Wednesday, May 28, 2014
Catching My Breath
It snuck up on me this time. I've been busy and distracted with travel and life. Concentrating on other things, I was caught off guard by Memorial Day and the unfortunate effect it has on me.
I wrote about it the first time years ago. About how the changing of seasons from spring to summer triggers all kinds of scary stuff.
Yesterday I sat in my therapist's office and told her I was scared and ashamed. I was afraid I was losing ground -- going backwards. I find myself distrustful of everyone, even myself. I can't concentrate, and I just want to sleep. I'm beating up on myself for not being more organized and fearing loss of control. I feel scattered and frantic.
Memorial Day came early this year. For some reason I thought I had another week. I hadn't consciously thought about the triggers involved with summer, and I think that made it much worse. Or maybe it's not worse. Maybe I'd just forgotten what it was like to walk around afraid all the time.
The vast majority of the abuse occurred in the summer months. Time that is supposed to be reserved for joy, fun activities, and family. But every year, unbidden, my body reminds me of the abuse. Some internal clock turns on to prepare for the onslaught. The abuse itself ended a long time ago, but the effects are still triggered by the change in temperature and the summer attitude that takes over everyone around me.
I want to look forward to summer, and I do. But there is always this period of transition where I have to adjust. To remind myself that the abuse is over, and that it is normal to have a bit of struggle right now.
I went to the allergist this morning because I've been having trouble breathing. She adjusted my asthma meds and was very sympathetic. I brought up the psychological aspect of triggers this time of year. She acknowledged that it may play a role in the difficulties. She also praised me for recognizing it and being willing to share it as a possibility, because it could effect how we treat this flare up.
I'm home now with a new prescription, but I stopped on the way and treated myself to a diet Dr. Pepper and the time to make a list. A list similar to the ones I was making last month for Lent, reminding myself of the positive impact that attitude adjustment had on me.
I'm breathing easier, literally and figuratively, this morning. Facing down memories, triggers, flashbacks, and pollen with intentionality.
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