So I did the things I'm supposed to do to help me manage the feelings and stress which come when PTSD is more intense than usual, and they helped.
I talked to people, made a call list, took naps when I had trouble sleeping at night, stayed active, and spent time with friends and family. I wrote and meditated and read books. I had gratitude.
And today I woke up and realized this particular episode didn't last as long, nor was it as severe as the last.
I don't understand why the list works, but because I did the things on it, here are good things that happened.
1. I let my online friends know what was happening. Some of you took time to express sympathy and offer support. Some let me know I could call. AtP made sure he told me he loves me every day. And he let me tell him all the silly things that were going on in my life, even though he was really busy. I was grateful for the contact from everyone--even if it was as simple as a comment on my blog.
2. I made a call list. And I called a couple of people. Darrin had to leave for the week, and I usually try not to bother him when he's gone, but this time I called him just to talk about nothing--and we did for nearly an hour. It was nice. Other people I know well let me know I was welcome to call--some that I don't know as well also told me it was okay. I didn't call very many people, mostly because it's hard for me, but it still felt nice to know I could if I wanted to.
3. I went out to eat with different friends. We didn't always talk about me. It really felt that there was an equal sharing from between us. I felt valued, not needy.
4. I spent time with DJ and Adam. Tabitha and Darrin were gone so it was just the three of us. Sometimes DJ was at work so Adam and I spent time together. I think my kids are so much fun.
5. Sully came to his piano lesson and we ended up spending much of the day together. He came with me while I taught my music history class (and listened--and participated--and told me I was a great teacher--this is a true friend!), then we spent an hour just talking, then we went to lunch and talked some more. It felt really nice to know he was willing to take time for me.
6. I only got angry once. Unfortunately it happened when Tolkien Boy asked me a personal question. But I thought about the question overnight, and took time to answer it, and in doing so I worked out some of the things that were bothering me. I wish I knew how to do this without getting really angry with the person who triggers the need to figure things out. I wish I could finish the process without feeling that I've acted like a complete idiot. Still, maybe in time that will work itself out. And I think Tolkien Boy will forgive me, even if he decides he doesn't want to talk to me as much--which would be completely understandable.
So today I can breathe again. Life feels normal...well...as normal as my life ever is...