I don’t think PTSD is unique in the sensation or reality of being stuck where you are, but I do think because PTSD comes with a lot of challenges to managing day-to-day stress, schedule and capacity, it can be harder to find a way out of feeling stuck.
I feel a bit trapped. I was trapped in a car, I was trapped in circumstances, and that stuck in my brain. I can feel trapped even when I’m not, because I’m not necessarily able to see and understand that I have options to be un-trapped. Relationships can be this way, work, living situation, habits, coping tools, etc. Since I can feel trapped even when I’m not, being a bit trapped and needing to work my way out can REALLY feel like being trapped, and the panic and depression that can come from that perception can be crippling. It really is a vicious spiral.
I feel trapped right now, but mostly trapped in a schedule that is too much for me. Work is record-breaking busy for my position, and I’m new to it, so that has a set of challenges and demands for sure. I’m also busy in the evenings with social and professional obligations, so I’m not going home from work most nights, I’m going from work to other things and eventually home.
I’m not getting a lot done in my personal life during the week, which leaves weekends to catch up on everything from groceries to laundry to letters to fitness and sleep, but the weekends are way too short for the amount of recovery I need to do to get back to neutral.
I’m trapped in my schedule, and it can be so hard to find a way out of the things we get trapped in. It’s ok, and it’s absolutely necessary to say no though, and you aren’t required to explain yourself. I started saying no to new things. It’s only been two, but those two “nos” were so necessary. I’m already operating at max capacity, and I need to not push past that. I need to protect myself. This isn’t the PTSD fear talking, this is real situation and noticing it talking. No more new things, no more extra things.
I can also get caught up in thinking that I just need things to calm down until the minute I feel better. False. I need things to calm down until I feel better and have time to heal. So the new no is not just until I have a chance to take a breath before I launch into a new round of extra stress, it’s a no until I have some time and space to engage in more healing so that my capacity for stress can improve. It’s not going to get better by adding stress, it gets better by reducing stress so I can calm – preferably for a good long time!
I don’t always have a choice, but where I do I need to exercise it, and I would rather choose less blur, which is how things are now.