Posts Tagged ‘PTSD’

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Musings of my Blog-iversary

December 9, 2014

So 11 days ago WordPress kindly reminded me that I have been masquerading as Snipe Wife for 4 years now. Wow. Hard to believe. I also now have 200+ followers. If you’ve read my blog long enough you know how I feel about at least 50 of those being robots or people who just want to hawk their own websites and having nothing to do with merchant marine affairs or anything else I post about. Really, WordPress, why can’t I click “delete” on some of these pointless follows? But 200 followers in 4 years is not bad for being an anonymous blog.

I had started the blog with much trepidation but with amazing support from a fellow blogger. I spent the month posting on FaceBook my 30 days of thanks and posted them on Dec. 1st. I honestly don’t know which FB friend started that but for 4 years now I have continued the tradition.

Four years ago I suffered probably the second most traumatizing event in my life. If you read the last few entries on that list, I described a desperation and despondency; anxiety that would spiral out of control; a pain that would stick with me for years. The purpose of the list is to count your blessings. I don’t post on FB “If you love Jesus, you’ll repost this” pithy sayings and “challenges” … instead I was trying to list what I was more than grateful for, knowing the source of all the blessings in my life. My intent was to never stand before anyone and say “Thank God I’m not like that tax collector; look at what I do” (Luke 18:9-14). My intent was not to make anyone else feel bad they didn’t have fabulous baby sitters to make their lives easier or to criticize anyone else’s husbands who can’t stand in the Chief’s amazing shadow. But my attempt to just show, rather than “repost”, my gratitude was twisted in the brutal attack.

The following years I debated even doing the list but I felt it was important to write these blessings down, to show my children later so that they too could appreciate all that we have been blessed with to cultivate giving hearts in them. I would struggle and lose steam as the month wore on and I got closer to the anniversary of that trauma. I questioned whether posting such a list was vain and pithy and whether it made others uncomfortable. And yet as I read the daily posts of other friends who joined in, I never saw the same flaws in their lists. I was encouraged and uplifted by their thoughtful lists. I was much harder on myself.

Interesting that I saw a lot of 3-day and 7-day thanks challenges starting in the fall this year. I did not participate because I was going to make my 30 Days of Thanks again this year. And it was going to be different. I was going to truly focus of finding something that day that I was thankful for. I would make it less of a laundry list. Yes, I always started off with giving credit where credit was due–that wouldn’t change. But if I was thankful for a rainy day then I would thank God for that rain. Yes, I’m still thankful for my fabulous friends and babysitters and I can’t live without them but I was focusing on the little things, the things we really take for granted.

I didn’t necessarily post every day; instead toward the end of the month I posted every couple of days. Not because I lost steam or had doubts… I just wanted to think about the thing I was most thankful for.

I didn’t lose steam because I didn’t hear those brutal words anymore. There was a fundamental shift in letting it go. Letting go and trusting in healing God provided me. It wasn’t over night but it was so much better than the two years of pain that left me with generalized anxiety and the onset of psoriatic arthritis. The healing continued to evolve and my trust in God has grown.

I’ve even told total strangers on the merchant mariner wives FB that I write this blog. I haven’t given up on this blog, I just write when the mood strikes me. I’m less self-conscious about it … even coming to terms with creating boundaries with the Chief about his input. Four years… lots to be grateful for, lots of lessons learned. Lots of healing.

To my 200+ followers, real or not, thank you for sticking with me on this journey.

 

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“Captain, My Captain”

August 12, 2014

Just a few minutes to gather my thoughts on the apparent suicide of actor/comedian Robin Williams. What a tragedy that depression has taken another life. The world will be a little less bright tonight.

One of the best movies ever.

One of the best movies ever.

I’m thinking of my Silver Ribbon and things I’m going through right now. I think I’ve always prided myself on not having “depression” as one of my “symptoms” … and yet if I were honest with myself, twice this year I have found myself going down that path. This time I felt a similarity to the odd sort of disconnect I was feeling back in February/March. I described my current mood to a friend that I am “anxious and overwhelmed and yet underwhelmed and unmotivated”, wanting to circle up the wagons and let the rest of the world go instead of facing change and starting up activities again. My friend agreed that I’m exhibiting behaviors from earlier this year.

