I have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, sprinkled with chronic depression and anxiety. Today, I really wanted to write something about that, but was struggling to find the words, and to find the courage to share something so raw.
A lot of times, I simply can't do things. Sometimes, I get badly triggered. Triggered can mean I get flashbacks; it can mean I'm no longer present in whatever is happening for me in the moment; it can mean I have extreme reactions to things that aren't, to the outside observer, even there. Sometimes I become violent towards myself.
I'm very aware that sometimes the multitude of steps it takes to do basic tasks - like eating breakfast - steps that most people aren't even aware of, is simply too much. A lot of days, I just don't eat at all, because I can't get myself around the number of steps required, just starting with choose what to eat.
I don't always manage. I don't always get it together. Most of my 'spoons' are reserved for taking care of Littletree. She, at least, gets food every day (some days it's just instant noodles - when I have more energy, I make up batches of stock to add to the instant noodles, so at least they have some nutritional value).
Some days, like this evening, I don't see the warning signs in time. Then it hits me, and I'm in spoon deficit. That's when I get really triggered, and it's terrible. Today, I totally lost it.
This is something totally inexplicable to most people, and even to myself. For the most part, people don’t realise I have any problem, and I often get comments along the lines of “oh, you’re one of the most together people I know”
I'm learning to get better. I'm learning to notice the triggers and avoid them, or take measures to alleviate the damage. I take some supplements, which helps a lot. I am learning to not take on too much. I tend to spend a lot of time avoiding reality when I need to (hello internet post count). And when things get really bad, I recognise the triggers and take a Valium.
Most of the time.
And sometimes, it just plain SUCKS. But it's good to know I'm not alone.
Which brings me to another post I've been meaning to write for a while... about the Matzav Kapit מצב כפית or teaspoon state.
It's an Israeli cultural thing (well, possibly exists in other places too) - the situation when one is laughing hysterically, to the point where one can't stop laughing. And then you manage to stop laughing. But if someone holds up a teaspoon, you fall to laughing again. It seems to work, even just saying "teaspoon"
A few weeks ago, at the Rainbow Gathering, one of my good friends, to whom I had introduced the concept of Matzav Kapit, noticed that I was feeling a bit down, so she spent the day hand-carving a tiny little teaspoon, because she knew it would make me laugh.
And it did! I laughed and laughed, and everyone I showed it to laughed. Only now, after reading the article about The Spoon Theory I realise just how incredibly apt it is.
Even in this moment, after I've been terribly triggered, and had an awful episode from which I am now bruised and have a massive egg swelling on my head, I can pull out my tiny teaspoon, and feel better.