I Keep Trying

There are days when I really want to give up.  I try to do the things normal people do.  But sometimes I just can’t.  Case in point, a coworker is leaving on Thursday.  We had a going away party for her.  I walked into the bar, looked around for a minute or so and then turned around and walked right out.  Between the smoke, sheer number of people and the noise, I knew I wasn’t going to be able to do it.  Is it being smart?  Or is it being stupid to do that?  I mean, if I had stayed, maybe I would have had fun.  I didn’t even try.  I just gave up.  Sometimes I think I need to push myself more.  But I end up freaking out.  And that gets me nowhere.

The smoke was so bad there, just those few minutes stunk up my clothes and hair to the point I knew I would need to shower before I could go to bed.  I’ve not been showering at night for a very long time.  It’s a work around, but it makes my life easier.  I’ve not had a panic attack in the shower for a while now.  I’ve actually been doing a lot better with it.  But hell, I don’t know what triggered it, if it was just the night time thing.  But I couldn’t get out of the damn bathroom fast enough.  I didn’t even wait for the water to warm up.  I swear I took a 3 minute shower.  I soaped my body and hair and rinsed off.  I was freezing cold (see the not waiting for hot water thing) and I just wrapped myself in a blanket.  I wedged myself between my TV and the wall and I just rocked back and forth.

The whole thing left me totally exhausted.  I broke out my emergency stash of Valium and drugged myself.  I didn’t know what else to do.  I tried some of the coping techniques that have gotten me through some of the rough spots.  But they weren’t working.  I’ll be upfront, I have to be near hysterical before I’ll take the Valium.  I knew I needed to sleep.  My body needed a chance to rest.  Without something to cut the anxiety down to a manageable level, that wasn’t going to happen.  It helped. I slept, for the most part.  I have a feeling that I had the weird dreams I’ve been having, but at least I didn’t remember them.

I’m still very much on edge and jumpy.  The stress triggered a migraine, which always makes things fun.  Grocery shopping was a real chore today.  I wish I would have done it yesterday.  I was looking for a pet store yesterday because I want to get a cat.  Cats are not very popular here.  It’s definitely a dog country.  A yippy dog country at that.  A dog country where they dress up their dogs and dye the fur on their ears and tails garish colors.   All the wandering around the city yesterday (plus having lunch with two coworkers) tuckered me out.  Thus, I left the shopping for today.  I did make it through the grocery store, but it was a huge challenge.  And, of course, I managed to forget to get laundry detergent.

Baby steps.  Baby steps.  Just gotta take baby steps.

3 thoughts on “I Keep Trying

  1. Public affairs don’t go over well with me. I left the house for 45 min the other day for a necessary run then came back and slept for 3 hours. It wore me out to be in public around all that noise and activity. Its as if when I step out there every sense in my body comes alive 100 times over.

    I know too if I don’t have something to take the anxiety down quickly I may end up doing something desperate that I can’t take back. Anxiety attacks also make me feel a bit of shame during and after which doesn’t help the situation at all…. especially when we’re talking about this reaction being over something people do everyday.

    One of the things I learned is that what we think others do with ease may not be the case at all. I was all chipper and what not to the cashier but it was an act. I tried to blend in with “normal” people the best I could until I got home. At that point I couldn’t handle the slightest change for the rest of the day. Forty-five minutes !! That’s all it was.

    I still shower in complete darkness, with the lights out and the restroom door closed. It makes it easier for me. We do what we can to manage our PTSD symptoms. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. What we do still feels like a secret though, like something we should hide from others. Shesh, I shower in complete darkness so my hypervigilance doesn’t get the best of me. It feels like something I should be ashamed of because “normal” people don’t do that. However, since most “normal” people are pretending I don’t really know how many do strange rituals just to get through everyday activities without losing it.


  2. I don’t see reason for shame over your walking out of the bar, either. I won’t go somewhere where there’s smoking — it just makes me miserable.

    May you increase in wisdom and discernment to know when saying no or backing out is taking good care of yourself, and when pushing or challenging yourself is taking good care of yourself.

  3. krista says:

    I found your blog after a day where PTSD won for sure. Its something that needs managing and when that doesn’t happen it can own you. I think it was clever for you to walk out – to often I try and make myself do the normal thing and I end up isolating myself from people more by my behavior.


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