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3am Again !

Posted by Loki, on Sun Sep 06, 2020 10:11 pm

Once again it is 3am, I have posted some things before about how hard I am finding life right now, it is now 8 months in and I am still struggling to fight my Demon's I have been diagnosed with PTSD and my demon's visit me everyday and everynight. I still find it really hard to go out and enjoy myself I constantly worry about the bag ( I know I my logical mind that 90% of the time nothing will happen) I can't even go out for a meal with my partner or family without having an Anxiety attack, which is not who I am I was always confident and outgoing now I just feel broken! 

My life with my partner feels broken too and I am not sure how to fix it 99% of the time we don't sleep in the same room anymore, don't get me wrong she is very supportive in a practical way but emotional we are just drifting further and further apart.

There are a lot of people on this site and I am sure many of you have been through similar and even worse, basically the thing I am asking is how do you get through this ? Some days I get tired of fighting and just want to give up.

Reply by Maried, on Sun Sep 06, 2020 10:29 pm

I think everyone with a outside bag worries about leakage/ failure.. just try and take everything you need aka emergency supplies and just take very short outing for now you will get better.

Get some really honest communication with your partner going about your fears and what you are feeling.. please remember to have faith and things will change. Dark lonely days are hard and most people have them ..find a brother or sister or friend to chat with ..take care ..

Reply by w30bob, on Sun Sep 06, 2020 10:43 pm

Hi Loki!  I don't have any easy answers for you, when I got home from the hospital I was emotionally and physically the lowest I've ever been.  Constantly asking why me? and complaining that this wasn't fair...........so you go thru the confusion and anger phases and then you either pull yourself up by your bootstraps or you curl up and die.  You're like me, so you won't take the easy way out.  You know that sometime down the road you'll look back on all you've been thru and realize it was the fight that made you the better person that you now are.  If you're ever thinking about the curling up solution........swing by any children's hospital and look in a few of their eyes.  Then try to tell yourself you've got it worse than they do.  You at least got to have a life, many of them won't.  If that doesn't make you want to stop bitching and start fighting to get your life back then nothing will. 

Relationships are hard.  Even without any of this bullshit thrown in for good measure.  My illness caused me to make a decision regarding having children that forced the love of my life away.  And not having a prodigy or two is something I'll regret until I'm gone.  But you deal with it.  It's water under the bridge and you look ahead to what river you have to cross next.  I'm six years in and things are getting better every day.  I'm 95% back to my old self and you will be too, in a short time.  It's not going to be fun or easy......but we manage.  You know what they say...........what doesn't kill you makes you stronger.  So your choices are die or get stronger.  You know everyone on here is pulling for you and despite our differences we have a great common bond.  We all want each other to succeed and get thru this bullshit we never asked for.  I KNOW you'll be ok........but I'm not one to candy-coat things and give lots of pats on the back.  But I'm here for you just like everyone else on this forum.  PM me and I'll give you my phone number..........and if you ever need to be talked down from the ledge just give me a shout.  You got this!

 

Cheers,

bob 

Reply by Padfoot, on Sun Sep 06, 2020 11:04 pm

Hey, Loki, don't give up. Remember my favourite quote that got me through cancer treatment: " Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is that small voice at the end of the day that says, I will try again tomorrow."  You have had a lot to cope with, and no one can fault you for feeling discouraged. You just have to have faith that it will get better. I know it doesn't feel like that sometimes, but it will. Right now it just feels like everything is going badly. You need a way to focus on the things that are going well. At the end of the day, make a list of things that went well during the day. Some days the list may be shorter than other days. That's OK. Nothing is too insignificant to include on your list - if you made your bed, write it on your list. If the sun came out for a few minutes, add that too. If it rained and watered the garden, add that too. What you are doing with the list, is training yourself to see good things that your mood may have caused you to overlook. You need to actively focus on the positive right now, because you are focused on negative. While that is understandable, given what you've been through, it doesn't help you get out of the loop of negative thoughts, and that spiral can make things worse.  You need to actively change that. 

