Evil Joy Speaks

Spawning the next generation of evil genius, one misadventure at a time

Category: PTSD, PPD (page 1 of 3)

Staring at a Burning Candle

I just spent 10 minutes staring at a burning candle. Breathing and staring at a candle. Trying to keep all the random, crazy, sane, not so sane, and mundane thoughts from taking hold as they popped into my head. It wasn’t hard, just awkward. For the first time in forever I was aware of how many thoughts are flying around in my head constantly. I didn’t fight the “I need to pay for dance,” or “I need dry my gloves,” or “Why am I doing this?” thoughts. I didn’t focus on the random words or calls to action but just acknowledged and … let them float off. All the while watching a candle burn, focusing on calm, slow, even breathing.

I have always dealt with pressure well. It’s when the pressure is off or the storm is over that I fall apart. This last storm – my husband having surgery – triggered my (I thought long resolved) PTSD. In addition, I fell snowboarding, bumped my face – not hard at all – and set off a series of weird events. A few years back I took a baseball to the face and ever since when the weather has extreme shifts or I get a particularly bad migraine, a portion of my face will go numb. After my husband’s surgery and a small fall, half of my face went numb. Right down the middle, including half of my tongue.

Then half of my face felt like it was in fire. And life was hell.

I was exhausted at the end of the day. Trying to concentrate over the fire or numbness in my face took so much energy. I had a constant headache and wore sunglasses non-stop for a month. Honestly, I thought I was going nuts. I just waited for each day to end so I could go to bed and try to find a comfortable position and … not sleep.

After seeking help from a chiropractor, who sent me to a medical doctor, who sent me to an ENT, I had a two hour long MRI. As someone who is mildly claustrophobic, this was one of the most awful  experiences of my life – ranking right up there with having meningitis.

They found no source for any my facial nerve pain. Thankfully. The list of things they were looking for … seriously scary stuff. Thankfully they found nothing out of the ordinary.

STRESS.

Once again, stress had kicked me. I thought I was dealing well after seeing my doctor about PTSD. I thought I had a handle on things. Evidently my body disagreed. Stress has a way of finding a weak spot in your body and reminding you you’re human. This time stress found my facial nerves.

This week, things are better. I’m feeling more normal. After fielding a million questions about wearing sunglasses inside during the day, including one comment that floored me (“I wondered if she was high or something?”), I am hoping today I will only need my sunglasses outside. Or at least wear my normal glasses when others are around. While I still have a daily headache, it’s mostly manageable and slowly improving. I can focus enough to read a book and watching television isn’t totally awful…I’m on my computer and able to think….

I’m done avoiding stress through busyness. It’s time to address stress and how I deal with it. Taking the time to do the things that make me happy and calm is a priority. Snowboarding as much as I can, running more, drinking extra water, giving up diet soda…..and staring at a candle each morning.

…..

What do you do to deal with stress? Let’s start a conversation….

 

PTSD Sucks

My husband had surgery in mid December. He got hurt snowboarding. I didn’t deal well with any of it.

PTSD sucks. 

Seeing him semi-conscious pre-surgery with a nasal cannula, hooked up to an I.V., with blankets covering him to his chin put me back to a place I never want to return. His eyes were closed, his breathing was slow, and I was helpless.

It wasn’t the same thing. He was going to wake up and be just fine. Not have to learn to walk again. Not have to be in the hospital for weeks. Not come home and be helpless.

PTSD sucks.

My behavior was normal. Completely and totally normal. My mind remembered the fear and anxiety and my body reacted. I couldn’t eat. I couldn’t sleep. I was testy and OCD about the house being tidy. I made sure everything was done and done properly and then would sit in my closet with the door shut and sob uncontrollably until one of the kids needed me. Finally my husband told me I was scaring the kids and needed to go to the doctor. That statement, “You’re scaring the kids,” punched me in the gut. The kids have always come to me with their problems and fears. Always me.

PTSD sucks. 

I went to the doctor. She assured me I wasn’t the awful human being I, in that moment, believed myself to be. She explained anger can be extreme anxiety. That my body was using muscle memory of a traumatic event and that was why I hadn’t been able to eat more than a yogurt a day in over a week. She told me….it was time to go back on anxiety meds for a little while. I sat there and cried, relived to hear I wasn’t going crazy, I wan’t going to be like this forever, and that I wasn’t an awful human.

