Post-Traumatic Stress Tested In Real-Time – Part of getting better is taking risk but man, there’s a price to pay.Tweet
In three days, it will be exactly one year since I was forced off work due to mental illness. If you take the time to read through my blog site, you will undoubtedly start to see how long and difficult The Road To Mental Wellness can be. I hope that you can also see that despite the long and arduous battle, it is, without question, worth the struggle to keep moving forward.
You know, PTSD is a hell of a thing. The nightmares replaying the most horrific scenes in my head while I attempt to sleep can write off the rest of the night and even the days to follow. Fear of leaving my home, my mental-made prison, can really keep me in a perpetual loop of avoidance. I see potential emergencies lurking around every corner.
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So, after all this time making myself scarce, sometimes for a week or two at a time, I brave the world to see the people I am closest to. While at other times, I will sit and discuss mental illness with other suffers.
At the same time, I decided to volunteer my time to help a political candidate in their bid for office in the federal election.
Because I need to start to gauge my tolerance in what is essentially a work environment, I felt honoured to be asked. I thought, “What a pressure-free way of testing the waters.” This prospect excited me because all I want is to move on with my life. Similarly, I want to get to a point where I can manage well enough to walk among the working world. “I miss going full-tilt all the time.” I say this to myself often.
Sadly, this social integration experiment is not going as well as I had hoped. Ever since I’ve started, my startle response is at a constant high and I’m overwhelmed by the exposure to others bustling about. Overly-loud vehicles rumbling by, just outside the office door, tear my already-dwindled concentration away from what I am doing. My most triggering thing of all? Sirens, lots of sirens. There is so much constant stimulation – it’s exhausting.
At the end of most days, I am left in such a state of hypervigilance that I remain awake most of the night; this only makes everything I have mentioned above worse when the next day rolls around.
My saving grace? The fact that I am a volunteer, I can do as little or as much as I can tolerate, I take full advantage of that flexibility. But we all know that the working world demands one to be on all of the time; something that I simply cannot do. Testing out my PTSD symptoms in this voluntary environment has taught me that.
However, I will get there. I will persevere and I will win the day… You can too; just keep working towards a solution that works so you can be productive and feel like you’re winning your mental disorder war.
If you are struggling, please go here: Crisis Services Canada
Thank you for stopping by The Road To Mental Wellness. Remember, reach out if you need help.