My story, my battle with PTSD, Depression, and Anxiety. The Road To Mental Wellness: Good friend The Road to Mental Wellness
Showing posts with label Good friend. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Good friend. Show all posts

Sunday, 18 August 2019

No escape: real time PTSD trigger.

No escape: real time PTSD trigger.

Today I am meeting with an old high school friend for lunch, one I have kept in touch with for all these years. I am sitting at a table waiting for them, surrounded by a see of lunchtime patrons enjoying time with their friends and loved ones.

As beautiful as a time they all appear to be having, the byproduct of all their commotion is reverberating right through to the core of my PTSD.

My PTSD shot off like a track star at the starting line of a race when I first entered the restaurant and was met with a blood-curdling scream from the mouth of a toddler.

Recommended ReadingThe Body Keeps The Score

Instantly triggered and with nowhere to go because my dinner mates have not yet arrived, I am trapped and must deal. Can I though? Voices are coming from every direction and effectively making every individual conversation a foreign language to me ears, stimulus overload.

The busy of this establishment, that is also blessed with a severe echoing quality, one that intensifies the chatter, is the reason this blog post was born; it wasn't only because it sprung the idea to life, but rather, it's an attempt to centre myself, so I don't tell everyone to quiet down. (With choice language).  I also have no qualms  about plugging my ears, how it looks  be damn.

...... A few days later. The above paragraph was the final one written in the restaurant because the friend I was expecting arrived and I had to stop writing. However, by the time he's shown to the table, I was shaking and shutdown. So much so, that I remember our lunch in tiny fragments because my mind was too busy dodging the overstimulating reality that surrounded us. The pieces I do remember were when I forcibly allowed my mind to be venerable enough so as not to be robbed of the entire dinning experience with this old friend. 

Although I was able to physically make it through the entire ordeal, my mental illnesses are still a very formidable foe and like a game of mental tug of war, I found myself being drug over the line throughout the entire experience. Fortunately, I am able to pull myself back and be present. Sadly, I am not where close to where I need to be to fully appreciate life in a more normal sense. I am only at the point where I can, with great difficulty make it through the chaos that a packed room full of people and their collective conversations creates.

There was no escape and there seems to be no escaping the anxiety and the real time PTSD triggers. But dammit, I will continue plowing down the road to mental wellness and I shall overcome; even if its just long enough to see an old friend.

Want more? Please go to my Books On Mental Illness Page.

Tuesday, 13 August 2019

Testing The Waters

Testing The Waters

As the depression is defeated by a good night's slumber, I finally feel mentally well enough to once again, start testing the waters. So, yesterday I made arrangements with a good friend to meet in a small cafe. After the plans were finalized I developed the mindset that I would make it a commitment rather than a simple arrangement; this mindset works for me because it feels more like a top priority. Meeting a friend is always a top priority for me  but try telling my mental illnesses that.

Self help techniques when dealing with mental illness

When it came time to meet, I prepared for our plans, got in my car and arrived at the destination. Pretty simple to do right? Well, no, it can be daunting and dreadful with a dose of I don't have the mental energy to do this. So, when I arrived for coffee I felt like I had crossed some sort of finish line. 

Thinking back on the muddy waters of depression I had slugged along in just the week before, I was proud that I made it, that I ventured inside and had a very enjoyable conversion over a great cup of coffee with a good friend. Celebrating  the seemingly small stuff has yielded big gains as I know that I can once again re-enter the world of the busy.

With that said, I was not stricken with a cure overnight, no miracle had happened that completely set me free from anxiety, depression and PTSD,  nor was I expecting that to be the outcome. I know that I am not cured that my fight with mental illness is far from over; nonetheless, I embrace the immediate victory. 

I still jumped at every bang and wail of a siren and as a consequence I disassociated.  however, I was able to keep my wits about me long enough to ti be present and engage in  conversion without feeling like I had to run away.

So, try testing the waters on the days you're feeling mentally well and celebrate the small victories along the path. Measure success by how far you got on any given task, not on the fact that you may not have made it to your destination or was able to stay long if you did. Mental health conditions dictate how fast or slow you can go, work within your tolerances, take back your life.

You may also enjoy: I am vulnerable: I'm good with that.

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