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Trigger Diary

So Here we are 7 days caffine free with no cups of coffee, I can honestly that I have noticed a massive difference. My anxiety level has reduced and give me a lower baseline. My patience has grown as well and I am feeling more relaxed at the moment.

I was feeling flat yesterday for a while but my mood picked up gradually during the day, I have been sleeping more and less right through apart from a break to go to the toilet. ha ha

I have been feeling tired lethargic usually around 8pm , but last night I appeared to have more energy.

Being honest my concentration and focus has improved as well with now drinking mixture of green tea or herbal tea. The lime one seems to have the effect to increase concentration. I have more patience wit the downs of life at the moment and seem to bounce back better.

The angry has reduced as well, it is there on occasions but not as amplified as it was when i was having several cups of coffee a day.

This is the final piece of the jigsaw has been my transition reduction of caffine and better diet , reduction of sugar and unhealthy food.

I have given myself the best chance of staying in work , with all the work that I have put into therapy exercise and all the other things, the diet is the last one to balance ADHD , reducing the effect of any potential panic attacks or triggers

I am really happy because the DWP are looking to offer me a grant for ADHD coaching
I have been given my grant for ADHD coaching and over 10 days on the new diet and massively reduced caffine are working really well at the moment.

The coaching will assist me to settle back in work. I can see that also work have now recognised PTSD as disability and the thoughts of not being able to do my job have now been removed.

I have had a disability assessment where I am going to be looked after ( on paper at the moment) and my conditions treated seriously which makes me really happy because this will stop ignorant people ie the ones who dont understand mental health from moving me into a role which would put me at risk. If any of this is breached then I would have a case.

This is a total difference from 6 months ago, there is still along way to go to change the stigma and mindset but for me personally this is great news which means I am going to be protected in this case.

I have been invitied to become a facilitator for a charity Andy's Man club which is a male support group , I have been going for over 18 months and this has made a major difference in my life. As part of the giving back I am going to use my skills to help facilitate the group which is naturally the next step.
So here i am writing this just a day short of going off sick 7 months previously!!

I was thinking that my PTSD symptoms has been quiet for a while with no triggers!! So on tuesday I smashed a 17 mile canal run which is part of my training package for an upcoming 60 mile ultra.

Quietly watching the 3rd episode of 'The Last of us' when there was a scene with a male same sex relationship couple who both decided to end there life together (similarities with Romeo and Juliet). This caused me to feel a little strange with all f*ck where did that come from.

I instantly had a flashback, severe irrattion, high hypervigilance with extreme upset crying, a switch had been flicked!!! But this time it was different with no caffine in the system. I acknowledged what was happening, grabbed my headphones and my phone. I got into bed turned the lights off , put on my meditation app and just let the emotions flow. I cried , went through the who emotions, pain in my chest, high heart rate and let the scene of the trigger play through my mind. It was around 30 mins , i didnt fight it I just let it flow and then the emotion was gone. I regained control but the patience in me had completely gone. Instantly disassociation, i wanted to be on my own, didnt want to talk to anybody, very irritable, minor suicidal thoughts for a few seconds. then all of my training kicked in, I accepted the siutation I was in and that it would pass.

I realised that I had been here several times before and I was not in control when the trigger came, I was not trying to fight the emotion, I hid myself away from the family so they didnt have to deal with me when I tamed the beast. I let the power become removed by accepting it and riding the waves. the trigger was from interview / job I dealt with a a vulnerable male adult in a same sex relationship who was suicidal and has several issues with an ex partner. I had flash backs to the video interview and the time when i received several emails from the male contemplating suicide.

This is a 'down to earth' reminder that CPTSD is still here alive and well but I am 21 months on now. I know what and who you are PTSD you will defeat me. You may come and suprise me from time to time unexpected but I am ready to challenge you. I did exposure therapy on this scene from the programme on television and watched this again to remain vigilant to myself that I will not be defeated in this time. I aware , I am several stratgeies but I have been building myself up every day. This was not a defeat or a step backwards, it was a chance storm which I stood vigilant and remained present throughout it. the storm passed, it took the wind out of me. I rested for a couple of days and regained my energy.

I am strong , I can breath I am vigilant.

With this I have been offered an adminstration job at work of which i am really proud of to be honest in this case
With this role I will be removed from the front line , no public contact and case files in this case.

I will be mainly admin and this is the best chance for me to stay within the working environment. I am under no illusion that at the moment there is no definitive guarantee i will be free from all triggers in the work place!!! I am working in a police station when all said and done to be honest.

I have done over 50 EMDR around the several traumatic incidents I have been subject to. I am open to the fact that there might be a sneaky one which catches me by surprise but I have rebuilt myself.

