I have neglected this blog for some time. I think it is a couple of years since I posted anything.
It started as a blog about my “recovery” from PTSD, but along the way it has taken several meandering detours.
What I have learnt along the way is that you never truly recover. You may go into remission, you may find ways to better deal with it when it does come snarling, but it never truly goes away. Ad so, I find myself in something of a relapse. The 25th anniversary came this year and, although I expected some reaction, it has triggered much more of a downward spiral than I expected. Including full blown waking flashbacks which is something I have not experienced for some time.
To explain the title of this I am copying below something I have posted before.
“Here’s what PTSD is like, and why people kill themselves over it. Think of life like a cave. If I send you into a cave with a lantern and tell you there are no bears in the cave, you feel safe. You will walk around the cave and enjoy yourself. Now what if I give you a lantern and a gun and tell you that there is a bear in there? You can still go down, but you’ll be careful to look for the bear and ready to run or shoot if you see it. Now, what if I send you down there with a gun but no lantern and simply say “bear” to you? Pretty soon, you’re in there, you can’t see the way out, and every rock you bump into feels like a bear. After a long enough time being down in the cave, you realize you don’t have enough ammo to shoot everything that might be a bear. It has nothing to do with running out of food or water or feeling like you’re fighting some unwinnable battle with the bear. You just get sick and tired of the uncertainty. Are you going to live through the night? Are you going to wake up to a bear gnawing your intestines? You get to the point where you just wish the bear would come along and end it. And when he doesn’t come, you decide to do it yourself.”
Therein lies the problem when it comes. The hyper-arousal and hyper-vigilance with no productive outlet for the anxiety, stress, adrenaline et al becomes incredibly exhausting. Emotionally and physically. Exacerbated by the fact your fearful brain keeps you awake at night. This impacts completely in your life. Small decisions become impossible to make because you are just too tired to make them. And so the downward spiral into depression begins.
One positive is that having been down the road before I recognised the signs much earlier. So much earlier have sought intervention and time out. I am lucky to have the support of some particularly good GPs and others who have facilitated that intervention and time out. Not just that, they have given me the time for my sometimes rambling musings on my situation.
So, this blog is likely to become more active again one way or another. I will also revisit and update on some of the meanders!