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Topics - crohnie

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Having an Exceptionally Difficult Day / Horrible evening. Triggered (TW)
« on: December 18, 2017, 04:41:32 AM »
Something triggered me tonight, and within seconds I was buried in feelings of worthlessness and wanting to disappear.  I was with friends, and per usual I just shut down. After about an hour I explained to them what was going on with me, which helped a little bit, but now I am home and back in full flashback mode.

I have made great progress this year, thanks largely to EMDR, but I still have emotional flashbacks a couple of times a week.  When it's bad it's REALLY bad. I start thinking about how little impact there would be if I were to just vanish. I feel like there is no purpose for my existence.  I want to die. I know that if I make it through this episode things will be better, as they always are. It's just so brutal at the moment.  There is no escape and I want it to stop.

Having an Exceptionally Difficult Day / Inner critic has a megaphone
« on: June 21, 2017, 01:53:08 AM »
Over the past 4-5 hours I've been sinking deeper into a bad space, where I cannot shake the idea that I am an incredible LOSER.  I am ashamed and embarrassed about who I am, and how useless I am.  I appear to serve no function in the world. Everything seems pointless and I just want to disappear.

I have only recently concluded (with my therapist) that I am living with CPTSD.  I am still learning about emotional flashbacks, and what my triggers are.  I have had a particularly rough couple of weeks, with deep sadness, shame, and feelings of hopelessness.  The stress can have a profound affect on my Crohn's disease.  Over the past month I've lost seven pounds.  Today I avoided food until dinner, largely because of the discomfort that comes with digestion.

I am in my final week of Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation treatments.  The doctor has increased the duration of my TMS sessions hoping that I will see greater improvement.  I am feeling discouraged and wanting to detach.   I am not giving up, but at the moment any effort to lighten my mood would feel insincere and disrespectful to the pain I am legitimately living with. 

I was in an emotional flashback all day yesterday following a disturbing nightmare.  Today has not been much better, and tonight it is really bad.  I feel frozen physically, while my mind is racing out of control.  I am terrified.

Hey everyone.  The news has not been covering this much, so you may or may not know about it.   The Republic of Chechnya has been kidnapping and detaining gay men and putting them into what is being called modern day concentration camps.  This began within the past few weeks, and it terrifies me.   One of my biggest triggers has to do with feeling safe.  As a kid in school, probably grades 6-10, I lived virtually every day terrified for my personal safety.   To learn that execution of gay men is happening anywhere in the world (and it has been happening for years, just not quite like what's going on in Chechnya) makes me feel unsafe and scared, not to mention terribly sad for those who are living this * right now. 

I am meeting with my therapist today.  I know that a lot of the intense fear and anxiety I am currently feeling is likely due to emotional flashbacks.   My personal reality at the moment is that I am physically safe within my chosen surroundings.  However, with the current administration that we have in the U.S., the climate for queer folks (and other minorities) in America has become less safe.   I think my challenge is to not obsess over this, and try to be OK with what I cannot change today.  I will not become apathetic to what's going on, but I cannot change the world by myself.  I can, however, find ways to become involved with the cause (there is strength in numbers).   At this moment I feel overwhelmed by the uncertainty of where this is all going.

Thanks for reading. 

It's been a rough couple of days. My mood has generally been sad, almost neutral.  I don't want to do anything, go anywhere, talk to anyone. I took the trash and recycling out today, and that seemed like a big accomplishment.

I am sure that part of my current state is due to my physical weariness.  My crohn's disease has been more active than usual, which has me feeling beat.  I seem to be losing interest in almost everything except sleeping through the day. 

I know this is temporary. I've actually got some good things happening with my psychiatrist & therapist, which gives me some hope.   Today, right now - I want to turn everything off and stop feeling.

Hi all.  I appreciate the opportunity to simply say, "I'm having a rough day."

Yesterday, for some reason, was out of the ordinary -- it was quite a good day.  I had energy and managed to do all of the dishes, which felt like such a huge accomplishment.   My mood was above average.  I started today really hoping for a repeat, but no such luck.  I am trying to remind myself that today's mood is not the result of some screw up on my part.   

Tomorrow's another day.  Anything can happen.

Wishing you all the best.

Having an Exceptionally Difficult Day / waking up after dreadful night
« on: March 11, 2017, 05:36:26 PM »
Hi all -

Before getting ready for bed last night I had actually typed the first sentence of a post here.  When I got up from the couch to continue the post in another room, I tripped and fell.  It was a hard fall too, but luckily I just skinned my knee and bruised my ego a bit. 

