Tag Archive: feelings


What up peeps? It’s been a while. Tons has gone on my end, as I’m sure on yours. I stopped in today to take a peek at some of my favorite blogs, but also to comment on something I have been thinking of for the past few weeks: Physical illness and PTSD symptoms.

My body is currently boycotting health. I have been sick for three weeks. To be honest, I would not be exaggerating at all to say that I feel like my teensy lil body’s been hit by a mack truck. I have often in the past few weeks reflected on the plight of my future patients who are chronically ill. Clearly, I am in several ways chronically ill, however this is a new experience. I have had back problems, surgeries, pain, etc. since I was 2. I had a super-shitty immune system. I get sick when someone who’s ten miles away sneezes. My nebulizer is my best friend (sorry to my human best friends… but open my airways and we’ll talk). 😉

Obviously, my PTSD is also something that is a chronic issue for me. But, I seem to be hacking it (oy! no pun intended) pretty well with that and with the damned my-body-thinks-it’s-88-not-28 pain. I have not been using narcotic painkillers to drown out the pain. I have not been dissociating (with any real frequency ;})… I have been FEELING it.

Ew!

As I said last time, I am not a fan of feelings. I still thoroughly stand by that. At the time I was talking about emotional pain for the most part, not visceral. But, I can say, this is not my cup of tea either. I used to crave pain of any sort because at least I knew I was in fact alive (that is NOT why I self-harmed, I think my self-harm was mostly motivated by my desire to drown out my emotional pain with physical). But, right now I’d really like to just LIVE.

I have been holed up in my house for a few weeks, and at some point gave up on the pretty much bedrest crap that was going on because I wasn’t getting any better two rounds of prednisone, antibiotics, and a partridge in a pear tree later. So, I decided, screw that—I’m not going to overdo it per say, but I’m not going to lie in bed. Bed sores are not something else I want to add to my shit list. I’ve had friends visit (which has been freaking AWESOME! Yay & thanks!), gone out a bit to do things I really want to, and I’ve enjoyed myself. But, I’ve noticed something the past few weeks, particularly as my physical symptoms have exacerbated…. so have my PTSD (and its friends) symptoms.

I have found over the past decade or two, that when I’m physically ill, my mental health takes a major nose dive. The only thing I can relate this to is the fact that when I’m physically ill, it doesn’t matter if I ignore that I feel alone, or am alone, or have to talk myself out of the fact that I’m not a little, helpless girl that no one is going to take care of (again)~I feel alone. And therefore I have to consciously or unconsciously remind myself that I’m an adult and I will take care of me with appropriate help.

Being sick leaves me feeling very very small and very much alone. I become a lot more symptomatic, feel a lot more anxiety, feel desperate, and am a lot more attention seeking. I often wonder if other people with PTSD or other mental health issues feel like those things turn up a notch when they are not feeling physically well?

Since I’m both feeling physically unwell & experiencing a lil mental health kick in the ass, I, though not depressed (there really is always another side to the rainbow), I feel really professionally unmotivated. I can read my Pathology book for fun at 7am, but not reach over for the material I’m actually supposed to be reviewing. This has been REALLY frustrating to me since things have really started to look up with my academics the past few months. I was sick (and around the time of my second to last final was flashbacking EVERYWHERE in a way I hadn’t since I was raped last summer) and still trying to keep other aspects of my life in balance, but my grades were stellar. I wanted to keep that motivation going at full speed. But, I think I misplaced it somewhere. I’ve searched high and low, and I cannot find it. I have an ugly feeling this is a fake it til you make it moment–and I hate those.

I have a lot more to say, but I will save it for later (hopefully not like 2-3 months later)… I really want to talk about hoarding, cleansing (of excess tangible baggage from hoarding), flashback reapperance, rape recovery, and keeping it chill during potentially triggering patient care. I look forward to being back soon and I hope you have all been well! Wishing you peace, safety, and some sunshine especially for those cloudier of days.

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*May trigger: Inpatient discussion, as well as mention of suicidality.*

I view inpatient psychiatric hospitalizations as mental health vacations (on the best of days) and holding cells for safety (when I’m not in such a pleasant mood). For some people, going “inpatient” is a whole different experience and is really therapeutic. But, with me, they never really know what to do with a suicidal trauma patient, so on gen. psych., they tend not to bother. I actually, at this point, prefer it that way.

