore much of what my therapist says about how to put myself first, if I go my own way about this, if I stop fighting, if I move to a state of free – flow giving… What happens?
If I open my hands and let go, if I let what returns to me stay, if I don’t hold on but hold out a hand… What happens?
If I stopped worrying about how you feel or don’t feel about me and be who I am regardless, what happens?
If I stop worrying about whether I have enough to give and just give what’s there, what happens?
I don’t want to hold the negativity that surrounds me. I’d rather let it flow in and back out because it doesn’t have a place with me. I’d rather have so much outflow that it can’t flow in. I’d rather trust that God provides and that’s enough, one less thing to concern myself with and one more thing to observe with gratitude.