My coping strategies don’t work with this new trauma, not as effectively, sometimes not at all. I haven’t found anything that really works with this, how physical it is, how impersonal it is, how it comes with a whole set of new triggers that I’m exposed to countless times a day. Layered on top of my long history of intimate trauma, it does new things, works in ways that don’t make sense to me. I’m not used to feeling this deskilled in this area. I don’t like it.
Grinding scraping internal pain that brings a wave of ease as it fades and a duller ache behind that. The kind of pain that makes me want to curl up in bed and rock, under the covers, protecting my hurting self from intrusion. Paired with the familiarity of a medium strength migraine, moving in its own sporadic rhythm. On top, covering all that, is the jangly tremors of trauma moving through my body, as it has in pretty much a continuous loop for what feels like an interminable forever, exhausting me and stealing my spoons and making it impossible to do much of anything at all.
I want this flare to pass. I want to feel more myself again. I want to be able to tend to things in my life. I want to have the capacity to will myself to do things that seem impossible right now.
Woke up in the middle of the night in intense, grinding pain. It kept coming in waves. Could not get back to sleep for some time. Woke up this morning, still in similar amount of pain. There will be no day job for me today.
Flare flare flare. That’s how it’s been for over a month. The kind of flaring that eats everything: my energy, my concentration, my physical capacity, my ability to write, my capacity for connection, my armor. Moving through the world zombie-like, just trying to get through the day, almost all of what I have in me focused internally on managing the flares. It hasn’t been this bad in about a decade.
Pain has pooled in the center of my body. It has gathered itself there, and is telling me its list of demands. I want to meet all of them, but I need to go to work. Fine, it says, I will spread out. Feel me in your neck, and your head now? Feel the small powerful group of me in your knee? Feel me in your breath and your movement? I don’t need to stay here, I can be everywhere in you.
The rain and cold is hard on my knee. Last night I was walking home from the bus and it buckled a few times. I wasn’t sure I could make it home. Stubbornness and hunger and my cane got me there.
The past few weeks are full of multiple flares at once, and it’s the PTSD flares that I’m having the hardest time with. The intrusion is so damn hard to deal with, especially at work, and such a spoon suck. I’m more symptomatic than I’ve been in about a decade.
I have no capacity to tend to things I want to tend to, and haven’t for weeks. I hold them in my heart, and think of them, and do not have spoons to do anything else.
Pain is yanking from several places at once today, full of insistence. “Pay attention to me!” it screeches, from multiple locations on my body. Hard to do anything amidst that demanding chorus.
Adrenaline and exhaustion intertwined don’t make for any kind of decent rest. Despite that, I have a clearer head this morning than I’ve had in several days. I may actually have enough brain today to be out in the world. I’m going to find out. The flare I’ve been dealing with is one of the hardest on me, and I dearly wish I could stay home today. If for no other reason than to actually try to get some decent rest.
It doesn’t matter whether the flare was predictable or not. It doesn’t matter what caused the flare. It doesn’t matter what the flare eats in its wake, even if that’s twenty five flavors of sad, depressing, and disappointing.
What does matter in the midst of the flare is how big it is, and how long it lasts, and how functional I can be while it’s happening. Afterwards I can worry about that other stuff. While it’s happening, all I can worry about is how to make it out the other side.