Another friend posted … well now I can’t find the post.

We just need to be talking about mental illness and finding practical solutions. Sometimes it is just talking and finding support. Sometimes it is medication and hospitalization. It is a personal thing and a process. Families need to be open and honest about predispositions. Parents need to be watching their children and having an open and honest dialogue about emotions that may be beyond one’s control.

I am forever grateful to the teenager that ratted out T1’s social media use and allowed me to help T1 navigate some situations and feelings that could have so easily overwhelmed her … “because all the kids are doing it, it must be normal.”

It is such a tragedy that such a public life causes so much pain and suffering. Our most gifted entertainers have some of the most troubled minds.

Related Article: I found this article, shared by a friend to be a good one regarding suicide.
The Death of Robin Williams, and What Suicide Isn’t
And here’s another one…
When the Illness You Live with Becomes Breaking News

 

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Spring Break

April 23, 2014

oh no! Where did the month of April go?

I wish I could say it has been idyllic but it hasn’t.

I was on a roll with the whole conflict and was working my head around the situation and my response to it and then WHAM! It just got real. Everything with that situation got put on the back burner. It wasn’t a priority as long as my daughter was in a good place about herself and she understood the gravity of her actions. T1 is a resilient young lady.

To say that I have had to use every tool in my tool box to control a uncontrolable situation would not be an understatement.

I have to credit my experience with WRAP (Wellness Recovery Action Program) and the resultant support group that grew out of that 13 week course. Being aware of myself allows me to self-regulate and make decisions. Being out of control can lead to indecision and paralyzing fear. Often, taking a first step, some action, is more than half the battle. Doing nothing is a self-defeating circle of hell.

The stress of these situations has taken a toll on my sleep, my stamina, and my health. I have had a flare up of the PsA and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t worried that my current drug protocol isn’t working. The pain in my knee had me scared the debilitating swelling and joint damage had returned. I have taken it easy and taken anti-inflammatories round the clock and things seem to be settling down without the swelling from last time. I will have to discuss this with my rhuemetologist in May. Knowing it is a chronic and life-long condition always brings the fear that current medications will stop working and new, maybe less effective ones will have to be found.

The girls are so busy–USO Dance, Father-Daughter Dance, soccer, concerts and more concerts … we are ready for the Chief to come home. 3 maybe 4 weeks. We are also almost 60 days out from our special summer plans.

The weather has been absolutely nuts! I have a feeling we’re going to have two weeks of spring and then BAM! Summer.

So that is where April went. I will be happy when Father-Daughter Dance is over (my troop “volunteered” to run it). My most challenging 5k is in a few weeks as long as the knee returns to normal. The Chief will be home before I know it. I’m counting on it.

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Ft. Hood

April 5, 2014

Our thoughts and prayers are once again with the men and women and families at Ft. Hood, TX. We are grateful that our Hawaiian ohana were no longer stationed there and report that none of their friends and coworkers were casualties.

A friend who works with troubled teens posted the Buzz Feed article on her FB page: “How Veterans are Diagnosed with PTSD”

The tag line about the gunman “Does it matter if he did (have PTSD)?” is what intrigued me.

I’ve said before, I have PTSD. I’m not a combat vet but I have lived through trauma (and in the last week had my initial trauma slapped in my face over and above the issues we just had with T1 and my friends (Parenting Parts 1, 2, 3)). I know there are times when the rage is barely kept in check but it would take provocation and extreme danger to myself or my children to make me snap. But are all those with PTSD doomed to be violent and murderers?

I appreciate how this article is educational and how it wraps up that very issue.

It’s a grave misconception that veterans with PTSD are typically anything other than “productive members of society,” Schnurr said.

Ft. Hood is a tragedy either way you look at it.

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