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My Terror Attack

#25
Currently don’t know what to do with myself.
I’m meant to be going to a fireworks party tomorrow, and I don’t want fireworks to be an avoidance, but equally I really, really don’t want to go.
Considering if I should message any of my friends.
Out of my three closest friends: one is newlywed, one has a newborn and the other one is organising the bonfire party.
Some of my work colleagues saw me having a panic attack and tried to understand what was going on, but none of them had seen me in the aftermath, so probably don’t understand.
I don’t know what to do.
My mind is racing with images of the panic attack and of workmates soon afterwards laughing at the fact I was such a mess. So even my closest coworkers feel like enemies.
I usually discuss these things with my mum, but she’s away at the moment, and my dad, whilst a wonderful dad, isn’t really great at the emotions thing.
I’m struggling.
it sounds like you have so much on your mind, and I know it's hard just getting through each and everyday, even though your friends have lots of new things going on in their lives I know that they would want to be there for you, I have complex PTSD due to a extremely (so I'm told by my CPN) abusive relationship when I was sixteen for just under two year's, I'm also infertile which gives me extra stress and depression, I have six friends that I call my *safe* friend's, I know that no matter the time of day or what they have going on in their life that they will always be here to listen to me, even if I'm only sending them messages, for me I've found that writing down in a message all that's hurting me, at the moment it's my border collie boy Ben who's going to be 13 on Christmas eve, he's slowing down a lot and is sleeping all the time, I know he's coming to the end of his life and it's killing me inside, I see him as my son, I've had him since he was 6 weeks old and have been with him every single day since then, so when I'm hurting I send my safe people a message, and I know that when they can they will get back in touch with me, I've lost so many friends because I hid away for so many years, these friends and workmates know your going though a rough time and for most of them they won't know how to help you unless you let them know how your feeling, not many people know any other people that do have ptsd, so for them they have no understanding on what effort it takes to just live every day, I just want you to know I'm here for you and i will be here when and if you need me
 
#26
Thank u for the support Eliza. If i can try your technique, i will. Been in therapy off and on for years. Lived all around the states. Got back in recently and my new therapist was terrible! I explained to her what i was dealing with..nightmares, flashbacks, etc. and she said “i dont let my clients call the shots” what the hell!?!? Im paying her for help and she is refusing! A total nightmare!!! Have an appt with a new one in a couple weeks, was the soonest she could get me in. Would love to try EMDR but its a matter of finding someone my insurance will cover and getting there. I’m the only one of my family working and bringing in income right now. So it has been extra stressful. I’ve been trying to use helpful techniques i found on Google, the support of my family, the support of my parish family and my priest, and some techniques that I have learned before. I understand its a continuum of healing but that doesn't make it any easier
 
Thread starter #27
This weekend has been really hard.

On Friday I'd had a lovely morning, and I'd finally made a breakthrough with my therapy, I'd been to see my GP and she's trying to refer me for EMDR, and I was feeling relatively positive for the first time in ages.

Then I heard about London Bridge, and it all came flooding back. There is only a small number of people in the office that knew what I was on the bridge during the Westminster Attack, so nobody else had any qualms talking about London Bridge.

The company VP put BBC News on loudly in his office, and my boss ran to shut the door. Then the two people who sat opposite me started talking about it. One of the people who does know about the attack then took me into a side room to see if I was ok. She then let me stay in the side room whilst she told the two people who sat opposite me about the Westminster Attack, one of whom then went and told the VP. So it kind of felt like everyone in the office were walking on eggshells and making a point to not talk about it. Which felt almost as bad as when people were talking about it. So it was generally a bit of a bad day. I had a lot of nervous energy, so went on a walk with a friend later on, just to get a bit of breathing space.

Then Friday evening, I went with a friend to a Christmas festival, which was lovely, but there were a lot of crowds, and that made me slightly nervous.

And then yesterday I came down with a horrendous cold, which was less than ideal, as I would have liked to go out last night instead of being home alone with my thoughts.

Today I am feeling very sorry for myself as well. But it's December now, so I'm watching Christmas movies and trying to cheer myself up.

I was thinking about taking tomorrow off work, but last time I told my boss I had a cold, it was really because I was feeling so anxious with the PTSD that I couldn't face the office. So telling my boss I have a cold, when she now knows about the PTSD and also knows about London Bridge and how triggering I found it, she will think I'm lying again, and although she didn't mind me taking time off for mental health, she will feel bad that I felt the need to tell her I had a cold again (even though this time I really do have a cold!). So I think I'm just going to go in and see how I get on.

I now only have one therapy session left, which is making me slightly nervous, as I almost felt back to square one on Friday, and feel like I have so much more stuff I need to work through.
 
#28
I'm so sorry -- terrorism is just....there are no words.
she will feel bad that I felt the need to tell her I had a cold again (even though this time I really do have a cold!).
You are overthinking. I doubt she would connect the two -- even if you called in tomorow and said "I need a mental health day because of this attack." For us it's a huge deal talking about it. For them? Other than wanting to know that you are ok they won't really put it together like you fear.
 
Thread starter #29
Thanks @Freida

I realise I am overthinking (it's what I do best 😂). When I was on my walk on Friday I felt like everyone in the office would be talking about me, and calling me a wimp for not being over Westminster. I know it's not true, but I can't help but have that nagging feeling. I think I am such a people-pleaser that the thought of anybody thinking I am not a delightful ray of sunshine, and that I might be not completely fine genuinely makes my anxiety worse.