In this environment I am just happy to be returning to work to be honest, I miss the work environment that is why I want to go back, I have been doing voluntary work to test out my skills in a different environment in this case. There has been no triggers, being a non police environment with the voluntary work in a book shop, I have thrived in this environment with my passion for books and organisational skills apparent which satisfied.
I have got myself in a good place at the moment in time and feel that now I am in the best position for this new role. At the back of my mind I am quite scared of a relapse but I cant let this fear dominate my life to be honest, I have to perceiver and push forward.

I have made space now to conduct peer support for colleagues who have gone through similar circumstances to me in this case.

I feel that now I have an obligation to spread awareness of the conditions that I have been dealing with the need to support others in this environment, this has also helped me come together with my own demons. Talking about my journey and telling my story has been empowering and also healing at the same time. The more I describe my journey the more I feel I am stronger and more in control , growth. Peace Out
So I went in for a meeting at work today and found my new role. I met the supervisor and the staff, I am glad I made the decision mostly for my mental health. I feel that a break away from the frontline will be amazing for me and this will massively reduce the risk / exposure to any PTSD material.

I was in work for around 3 hours , having brews, biscuits talking to people. There was no anxiety really apart from excitement. I am looking forward to getting back into work and know that it wont be plain sailing but I have put myself in the best position to succeed this time.

I feel that my mental health is alot better than October 2021 when i returned. All the work I have done in the background I am hopeful this will prove fruitful.

I advised a colleague last year to partake in EMDR therapy and this has been life changing for him, this has reduced his PTSD symptoms. I was really happy that my advice worked out , I feel that he was open about mental health and everyday by being open more and more people are normalising the conversation. This is really key and I am proud of this fact.

I am proud of me for being myself and breaking down barriers.
So one day before I start worl I look at my wage slip again and have been paid 40% less , so the agreed terms of being retained on full pay have not been passed onto the Payroll again !!

Arrgggggggggggg - they never get anything right even when I return to tomorrow , oh well time to fasten my seat belt , push down the accelator and close my eyes, enjoy the ride because what is round the corner no one knows!!

I have sent a claim form to the insurance to cover me!

I was angry but this is subsiding as this is wasting my energy I have smashed the email to make that I get paid at the end of the month for the insurance to cover my bills.

Anyway smashed an ultra on Friday in line for my charity run , everything is positive.

My body was in flat mode yesterday, mixed with tiredness , depression and fatigue. This comes as a natural consequence with distance running , now letting the body recover.
I have been in work for 3 days and there has been no triggers, phased return, this has been a completely different job to what I have been used to but will be for the better.

I have been a good place with work but only going in for the few ours has caused me to be tired later in the evening. This is going to be temporary because as the more my resiliance to work builds up then more my body will adjust.

At the moment because of my ADHD i want to run and do everything but I have drag myself back in to be honest, i dont want to do to much to soon. I am more at the final decision of removing myself from the front line to minimise any risk of any related triggers and causing myself more psychological injury to be honest. I feel that moving forward this is going to be the best option. I am going to be in a better mental state for the children and more patience, energy etc.

I am pleased that I have done 3 days and the pay issues has now been resolved which is really good. That is the end of the ongoing financial issues with work.

I am pleased with my progress and my counsellor has advised me to take things easy so I can progress slow and steady. I have done this in the past to much to soon and become burnt out to be honest. So I will learn from my mistakes.
So I have completed my 6th week at work , so far so good. In the 6 weeks I have bene here there has not been one trigger in work. Two weeks ago I have a trigger at home to a new related trauma this happened in the morning before work.

With this I used coping strategies and seemed to work, until I got to work when U realised the PTSD symptoms were there high irritability, no patience, very low stress threshold to be honest.

I found myself having to have mini breaks at work. I have had two EDMR sessions since and they have bene working which has brought up some lower level incidents when I was 7 years old ish, I watched briefly an old porno on VHS tape. I only wanted to watch cartoons lol.

So this maybe a reason why I have reacted very emotionally to the child abuse sexual offences with work who knows. Anyway, I have enhanced the self care , sleeping when needed and talking about the trauma with others. There is something different this time though there is alot of acceptance at the moment which is really good to be honest.

I have not had a panic attack and the emotional response has been alot lower compared to other traumas to be honest. I am more acutely aware of it and I am alot more resiliant to be honest.

This has really pleased me because in 4 months the PTSD symptoms have been alot lower / negliable. I feel significant progress has been made on a astronomical level to be honest. I did not in my wildest dreams think I would be back in work 6 weeks in at the moment. This is a good feeling. I have the force doctor in 3 weeks and I feel that to be honest I am going to withdraw from the frontline duties to protect my health.

The old identity is disappearing day by day, I am happy in my new role, it does not fill me up as much so I am dipping into the peer support world at work and feel that this would be a great opportunity to share my story and help people to be honest. I am looking at raising awareness through others in work because 5 weeks ago now since I did my run.

