Solo Survivor

Sometimes forward…sometimes back

Some days having complex PTSD is harder to deal with than others. The past few weeks have had a few days like that. One of my limitations is travelling on public transport during peek times. I inevitably end up having a panic attack or being so anxious by the time I get to where I’m going, it takes ages for me to settle and it’s just plain exhausting. And then I can’t stop thinking about the journey home again.

I haven’t been able to catch the train to work for over a year now. But my car was in for repair and I had no alternative when I needed to get to the office. I am fortunate and grateful that I have the kind of job where I can work remotely. But one day, I had 3 important project meetings so had to go in and another day was summoned in for another range of meetings.

I mistakenly thought the train would not be busy at the time of the day I travelled in – 8:45 am – so was seriously stressed by the time I reached the city – a 50 minute ride. I had to stand aside on the platform for a few minutes before I could face the walk to the office. I have to take 3 escalators on my way out of the station and I wait patiently at the bottom of each one for all the people to clear. By now I am hyper-alert and have to take the least populated route to the office.

I am trying to practice my newly learned strategies but sometimes the anxiety is so high it’s all i can do to breathe never mind remember what else to do. I stop, take some deep breaths, and start focusing on what I can hear, see, smell. I don’t drown out the sounds with my headphones as i sometimes do – i want to be able to hear trouble when it comes. I remind myself i am safe – I am not in a war zone. The trip to the office has worn me out and I still have to function enough to get through these meetings and get myself home again. Days like this require sheer will-power to get through – I grit my teeth and press on because the alternative is to surrender to the fear and if I do that I will never get well.

A friend recently sent me a card with this quote which I think depicts me on days like these – Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes it is the quiet voice at the end of the day that says ‘I will try again tomorrow’ – ANON. Each day has it’s challenge with this illness, and I frequently end my day with a whimper but determined to try again tomorrow.

1 Comment

  1. Angie Van Greuning

    My precious Su!

    What a deeply honest and real blog! I am so proud of how you never ever just stay down! You get up each time and you and ply the things you learning to daily get through living with PTSD!

    I know for sure that you WILL conquer this! In God’s strength and you being so open and honest! Being vulnerable is very healing!

    Love you to the furthest stars and back!

    Love Ang


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