It’s beginning to look a lot like SAD and PTSD

Every where I go
Still awake at three, five and ten
eyes glistening once again
with candy and TV shows

Sorry – The Christmas Carols are in full force around here already.

Yes it is November. (sarcastic yay)

Time to start the yearly battle to keep my sanity while I try to keep going. Time to increase my self-control measures to avoid biting off anyone’s head. Time to watch entire series on netflix instead of sleeping. Time to abuse my pancreas and my liver with over indulgence of every sort. Time to feel irritable and frustrated as the norm.

I have not slept well, ever in my life. But it gets so much worse this time of year. I sleep for about 15 minutes, and immediately enter a dream, that shocks me back awake. The shock then keeps me awake and unable to sleep. If I try to just lay quietly, my mind starts racing, and my heart too, and so I turn on the TV to distract myself and hopefully fall back asleep at some point.

Interestingly, I used to blame this weird sleep/dream cycle on zoloft, but I have been anti-depressant free for many years now and it still happens to me this time of year.

I have tried light therapy in the past, but gave up on it because it made me feel worse. Sitting at the light makes me nauseous, nervous, edgy and unable to function most of the day. And still unable to sleep at night.

The only thing that helps me is eating. I hate that. I keep doing it because it keeps helping, but then I feel so guilty and weak and disgusted with myself. But I’d rather be a bit overweight than out of control. I have zero patience with the kids, and even though I hear myself saying nasty things, I can not stop them, I can only leave the room. I hate that part of me. I want them to feel loved – all of the time – not just when I’m having a strange moment of calmness.

I’m going through the motions and have not withdrawn from people or events completely. I stay home when I can, and force myself out when I must. The play performances are this weekend and I should be excited to see my kids on stage. But I’m not – I’m just not. I’m happy for them, happy they are having fun and getting this great experience, but I am struggling to share it with them. The thought of being at the theatre all weekend, surrounded by other families does not make me happy.  I hear every squirm and whine and whisper in the audience, and I swear I smell every person there. The play itself is tortuous to me. I hate admitting this. The kids are cute and doing their best, but waiting for them to remember the lines and the slow pacing of the play kills me.  And then seeing it 4 times, ugh. Am I a terrible mom for not wanting to sit through this? The other moms are so excited each time and take pictures every 2 seconds and laugh at the jokes like they haven’t heard it 600 hundred times in rehearsal before. The music accompaniment is terrible, they use this techno organ setting on the keyboard for some unknown reason – though I do like when the kids all sing, that’s always cute. Also my mom is coming to see the play. I don’t think this makes me too nervous, but there is always an unknown with that.

I’m off to see my therapist today and see what else she may recommend for me. I am so anxious to be stable and peaceful once and for all. I can’t accept that SAD and PTSD may rule my life forever. I want to be in charge. I’m hoping the paragraph above is a reflection of my illness, and not really how I feel, but then what is the difference really, as to what causes what I feel when it is how I feel? See, I am struggling right now.

I fell asleep during a meeting yesterday, luckily webcam was off and I was muted so no one knew. But times like this I think I am crazy for ever thinking I can handle a ‘real’ full time job. As much as I dislike my current job, I am so blessed to have it.

I have been reading – another way to pass away the late hours when I can’t sleep – and also found some evidence that PTSD itself can cycle. Especially related to traumatic events. I’ve been wondering if I experienced something more traumatic this time of year and I just don’t remember what. My brain is such a mess, I just don’t know.

I need to stop thinking and start some doing, but my brain is winning these days, and my body is losing big time. But the thought of the treadmill just makes me want to cry, since the task of the shower is so difficult right now. Skipping the shower again so I can drive myself to the therapist. I make these choices every day because I can’t do it all. Stupid brain. Stupid PTSD. Grrr.


13 thoughts on “It’s beginning to look a lot like SAD and PTSD

  1. I’m sorry to hear you’re having a difficult time. I try to remember, even when overwhelmed by the effects of PTSD, that this is temporary. There will be better days ahead. Hang in there.

  2. Hey you…I know it’s hard to do, but be gentle with yourself while you go through this. You have been fighting for peace inside for a long time and the pockets of happiness and control are getting longer and longer. I don’t know that PTSD reactions will ever go away but that doesn’t diminish the progress you’ve made. *hugs* Just sayin.

    As for the plays, like you said, you feel happy for your kids and you’re pleased that they’re having fun. You don’t have to be excited about sitting in room packed with people you can’t avoid (the smell thing…i know it so well) to watch a play on repeat. You love your kids, they know this well and you’ll be there watching…It’s likely all they want and need. xxoo You can only do do much, my friend.

    Take care of you. *hugs*

    • I have such hard time accepting that PTSD may always be with me. Especially when I see Hubby’s face so full of disappointment, like ‘here we go again’. Every time I have a good streak, everyone seems to think ‘wow this is finally over, she’s all better now, thank god’ and I feel like i let them all down when I stumble and need help.

