First: A couple of people have asked what the Christmas Carol giveaway is, and I've taken compassion on them and not referenced last year's Christmas posts, mostly because I think I deleted them along with a bunch of other posts. So, briefly, this is when I email you a Christmas Carol every day until Christmas. And no, I don't know if this is legal, but most of the carols I'm sending are public domain, I think. But just in case they're not, don't sell them or do anything like unto it.
Naturally, if you're opting in I'll need you're email address. If you leave me a comment that links back to your blog, I'll use whatever email address is listed there, so if you want it sent to a different address, you'll have to let me know either by listing that address in my comments, or emailing me (and I send it all bcc, just in case someone wants to keep their address private).
I try to send less well-known versions of carols and am toying with the idea of including one or two trash-with-flash piano recordings I did a couple of years ago (apologies to anyone who already has a CD of those--I'm duplicating).
Anyway, let me know if you're in--the list has begun. If you're interested, I'd love to add you.
Second: New milestone passed and it's an odd one. I passed through a rather horrible bout of PTSD symptoms last week. What I'm beginning to realize is that when those happen now, they're usually followed by some sort of therapeutic breakthrough. I'd love to say this always brings joy and relief. Unfortunately, this is not the case, but progress is progress even when it's painful.
Following the most recent recession of symptoms, I recognized a number of things:
1. During the PTSD episode I was agonizing over my inability to express/confide/discuss things of personal emotional importance with people closest to me. After the episode I found myself no longer stressed about it. The truth of the matter is, most people aren't interested anyway--even those those who are closest to us. They listen because they love us, but that's pretty much the only reason. There was a part of me dying to share the things of my heart. I realize now that there's really no point to that. I'd be speaking simply to fulfill my own desires, not because the person wished to have the knowledge I imparted--and that's not sharing, it's just talking. I'm not sure, exactly, what this means nor where it will lead, but at least I'm not trying to force my inane trivia on anyone anymore and that is a very good thing.
2. I'm no longer afraid of what, three weeks ago, I would have deemed the negative aspects of friendships. I'm recognizing the wisdom in allowing people to go away and return--how long the absences are and how frequent the returns are up to the people involved and based on how busy their personal lives are. I've always known it was impractical and unfair of me to wish for people to remain in my life indefinitely. Knowing this has not made my understanding of that friendship dynamic any stronger. Following a number of thoughts and experiences last week (during the PTSD time), I'm recognizing that my ideals are not sound nor healthy and I need to allow natural developments in my friendships without agony, anger, or rancor. It's something to work on, and I will. The important thing is that now, finally, I can consider doing so without wanting to rant or scream or run away from it all. This is progress, maybe.
3. While I'm continuing to move forward, emotionally, and complete therapy tasks, I'm also continuing to fail physically. My fatigue level is not improving and I've reverted to a number of negative ways to cope with stress. Today, as a result of clenching and grinding, I managed to break a tooth. This bring the tally to: three cracked teeth, one broken, and several small cavities. In addition, I find myself sometimes going a couple of days without remembering to eat, and I've started sleepwalking again (thank you, Darrin, for bringing this to my attention even though I'd really rather not know). My anxiety about being in crowds and touching people is escalating, and I'm finding myself nauseated to the point of vomiting when stress becomes unmanageable. On the bright side--no flashbacks, still, but something (or maybe more than one thing) is obviously causing me some distress and Therapist let me know about ten days ago, that he's tentatively planning to leave for vacation on the day I scheduled my appointment with him.
4. I will be all right. Finally, this assurance is back. Sometimes I say it simply to make sure I still believe it, and often when I say it I'm really wishing someone could rescue me so I don't have to do this by myself (whatever "this" may be), but I know that's not possible, and in the moment I'm just feeling inadequate and lonely. It's good, though, even when the certainty is small, that I'm finally feeling that I can make it through whatever is happening now and whatever might develop in the future.
There is some lingering depression, which I believe is understandable. Some of it stems from disappointment that my outcome is not going to be what I wished. Some of it is a result of fatigue. I'm keeping an eye on it and should it become unmanageable, I'll talk to my doctor about steps I can take to find relief. Until that time I'm remembering that people often feel sadness, it's a part of life, and I am no different from anyone else.
And now I'm hoping that I can have a tiny vacation from PTSD for awhile. I know that's not how it works. I'm hoping for it anyway.