Sometimes I feel alone. Sometimes I feel like I’m the only one who feels this way. Sometimes I feel like I will never smile again…. Then I do.
Today has been a rough day. The smile that I have been holding on too has started to slip again. I am trying to hold it up high. My body hurts from head to foot. My bones ache, my muscles are sore. My mind is racing.
Each night that I close my eyes, and I start to relax. I drift into the darkness of sleep, one of two things wake me during the night.
I wake, to a pain that shoots from my foot up to my knee as I am slamming on the brake to stop the car, even tho I am physically in the car. Every night this takes place. Each time the ending is the same. I am jolted awake, panting and scared.
On other the nights, this scene plays out, I can smell the acrid burning smell of the fire, I can see the white blankets that covered my face, and I can still hear the sound the jaws of life make as they cut through the car. Even in my dreams, I can feel the glass popping onto my exposed skin.
I keep thinking tomorrow, the next night will be the one that I make a full night of sleep. I keep thinking, maybe I will nap during the day, and I’ll be ok… I’m wrong each time.
What does it feel like to have PTSD? It’s a feeling that comes and goes. I have times that I have no issues and I feel normal. I smile and laugh, tell jokes and take on the world. Then, any trigger sound, smell, feeling, flashback or nightmare I cry, shake, hurt head to foot. I feel scared, sad, confused, and depressed. I simply want to shut down. Most of the time the feeling does not last long and it passes after a minute or so. I then feel normal again.
I am asking for my team to be patient with me. If you find me not having a good day. If you see that I am not myself. Please know that the feeling will pass. If I am riding in the car with you, and look like I am “far away” I might need to be. If I jump a little or close my eyes it’s not that you are a bad driver. I am just having a moment, and waiting for it to pass. Thank you…
American Family Physician – PTSD following MVA
Mayo Clinic PTSD