For Me, It’s Not Over (But Almost)

I often tend to shy away from writing about some of my weaknesses, in hopes of assuring my family and friends  (and caring, loyal readers, like yourself), that I am in fact alright, and capable of handling the emotional baggage that comes with post-traumatic stress disorder. But, about a half an hour ago, I felt far from alright. 
Every so often, I experience nightmares. They could be of anything, but one of my reoccurring ones is where the Joker (see: Love: The Best and Worst Thing, or Beneath My Lover’s Hands I Grabbed the Knife if you are new to the iREADray blog and are unsure who the Joker is in the context of here) kill various things I love. In one nightmare, he killed butterflies that were all over during our wedding, in an arboretum, in another he cut my father’s head off, and so on. For someone who is attempting to get over their love for a person, these nightmares literally haunt me.
Never mind that the Joker and I haven’t spoken in months. And never mind that I haven’t really given him much thought in the past few weeks (quite an accomplishment for me). Never mind that I was finally starting to feel secure with myself, and that I was getting into a much needed routine of sleep. All of that came crumbling down the moment the Joker made a cameo in my head last night.
Sleeping, for me is one of the most difficult things. Not only did I get punched in the face over a year ago after having just been woken up, but my memory of overdosing on Tylenol PM is blown to hell, only to be replaced by me laying down to go to bed (where I woke up naked, scared, and alone in a hospital). Such memories are haunting, and are things I get to deal with every time I lay down to sleep. No big deal. 
But when I woke up this morning, about twenty minutes before I needed to, it was in a panic because the Joker was in my head again. I couldn’t breath for a moment, and instantly started crying. 
After I gained some composure and went about my errands for the morning, attempting to get a hold of myself and the anxiety I was feeling in my stomach, heart, even in my legs, I did what I often do to help me meditate, and that is listen to music (one of my other things is writing blogs like this one, so thanks folks!).The first song I heard while trying to refrain from letting my emotions get the best of me was Britney Spears’ “Womanizer” one of my favorites. And though I didn’t really want to sing along, I made myself, and noticed fairly quickly how after a few lines in auto-tuned vocals I was alright. Breathing had returned to normal.
Next up was Adele’s new one, “Someone Like You.” This one brought the Joker right back into my head, but in a way that was sensitive enough to only bring a few important tears. It was when I heard the line “Never will I find someone like you, and I wish nothing but the best for you” did the nightmare induced anxiety attack really subside. I was able to think, truly think about the situation and realized, yes, I do wish the best for the Joker, and I know that best is not being my head. So, I metaphorically sent him packing. 
I am somewhat ashamed that I even still write about the Joker, but the truth of the matter is, he still haunts me in many ways. I had very deep love for that boy, and felt very broken. Even when I don’t want to, like now, I can have a very strong emotional reaction to something that happened a long time ago. 
Flashbacks are a part of my life now. 
And that sucks. 
What doesn’t suck is that despite the fact that today is a hard day, and that this broken heart is in fact still a little broken, it is healing. Instead of being engulfed in the truly painful depression I felt, say, last year, I am able to feel the emotions I need, cry, and be able to get on about my day. 
For Adele’s “Someone Like You” it’s not over, not for her. And it’s not over for me either, apparently. Apparently I still have some healing to do. And it’s frustrating, frankly, to feel like I had such a setback by this nightmare, but every baby step I take is important, including this one, and despite the many mistakes I’ve made along the way, I am glad I have gotten to where I am. 
(Side note, did you know the Google likes it when you put links to do further reading on the subject matter at the bottom of your posts? Apparently, the Internet is like a giant game of “Where’s Waldo” and if you want to be found, you do that to boost marketability.)

READ MORE ON POST TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER:
American Psychological Association, http://psycnet.apa.org/psycinfo/1993-98147-019
Compassion Fatigue by Charles R. Figley et la, http://tinyurl.com/6hysju2

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