Today I’m not pretty

Today is not a good day, there is nothing specifically wrong, no calamity to write of but I am off center.
A panic attack has been creeping up on me for weeks, let’s be real I’ve been dealing with PTSD and anxiety for more than a year now. Recently there have been a few blips on my radar, heightened physical pain which increases my anxiety and feeling of uselessness, my thoughts are tangled and the circle of all of this exhausts me.
Here is the normal sequence:
Physical Pain = migraine+anxiety+depression = fighting off Panic=exhaustion and the feeling of futility=Anxiety = physical pain +migraine+depression = fighting off Panicexhaustion and the feeling of futility

It’s never fun.
Seeing me in daily life or reading some of my posts may not allow people to see this underlying battle which goes on in my world.
I look somewhat normal, I might look like I have a bit of a stiff neck or back.
Hopefully I’ve pulled that off, hopefully I’m appearing “normal”.
I work hard at this, my children don’t need to be reminded every other second that Mommy is in pain. They worry enough as it is.
Is it healthy to live like this?
Perhaps not, I am seeing a new therapist this week and am hopeful that she can help me with this circle.
A friend wrote to me today : “Many suffer in silence.Writing about it could be beneficial. There is such a stigma attached to it as if its a weakness but it is real & more common that most admit.”
I’m pretty open about my pain, in fact at times I remind people but do I really deal with the anxiety, panic and residual physiological effects of chronic physical pain?
Probably not, I’ve been praying for God to guide me in this and He provided this new psychotherapist so again there is hope.
Today I can only apply Step 1,2&3 to my situation:
  • Admit I am powerless over this anxiety/pain/depression – my life has become unmanageable
  • Come to believe that God can restore me to sanity/health
  • Make a decision to turn my will and my life our to the care of God
Perhaps you’re saying “What does that mean?”
To me, just for today that means being quiet, performing necessary tasks, praying and resting my body. I must quiet my mind and lower my expectations of myself and other, trusting that God will guide me through this.
I have been here before and will not ignore the dark feelings and emotions which are threatening to overwhelm me, I will use the tools of relaxation I’ve learned and give my fears over to God.
Today I haven’t showered, I haven’t eaten well, I cannot remember much of my morning.
Today I am not pretty, eloquent, witty, filled with joy.
Today I will not write a piece of prose to be proud of.
Today I am not going to be conquering the world.
Today I am not going to be able to run with my children nor to pick them up for a hug.
Today I cannot tie my own shoes.
Today I cannot make a lovely dinner for my family.
But I am here today, exactly as I am and I will cope with it all.
I will be here in this journey.
I am not defined my muscle pain, by my confused mind, by my fears.
I am here deep within the journey which is my life surrounded by my awesome loving family and friends.
There are many things I can focus upon, to be grateful for rather than focusing upon the pressures of this recovery of mine. Other’s expectations of my recovery must not be allowed to overwhelm me.
This journey is mine and I know that I am doing my best to return to full health but that isn’t going to happen today.
Today I will rest and focus upon the Love I’m blessed with.
Matthew 11:28-30 “Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest until your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

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37 Responses

  1. I'm just so happy to read about the "new therapist"Sometimes we see one and if it is not the right fit, we stop. It can take many tries. We're all human – but you seem to know that it is worth the struggle.I have not blogged about this, nor do I ever talk about it – (your post leaves me wondering why) – Last January I applied for disability as I have a genetic back disease that has progressed within the past two years. I'm not fond of the "back/spine" surgery option, despite it being conducted at Mayo – So, for now, I have chosen to "cope"Some days are far worse than other. Today is one of them………….My next line in this post would be WRITE WRITE WRITE!!! Though I have not taken my own advice.Thank you for the courage to post this and potentially allow me to talk about this. Odd, though, isnt it – we're an open book when it comes to recoveryI don't get it…………..~d

  2. Today you are brave. Today you are honest. Today you are strong in your faith. Today your words will help someone else. Today – because of you – I have been blessed. xoxo

  3. I love that verse at the end, and it seems to fit so perfectly here. I too am excited about the new therapist coming into your life. Hopefully he/she will be what helps you. I'm praying for you!