PTSD sucks.

The sun didn’t shine in my world for a while. I was still upset and testy. I worried incessantly about my husband, his interpretation of rules, and his recovery. I quickly learned to keep that to myself as he’s an adult and unlike last time, he’s just fine. I was trying to control a situation that wasn’t mine to control. Letting go was, and is hard, but necessary.

Last week, I felt like myself for the first time since he got hurt. I didn’t plaster a smile on my face and chatter out of fear of anyone seeing through my act. Those closest to me knew better but respected my need to attempt to act normal. I smiled a real smile. Laughed without forcing it. I went snowboarding without guilt. I found my happy.

PTSD sucks.

You just have to see it through to the other side.

Spawning Date

Evidently I missed my own spawning date.
Facebook update from 2011.


Happy Spawnday to me!
Hope you had a wonderful day!  Tell me about it!!!

The path…

The path though uncertain is beautiful in every aspect.

Tomorrow…

If you’re newer here and this doesn’t make a lot of sense, see below today’s post. There’s a quick summary of why tomorrow is…tomorrow.

…………

Tomorrow is…tomorrow. I have refrained from writing anything about “tomorrow” for several reasons.

  1. I’m sick of myself.
  2. If I don’t talk about it, maybe I’ll “get over it.”
  3. I don’t want to be annoying.

And I don’t want to cry anymore.

Tomorrow is the anniversary of the day Dr. Evil got sick. He got better and got back to living. As did I. We both did. In our own unique ways, at varied paces.

But…there’s always a but…

I have moments where fear grips my heart and squeezes so hard I can’t breathe. Ambulances with sirens blaring and lights flashing take my breath away. Scenes, real or fictional, of people in a coma are hard and sometimes more than I can deal with at that moment. I’ve learned to let it be what it is, deal with the moment, and move on. Without judgment.

Most of the time.

When I do judge myself I am harsh. My lack of strength, my weakness of character. My inability to move on and let the past be in the past. Trust me, I get the job done. I judge the hell out of myself and beat myself up over reacting to triggers. I’m working on letting go of judgment. It’s a process.

But…here’s another but…

Tomorrow I’m making new memories. I’m making it the day I give to myself. A friend said on her day she grants herself grace.

Grace. I like that. Grace to let the day be what it is. Grace to feel what I feel when I feel it and not judge those feelings. Grace to be okay not thinking about it all. Grace to be overwhelmed. Grace to cry. Grace to laugh out loud and embrace the day.

Grace to be me.

So tomorrow will mark the anniversary of a life changing event. But also the start of a new trek. Tomorrow is day I’m going to make memories to last a life time. A day to wake up next to Dr. Evil.  To be with friends, to be alone, to work out, to spend an entire day as I wish and exist in my skin.

To be me.

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——–

In late November of 2011 my husband didn’t feel well. We finally went to the ER when his pain became so severe he couldn’t tolerate it any longer. Less than 12 hours later he was in induced coma suffering  from a septic staph infection causing heart, kidney, and liver failure. He had staph pneumonia and rhabdomyolysis. He was on 24 hour a day continuous dialysis. For 10 days he was unconscious. He woke, got better, and learned to walk again. He was released 5 weeks later. He spent a few months at home continuing to get better. Dr. Evil experienced a full and complete recovery with no ill or lasting effects from his ordeal. No known source of the staph infection was ever identified.

#NaBloPoMo

 

Pray For Paris

Tonight that’s all I have to say.

Pray, send out positive energy, light and love for those affected by today’s events.

#prayforparis

November 3rd

This is my fifth attempt at a blog post for today. I decided to participate in NaBloPoMo meaning I committed to posting a blog post every day of November.

So do I go with what I had the first, second, third, or fourth time or will this be the winner winner chicken dinner?

I’m in a funk and it’s making my posts darker than I want. My problem then becomes to either post what I’d written or write something else. Whenever I write something a little darker than my normal I sit on for a minimum of 24 hours. But I need to post something TODAY. I’m a rule follower and I believe in living up to my promises.

So here’s a post. It’s not pretty. It’s not eloquent. It’s not even entertaining.

But today it’s all I’ve got that I can share. And it’s real. I’m being honest.

Today I’m sad.

