- Repeated upsetting memories of the event – uh, yeah.
- Strong, uncomfortable reactions to situations that remind you of the event – check
- Difficulty concentrating - what was that again?
- Startling easily – eeeks, I do NOT like loud noises
- Feeling more aware (hyper vigilance) – seems like a smart idea to me
- Feeling irritable or having outbursts of anger – do NOT get in my way!
- Having trouble falling or staying asleep – I love my 4am wakeup, not!
Friday, April 27, 2012
All of it
My mornings are a combination of checking email and Facebook, making coffee and sitting down to write. I used to treat my writing time as more of a “sacred space”. Not wanting to bring in any distractions, I would calm myself first, absolutely not check email or Facebook and sit down to write for my appointed time. I have abandoned this practice. Now, I jump around a little manically and still manage to write.
This morning, I explore the symptoms of PTSD and while on this track, I listen to Louis GK’s “Everything’s amazing and nobody’s happy” diatribe on Conan. F-ing brilliant! Edgy, real and making fun of all we hold precious. Because I laugh, does that mean I don’t have any PTSD symptoms? No, it doesn’t mean that.
Fortunately I have the ability to view my situation and myself objectively. I know the most important thing I can do is to be where I am, and not judge my process. I am pretty good at that.
Here are some symptoms of PTSD:
Some of the symptoms of PTSD seem obvious. It’s a strange diagnosis. It says, in PTSD symptoms are present for at least 30 days. Who heals from any trauma in 30 days??? Jeez.
Healing typically takes at least a year as you go through anniversaries, seasons and events for the first time without whatever or whoever was lost. Everyone knows that. PTSD diagnosis requires a significant impairment in social, occupational or other important areas of functioning. I would say I can relate.
Then I take a break to watch “Shit Life Coaches Say”, another brilliant piece of perspective. Those of us who are seasoned on this journey of personal growth realize we can become a parody of ourselves. Watching this, I laugh and cringe as I first make fun with them, then hear words I have said to client’s… eeegads. Us self-helpers are a funny bunch.
Moving from being a Therapist to being a Life Coach gave me more freedom to be how I wanted. I respect and admire Therapists for their work and love my new Therapist (just started yesterday with the kind and talented Cynic Winter who will use some EMDR and other techniques to work with my PTSD symptoms). Therapists have more patience than coaches. We coaches like to tell people what to do while therapist will give space for a client to come to their own understanding. We bark commands while therapists whisper suggestions. Have I pissed off any coaches yet?
Then, my move to being an Author Coach and letting go of general Life Coaching opened things up even more. The notion of writing a book provided something to focus on. It is a measurable goal with many ways to determine if progress is being made. If the goal is to write a book, you know you have achieved that goal by whether a book exists or not. It is not mysterious. Yes, many people discover much more along the way and realize other goals and dreams. But in the long run, either you have a book – or you do not.
I also brought more of my angsty darkness to my work with authors. I gave myself so much more space to share my continuing struggles with the human condition: my self-doubt, anxieties, fears, and ego. Somehow I thought as a Life Coach I shouldn’t do this. Now, in my writing, I am letting it all hang out. I am not doing it for any purpose other than to process and share with my people. Writing has become my release. It is my prayer and my meditation.
Yesterday, my new therapist brought up the topic of meditation and I braced. Don’t make me be quiet, please! I forgot to tell you this, Cynic, so I am telling you now. I can’t be too quiet right now. Quiet is where the memories lie. Quiet is where the grief lies. I can be quiet when I am guided by a healing practitioner or for brief moments on the massage table but I don’t want to be quiet by myself. God no. Not yet. Someday maybe. Not now.
Being the overachiever and eternal seeker, I had not one but two healing sessions which sandwiched my live radio show where my guest Ellen Melko Moore and I discussed the healing journey, delusional realism and comedic spiritual advice... whatever that means. All I know is, it was fun. I laughed – and said “balls” live on air. We bantered and brought edgy perspective to tragic issues. I highly recommend listening. My show is going to a whole new level as I allow more and more of this edgy, burned up version of me to emerge.
Before the show, I spent 2 hours on the phone with a Shaman. I will share more about this later, but suffice it to say it was one of the most (if not the most) powerful sessions I have ever had in my entire existence on this planet. Besides that, it was pretty good. By the time I got to Cyncie’s couch in the afternoon, I kicked off my shoes and went horizontal. Exhausted in a better way than the deep exhaustion I have been feeling, I let her guide me in visualization and trusted my tender heart to her loving care.
I allow all of it – the extreme darkness, the wicked laughter, the disillusionment, the anger at God, the edgy remarks, the snot and slobber, the dumb blond mistakes I keep making, the momentary appreciation for all things. All of it.