This past week, I have done a lot of thinking about why my anger is getting harder and harder to control. After a lot of deep thought and talking to my individual therapist, I have examined my life at home and at work to try to narrow down where the increasing stress is coming from. This past Monday, I got pulled aside at work and was talked to by the management trainee in our department. While I don't recall exactly what it was that I did (which is problematic as well), it suddenly became crystal clear that the vast majority of my stress stemmed from stressors at work. I realized that the more stressed I became, the more forgetful I became, the more distracted I was, and I was substantially easier to anger.
With this in mind, I evaluated what about my job was making me so stressed, so miserable and I realized it was all of the management tasks. I was stressing about finding the time to write reviews, talk to employees, train and develop subordinates, improve merchandizing, writing accurate orders, maintaining maximum product freshness, product rotation issues, etc. The list went on and on and the more I thought about those tasks, the more worked up I got.
It couldn't be that simple, could it? I had promised almost a year ago that I would do everything in my power to maintain a healthy work-life balance. Could stepping down from the management team and assuming a role of less responsibility and accountability really be the answer? I talked to my wife about it and she agreed that the stress that work was causing me in my current position was not worth the bump in pay. So, I approached my boss and his boss and asked to sit down and talk. I let them know that I was stepping down and had a desire to be a plain old full-time employee with no management responsibilities.
Neither one was surprised and both were relieved. They told me that they had talked about offering to let me step down as an option. They noticed that I had become more and more distracted and much more irritable at work. They knew that with my current levels of stress, that I wan't happy. The were concerned about my welfare. They knew what I was capable of. They also knew what a toll my PTSD and events over the last two years have taken on me. They understood why I was stepping down and understood my reasons for doing so. They approved it and a great weight was instantly lifted from my shoulders. For the first time in a long time, I felt a moment of peace. While I took a pay cut, it is more than worth it to come home from work without the stress that had been weighing me down. I swore I would never put work before family ever again and I knew I was getting close to breaking that promise to fulfill duties at work.
So there you have it. I wanted to share that because it's food for thought. Many of us take on more than we can handle. The more stressed we are, the harder it is to cope with our PTSD. If things start getting away from you, try to identify why. It was one hell of a relief for me.
Today, I woke up groggy and out of sorts. I had intense nightmares last night for the first time in a while. They were particularly intense and I am not sure as to why. I have had the nightmares about once a week pretty consistently for the past few months, but they haven't been very intense and they haven't had that HD replay reel feel or the scent memory of blood for a while. I have actually been looking forward to the holiday this year and what happens? Yeah, nightmares...
Regardless, I am not going to let that ruin my holiday. With that in mind, I want to recount all of the wonderful things I am thankful for this year:
Add all of this together and you have the mother of all support networks. My wish for everyone reading this is the grace and luck to find such amazing people to empower them. I firmly resolve that, despite my incredibly bad night, I will not let it take away from the gratitude I feel for the amazing people in my life. This post is for them - those I have mentioned and those I
I wish everyone a safe and happy Thanksgiving! Now stop reading and go enjoy some turkey and football!
July 30th, 2003. The day the course of my life irrevocably changed. The day that I remember every year with trepidation, sorrow, guilt, anger, and gratitude. It made me question everything I believed. It shattered my psyche, shredded my soul.
Quite honestly, I am surprised I survived long enough to make it home. Every day after became harder and harder to bear. The horrific scene that haunted my mind, the smell and taste of blood...
Yet here I am, writing about how that experience and others that followed after changed me. I don't want to remember what I experienced, yet I am afraid to forget.
Change the date and any veteran could have shared this. The scary truth: Every veteran with PTSD I know has an anniversary. A day that makes them pause, unwillingly, and remember horrific experiences. A day they can't reconcile with physically, mentally or spiritually.
I have had many people ask me why I mark this date on the calendar. They don't understand why, when it is so horrific, that I am forced to remember. The answer I give them is always the same - Because I still am unable to accept what happened. That, to me, accepting it would feel like a betrayal of those that died. After almost a decade, I still feel this way. I feel this so strongly that you might call it conviction.
My answer leaves many people shaking their heads in incredulity. They ask me why I punish myself this way. The answer: I don't know. Is it self-imposed punishment for surviving to talk about it when others never had the chance?
I'll make you all a deal. When I figure it out, I will let you know.
Man, it's been a rough week. I was on some serious pain-killers until early this morning and they sent me into la-la land. Now that I am partially recovered from the surgery enough to think more clearly, I wanted to send a heartfelt thank you to everyone who send me well-wishes. I am going to enjoy the rest of the day with my parents and my daughter while mommy is in class. I will start blogging for real tomorrow. I know I have a lot to address, a lot of blogs to write and a lot of questions to answer. I wish you all a wonderful Saturday!
It's Monday again. You know what that means!
I am grateful for:
-The most amazing little girl ever!
-Supportive family. They're like gutter bumpers in the bowling lanes of life!
-Weather that's warming up again.
What are you grateful for?
OK, Here goes!
I hope more people share what they are grateful for this week! Even if you don't I'm still going to do this every week. It starts my week off with a smile.
Yup, Three Mondays in a row in counting. Let's recount what we are grateful for!!
OK, your turn! Let's do this!
Hey folks! I said I was going to do this every week and so I am. What am I grateful for?
Ok, your turn. What are you grateful for? Let's start off the week with gratitude again!
I woke up tired and angry today. Yeah. Tired. AND angry. Even though I think I should avoid correspondence with people and just hide in a hole, I've tried that. It doesn't work. You end up just stewing in your own juices and getting even MORE angry. I don't want to go there again. I deserve better than that. My family deserves better than that. My readers deserve better than that. So today, I am trying something different:
I am going to live vicariously and see if it improves my mood. I hope it will help to improve your day. Yes readers, I am talking directly to you. I am going to tell you three things I am grateful for today:
I am grateful for having met Rod Deaton.
I am grateful for my family.
I am grateful to be alive.
OK, your turn! Write a comment and tell me what you are grateful for. This is only going to work if you participate. Spread the word. I don't care if a person is a regular reader or not, get people to come on here and say what they are grateful for. Mondays suck all around. I don't know anyone who wakes up on a Monday and says, "Gee, I love Mondays!!". Let's work together to make this day the ray of sunshine so many of us want and need.
As I continue my life with PTSD, I will share my challenges and discoveries on this blog.