Getting nervous about New Year and fireworks...

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SeekingAfrica

MyPTSD Pro
So here's the deal: I have a huge work deadline(after not having work for almost a year, so enoying it), bad back injury/issue and I was supposed to be giving visa documents yesterday, so I didn't really plan to celebrate New Year. I planned MANY things through January, plus trip home at the end of that month, and planned to spend New Year decluttering, taking bath, setting goals, reading, watching series and generally chilling out in bed. Preferably horizontal because my back is finally starting to slowly get better and I want to give it some extra rest. Maybe put some music on, do some yoga. The PLAN was going great, and considering how many plans accidentally fell in December and January, I was actually enjoying myself.

And then my roommate comes back like a hurricane of business, because she's coughing and has couple hours to cook, do laundry and get ready to go out for New Year celebration. The kitchen is in front of my room and I can hear everything, which I generally don't mind- except now. So that crazy/busy running around thing, which I also do sometimes, somehow got me anxious and now I can't snap out of it. And I was already a bit nervous about the fireworks(I know that once it passes New Year they will start everywhere in the city for hours so it doesn't matter where you are really). So now I had to put on headphones and cuddle under a blanket and it's still not calming me down.

I know this is rediculuous and stupid and it's probably strange that I'm not out celebrating....but I'm getting fully anxious now and all I want is for it to be a regular day. There will be party time and travel time and so on later for me. But between work and health issues I was actually needing some recouperating time and knowing everyone is out doing something just adds to that anxiety. And so now every noise- like the noise of cooking and cleaning dishes of my roommate- is setting me off. I just feel like I'm retreating in myself and it's turning from enjoying quiet self care day into hiding in bed time.....

Ugh! I am so frustrated with myself right now.
I want a memorable New Year celebrating with friends. I just need it to be at least a week from now so just sitting doesn't hurt my back. And also, I can't be the only person feeling this jumpy and set off by fireworks, right? I mean, I haven't been in war, but I don't know, it's just too intrusive sound somehow...
Does any of this make sense? I think I'm having an anxiety attack...
 

Friday

Moderator
Try bouncing a ball. Tennis ball, basket ball, doesn’t really matter what. The vibrations are going to travel through your body from the floor, and up your arm as the ball strikes your hand. Or putting on pointe shoes and doing the loudest moves you know, and the most repetitive moves you know. Either way, ball or pointe, it’s controlling the concussion, and giving your body a reason to excuse vibrations rippling through it as something being done on purpose. Doesn’t matter that you’re only creating SOME of the vibrations rippling through the air, that you’re responsible for some of them? Will tone down your body’s reaction to the rest of them. It’s a weird trick, but a good one
 
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SeekingAfrica

MyPTSD Pro
Try bouncing a ball. Tennis ball, basket ball, doesn’t really matter what. The vibrations are going to travel through your body from the floor, and up your arm as the ball strikes your hand. Or putting on pointe shoes and doing the loudest moves you know, and the most repetitive moves you know. Either way, ball or pointe, it’s controlling the concussion, and giving your body a reason to excuse vibrations rippling through it as something being done on purpose. Doesn’t matter that you’re only creating SOME of the vibrations rippling through the air, that you’re responsible for some of them? Will tone down your body’s reaction to the rest of them. It’s a weird trick, but a good one
Thank you!! Best ideas ever. Was too late for last night, but I got through it and I'm thinking it might be the same with Christmas next week(here it's celebrated on 6th-7th). Never thought of ball as I'm not a sports person- but I do have tennis ball to roll my body out so that can do. Also pointe shoes is great idea, have never thought to be on them when in distress, but they require a lot of concentration and it's very tectile experience so it might work...(and they are kinda loud) plus it would be doing something I love, that helps. Thank you so much! I didn't think yesterday would spook me quite as much as it did, and I definitely want to be better prepared next time:). We'll see how it goes on 6th, I suppose. Yesterday I was in too much distress and ended up taking full sleeping pill, which I never do on my current meds, because they I'm sleepy all morning. Figured I can be sleepy today because it's first. But it will be nice if I handle this better next time. Thank you for the ideas:).
 

Rosebud

MyPTSD Pro
Actually, we are quite small here and yet they were pretty nice. I didn't worry knowing the dog (who is disturbed by them) wasn't here. I can't say I enjoy them like I used to, but it's better than it was. Can you break down what triggers you? If it's only the sensation and volume Friday's suggestion and headphones might help. (I'd say earplugs but I find they create their own issues, music is at least distracting).