The fall sent me to an even darker place than I was already in.  Something had triggered for me earlier in the night and I went into a quick dissension.  Shame, lots of noisy negative self talk, rage - to name a few.  A couple of times I was able to remind myself that the messages weren't real, but that didn't last long. I immediately went to bed and prayed for sleep.  I wanted to die.

This morning my head is calmer.  I am hoping to do something positive today, like make soup for my husband and myself.  I'm starting the day with self-compassion.  Last night's episode was about as bad as it gets for me.  I felt trapped, almost uncomfortable in my own skin. Everything was cranked up to ten.   As if we don't live with enough anxiety, it is awful not knowing when emotional triggers will occur.  I feel virtually unprepared for them. 

It helps to put all of this into words, and I am thankful that this space provides that opportunity.

Wishing you all a happy and peaceful weekend.

Addiction (Perpetrator) / Adult child, lost family to addiction
« on: March 07, 2017, 08:03:35 PM »
I'm writing about this because it helps to just put it out there.  There's only so many times my friends can hear this stuff!

I consider the first five years of my life to be pretty idyllic.  My mom, brother, & I spent our days together - playing, running errands, going to the park, library, etc..  I feel very lucky to have had those years.   My dad's alcoholism was the first to take center stage in the home.  He relapsed in his recovery several times before becoming serious about AA.  Once he got sober, my mom's alcoholism became the family focus. 

It's noteworthy that while all of this was happening, I was diagnosed and trying to survive with Crohn's disease, but my health was often the warm-up act for someone's addiction.  I learned to be self-reliant, often to the point of self-isolation (something I struggle with very much now).  My mom got sober ten years before her passing, and I was so proud to have two sober parents (although they had both had smoked since their early teens, and had no intention of quitting). 

It was around the time of mom's sobriety that my brother's alcoholism began to escalate.  His disease was more challenging to live with, since he had become a high functioning alcoholic.  By the time of his passing he was drinking a case of beer each day.  He and I were just a year apart, and were extremely close.

Between 2007-2013, each member of my family died - my dad from emphysema, mom from lung cancer, and my brother from liver disease.   I still have moments of frustration and anger when I miss them.   At the same time, there is a certain level of relief that comes from no longer having an active addict in my life.   Of course I wish my brother was alive, but in all honesty his addiction caused a lot of heartache and stress. 

For the past 3.5 years I've worked to put my own life together, with no apologies.  My husband and I have been together 18 years (legally wed in 2010 when it became legal in DC), and he has been sober for 32 years.  I don't drink.  We don't have alcohol in our home. 

I've been working with a wonderful therapist for about 15 months now, and a new psychiatrist (my previous one wasn't very effective).  I am currently trying to climb out of a 2-3 month relapse of my depression/anxiety, but I know that if I continue to see my therapist & doctor, I will eventually see improvement again.   

I am grateful today that I have found this site.  The symptoms of CPTSD seem to be so universal, which helps to normalize the life I've been living for nearly 45 years.   Thank you for the space to share this part of me.   

Hope you all are making time to take care of yourselves today. 

General Discussion / Hello I'm new. *Potential trigger warning*
« on: March 07, 2017, 07:31:17 AM »
Hey all. 

Tonight I've been doing a lot of research on CPTSD, which has really confirmed a lot of what I've known for a while.

My traumas as a youth included being diagnosed with Crohn's Disease as an early teen, living in an alcoholic home, and facing terror at school, where I was bullied and targeted for being perceived as gay (which I am, but I did not identify as such at the time).

What really hit home tonight has been learning about emotional flashbacks, which I have been living with for probably most of my adult life (I turn 51 this week).   I also lived with terrifying chronic nightmares for about 15 years.  Within the last year or so, medication and therapy have finally provided relief from the most frightening dreams, but I still struggle with them on occasion (just not every night).  After years of trial and error I currently have a team of professionals - gastroenterologist, therapist, and psychiatrist - who listen to me and appear to have genuine concern for my well being. 

The last two months have been a struggle.  I recently completed my PhD, and am not currently working, which is both a blessing and a curse.  Things are bad enough at the moment that I cannot imagine working, at least not full time.  If my insurance approves it, I plan to begin Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation in the next few weeks, which gives me some hope. 

Thanks for reading.  I look forward to reading posts on this board.  I suspect that we all share commonalities that have brought us to this space. 

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