Sufferer Living with PTSD, 18 months out from trauma. Feeling alone right now. Hoping for perspective and tools to move forward.

B

Better Days

This is my first time posting here. i’m living with PTSD, 18 months out from trauma.

hoping to get some perspective and tools to help me keep moving forward.

I have a team of therapists that help including EMDR, prescription medicine, traditional therapy, and spiritual/energetic healing.

I challenges I’m still exhausted. I have a hard time focusing at work. And I get overwhelmed with the most basic of tasks. sleeping is sometimes impossible for weeks on end, regardless of how many drugs I take.

imagine I’m not the only one that feels like this. Open to any discussion or suggestions. Just feeling alone right now.
 

Better Days

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Welcome to the Forum! You have found a special place with super special people👍🏼Best of luck to you!🌼
Thank you for welcoming me. I spent a fair amount of time on a Suicide Forum for those who had survived losing one of their loved ones to suicide. I think I’m doing much better with that but now it’s just down to the trauma of that night, watching my loved one take her own life 3 feet from me. I just can’t get my mind to shut off when I’m by myself. Sleeping is nearly impossible short of me consuming a pharmacy of drugs. I thought things were getting better but it feels like it’s turning in on me again.
 

Better Days

New Here
So I guess I’ll start with a simple question. What can you do when your mind keeps returning to that one moment of trauma? I’ve tried a number of therapies and things are getting a little bit better but everyone says, “it just takes time.“

but I am absolutely exhausted. I feel like I’m treading water. what is helped when you wake up at three in the morning screaming and you can’t get back to bed?

There’s got to be someone out there who is handling that situation better than me. I listen to affirmations, I pet the dog, I try to visualize other things. It’s just all encompassing right now.

my therapist tell me that it’s normal for someone after 18 months but nothing feels normal at this point.

suggestions? Ideas? What worked for you? all replies are welcomed.
 
What can you do when your mind keeps returning to that one moment of trauma?
Recognize that 18 months out is still a short amount of time and that you need to grieve such a heavy, heavy loss.

You're in therapy, which is wonderful and will help you so much. But do you have a psychiatrist? You really should try to fix that waking up at 3am thing, and a p-doc can really help you.

Beyond that, it sounds like you are doing everything you can. Maybe you can honor the fact that nothing seems right, no matter what you do. I daresay that is probably pretty usual for people who have been through what you have been through.
 

AngelkeeperJ

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I thought things were getting better but it feels like it’s turning in on me again.
@Better Days I think you will find that getting better will be a journey of rollercoaster ups and downs that can hit seemingly out of nowhere. The one rule... you can't give up.💙 You will learn to recognize the triggers and hopefully find ways of dealing that work for you.

Anniversaries, birthdays, and holidays will be different but it will get better!

I am sorry you had the terrible experience of losing your loved one in such a traumatic way... I can't even imagine how hard it is...I can promise that we can survive the most horrid of traumas....

Peace to you and yours!☮️
 

Friday

Moderator
my therapist tell me that it’s normal for someone after 18 months but nothing feels normal at this point.
So this is one of those things...

...it’s normal for PTSD.

But especially if you’ve been in suicide support groups, etc.? Your baseline expectation of normal is looking at the whole gosh darn spectrum of the ways that people respond to trauma. Only a very small percentage with have PTSD. There will also -easily- be a dozen other disorders (or more) also reacting to the trauma in their lives, in addition to the grief & other challenges everyone is dealing with, regardless of what disorders / conditions / challenges they’re facing. <<< Thats a hugely useful thing, in a lot of ways, because the thread of commonality (losing someone to suicide) normalizes & helps people through the shared aspect. And to cut yourself some slack for what you come to learn is just really f*cking normal, if painful. But it can also create wacky baseline expectations, depending on the composition of the groups. Like, it’s normal for most people to abuse alcohol intermittently in grief. Yes, it’s a problem, but not a check yourself into rehab problem. For most people. But there will always be a few who go waaaaaaaay beyond the normal “I’m drinking too much, right now.” and are full blown into substance abuse / alcoholism. Having that backdrop of the different ways people are handling grief allows both the people abusing alcohol and the people who have developed a problem WITH alcohol to easily see the difference. Where things can get wacky? Is if the group is comprised almost entirely OF alcoholics, or of people who never drink.

When you’re dealing with a disorder like PTSD? (Or specific phobia, or GAD, or any other disorder commonly resulting from, or exacerbated by trauma). It’s highly unlikely that most people in the group are also going to have PTSD to see the normal range in how people are coping with suicide and PTSD, the way a person can see the normal range in how people are dealing with drinking too much.

You probably already know most of this, hence why you’re here, and seeking PTSD treatment.

But that baseline of seeing how other people are handling their grief & trauma also creates some expectations that make what you’re going through with PTSD seem wrong, feel wrong, etc.

A very long way of my saying... trust your T with this one. Where you’re at, with PTSD, is not only very solidly in the normal range... but you’re ALSO doing All. The. Right. Things.
 

Better Days

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Do you have any hobbies or interests that you can use when you wake up in a panic to distract yourself? Maybe reading? It's so hard I know.
Thank you for your response. It’s really funny because I used to be a voracious reader and post trauma it’s like I can’t read it all.

I do listen affirmations and that seems to help but it’s like falling off a cliff. I don’t realize I’m off the cliff until I’m halfway down the mountain.

right now I don’t have any hobbies simply because I’m just trying to work so much to make up for the deficit of missing so much work and spending thousands of dollars on psych expenses. Praise God I had some money set aside. Therapy and drugs are not cheap. But at least I’m still alive. I’m just working hard to recover.

but to your point I think I need to do a better job knowing when bad reactions are coming. Right now they catch me off guard like a lightning bolt. Maybe if I pay attention I could get a heads up and try to do something to help ahead of time

thank you for your insight
 
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