PTSD (2005-2012)

by Elias Blum

Oh look, it’s that old combination of suffocating, falling and freezing to the spot again, that vomit-your-guts-up, tear-your-hair-out feeling. But it has no power over me. I’ve learnt how to evade it, how to outwit it. It comes, it goes. Do not fight it, do not let it win. You don’t ignore it, exactly – you cannot ignore it – but you don’t taunt it, fight it or feed it. You let it pass. Breathe in deeply. Hold it. Out. Smell the air. Inside everything is screaming with panic, with failure, destruction. It has no power. It has no power. Place the kettle under the tap. This too will pass. Turn the tap. Focus on the tangible, the real. Hello fear. Turn it off again. Keep breathing. Put the kettle on. The little blue light is pretty. Think of it as a beacon of hope. It’s broken. Ha. How appropriate. Push it down, that’s it, it’s on now, properly, shining, glimmering. A few minutes. Write it out. Type it into facebook if you have to. It has no power. Hold on. Ride it out. Find a cup. A clean one. Breathe. It’s ok. Nothing you haven’t handled many times before. It comes, it goes. Black dogs growl; but they don’t bite unless you let them. The noise of the growling is so loud. Milk. In the fridge. Concentrate on the immediate. It will pass. Get a teabag. Pour it. I’m going where there’s no depression, a better land that’s free from care. Sing it. Sing it till you mean it. Stir it. Take the teabag out. Sit down. It’s going to be ok. Somehow, it will all pull through. Run the straight race. Have a biscuit. Sip the tea. There’s no magic bullet. But it passes. It passes. You don’t really loathe yourself, you’re not really a failure. You’re ok. You’re ok and you are doing ok. It’s just a moment. It recedes. Make peace with the pressure. You cannot hold it all, or solve it all, or carry it all, so don’t even try. Maybe tomorrow will be easier. Don’t even think about it. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof. Do the task in front of you. Remember your training. Crawl forwards. Baby steps. Small victories. Ok. Panic attack ridden out, tea made, brain set to refocus. The growling diminishes to a low, dull, intermittent hum. You’ve got through it again. Now turn it, while the feeling is still raw. Use it for something constructive. Pour it all into the task in hand. There will be a short burst of energy released. Use it, ride it like a wave, until the next breaker comes, or until the calm returns.