I had a bad moment at work yesterday and the night was followed up with repetitive dreams of the soldier that died...go figure. I never would have seen that one coming. The end result: I slept in really late, screwing up my sleep schedule and I have been grumpy all day. What a way to spend a day off. The worst part is, I know it's the PTSD making me feel this way and I STILL can't stop it from making me feel out of sorts and grumpy. The only two solaces I have had today are the wonderful antics of my wife and daughter. They at least distract me for a little while.
I was at work and I saw someone who looked a lot like a soldier I knew from Iraq that didn't make it home. I don't know how I didn't lose it right then and there. I was hyper vigilant for the rest of my shift, checking my corners and evaluating everyone that came through my area for threat level. It was ridiculous. I work in a freaking grocery store! I don't know how my co-workers didn't notice my change in demeanor. Well, maybe it did and it scared them. I guess time will tell. It's hard for me to ascertain for myself how my PTSD affects others in a situation like that. When I got home, I took an extra dose of my anti-anxiety medication. I was so amped up I couldn't sit down for the first 30 minutes I was home. I did eventually calm down, but thinking you're seeing a ghost doesn't help your mental stability. But hey...I made it through and tomorrow's a new day, right?
I have absolutely no reason to think that tomorrow is going to be a bad day. I am starting something new. The people I will be working with respect me. So why do I have this nagging feeling like I'm walking into it tomorrow? It's not a pleasant feeling. I am hoping it's just the jitters. I fought hard to get this position, so maybe I am just putting undue pressure on myself. I'll have to see how it goes and report back after!
I would wager I am not the only person who feels like Mr. Hyde is lurking in the shadows. He hasn't made an appearance in a long time. That's what makes me nervous. I guess I am fatalistic. I don't trust myself. I am worried that he's going to come out at the most inopportune time. I can't afford that. I need to rethink my approach to dealing with it. I just don't know how to keep him hidden if someone really pisses me off to the point that I go from yelling to quiet. It's when I get quiet that I really worry. I have gotten that pissed off once in the past year. I got quiet and calm...that's how furious I was. I went into combat mode and compartmentalized everything. I can be vicious and cold and crass when I get into this mode. I don't know how I didn't snap at anyone this time around. Is this how it's going to be? Is it like Russian Roulette?
Ok, I am going on a business trip this week and we are supposed to carpool. I am not driving...this is what is causing a lot of my anxiety. I can't handle not being in control of the car until I know the skill of the driver intimately. It took almost two years after I met my wife to feel comfortable being a passenger for anything other than local driving. I have never asked of accommodation for my disability at work and think it is something I am going to have to address. No amount of medication would get me through that ride...I guess I will be talking to someone at work about this. I can't see any other way to get through this without breaking.
Whenever a big change happens in my life, I can feel the anxiety start to ratchet up a notch or ten. It's not that I am nervous about the change, it's that my head starts processing all of the things I need to tie up loose ends and I think about all of the things that I am going to want to do to get down to the nitty gritty as soon as I get into whatever it is I am getting into. In this case, I am taking up a new position at work. I have always pressured myself to drill down into the knowledge I need to know to be successful in any given position and until I have successfully done that, I will be anxious that I haven't learned fast enough. Reminding myself that not learning fast enough won't get anyone killed doesn't seem to have much of an impact. I wish I knew what did.
I customer lacerated her feet at work today. A glass soda bottle was dropped and the resulting explosion of glass left her with 'shrapnel-like' wounds on her feet. Needless to say, I dealt with the situation but had some very persistent intrusive recollections during and after the incident was dealt with. It left me feeling a little listless. I am glad that I write down all of my nightly tasks in a notebook, otherwise I would have been completely useless. I hope I don't have nightmares tonight. I am a little afraid to try to sleep, but I know I should.
I hate it when I have intrusive recollections. The next few days I am edgy and anxious that I am going to have more. It makes it difficult to get a good night sleep and makes it difficult to stay focused during the day. I recognize this is a problem and I still haven't been able to figure out a way to nip it in the bud yet. If anyone has any ideas, please let me know!
I interview for a new position at work on Thursday. As usual, my nerves are getting the better of me. My PTSD causes me to go into catastrophic thinking mode and I obsess about the worst possible outcomes. I am aware of it, but it still makes it hard to stay focused on work. It has also made me really want a cigarette. All I have to do is get through the next few days. Just get through the next few days.
Ok, so I figured out what was upsetting me so much. I want to feel all of my emotions that I feel toward my daughter. It has been exhausting coming to a new 'center'. Now that I have and I have a firm grip on what feelings are PTSD related and what I feel towards my daughter, I am relieved. My coping mechanisms are back in place and I am feeling mostly the normal exhausted that accompanies parenthood. I love my daughter so much and my world brightens every time she smiles. What an amazing feeling, being a father!
As I continue my life with PTSD, I will share my challenges and discoveries on this blog.