I have been more sensitive recently. More easily hurt, as though I were covered in small wounds and other people were salt.
As a consequence of this, I have found more things triggering. I can’t shy away from those things that trigger me because it is my job to deal with them. So I have struggled at work, struggled to listen to the high emotional frequency in the air, struggled to listen to the ache behind other peoples’ words. Struggled, in truth, even to get up in the morning/ afternoon (shift-dependent).
Things happen at work that inevitably trigger me because I have shared experiences with others. Because others are not always as empathetic as I try to be in dealing with the problems faced by residents. That hurts me because I think of how they would perceive my own struggles and I know, overwhelmingly, that their perceptions would be negative. I become angry, I fight not to become jaded. It’s hard. every. Single. Day.
A GP prescribed an antidepressant to which my mind and body reacted very badly (I looked/ felt too stoned to go in to work), so I am waiting for a referral to the psych services of North West London. They said it will take about a month.
Along with this have come negative thoughts and feelings, inwardly directed. I struggle with this becomes I am no good at this. I am triggered becomes I must act on this. Sometimes my thoughts are loud enough to wake me in the night. Sometimes I drink to blot them out, only to find they become more insistent.
I am coping but I am not coping well. My coping strategies are not healthy ones. My thoughts are not always reasonable ones. My attempts to thwart the thoughts are often thwarted.
I drink to drown the dreams that died of drink, is a thought that cropped up in my head one day on the Tube.
And so, I have been trying to come up with something positive. This is what I have come up with:
I am strong. I may not feel it (I often don’t feel it) but I am. I have an unwavering drive to survive, despite not wanting to at times. I make efforts to stay safe, even when staying safe seems the least viable option. I struggle… but to struggle is better than to give up. I think of all the times I “failed” to die and try to see them not as failures but as successes: I am alive. That is beautiful and I cannot dispute that. I think of the relationship I am in, of how wonderful it is, how I have fought to maintain it. I block out the memories of past disasters, to be dealt with a later time.
So for all that I feel weak by being triggered, and by hearing the thoughts that call me useless and pathetic, I have to remember that to mainly resist the triggers takes a strength I do not always realise I have.
I need to try to hold onto that.