(Trigger Warning: References to PTSD and C-PTSD)
For most people, spring is a time of year that is looked fondly at and is welcomed. Not me. Spring time only means pain for me. Not only is it too bright with strong smells and loud noises of life re-emerging after a long winter, it is also a time that I fall into depression. My depression is experienced as profound loss mixed with anxiety. It has been this way for twelve years. I am here again, another February, another spring.
I have been having trouble sleeping and eating. Nightmares mixed with bad dreams and stress dreams. No appetite. No drive to do anything, because what is the point? Of course, my logical part of my brain is fighting back. There is always a point when it comes to the things that need to be done. It didn’t seem to matter, though. Why was this happening?
My body remembered why even though my brain was distracted with everything going on in my life. I have been focusing on my responsibilities and family, not even clicking in on to the reasons as to why I found myself suddenly feeling very strange, sick with nausea and fatigue, and not able to describe how I was feeling. All I knew was that I was unwell. It would be another week or so before I realized that the symptoms I was experiencing were those of depression. It was that time of year again.
The flashbacks have also returned like it does every year at this time and I find that I am struggling to remain in the present. PTSD is very complicated and is usually diagnosed based on one trauma. When layers of multiple years of trauma are mixed in, it gets even more complex, hence the name Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or C-PTSD. I have C-PTSD and it sucks.
I am here again, struggling to remain in the moment and not get dragged back to that day when my life as I knew it ended. The person I was died that day back in February 2004, one year after my son was born, one year after all hell broke loose. I am not going to go into detail about what happened. It took me eleven years to write that blog, the one that told the story of what happened on that long ago day and continued to happened for years afterward. You can find that blog here – The Volcano is Awake.
Tonight, as I type these words, I am looking more for therapeutic means rather than telling my story. It took me eleven years to get to the point where I could even write my story and still it feels that not everything was written. I tried reading my story again a few months ago. My writing seemed disjointed. It didn’t flow well. Eleven years and I am still having trouble telling my story.
Perhaps, one day, I can write my story again, make it flow better, add missing details and the changes that have happened since I originally wrote it, but tonight is not the night. Tonight, I just want the tears to stop. I have been crying most of the day as I try to stay in February 2016, not February 2004.
How long will this hell last? How many more years must I endure reliving what I went through all those years ago? There are no answers to these questions, unfortunately. I just have to keep going even when I have no “spoons” left. I have to keep reaching for tomorrow. One day it will be better. I just have to keep holding on. I can’t give up.
Side to Side – A personal poem I wrote in May 2015 about holding on.
I have Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) as well. I am currently experiencing all these symptoms except suicidality. This graphic was found at ADAA.
- What it Feels Like, Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment
- “If you suspect that you, or a loved one might suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, complete the following self-test by clicking the “yes or “no” boxes next to each question. If you or a loved one has experienced trauma and has answered “yes” to some of these questions, discuss them with your doctor.”
- “As a community of peers, we share information about our understanding of CPTSD and our experiences of living with CPTSD, and support one another as we move forward in learning, healing and recovering.”