Good luck if it repeats, next time you'll be ready. :hug:
 

SeekingAfrica

MyPTSD Pro
Actually, we are quite small here and yet they were pretty nice. I didn't worry knowing the dog (who is disturbed by them) wasn't here. I can't say I enjoy them like I used to, but it's better than it was. Can you break down what triggers you?
Good luck if it repeats, next time you'll be ready. :hug:
Actually, I was trying to think about it last night through the panic. They didn't spook me before and right now I'm not in a flare(period time when I'm back to being jumpy about everything) so I didn't understand. As I said, wasn't in a war so could never figure out why. Though it was random.
Then yesterday through the haze I had this feeling and I thought I knew. When my trauma happened I was stuck for the summer living in the house with the guy that hurt me. I was stuck in a house living with the person that assaulted me for a summer, an ocean away from everyone I cared about, and it was rough. I remember that there were 2 moments from that summer when I almost felt like giving up- on life- one was the first time he hurt me(there were few times), when it all began....and one was on 4th of July. I remember being in my room laying in bed in the middle of a heatwave in the day and I was all bruised and hopeless and feeling nauseous that everyone is celebrating outside while I was spending my days sneaking like a ghost through that house trying to avoid that person, listening for every noise and sound of possible danger...which people were out watching fireworks and I felt like I will never get out of that situation alive. I never really put this together, that it affected me. But maybe the loudness of the fireworks and the fact that I can't control how long they go on sort of sets of that helpless feeling in my body
. Cause I actually find them pretty and colorful and before PTSD I even though they were magical. I don't know, is it possible that this could have affected me or is it just random that I thought of it yesterday? Not sure. Would like to enjoy them one day again, but for now I need to cope.
 

Rosebud

MyPTSD Pro
@SeekingAfrica I am sorry that happened to you. :(:cry:

I relate to such feelings.

That is simply a trigger, as you have described, IMHO. I would expect now that you've identified it I would guess it will lose somewhat of it's punch, because you understand the "why's" of it, though you may feel sad (etc) in it's place, knowing the other details of the why. With more exposure you can work on reducing the reaction. If you can replace the connotation eventually (tether it) to something positive the trigger and the memory will feel framed differently. IMHE.

(PS, I don't think you need trigger warnings the whole site is a sort of form of exposure therapy. And triggers can be anything, for people (Hey, I used to walk 4 isles over to avoid the sight of Oreo cookies, or shield my eyes. :rolleyes: So there's no way to anticipate that, it can even include, for some people, colors, etc. ) . Also, it's not someone else's responsibility to shield another from triggers, it's our's to identify the triggers, acknowledge them, and take steps to pull back or continue forward. If I understand it correctly. )

Best wishes to you. :hug:
 

SeekingAfrica

MyPTSD Pro
@Tinyflame On trigger warnings: I did that because I think that while yes, this whole forum is exposure in some shape or form, I do think that some people might be here for different reasons. And so to someone who is here for being in car crash or something, talking about sexual abuse or rape might be okay with hearing the word, but not wanting to hear darker details, if that makes sense.

Some updates from me: and so it is Christmas here tonight and I have a work deadline. I knew I would be working on Christmas and I should have finished earlier in anticipation of this, but I had a lot of work and just couldn't. Also in anticipation of all that work I made list of small chores and self care tasks that I can do for breaks. Worked really nicely until the afternoon when I tend to get an energy slump in general and my back was hurting so I'm working in bed most of the time with pillows behind me. Anyway, I was already struggling a bit.... AND then fireworks. Not too loud, not for too long, but still, suddenly I can't control myself, I can't think ahead, can't make a full sentence, I am just laying in bed curled in a ball with my heart racing. And I couldn't make my body move until they stopped.

After that I thought maybe I'll have to shift all my plans for the night for tomorrow, whatever the consequence(tight deadline etc.).
So that is bad I guess. Certainly isn't good.

HOWEVER, one good thing is I remembered @Friday mentioning bouncing a ball and I did that for a bit with tennis ball. I kept being afraid that it was too loud and my neighbours will protest(I mean...I've played music and didn't worry about that, I guess it might have sounded more jarring in my head because of being hypervigilant). But on the good side is that because I never use that ball otherwise, it bought me down enough to state where I can do few small tasks. I still feel shaky, which means not ready to commit to full schedule for the night ... but down enough so that I can do a little more, both workwise and otherwise. Which is a start. Tried bouncing the tennis ball with my left hand too, also useful since I am not a leftie at all, except when typing. So it was almost like using a limb that I can't control. Still shaking like a leaf having that sensation like when my blood sugar drops(which makes no sense since I ate plenty today) but at least I'm slightly more in control of myself. Will keep exploring this trigger and bouncing ball and other ideas, hopefully it gets better in time like other triggers.
 
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