Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Spoons

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.

Just when I was sitting here, starting to write, deleting, pondering, writing, deleting again, my good friend Catherine posted this article about The Spoon Theory. Perfect article, perfect timing.

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.

P1070626

23 comments:

  1. pondering away as to how to word a response. mentally composed and discarded several eloquent paragraphs in favour of a pithy pair of words that says it all.
    ME TOO.
    and i had a relatively major episode last night, middle of the night. i wanted to blame the weather - it was 41 degrees here yesterday. maybe my spoons melted?
    LOVE XXX

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  2. and I have to say me too as well, I had a wedding on new years eve, I just couldnt do it, I was so swimming in crap I couldnt comprehend speaking to people let alone happily chatting, so I pulled out, stayed home and was in bed before the new year, it has been days of constant 24 hour anxiety at everything you can imagine, today tuesday the energy seems to have shifted, thank god!!
    Mine was flashbacks too, hope you are doing better today. We seem the same, I always wish later on that I had just taken the PILL earlier and saved myself a whole lot of grief, but I push thru not realising how bad I am becoming and deeper into my mind Im going.
    I love this spoon story, how interesting hhmmm
    hope it is easing for you today too
    much love to you and littletree
    xxx
    sheree

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  3. thanks everyone, and hugs all round.

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  4. Honey, thanks, that reminds me valium on my shopping list.

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  5. Long story short while everyone celebrates NYE, goes to party's and writes nice posts about resolutions. i'm busy melting into a bitter twisted mess, shit week for me also, cant think of anything better to do than honour those feelings let it out and give it up thanks for sharing, I feel better, much better. Big love bubbles.

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  7. Don't usually comment but I couldn't just leave without a word for you today. I'm sorry you're having a rough time :-( I LOVE your teaspoon and I'm so glad you shared.

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  8. more thanks and hugs all round :)

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  9. i relate so much to all your words majik faerie, if you ever want to talk on google talk or anything if you ever need someone to listen. today i have spoon deficit as well.

    i love your little spoon.

    hugs

    -bug

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  10. Love and *hugs* My beautiful friend. I am so blessed to have met you and I can't wait for 2013 when the party will truly begin ;-*

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  11. I LOVE YOU MAJIK FAERIE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Actually I miss you too!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I LOVE YOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

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  12. Catherine, thanks to you so much for introducing me to the article, and for understanding.

    Ansanity, love you tooooo!

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  13. So much love and spoons to you, dear one *mwah* thank-you for sharing that, you watered my empathy garden xoxo

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  14. I wrote a big comment just after you posted this, and it got lost in the void.... But the gist of it was..... Thank you for your honesty, and for sharing the parts of you that are easier to keep to yourself. Thanks for helping us all to see that we're all on this journey together, and we all have our hurts and pains, and we can all share them and help heal each other with love:) I think you're absolutely magical and beautiful and am so glad for the gifts you give of yourself....peace and blessings beautiful woman!

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  15. Babette Rothschild has a 'Flashback Protocol' in the book The Body Remembers: The Psychophysiology of Trauma and Trauma Treatment. It takes about 60 seconds to do and can quickly halt traumatic flashbacks...
    Majik Faerie in green I can write it out for you and email...

    (in the hope readers may appreciate this also) The book Buddhas Brain is a wonderful mix of neurology, pyschology and contemplative traditions, written by a PhD and an MD. Very valuable info also..

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  16. Flower remedies flower remedies flower remedies!!

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  17. i am unknow for u. but i follow u for a while. ur life is beautiful. u r a beautiful n perfect being. it s pleasure read about ur adventures. n i really hope u get through this moment.u will that s for sure. n u will get stronger n more beatiful.
    (sorry my english)
    XOXO

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  18. @ Sazz "you watered my empathy garden" - what a beautiful line!

    love to all, thanks for the warm wishes.

    thanks for the recommendations, Ansanity and Carmella

    I really feel supported through all this, I really had no idea how many people I would touch with this post (got a lot of emails), and how many would touch me back.

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  19. Reading your site, feeling incredibly jealous yet grateful of my own lifestyle, then I came across this piece. You confirm for me that we all carry baggage, we all struggle with who we are & why none of us truly cope. My belief is that these struggles are part and parcel of the journey. Lessons along the way, not to be feared but observed, noted and filed for reference. Within yourself, you are strong. That you understand your feelings is a positive. You are loved and you obviously love. Nothing else matters in this life. What you feel is merely physical exhibitions of chemical imbalances in the place where you live. Like the leaky roof, and the excessive rain of late. Not of your making, it WILL pass and the Sun will always shine.
    Peace on you, Lerato

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Thanks for your lovely words, witty banter and entertaining discussion :)