A little more raw and uncut blog this time around….
I have recently been told something that has changed how I look at the past 9 years of my life. I haven’t done any research on this because I wanted to speak from a place of pure awareness and experience.
I don’t want to just tell you what I have been thinking but what I have been feeling and it’s complicated enough that I can’t just say it. Again, haven’t done any research to explain this scientifically.
This post is a very vulnerable explanation of some deep feelings I have had and what other effects it has had on my life. Like a domino effect until they all fall down. Then picking them back up just to knock them down again.
In the end, I always feel shame and embarrassment. It takes a lot of coaching in my own head or positive self-talk to get back to my normal self. I know people overthink things and it can be self-destructive too. However, my issue is I feel this way because what I said or did during the domino effect, I didn’t really have conscious control over, it just happened.
I have explained this in a similar way when I wrote about my PTS creating self-awareness. I have been experiencing what they call dissociation. Or specifically depersonalization and derealization. Feel free to look it up.
Anyway, what I experience is a feeling of disconnection. When I talk about my yogic experience and that self-awareness, it is really two different disconnections. One is an experience where I feel everything, connected, and disconnected beyond my normal sensations. With focus and clear thought, control of movement, and action.
The other is when I am powerless, disconnected from everything as a safety mechanism for myself. It separates me from the pain and emotional stress that has been triggered by something. And funny enough I feel like my triggers are my pain from my injuries as well as distinct sounds and smell.
It takes me a couple of days to realize I am there, away, and disconnected, which sparks panic as I try to get back into the auto-piloted body. This takes weeks of work and energy to reconnected and process out all the chemicals released into the body before I begin to feel connected again.
While this may seem like terrible news, after a few weeks on a motorcycle and hanging in the woods I have begun to accept this as part of my physiology. Something I need to learn to manage rather than get angry about having.
Also want to take this moment and say I have no regrets, I am glad to have served and have endured. My sacrifice is continual and I did it so that others wouldn’t have to. I tried to keep all of this to myself, this suffering but have realized something very important over that last few years.
A lot of people are and have been affected by this and they all stand helpless, unable to take away the pain that I have or even help with this mental situation. They are in fact enduring and suffering too. Many books before me have described the true cost of war that in the past I tried to prevent or refuse its validity.
As always there is a lot more to the puzzle than what I can share with you here. I have more head issues than just the one mentioned above and countless physical issues all affecting how I take on the day.
If you are experiencing this particular issue like me, I know it is hard to listen to your body and know what it needs to take on the day. It can create panic and anxiety not being able to make decisions because you are unable to evaluate information like usual. The “I” isn’t necessarily here to direct the orchestra. You are not alone, and it might not be as terrible as it is. I mean I am sure veterans experiencing the same problems have gone years not even knowing its existence far greater than me.
It’s also important to remember that learning takes time. We need to learn how to sense it approaching and make adjustments before the triggered response. Being our own security guards observing and reporting any discomfort arising in the body. ( note this isn’t and excuse to be hyper-vigilant, or be hide alone in fear of something)
But I also want you to know that this work is internal and going to be constant. I feel as if I shouldn’t battle it like I have been and try to polish it in a way. Meaning the approach and thought about the situation needs to be more kind and compassionate.
I have been trying to cultivate a routine so that I keep this autopilot healthy and kind to itself and celebrating small victories. For example, after 15 years I quit smoking despite other challenges I was still able to come up with a win.
I have been exercising and doing more low-impact high-intensity training to work on my heart health. I eat super clean and healthy. All in an effort to stay alive and live the best most suffering-free life I can. Doing what I can to reduce pain and inflammation that is triggering this response.
Changing my outlook and opinions to fit a greater perspective on the beauty of the world. And to see the scared child in all of us. Just here trying to survive an existence so large its as if we are bacteria on a dish.
So celebrate your small victories, my small victories, just celebrate that you are alive, because the reality is….