The Tight Grip

I can feel it creeping up. Lurking in the shadows waiting to take hold.

It comes. Every month. Taunting me. Threatening me. Bullying me.

I feel my heart start to race. Beating so fast I can’t breath.

My mouth goes dry. The panic sets in. It’s got me.

There is no turning back. The thoughts are flooding. The fear sets in.

I pace the room. I look over my shoulder. I break down and cry.

I know what is happening. I know I am not in danger. My head knows this. My heart knows this.

My body does not. It’s playing tricks on me. The helpless feelings all over again.

The fear I caused *this*. That I did *this*.

Only now *this* is normal. That was not.

This is not grief. This intense fear. This body reaction that I can not stop is another monster.

A couple  months ago I was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Something I have been battling with since early June. Most of the month I am *ok* but  the triggers flood me every month with the return of my cycle. It is draining for a lack of a better word. I am in good care — have the great support of my doctor and partner. I have things in place to help brace myself as much as I can for this time and things set for when I am in the throws of it. I acknowledge that it just wont go away. It wants a fight so I will give it one.

For about 10 days out of the month I am “held hostage”. I am haunted with nightmares that terrify me, flustered with a heart that beats 2 times the normal speed and almost unbearable anxiety.  I am afraid of seeing the red. I am afraid of sleeping. I am terrified of letting my husband down. It’s all PTSD.

I don’t feel like myself — mainly because I am not myself.  I am a rational person and this is not rational — at least I can not rationalize myself out of it. In my life before children I worked with some people struggling with PTSD. I know it’s not simple. I know it is complicated. Now I know first hand just how hard a grip it can hold. It can feel like it fights just as hard to stay as I fight to push it away.

I will get through this though. With time. With support. With work.

Devan McGuinness

is the founder and executive director of the award-winning resource Unspoken Grief .

Connect with author:

Add your support: comments are moderated before appearing. Please note: your comment here may show up on your Facebook Feed.

Previous Post:

Next Post: