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.

Obtrusive Grief

My experience with PTSD has included a lot of grief, which tends to be delayed in presenting itself for processing. If I’m stressed (most of the time), if I don’t feel safe (a lot of the time) or if I feel like I have to have my performance face on (also most of the time), my ability to grieve trauma isn’t there… until it is. Usually when I have other things to do, or find it inconvenient to have a tear – streaked face.

I had the weekend off. Actually off, as in no working and no grandma. I hiked, I napped, I went to church for the first time in a while, I slept… all supposedly restorative or restful things. So I was annoyed by increasingly severe anxiety this afternoon. I woke up with anxiety, it ramped up through the morning and after a four hour nap I couldn’t even make myself go to the store for some aloe gel for my sunburned shoulders.

I thought it was because I had to be back at grandma’s tonight, and I’m almost at my limit of being able to be pleasant while dealing with her situation. I get treated like a custodial parent, with a lot more worrying and nagging about how much money my family is spending (which, thankfully, we can afford, but she cannot, and she will not let up about it).

Grief hit me hard, and suddenly. I realized I was grieving for the relationship I lost when my forever turned abusive. The fingers my brother lost in an accident. I don’t even know what else… maybe the part of my brain I lost from the car wreck? I couldn’t stop crying.

And when I needed to sit with the grief and cry it out, I had to get in my car and get back to grandma’s for my shift, which has no space to grieve.

My life, interrupted has pushed off so much of what I need to do to heal, and I’m not that surprised it’s starting to bubble out at inconvenient moments. I wish it were easier to schedule, but trauma processing never is.

Anxiety Days

A hail storm knocked our power out last night. I was knitting and watching tv when marble-sized hail started pounding the roof, and I was so glad my trees were still inside waiting for warmer nights to arrive. It wasn’t terribly hard to sleep since it was quiet and pitch black, and we got the lights back on this morning.

I’ve had severe anxiety all day.

I stopped taking Xanax, so I don’t really have the reset. This is anxiety that doesn’t respond to exercise. It has a lot to do with current work stress. Being mindful helps me take slow steps forward, but still doesn’t stop the spinning and the desire to freeze.

It’s beautiful out, if windy. It’s a great day to hike. I’m inside, still in pajamas, having worked slowly this morning into afternoon and napped late afternoon.

Maybe tomorrow. But not today. And really, that’s fine.

Work Causes Me Anxiety… But Deadlines

I have residual anxiety from this weekend’s meltdown, and the down side to quitting Xanax is that I have a hard time resetting after the bad triggers. I’m still up and down a bit today. And super anxious about meeting work deadlines.

In an alternate universe in which I don’t have PTSD, it’s not a big deal, I sit down and knock it out. In this universe I have a really hard time focusing, I need a nap, yoga somehow put me more on edge, I need two days completely by myself in quiet, I’d rather go for a walk, and about that nap…

I know I can do this. History says I will do this, and do it fine. But anxiety says no, and that shit is loud in my head.