the "Inside PTSD" collection:
- inside ptsd
- inside ptsd, the mad list
- inside ptsd, backstory
- inside ptsd, fleeing
- inside ptsd, two
- inside ptsd, remediation
- inside ptsd, three, rage
- inside ptsd, transaction costs
- time shift, inside the ptsd
- time shift three
- time shift two, still inside the ptsd
- inside ptsd, the addiction episode
- survive vs heal
- inside ptsd, body knows
- inside ptsd, body knows, part one
- one hour
- that same afternoon
- inside ptsd, more than a recollection
- inside ptsd, body knows 2
- inside ptsd, the addiction episode, part 2
- inside ptsd, the addiction episode, part 3
- inside ptsd, a student of trauma
- inside ptsd, the addiction episode, part 4a
- inside ptsd, the addiction episode, part 4b
- inside ptsd, the addiction episode, part 5
- inside ptsd, more than a recollection, part 2
- inside my midlife ptsd
- one day—the daylight part—inside ptsd
- inside ptsd, mere survival
- inside ptsd, economics
- one day, at night, inside ptsd
- on the outside, looking in
- inside ptsd, in the wind
- inside ptsd, in the wind, two
- a is for anxiety
- inside ptsd, the last match
- inside ptsd, addicted to addiction
- inside ptsd, outside looking in
- inside ptsd, it takes time
- inside ptsd, the plea for understanding
- before the aftermath
space is the final frontier, whether you go in our out.
ps, anxiety is depression on speed, and i can't even quantify how much i crave spaciousness. my whole body does, like i need a huge container to safely decompress from ptsd in.
thing is, though, knowing that is the first enormous step to getting there. i didn't know this before, in my twenties, when my worlds were smaller (and perhaps i was bigger in them) but now that world seems encapsulated by something legions more massive, and with it a humility that my ability to grasp the universe we live in is far far smaller than the universe at its narrowest.
i was reminded to add this: that ritual is instrumental to the patterns of addiction. rituals bring predictability, and to a mind and body attenuated to chaos, this is crazy reassuring.
the ritual of rolling one's own cigarette, say, the procuring of tobacco, the pouch, the papers, the right amount, the tamping down w/ the side-tips of the index fingers, the pressing, curling under and catching the wave of that small almost born cigarette, rolling, slowing, stop, lick, roll all the way home, secure, slide between lips and pause, always always pause here and survey the terrain, appreciate the success, anticipate the first inhale, reach for matches...
rituals can become positive totems of hope and possibilities that nurture rather than harm.
ptsd reduces life, and living
whether it knocks 90 minutes off your day, or adds 77 moments of scanning for safety as you orient to new waves of stimuli, or whether you die five years sooner b/c the heart can't take it anymore, you've used up your beats, ptsd kills life.
lots of stuff does; ptsd is just one of them. but being in it, watching the destruction, is troubling, challenging and enervating all at the same time. it requires more adroit letting go, more generous surrender, more rapid stepping along developmental milestones, say, from middle age to old.
take that, for example: when i really feel how i've aged in the last 2 years, faster than i ever would have wished, i feel old. It may not be a permanent condition—life is not linear after all—but present reality feels old, to wit: when i go somewhere and leave, i always feel as if i must offer a prayer of deepest gratitude, for i may never be back there again; when thinking ahead, i think not of all the things i will do, but all that i won't. i plan my movements more, making sure to have enough resources for the journey through the day, and way stations along the way. No more bounding from momemnt to moment, and all this is loss, but i haven't caught up on the wisdom side, filled my soul with sacred emptiness to hold all this Wonder.
there's the whole more precious trope, like how everything is more amazing and brilliant and awesome than you ever every suspected before, but days are shorter, numbered. They've always been numbered, of course, but feeling 'old' has its advantages, especially since i am approaching it as if i am the yougest of the old. I accept.
and i mourn, for hours or months i won't live. it's temporary, of course, one can become grieved-out. and at some point, whatever. life continues for the time being. make the best of every moment.