The full body tremors that I get from my PTSD are not one of the worst things I have to deal with, but they are inconvenient. I knew last night when I went to bed that I was over-tired, and sure enough, after about 8 hours of sleep I got out of bed shaking inside and out like a leaf, and my head bobbing slowly, and there didn’t seem to be much I could do about it other than get back in bed and try to relax and sleep some more. I woke up at intervals to listen to old Conference talks and BYU devotionals. Yesterday morning it was about 15 chapters of 3 Nephi. I don’t know how much I retain, but I do seem to retain themes, and I can always listen to them again. For over ten years these are the only kinds of things that have helped bring down my anxiety levels in the middle of the night.
On the blessing/could be worse side, when I have tremors durign the day and need to sleep, the nightmares seems to get better instead of worse. It’s not like when I’m dealing with feeling paralyzed and attached to my bed. Yes, it could be worse.
I’ve had two weeks of the on and off body shaking. Today was a bummer because it was a Sunday and it didn’t end until around 6pm. I was pretty useless
This article in the Ensign/Liahona on Patience seems to have been written just for me recently.
Patience: More Than Waiting
Another thing on the patience continuum: when I go through weeks like this, I need more patience with what seem to be like endless peanut putter sandwiches. My mind is on the lower end of the abilities continuum and I freeze when in the kitchen.
The downside of venting so much on this blog and trying to explain PTSD is that it’s all come out so serious and depressing. I don’t think that my overall view on life is depressing, in fact I get called an “optimist” and that “I smile all the time,” which makes me laugh, but makes me happy. Thank goodness.
I have learned so much from the past 20 years that I couldn’t have learned any other way:
- Learning to not care what people think, when it doesn’t matter most of the time
- Having courage to stand up for myself and others
- Learning to believe my gut feelings when I realize that I’ve found an answer, and that it doesn’t matter if everyone else believes me, just those who matter, and to not give up on finding answers
- That there are so many wonderful, beautiful things in life that I can see just about any day, no matter what is going on otherwise
I am a huge Pinterest lover. It’s something that’s easy to do, usually no matter how I’m feeling, and I’ve found so many cool ideas and inspiration there. I’m not a passive Pinner: it goes somewhere. (Thank you humanities skills) 🙂 It’s my present day version of the love I had for card catalogs in the library and going through my parents’ books while growing up, combined with the awesomeness that was encyclopedias. (Thank you World Book, 1980 edition).
I Pinned this to my “Inspiration” board today. It looks like it may have originated from artist Lisa Congdon, who has some pretty cool works of art (including iPhone covers) on her website. She loves color, and I love color (yay bright, fun colors) and I like her stuff. Win win. I would not trade my life for what I thought I wanted, with the exception of being around my kids more. Hopefully as I get better, that will happen. I still have visions of getting to watch my grandkids for my kids, if grandkids happen. (No pressure, kids. You’re too young right now anyway.) 😉
My anxiety over the wait for my disability court date (which decides if I receive disability or not) has been wreaking havoc with my body and my mind, but it’s also given me an opportunity to dig deeper, have more hope, and see more blessings: not to mention come to terms with some emotions that have been buried pretty deep. This blog has been lots of serious, so today I list the positive. (My sense of humor still seems a little broken tonight, so that may not make it in. We’ll see.)
- We had snow yesterday! Utah is in a drought, and my home state of CA has been in a drought: we had snow, Huntington Beach and Long Beach both had so much hail that people built little “snowmen” out of the hail. I love the snow. It make the cold more bearable. Watching it from my window was magical. Getting to go for a walk in lightly falling snow a few days before that was also very healing. I love walking, I love nature. It’s amazing. I also love that these days we can see what’s happening in other parts of the world with a click of the mouse: beach covered with hail! I didn’t have to miss it.
- I had my first ever SimplyHealed™ session with the extremely talented Katie Buhler. She had a drawing for a free session, and another friend of mine won it, then said that she wanted to give it to me. So kind of her. I’m still trying to decide what kind of fun thing I want to do for this friend as a thank you. I did not know what to expect for the session. I’ve read about the Emotion Code, which is similar: and several people have recommended SimplyHealed™ to me. It was quite the experience, and difficult to describe. I’ll be doing more sessions with her for sure. *When* I get disability. I’m going to get it. I’m putting that “out to the universe.” I highly recommend Katie. Her sister in law, Holly Buhler, also does SimplyHealed™.
- I have had an interesting life when it comes to trials (like everyone….). One thing I have been very blessed with throughout most of my life is kind, amazing friends. I had amazing friends in high school that I’m grateful that I can still hear from on Facebook. I’ve been able to reconnect with college friends since moving to Utah. Friends from when I was married and my ex was in grad school are also still easy to get a hold of and catch up with. Friends from my most recent ward (church congregation) are also easy to catch up with on Facebook. What did people do if they had to stay at home a lot before modern technology? 🙂 They say that Facebook makes people less happy with their lives, and I’ve caught myself feeling that way a few times, but mostly it’s been a good reminder to me of the people I’ve been blessed to interact with and that life isn’t always hard.
