Don’t get me wrong

It seems like I have been dealing with PTSD for so long now that some of my symptoms have gone seemingly dormant, I feel off. I don’t feel like myself and even though I know that is not me, that PTSD is not me. I feel like something is wrong because I do not see my days over shadowed by a sense of impending doom. Do not get me wrong, the fact that my symptoms are very low key right now is definitely a good thing. I know with out being told by anyone that it means I am getting better and that is what I know is best for me and deep inside I know that is what I want.
I guess I am just finding certain things different and make me feel out of place. It is weird to me to be navigating the world and not be on constantly guard. I still have my moments but I am better and it feels a little scary. I believe I had just grown accustomed to being hyper-vigilant all the time. To not being able to relax. I do not feel like something bad is going to happen every moment I am around others. I still do some of the time. It’s generally obvious when you see my leg shaking or constant fidgeting. It is getting easier though.
Over all, these are all things that I had been dealing with for over seven years. They had become a part of who I am without me permission or my knowledge. It is only recently that I have started to feel better. I did not even feel totally okay after finishing CPT. Some days I feel fine and here is where I get confused with myself. Some days I do not seem to have a single thought about what happened. Not feeling that anger, that sadness, that frustration, it is all so foreign to me. I guess it is just something I will have to get used too.

Waking up from a nightmare

empty-bed

It is difficult to wake up from a nightmare. It can be hard when you are not sure if the nightmare is reality or just another nightmare. It is disconcerting to lay there unsure if your nightmare was real, if it is over, if the thoughts running around your head are making it worse or making it better. I know the nightmares, they are rarely new anymore. They just tend to be like a bad horror movie stuck on repeat. The meds I’m on help most of the time, but I have noticed that excess stress can overpower the meds and bring the nightmares back on full force. I have talked about nightmares before and it is likely that anyone with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder can tell you how real they are. Outside of the people I see at the PTSD clinic at the VA I do not think I have actually laid out what one of my nightmares contains and I do not really have an urge to.

I am just happy that they happen at night and rarely do I suffer from daytime flashbacks. Thankfully most daytime recollections that I have a mild and more like unpleasant daydreams. I also have the tools to handle things during the daytime. Those same tools do not really work as 3 am in the morning when you are not sure you are actually awake, your heart is beating out of your chest and the shirt I happen to be wearing is soaked I sweat. In fact, those tools do not work at all. Almost 90 minutes later, my heart is still racing and I am only 90% sure I am awake and that the thoughts racing through my mind are more than just a continuation of my nightmare. It blows honestly and sucks because it just sets the tone for the rest of my day.

I try very hard on mornings and days like this not to just shut down and retreat back into my own little protective shell. I know it is unhealthy and it never really fixes anything anyways. I do have to work hard on not being an asshole to people though. Part of me tends to feel like making everyone else suffer with me. Yes, I know that never really fixes anything either, but depending on who I get to be an asshole to, sometimes it makes me feel better. On a more serious note, it is just hard to be normal when your tired, frustrated and preoccupied with over analyzing a stupid nightmare. I know it is not real and I end up using every tool I have learned and spend the day picking apart my nightmare piece by piece to prove to myself it is not real and why it is not real. My problem is that is does not really seem to stop the nightmare from reoccurring and it does not really stop my want to retreat.

Like everything else though, I do know I will survive. I do know that I will not have a nightmare every time I attempt to sleep. I just wish I could say that they will go away forever one day. The problem with that belief is no one has yet to tell me they will.  I know what living in my reality is like and having night terrors be apart of them royally sucks ass.  Just remember, PTSD is not a choice, we didn’t wake up one day and decided: ‘Hey! Let’s have nightmares and flashbacks for the rest of our lives!