You also need therapy that is specifically for treating PTSD. You might want to look for a therapist who does EMDR - Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing. That is a therapy that is often used on front line responders like police and emergency workers, traumatized soldiers as well. Loki, you have PTSD because something happened to you that you were unprepared for - something that you felt threatened your life. It is important that you understand that you are not weak. What is happening in your head is that you are playing the video of what happened over and over again, because you are trying to resolve what happened. That is your brain trying it's best to help you. But what is happening instead is that you are retraumatizating yourself. So you need to find a way to interrupt that video in your head. A therapist who specializes in treating trauma can help you do that. Loki, it won't get fixed overnight, it will take awhile. For now, just focus on finding a trauma therapist - that is your pathway out of the anguish. And please, don't get down on yourself because you can't seem to fix this on your own. Nobody can do this themselves. You are not broken. You are having a really hard time right now, and with help, it can get better. Write down on today's list that you asked for help on this site, and someone responded. That is something that went well.

Laurie

Reply by Maried, on Sun Sep 06, 2020 11:26 pm

Also listening to some favorite music and watching uplifting movies have helped me.. the movie Tracks and Shanshank Redemption are about people who have made it thru very challenging times.. with positive endings .

Reply by WIGirl43, on Sun Sep 06, 2020 11:32 pm

I don't have any great advice for you Loki.  Every moment of every day is a small victory because you're still here.  The road ahead is long and twisty and difficult, but it's navigable. Small steps, one foot in front of the other.  You're doing the right things by reaching for support when it seems too hard-keep doing that. It's what we're all here for.  There isn't a magic thing that can just make it all ok for you, but others have already given you some solid leads & I would second looking into EMDR if you can.  Also if you need real-time chat plenty of us would be willing to chat with you if you need it! 

Reply by Loki, on Mon Sep 07, 2020 12:29 am
TjPadfoot wrote:

Hey, Loki, don't give up. Remember my favourite quote that got me through cancer treatment: " Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is that small voice at the end of the day that says, I will try again tomorrow."  You have had a lot to cope with, and no one can fault you for feeling discouraged. You just have to have faith that it will get better. I know it doesn't feel like that sometimes, but it will. Right now it just feels like everything is going badly. You need a way to focus on the things that are going well. At the end of the day, make a list of things that went well during the day. Some days the list may be shorter than other days. That's OK. Nothing is too insignificant to include on your list - if you made your bed, write it on your list. If the sun came out for a few minutes, add that too. If it rained and watered the garden, add that too. What you are doing with the list, is training yourself to see good things that your mood may have caused you to overlook. You need to actively focus on the positive right now, because you are focused on negative. While that is understandable, given what you've been through, it doesn't help you get out of the loop of negative thoughts, and that spiral can make things worse.  You need to actively change that. 

You also need therapy that is specifically for treating PTSD. You might want to look for a therapist who does EMDR - Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing. That is a therapy that is often used on front line responders like police and emergency workers, traumatized soldiers as well. Loki, you have PTSD because something happened to you that you were unprepared for - something that you felt threatened your life. It is important that you understand that you are not weak. What is happening in your head is that you are playing the video of what happened over and over again, because you are trying to resolve what happened. That is your brain trying it's best to help you. But what is happening instead is that you are retraumatizating yourself. So you need to find a way to interrupt that video in your head. A therapist who specializes in treating trauma can help you do that. Loki, it won't get fixed overnight, it will take awhile. For now, just focus on finding a trauma therapist - that is your pathway out of the anguish. And please, don't get down on yourself because you can't seem to fix this on your own. Nobody can do this themselves. You are not broken. You are having a really hard time right now, and with help, it can get better. Write down on today's list that you asked for help on this site, and someone responded. That is something that went well.

Laurie


Thank you again for the great advice, I just seem to be going round in circles I though I could make it all go away but it beats me everytime I try. 

But I will always keep trying I have 2 daughters who I don't get to see as much as I would like as they live with their mother but I adore them and I wouldn't want to hurt them so that is the reason I am still here and fighting, sometimes there is the fear that I won't always be strong enough but for now it is my safety net 

Reply by Loki, on Mon Sep 07, 2020 12:48 am
WIGirl43 wrote:

I don't have any great advice for you Loki.  Every moment of every day is a small victory because you're still here.  The road ahead is long and twisty and difficult, but it's navigable. Small steps, one foot in front of the other.  You're doing the right things by reaching for support when it seems too hard-keep doing that. It's what we're all here for.  There isn't a magic thing that can just make it all ok for you, but others have already given you some solid leads & I would second looking into EMDR if you can.  Also if you need real-time chat plenty of us would be willing to chat with you if you need it! 


Hi any advice is great advice right now, I joined the site to get help and advice and eventually if I get through this give it back to others, (I know this sounds sad) I have moved around the UK all my life so never made any good friends I don't have anyone to turn to when I need to talk or just be told to stop being stupid!!  that's were everyone on here comes in even though I have only been a member for a short time everyone has sent me supportive messages and offered so much advice I don't know what I would have done without it, but right nowI feel so guilty for the way I feel and struggle everyday.

