I was going to title this back in the saddle, but I heard Aerosmith too loudly in my head. Then it was going to be back in the pilot’s seat, but I don’t feel completely in control. The horse is better. I’m definitely riding a wild PTSD beast with a mind of its own. I am learning to work with it, but I can’t push a button and turn it off and walk away. Then I thought really, working with PTSD is about balance – allowing the PTSD to go the direction it will without steering me too far off course.
I am ready to tackle this week. Even though last week was difficult and uncomfortable. Even though last week was stressful and triggering. I survived and I am ready to try again.
I am starting to recognize my inner panic before it takes control of me. I can feel the tightness in my chest, note the blurriness in my vision, acknowledge the irrational thoughts. I no longer hate myself for these reactions, and instead I am trying to work with my body to give it what it needs.
Several times last week my new job put so many demands on me, for learning, for meeting new people, for making managerial decisions, for prioritizing tasks and meeting multiple deadlines. I am usually good at all of these things, but I was struggling with the amount of unknowns and what I have to learn. I’m used to being the expert, not the annoying newbie.
This company is currently under-resourced for manpower and no one has the time to create training for what they do every day. I have been hired to analyze what they do, document it, analyze it for areas to improve, then create training modules/videos, and train new hires. So essentially I have a new job every day as I tackle the next process to document, improve, and regurgitate.
I was triggered into feeling helpless and out of control many times. Since I am in my own home to work, I simply let the tears fall, and did some power meditating throughout the day. No power naps when feeling agitated, but I have found that active yoga is very helpful. I walk around, do some jumping jacks, dance to a favorite song, bang my notebook on my head – anything to release the pent up frustration and bad energy. Then I lay down and do some deep breathing. I can usually get back to myself in about 10 minutes to an hour and it only looks like a coffee or lunch break on my timesheet.
I don’t let the spiral of negativity suck me down, so I can get back up quickly. (so far anyway, I know I can still get trapped, PTSD is an unpredictable bitch, but I am learning to keep her docile most of the time)
I am learning to let the panic and PTSD moments pass through me. I feel it, recognize it, look straight at it, look under it, stand on my head and look at it cross-eyed just to fully comprehend where it is coming from. (and hopefully confuse it with all the weird faces too) And then I do some deep breathing and muscle relaxation/stretches. I walk away from my computer and come back feeling calmer.
The good and the bad – it all balances:
I made some mistakes last week. The world did not end.
I missed a deadline last week. I am still breathing.
I had a few foot in mouth moments. I did not get fired.
I learned new software and new procedures at a dizzying rate. I stumbled, but got back up.
I learned more legalese and financial business stuff than I ever thought I could. My brain farted, but did not explode.
I dealt with helpful and anti-helpful coworkers. I put myself out there, but also protected myself.
I stepped up to many challenges. I did not hide my talents and stay under the radar. I am not invisible.
I had a relaxing weekend and feel no panic to tackle this week. Yet. Let’s see how the day goes 🙂