PTSD, Pill Poppin’, and Preparing to Face the Past

It seems trite to start this post by pointing out how I haven’t blogged much in a long time. But the truth is, I have not blogged much in a long time and there is a reason for that. For a while, I told myself I was in an “acting phase” and not really into writing but this week, I figured out that the truth is, I’ve been scared. I have realized that if I didn’t blog about everything that’s happened this year, I’d never be able to blog again. Like I couldn’t go over it, I couldn’t go around it, I couldn’t go under it. I have to go through it. So, here I am. I’ve poured myself a giant glass of red wine and I’m going to write about it the best that I can because I’m not okay.

I mean, on the surface, I seem okay. Better than okay. Great even. My Instagram and Facebook posts are happy and I’m not lying. I am happy. Life is going well. But that’s all on the surface. Underneath the surface, it’s black. Gross. The PTSD is bubbling up and bubbling over, like a volcano about to erupt, and it’s leading to scenarios like falling apart on my sweet husband’s chest while I ask him how I might find marijuana or tearing up at girl’s lunch and my precious friend who knows knows having to rub my back until I can participate in the conversation again.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m so glad I have people in my life who are aware of what has happened to me, who know I’m not okay, who listen and don’t judge and say things like, “You are a brave and courageous person. You will beat this.” Without these people, I’d be an even bigger mess and I get that, so my walking prayers in the morning involve a lot of thoughts like, “Thank you for the people in my life and the love I have. Please help me give that love back tenfold.”

It’s just that anniversaries are hard and this weekend is an anniversary of sorts. Not a traditional anniversary. Nothing to celebrate exactly unless you think it’s worth celebrating the fact that something derailed me, nearly destroyed me and everything I thought I knew and understood about this world came into question as a result of this situation which culminated last year at an annual event I attended. The same event I must attend this weekend. Same place. Same group of people. Same person who literally held my hand last year, leading me down a dark, disturbing, destructive path.

The PTSD is strong right now. There is a rehearsal for said event and then the event itself. My husband has agreed to accompany me as my date and my best sister friend will be with me and I will be fine. Technically. No one can hurt me. I am safe. I will be safe. My brain knows that. But my brain also knows that, if I break down in sobs every time I think about it now, once that night arrives, when I’m actually in the place, in the situation, near the person, it’s unlikely I’ll be able to keep it together. In fact, I’m so sure of my impending meltdown that I’ve had my husband locate some sedatives I was prescribed last year when I was scheduled for an MRI that never happened. He still has them and I’m pondering taking one which says a lot because he practically has to force feed me ibuprofen if I have a rare headache. I’m googling things like, “Valium for anxiety” and “What to do when your gut tells you someone is bad” and “How to tell if someone is a sexual predator”. It’s all coming back. Like it’s happening all over again. This isn’t fun.

Why am I attending the event, you ask? Because I have to. It’s my responsibility, for one thing. But there is also the simple fact that I’m one of those people who hates to be defeated. If I don’t attend this event and that person does… then they win. And I can’t let that happen.

I won’t let that happen.

Looking at my life today compared to a year ago, I can’t help but feel incredibly lucky and like a gigantic winner. Yes, I lost friends but every friend I lost has been replaced by three. Yes, my marriage went through hell but today my husband is my best friend and I know I can depend upon him to take care of me and be here for me when I need him. Every single part of my life is better than it was a year ago. There is so much to which I am looking forward, I’m having a blast, I’m not hurting, I feel pretty good, school is going well, I’m heavily involved in causes that matter to me. Stuff’s just great. So I know once this event is over, I will return to my regularly scheduled life and I’ll feel so good about myself for not letting anyone and their scariness run me off from something I love to do. And maybe then I’ll feel strong enough to blog about the rest of what happened to me. But until then… I think I will just have to accept that no one is invincible, everyone has a breaking point, and most people in my situation would have been run off soon as this happened to them so, the fact that I’m even writing about having to attend this function means I already win.

Even if I have to pop pills in order to make it through in one piece.