I know it's been a while again since I last wrote. The incidents that spurred me to write again recently have taken a toll. I don't know where to begin but I can tell you that I feel particularly lost right now - and I don't know why.
Life is good.
I have a good job that I am passionate about. I have an amazing daughter who astounds me every day with her joy and compassion for others. I think I finally am beginning to surround myself with people who care about me, professionally, people I call friends.
Yet, I can't remember the last time I felt so alone, so out of touch, so isolated from the world around me. I fight every day against feeling lost, hopeless and depressed. And it hasn't been easy to do that recently. When I'm not 'on' for work, I struggle to get up off the couch.
The people around me deserve better but I can feel myself withdrawing from them in spite of myself and my best efforts. So the question remains - WHY?
It's begun to sink in recently that many people see me as the person I am at work: confident, passionate, caring, sense of humor. The sad part is that part of me has felt increasingly like a persona, not who I am. That pisses me off like you would not believe. I like that guy. He puts himself out there. He empowers those around him.
So why don't I feel like that guy is me? I feel like when I get home, all of my fears, frustrations, and anger bubble up and consume me and overwhelm me. My only saving grace is my beautiful daughter who can snap me out of this funk when I have her with me.
And that's when it hit me: not having someone to share life with is taking a toll on me. It's hard enough to contend with PTSD on a regular basis but when you don't have someone to care for, someone to care FOR you, someone to confide in and someone who confides IN you, the loneliness can be exceedingly overwhelming at times. It makes me feel guilty because I know I probably put more on my daughter that I realize and that's not fair to her. I'm not saying I do it intentionally, you get emotional support and validation wherever you can whenever you can. But I know it's not fair to her so I 've worked to shelter her from that out of a deep and abiding sense of love.
So I've found solace where I can. Work. Travel. Work. More Work. Growing the business. Work. More Work. More Travel. Work.
All so I can give Caley the things I want to be able to provide her with.
I put my heart and soul into every day at work. Same with what I try to do for my daughter. But I can't remember the last time I did something to take care of myself and that's a major problem.
It's creating this dichotomy between the work me and the personal me and I don't like it.
So what do I do? The symptoms of my PTSD have been very hard to cope with recently. The hyper-vigilance, being easily triggered, intrusive recollections, nightmares....They're all getting increasingly worse and I have struggled to find a way to regain equilibrium. I've spent a lot of time this weekend in quiet introspection, working to figure this out.
This weekend has been quite an eye opener. I've thought things through from pretty much every angle. There is no dichotomy. Work me is me. Personal me is me too. The difference is the nature of the support network I have through work versus what I have in my personal life.
I've been very successful over the last few years in creating a professional life that is filled with good people and that is highly rewarding.
I can't say that I have been as successful in my personal life. I really don't have much in the way of friends, don't like going out much, and find opening myself up to others and sharing my struggles to be very difficult.
Trusting others is very hard for me.
I think it's also a self-esteem issue, I think. I don't feel like I'm worth the time to take care of so I haven't. I haven't seen a primary care physician in years. I saw a dentist for the first time in more than two years just a few months ago. My overall health has suffered due to many circumstances outside of my control - the VA not being able to provide me the care I need, private health insurance not covering other medications that I need to manage my psoriasis when the VA failed me.
For the longest time I have refused to see private doctors out of a foolish stubborn sense of pride - that I shouldn't HAVE to pay for care I deserve.
But something's got to give. And it starts today. I'm so done with outside influences having a damaging impact on my life. I'm putting myself first for a while. I'm going to see a primary care physician and I am going to get put on medically supervised weight loss so that I can aggressively shed this weight I can't seem to shake. I'm going to exercise every day. I'm going to put the phone away and focus on my wellness, physical and mental.
I've already gotten everything set up and in line to do this. The laundry is done and completely caught up. I set up the bike trainer in the basement and am going to ride on it tonight for at least a half hour. I just need the support and understanding of those around me to make it happen.
Over the course of this week, I am going to re-engage with my physician, get referred to someone who can help with the weight loss, get referred to a rheumatologist, speak to my dermatologist, and more.
Everything has begun to suffer because of how things have been going in my life and I feel like if I don't take control of my wellness now, I never will.
The Daily Exercise Diary
From this point on, I am going to share what I can about my efforts to help myself. I will share my exercise routine, how hard it was to get out of bed, how I felt before exercise, how I felt after, how I feel at work, when I leave work, etc.
Please bear with me as I get back into the routine and thank all of you who have reached out to support me over the years. I know I haven't been blogging nearly as much as I used to but I stand committed to this effort. See you all tomorrow.
As I continue my life with PTSD, I will share my challenges and discoveries on this blog.