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.