I spiraled so quickly, any of the progress I’ve made feels
lost to the abyss. Some may say I didn’t go back down so deep, but it sure
feels like it.
Why did I spiral? Well, I had made a goal for myself to go
into a store by today. It wasn’t a grocery store but just a clothing store. Turns
out, I wasn’t ready for that. I walked in with a friend and she tried to distract
me as we walked around. I thought for the most part, it had worked. Then half
way through our one trip around the store, the tightness set in. I didn’t have
a panic attack but what came after, I wasn’t prepared for.
I began self-protective mode. In reality, I call it self-destruction
mode. I ate things I shouldn’t have; I did nothing today. Some would call that
taking care of me but really, it was me not having what I needed to cope with
the situation. Since I am trying to be healthy, emotional eating is the last
thing I should have done. Yes, should have done. Either way, I couldn’t stop
myself. I ate emotionally and I needed to feel safe. I did whatever I could to
The store was busy today with lots of commotion and the noise
reminded me of being in the gas station. I didn’t duck but it took a lot for me
to go into the store and then I couldn’t wait to come out.
One of the biggest mistakes I made, was choosing to watch a
movie. I love music and sound so, I decided I was going to watch a movie called
Beats. Well, I should have done more research on the movie before I
watched it. It was based in Chicago with gang violence and shootings. Not at
ALL what I thought it would be. However, I decided to keep watching it.
I think I could have made a diamond for how tight my stomach
was. I learned a few things from it though. One, August the main character, yells
at one point he just wants to be normal. I’m feeling that statement. Not to
give too much away but he witnesses a horrific crime and then because of the
panic attacks doesn’t go out much. I still go out and depending on where I am,
I still feel safe. However, I just want to be normal.
Another thought that struck me, is the fact people witness
crimes all the time. I don’t even live in the most dangerous place. Is it the
safest? No, but it is far from the worst too. I felt for those kids who had
lost loved ones because of gang violence and having to deal with something like
that all the time.
It is really hard for me to not down play my traumatic
event. I can’t tell you why my brain feels I went through something traumatic. Everyone
tells me it was. However, when I compare myself to those in Chicago areas that
are dangerous, or those serving in the military, I ponder if what happened to
me is truly all that bad.
I would love to say I am fine but obviously, I am not. I
would love to say things are back to normal and I can go into a grocery store,
but I can’t. I would love to say my mental state is fine, but it’s not.
As I have been told by many people, I can’t define what my
body finds traumatic. In my brain, it was five long minutes of my life. Physically
and emotionally? It felt like a lifetime. So, although I can only comprehend a
small amount of what those in dangerous areas go through, I feel for you. To
know what gun violence is, is not fun. I haven’t been in a mass shooting. I
haven’t been in a shooting. What I have had, is a gun waved in my face. What I
have had, is the anxiety and panic attacks that come with it. I have gone
through sleepless nights, lack of eating, nightmares, etc.
What have I done to help with today? I can’t say anything
great. I was so numb that nothing mattered. I ignored my family and really
anything coming through on my phone. I watched a movie that was probably a poor
choice. Then I went to work. I love my job, but I did not want to go. I usually
feel safe there, but it wasn’t home. I couldn’t call off today because it was
So, lesson learned. Today has been a very difficult today. I
have put myself through a ton of stress that I have had to work through. I hope,
that even though I have gone through that stress, my body will allow me to
sleep. When I get like this, the nightmares begin. Part of me wants to stay
awake so I do not have to deal with them. In the end, I hope to do better.
Everyone keeps telling me time and I just keep thinking; nobody has time for
that. Looks like I’m going to have to do more self-care, to help keep myself
In honesty, as I end my post, I lost it today. Today is the
first day since the beginning of May I have had a breakdown. I was not prepared
for what came my way. However, I have learned it is ok to breakdown, although,
I don’t do it well. Another thing I learned, is that I made it. I made it through
the day and that counts. We need to take the good when we can. So, in the end,
Keep on Keepin’ on, until next time.