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Tuesday, April 29, 2008


I talked to Tito last night. I was telling him how I feel, personally, that I'm doing really well. He mentioned that my blog seems melancholy for one who is doing so well...

This blog has become an amazing tool for me, especially when it comes to managing symptoms of PTSD. My biggest problem with the disorder is that the feelings and ideas I experience when it is manifesting itself are absolutely real. But my head is telling me the entire time that I'm imagining things--which intensifies any emotions I'm feeling and usually ends up making the ideas even more extreme. The conflict itself adds fuel to the fire until I feel I've lost all control and end up overwhelmed and frustrated. So I've learned that if, when I feel the first nudge of a symptom, I write something--anything, really--that deals with some aspect of the feelings that are stirring about, often I'm able to make it through without the episode becoming full-blown. In short, by addressing it before it happens, I'm often able to navigate what comes in fine form (and if you've never experienced PTSD or anything close to it, you have no idea what I'm talking about, and I'm not able right now to explain, so I apologize for my vagueness).

The real picture is never seen as I spill out the negativity here. Honestly, I feel more whole than I have in a long time, and that feeling increases daily. The amazing thing, to me, is that this process is taking place amidst a period of huge stress. Adam just had surgery, Darrin began a new job a couple of weeks ago and we've seen him a total of about four days in the past couple of weeks--and he won't be home until Friday. My workload has been excessive and I've gotten behind as I deal with Adam, Darrin's absence, DJ's trip to San Francisco, and Tabitha's daily emotional trauma. Nonetheless, I feel very happy with how I continue to heal. I am definitely getting better.

Not long ago, as I left Therapist's office, the twelve-year-old inside me defiantly declared that I would not have PTSD. I was going to overcome it. I knew, of course, when I said it, how silly it sounded. I knew it wasn't true. I knew I was simply protesting something that was not going away. Still, Therapist looked me in the eye and said, "You probably will overcome it. That wouldn't surprise me at all. Be sure you take notes, though. I want this recorded." I thought he was probably making fun of me. He insists that he wasn't. Perhaps it's not an impossibility. Therapist keeps reminding me that I've lived my life beating the odds. He sees no reason for that to stop. When he reminds me of that, I spend about fifteen minutes adoring him for believing in me, and about fifteen days hating him for issuing the challenge.

Yesterday during my run the weather was gorgeous and three butterflies were keeping me company. I stopped running for no particular reason, and spun around until dizziness left me lying in the grass. I looked at the incredibly blue sky, scarred by dark silhouettes of seagulls, a hawk, and tiny songbirds. I looked next to my left shoulder and found one of my butterflies quietly flexing it's wings. As it seemed to be waiting for me, I got up and finished my course, laughing out loud as I ran down a steep, gravelly hill, simply because I could. There is joy in being alive.


  1. Samantha, you are truly an amazing, wonderful person!

    Thanks for posting this one.

  2. What an upbeat post. :) I loved it.