Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

From Jenny Sue Got Married, originally posted on July 30, 2011.

So I've been battling a bit of PTSD and depression this summer. I somehow had the stamina to survive from January to May, drifting through a sea of confoundedness and sublime grace.

Once I had the opportunity to relax a little, I noticed that I was becoming foggy and irritable, tired and anxious, and I started flashing back to all the moments of fear and anxiety that had come in the preceding months.

Every day, as I would I drive past Sparrow Hospital on the way to and from work, I would start dreading the memories it would stir up. I would get a sick feeling in my stomach, remembering the 6 weeks, day in and day out, that I practically lived in that hospital near my husband. I would look at notes in my log book at work, notice the date, and think, "that was when Al was in the hospital". I started waking up in the night and I'd be gripped with fear that Al was going to die. This was 5-6 months after his stroke, but the fear would return as if it was that first night he spent in the hospital.

I asked my doctor if he thought I had PTSD after describing my symptoms, and he said, "Uh... YEAH!" And he upped my dose of antidepressant.

According to Wikipedia, Post-traumatic stress disorder is a severe anxiety disorder that can develop after exposure to an event that results in psychological trauma, overwhelming the individual's ability to cope.

Yup, that's me. I would say my ability to cope is gone. Or maybe I'm just tired. I'm tired of worrying about my husband's health. I'm tired of the painstaking work that my husband has to do just to get his life back. I'm tired of having to run every little errand that my husband used to run. I'm tired of filling out paper work. I'm tired of having to be a single parent. I'm tired of worrying about money.

I could go on and on, but it's not really helpful or healthy to dwell on the negatives. I am bound and determined to overcome my overwhelmed-ness. I know the Lord is with me, and He has given me enough grace to handle whatever comes my way.

As you can probably tell by this blog post, my mind is less than sharp these days. I hope to recover some of my mental acuity by exercise and eating healthier, but that doesn't sound much different than Al's pre-stroke days!

As always, gotta pray a little more, worry a little less, and survive on grace.

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