Getting out of my head.

I’m sitting here eating lunch at Big Nose Kate’s saloon in Tombstone.

A lot of thoughts and feelings today. I need to write them down before it gets too crowded in here or I’ll forget.

I woke up with a headache this morning. Not too uncommon but if I don’t nip it quick, it’ll blossom into a migraine and then I wouldn’t be able to ride at all. The joys of TBI’s thanks to tours 1 and 2.

Fortunately I brought a lot of meds. I’m like a rolling pharmacy. No, I don’t have any oxycodone. Don’t rob me.

Today started off with cool temps and a beautiful ride through the trees at high elevation on a twisty road. I’ve dodged turkeys, elk and quite a few deer who wanted to wipe me out. It helped keep my speeds in check.

You’d think that’d make for a perfect day. Unfortunately with PTSD, it doesn’t always work out that way. I was immediately inundated with memories and doubts. Feelings of shame and inadequacy. I can fight it all I want but they are there. I feel like I hate myself and everything that I am.

I’ve spent so much time sitting in single and group therapy. The therapist focuses on you and has you list all of your bad traits and failures. It’s easy to make this list. It just flows out of me. I hate myself and it’s easy to find faults. Then they ask you to list good traits. I can’t. I stutter. I stare off into space. I might capitulate and list a few easy ones. Then the therapist asks the group to say all of the good things they know about me. They quickly chime in with a dozen or so. I hate those guys. That’s the point of group though. To prove that other people don’t see you the way that you do. That’s a hard pill to swallow. The therapist then goes through your negatives list and discounts them all and crosses them off as not true. They then go through the positives and make you feel like an ass for not seeing them. Easy for the therapist to say. They aren’t living it. The PTSD mind focuses on negatives and it’s sooo hard to get past that.

I used to have a “traumatic event” that I couldn’t get past. I would think about it many times a day. Whenever it got quiet or slow, it was in my mind. I could relive every detail. I still can. Fortunately I had one therapist who suggested EMDR. I can’t remember what it stands for. Google it. Basically though it looks like the doc is waving his hand in front of your face saying stupid things and you’re trying not to laugh at him. Crazy enough though, it works. While I can still see that event and I know all of the details, it doesn’t dominate my life. That’s a good thing. So why can’t I just do that for everything, I don’t know. EMDR made me feel numb. I dont want to always feel numb.

I had times today that I was dwelling on so many negatives. I think I was feeling overwhelmed. A headache, only day two and so far to go, I’m a little sore…all good reasons for me to turn to negative thoughts. If only I can remember the things I tried to harp on yesterday. If only. Each day is a new struggle. I need to get out of my head.

I’ve had a good ride today. It was 96 degrees when I pulled into Tombstone. This place is an absolute tourist trap. I need to get out before I do something I’ll regret. Crowds and me don’t mix.

I’ll ride ahead to Bisbee. Other than gas, I’m out of funds for the day. Time to be cheap. The BLM and Forest service say not to camp on open land near here, as we’re too close to the border. Infer what you will.

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