OMG I have not talked about my run 63.4 miles to liverpool from blackburn of which took 17.5 hours, one of the best days of my life. Emotional roller coaster for such things as well to be honest. Raised just under £1300 of which I am proud of to be honest and feel that
this i amazing this is going to help a friend of mine within his role with PTSD support , set up a group and offer counselling which is an amazing gesture to be fair. I learnt so much in that it would take me all day to write about it.

Anyway since the run I have been approached by several colleagues who have gone through similar things to be honest and feel that now to be fair and I did not know they have been through similar experience to me. They have remained silent with their pain and this has spurred me on to offer by service of peer support of which I feel would be really helpful to others and would help myself heal on another level by telling my story.
So here i sit now to be honest one eye slightly swollen with the hayfever which is now present!!! I hate it!!!

Any how I have just finished my 8th week at work woo hoo that has gone quick. The job does challenge my ADHD mind slightly and my responsibility is ever so slightly increasing to be honest. I feel that moving forward that now to be fair I am getting more settled in work.

The old identity is now nearly / practically in the rear view mirror, some days I dont recognise myself from the way I used to be,

I have completely changed which is a really good thins, i do not miss the front line stress or the stress of the case files or really deep traumatic cases!!!

The stress is alot lower than it used to be in work and I am forever grateful for this to be honest. I feel that I have overcome so many obstacles.

I have shared my story / recovery several times over and it is making me stronger and stronger, the response has been mainly positive with the look on some peoples faces practically surprised at my raw honesty. Some love to hear the story others seem unhinged ie uncomfortable when I talk about PTSD but to be honest I dont care anymore because the more I talk the more awareness is raised and the more my own demons remain at bay and controlled. I have noticed that I dont cry as much now telling my journey but do get an amazing feeling of pride of the fact, Less than 2 years ago I was suicidal staring a the bridge I stepped over nearly 20 years earlier!!!!

The recovery is nothing short of a mircale, I am getting stronger more and more each day, I feel that my stress resilience is coming on and feel that even the tough days are not as stressful as they used to be. The morning routine is really key to my day and I feel that with running it gives me the mental /edge ie armouring up to combat the day.

Last week I had a tough week
- severe allergic reaction nut allegery - better after epipen trip to A and E as well
- broken washer (fixed)
- pet operation ( slightly impacted by finanical implication as insurance would only cover half of the cost) this has led to a massive fall out with the good lady!!! It is not my fault honesty
- pall bearer for a colleague who sadly passed away a few weeks ago, a cop and family attended was a good day and an honour to carry the coffin and share stories with her family

As well as working a full week to which I then turned away an EMDR session because i Know that the week would test me

Well there were lots of tears, morning routine was installed but I ran and the stress went, the days I didnt run the stress remained. I came through the week very well and was over the moon with my stress resiliance I feel that one year ago I would have crumbled.

I turned to my art as well to use as an escape tool and also to the fact that journal as well which helps me keep my mind keeping track of things.

I have decided to do presentation training for a charity that I attend in the form of a support group. The training was an eye opener because it was raw about male suicide and the reason why the group was set up to remove this stigma. Honoured and humbled to be part of this training.

I am spreading the word about the charity and linking with other charities so no one is ever alone and has options even in the darkest of times!! I feel that to be honest now I need to spread the awareness of the groups and options available because I would like people to be aware of what options are out there.

I feel that my marriage at the moment is in resus and is failing badly, I love my wife with all my heart , soul, find her attractive sexually etc but I get the gut feeling she does not feel the same about me anymore this is evident with the lack of sex, affection and intimacy which I suppose has been amplified by my recovery period for 2 years. We have been close in the recovery but ulimatley I think that it has dragged us further apart. I have changed as a person, infact a brand new , refurnished beast who is thriving at the moment. A very distant figure of the former me, the new me is more confident, more self aware, emotionally resilient , emoitonally aware.

I am not over thinking the negative thoughts about myself and reliant on others for self esteem.

I have reconnected with my children which I never thought would happen especially deep in the abyssm also dropped my medication of anti- depressants to 5mg.

So my and my wife 10 years of marriage TBC i dont know what will happen to be fair, I have been open , honest , raw before christmas ans nothing has changed with us. She is smashing the gym, looking amazing, sexy, more confident and looked to be more confident in herself but the last 2 weeks we have hardly spoke and feel that we are house mates who look after children the opposite of a married couple. I am reallt crying with a dagger in my heart as I am typing this but this is the truth.

I am really near the end of my motivation to keep the marriage going because this cycle of her behaviour repeats where she remains slient, ignores , does not acknowledge my exsistance and expects the house to run the same. My heart is breaking inside with myself keeping strong. I have conquered most of the PTSD trauma, rebuilt myself but it may be too late for my marriage, deep down I hope not but this is not looking good. My motivation to give it my all dwindles everyday she puts up the brick wall of silence which is practically abuse !!!

