- 28th April
- 17th April
When I began to wail the afternoon of April 17, 2010, I didn’t realize I was doing it. I didn’t realize I was doing anything at all. I felt dead.
On the inside & the outside, I felt dead. Apparently the wailing and sobbing was so loud & distressing that somebody in the hotel called the front desk…and they called the police. When they knocked on my door to see what was going on, I don’t remember what I said…but it got them to go away.
The rest of that day is in bits & pieces. I don’t know why I didn’t just tell the club I was at that I was done, & taken the first flight home. I don’t know why I didn’t do that. Just hop in my rental car & haul ass home. I should’ve gone home the night o the 16th. I knew something was wrong. I KNEW…
I’m sorry I wasn’t home. I’m sorry I wasn’t there to protect you when you needed it most.
But I need you to know, wherever you are, the promise I made that day, I will always keep that promise. No matter what, I will keep it. I will see you again one day, but until then, know that I will fight with everything I have to try & make it right. Fix it. Make it better.
I’m so, so sorry…
- 17th April
- When we are frightened, we remember things very clearly.
- Although it can be distressing to remember these things, it can help us to understand what happened and, in the long run, help us to survive.The flashbacks can be seen as replays of what happened. They force us to think about what has happened so we might be better-prepared if it were to happen again.
- It is tiring and distressing to remember a trauma. Avoidance and numbing keep the number of replays down to a manageable level.
- Being ‘on guard’ means that we can react quickly if another crisis happens. We sometimes see this happening with survivors of an earthquake, when there may be second or third shocks. It can also give us the energy for the work that’s needed after an accident or crisis.
- Adrenaline is a hormone our bodies produce when we are under stress. It ‘pumps up’ the body to prepare it for action. When the stress disappears, the level of adrenaline should go back to normal. In PTSD, it may be that the vivid memories of the trauma keep the levels of adrenaline high. This will make a person tense, irritable, and unable to relax or sleep well.
- The hippocampus is a part of the brain that processes memories. High levels of stress hormones, like adrenaline, can stop it from working properly – like ‘blowing a fuse’. This means that flashbacks and nightmares continue because the memories of the trauma can’t be processed. If the stress goes away, and the adrenaline levels get back to normal, the brain is able to repair the damage itself, like other natural healing processes in the body. The disturbing memories can then be processed and the flashbacks and nightmares will slowly disappear.
- 16th April
People with PTSD may also experience dissociation. Dissociation is an experience where a person may feel disconnected from himself and/or his surroundings. Similar to flashbacks, dissociation may range from temporarily losing touch with things that are going on around you (kind of like what happens when you daydream) to having no memories for a prolonged period of time and/or feeling as though you are outside of your body.
Both flashbacks and dissociation may occur as a result of encountering triggers, or a reminder of a traumatic event. To the extent that people are not aware of their triggers, flashbacks and dissociation can be incredibly disruptive and unpredictable events that are difficult to manage. However, you can take steps to better manage and prevent flashbacks and dissociation. These are described below.
Know Your Triggers
In coping with flashbacks and dissociation, prevention is key. Flashbacks and dissociation are often triggered or cued by some kind of reminder of a traumatic event (for example, encountering certain people, going to specific places), or some other stressful experience. Therefore, it is important to identify the specific things that trigger flashbacks or dissociation.
By knowing what your triggers are, you can either try to limit your exposure to those triggers, or if that is not possible (which is often the case), you can prepare for them by devising ways to cope with your reaction to those triggers.
In addition to reducing flashbacks and dissociation, knowing your triggers may also help with other symptoms of PTSD, such as intrusive thoughts and memories of a traumatic event.
Identify Early Warning Signs
Flashbacks and dissociation may feel as though they come “out-of-the-blue.” That is, they may feel unpredictable and uncontrollable. However, there are often some early signs that a person may be slipping into a flashback or a dissociative state. For example, a person’s surroundings may begin to look “fuzzy,” or someone may feel as though he is separating from or losing touch with his surroundings, other people, or even himself.
Flashbacks and dissociation are easier to cope with and prevent if you can catch them early on. Therefore, it is important to try to increase your awareness of early symptoms of flashbacks and dissociation. Next time you experience a flashback or dissociation, revisit what you were feeling and thinking just before the flashback or dissociation occurred. Try to identify as many early symptoms as possible. The more early warning signs you can come up with, the better able you will be to prevent future flashbacks or episodes of dissociation.
Learn Grounding Techniques
As the name implies, grounding is a particular way of coping that is designed to “ground” you in the present moment. In doing so, you can retain your connection with the present moment and reduce the likelihood that you slip into a flashback or dissociation. In this way, grounding may be considered to be very similar to mindfulness.
To ground, you want to use the five senses (sound, touch, smell, taste, and sight). To connect with the here and now, you want to do something that will bring all your attention to the present moment. A couple of grounding techniques are described below.
