The other thing is I have a history of making bad choices where late sleepless nights and a few too many bad thoughts and driving have been involved and I'm trying everything possible to not go down that road again. Although its a struggle. I'm not feeling like that right now, at the moment I just need to hide from it, I need a break. The constant stream of thoughts, memories, feelings, its getting a bit too much. I'm flat tonight. I was flat at softball. I got angry when I got hit by the ball (wasn't my fault, wet grass and the ball was skidding like crazy), then I went and batted, got some aggression out. Then i got hit again and almost lost it. I had to go walk away and do a huge big circle before I burst into tears. Came super close to telling a couple of the softball girls the reasons behind it tonight. I dont know if I want to or not. In a way softball is the one area of my life where no one knows what the real truth is. Uni counsellor knows, you guys know, my close friends know, my old boss knows, work experience supervisor knows i've been hurt, doctor knows, Nona, every other group in my life has someone that knows. That if I do have a bad day I can be with someone who cares at least enough not to run away from me and leave me alone.
Today was a pretty good day, the planning I put in worked well, and really did help me manage myself better. Its the little things like not using excessive energy for worrying about uni or running late to comittments that has made the difference. I layed down for a nap quite early this morning and it was amazing to be able to lay down guilt free because I had no other commitments on for the rest of the day and I didnt have to worry if I didnt fall asleep straight away I gave myself the time to rest instead. Thats another thing I'm realising rest is as important as sleep for when i cant.
I went back to the beach today. The weather was a lot crappier than in my background picture (that was the first real thinking day I had at an Adelaide beach), but it was good to go back, see the water, hear the waves, I didnt quite get to feel the sand on my feet because it was freezing, but even feeling the wind in the hair etc. All helped. I was considering picking up a rock or 2 to bring back with me, but then decided to leave them. Reading tonight on a survivors site, I discovered a huge set of articles that are amazing. One of them was on grounding techniques. In case you have no idea what grounding is heres my stab at explaining it.
When a flashback is happening, or your panicking or you've been triggered, everything flies away out of your control, your back in the moment hearing, seeing, smelling, feeling, believing its all happening again. Grounding is a way of keeping yourself present, focused on the here and now. To stay calm and in control and in a way to advert things getting worse. Theres a heap of different techniques that may work for people (personal preference) basically they all require you to connect with your body and the environment your in.
The ones i find most useful are
- breathing and slow breath control using a mantra (eg inhale calm, exhale stress/panic/emotion/whatever)
- gradual body relaxation (feeling where tight/tense areas are and focusing on relaxing each individual muscle group- I cant do this when i'm worked up tho this one is better for getting me relaxed enough to sleep).
- visulisation (i go to the beach, hear the waves, feel the sun, the water, wind, noises etc)
- focusing on the way your body is attached to the earth (eg I'm sitting in a chair, I can feel the back rest and the arm rests, the chair has 4 legs made out of metal, my butt is glued to the seat, I can move but I'm still in the chair, the chair is next to the table, Sarah is sitting on the other chair across from me etc)
- tapping and fidgeting are also a really simple/portable way to stay kinda grounded. I use them ALOT I'm sure some people think I'm a nutcase constantly tapping on things (especially in lectures where I can feel trapped), but it works, just maintains that constant attachment of the brain to fingers/toes/limbs and uses enough nervous energy I dont have to automatically flee right then and there.
- another option Nona told me was to lie down and start doing deep breaths (breathing is the first thing that goes when panic/emotions set in) and to place one hand on my chest the other on my stomach and breath normally, feeling the relationship between the hands, as if my body is all working as one (mind included), again I have trouble with this in a hypervigilant state.
- Other things i"ve tried are softball drills (yep thats right I've been known to spend upwards of 4 hrs outside practicing my throwing, fielding or batting motions), again its the repetition that moves towards a form of active meditiation I guess.
Now that I've digressed, I want to go back to the beach and get a rock, the list I read tonight even mentioned a "rock from a favourite beach, one that holds good memories". its also more portable and means I can just touch it and know its there, kinda like carrying a get out of jail free card, if it helps i'm willing to give it a go.
So I've eventually worked out im not going for a drive, altho i did just go stand outside in the cold for a while, my room is really stuffy tonight, but sleeping with windows open is a huge no-no and my house has no heating/cooling in the bedrooms only in the main sunroom. Im thinking I might need to drag my pedestal fan out of hibernation over the next few days.
Ok now im totally exhausted, i need to try and sleep tomorrow/today (oops) is weigh in day. I know im going to gain, the question is how much? and how much is from high salt and TTOM and swelling at my assorted bruised areas from softball. Uni for couple hours then home to quiet night working out the plan of attack for session with Nona.
In the meantime if anyone finds the magic forget everything it never happened and you dont need to think/deal with it everyday pill please pass it on. I'm fast running out of energy, its funny how when things are good you dont ever question how bad they actually were and when there bad nothing ever seems like it will be good again....