Today was supposed to be budget post day, but my nervous system had other plans! Writing about what I've been feeling has been cathartic for me, and I hope that sharing is helpful for anyone else feeling similarly. You're not alone!
Y'all know there was no H54F last week because I was away at a retreat. In some ways, the retreat was really wonderful. But it also made me feel things. A LOT of things. And that is not my jam.
I've mentioned before that I struggle with PTSD, and some of the healing activities we did at the retreat triggered my old PTSD symptoms. By Friday, I wasn't sleeping or eating much, I was crying over everything, I felt super clingy, I couldn't sit still... So once I got home, I basically felt like I was going to jump out of my skin.
While in a perfectly safe environment, I felt scared to death. That's PTSD for you, I guess.
This onslaught of emotions has been especially hard for me because I'm typically living my best Elsa life: conceal, don't feel, don't let them know.
And the most important one of the "they" is me. Now I know. Now I remember the full depth of emotional pain and terror that I felt as a kid, which makes it hard to stay angry at that part of myself. When we talk about my inner child in therapy, I tend to see her as the enemy, as the thing that's holding me back from living a full life. But now I see that my inner child is still super distressed from the things that she experienced and that that's why she gets in my way. It's not because she's trying to derail my life; it's a cry for help that I've been ignoring.
My emotional state has been improving since Friday, but I still feel a jolt of panic when I stop doing something or am suddenly alone. Like, the fear pops right back up once distraction is gone. Feeling like your nervous system is stuck in overdrive is no joke. For anyone else feeling that way right now, you're a champ for just making it through the day. The biggest (and hardest) thing I’ve been trying to tell myself is that these feelings come in waves. That I may feel scared to death, but it does eventually lessen. Even if it comes back, there are moments of relief--something I struggled to see back when I was suicidal.
According to my therapists, all of this feeling is a good thing. I’m not totally convinced in my current, sleep-deprived state, but I'll take their word for it. :) One therapist said that this is the path to a full range of emotions that includes good emotions, like joy. I hope she's right. <3