Something I’m still coming to terms with is finding the right balance with Complex-PTSD, and it’s really hard work!
I have days where my focus is zero and others where everything seems so easy to manage, it gets frustrating to understand what's going on and what I'm really capable of.
On the bad days it's like dragging myself through treacle. Every thought and movement is 100 times more difficult, and its so easy to loose sight of how good it can be when my mind is in a more positive state. These are the times when I have to be patient and kind to myself, and realise that the techniques my psychologist is teaching me come in to use.
The good days are amazing, but mentally still new to me. They're a result of intensive therapy sessions, processing trauma from a lifetime ago that stole 25 years of my life that I'm slowly clawing back. It's incredibly difficult to explain the difference, so I try to compare it to one of my favourite films "Limitless", where Bradley Cooper's takes this special tablet that unlocks the power of his brain, allowing him to achieve amazing things far beyond anything before.
That's how it's been for me. I've had clarity in my life and my work that I could have only dreamed of prior to treatment, and it was amazing. In fact it was beyond amazing. I covered some of this off in another blog called "Yesterday I Broke Again", which gives a hint that I got the balance all wrong.
The truth of the matter was I got carried away and burnt the candle at both ends. The new found love for life and unimaginable focus was too good a thing not keep using, and I was making the most of it. Work days were super productive (although that sounds as though I was lazy before.... not true), after work I'd be learning new technology or read more. My mind was now telling me not to waste precious minutes whilst awake and to cram as much information during waking hours as I could.
For a while it was working and I couldn't believe what I was capable of. Life was amazing, work was amazing and I felt cured, but not for long. As mentioned in that other blog post, life has a way of gently reminding you to take stock and get a grip. I failed to notice the warning signs with a sense of stubbornness "I've got it this time". But alas, no I crashed and plummeted back to my old friend of depression.
With Complex PTSD and other trauma related illnesses, there's no subtle dip in mood. It's all or nothing, zero to minus 100 in the blink of an eye. And that's one of the key things I'm now working on, identifying the signs and preventing those horrendous mental crashes to the dark zone. I can't put in to words how difficult that is, but it's possible and I'm not giving up.
So what is this balance?
You can't have the good without the bad right? Ying without Yang.....
Taking time out for yourself is imperative. Finding those things that help you switch off from the world, whatever they are, they're so important.
I'm currently in the midst of trying yoga and meditation again. Something seems to have clicked in regards to the meditation and its really helping to get my focus back when I feel the frustration and stress creeping in. I could sense it the other morning whilst trying to sort some things at work, so I stopped what I was doing, found some meditation music on Spotify and spent 10 minutes crossed legged on the floor relaxing. It honestly worked a treat and I'm now hooked.
Aside from that, I'm developing my writing skills by doing these blog posts and continue to spend hours in front of the PS4 or working my way through books to that I think will help better myself.
What I've stopped doing is trying to cram it all in within continuous 24 hour spaces. Realising that it's perfectly ok to sit and watch tv, game or read. Just so long as I do "something" positive that day. Keeping track of the little achievements throughout the week and mentally acknowledging I've done some great things.
So if you can, keep a note of the things you've achieved. Just don't over do it, as you're no good to yourself or others if you push too hard.