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Thursday, March 31, 2011

Sometimes things actually work.

This will be brief because I'm tired and I need to sleep; but I want to record this because it's new and I think it's important.

About three days ago I was feeling overwhelmed. There were a number of side issues contributing to that. It's not unusual for me, in this situation, to be hit with PTSD symptoms which I'm unable to manage. I end up feeling helpless and miserable and playing the waiting game while I try to figure out which of the emotions I'm feeling are real and which are artificial.

However, when the symptoms hit and the destructive thought processes began, I found myself thinking almost automatically, "This is PTSD. It's not real." And to my amazement, the symptoms began to subside. Within minutes I was no longer troubled by them. I've been able to reproduce this reaction almost every time the symptoms have been presented for three days.

I'm not sure what to think. It seems almost too easy--but then I remember I've been working toward this for nearly five years now--constantly working. I've researched and experimented and built emergency preparedness kits (translation: I've had people I love write down reasons they care for me, and they've answered specific questions about their feelings toward our friendship and interactions, and I've internalized them as well as made them accessible for reading in difficult moments) and meditated and prayed and built positive switches into my brain to be used when negative thoughts become unmanageable. To say this was easy would be incorrect. It has been one of the most difficult things I've had to learn--and I know difficult intimately.

Certainly this isn't the end. I'll have to keep practicing and no doubt there will be colossal failures in the near future. But everything aligned somehow, to make the things I've put in place suddenly begin working. The key word here is "begin." It's a place to start. I've mapped the conditions under which this took place, and I've noted what was going on in my life. I'm not sure those things are relevant, but if I want to consistently reproduce this reaction, I have to remember all the details.

The really amazing thing for me is that this happened when my life is emotionally in disarray, I'm as weak as I've ever been, I'm unsure of people and life and relationships right now--but still I was able to manage PTSD symptoms with amazing success. This is good.

And I think this blog is a key player. Having a place where I can say whatever I want is incredibly helpful. Then anything negative or scary or sad gets out and those things, when trapped inside me, seem to feed the symptoms until I can do nothing but wait until they subside. It's good to have a place to talk.

Okay--going to bed now. Good night.


  1. Super cool! I'm glad that you posted about this. I love how things have changed for you! Amazing.