Since things have calmed down regarding the recent therapy debacle, I apparently decided to entertain myself by letting PTSD symptoms run rampant. Today has been a running flashback. I think I’ve spent more time in the past than the present. The psychological symptoms are obvious, but the physical symptoms get in the way, too. I get ‘tummy troubles’ as a dear friend calls them. My muscles ache from being so tense. I get migraines. My energy level flits about like leaves in the wind. All of those lovely physical warnings that something is wrong.
A very simple thing the former therapist taught me is to ground myself by sitting straight in my chair and keeping both feet in constant contact with the ground. When she first mentioned that, I thought she’d gone off her face. It really does help, though. The standard looking at a calendar to see the date can be helpful, but if it is near one of the SRA days, it can be tremendously harmful. I’m careful with that one.
Above all, I’ve found that being outside helps. I tend to avoid driving unless I’m sure I can keep my focus. Still, feeling sun, rain, or wind on my skin makes me feel alive. Again, SRA dictates the sort of places that help. I can’t do open spaces like fields or car parks. I need to be walking about in a residential area, surrounded by houses and people who are as alive as me. It makes me feel a part of this world, so far away from the underground cult world.
I need to keep in my mind that the past is, in fact, over. The memories and scars survive, but the events are over. I also need to stop myself worrying about what’s to come. It bothers me to think that the future could mirror the past in any way. So here I sit on this August evening, trying to settle in to the present and remind myself of the wonderful people in my life who form the blanket of safety that now surrounds me.