After I just talked about going for it, I got in a car to ride to a wedding and had some of the worst re-experiencing I’ve had in a long time. It sent me on a day-long downward spiral, and between the panic last night and the anxiety today, it’s been a rough 24 hours.
Again, it’s so discouraging to start setting some goals and be sideswiped by your own brain.
I didn’t bail out yesterday and I didn’t say anything, because I didn’t want to skip this wedding and I didn’t want the overwhelming fear of impending doom to win. I also didn’t want to get completely sloshed, so I didn’t drink as I was inclined to do and stuck with a single glass of wine during cocktail hour. I was more than ready to get home, and glad when my companions left shortly after the dancing started.
Work was really hard today, and not just because I’ve had a hard time, but because I had a lot of unexpected conflict to deal with. If you’ve experienced PTSD you know that sometimes it comes with rage, and if I am already overwhelmed and dealing with the cognitive issues I sometimes have, it doesn’t take a lot for me to get close to losing my temper. I kept it in check, but barely, and the annoying communications I was dealing with didn’t help with my commitment to embracing what life throws me. I spent some time thinking about my next career move, possibly as a forest ranger. I understand they spend a considerable amount of time alone.
When you begin to lose (or completely lose) your ability to regulate your response to stress, it is unfathomable how you can manage a day without shutting down and shutting out, which was my inclination for the entire morning and part of the afternoon. I wanted to just go back to bed and not deal with it.
But I didn’t.
I stayed at it, worked as slowly as I had to, rearranged as I had to, kept my emails brief and courteous, and made it to the end of business with surprising speed. I still haven’t adjusted to daylight savings and the evening comes up quickly for me, and I wasn’t rushing through tasks today, I was working at the pace I could maintain and not quit. It worked out, I’ve started to inch toward feeling slightly better and I don’t have the severe anxiety at the moment. A walk to the mailbox this afternoon helped a bit, and I’ll do yoga when I finish a last email for the day.
Even if you have to slow down, even if the steps are small, even if you have to call on your support system, do what you can the best you can with what you can at the time. And if you need to take a day to calm and try again tomorrow.