So thank you for taking the time to reply it means a lot 

Paul 

Reply by Bill, on Mon Sep 07, 2020 2:47 am

Hello Paul.

Thank you so much for sharing your feelings with us on such a personal and distressing subject. I see you have already received some good advice within the replies so far and I would endorse what has been said about seeking help with the PTSD. As you may have noticed, my own way of coping with this sort of thing is to write rhymes (both for myself and for others). I have literally hundreds of these covering the sorts of problems you are going through at present, so choosing ones that might be helpful becomes more difficult with the greater choice. However, Having worked at MIND for a few years, I can recommend using them as a support group and their activities can help as useful 'distractions' from the more negative thoughts. I have therefore chosen one poem which extols the virtues of MIND as an organisational alternative to trying to cope with PTSD on your own and another on the general concept of 'LAMANS'( Life's A Mess - And Needs Sorting).

Feel free to PM me if you need to communicate on a more personal level.

Best wishes

Bill

 

‘LAMANS’ & MIND.
(Life’s A Mess And Needs Sorting)

If your life is in a mess.
And you’re suffering distress.
It sounds as if your life needs sorting.
And perhaps you need supporting.

Then I would recommend you find.
A way that you could come to MIND.
A place where you can work or play.
It’s open almost every day.

At MIND the counselling is free.
And it’s not just CBT.
Although I’m sure your not surprised.
This is now computerised.

MIND helps you with your mental health.
But to attend you don’t need wealth.
Instead of going down the pub.
Why not come and join a club.

You could do worse than make a start.
In our clubs for creative art.
Painting drawing and pottery.
For some of us the lottery.

Creative writing’s always fun.
It can be done by anyone.
There’s projects in community.
Promoting health and unity.

There are befriending volunteers.
Who’ve given time for many years.
But meanwhile in the interim.
Come and try out our new gym.

So if your life is in a mess.
Or you’re suffering distress.
Come to MIND and seek us out.
For we know what it’s all about.

                             B. Withers 2012

 

LAMANS 3.

If your life is in a mess.
And you feel under duress.
Find out what it’s all about.
Then get your life more sorted out.

If you find you’re in a hole.
And things are not in your control.
Try to take a different view.
To the one in front of you.

Don’t rush to get your life in line.
Just do a bit and you’ll be fine.
Don’t try to do things all in one.
Eventually things will get done.

Be honest with yourself and friends.
All will get sorted in the end.
Try to be more sympathetic.
And others might be empathetic.

When you’re faced with something new.
Think about what you will do.
Don’t let your emotions rule.
Let your logic be your tool.

The mess is mostly in your head.
There it can breed both fear and dread.
So lay your mess upon the table.
Sort it out as best you’re able.

If there’s help that you can trust.
Use it, but that’s not a must.
For I’m sure that if you try.
You’ll sort your mess and still get by.

Live your life with confidence.
For I have seen the evidence.
That learning from your past life’s mess.
Can lead you to future success.

                              B. Withers 2012

 

Reply by HenryM, on Mon Sep 07, 2020 6:00 am

Loki, when you mentioned your two daughters, you struck a chord with me.  I too have two daughters.  They are both priceless, irreplaceable parts of my life, and I love the time that i get to be around them.  Just as with you, I don't get to see them as much as I would like.  But even so, there is no doubt in my mind that they need me to be there for them, whether they know it or not.  After my surgery, I went through exactly what you're battling now, my friend.  It was PTSD before they had a name for it.  You need to focus on where you want to get to, not on what has knocked you down.  By doing that, amazing as it seems, you move ahead and you make it there.  My daughters are adults now, and I'm still here to appreciate the time that I get with them.  Had I not fought through my trauma and put it behind me, guess what?  My two daughers wouldn't even exist today.  They were born because I managed -- somehow --  to work through my pain and keep going.  Whatever good things are out there awaiting you, from little appreciations to memorable wonders, you will discover them, I guarantee you that, because that's what's there for all of us.  Your daughters are well worth the effort, Loki, and so are you.

