• Val

Day 13 – Gratitude

Updated: 21 hours ago


What a week!


I had to take a couple of days break from the blog in order to process the events of this week. I have kept up with my Health Dashboard and am super pleased that I started this in order to keep me from falling back into a hole with alcohol as I work through my PTSD response.


(For details of the response see the blogs Mental Wellbeing and Alcohol and/or Suffering is not Holding You, You are Holding Suffering)


Unfortunately, my PTSD symptom is now being triggered not by the original person who put me in an unsafe situation emotionally, but by a person who we both know. It’s upsetting as there is nothing unsafe in reality about either person. The original person broke my trust on a very deep emotional level, but not through malevolence. My counsellor has pointed out that in a lot of ways because of what happened, my stress response was right to intervene. It’s just a shame that my body’s reaction is a post-traumatic response meaning it is not a normal stress response. More upsetting is that fact that the new trigger has never done anything to hurt or upset me and is a wonderful person.


Years ago when I first experienced the symptom, it went really haywire and even meant that a person in my uni class as well as someone in a wider social circle became a trigger.


Unfortunately, I do not have control over being triggered, nor does anyone who experiences symptoms of PTSD. That’s why they are PTSD symptoms.


Long after a traumatic experience is over, it may be reactivated at the slightest hint of danger and mobilize disturbed brain circuits and secrete massive amounts of stress hormones. This precipitates unpleasant emotions intense physical sensations, and impulsive and aggressive actions. These posttraumatic reactions feel incomprehensible and overwhelming.

Bessel van der Kolk


In PTSD, the stress response kicks in without allowing the rational mind to contribute to decision making on whether it is required or not. It is a survival mechanism where the brain’s sole function is to keep the human alive. In PTSD the brain has been maladaptively wired to re-experience the fear and survival response from the time of the original trauma. Often what triggers it in the every-day is very benign if not entirely safe.


For me the stress response kicks in very quickly. As soon as someone becomes a trigger even the slightest contact can instantly trigger my response and I don’t yet have any control over it or the ability to switch it off. I just have to wait until it subsides. Every waking minute I feel the feeling and the stress hormones coursing through my veins – I kid you not. I can distract myself with activities, but I still feel the feeling and anxiety every moment of every day until the stress response abates.


This week I got triggered on Tuesday which lasted until Thursday afternoon and then I got triggered again on Friday morning. This meant very poor sleep and a huge amount of anxiety throughout the duration of the time I was triggered for. I was so upset on Friday morning after managing to get Tuesday’s triggered response to disperse less than 24 hours before being re-triggered again.


Even now writing this, although the full response and feeling isn't present, anxiety is rife within my body. I catch myself jigging my leg to help ease the feeling of hormones running riot inside. At night I rub my feet against the duvet to try and calm the anxious feelings as I fall asleep. On Thursday night I had a sexually violent nightmare. It was the least troubling of nightmares I have experienced as it was very bizarre. It was, however, still a nightmare.


Experiencing a nightmare means the subsequent night's bedtime routine is filled with anxiety. I don't consciously worry about having another nightmare, but I think it is something that plays on my mind subconsciously because of how real the feelings feel when I have such nightmares.


In one of my indoor rowing sessions this week, the first 10 minutes of the particular row is at a low intensity. The stroke rate (how many times I slide up and down the rower in one minute) plus pace (the speed) are set, hence comparisons can be made across workouts on different dates. Since the PTSD response has been re-triggered, from the end of December 2020, my Heart Rate on this 10 minute section has been around the 133-136 beats per minute mark. On Thursday it sky rocketed to 148 beats per minute! Heart Rate is one indicator of stress levels. When the stress response is switched on, the hormones released increase Heart Rate in order for the body to be ready for flight or fight.


Since December when the PTSD symptom came on, my resting Heart Rate has been elevated and hasn’t consistently settled back to where it was previously.


One of the things I am most upset with the PTSD response having been re-activated is the impact that it has had on my training. I hope that things will soon begin to settle again as I very much enjoy my training and was beginning to see some great progress.


