Thursday, May 2, 2013

The Therapized Therapist, Part 2: Panic Station

Healing from PTSD is full of hills and valleys, but lately it's been all valleys. Whether it's stress, adjusting to new medication, a combination, or whatever, my anxiety/panic is on an high alert. When this happens, my brain releases the Thought Police. And since my amygdala (aka Thought Police Headquarters) probably takes up most of my brain, I have an entire brigade of police, trolling for any thoughts that dare step out of line. Any thought that doesn't follow the norm, any thought that is the remotely bit errant, will get caught. Once caught, the lights flash on, the sirens go blaring, and the Thought Police tackle the thought with enough force to be blamed (accurately) for committing police brutality.

Scary thoughts, overly emotional thoughts, repetitive thoughts... none of these are allowed. Can you imagine having a brain that wasn't allowed to have these thoughts? A brain that was only allowed to have peaceful, gentle and loving thoughts 24/7? Yeah, it's impossible. Our brains have thoughts more times than we are even conscious of - there are background programs running constantly. We have thoughts we can't control sometimes. That's part of having a functioning brain. It's normal and healthy.

My anxious brain doesn't buy it.

Now when I'm anxious it's difficult to let those errant thoughts go. It's difficult to slow down the fear and panic that sets in because of the thoughts and memories. I make these illogical assumptions that if I have these thoughts I must be broken/bad/no good/never gonna get better. It's torment, thinking that my brain will always be this way. That thought just fuels the fire.

I hate being in this place, but I know it's only temporary. With each second I have to practice letting go of my thoughts, giving the Thought Police a leave of absence, let them go holiday in Hawaii, drink some tequila and tan on the beach. Then maybe my brain could do its thing and heal a little more.

Sigh. Healing is now, I recognize that. But I just wish it wouldn't take so long. Luckily, I've been blessed with friends and a boyfriend who hold me up when I can't go any further. I just gotta keep holdin' on, practicing hope and waiting for the day when I don't feel like the world is ending.

"You've arrived at panic station -
Doubts will try to break you
Unleash your heart and soul
Trouble will surround you
Start taking some control."
- Muse, 'Panic Station'