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
- Day Three, Haunted
- inside ptsd, what it is
- inside ptsd, it takes time
- inside ptsd, the plea for understanding
- before the aftermath
sometimes it all came down to a single strike of the match-head against the half soaked flint stripe along the bottom of the pack. rain may be falling, trucks may be racing by and spraying your roadside rest, the wind may be menacing in its innocence, but you have to light that match. That one match is the difference between eight minutes of a well-protected smoke and utter dejection, the calamity that will bring ruin into the day, rubble it will take days to climb out of.
protect that match little brother, as if sanity depends on it. assess the wind and turn against it, sheltering a tiny pocket of ground-level atmosphere against the elements, pat dry for the 200th time the sodden matchbook, roll the red tip against the only dry spot of clothing left, and strike!
the enormity of that fork in the road on a massively post-traumatic day was everything. it was portent for survival, it was would we eat or not that day—tabacco sustain us—and would we get picked up by someone not foul and driven on further away from here where danger accumulates upon the unmoving. Moving you're always harder to catch.
Strike! pray in the same movement, hesitation will kill but the wrong alacrity will extinguish the flame on the after-stroke, before it makes it to the tip of the hand-rolled, and the tiny pinnacle of that all too brief life of fire will be all the smoke the whole day gets. Without that cigarette to smoke—without that mythical protective shroud—the demons slide closer. They can be patient now b/c i am defenseless. My survival is in grave jeopardy yet again, and i am powerless to prevent it, whatever torment it is today.
The mind, dear mind, is forced to deal with circumstances and situations it'd rather not: body is alerting all who would listen that the cold is seeping in and that's a threat. eyes report no cars passing, no way out but walking miles simply to get to the next overpass for a bit of shelter from the wind. there's nowhere to run, and we're exposed.
body wishes for warmth, brain wants to stand down the body's overwrought defense systems, and mind wishes to contemplate all this—or forget—anywhere else but here.
Strike well boy, the last match, strike well.