What not to do…

by Mrs. Smith on July 9, 2018

What did I used-to-do
when something would trigger me like that?

Well. I have lots of experience doing things that don’t work, but eventually I learned that throwing a fit about being triggered didn’t really make it any better. I’ve done lots of things to help PTSD heal at different points along this journey, but there are 2 things that have surfaced as just really great for me.

1) Therapist.

This is what it looks like:
Therapist listens to the situation, figures out why it came up when it did, why it’s sticking, & how to get me out of it, and then guides me to figure it out myself. It’s absolutely amazing how it works and I super love it.

Friends are awesome, but friends are not doctorate-level-psychologists, y’all. If you have chronic overwhelm or chronic anger or chronic sadness or chronic worry or basically some chronic negative feeling you can’t pray away or shake off…
Feeling good on a regular basis is so totally worth it.

Problem: Therapist is out of town for the whole summer. DAGNABBIT.

2) Facebook-therapy

Sometimes it takes a little while to get to a psychologist, and sometimes it’s just a little blip that doesn’t seem worth going in for, so I’ve found other coping mechanisms to get me by. This is what “Facebook-therapy” looks like:

Fake it all day and then, when the kids are in bed, hop on a PTSD support facebook group. Swim around in there for a little bit, offer comfort, commiserate, brainstorm, connect to that solidarity and remember how very very much better things are now than they used to be. If I feel like it, write up what I’m dealing with and share it with that amazing group of individuals who will totally get it and won’t judge.

In remembering how far I’ve come, it would connect me to “where I am” and detach me from “where I’m not,” and poof! I’d feel better. Problem, gone. Or mostly gone.

Doesn’t sound all that bad, does it?


Possibly worth noting, “Facebook-therapy” doesn’t usually work to resolve whatever it was that kicked up for me. 
Distracting myself with Facebook just lulls it back to sleep. It helps me feel better in that moment.

Image result for sleeping 3-headed dog

And I told the Universe I’m not doing that this month. I’m all in. I’m dealing with stuff.
I just wasn’t expecting THAT kind of stuff, man.


So anyway.

I had to sit with that grief/anger that the flashbacks kicked up. All day July 1.

The sadness was there when I went to sleep that night, and it was there waiting for me in the morning, too: this dark, sad, heavy, yucky-ness, following me around when I made breakfast, pulling at my sleeves while I read stories to kids, kicking me in the shins when they tried to get out of doing chores, tempting me to cry over nothing when I snuggled with the puppy… in general, just making everything grey and lifeless and slow.

The anger was there, too, simmering under the surface and throwing daggers at innocent bystanders (namely, Mr Smith).


It was lame. That darn 3-headed-dog was awake and very much in the way.

Image result for sleeping 3-headed dog

I was definitely NOT seeing anything magical or Neverland-worthy. No pixie dust here!

Anything remotely Tinkerbell was super-stuck.

July was shaping up to be more JK Rowling and less Disney.

I tried talking with God about it. Tried untangling it. Tried journalling it. Tried to get all “Present” and let it do whatever it needed to do to melt away on its own. Tried to get underneath it to the place where thoughts/feelings don’t really matter much. There was peace, but there was also still just a deep, deep grief laced with sharp little shards of anger.

So then I called backup. Friends are not really therapists, like I said, but man, it’s great to have friends who will be there for you when you need one! LOL. I seriously just so appreciate the people who are there for me whether or not I’m in a good mood, and let me just be messed up for a little bit if that’s where I’m at.

Related image


How in the heck are we going to get anywhere this month with a ferocious 3-headed dog in the way???
Good luck with that one!

I basically sat on the couch and pet the dog and went through the motions for 2 days hoping it would just fix itself.

Waking up on July 3, though, I’d had it.

Enough with this cloud of crapiness! No more! So what if two of my easiest “helps me feel better” tools are unavailable?

I have a third easy, favorite tool and I should try it. Hermoine could totally rock that challenge without her sidekicks.
If that doesn’t work, there are others…

By the end of the day, bingo! Got it. All better.

Sometimes the answer is
“Be still and know that I am God.” Sometimes the situation is really beyond your control and you just have to sit back, trust God, and hang on.

Sometimes the answer is
“Okay, now get off your rear end and DO SOMETHING. Anything. Just try, and then I can help you!”

What “not to do” is to sit there not doing anything.

Details are worth documenting but will have to be the next post, though, sorry…

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