Coping Challenges: when nothing works, what about last resort strategies?

Unedited post tonight…

Sometimes nothing works or works well enough to offer relief.  Every strategy, every technique, different variations cause frustration and sometimes resentment.  That was me yesterday and Friday.

I woke up Friday morning feeling suffocated, in pain, and unable to focus.  Three hours of different coping made the feelings come back worse each time, so I had to call in sick.  I slept most of the day, but it was disturbed sleep that made me feel more hypervigilant.

Saturday, I felt better and had to go out.  Taxes, work, appointments and so on were pushed off from Friday to Saturday.  Accomplishing the chores helped a lot to reduce some anxiety, but I still hurt and felt extreme hypervigilance.  Meditation and deep breathing did not work because I couldn’t allow myself to relax.  And the alters would not let me even if I did try.

We all felt wound up and overloaded.  Sleep and staying home were the most helpful if we could sleep and relax at home.  The hotline counselor took me (alters chimed in once in a while) through everything. Twice.  Finally she suggested a sedatice or sleep aid.

I explained about medication and side effects.  We discussed the pros and cons.  I decided to risk taking a regular dose of Tylenol.  It put me to sleep for 10 hours straight.  Then again for 4 hours at a time; only waking up for nutrition and bathroom breaks.

On the plus side, I got a few hours of restorative sleep.  On the minus side, I feel kind of hung over and disoriented.  Also sore and anxious now that the meds have worn off.

Took have a dose of regular strength Tylenol just now.  Hopefully, it gets me through the night.  I am lucky to work from home most of the week, so can catch up on missed time spent taking care of myself and still get work done.  

This is not the first time I had to use a last resort coping technique. It probably won’t be the last one either.  All I can say is that some relief is better than none.  And I would rather be mostly functional and independent in a limited capacity than taken put by my symptoms and stuck someplace dependent on others for my care because the drugs they gave me make my brain stop functioning.

Other people may feel differently.  That is fine as long as whatever choices the survivor makes end up helping in the long term too.  Going back to sleep now.

ADMIN Post: WordPress is putting adds at the bottom of posts

Dear Guests,

As I wrote today’s post and previewed it in the editor, I noticed that WordPress has started putting advertisements at the bottom of some posts for readers to see without my consent.  In order to make this go away, I would have to pay for an upgrade.

That is not possible at this time, so my apologies for any ads you may see on my website and blog.  I am not putting the ads up and am not making any profit from the ads.  Please ignore any that appear on screen.

Thanks for understanding.

AlterXpressions

Alter Post: Senses and Survival Skills

Like many survivors, I survived using my 5 senses.  My alters learned to trust some senses more than others.  This impacted our development in many ways; some senses became more acute while others stayed normal or became dulled or not trusted to provide accurate, reliable information.

WARNING…what comes next may be triggering for some readers.  Please continue if you feel like you can read the rest of the story

 

 

 

 

 

 

That said, I have a hard time remembering faces and landmarks.  All buildings and towns and cities look alike to me.  Faces and details get blurred under stress.  Trees become blobs, etc.  I can see colors, shapes, symbols, words, and movements fine.  Part of me says this is a survival skill developed to prevent me from being able to identify my perpetrators when questioned by authorities.  Part of me says this is a survival skill developed so that I could function at school and other activities among victims and perpetrators without revealing secrets.  Part of me says that I can’t share what I don’t know.

My hearing is acute.  I can hear sounds that most people would not notice or realize existed around them.  For example: buzzing sounds from mechanical equipment in office ceilings; mice running in the walls, under the floors, between the ceiling and the floor; neighbors playing music inside their house across the street; conversations in meetings behind closed doors on the opposite side of the floor from my cubicle; horns blowing outside on the street from inside my apartment with the windows closed.

The perpetrators used to blindfold me before saying or doing anything.  Sometimes they blocked my ears too.  Then put stuff on my lips and tongue or force me to eat and drink their “snacks” to keep me calm.  I learned how to scent different chemicals and what they tasted like too by eating and drinking these foods.  That is how I manage to avoid many of them now.  Just smelling or tasting certain textures and flavors causes anxiety and fear bordering on panic.  Textures against my skin and sounds have the same effect sometimes.

On the plus side, I now have the skills to read non-verbal language with frightening (to me) accuracy; can tell when unsafe people are around me; know when people are lying; identify sounds and smells that warn me of potential danger in advance; and find creative solutions to work/home problems that sometimes work better than standard ones that confound me.

I wonder what other survival skills came from changes in sensory perception.  Something to think about when my mind needs to work on something…

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Coping Challenge: What happens when the numbness wears off?

I feel overwhelmed and sleep a lot.  My dreams become nightmares.  My nightmares become dreams.  My body remembers and feels pain all over.  My mind feels emotions and sensations.  My spirit is filled to overflowing.  The internal dams break.  And parts of me left for dead tingle with life again.

Is it any wonder that the stress from this causes a lack of appetite?  Amd the distress lowers my immune system to make me feel sick with a lingering cold?  Or that everything combined makes me so tired all I want to do is sleep?

If anyone else feels this way, you’re not alone.  And you might not be falling into a depression or something negative.  It took me a long to understand the diffefence.  The truth is that sleep allows me to sift through the overwhelming sensations and the pain in my body without the stress of additional information from my physical senses.  Eyes, ears, nose, mouth, skin – the ones that keep me informed when I am awake.

So yes, I am sleeping more to help with sensory overload and the sleep dperivation.  Oddly enough, the more I sleep, the less often I experience confusing hallucinations – the kind that keep me home because I can’t tell reality from fiction.  But the more I sleep the less I eat and drink fluids.

One trick is to wake up and move around often enough to eat and hydrate in between the sleeping.    And keep nutritious, easy to make and eat, food/drinks available.    Maybe this time, when the numbness dissipates, I will be the same weight as when I started.  For my sake and the sake of my parts, I hope so.

How do you and others cope with numbness?

Coping Strategies: Quotes, Affirmations & subscriptions

  
I saw this quote on my Facebook feed today.  It sparked hope and joy inside of me in spite of the overhwelming numbness that takes over when the nightmares and anxiety subside.

Most times, I am not fond of subscriptions.  The volume and content annoy me even though O want to be part of whatever I subscribed to.  Maybe it is triggering too.  Being part of something…even a club or professional group…is difficult.  But Web of Benefit is different. 

But this quote, it got me dreaming again.  I always wanted to fly.  And lately, my past has been bogging me down with fear and insecurity. Taking a risk or two seems less interesting than it did before.  And that is not me.

Yes, I like to be well informed and have backup strategies in place before I make a choice, but I still make the choice and do something.

So I hope this affirmation or quote or whatever you want to call it helps you fly too.