My sister had her convocation ceremony for her Ph.D yesterday at Columbia University. When I finally got home, I was utterly exhausted. I still am. Here's how the day went:
It was a very long day. I had forgotten how dirty and loud the subways in New York really are. It was a very stressful ride. I was hoping that there would be standing room at the ceremony that would allow me to put a little distance between me and the crowds. That didn't happen. I finally reached critical mass during the reception. I told my Mom that I needed to get out of there. We left as soon as was possible to collect everyone up. The anxiety really started getting to me at this point. I started getting snippy with everyone. It was not pretty, but everyone just kind of ignored it and carried on with their day. By the time I got back on the bus, I was exhausted from my experience.
That will be the last time I visit New York for a long while. That city is like anxiety overload. It is way to easy to have intrusive recollections there. A lot of the sidewalks were in worse condition than in some areas in Iraq. Then there was the air quality. For a little while, I thought I was having an anxiety attack. Then I realized it was the air quality that was making my lungs so tight. Ratchet up the anxiety a little more.
Today, I am spending inside away from people and getting myself recentered. While I wouldn't have missed the convocation yesterday, I can't do that again for a long time. Regardless, I am very proud that I made it through the day without having a major breakdown. I finally got to meet two of my sister's close friends that I had never met and dinner was delicious.
Now it's time for recovery.
As I continue my life with PTSD, I will share my challenges and discoveries on this blog.