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Monday, July 20, 2015

Be the best that you can be

Do you remember that commercial?  "Find your future in the aaaaaaaarmy."  That jingle brings up some comparisons between service and loss related PTSD - I was in a trauma informed service provision training last week where I didn't learn anything new about providing services but I did realize that I am moving through the world in my own sort of shell-shock.
 Constantly being triggered and trying desperately to compartmentalize and get through each day while still trying to be the "best" and make sure that I am processing how I am feeling even when I am repressing.  I have always felt like I have to be the best or one of the best, best performance evaluations, best innovations, best communication, best supervisor.  This same internal pressure is causing me to feel like I have best grief process.  Although thankfully sometimes what that is changes or I probably would be busy being the best at finding an even lower low.  At first I thought loosing the pregnancy weight would be the best but then when that proved impossible I decided that accepting the pregnancy weight would be the best.  I need my relationship with R to be the best relationship, I expect us to stumble but for us to quickly find solutions to our conflicts and be the best conflict solvers ever.  These are just two examples of many I could name, one more and then I'll move on.  I took on a consulting job in the evenings for the last several weeks - why would I do that?  Oh that's right because I have to be the best I can be.

I find myself wishing I had a faith tradition to buffer some of this, like "let go and let God."  But I don't.  Occasionally I wish I could take an alcohol or drug induced break from this but I guess that's the one time this pressure is a saving grace.  What have you found helps you keep moving forward, or at least standing still, in a healthy, or relatively healthy way?


  1. I haven't found it, so I can't answer that. The only thing that moves me through is letting myself feel whatever I need to feel in the moment without trying to talk myself out of it. Which means it isn't always pretty.

  2. I think your desire to be the best is entirely understandable, and a way of coping. I don't have any advice though, except to echo Mel: feel what you need to feel without talking yourself out of it. I'm glad I came by your blog and read what you had to say.

  3. My therapist cautioned me against trying to be too okay too soon after traumatic events related to infertility. She said, "sometimes, you just need to sit in the shit." I had days where I felt fine and could resemble a functioning human, and days where that was so exhausting that I'd get home and sit in the car and be paralyzed, unable to transition from the world where I got to look normal and well-adjusted and better, and the world where my husband knew better and I couldn't fake it. I would sit and stare, and then sob. I don't have a good answer except to put yourself first and be so, so kind to yourself. There is no statute of limitations on grief, and the way it can make you feel set back even when you were "fine." Writing helped, and gardening (something physical and creation-oriented that I could nurture, weeding is also strangely meditative), and giving myself permission to SAY NO to a lot of commitments and make space for myself to just read on the couch. Making plans and contingency plans and thinking about what's next. I never could escape planning for the next step, whatever that looked like, even if it was just researching all the available options. I wish you peace, I wish you space to heal and move forward at your own pace.

  4. Writing was a big help. Starting my blog helped me sort through so much shit. It's really only a small slice of my whole life, but connecting with others who felt like me was a great support. Also I'm a Buddhist so I chant and that helps. Therapy is also quite beneficial - to actually make time to talk about all those sad, dark thoughts in your head is a great release. Yeah, sometimes you have to sit in the shit and sometimes you have to scream or alternatively be numb, in the stillness it can be very frightening, but ultimately you will find your way to the light.