Tomorrow is a new day with new starts and hopes. Tomorrow I will find the sunshine.

I just hope it finds me.

November 1st

Today I’m thankful for a patient spouse, good kids, and a great friend.

I was awful today. I was in a terrible mood and it took until about 6:30 tonight for me to break free. I knew I was being rotten but felt unable to stop. I managed to get out of that mood while hanging out with a good friend and just being. She knows my demons and we’re able to talk about all things and not wallow in anything. It’s a pretty cool relationship to have. I’m very fortunate.

Dr. Evil is pretty patient. I knew I needed to step away when he suggested I go for a run. That’s like someone yelling “CHILL OUT” at you. Since I’ve worked out the last six days in a row today was my day off and I simply couldn’t. I was just in a foul mood. I was grumpy with him, with our children, and even with the dogs. I was just done.

As much as I dislike admitting it part of my issue today is that November has arrived. I’m sick of being bothered about certain things. PTSD is a bitch and I’m socked in the gut at random times not of my chosing. I hate it. I hate not being in control. I hate feeling weak. I hate crying over a phrase or a memory. I hate it. All of it.

But today is a beautiful day for which to be thankful. Tomorrow is yet another day. Every day is a gift and I’m trying to remember that. I’m trying to live that. Tomorrow is not a given. I want that fact to bring excitement and not a nervous, soul sucking fear. I feel like today I wasted a portion of my time and if tomorrow I lost Dr. Evil I would live forever regretting my behavior and feelings. On the flip side i have to live life and not fear “what if?” and to be okay with having an off day.

……

Tomorrow is a new day. I’m ready.

Are you?

This is Progress.

It’s been a while since I talked about Dr. Evil being sick. I view this as progress and consider it a success. A couple of things have happened that took me “back” but I haven’t stayed there. Not back. Not anymore. Here’s what progress is for me….

A few weekends ago, I felt all the old ick resurface. Now I have the skills to deal with the feelings that slam me….but the emotions still take my breath away for a time.

Saturday the girls found the cane Dr. Evil used while recuperating. It made my skin crawl to see that thing. I know most view items like this as just that….a thing. For me, in that moment, that cane took me to helping Dr. Evil around the house, watching him struggle to walk, seeing him exhausted after walking three steps. The girls were playing with the cane, transforming it into a crutch and making pretend casts. I smiled and watched them play from a distance. I didn’t want to engage and inspect the “broken leg.”

Then they gave it to Dr. Evil and he leaned on it. I looked at him and said, “No. Don’t do that.” I walked away. I was instantly grumpy – my defense mechanism. I felt like I couldn’t breathe.

And then…..it was okay.

Today the cane is still about in the house. I finally told the girls I would rather they play with it somewhere else. A year ago I would have thrown it away and cried. Today I asked them to move it and went on with my day.

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Life is good. We’re all good. There’s not a day that goes by where I don’t thank my lucky stars for my family. Days go by where I don’t think about what could have happened – but didn’t.

This is progress.

Get Back To It

I hate sirens. M’kay?

I have heard more sirens, seen more ambulances, witnessed more medical personnel offering assistance, and observed people needing medical attention in the past few days than in several months combined.

I’m dealing. From the outside I’m doing fine. Observed by friends as being “just fine.” Progress – at least I can appear to be fairly normal.

Inside I’m cringing, crying, and trying to hold my hands from pulling on my hair. Still progress – I’m not actually doing any of these things.

I thought I was over this. I thought these types of reactions and feelings were part of my past, no longer able to interfere with my present. Until recently reactions brought on by sirens have been extremely minimal or nonexistent.

I’m not reliving, I’m not wallowing. I having a visceral reaction to the sounds of sirens. My heart races, my mouth goes dry, and I feel like I’m going to vomit. I curl my hands and crack my knuckles. I walk quietly with my head down. I hyper focus on those around me and try to concentrate on the words coming out of their mouths.

I don’t hear or comprehend any of it.

I nod.  I smile. I engage.

I get past it.

But typing this out, I’m sitting in a room full of friends watching television, trying my damnedest not to cry. I’m on vacation in one of my favorite cities in the United States. I should be focused on the moment, enjoying this amazing weekend.

And I am.

Except when I’m not.

My new goal : Experience whatever feelings I’m having, let them go, and get back to living.

 

Because living is what it’s all about.

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