I was just thinking about how odd it feels, shopping for school supplies and school clothes for my children, and not going back to school myself. It is the first time in 15 years that I did not shop for my own classroom in August. My son will begin 6th grade on Monday, and I will continue my recovery.
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.
I’ve tried to keep my blog posts as positive as I possibly can since my accident back in November. Unfortunately, the denial of my own fears and anxieties has only allowed them to incubate. So it is likely I will posting some more transparent posts, at least for the next week. I have been tasked with recording what I am actually thinking and feeling. While I won’t do all of that here, I will be processing those thoughts and feelings so they will likely come out in my writing.
Part of the reason I blog in the first place is because it is therapeutic. I respect and admire other bloggers who bare their souls on the page. I feel their brutal honesty is as helpful to others as it is for themselves. So as I embark on my journey into the belly of the beast, I am reminded of a couple of bloggers whose writings have been helpful to me.
When I first came back to blogging, I stumbled across SchizoIncognito.com. The tagline, “the incoherent ramblings of a mentally ill writer and blogger” is witty. I assure you the blogger who refers to himself as “the Schizo” does anything but incoherently ramble. He is open, honest, and gives voice to those, like himself, who struggle with mental illness. He gives me the courage to say out loud that I am a person who struggles with anxiety and Acute Stress Disorder, and who is facing a possible Post Traumatic Stress Disorder diagnosis.
More recently, I happened upon teddylee’sblog. Teddy talks openly about abuse and it’s effects. He openly processes his childhood out in blogosphere, for the whole world to read. He speaks plainly and truthfully. I cannot help but admire his bravery. In spite of his childhood experiences, and seemingly rough exterior, he has a sweet spirit that comes through in his writing. He gives me hope that I can let go of past experiences that haunt me. He also reminds me that those past experiences have helped shape who I have become… and I am okay with that (I actually like who I am now).
So this week, as I begin to record those thoughts and feelings that I would much prefer to avoid, please forgive me in advance if some of it oozes out onto my blog. Better yet, I hope someone out there will find it beneficial, just as I have found the two blogs mentioned here to be.