      • I see a lot of that too. “But you were doing so well!” seems to be the tag line I hear. I wish I could believe that it could go away somehow but the farthest I’ll let myself go is to think that I’ll get it more under my control. Eventually. Ha. I hope.

        *hugs* Try to do something kind to yourself today if you can. Will be thinking of you.

  3. Thanks for reminding me PTSD can be cyclic. I know that for me holidays are absolutely a nightmare. NM wants happy families and becomes increasingly clingy and demanding. Holidays were horrible. Thanksgiving was all about NM wanting a perfect dinner and screaming all day at everyone to do whatever RIGHT NOW or the dinner would be ruined. It escalates through Christmas as she has to make everything perfect.

    I love the holidays. I don’t know why. Maybe because I’m not allowed to celebrate. I have enough decorations to deck every room for several of the holidays. I love the special holiday foods; I love cooking. I listen to Christmas music all year long. NM doesn’t want music playing because it’s noise. If I love it, it isn’t allowed. It’s insane. This year, I’ve decided to write a series of novellas throughout the year all revolving around a town called Holiday, and they celebrate the holidays, all of them. I’m looking forward to the project. NM may not let me celebrate the way I’d like to, but she can’t stop me from celebrating.

    However, it doesn’t change the fact that the abuse was worse because it was the abnormality was emphasized by movies, television, books, music, everywhere.

    This year, not only am I choosing to celebrate differently with my writing but I’m also experimenting with essential oils. The only way my response changes is by me making changes. I’m simply letting go of the way I used to try to cope. It didn’t work. Now, I’m working to find new ways.

    Be nice to you. You’re making so many great changes. Maybe you need to give yourself a chance to catch your breath and regroup and even allow yourself to hate seeing the same play four times without beating yourself up over it.

    • I like your plan to surround yourself with what you love and write those novellas. We didn’t entertain during the holidays, it was just us, so no dog and pony show trying to impress and make it perfect. Honestly holidays weren’t that special or different from any other day. We did have turkey on Thanksgiving, but mom did all of that, and we just ate and went our separate ways again.

      Your last line is exactly what my therapist said today – allow myself to hate something without beating myself up about it. I still think I am inferior to every other person and every other mom so when I see them so excited to see the play 4 times I hate myself for feeling annoyed. I always want to control my feelings and be like everyone else. I mean I don’t really want that, but that is what is seems to come down to each time. I still feel abnormal and less than. Good for you finding new ways to cope. I’m hoping this will be the best holiday season yet, with all of our new tools and understanding. xx

  4. ((R2B)) Maybe it’s just one step back and two forward? As others said above, your “good periods” seem to be getting longer and longer. Take one day at a time and keep moving forward (even if you go backwards to get back around to going forward ;)! )

    Your situation is a lot more complex than mine, but I wanted to offer up two things. They may work for you, may not. The first is taking magnesium. I found that it really helped with my sleep. When I read about it, I learned that many people are deficient in it. The second is ashwaghanda root (in a pill form. You can order it by mail; no leaving the house! It’s cheaper that way, I’ve found, too.) It was recommended to me by an osteopath as an anxiety reliever and I’ve found that, even with a small dose, it really helps. Again, just some suggestions. I hope you feel better soon.

    • I don’t mind stepping back. Well, yes I do, I hate it, but I’m trying to insert false positivity. But I do understand and will try to be patient and gentle.

      Thank you for the suggestions. Magnesium is interesting, because it is something I have found may be linked to the cause of my scoliosis as a child. I take a multi-vitamin and extra B-complex daily, I have not been taking my caltrate or vitamin D lately, which all works with calcium/magnesium balance. My doctor recommended increasing my vitamin D again, I tend to run low in that. I’ve never heard of the ashwaghanda, I will look into that. Thanks!

      • I take D too, I think it helps. My osteopath also suggested sitting outside in the sun for a bit too.

        And even though it’s a “step back” momentarily, I think if you look at the whole pattern, you’ll see you ARE moving forward. Just because it gets hard for a moment again, doesn’t mean it will be forever. I’m glad you are trying patience and gentleness.

        And as for “all the moms enjoying the show” that you told Judy above. No they don’t. They like parts of it, like you, and dislike parts of it, like you. They aren’t all excited and happy. Lots of them would rather be anywhere than doing that at the moment. And that’s OK. Some moms really do love it, and that’s OK too. I really dislike all the “small talk” and crap on the sidelines with other parents at my son’s soccer games. I love seeing him play, but having to endure these little niceties drives me crazy. But I make the best of it for my son. And I think your kids will see that you are doing the best you can too. Hang in there.

  5. Pingback: Seasonal and Cyclical Battles | Roots to Blossom

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