Lost in thought

Nothing in particular, it has just been one of those days.

I’m enjoying my time here at my cousins and I feel very welcome. After yesterdays activities I felt like I needed to take the day “off”. My cousin took her kids to the zoo and I just put my feet up and relaxed.

I did not sleep well last night. After getting back late, I opted not to take my sleeping pill because I thought I was tired enough. At about 3am I was thinking differently. It’s sad when you become so reliant on a sleep aid. In the pills defense, I’m not addicted, I just can’t sleep anyway.

I do have bad dreams, maybe just not what you expect from someone with PTSD. I don’t have flashbacks or relive events. What I do have are recurring dreams of a similar theme. I am usually in a situation where I have to save my family or other people from something violent, it’s never very clear. What is clear is that I have a rifle, the same kind I carried in combat, and the trigger never works. It’s solid and immovable. That part of the dream is so real that whenever I took my actual rifle to the range, I always expected it not to work. I sold it in part because of that. I had bad dreams last night. First time without a pill in forever and in a strange bed. A surefire (get it?) recipe for disaster.

So I took it easy today. I kept things more low key. I needed this. I spent a lot of time thinking about my trip. How far along I am. How far along I’m not. If my expectations are realistic. If I’m staying true to the original idea. If I’m getting anything out of it.

Am I? Honestly am I any better off than a month ago? When I get back home will I be ok? I can tear myself up forever if I let it go. I really had to reign it in at one point. I am my own worst enemy.

The PTSD brain is a slippery slope. One bad thought leads to another and another and pretty soon you’re lost in depression.

I meant for this trip to be big. I needed something daunting, challenging and even overwhelming. I have to force myself to look at a bigger picture. Typically my mind can’t handle that. People will say just take it a piece at a time. That’s all well and good but it just keeps you living in the here and now without any thought to the future. The future is too much for me. That’s why I need to find a way to face it head on. It’s easy to have suicidal thoughts when you only focus on today. I guess, to be honest, I’m screwed either way. The future can be too much as well.

I need to retrain my brain. Not everything has to be terrible or with grave consequences.

I’m keeping my focus, right where it needs to be. I’m doing this.

5 thoughts on “Lost in thought”

  1. Hang in there Jake. I know you can overcome your demons, I’ve seen you in action. Thanks for sharing. I consider you my you one of my best friends 2nd only to Brenda. You’re helping others, me, understand a little more of mental illness. Thanks

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Jake, I appreciate your sharing any and everything. My two cents worth is to take things one day at a time and once you get back home you will realize the rewards of taking this trip more and more each day. Things will come into better focus. And, quit being so hard on yourself. I’m glad you’ve had the opportunity to talk with and share your story on this trip. All of the events and people will come back to day to day, year to year, as you journey on. Enjoy it all–the hard days and the more easy and enjoyable ones. Each has a purpose. Try not to get ahead of yourself. Keep enjoying the present moment.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I awakened early because I went to bed early. Laying down and sleeping, with the essential aid of a pill, is the only thing that takes away the pain. Yes, mine is physical but both of us have to find a way to step away from the pain, daily. I’m so grateful that you are gaining awareness of yourself. Neither one of us will ever be “better” if that means a pain free day.

    This morning I’ll be opening the temple and you’ll be in my thoughts and prayers. Love you, dad


  4. I have been thinking a lot about your dream. Maybe it means that you will need to save your family, but it won’t be with a weapon. Just a thought. Love you!!


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