Coping with PTSD – Part 2

Posted: July 25, 2013 in EMS, Feelings, PTSD, Random, Rants, Thoughts, Writing
Tags: , ,

PTSD 

This was a private journal entry dated July 5th, 2013. Releasing this to the public *is not* easy. Be looking for Part 3 soon.

So… to be honest with myself and the rest of the world, I’ve been getting my ass handed to me recently with all flavors and sorts of general stress, chronic back issues and now my newly found and debilitating hearing issues. Hearing loss is one thing, it sucks but the severe tinnitus that accompanies it… it’s terrible. Sleep is my only escape from any of the symptoms but the act of getting to sleep is always a such a challenge for me.

I’ve had a few really rough nights with twisted and deeply scarring nightmares over the last couple weeks, as well. I’ve had a couple hard flashbacks on top of that. After helping my grandmother in her yard and doing a bit of digging with a shovel, the smell of fresh earth made me sick. Very sick. I quickly had a few flashbacks and other generally shitty thoughts and feelings and just had to stop, go inside and lie down. The smell of the dirt really did me in. I think it’s from smelling it at accident scenes when cars had gone off the road and rolled, kicking up dirt and gouging out the earth a bit. The smells on scene are usually pretty strong and are almost always in conjunction with the odor of airbags and sometimes alcohol or the metallic smell of blood. So yeah… that sucked.

For some reason, I’ve been extremely “jumpy” lately; meaning that I startle easy as hell. I don’t enjoy being in public at all anymore. Large crowds of people or just waiting in line at the store often makes me extremely anxious and nervous. I always feel like something bad is gonna happen while I’m there. Somebody is gonna pull a gun, a car is gonna drive through the front of the store, some idiot will set off a fire at the pumps… it follows me everywhere. It’s just a feeling of dread and it’s f***ing everywhere. I always feel like death is right around the corner and it’s driving me absolutely crazy.

So last night, my neighbors on all sides started to launch fireworks around 2030 and every single bang, crackle, burst of light… they all made me jump. Even once I was “safely” inside the house, I’d hear the bangs and think for a split second that somebody was trying to force in the front door. They’re out there doing it again tonight and it’s the same helpless feeling… I just want it to end!

The better half was a little upset that I didn’t want to make plans yesterday (July 4th) for us to go and watch some “real” fireworks but once I explained how I felt about it all, she understood my predicament but still wasn’t super happy about it all. I knew it could potentially be a problem for me because the same thing happened a couple years ago. I had went with my ex to a huge fireworks show at the state fairgrounds. We weren’t there for 5 or 10 minutes and I HAD to leave.

I couldn’t deal with it. Too many people everywhere and all around me, way too dark, too many noises and explosions, all that.

So I kinda figured the same thing would happen again and sadly, it did. My girlfriend even noticed last night that I would flinch almost every time a shell would go off and then I noticed that I was starting to get a bit hot and sweaty. This sucks.

 

That’s my feelings at the moment. I’ve just got a few questions running through my mind now…

*Is this normal at ALL? I feel like such an asshole for feeling this way and I can’t explain WHY but I feel terrible.*

*Is there anything I can do to help lessen the “psychological response” of “fight or flight”?*

 

I feel like I’m stuck in a constant OODA loop, on high alert, 24/7… and all the extra stimuli from fireworks recently just makes it all that much worse. The stress and anxiety of going out in public is making me want to stay home… but then once I’m home I feel slightly paranoid and just want to leave because I hate feeling like I’m trapped in my own house.

I know… it’s a lot to say and a lot to take in for anyone reading (the very few that will). But I will just say… this sucks and I wish I had a way out.

 

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