Reply by ron in mich, on Mon Sep 07, 2020 9:18 am

Hi Loki you,ve got some great advice from others, we,ve all been were you are and with some it lasts longer, i live in a small rural area and not many counselors  to talk to  so as others said try to look at the positives in your life especially your daughters and the good times with them birthdays, vacations, sporting events etc. my 2 daughters were athletic my oldest ran cross country in high school and my youngest played baseball and hockey so i would think about those good times when i was laidup after my three surgerys and the long recoverys. good luck

Reply by Padfoot, on Mon Sep 07, 2020 9:49 am

Loki, Bill has a great suggestion for you. He has good knowledge of what's available in the UK that the rest of us don't have. I completely agree with him on finding things to keep you busy and distract you from the spiral of negativity that is going on in your head. Finding a physical or creative outlet and distraction is so much more than just having fun. It is a way of retraining yourself to focus on something other than the negative. We humans are hard wired to remember the negative - it's a survival mechanism. We remember when the tribe was attacked because we wandered too close to the sabre tooth cat's den, so now we avoid that path through the forest. Survival. Unfortunately, with PTSD, the constant remembering makes things worse. What we need to do is to interrupt those memories, and replace them with more benign thoughts. Bill is pointing you in the right direction. He is using poetry as his way of focusing on something other than negative thoughts - and he is showing you how he keeps at it. It isn't just a one off - you need to find something that will engage your body/mind in more positive activities, so pick something that you like doing, and do it often. 

The other part of finding peace is getting professional help with the PTSD. Not all counsellors are trained in trauma therapy, so make sure you find one who is. Conventional talk therapy isn't likely to help with PTSD because it is just replaying the same trauma over again. A trauma therapist will use techniques that interrupt those thoughts. A place like MIND can give you an opportunity to replace those thoughts with something else.

 

In your post, you touch on several issues - your ostomy, your sleeplessness, your relationship with your partner, your feelings of guilt. All of those things combined make your situation feel hopeless and utterly insurmountable. You need to recognize that all of those issues need to be addressed separately, and they need to be ranked in order of priority. A therapist can help you with that, but you need to address the PTSD first. That gets in the way of resolving everything else. When the PTSD is controlled, break everything else down into manageable bits, and tackle them separately. That way, they don't seem so overwhelming. Loki, when you talk to a therapist, enlist him/her in helping you make a concrete plan. Put it on paper so you can look at it often. Prioritize the things that you think you are most likely to follow through on, and then do as many of those things as often as you can. The plan may need to be revised from time to time, but that's just fine. That is normal for any plan. 

Loki, those of us on this site can only listen and offer our suggestions. We cannot fix things for you. So you are the one who must actively engage in finding ways to reduce your turmoil. What I hear in your posts is that you want to get better. So you need to ask yourself what steps you are taking to do that. If you are not, you need to ask yourself what is getting in the way. You need to listen to that inner voice that is telling you that you want to get better. That voice is your inner wisdom. It is not giving up.

 

Laurie

Reply by looking forward, on Mon Sep 07, 2020 3:08 pm

hi you have to see a psychiatrist and get some depression meds. i have been through the same thing. believe me meds will help

Reply by delgrl525, on Mon Sep 07, 2020 3:34 pm

Hi Loki,  There is so much amazing advice here for you that most of what I was going to say has already been said.  So may I just add that I am here to support you too and that I know you can work through this.  I agree with Laurie that you need to see someone who deals with PTSD, that some of this is beyond the expertise of us laymen.  But we are all with you and support you 100%.  The one thing you mentioned that resonates with me is your relationship with your partner.  I don't know what I would do if I didn't have a partner who supports me.  I really hope you can talk to your partner and tell her how you are feeling, that you feel like you are drifting apart emotionally.  I think you just need to take that step yourself. I will also echo what some others have said, that focusing more on what you do have instead of what you don't.  Sometimes I will remind myself that I can still listen to amazing music that transports me to another level, or read a masterpiece of writing, or watch some hilarious comedy on TV.  Laughter should never be undervalued. One foot in front of the other Loki, and most of the time the next day will be better, you just need to get there.

All the best,

Terry

Reply by mild_mannered_super_hero, on Mon Sep 07, 2020 4:20 pm

i remember well the early days.....i called them "the dark days". i only knew one guy my age that had an ostomy, and he happened to be my insurance man. i would see him sometimes on my drive to work out jogging {im not now or will i ever be a jogger} but i remember thinking.....if he can deal with this, and do that....then so can i. i really doubt that he knew what an insperation he was to me. everyone who has replied to you here has been thru a simular circumstances as you are going thru, we all made it ! you will master this too. there is a learning curve as you well know, some lessons learned will be learned the hard way....but you rarely make the mistake twice on those. if i can be of any help to you just ask. regards. mmsh

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