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
What is staggering, is how true the details are, ptsd that is... triggered state.
OK, mad list. Barely edited, b/c the words themselves didn't want to be pasteurized and over-processed. They said as much to me last week.
food hoarding—i buy way more taco seasoning in those 1 oz packets (Lawry's > McCormick's > El Paso) than makes any sense at all. as for Tabasco, i own over 41 bottles.
easily startled... my poor wife, comes up behind me to hug, and i jump like putting my finger in a 'lec-socket
shitty sleep—a night of good sleep is noteworthy, whereas struggles to rest barely get mentioned for their regularity
skill at self-medicating—by the grace of All Love i have added to my addictive toolkit the sustaining gifts of yoga, swimming, helping out, breathing, walking with joy... but still, there is a toll.
the trauma nearly always resides in the body (it has to live somewhere), but that's only a stuck-ness thing. What trauma does is wears out the skin and cells and internal organs, like a virus burning hot for ten days, attacking and laying siege to those tissues we consider good, our very flesh and blood. Even if the verberations of trauma don't lodge in your flesh, they inflict destruction upon cells and tissue, and damage and age bodies too fast. They chew up hours and years with rapacious efficiency.
the energy that traumatizes, that inflicts itself violently upon your soul, body and mind, can be old, very old. there are extant obviously still huge streams of intensely horrific activity. Planet Earth, such potential to support Life, humans, such fools.
perpetration is a distinct energy.
to me, trauma is malign energy directed personally, or at least directly. falling out of a tree and nearly dying is of a different quality than almost getting shot or being attacked.
time-frames are all skewed. Making plans for "six months from now" is infinitely more difficult than it was before. To my body-mind, it seems ludicrous. The number of ways we could be attacked, smashed or killed between now and then makes the exercise nearly impossible. plus, my body physically pulls back at the thought of future plans, literally recoils. it's trippy.
time frames are very sequential. I decide what i am going to do next, and then when that feels solid, i envision the next fifteen minutes, the next 90, and so on. As such, given that i'm rather busy, it's hard to get more than a few hours ahead at any one time. The upshot of this is that every quarter hour is rather full, and, when i'm aware and paying attention, nearly always Beautiful and Amazing!
safety is everything. if i don't feel safe, everything stops until that is accounted for. on days after violent nightmares, this means a lot of driving around to stay 45 mph ahead of the demons. Not a lot "gets done" on these days, but so far, we've survived them all.
living through yesterday has no bearing on whether i'll survive today. None at all. Today is it, everything and all, and what's wild, is that mindfulness practices teach us the very same. Now is all we have (so enjoy the hell out of it).
i like being alive, most days. i accept being post-traumatic, accept the true physiological changes that have occurred to my body-mind. i don't feel sorry for me, and believe that i am of better use to others for my experiences, and for my survival.
shitty days are terrifying. breath is hard to find, which makes suffocation more likely, which further stresses the bodymind hell-bent on surviving the day. shitty days the defenses are harder to maintain, giving the demons easier access to my vulnerabilities. they attack at all hours, so greater vigilance is required, strategies for making it through, contingency plans revised to be concurrent w/ the feeling of threat. great attention is paid to details, the amount of gas in the car, cash in my pockets, whereabouts of my passport and computer, my pens and eyeglasses. I'm constantly patting my pockets to reassure myself that i can bolt at a blast's notice and not leaving anything i need, or implicating behind.
when i meet someone who 'gets it', i am immediately relieved, and i let down my guard in the tiniest way and i feel weary. i stand down, just off to the side so as not to block their escape paths, and i say stuff to reassure them that i understand... "let's sit closer to the exit, for our cup of tea, just in case...." then i see them let down their guard the tiniest bit and i realize i have to keep paying attention, have to keep paying attention, have to keep paying attention....
double-locked doors are good; triple-locked doors are better.
grieving, when it comes at a convenient time, is life-saving. it removes toxins from my body, resets my bloodstream, flushes away spent shells of battles won or lost. grieving safely restores, a miracle of flesh and soul.
routines are double-edged. i love the 'safe' feeling of knowing the terrain and what's expected. But routines can lead to settling in, growing heavy, losing the edge that keeps survival in view.
non-thinking can be precious, but most ways of getting there are destructive. dancing, walking and meditation are beautiful practices occupying myself in ways the thoughts can't reach.
i am a survivor, but i am alive w/ the experience of living. i am grateful.
living in 20 minute increments is tiring
Being inside, this ptsd, the post-traumatic re-triggering. Fuck. It's hard work. It's never not here, this paying attention with vigilance. But we accept, i accept, we really do:
there are no quick fixes
what serves All Love is valuable.
it's ever evolving.
the journey is everything.
breathing does work.
it's not about any of us by ourselves, but it is about each of us entirely.
There is hope for every single person.
You may never see the results of your action, but if you act w/ Love, you are close, and close is enough w/ Love.
To succeed w/ this, you must earnestly serve yourself every day, in small ways, with humble graciousness.
It's not seeing our separateness from the despair and traumas that beset us that crushes our soul, less the traumas themselves.
Breathe deep, and feel your groundation.
Return to the Practice as often as you can.
Surrendering is hard, sitting back and standing down.
PTSD is like running all the time, and mindfulness practices are training the body how to do parcours, and not crash into the cement and fracture.
Surrendering is accepting that so much is beyond our control, and that's said with a foreshadowing of irony. It's all beyond my control, save where i align my heart.
breathe deep, tall spine, rest solid, love yourself….