100 Days of Healing – Day 82

I don’t know if you can completely heal from PTSD. I don’t know if I can. I’m certainly making the best effort I can, but since I’m still untangling the bundle of trauma that wrecked my neuron paths after a couple of years in therapy, maybe that’s just not in the cards, and the best I’ll get is fairly successful management of a condition I wouldn’t wish on anyone.

It’s so damn limiting at times.

I’m back to not being able to intentionally exercise because I’m so adverse to it. When my car hydroplaned my heart rate was… high is an understatement… and now if I’m in a heightened alert state, upping my heart rate is a trigger. Makes my fitness goals a challenge. And it’s not always, but it’s frequent, and it takes so much work to get myself calm sometimes that I don’t have any energy left.

Since I’m an introvert and people drain me, going out in public is hard for me. I can (thankfully) do it for work when I need to, but I need recovery time after. It’s pretty limiting.

So I’m not living the life I want, but at the same time I’m living my best life right now. I’m the most wholehearted I’ve ever been, and despite the recent setback, the most healed I’ve been in a long time. I’m slowly adopting and sticking to healthy lifestyle changes that I didn’t think I could do. So at least there’s that.

100 Days of Healing – Day 74

Healing from PTSD is not easy, and it’s not a linear process. I would prefer it were, because it’s hard to be making progress and have a setback. It’s like tripping and going face first on the ground when you’re walking and starting to think about speeding up.

I’ve been dealing with a lot of anxiety this week. I’ve made so much progress in managing anxiety that I’d forgotten how bad it can be and how exhausting. My therapist checked with me on Monday if I’m still using Xanax? I haven’t touched it this year. But this week I could have, I had such a hard time managing it.

I wiped out today. I slept late, went to see a movie with my mom, got super car sick/ low blood sugar sick on the way home, ate something and went to bed.

Have I mentioned how much I hate keto? My body does not like low carb.

I watched TV for a bit then napped for a few hours until a call woke me up. I ate dinner, then went back to bed, still wiped out. I felt every bit of mentally ill that I am.

BUT.

I took it for what it was, a reminder to slow down and let my body catch up. A chance to practice self care. A lesson in the benefits of mindfulness and putting myself first. Loving myself and showing myself compassion. New and good things.

100 Days of Healing – Day 66

This is the first full week I’ve worked in six months. Over 40 hours, fully engaged, up early, up late, driving lots of miles, handling difficult aspects of projects and wading into conflict to resolve it rather than pass it off to someone else with blame.

While on a new diet that takes away food as a crutch and while resolving some challenging personal shit.

Feels good.

100 Days of Healing – Day 22

I went for a really hot three hour walk this morning. After hot rock climbing two days ago my leg muscles are still sore, and my feet hurt from putting nearly 20 miles on them in three days.

I could have been miserable for a good bit of that walk, and the last mile and a half back to the house was scorching. I chose instead to meditate, to be mindful and to embrace the challenge. And the heat.

100 Days of Healing – Day 15

I have taken my sweet time to read it, but I’m back to working through The Mindfulness Toolbox: 50 Practical Tips, Tools and Handouts for Anxiety, Depression & Pain.

This section struck me, because it speaks directly to the blurb I wrote about my blog about being a person that likes to get from point A to point B:

An outcome orientation is focused on the future, which often produces worry or anxiety about achieving a desired outcome. In a very real way, it saps the enjoyment and curiosity out of the experience itself.

Learning how to change focus from outcome to present-moment process can be a powerful experience. Most importantly, it reduces anxiety that comes from focusing on expectations and outcome-oriented thinking.

Here are a few examples of outcome orientation:

  • Learning for the sake of getting that “A” on a test or report card
  • Finishing a work task on time
  • Focusing solely on a sports training goal or time
  • Getting that promotion at work
  • Receiving the highest review from a supervisor
  • Making sure the house is always spotless
  • Comparing one’s progress against that of others

By shifting awareness to the most minute and tiniest details of one’s experience, the process orientation comes into the foreground. This practice also trains the brain to stay in the moment.

I knew I needed to make an orientation adjustment, and now I know why.

100 Days of Healing – Day 8

I spent the entire Summer Solstice inside, and most of it in a dimly lit room. I’m grateful that I have so much room for improvement. Yoga was not helpful yesterday, it was activating. So I stopped.

I started listening to Brené Brown’s book The Power of Authenticity yesterday. She’s a shame researcher and a delightfully authentic human. In her work she’s found that we experience shame the same way we experience trauma, and I want to heal from shame as much as I want to heal from trauma. I’m starting to understand why they often go hand in hand.

I wanted to do a yoga session and thought that would be within my bandwidth today. 11 minutes in, I realized I was getting activated on my way to a trigger, I was hot and sweaty but not in an “I’m exercising” way, I wasn’t enjoying it and was actually starting to be rather miserable.

I wanted to push through, because yoga is supposed to be a good thing, it isn’t supposed to be activating, it’s supposed to help me connect to my body, I didn’t want to be a quitter, it wasn’t even a hard practice…also I am too fat to get into some of the poses, I can’t believe I can’t do this right now, I’ll never be able to get my life on track…

Ah. The shame gremlins she talked about. The thoughts that make me = bad and wrong and not good enough.

I stopped the session. Yoga wasn’t right for me yesterday. Maybe because I was in the process of learning about shame and realizing how much shame I feel about my body. Maybe because I needed more rest (I hiked for two hours the day before). Maybe because I needed to experience recognizing what is good for me and what is not good for me and acting on that for myself, not because someone else said that was the way to do it.