Post-Trauma Patience

When living post-trauma,
And especially whilst still in a stressful environment
Just doing things, even simple things, can be incredibly difficult;

You plan to do things…
Then find yourself hours later, finding the energy to get up to do it,
Wondering why or how you haven’t done it yet,
And what you even did do instead;

But the truth is, you get exhausted simply from the thought of doing things,
Or from the OCD or other anxiety triggered by getting ready to do them,
The many questions, ruminations, the if-buts that arise,
Which must all be resolved before you can move on and do the thing
β€”And this is genuinely true,
That anxiety must be resolved before you can do the thing,
β€”Otherwise you’ll just be filled with dread, lose all your energy and the next time be even less inclined to begin doing something;

It’s just that the resolution is not by fulfilling some anxious, irrational need like completing an anxious compulsion or appeasing a negative voice in your mind,
The resolution is getting into a different headspace;

You eventually hit a wall and all you can do is rest, allow your mind to wander,
Then hope to begin again with less anxiety,
Get onto an upwards spiral instead of a downwards one;

Upward spirals and momentum can be totally interrupted or reversed by outside stressful events;
Even once those have stopped and you have no ‘excuse’ for losing momentum, it still happens, you do it to yourself, you have no idea why and you hate yourself for it;

You have to be incredibly patient with yourself, ultimately;

Yet facing the prospect of days spent accomplishing only a few simple things is nightmarish,
β€”It’s simply not enough dopamine and serotonin to stay sane,
Nobody can live like thatβ€” that’s how suicide becomes attractive (at least for me this has been the biggest trigger);

24 hours is an impossibly long amount of time in certain circumstances;

It’s a to-and-fro between accomplishing enough things to stay sane and feel good about yourself and not fall into spiralling depression,
And feeling too exhausted and demotivated from energy-sucking anxiety;
Between a negative headspace and a positive one;

And maintaining a positive headspace in a traumatised mind, especially when also dealing with social isolation, is the hardest thing there is.

(Or at least you could say it’s joint equal with other unspeakably hard things, such as learning general relativityβ€” not that I’ve tried, but I’ve heard from people who have :)).


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