· Sound: Turn on loud music: Loud, jarring music will be hard to ignore. And as a result, your attention will be directed to that noise, bringing you into the present moment.
· Touch: Grip a piece of ice. If you notice that you are slipping into a flashback or a dissociative state, hold onto a piece of ice. It will be difficult to direct your attention away from the extreme coldness of the ice, forcing you to stay in touch with the present moment.
· Smell: Sniff some strong peppermint. When you smell something strong, it is very hard to focus on anything else. In this way, smelling peppermint can bring you into the present moment, slowing down or stopping altogether a flashback or an episode of dissociation.
· Taste: Bite into a lemon. The sourness of a lemon and the strong sensation it produces in your mouth when you bite into it can force you to stay in the present moment.
· Sight: Take an inventory of everything around you. Connect with the present moment by listing everything around you. Identify all the colors you see. Count all the pieces of furniture around you. List off all the noises you hear. Taking an inventory of your immediate environment can directly connect you with the present moment.
Enlist the Help of Others
If you know that you may be at risk for a flashback or dissociation by going into a certain situation, bring along some trusted support. Make sure that the person you bring with you is also aware of your triggers and knows how to tell and what to do when you are entering a flashback or dissociative state.
In the end, the best way to prevent flashbacks and dissociation is to seek out treatment for your PTSD. Flashbacks and dissociation may be a sign that you are struggling to confront or cope with the traumatic event you experienced. Treatment can help with this. You can find PTSD treatment providers in your area through the Anxiety Disorder Association of America website, as well as UCompare HealthCare from About.com. The International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation (ISSTD) also provides a wealth of information on the connection between trauma and dissociation, how to cope with dissociation, and provides links to therapists who treat trauma and dissociation.
Relevant post is relevant as fuck.
- 16th April
That was the thing. You never got used to it, the idea of someone being gone. Just when you think it’s reconciled, accepted, someone points it out to you, and it just hits you all over again, that shocking.Sarah Dessen, The Truth About Forever (via creatingaquietmind)
- 15th April
it is okay to blacklist the boston marathon explosions.
and it perfectly okay to continue blogging regularly
do not let people make you feel like there’s something wrong with you or you’re insensitive. they’re totally ignoring the fact that some people are easily panicked and may want to avoid this as much as they can. also watching a show or blogging helps relieve stress for some people.
- 15th April
Apparently some part of me thinks bleaching the hell out of every possible surface ‘helps’…because I have no idea what I’ve done today, but I’m out of bleach & even my garage FLOOR has been scrubbed down with bleach.(And I keep at least 4-5 gallons of bleach on hand at all times. That’s a whole ‘nother story, though.)
- 15th April
- 10th April
Hypervigilance sounds innocuous, but it is in fact exhaustingly distressing, a conditioned response to life-threatening situations. Imagine there’s a murderer in your house. And it is dark outside, and the electricity is out. Imagine your nervous system spiking, readying you as you feel your way along the walls, the sensitivity of your hearing, the tautness in your muscles, the alertness shooting around inside your skull. And then imagine feeling like that all the time.
- 10th April
Oh hello there, PTSD triggers, you’re a few days early this year. Thank you for setting out the minefields before I had my ‘coping mechanisms’ fully in place.
The fact that I have extreme anger/rage as opposed to my normal trigger response of fear is probably not a great sign for the next 10 days…
- 8th April
- Being as I am the most stubborn creature on the face of the planet, Thurs-Sat of this week I’m going to attempt to do a few shows at Columbus Gold in Columbus, OH.
- I know it is a pretty terrible/not smart thing to do…but I’ve gotta try one more time. No, I still can’t even wear a ‘real’ shoe, so whatever thought process I use to go ‘yeah, totally try to dance!’ is probably really, really dumb.
- After that booking there will be a couple days of nothingness, & I’ll descend into PTSD/trigger madness the middle of next week. Please excuse this descent in advance & accept my apologies, etc., etc..
Hey, who else tells you in advance that they’re going to go totally batshit & is 100% serious about it? That’s how much I love all of y’all, I’ll warn you way, way ahead of time.
Carry on with your Monday.
- 30th March
- 18th March
- 18th March
- 12th March
Life suck? Haven’t slept in more than a week? Anxiety from hell mixed with severe depression? Chronic illness also kicking your ass in a major flare? Feel quite ‘alone’?
Go ahead & give in & take the damn Valium like your doctors have instructed you to do. If nothing else, you will be too ‘meh’ to be a total neurotic mess for a few hours.
Yes I fight about taking anti-anxiety meds, no matter how badly I ‘need’ them. Taking them makes me feel like a failure because I can’t deal with my anxiety once it goes above a certain ‘level’ on my own.
If I post some really weird shit today…please blame the 60mg of Valium, ok?
(And yes, my prescription is to take anywhere between 10-60mg a day…I’m a freak of nature.)