- I’m grateful that I love to be around people. I can be sensitive to a lot of noise, but I usually love company. Once a week our single’s group has a volleyball/game night. I was playing a fun game last night with friends on the stage at church while volleyball was going on. The game was an app you can get on a smart phone, and you choose a category (animals, 70’s stuff, 80’s stuff, celebrities, movies…) and put it on your forehead similar to the game Hedbanz and have others describe it and see if you can guess it. Some of my favorite, most relaxed, easy to get along with friends were there playing: one of those “small things/huge blessings” that you want to catch in your memory and remember for the harder times. If I wasn’t willing to reach out and trust others, I wouldn’t have those small but significant blessings that come from good friends. I was also able to talk with a friend early yesterday evening over some things that were bothering me that I had a feeling she was uniquely qualified to be able to help me out with. We are all so different and have such unique abilities in the ways we are able to connect with and help heal each other.
- My kids are my greatest blessings. My greatest trial has been to not be able to take care of them and be around them like I want to. Heavenly Father has made this turn out in ways that have been unexpectedly positive, but it’s certainly not what I ever would have wanted. But watching them learn and seeing them be okay while living with their dad and step mom has strengthened my faith that Heavenly Father loves us and wants us to be okay.
- And what have I learned from having PTSD? A whole lot of patience in learning how to wait for answers, how to search for answers, how to ask help from others: seeing that scary things can happen and that people come out the other side, and that I’m far from alone. I’m still in this process and probably always will be. I imagine that someday, when I’ve processed this all a lot more, it will be easier to write about. I love that I’ve met so many people who have been through difficulties who are so different from mine, and yet we have a connection, even though it may have come through things we’d never want to go through again.
I’m so grateful that I happened upon this talk this morning. My New Year’s Resolution this year is “Peace,” as in “Inner Peace.” While forgiveness may not make my PTSD or anxiety go away all at once, it certainly makes achieving a sense of peace a much easier thing to do, and the process of forgiving other helps me forgive myself day by day as well. When I see it as more of a day to day process, it also helps me recognize the ways I can work on my “triggers,” and gives me more patience. The video is below, or you can find the text here, at BYU Speeches.
Two quotes I personally found helpful, but watch it for yourself to see what you find:
It is critical to understand that forgiving others is not just a practical virtue. It is a profound act of faith in the Atonement and the promise that the Savior’s sacrifice repays not just our debts to others but also the debts of others to us.
In our live-and-let-live society, we may believe that being forgiving is just etiquette and good manners. It is not. We may think that forgiveness requires us to let mercy rob justice. It does not. Forgiveness does not require us to give up our right to restitution. It simply requires that we look to a different source. The non-judgmental worldly phrases “don’t worry about it” and “it’s no big deal” are not illustrations of the doctrine of forgiveness. On the contrary, when a person sins against us, it can be a very big deal.10 The point is that the Atonement is very big compensation that can take care of very big harms. Forgiveness doesn’t mean minimizing the sin; it means maximizing our faith in the Atonement.
My greatest concern is that if we wrongly believe forgiveness requires us to minimize the harms we suffer, this mistaken belief will be a barrier to developing a forgiving heart. It is okay to recognize how grave a sin is and to demand our right to justice—if our recognition triggers gratitude for the Atonement. Indeed, the greater the sin against us—the greater the harm we suffer—the more we should value the Atonement. (see Luke 7:41–43)
Jesus shows compassion and heals the man who has been waiting in vain at the pool of Bethesda.
President Packer, of The Quorum of the Twelve Apostles (then Elder Packer) gave this classic talk in 1991 entitled “The Moving of the Water.” I quote only a portion, but you can read the rest here or I will place the video at the bottom of the post. (Video currently only available via this link)
There has always been in all of humanity a sprinkling of those who are described in the scriptures as the blind, the halt, the lame, the deaf, the withered, the dumb, the impotent folk. We refer to them as having learning or communication disorders, as the hearing or visually impaired, as those with motor or orthopedic limitations. We speak of intellectual or emotional impairment, of retardation, and mental illness. Some suffer from a combination of these, and all of them cannot function without some help.
I speak to the families of those who, at birth or as the result of accident or disease, must live with an impaired body or mind. I desire to bring comfort to those to whom the words handicapped or disability have very personal meaning.
I must first, and with emphasis, clarify this point: It is natural for parents with handicapped children to ask themselves, “What did we do wrong?” The idea that all suffering is somehow the direct result of sin has been taught since ancient times. It is false doctrine. That notion was even accepted by some of the early disciples until the Lord corrected them.
“As Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth.
“And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?
“Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.” (John 9:1–3.)
There is little room for feelings of guilt in connection with handicaps. Some handicaps may result from carelessness or abuse, and some through addiction of parents. But most of them do not. Afflictions come to the innocent.
Laws of Nature Sovereign
The very purpose for which the world was created, and man introduced to live upon it, requires that the laws of nature operate in cold disregard for human feelings. We must work out our salvation without expecting the laws of nature to be exempted for us. Natural law is, on rare occasions, suspended in a miracle. But mostly our handicapped, like the lame man at the pool of Bethesda, wait endlessly for the moving of the water.
The Moving of the Waters