“Don’t want your hand this time. I’ll save myself.” ~Evanescence

I’m not viewing an inpatient hospitalization as a poor experience for me. I go when I need to maintain safety and can’t do it with my skills and outside supports. I’d rather do that than be dead (as much pain as I’m in at that time & as much as I see that as the ONLY option, logically, somewhere–I know it’s not). By doing so, I have committed to safety, removed myself from my triggering environment, and have given myself a few days to figure out why I was downward spiraling. I do know why now, and it has mostly to do with fear of failure (aka going back to school, maintaining a real life, etc.) and interpersonal hurts. I had been downward spiraling for about 8 weeks and in a pit for about 3 weeks. At some point in time, I was going to have to do what was in my best interest, and continue with self-care. Now the fears to me felt like absolute terror, suffocation, and the hurts felt like the size of Texas because G-d forbid I have a feeling that isn’t at least as big as the county (this after reality checks, radical acceptance, mindfulness, and everything else up the wazoo). My flashbacks had increased, and they hurt like hell. I wasn’t able to contain them as well as usual, my skills were not working as well as they had been. I know why now, but at the time I couldn’t figure out why I was in some aspects doing very well, and in others falling apart (several times a day). My symptoms were huge, my flashbacks were huge, my urges were huge, and my progress was huge. It was oxymoronic to me.

Regardless, I am glad to have gotten a better grip on things. Self-care means more to me than do the old patterns of self-harm that are dying a slow painful death.

I’d like to thank the people closest to me for supporting me through another bump in the road. I’d especially like to thank my Mom, for stepping up to the plate now that I’m an adult (hey–better late than never!!!) and need her even more than when I was a kid now that I’m healing. And I’d like to say an exceptionally huge thank you to my best friend, Hope, for driving a 100 miles just to spend a little bit of time with me, and being my unbiological sister.

I hope you are all doing well and look forward to catching up on what I’ve missed while I was inpatient (and um, the week after I got out lol).

Peace and serenity to you,

Joy (and another who really wanted to put her 2 10 cents in lol)

Plate SMASHING

Hi everyone! I hope you are doing well. When I last wrote, I had been out of the hospital for a few weeks and had been doing extremely well. I am happy to say I am still doing just as well! I will update you on how I’ve made my life a little bit better place for me to live these past few months later on today.

However, I want to comment on a great idea that a twitter friend had mentioned yesterday; PLATE SMASHING. She shared an article by a fellow survivor about how therapeutic this had/has been in her recovery.

I had watched “Starting Over”, a tv show that follows the journey of women struggling with their lives for a plethora of reasons; and who want to (and do) make changes with the assistance of life coaches and other professionals. Mind you I had been watching this show before I even had gotten my first accurate diagnosis. I could NOT for the life of me figure out what was “wrong” with me, why I was in so much pain every single day, why I felt I was going to spill all over the place at any given moment. I kept the “everything is fine, I swear!!” mask on through about two years ago. It was actually a scary, fake-smile fascade. My friend, Joe, recently told me that he knew I was incredibly depressed by the time we hit 11 years old. I asked him how he knew, and he replied that even as young as we were then, he could clearly see I was trying too hard to keep it together. Back to my experiences watching “Starting Over”. I would watch this show hoping with all of my being that somehow they (who they is, I still couldn’t tell you, producers, maybe?) would subliminally know something was dreadfully wrong, and knock on the door of my single room in my dorm. I wanted to start over as each of these other women had. I wanted to find out why I hurt so incredibly badly, why my life on paper (resume) was so “perfect” and yet I was about to totally snap.

On one of the “Starting Over” episodes one of the women is given the task of writing down all the negative statements fed to her as a child. So I took my tush to the nearest place where I could get blank CDs and wrote every single negative, incongruent, falsehood I was fed about myself as a child. I still have every single one of them. I treasure this first step of me intuitively acknowledging where some of my pain was coming from. Acknowledging then led to challenging and “trashing” all these obscene and false ideas I held about myself several years later in therapy.

It was about the same time that I began to trash all the crap I was fed as a child about who I was as a person, my role in life, my potential, etc. that I began plate smashing. This idea was inspired by putting together some of the tx modules I had seen on the “Starting Over” show.

My first plate smashing session occurred with a set of plates given to me my one of my abusers, my step-mother. I felt this was the perfect place to start for obvious reasons, but gave myself permission to do so because there were so many plates, bowls, and mugs missing from the set. So I tossed these plates with all my might into an open dumpster when most of my neighbors were at work. I pre-sorted all of the plate collection so that I had an even set for four which I donated to the domestic violence center I was involved with at the time. The other plates, etc., were fair game for me getting out some of my enormous, hidden rage. It was a safe way of getting that brimming anger out on something inanimate, and not myself. I have journaled, spent hours in individual & group tx, exercised, among about 50 other things to safely get my feelings out. But nothing has ever compared to plate smashing.

Wishing you a wonderful day of feeling your feelings in a safe way,

Joy