PTSD with anxiety is what I’m dealing with now. It has happened before and I’m sure it will many times as I cycle through the phases of healing. I really wish with all my heart that this process was faster. It takes as long as it takes. In the meantime, my heart races several times a day in the form of anxiety attacks. I’m doing my best to cope in healthy ways.
I haven’t written on this blog for awhile. I think I needed some alone time. Some quiet. It’s been a really rough year. Certain stages of healing make me mourn for my denial bubble. Knowledge is power, sure, but some of it hurts like hell. Sometimes it pisses me off. PTSD with anxiety is really painful emotionally and physically. I feel exhausted constantly.
Lots of things can help with anxiety: music, breathing, changing your immediate environment, ect. As recommended in the book, Courage to Heal, I am working on a list to refer to when I get desperate. Anxiety makes it difficult to think straight or remember things. Desperate feelings are one of the least pleasant things about it. I’m also resistant to things that are actually helpful and tend to rebel against them. Go figure! The right thing to do for myself is not always the easiest or 1st thing I think about.
Here’s my list below. Feel free to swipe it for yourself and add too it, make your own list. Print it out or write a copy, I’m printing mine out to tape up and see in a couple rooms. May we all find peace.
2. Wiggle your toes. Feel the ground under your feet. Feel the temperature of the room
3. Chew some gum.
4. Listen to some uplifting music
5. Let yourself cry
6. Find something to laugh at. Be silly but don’t criticize yourself
7. Play with my dog
8. Work on an art project
9. Dance to some funky beats
10. Yell into a pillow
11. Hit the pillow
12. Throw that fucker! (safely, lol, I’m laughing already)
13. Tell someone how much you appreciate them
14. Write a diary entry about what I’m grateful for
15. Remind myself that it is ok if I’m still anxious even after trying 14 things. Practice compassion.
16. Write a letter to my child self
17. Talk to myself in sign language in front of the mirror
18. Write in my journal
19. Call a family member
20. Help someone else
21. Listen to the soothing audio and video files from this program or other soothing guided relaxation
22. Record my own guided relaxation audio
23. Go for a walk or exercise/yoga/stretching
24. Verbalize out loud how I’m feeling
There are probably a lot more things to do that could help someone else. I haven’t included those due to my own personal triggers. It is also not in order. I skip around a lot. That is how my brain works though. Do what works for you! Some of them are: take a bath/shower, Wrapping yourself in a blanket and hugging yourself, meditate, ect. There are tons more that you can use to care for yourself when you are experiencing anxiety.
Thank you for reading my blog. It has really helped me to have a place to write and share. It feels so amazing to not have to carry this secret anymore. It released so much shame to just come out and tell people. Secrets perpetuate abuse so fuck that. I would promise to write more but I just don’t know if I will be able too. I’m living day to day, hour to hour, sometimes even minute to minute. PTSD with anxiety or whatever shitty symptom pops up to haunt me can fuck off. I’m living through this. I don’t mean to ruin the ending for you but SPOILER ALERT: PTSD doesn’t kill me.
I’ll add (if I may) TaiChi / Qi Gong. I prefer the later. But both are similar. TaiChi is a martial art so wrecking things while doing it can happen (figured that fact should be said) if the practiced movements are done too fast and something is in the way. I found that out the hard way, which is a very funny story I do not tell anyone. I do TaiChi by myself, alone, having modified some of the forms slightly to suit me. I am not a follower of groups doing this training because it makes me uncomfortable dealing with the social aspect of it. Being unknown helps in this case. Slow movements (with music) over time help quiet my mind and practice makes it effortless (meaning you don’t have to think about what you’re doing. This helps my anxiety and is actually good light exercise. It is better than sitting staring at a computer which is my other talent that probably brings on my loops of anxiety. Please keep posting and helping your self be ‘you’ there! It helps many even if they don’t reply to you. Take care!
Thanks for sharing Sarah. You are not alone.
Love & hugs
I’ve suffered from anxiety since the age of 18 (I’m now 42) so I know how debilitating an illness it is. I really wish I could say do this or do that and it will help but I can’t, as you will know, once an attack comes on and your panicking, hyperventilating, disoriented and scared it’s very difficult to start doing the things they say helps. The only thing that helped me personally was to not fight it, I would say to myself ‘ok, I know what you are, I’m not running, do your worst, let’s see what you got’ and I would just let the feelings take over. When I did do that the symptoms weren’t as bad or they didn’t last long. Apart from that, when I’m not in the grip of an attack I’ve started meditating a bit which has helped a lot to be honest, I’ve started painting too, and I haven’t had a full blown attack for months now, But that’s me, you will find your own way, just remember your not alone in this, and even though right now it feels so tough you will beat it!
Sending you love