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Holiday are Going to be More Triggering than I Thought

Discussion in 'General' started by txmomof3, Nov 22, 2007.

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  1. txmomof3

    txmomof3 Active Member

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    Having spent the past 6 months fighting to get my Anorexia under control, I did not realize how much of my PTSD was still lying in wait. It is amazing how much something like Anorexia can deaden the PTSD pain temporarily...then it comes back and bites you HARD.

    Until last week, I really believed that this holiday season was going to be different. Now, I feel like I am hanging on by my fingertips. I want to feel....but when I do start feeling, I dissociate. I try to break out of my comfort zone...but dive back in as quickly as I can. I am at the point in therapy where I have always "given up" before. There is this line that I have never crossed because I am so afraid and untrusting of myself...yet I am going to venture across it after the holidays. It is time to finally deal with the hard stuff instead of running away. But, I have quickly figured out that this time of year is NOT the time to take that on.

    PTSD is exhausting...yet I can't sleep. The holidays are supposed to be this magical time...but I find I have to force myself to do things so my kids can enjoy this time. I am overwhelmed and triggered everywhere I look. The problem is, I have 2 solid months of eating disorder recovery under my belt and I don't want to mess with that. However, I am finding it hard to pull up my positive coping skills right now.

    I have faith that I will get through this...I am just so exhausted right now. Day by day....step by step.
     
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  3. She Cat

    She Cat I'm a VIP Premium Member

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    Hi Tx,

    I too had an eating disorder. Anorexia & Bulimia . Yes they do take your mind off PTSD. You are so focused on your body, what you are, or are not eating that nothing else matters much. Then I would exercise like a mad woman too. I'm glad that you have gotten your eating problem under control. Good job!!!!

    I had been in and out of therapy since I was 15, and never really giving it 100%. I never got to the real issues, so it never helped. Then I finally was DX'ed 13 yrs ago with PTSD and decided that life wasn't working for me anymore. I gave therapy one more try and this time 100%. It was the longest and hardest 2 yrs of my life. I gave 150% every minute, hour, day, and week.

    It won't be easy, it will be one of the hardest things that you have ever had to do, but it will be so worth it. You will make it, and come out for the better. PTSD won't control you or your life. Your symptoms will become less and less, and when you do have a meltdown, or are triggered you can pull yourself out fairly quickly.

    My only suggestion is that you find a therapist trained in PTSD, that is so important.

    I wish you all the best, and I am so glad that you are going to "cross that line."
     
  4. vst

    vst Active Member

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    TX, keep working on everything and be kind to yourself. This time of the year is hard. Holidays are supposed to be fun, but to me they are just one anxiety attack. I panicked and had to run out of Macy's the other day.

    I hit bottom before I went into therapy. I asked myself if I wanted to live or give up and do what I was already doing. Getting help and working with a therapist was one of the best things I ever did for myself. My decision was to give therapy my all and get better. After each therapy session I was exhausted, but I kept going. Getting better was the only thing on my mind.

    I agree with SheCat that it will be one of the hardest things you may do. Personal experience taught me that being in control of your own destiny will allow you to trust yourself.

    Take your time and find a good therapist. I was fortunate that I picked a "t" who was very understanding about PTSD brought about by sexual trauma.

    Faith is all important, so keep that faith and keep moving forward...

    vst
     
  5. txmomof3

    txmomof3 Active Member

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    Thanks for the support!

    SheCat, your story sounds a lot like mine. I have been in therapy off and on since I was 16...never giving it 100%. In May, I decided it was do or die time. I HAD to give it my all or I was not going to make it. So, I worked on getting my eating disorder under control and now it is time to deal with the trauma.

    vst, it is comforting to know that I am not the only one who panics during this time of year. I know intellectually that is the case...but when it happens I feel so alone. Hopefully, each passing holiday season will get better for us.

    As far as finding a therapist trained in PTSD, that has been difficult. I spent 5 years with a highly trained trauma therapist and got worse instead of better. Part of it was that I was not giving it my all....but part of it was that she put a timeframe on everything. When I was not better according to her timeframe, the therapy became ineffective. Unfortunately, it took me quite awhile to change therapists.

    Since I have a chronic pain condition, I starting seeing a pain management/biofeedback therapist a couple of years ago. She made me realize that you really needed to take your time when finding a therapist. I had been so afraid to tell my story over that I spent 5 years with someone who was not the right person for me. I still work with my PM therapist on occasion...she is WONDERFUL!

    When I started having severe problems with my Anorexia, she gave me a list of highly recommended eating disorder therapists. I did my research and interviews and found the right one for me. When we started in May, the trauma issue was discussed and we agreed that I might need to include a trauma specialist when the time was right. Fortunately, she shares an office with a highly recommended trauma therapist. I am hoping that she will be a fit for me because it would be much easier to have both therapists in the same office so they could communicate with each other. However, I am going in with an open mind so that I will work with a therapist who will be most effective for me.

    I am not going to meet with the trauma specialist until after the first of the year unless things get worse between now and then. I am seeing my ED therapist once a week (or more if needed) and that is working right now. I just don't want to add more stress over this time.
     
  6. She Cat

    She Cat I'm a VIP Premium Member

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    Tx,

    Sounds to me like you have a really good plan in motion for what you need. I hope that this new therapist works out for you....
     
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