Neck Pain & DREAMS

I still feel like I was just in a car wreck, and I have a lot of neck and upper back pain. PTSD is a weird animal. I slept 12 hours last night and spent a lot of it dreaming about whether I experience schizophrenia. It was a main point in my dream sequence, questioning myself about it and evaluating and seeking out evaluation.

When I was diagnosed with PTSD I was evaluated for numerous mental health conditions, all of which were ruled out, including schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. I don’t believe that’s what I’m experiencing now, but I’m also curious as to why that condition specifically. I don’t know much about it so I’m not approaching the question with a lot of knowledge, and I’m not aware of knowing anyone with that diagnosis, so I don’t have personal experience to speak to. I don’t know why that was part of my unconscious processing. I don’t know what, if anything, it means.

I do know that this week, the anniversary of the trauma that got me an altered brain, has been painful and limiting. There are so many things that I want to do that I am not able to access because my body’s memory of being under life-ending threat is so powerful that it is blocking my attempts to live. I’m not even talking about jetting off on a last-minute weekend trip or kayaking on some of the fast rivers created by recent flooding, I’m talking about cleaning my floor and pulling out the cold weather clothes I’ll need for Monday. I’m listening to The Body Keeps Score, but I’m not making it through fast enough to know how to address this and what I can do differently. It feels like I’ve reached a sticking point in recovery – as in I AM STUCK and don’t know how to wiggle past. Somewhere in my brain below the trauma I have the desire to wiggle out and start living, but that desire is under a mountain of trauma that does not want to budge.

It’s Not Working

The motivation, the energy, the drive, the focus…it’s not there. What is there is the warm cocoon of my bed in the morning, which is much more appealing than what I feel like I’m facing every morning.

I lost a friend yesterday. I got that news shortly after I left the calmest come to Jesus meeting I’ve ever been part of. Said meeting was really hard, and I’m wondering if I need to start getting a little more loud and angry and a little less accommodating and understanding.

Am I trying to make it work or is it working for me?

I keep getting calls to revise a document that was fine the first time I wrote it. I don’t want to revise it anymore, it was not only fine the first time but good, and if you asked me to write it because you don’t feel that you have the ability, maybe just let me do this? It feels like that’s all work has been the past week, making unnecessary changes to perfectly fine documents I’ve written that do exactly what they need to do. I feel like I’ve wasted hours on this kind of thing lately, and I don’t want my time wasted like that.

Again, am I trying to make work work, or is it working for me?

At home, same thing, less of a question. It’s definitely not working for me. So I’ve been trying to make things work, and they really don’t. So those small changes are starting to lead to big changes, or I stay stuck trying to make it work. Which isn’t working for me.

It’s Rooted in Fear

You know the when you’ve been struggling with situations that you don’t really understand and are frustrated that the outcomes not only don’t match your expectations but you can’t really connect to the issue? Just me?

This week it’s been fear. The underlying issue in so many of the situations I’ve struggled through is fear. And I don’t immediately recognize it because I’m not connected to my center. I’m stressed, overwhelmed and straying from being present, so I can’t see it. Until I step away from the chaos, get a good sleep, take my time to wake up and…ah. There it is.

Fear.

Usually it’s me that’s fearful. This time it’s fear in others that I want to tackle head-on. I want them to be aware, to see it and to give it a name. And at some point it will come back to me, because choices will be made that will push me to choose, and fear will undoubtedly be part of the equation. What if it doesn’t work out? What if I’m not enough? What will I do next? What if I get hurt? What if it gets worse?

I have stayed stuck by fear for a long time. As I push my way out of it and work to open up my life and myself to a way of living that isn’t based in fear, I’m learning how often fear is at the root of an issue, and trying to be aware so I can give it a name and release it.

100 Days of Healing – Day 38

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.

100 Days of Healing – Day 32

Poor communication seems to be plaguing my life lately. As much as I want to blame everyone else and think that I am communicating perfectly, that probably isn’t the case.

However.

I am to the point in two particular situations that good or at least effective communication is required for me to move forward out of really stressful and draining circumstances and into a better opportunity for a fulfilling life. One of the moving forward situations has been dragging on much too long, in part due to lack of effective communication, including on my part. The other is a fairly newly draining situation, but one I refuse to stay in.

Because I have let people and circumstances drain the life out of me, and I am going to learn lessons from that and do things differently now. And differently also means recognizing that phone calls are only going in circles, so a different communication is needed. Time to put it in writing, which will also allow me to be clear, concise and impersonal – what is needed in this situation.

Onward.

Retail Therapy or Smart Move?

I’m about to blow some cash on makeup.

This is one of the days I just don’t have it in me. Work is high drama, grandma is high drama, I haven’t had much sleep and definitely no rest.

Although I stay fairly positive or let her constant negativity bounce off, I’m being pulled in a lot of directions, and I’m stuck in a dim apartment with no internet. My laptop replacement is on the way, my new phone is at my house, work is increasingly busy and I’m handling it all quite well.

But I cut desserts and mindless snacking, two of my comfort go -tos. Ugh.

I’ve had a rashy breakout around my eye for about six weeks, which I assumed was due to stress until I remembered this sometimes happens if my eye makeup gets contaminated. Usually a new tube sets me right, but this has been a little worse than usual and I want new everything. New makeup, new brushes, new bag, start over clean. And it feels a bit silly to spend that money when so much is up in the air at the moment, but…

I think that’s what I need today.