Each bout of PTSD begins with an intense need to connect with people I love. I start missing them, wanting to talk with them--to BE with them. This is followed by certainty that those feelings are displaced, not reciprocated and just plain wrong. Even in this moment, after being told by people that they wish to spend time with me, I am overwhelmed by the feeling that they have said something untrue.
Yes. It is beginning again.
I want to scream--rant about the unfairness of it all--run for hours without stopping...
I'll probably just take a few minutes and cry, instead, and then, while I'm still me, I will make a list of things I will do to stay healthy, ideas of how to cope with the feelings, and I'll probably end up pleading with the Big Guy to make this PTSD episode as short as possible.
Therapist says to remember to take time for me, and to do positive, building things in those moments. And he says in this case, taking time for me means spending time with people who help me feel whole. I have enough alone time. This seems an impossible assignment. I have yet to do it successfully.
One time Therapist asked me what helps the most when PTSD is bothering me. I surprised myself with the answer. I told him just sitting quietly beside someone who loves me...sometimes touching, sometimes not. I didn't know I felt that way. I still wonder why that's what helps. I think, maybe, it's because in that moment I feel cared for by someone else, someone who is demonstrating a desire to spend time with me even in my worst moments--I don't have to be the only one who cares about me--which frees me to work through the feelings and sort out the destructive ones which are untrue. I'm not sure this makes sense.
1. I will go to bed early enough to sleep at least 7 hours nightly. During PTSD bouts, it's not unheard of for me to average 12 hours in a week. No one can be sane on that amount of sleep.
2. I will be militant about my study/meditation/prayer times. Sometimes, when PTSD is at its worst, I can't sit that long which means my day usually ends in misery. I think getting enough sleep will help with this.
3. I will moderately exercise and not give in to the impulse to run every time things feel stressful. I need to find other ways to work through stress.
4. I will eat at least one meal daily.
5. I will make an effort to speak with at least one person every day. This means I will have a real conversation, and does not include communication necessary to get Darrin off to work and the kids to seminary and school. This conversation needs to include laughing at some point.
6. I will read a book which makes me smile.
7. I will remember I am loved.
8. I will remember I am loved.
9. I will remember I am loved.
10. I will remember I am loved...
I am not going to be afraid of this. I don't have to love it, but if PTSD plans to stay in my life for awhile, I will do whatever is necessary to maintain my sense of self-worth while it is present. Wish me luck?