Tag Archives: triggers

Anxiety is high again

… And it’s from the weirdest trigger.

A local grocery store chain”s workers are on strike. It’s day 10 or 11 now. I have no direct investment in the outcome of the strike. People I know do, but I do not. L worked there briefly earlier this year, but left since the work was too much for her (physically, and with the added hours on top of her other 2 jobs)…

For some reason, the strike, specifically the support of the workers as we drive by, and even just seeing the striking workers, skyrockets my anxiety. I can’t talk about it with people. I can’t drive by where they are (I’ve started switching my driving routes to completely avoid the plazas). I can’t hear about it…

I become terrified. My chest starts to hurt, my mind races, and I panic that I’m going to get in really big trouble. It takes me a really long time to calm down once the panic starts, and it takes very little time to trigger the full panic.

I have no idea why it causes this. Over a week of intense anxiety, and all I’ve come up with is that I’m afraid of getting in deep, deep trouble…

One of the ladies in my group is personally effected by it. This past week, we spent a good 20-30 minutes in it in group. It was all I could do to not bolt from the room. I didn’t feel I had any right asking them to stop because her daily life is effected by it, and I’m only made anxious by the concept of it…

I guess it was kinda good that I let the anxiety build more (though I did start to mentally check out), because I started to feel the rumblings of flashbacks trying to break through. It made me want to cut my arms and legs, and cry, and hide… The flashbacks never came though, so I’m still stumped. At least I know there’s something specific there. I have no idea what, but it’s something rather than the seeming nothing it had been prior to group.

I started to text Dr C. about it, but she stopped responding. I’m guessing she got busy and distracted with other things… She didn’t directly say that we will talk about it another time, or tell me to stop texting, but she wasn’t engaging in the exchange, so… Not gonna bother her outside of session with it. It’s time I started learning to leave her alone outside of the office anyway. She’s getting older, and closer to retirement. I’m gonna have to find another therapist at some point, and I doubt they will tolerate between session contact… Not looking forward to having to find someone again. It’s been so difficult to find a good therapist who I can work with… Maybe I just won’t need one by the time she fully retires…

Here’s hoping.

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more stupid triggers

I had a neoropsych assessment last week in hopes that it help point us in a direction for this weird physical stuff I’m experiencing.

During the assessment, the psychologist was flipping pages in a booklet, showing me pictures of stuff I needed to try to remember. At one point, I stated losing track of what the pictures were, and started focusing on her hand turning the pages, and what the paper sounded like. It wasn’t really a conscious thing, just my attention switching. The sound of the pages turning became the loudest thing in my head, and I couldn’t see anything but her hand. It only lasted a few seconds, but it was enough to trigger something. I started feeling body stuff in the middle of this test that shouldn’t be triggering or disturbing… She caught on that something was up, and I told her that her turning the pages were triggering for some reason I couldn’t pinpoint (and still really can’t). She continued with the testing, but let me turn the pages from then on.

It’s seriously the stupidest little things that hit me out of nowhere… wtf??

Some days I want to scream at the memories to leave me alone and let me continue on with my life.

Oh, so the preliminary results (mostly just from her knowing the general average results, without any real scoring yet) have my verbal memory functioning at “seriously impaired”. She suggested that it’s likely due to the medical marijuana, but since it’s the only real thing that helps the ptsd, to keep taking it. Overall, the verbal memory impairment is less problematic than the impairment from the symptoms it treats… this might be the one time I agree with the phrase “the benefits outweigh the side effects”.


More on feeling defective…

Despite all my labwork that insists I’m ridiculously normal, my brain certainly doesn’t feel it.

I went to physical therapy today because I tweaked my back a few weeks ago, and my range of motion since then has sucked. Specifically, I have trouble lifting my left leg over the dog gate. I go over with my right, and kinda just drag my left over after me…

Anyway, I remembered why it was I failed so miserably at pt last round; it sparks intrusive memories I’d rather not have.

I’m supposed to go back on Monday, but I think I will cancel.

Even if it doesn’t trigger full-on flashbacks, it does trigger anxiety and dissociation. The longer the pt goes on, the worse it all gets, and soon I can’t remember what we did, and what I’m supposed to do between sessions. It’s a waste of time and resources that I know could be used by others (they book 2 weeks out on a good week)…

So, yeah. I’m going to cancel. I’ll do the exercises she gave me today, then try to remember to start planking to help build my core strength up again.

And maybe I’ll mention it to Dr C, and we can work more on the body stuff so maybe if I ever need pt again for my back I’ll be able to follow through…


Rough day…

I hate being so defective.

Was at a urologist today for an initial appointment. Didn’t think to ask them if there would be any uncomfortable exams. 15 minutes in, the doctor sprung the concept of a pelvic exam on me. I kinda started to panic, but tried to talk myself down.

She’s nice. She seems nice. Dr F recommended her, so she trusts her, so I can trust her. L is here with me. It’s all good. No worries. Dr F trusts her, so she’s safe…

That worked for about as long as it took me to think the words one time. By the second round, I was already drifting away. I know I spoke to L about my anxiety, but I can’t remember what was said.

