A Day in the Life of blue-eyes
Ugh. Today’s been rough. I’ve felt completely drained all day. I woke up late but found it extremely hard to acclimatise. I’m not sure whether it’s chronic sleep deprivation from PTSD, or wheat intolerance which I discovered when starting a Paleo diet recently: it’s good for anxiety.
I had a decaff coffee and read the newspaper on my phone, while I attempted to string two thoughts together. Sometimes life is too much for my brain to process. I clicked on an article which I knew I mustn’t read: a girl got buried alive. Something compelled me to know what happened. I skimmed the article and felt a massive surge of terror – a bad panic attack took over my system. I shouted and swore loudly several times, trying to stop flashbacking back to giving birth, oblivious to my boys (aged 8 and 9) upstairs who probably heard everything. It came from nowhere and seemed like to last forever. I couldn’t “ground” myself this time, so I fumbled for the telephone and rang the Samaritans. I mumbled incoherent rubbish to the lady on the phone, who was trying to hold a conversation with me in a traumatised state – your mind goes completely blank when you’re panicking, and trying to think is like trying to catch dust. I calmed down after 15 minutes. I ate some porridge to raise my blood sugar, then showered. I couldn’t shake the drained feeling, and post-panic exhaustion, so battled through it. The rain eased so I took my boys to the park to run off some steam – they were fighting and making trouble. My panic attack probably precipitated their bad behaviour, but I couldn’t change that. At the park, I spent most of the time sorting out my boys’ arguments. Back home, my boys were stompy, grumpy and shouty, but they made sandwiches and I started making soup – no bread for me. Could’ve done without cooking today. After lunch, I asked my boys to do two chores – that took some pressure off, but it would’ve been easier to do it myself, if I’d had the energy. Then I let them watch Planes 2 again, which calmed them, giving me headspace and time to cook gluten-free bread. Afterwards, I took my boys swimming as planned (although my youngest had a major meltdown). I had zero energy and patience, but they enjoyed swimming. My stress levels were still high: my youngest seemed to have forgotten how to swim and I constantly had visions of him drowning, plus I fretted unnecessarily about them meeting weirdoes in the men’s changing rooms. Back home, my boys were much calmer and better behaved, but I decided on a 6:30pm bedtime after their moods and behaviour today, so I had to do dinner straightaway. Hubby was still working. After dinner, my boys messed around, driving me to distraction. Fortunately they didn’t argue when we started bedtime early. I read them a quick story, although I can’t concentrate and trip over my words when I am completely exhausted. Then some quiet time with a decaff tea, zoning out before counselling at 8pm. I played the piano too. Hubby asked if I wanted to talk, but I just wanted peace to defrag my brain. Although I’m always apprehensive before counselling, it helps to process some of the stress that’s been flying around my head. I dragged myself there, reluctantly as usual; after all, in counselling I talk about the painful things in my life. I discuss how my day unravelled before it began, and my text message argument with my sister. I’m currently no-contact with my mother and sister: I’ve had enough of their criticism, judgements and grudge-holding. Gradually, I’m coming to terms with the dysfunction, manipulation and emotional abuse in my family. It’s a long road. I come home emotionally spent but with more perspective on my difficulties. I zone out in front of the telly with hubby. I don’t want to talk today. I’m bored of talking about my “problems”, and I’m just happy not to panic before bed. Going to sleep is never easy, as I fear dying in my sleep (another wonderful PTSD symptom), but isn’t traumatic today at least.