I’ve just started a course to help me through my ptsd and maybe get some of my life back. I have to be honest and say that I’m a little cynical that I can ever be truly free from my trauma, it’s not that I want to always feel like this way. It’s just that certain things, people, names etc will always be a trigger. I can never normalise that, normalising my trauma would be like denying it’s existence.
Over the next few weeks, I’d like to share with you some of things I will have learnt about ptsd, how it affects me and how I can learn to cope with it. If you have a ptsd diagnosis or think that’s what you have, this blog may trigger you so please consider self care. The only advice I give is to constantly pester your GP for support, unfortunately it takes a long time to be taken seriously (in my experience anyway).
My ‘homework’ last week was to come up with a safety plan to deal with suicidal feelings and to establish my 5,4,3,2,1.
This is my safety plan so far:
- Don’t isolate myself – talk or just be near to people I care about. Maybe even carry a photo of my children with me.
- When I start to feel triggered go to my 5,4,3,2,1 (more on that story later 😉 )
- Distract myself with tasks or even have a nap under a cosy blanket. Hug someone or something.
- If the feelings of suicide continue then I will phone the Samaritans, my GP, 999 or take myself to A&E. Who I call depends on how desperate I am feeling.
- Really, really need to sort out my stockpile of meds …..
I have to recognise that when I become suicidal, it’s not helpful to dwell on it. It’s easy to become fixated on suicide and I know that I have spent too many hours researching ways to kill myself. What I find helps is the fact that I very much want to live!! This may sound oxymoronic….. I’ll try and explain.
I get suicidal when everything becomes too much. Suicide is then my only solution to dealing with all of the pain. The sad reality is that if the pain stopped, I’d be happy with life so it’s not my life I wish to stop but the incessant suffering.
This leads me on to 5,4,3,2,1…. The numbers refer to your senses and how many things you require for each one. The theory is that it brings you back from traumatic memories and places you in the present. I think it’s called grounding …
So here’s mine:
5 things you can see
1. My children (or photo of)
2. My cat
3. The sky
5. My phone (no comment!)
4 things you can feel/touch
1. My cat
2. A soft blanket
3. My hair
4. My bracelets
3 things you can hear
1. Cat purrs
2 things you can smell
1. My cat!
2. Lavender or other strong smelling herb/flower
1 thing I can taste
And guess what covers almost all 5…. Tea!!! Oh and my cat and crochet too 🙂 so tea does heal after all.
Love, tea, crochet and cats