I am an amazing human being , with a kind, honest heart who always tries his best and helps people but now I can see through the mist that I deserve better the way I am being treated at the moment.

Several scenarios have run through my head, leave, trial seperation, move out, tell her that we need to work and figure out a plan. Thing is I feel that I have been trying so hard over the last 2 years getting myself better and in the marriage I honestly feel that I cant do it this time. It is the same old story with me trying to talk but this time, i am looking after me, I know now that this is not me I have got my shit toghether.

I think that she is insecure, depressed and burnt out again !!! I am the one who feels the raft because I live under the same roof, but I tell you what I will thrive in this environment because this behaviour will only give me mental and physcial energy to drive forward.

What will be , will be , i have give everything in my life on everything i can but if you are working as hard as you can but the other side is not giving anything in return then it is all in vein, This time I am calm, mannered and sitting back taking the observant approach. I have a life to live and places to run and friends to see and get myself better!

I am a father of two beautiful children, I have to maintain my health for the sake of everything , I have to be on tip top conditions so I can support my children.

As i type here in flood of tears and sadness I have looked back over the last 6 years and we have been in decline , i have been seriously mentally ill 2 years ago , if we come through this it will be a fairy tale, if not I will turn the page for the next chapter. I cant hide my feelings, i cant just switch them off, I am prepared that one day I may need to let her go to set myself free.

I feel that I have given my all to her , repeatedly with even a stronger resistance from her with a lack of anything in return, intimacy. I cant change, control the actions , words, thoughts of another person.

I am packing the ship with all the belongings at the moment and I may have to let my wife sail away
I am feel so alone in my own house when she is around, my children and me are fine, When she comes home i feel alone, she definately drains the energy when she is present but I dont allow this I block this thought and concentrate on me and the greater story my ongoing story and promise to help others in need.

I am not suicidal , there are no thoughts of this , there is a peace and acknowledgement of this is what is at the moment, This is one day in several of my life.

I accept the feeling of sadness , thinking now all the trauma related I have done through EMDR and core work childhood trauma. I have realised that the marriage to the love of my life is now the most challenging part of the story this time I cant control the outcome because I am not behind the wheel. I can try to give a route to the destination but my wife is behind the wheel.

I think she does not want to tell me her true feelings through fear of what I will think!!! She has more to lose than me
So i have been reaching out to a few of my friends closest and been keeping me supported while I am going through the issues at home,

I feel that talking about things really gives a better prespective of things and really does clarify things. I feel that I am confident in myself and my self esteem, I am confident in my mental and physical health. I have learnt that I am not the one, I am not going to let an outside force influence my inner peace.

This is different I know I have not involked or deserved this slient treatment, there is nothing wrong with me when it is infact not me. I am standing firm I am here unchanged. it is the other person who has the issue with themselves. I am standing firm like a rock as a slowly drift away from my soul mate more and more. I do not need the trauma , she is firmly in the rear view mirror as I am standing firm.

The more behaviour continues the more I do not want to be in this relationship, not healthy and not fair.

I have to put in extra self care to maintain my balance, on the positive note I am pleased that my stress reisilance is growing and I am reading the signs. She does not want to engage but I cant wollow in self pity because I have plans to move forward, I have several things to maintain like bills and a house.

I still to have to grow personally without or without you 'hence the U2 referece' I am alot older wiser, I will not allow this behaviour to hurt me when it did in the past and ruined my self confidence / self esteeem, this will not be me anymore. The only person with the problem is the other person this is with herself. Maybe she is ill , maybe she needs help, we have been down this road before.

If I was an abusive fella, cheating lying, drinking etc but a guy who tries 100% to better himself and everyone around me and help others, then the closest person to me is trying to drag me down at the moment because of a joint financial bill which needed paying , I am treat as the bag guy , punished for being honest!!! This is how I feel , I will apologise and compensate If I did anything wrong but with this I am perplexed. I have not done anything I remained calm controlled yet, this person will only identity the negative aspect of her worlds and relay this to me when she forgets , forgets to see the good things I do everyday which is frustrating.

I am not a good father, husband, friend, etc for the recognition , I do this for the people I care about the most.

But when the chips are down she will try to break me down with small comments of negativety one which was tried this morning and bounced right back. Several positive things were done by me this morning , clean the rabbit, sweep, kids breakfast , dinner , park etc but these all went un noticed and then a slight comment about hangling clothes really, is that the best you have got. I bounced this back I am fully confident in myself and my own ability. I am way into my PTSD recovery and I am a strong confident person.

It will take alot to break me down, I will not suffer in silence I will draw the support when i need this so I am not alone

Well done Dave this is real core stuff, the final chapter of the recovery