How I Survive Mondays When I Wake Up From A Nightmare With PTSD.

Some days I still miss it. Most days, actually. I woke this morning hearing the plastic squelch of a radio call. A sibilant hiss followed by a voice commanded that I ready to respond. I tumbled from bed in search of my boots and ballistic vest. For a few obfuscating moments nothing of familiarity was in sight, nor were the items I sought. My eyes observed the comforts of home, while my mind and body recalled desperate work — this is where reality and torment collide.

The body and brain keep score all the while losing its understanding of time, and I am left torn by the juxtaposition of recall and present day. A frightful and abhorrent endeavor.

I flee to the bathroom and splash cold water to my face, hoping to align reality with my current state of being. My hands struggle to forget the feeling of hardened plastic knobs that belong to radios and drug pouches, weighted medical gear and gloves. My eyes see bare hands, my mind panics because it remembers what once was; unable to differentiate between then and now. So I am left beleaguered, a man torn.

It’s instances like this that used to motivate my drinking. It was easier to feel nothing over that of feeling everything… remembering…

Before I can turn the tap off, a miasma of death returns to my nose. It crawls deep inside my nostrils, a merciless ascent from nares to sinus, like a diseased spike it drives itself deep into my skull — I wretch once, and again, until I feel an imminent call to action, I lurch for the toilet and just as the lid is raised, I vomit.

While on the floor reality begins to seep back in. I feel the punitive cold of linoleum on my knees, the bite of chilled porcelain stinging my hands, and all I begin to think to myself is… “I hate Mondays!”

I laugh a little. A desperate attempt at levity. I sit with my back against the wall for a few minutes, reacclimating to the here and now. After some moments spent in an uncomfortable contort on the cold bathroom floor, I regain myself and stand to my feet. The reflection that greets me appears pathetic and pale, sweaty and shaken. I look away.

I miss the job, I don’t miss its effects. Effects that linger through to this day.

Monday… this was the start of my week; my shoulders, neck and head all ache with the heft of days gone, and faces remembered…

I don’t go out and see my beautiful Sheena right away. I don’t want her to see me this way. I fear she’ll hate what she sees as much as I do…

I close my eyes and take a deep breath. I try to confront the negative voice inside, the one that tells me I am weak, a burden and a fool; I try to replace it with kindness and compassion for self. I did not ask for the ghosts, I did my best, saved a few… lost a few others… but I did my best.

And that’s exactly what I will do for the remainder of this week — my best — my best to push out the negative, invite the supportive, the warmth and compassion of love from others and self.

Instead of looking at Monday as the start, I am instead going to choose to see it as the end — the end of my bad week! For each and every other day of this week in June, I will make it better and better. Gratitude is what will help me achieve this goal, so today, I am grateful… grateful to each and every one of you. Your kindness is what helps me through the rough ones — so thank you.

Mondays… am I right?

2 thoughts on “How I Survive Mondays When I Wake Up From A Nightmare With PTSD.

Add yours

  1. Reblogged this on Ardeleana’s conversation and commented:
    Thank you for writing down my own PTSD story; it’s Wednesday, and I still cannot write anything about my abusive work environment. I am always kind to adults who suffered neglect or abuse in their childhood or adolescence. It makes me sick to see them becoming more dangerous sociopaths than their former abusers. I just want them to stop doing to others what they do to me. How can I do this when I am down, on my comfortable rug? You are so strong, Medic,I am not!


    1. Strength comes in many forms — acknowledgement of surroundings is a form of strength, waking up, taking a shower, heck — making breakfast can sometimes be among the strongest things we do in the face of adversity.

      I am sorry you are facing struggles right now, my friend.


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