Mental Illness: Sometimes it wins

Mental

Since the beginning of September, I have been participating in a coping skills group. The whole goal of this education style process is to arm you with tools to help guide you through the things that trigger your emotions, anger, sadness etc. The main theme of the group is centred around mindfulness.

I am also learning some very useful mindfulness techniques through my one on one therapy with my psychologist. So far, I have been slowly building the mindfulness tools to help keep me in the present and thus minimizing my time emerged in my deep and detailed PTSD mind, the part of my mind that ruminates in the past and stands on guard for potential tragedies in the future.
But yesterday, yesterday I was overtaken and defeated by my demons. I was triggered and like an ocean wave, crashing on the shore, I was overwhelmed by its might. It started when it was my turn to talk about last week’s homework, we had to pick an example of an incident where our emotional overtook us and evaluate whether the feelings we were experiencing fit the facts.

having been charged with the task of mitigating the tragic consequences of high-speed accidents, I’ve grown to hate speeding, it evokes such intense anger deep within that I struggle to keep my hand off the horn. I try to let it go but all I can think of is that someone is going to put me into a situation where I am going to be forced to render assistance to an irresponsible speeder trying to shave mere seconds off their journey.

My mind in first responder mode, sends me down the rabbit hole of  PTSD’s chaos, reliving some of the most tragic accident scenes I’ve been part of.

This is the scenario I presented to the group and its facilitators. I walked through all the items that were required of the assignment then the numbness started to set in, I could feel the wave of dissociation coming for me but it was too late to inoculate myself against its effects. I remember very little of what took place next. In fact, once it was time to take a break, I was too overwhelmed to return, opting for the quiet, low lit lobby.


How to cope when triggered by PTSD

I remained in the lobby for the remainder of the time, sitting in the comfort of the quiet only getting up to pace the floor every now and again. So I guess the question is, do I feel like a failure for leaving the group?  Well, the answer is no and it’s not entirely because I measured how far I have come, I was simply in the grip of my firefighting past and was not strong enough to reclaim my brain to feel anything.

Let’s be honest, we are all going to have our moments where we can’t outrun the mental illness that lurks in the shadows of all things suppressed. So why pour salt into an already deep festering wound.

So, be good to yourself, when you are overtaken by the tide of your mental health condition, remember, your years and years of being at odds with the self have made you an expert swimmer, a mental health warrior. As a warrior, you know that the overwhelming waters will recede and all the progress you have made will help you win the day.

There’s no shame in mental pain.”

 

                -John Arenburg.

If you are suffering from PTSD, please reach out. I thank you for your service and you are still worthy and mean something. I believe in you!

If you are struggling please go here: Crisis Services Canada


Want help fund my book? donate: GOFundMe – The Road To Mental Wellness – The book

You may also enjoy: But a Mere Crawl: Slowly making my way towards mental wellness.

Contact me on my Facebook page: facebook.com/TRTMW

The Power of PTSD Overtaken

Sometimes PTSD is just too strong

When one has suffered from the pangs of mental illness long enough, one can start to feel when the tide of normality has shifted, and an impending flood of diagnosed psychological symptoms are not far off and will make their inevitable return.

I can feel this shift within, right now as I commit to this blog post; it boils up from somewhere deep down as if the world around me was shaking my symptoms lose from my core. I hate it.
I am having real trouble negotiating my way through the world as of late, the sound of diesel trucks roaring by envoke anger and the sounds of sirens serve as a reminder for, not only what I have had to give up, but as so why I am where I am at present. PTSD is not kind and monumentally difficult to shut off.
Despite being overwhelmed, overstimulated and a bit agitated by my surroundings, I’m trying. I decided it would be a good idea to go for a walk but the everyday comings and goings of early morning town traffic were put in their place and taken over by loud, ear-piercing sirens. In the mental mindset, I am in, the wail of an ambulance caused a short blip in time. I disassociated, checked out for a moment and unfortunately for me, I missed the crosswalk that leads to a quiet and beautiful walking trail that surrounds a protected marsh.
When I mentally re-emerged, I realized that I had missed the route to the walking trail by a long shot and opted to walk the block instead. I was so overwhelmed by the world around me that It felt like it was some sort of battleground, every noisy car, every bang and clang feel like chaos to me, the world felt aggressive and I was feeling threatened by the noise of the traffic.

sadly,  I’m still being overtaken by a beast that I have yet tame. I am trying to reintegrate myself into a world that is far too busy to understand that people like me can’t thrive in a world that doesn’t see the damage that lies just below the skin. Again, I will carry on.

Treatment for PTSD

My lesson? It’s clear to me that I should have taken the time to venture back to the peace and serenity of the marsh because I knew how I was feeling, thus I knew what was best for me, yet I ignored it. Sometimes I think we push ourselves in this world because we want to be a part of it, to be OK with it.

I must accept that I am not as far along as I want to be, Accept that I can only take on the world in small doses. It’s maddening and it’s upsetting but at the same time, it is what it is. At least I know where I stand and I will continue to place my mental shield over my face and plow through my PTSD and the anxiety

Please, keep fighting the good fight, remember, it will take grit, getting to know your symptoms and what you can tolerate. Once you know your triggers and how you feel about them you can adapt at the moment to help you get closer to mental wellness.

if you are suffering from PTSD or another mental illness, please reach out. I thank you for your service and you are still worthy and mean something. I believe in you!


If you are struggling please go here: Crisis Services Canada


Want help fund my book? donate GOFundMe – The Road To Mental Wellness – The book.

Trauma Specialist, Dr. Jeffery Hosick: jeffreyhosick.com

You may also enjoy: The Mental Health Work Injury Called PTSD

Contact me on my Facebook page: facebook.com/TRTMW

Post-Traumatic Stress Tested In Real-Time

In three days it will be exactly one year since I was forced off of 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.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
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.

So, after all this time making myself scarce, sometimes for a week or two at a time,  only braving the world to see the people I am closest to or to sit down a discuss mental illness with other suffers, I decided to volunteer my time to help a political candidate in their bid for office in the federal election. 

I decided this because I need to start to gauge my tolerance in what is essentially a work environment, I felt honoured to be asked to help. and I thought, “What a pressure-free way of testing the waters”. This prospect excited me because all I want to is move on with my life and get to a point where I can manage well enough to walk among the working world regularly. 
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 and my most triggering thing of all, sirens, lots of sirens. There is so much constant stimulation that I tire so quickly.

How to reduce stress in the workplace

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 compounds everything I have mentioned above 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 work 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.

I will get there though, 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 your winning your mental disorder war.

if you are suffering from PTSD or another mental illness, please reach out. I thank you for your service and you are still worthy and mean something. I believe in you!


If you are struggling please go here: Crisis Services Canada


Want help fund my book? donate GOFundMe – The Road To Mental Wellness – The book.

Trauma Specialist, Dr. Jeffery Hosick: jeffreyhosick.com

You may also enjoy: The Mental Health Work Injury Called PTSD

Contact me on my Facebook page: facebook.com/TRTMW