Tuesday, March 31, 2015

PTSD or Pissed, Ticked, and Strong...Daily

As the caregiver for someone with PTSD all my days are busy, some more than others but it's important that I continue to care for myself so that I can care for him. He's my best friend, my biggest fan and ally and the one who cheers me on no matter what and he's a veteran with PTSD. I don't want him to end up a statistic in the annals of 22 Soldiers a Day, I need him next to me. This is the journey of one woman caring for her man as we walk through the carnage that PTSD has brought into our lives. Come join me Tuesday mornings as I share our struggles, our tears, and our victories and know that you are not alone.

I share not to receive accolades for my work but to let you know that you are not alone in yours. Come walk with me and let me show you my struggles. Show me yours and we will know, we are not alone. 

It's bedtime. We've shut the lights out and I am drifting off to sleep. I need it today, it's been a long day for me.

Up at 5:30, I make the bed, get dressed, make three smoothies, pack a lunch, make breakfast and have my tea in there somewhere, all by 6:30. This requires no small amount of multitasking but I know the morning will be calmer if it's done by the time he gets downstairs from shaving and getting dressed. After he's at work I come up to my office, I have a few hours to get my work done, writing a blog post, research, edit the chapter I will post that day and then it's off to the hair salon to get my roots done as I have a portrait appointment this weekend and I don't want roots in my author pics. Home from the salon I pick up the girls and we head to the gym for our workout, it's what helps me stay sane, knowing I'm feeling better. When we return, it's throw dinner in the oven, get cleaned up and then pick him up from work because when I need the car we have an elaborate dance called the one car shuffle, the only dance he knows. Home again with him, hoping dinner is done because we have a chiropractor appointment in ½ an hour and then he has his acupuncture for his back pain.

Dinners not done, I give him a protein bar and we'll eat when we get home, at 7.

So at 9 I'm falling asleep, I know I have to do it all over again tomorrow, minus the car shuffle, the salon and the gym. Tomorrow I'll just take a walk.

He's sighing next to me, tossing and turning, finally he sits up and grabs his tablet flipping it open.

“What's wrong?” I turn and face him, I'm hoping my frustration doesn't show, I need to sleep.

“I can't settle down, my minds racing.” His frustration shows in his voice and the shake of his head.

I scramble, what can I do to help him settle down because I know that if I don't help him settle down I won't be able to either. “Do you want to try a melatonin?” Sometimes they help.

“Yeah, but they're downstairs.”

Oh, I'm one step ahead of him. “Nah, I've got some in my bedside table.”


“Yeah. Here.” I hand him one and watch him chew it. He puts the tablet away and we snuggle and chat for a few. I love his company.

I discuss a character I'm developing in my head and tell him he can stop listening if he feels himself drifting off from boredom. I'm simply trying to help him focus his mind enough to relax. I stroke his back lightly and his head, he loves that. Finally he is drifting off to sleep and so am I. It's 9:45.

I know I will be up at 2 AM, thinking, creating, it's what happens in my manic mind when a story is being born. I will lay in bed for a couple of hours and talk with my characters, get to know them and their struggles. I know it's coming and I know I need more sleep, 5:30 will arrive quickly tomorrow. But I've taken care of him, my first priority. He’s calm and tomorrow he'll be ready to face the day, well rested. Another success.

Thank you God for the strength to take care of my amazing husband.

One of the things I think people want to know the most is that they are not alone in their PTSD journey. The rages, the fear, the depression, there are others out there dealing with it too, and successfully. Come join me on my journey, share yours, we can hold each other up when the going is tough and cheer each other when it's not.

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