I know that time will be part of the healing process as each day is a day further distanced from the event that triggered the PTSD response to be re-activated. I am deeply hurt by the situation and although the PTSD response is not the fault of this situation per se, it has further compounded the issues from the original trauma by replicating the mistrust and unhealthy love.


You can’t show love by hurting others

Deena Kastor


The good thing about this happening is that although I was already engaging in therapy to help myself through the original trauma, this has brought back the deeply intense emotions from the original trauma which means I have even more clarity to be able to work through it.


It is only by seeing the totality of things, good and bad, that you gain the understanding necessary to be truly grateful.

The Daily Stoic

Day 13 - 365 Day Journal


Reflections


Saturday Night

Things that were awesome today:

I had an awesome session coaching a teenage rugby player that I coach. You can see him really taking on board the learning and trying to implement it, both the physical learning and the mental educational and mindset learning.


Sunday Morning

Things that I am grateful for:

😀I am grateful for a weekend of peace and quiet before lockdown restrictions begin to ease.


😀I am grateful for my commitment to working through my emotional distress and for seeking a positive mindset which is helping me cope through a very challenging time


😀I am very grateful to the person who triggered me this week for being so very lovely and understanding. I feel truly lucky to be surrounded by so many amazing people.


😀I am very grateful for working in a people-based industry which means I get to develop fantastically positive relationships with so many wonderful humans.

Health Dashboard

Caffeine, Alcohol & Alcohol Free Beverages

0











Fitness

Rest Day












Veggies & Fruit

Lettuce

Courgette

Onion

Mushrooms

Garlic

Red cabbage

Tomato

Turmeric

Cucumber

Kale

Spinach

Peppers

Meditation & Mindfulness

Morning – Silent meditation

Before bed – Guided meditation












Day 12 - 365 Day Journal


Reflections


Friday Night

Things that were awesome today:

I had a great experience on Chet Morjaria’ s ‘Build a Business you Believe In’ business webinar


I also really enjoyed the England Athletics webinar ‘Science and Application of Linear Speed Masterclass’ with Ken Clark


Saturday Morning

Things that I am grateful for:

I am grateful for a beautiful sunny morning, it was lush to sit outside with my breakfast green drink and soak up some rays before work! #VitaminD

Health Dashboard

Caffeine, Alcohol & Alcohol Free Beverages

0











Fitness


Low Intensity


Run, Indoor Row


High Intensity

-


Strength & Mobility

-



Veggies & Fruit


Lettuce

Courgette

Onion

Mushrooms

Garlic

Red cabbage

Tomato

Cucumber

Spinach

Peppers



Meditation & Mindfulness

Morning – Silent meditation

Before bed – Guided meditation












Day 11 - 365 Day Journal


Reflections


Thursday Night

Things that were awesome today:

I am pleased I was able to get the PTSD symptom to subside today.


Friday Morning

Things that I am grateful for:

A brand new day and a much better sleep after two very disturbed night’s sleep on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Health Dashboard

Caffeine, Alcohol & Alcohol Free Beverages

0











Fitness


Low Intensity

Bike


High Intensity

Indoor row aborted due to stress response


Strength & Mobility

Aborted due to stress response




Veggies & Fruit


Lettuce

Courgette

Onion

Mushrooms

Garlic

Red cabbage

Tomato

Cucumber

Spinach

Peppers

Strawberry

Meditation & Mindfulness

Morning – Silent meditation

Before bed – Guided meditation

Throughout the night – Guided meditation











I ask all readers to be respectful. This is an honest and heart-felt account of the struggle I have incurred.


I thank you in advance for your respect and kindness and I encourage you to sign up to my mailing list so I can notify you about new blog updates.


If you are struggling with any of the issues raised in my blogs please get in touch. Your conversations with me will remain confidential. Please note that I am not a therapist but I can support you to find a way to address any issues you may be experiencing.




27 views0 comments