That being said, I still struggle throughout each day to stay on top of the emotions and other symptoms brought on by stress and PTSD. And I've not successfully been able to manage the nightmares that keep me from sleeping at night.
For awhile now I've had difficulty with nearly every relationship in my life--and I've lost closeness in some of my most important relationships. I think this is partially because I'm unpredictable, emotional, and moody. No one likes spending time with people like that.
I tried to mend some of the relationships with mediocre success--then I wallowed in self-pity while I missed the things that I could not mend. But I think I'm finished with that.
This weekend was very difficult. I realize as I write this that pretty much every weekend for many months, has been very difficult. And the days in between, too. But there were extenuating circumstances that made this particular weekend difficult.
I awoke this morning, exhausted and frustrated--definitely not ready for a day of wrangling with investment companies who made mistakes on tax documents for my client; and not ready to talk to student loan companies for another client; and really, really, not wanting to do the online work waiting for me.
As I waded through piles of paperwork for a client, called an attorney, met with the client, and made more telephone calls, I left 10% of my brain thinking about me. That 10% made some a decision.
I don't believe anyone would argue that my life has taken a turn into desperately trying circumstances over the past two years. That being said, I've spent a great deal of time being angry about this. I've ranted and wept and said it's not fair. And it didn't make me feel any better.
Today when I went to the gym I saw a blind man swimming. I'm not blind. He noticed my presence, smiled, and said, "I hope you're having a wonderful day." I thought for a moment; my body was in pain, my tendon was screaming at me, and I was dreading work. But I can see. I told him I was and wished him the same.
The decision made by the 10% of my brain which was thinking about me, was this: It's time for me to look for the good things.
I've lost closeness in some of my relationships. But I HAD those relationships and they were joyful and delightful and I learned a million things about love and trust and life while we were close.
I've lost financial security. But I've never been without a job or a way to get a job. I've gained new students, I'll be teaching at the university in the fall, I have my online job and finance/tax clients. I have debts that need to be paid--some have been sent to collection--but in time, I will pay them. I have a ruined credit rating, but I have nothing I need to buy right now that requires a pristine credit rating. I have all my needs met.
I'm still struggling with physical problems in my leg. But I can walk and run (on a limited basis) and I'm healthy in every other way. I've always been able to manage pain. This is something I can work through.
I'm not sleeping well at night, but my job allows me to take short naps during the day in a sunlit room which inhibits nightmares and allows me to continue working. And someday, if I'm able to access the tools I put in place a few years ago, I'll be able to manage the nightmares and sleep better at night.
I have difficulty maintaining friendships. But I think lots of people encounter this problem and I've decided not to blame PTSD--or just me--for this. Friendship is a two-way street. I can only take responsibility for me. Being my friend is not an easy thing. I ask uncomfortable questions, discuss topics that others might avoid, and I'm honest about what I'm feeling--even when what I feel is not what someone else might want to hear. But at least they don't have to guess. And I suppose it's a positive thing that I allow people to go when they're ready. Maybe. I mean, I try to talk things out, but if it's clear that I'm the only one talking, I understand when it's time to say good bye. I guess I'm saying, I really do try to accommodate the feelings and schedules of people I love, even when that means things don't work out as I might hope.
It's time for me to read more books about magic and adventure, play more pieces that make my heart sing along, invent recipies with beautiful food, smell more roses, take more walks, and drown myself in the sky. Circumstances, peopole, and PTSD aside, it's time for me to live in the Happy.