By the time the doctor came back in, I was barely breathing and about to jump out of my skin. I managed to mutter someing about panic rising, and as she looked at me to ask if anything in my past would make this more difficult, I could only nod. Tears were welling up in my eyes. I was flying away hard and fast in my head.

I’m not really sure what she said next; everything was happening miles away. All I could do was keep biting my lip (I actually managed to accidentally bite off a bit of it)…

I think she said something about changing the treatment plan, but I have no idea what she said it would be. I will have to ask L later…

I hate being so defective. I want to be a normal human who can go to a new doctor and get through the visit without any major triggers…

After the appointment, L reminded me it was bingo night. She asked if I wanted to go. My first instinct was to stay home and hide. Then I figured distracting would probably be better…

We went to bingo. I took some meds to help me calm and ground a bit more. I’m so thankful I did! Someone who ended up sitting next to us sounded and acted so much like bitch most of the night. Had I not calmed myself down, I would have been more of a triggered mess…


Anxiety and stress in my body

I’ve had an “off” cardiac history for most of the time I can remember. I’ve seen cardiologists, worn monitors for varying times, but nothing ever gets recorded or noticed as problematic when they are actuality searching for things.

When I was hospitalized, tech’s were constantly either retaking my vitals, or sending a nurse in to check it.

My average resting heart rate runs about 95bpm (i believe the “normal” for women my age is somewhere significantly lower than that).

No one’s been able to give me a solid reason, though the more research i do into ptsd and trauma, the more i realize it’s likely that.

Anyway, this week’s average had been in the 120’s. My doctor noted it when i went in for having sent my back into spasms on Sunday, but quickly dismissed it a a result of the coffee i was finishing… i should have mentioned to her the “poprocks” in my chest several times this past week, but I’m no good at bringing up something other than what she’s focused on in the moment… it kinda feels like someone lit a sparkler or trick candle inside my chest. It lasts for a few minutes, then fades. It comes more frequently as my stress levels go up. It’s not bad though, since it normally feels like a flopping fish…

Anyway, no doctor is really sure what to do with it all. I’m finally figuring out it is highly correlated with my stress and anxiety levels. This week, not only was i pretty triggered, but i injured my back, and i was fighting off something that drained all my energy (though that energy drain seems to correlate much higher with my tachycardia, just not sure if one causes the other, or both are responses to something else)… it’s not really surprising my pulse has been really high all week (if it ever sustains at about 250bpm for more than a few minutes, I’ll take something).

Today’s therapy was highly emotionally taxing, as were the earlier flashbacks…

(I clearly had something else in mind to write, but i was interrupted, and now have long forgotten what it would be).


Flashbacks from unlikely triggers…

Financially, things have been rough with L’s medical leave. Friends of ours’ very generously set up a donation campaign. It’s been doing really well. We are getting closer and closer to the goal set (enough to cover 1 month’s rent, car payment, phone bill, gas for the car, and a few other things that wouldn’t be covered by my money).  It’s really awesome, and I’m really grateful; we both are. We are blown away by the generosity of not only friends & family, but also compete strangers. 

On the flip side of that, it’s been triggering. I had to turn off the notifications for new donations… I had a slight meltdown earlier today because all I could think was that I  would owe so many people. It wasn’t after it subsided that I realized it was a flashback… I knew the obvious body memories were flashbacks, but I didn’t really connect the emotion or line-of-thinking to it. 

Dr C happened to have some availability to text between appointments.  She was patient enough to listen to my panicked rambles and try to help me calm down. L probably would have done the same if I had given her the opportunity, but I didn’t know how to let her in… maybe if I were in a different headspace, I could have explained it all to her, but in the moment, I didn’t know what to say… she tolerated my bottled panic, and accepted me being useless for most of the day… I dunno why she puts up with me, but I’m grateful. 

Anyway, so yeah. Getting donations seems to be a trigger. Having to ask for help is a trigger… I feel worthless and like a fraud. I mean, if I were a real, functioning adult, I would be able to at least work more to help us out when L has legit reasons not to be at work… my rational brain knows these donations don’t come with strings attached, but holy shit, is my inner kid ever terrified… 😓


Triggered

I want to rip my insides out. The body memories are back… 

Between the new group, added work days, recent attempts at contact from my dad’s sister, and other stressor, I’m feeling really triggered lately. 

I told Dr C. I also voiced that I was afraid she might tell me group was not a good idea, since it was contributing to the triggering. She didn’t say I’d have to leave though, so that’s good. I hope she doesn’t change her mind. Yeah, group is triggering, but it’s also nice to know some other people who can relate. I’ve never sat in a room with other people who understood (and voiced their understanding) my symptoms. They understand what it’s like to dissociate, to jump at triggers, to feel things in their bodies that were over decades ago… there’s a sad relief in knowing I’m not alone.