I'm kind of like an anxious version of Chandler Bing from Friends. I make jokes when I am uncomfortable. Even after my massive flashback, when I'd had a panic attack and been crying for about half an hour, I was trying to crack jokes so that people wouldn't think I'm weak. It was the same for my first couple of therapy sessions, I didn't want to admit that I felt completely torn apart, so I smiled my way through it, and it wasn't until session number 3 that I actually let myself get upset and reveal my actual feelings.

So I know my boss would be totally fine with me taking a day off for a cold, or a mental health day, but it still makes me uncomfortable.
 
Thread starter #30
Ok. So I'm having another panic at work. The nosy person who kept asking questions was talking about the attack again today. And talking about whether our workplace was a target (I work at a leading visitor attraction). And she was talking about how they could go about attacking us. And how they could easily light a fire, get us all out and then kill people as they leave.

I don't think she was doing it maliciously to make me have a panic/flashback. But equally is was SUPER insensitive. And I've had to have a word with another colleague to ask her to go and speak to her and tell her to stop talking about attacks. But once again, I'm feeling an anxious wreck.

I shouldn't have come in today. I have a cold anyway, and I was feeling a bit on edge following London Bridge. And now I feel 10 times worse. I want to go home.
 
#31
But equally is was SUPER insensitive
yes. yes it is! ugh. Huge sign of someone who just doesn't get it.

My ptsd guru gave me lessons in how to deal with those random panic attacks. One of those he called the 60 second sweep. Instead of trying to fight off the feelings or ignore them by telling myself I'm a pathetic, weak loser he taught me to:
Stop.
Take 60 seconds and turn in a complete circle
Look at everything around you and ask yourself - is it a threat?
Look at every person around you and ask yourself - are they a threat?
If the answer is a possible yes - then plan how you are going to remove yourself from the situation.
What are your exits? What's between you and the way out?
Where is your cell phone? Who can you call?
Who is a "friendly" - someone to help you?

It sounds complicated but it is really, really effective. (and no - no one can tell that is what you are doing. If they ask I tell them I'm looking for pen/key/glasses/what not )
Rather than panicking over what I can't do if something happens, it's a way to get back my power over what I can do if something happens
That inevitably calms me down

might be worth a try :)
.
 
Thread starter #32
Thank you so much @Freida - I decided to take today off work, I just couldn’t face it today. And I have a cold anyway, so it’s a fair excuse.

I have my last therapy session tonight, and I just heard from the mental health team that the earliest appointment they have, even for a telephone consultation is the 6th January. So that really hasn’t helped my mood.

I’m trying to get some housework done today so I can feel a little more positive at least about something. But I’m currently finding it hard to have motivation to do anything.
 
Thread starter #33
Currently sat in the waiting room before my last therapy session. I don’t know how I feel about waiting until January even for an assessment. Who knows how long the wait will be after that. With Friday’s attack bringing everything back when I was struggling anyway, I think it’s going to prove a very difficult Christmas.
 
Thread starter #34
Last therapy session was helpful, and he's given me some techniques to take with me to prevent panic attacks etc. I definitely feel like I could have used more sessions. I made progress, but I feel like this is an ongoing problem.

One of my colleagues was talking about how we can go about getting more sessions for me, ie. could I take her allocation, but I decided it wasn't worth it, as we could both end up fired for it.

But I don't know how I'm going to manage to wait until January. Or even several months later if my assessor thinks I can.
 
Thread starter #35
I can tell I'm getting depressed and anxious again as I am really berating myself for even small failings. I asked for help with something today and basically got an email back saying, "why do you need help?" and now I feel useless and I know it will stop me from sleeping tonight and I will literally be thinking about it for months on end.
Yesterday I had to go home sick and didn't sleep because I felt so guilty for leaving my boss with things to do.
I was meant to start some anti-anxiety medication a few days ago, but it made me feel so nauseous that I couldn't bring myself to take another dose. That was pretty much the only anti-anxiety I can take with my epilepsy medication, so looks like I'm stuck.
I don't know what to do. I feel like I'm spiraling downwards. I am pretty sure my seasonal affective disorder isn't helping things. But I don't know how to drag myself out of it. I have tried vitamin D tablets, a light box, and exercise, and nothing is helping.
The last 2 years, I have made sure I had something to do & look forward to in December. Last year I was working in Finland, and the year before I went to New York. I need to make sure I have something to look forward to this time next year because I can't stand another year like this. It's too hard. I'm struggling to eat at the moment, and when I do eat, I eat too much. I don't feel like socialising, but I hate being alone when I feel like this. Cleaning the house is taking too much energy. I haven't even unpacked from when I moved in 2 months ago. Everything feels like it's hurting and aching and I don't know what to do.
 
Thread starter #36
Still feeling low and anxious, but I spent the weekend being productive and using a lightbox, which has helped things a little.

I still feel kind of passively suicidal though. Like, if I got hit by a bus and died, it wouldn't be the worst thing. And would anybody really miss me? I know my immediate family would, but I don't know if I've had much of a positive impact on anyone else, that they would really care. Which I half know is not true. But equally, I can't stop myself from thinking that there would be a few people that would be glad if I died. Not for any particular reason. But I do convince myself that people only invite me to things out of obligation, and they wouldn't have to bother, or my boss would be able to hire someone better.

I feel like I need the angel guy from It's a Wonderful Life to show me what life would be like if I didn't exist, and I could see whether it was better for everyone or not. 😂
 
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