Renewed Spirit

It has been a rough week for me.  I have struggled with my anxiety and depression.  Both have won much of the time.  Today, however, the pattern seems to be broken — or at least blurred.  

It was difficult to get out of bed, but once I did things improved.  I showered and got ready to attend my granddaughter’s baby dedication.  After the church service, a large group of family and friends went out for lunch.  At the restaurant, I sat beside my granddaughter, who is always a great source of entertainment.  

After a leisurely lunch, my husband and I made a few stops to look for some bolts he needed for a truck repair he is doing.  Along the way, we stopped at a convenience store for a drink.  Now, I know this sounds as exciting as watching paint dry, but for me it was renewal.  My spirits have been so low, that simply being out with other people made me feel better.  

So I am heading into the week with this renewed spirit.  It is my intention to hold onto it as long as I possibly can.      

PTSD and Depression

I have avoided publishing this post for many reasons, but I have decided to do it now because I simply have to get it off my chest.  Since my accident back in November, I have struggled with Acute Anxiety Disorder, nightmares, and was recently diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and depression.  

Of course, this is not who I am, but it has certainly touched everything in my life.   I have to honestly admit that I was judgmental of the people in a trauma class I took.  Many of them had been injured many years ago and are still struggling with the aftermath.  Now that I have experienced a few setbacks, I understand.  

PTSD symptoms can rear their ugly heads when you least expect it.  My psychiatrist explained that the disorder improves in a saw tooth fashion — you make some improvement, then have a setback, followed by more improvement.  The hope is that you are always moving a little farther ahead.  

As I write this post, I am in the middle of a setback.  I am unable to sleep well or eat much.  Because I cannot sleep, I am exhausted during the day and often have to lie down — sometimes for hours.  I have a constant feeling of general uneasiness, like butterflies in my stomach.  Sometimes I have tremors.  Things that I have to deal with emotionally are exponentially harder to handle.  I cry a lot, often at inopportune times.  Sometimes, I am gripped by fear in irrational ways.  What keeps me going, is the support I have had from loved ones and knowing that if I wait out the storm, it always gets better.    

Incidentally, blogging has been therapeutic for me.  Being able to talk about what I am going through has aided my recovery.  I was surprised when I posted The Dark Side, what a positive response I got.  I realized it was because telling the truth, instead of pretending everything is okay, often connects people who have had similar experiences and benefits us both.  I know that most of my future posts will generally be more positive than this one, and I needed to tell my truth.  If you have any experiences you’d like to share, I’d like to hear them.      

 

    

The Dark Side

When someone sees me and says, “You’re getting around so well!” I must confess that, although I know they are celebrating my progress, there is a part of me that gets angry.  I generally smile, and say “thanks,” but I am often thinking about the price that getting around costs me.  It is painful and exhausting.

I used to tell myself that I was selfish for feeling this way.  Then my counselor told me that part of why my anxiety has become so powerful is because I am not allowing myself to simply feel what I am feeling without judging myself, hence my decision to be more “transparent” here.

Every morning I wake up and struggle to get out of bed.  I attend physical therapy 3 days a week.  Some of those days I am in a lot of pain before I get there.  Other days, the pain is a result of the therapy.  If I feel good and my pain is minimal, more pain will come later as a result of doing too much (which might be as little as a trip to the grocery store).

As I read my writing, I realize it seems I am ungrateful for my ability to walk.  Then I feel guilty, and the cycle begins.  But my purpose for writing this is to be honest, so I have to admit that I am pissed.

I am pissed that the Color Run is this weekend, and I cannot participate.  I am pissed because I used to walk or run for an hour every morning and I cannot do that either.  I am pissed because I have a trampoline that I can’t use.  I am pissed because it hurts to walk for more than a few minutes.  I’m pissed because the people in my arthritis H20 class are 20 to 30 years older than I am and can kick my butt.  I’m pissed because I can’t ride my bicycle, much less my motorcycle.  And I’m pissed because I’m pissed.

I have always been able to see the bright side of things.  I certainly see the bright side here as well, but the dark side is impossible to ignore.  Yes, I can walk, but my hips won’t rotate correctly, so my hips, legs, and back hurt.  Yes, I can get around, but I can’t Zumba or do any of the other fun physical activities I love so much.  Yes, I survived, but there are constant reminders of the trauma and I wear many of them.