  4. You write so eloquently that I don't even know how to respond. You are beautiful inside and out and I look forward to getting to know you better. Keep your head up. We're here if you need a helping hand. :)

  5. I'll be praying for and with you too! ((((hugs))))I know the feelings, I've been struggling today too… it doesn't come as hard or often as it used to but the feeling still comes, and it is usually accompanied with pain in my shoulder and head.I write gratitude lists, chat with my sponsor and a close friend, pray pray pray, and just keep an eye on where I see God working and give lots of gratitude and compliments on his work. In no time I'm back in the flow… I hope :)

  6. Progress, never perfection. Thank you for showing us that you are human also. Many days I'm off my game, and I've finally learned that it's ok to be off. I spent years drinking and trying to appear perfect, now that's just too exhausting to imagine. You are beautiful, and capable, even when you feel your worst. Just know that when you feel down and out, that is when God holds you in the palm of his hand. Hugs!

  7. My heart broke as I read this. I know you didn't write it for that reason, but through your writing I have grown to care about you. I believe God is using you, not just to help and touch those who suffer from an addiction, but to inspire many to face the things we must all deal with. If God allows you to be in this pain, He will use it. He never gives you more than you can handle. So keep on handling, one day at a time. I too will be praying for you, daily.

  8. Thanks for sharing, love the honesty! Your approach is right on the mark. In Buddhism, inter peace comes when we stop fighting our suffering. The process is about looking the suffering square in the eye, seeing it for what it is, acknowledge the feelings and knowing every things is impermanent. I understand it isn't easy but it is nice to hear you taking this healthy approach. PTSD us nothing to be ashamed of and is very common. Hopefully the stigma of it lessens as more people talk about it honestly like you have done. Prayers and Blessings.

  9. @wolfie185 I appreciate your outlook, it's exactly what I was thinking to myself yesterday. I admitted my exhaustion, rested and regrouped. Today is new and fresh and writing about it has seemed to help.

  10. Thank you for your honesty and your transparency Julie. It is rare to find a Christian who is (it pains me to say) honest these days, in our subculture of "speaking in faith" – which to me is a euphemism for "living in denial." Pain happens. For some it happens more than for others and I've found that most in the church tend to be uncomfortable with hearing about someone's suffering WHILE they're going through it; they only want to hear about it AFTER it's over and God has awesomely zapped the individual and they have a "testimony". I'm more inclined to think that a better testimony is a continued trust in God while being honest and open about the pain that plagues on a continual basis.Your courage is a testament to the faithfulness of God. Such a blessing!

  11. I hope your new therapist is a positive thing for you. And I think if writing it out helps, then writing it out you should do!

  12. Thanks for sharing Julie even though life is not great. I have suffered from depression on and off for a number of years and you're right, it ain't pretty. Keeping you in my thoughts x

  13. @Judy (Lazarus)Well Judy after years of hiding from myself and others I cannot do that anymore. I would hope that my blog is raw at times and at others fun and witty. I guess that's who God wants me to be these days.Thanks for your comment, it was a new perspective for me.

  14. @LizHiya girlfriend, it did help, it helped me to put it in persepctive and give myself permission to give in and rest. Thing is that I forget alot and by writing it I will read it later and appreciate the good days more

  15. @MATA Know what is funny, life is great, even in the dark days I feel blessed on a whole just to be alive to experience it.Thank you for sharing with me my friend, we're not alone.

  16. I think its good to share your struggles and fears ~ I recently read a blog that encouraged "suffering in silence", and I fully disagree with that.I can relate somewhat to your PTSD struggle… if you have time, you should read my post "Bittersweet" ~ it gives a little insight into a traumatic experience in my life. I suffered a lot with anxiety in particular.Nice to meet you. I'm Jenny from Jenny's Blessed Nest, visiting from the Red Dress link-up. :)

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