A Look Inside Living with PTSD

It’s been 6 years since I was in a car accident that left me to live with post-concussive syndrome, muscular injuries and PTSD. Over those years I’ve had countless types of therapies and thankfully my life has improved on physical, spiritual and emotional levels. Today I was re-reading blog articles I had written during the early days and I found one which struck me in the heart. It grabbed me with the cold hand of fear that PTSD is founded in and began to pull back all of those old, dark feelings.

Today I’m sharing that moment in time with you all, hoping that by sharing my own experience they can see what it’s like living with PTSD on some level.  My recovery has been slow going and it’s not done…but oh how far I’ve come.

Depositphotos 46626775 l 2015

PTSD is something I was diagnosed with in May of 2010 when I visited a therapist who sat me down and did a simple checklist with me. Imagine that that one Big Black thing can be determined with a checklist.
What it is like in my head is so difficult to describe because words get mixed up in my head, it has been almost impossible to describe because it is unclear to me.
I lose words.
As I write blog entries I have volumes of words in my head and just cannot get them out, they elude me. So I tend to type paragraphs or sentences while Chapters are locked in this prison of my mind.
It is a very dark place which I rarely explore outside of therapist offices where they seem to have the right questions, the ones that open the cell door a bit.
But it hasn’t changed on a day to day basis.
If I had a new ball of yarn, tightly and neatly rolled I can easily begin to knit a scarf.
Now I take that new ball of yarn and allow a puppy to play with it for an hour it would still be a ball of yarn with the same length, color and overall properties but it would have imperfections.
I can still use this yarn to knit a scarf that will keep me warm but the imperfections can be apparent if you look closely and the strength may not be the same.
A glimpse:
I have a phone in which all my appointments are stored as are daily tasks such as picking up my kids from school, eating, sending paperwork, calling a friend to help with paperwork.
I lose time.
For example, last week I had a form to fill out to send away to the car insurance company.
It was a very straightforward form but I would have to access other forms in my file folder to access my policy numbers and other information.
I sat down to do this with the file folder beside me, everything I do has to be organized and focused.
Got up to get a pen and ended up in a different room of the house doing something entirely different with no idea how I got sidetracked. I didn’t even realize until I walked past the table with the file folder on it, I was immediately angry at this lost time.
I sat to complete this task.
A while later my heart rate was up, my right leg was bouncing, I was becoming frantic because I just couldn’t understand it. I had rifled through my file folder countless times to find my Policy number which I knew was on so many of the pages in there yet couldn’t find it. I couldn’t remember how many times I’d looked through it. Did I look through it? I think I did. Try again.
My phone beeped to let me know I had to pick up my daughter in an hour from school.
What??? I’d lost 2.5 hours!
The pressure was too much, a huge breath exploded from me, I pushed up from the kitchen table knocking over my chair, I was furious!!! My head was pounding, there was stabbing pain at the base of my neck and my back was in spasm. My hands were tingling, the black doom was closing in upon me.
Failure again.
I ran to the bathroom and ran the cold water over my inner wrists, breathing in through my nose and out through my mouth, crying silent dry sobs. Then I was numb, breathing normally I washed my splotchy red face and reapplied my makeup.
I went to the kitchen and took Extra strength Tylenol which does almost nothing to help but I don’t take the anti-spasmodic medication for my back because all of the meds make me a zombie.  I then sat in the Sleekcliner trying to relax in my numbness and lost time until the alarm rang telling me I had only 15 minutes to pick up my daughter.
15 minutes until I had to be Mom.
The Mom I want to be, the smiling, patient Mom. Not the numb, auto pilot Mom.
So I put on the happy Mask and prepared to give my daughters the memories they deserve knowing that God provides me the strength and until I can truly experience it, I will mimic it for them.
Just typing this makes me uneasy, it’s the tip of the iceberg for me.
I don’t want to address the iceberg, I implement controls for my daily activities remaining hopeful that one day the PTSD will give up this lock on me.

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