Things are not always as they seem. I am awake, but some days it feels like I am stuck in a nightmare, where you are still attempting to manipulate me in any way possible.
I mean, yes, I am healing a great deal and improving each day; but there are still some days where I feel your pull, it feels like you’re trying to overthrow me and control my body, through some sort of master plan. These days are pretty rare, but they happen enough that I felt the need to write about them. You know you can be domineering, don’t deny it. You are such a narcissistic person, only caring about yourself and wanting to have instant gratification. So, in case you are interested (I know you are not) here is a day in my head, filled with anxiety.
“He’s here!”, my brain says, hyping me up. There are certain odors that make me think of him still, and on this particular day, it was the lingering odor of pot. “Run, run, run!”, I think as I feel a flush of adrenaline rush through my veins. I know this is fight or flight, and it is my body’s way of protecting me from danger, but just because I smell pot, doesn’t mean that there is an immediate danger. I try to stay calm, pressing my hand on my chest, breathing deeply, as if I’m smelling lavender. I count to 10, breathing out slowly, with my eyes closed. Something tells me to be afraid, be very afraid, but the more rational part of my brain tells me to stay calm and that the chances that he is actually in the same room as me are slim.
I picture my anxiety as a big bully, making me think that terrible things will happen, just to scare me. But I am able to think rationally, and separate the anxious thoughts from my more rational, logical thoughts.
Some mornings my anxiety is a bad influence on me & tries to convince me to play hooky. “Stay home. It will be a horrible day today, and random strangers will judge you while you commute to work”. It sometimes sounds so appealing to call out sick, but I don’t, because I know that if I do call out sick due to anxiety, then I will feel that I can do that more often. It scares me that it might become a habit. I try to think of the anxiety as a challenge, something to conquer. I figure if I can make myself go outside and interact with people, then that will help me to overcome the anxiety, and it will give me a chance to prove to myself that nothing bad will happen.
Other days, it seems that I can’t walk past men. My brain says to me “Don’t walk past him. He’ll stare at you and your body”, or “Walk on a different street, so that you can avoid walking past the man over there.” It seems so irrational, but it is actually called a ‘safety behavior’ and it is part of the PTSD. One of the main hallmarks of PTSD is avoidance, so I sometimes avoid things that I am scared of or things that I think will cause me harm, even if they are pretty irrational things. It turns out that these so called ‘safety behaviors’ make the anxiety worse, but it is something that I work on. Sometimes it seems that my brain wants me to stay anxious, you know? Because then it won’t have to do ridiculous things, like remember people’s names, when I go out onto the street, or remember to pick up some groceries on my way home from work.
Well, now my brain is saying that I need a snack and I don’t really know what else to say now lol, so I think I will stop this rambling here.