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Messages - Scout

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Research / ADHD--who else has it?
« on: October 28, 2019, 05:23:07 PM »
Hi guys, I was wondering if anyone has any links, etc. about the possible relationship between ADHD and long-term trauma. I was diagnosed with ADHD as an adult, when my internist put me on a low dose of Paxil a few years ago because I was really struggling--shortly after starting Paxil, I would get scared while driving because I wasn't paying enough attention,  was almost missing appointments, and my general organization skills kind of fell apart,. My internist felt that the Paxil was eroding a lot of the stress responses I'd developed to overcome ADHD (frequent checking, lists, etc). He gave me a questionairre about ADHD, things like listening and ability to sit still, the regular stuff. By the time he got back, I had doodled all over it and answered "yes" to a lot of the issues. I always thought I was just spontaneous and creative, which is true, but there might be a bit more to it.

After going off both the Paxil and ADHD meds for a few years, I'm now trying just the ADHD meds and feel like it helps, although I hate taking any medication because of side effects, but also because I hate feeling broken, and like I need medication to help. It's not a forever solution for me, but things are really extra hard right now, so if the meds help me make better decisions and not get distracted as much, I'm okay to try it for awhile if it helps me heal more productively and experience less frustration. I want to find more whole/therapy based ways to overcome it, but the reality is that this is not going to happen today, or soon. I can take steps, I am taking steps, but it's not an overnight process even if I want it to be. So, meds.

I was wondering how many of you struggle with ADHD-type issues, and if anyone has links or articles about the relationship between ADHD and long-term trauma. The symptoms for PTSD and ADHD are starkly similar in many places, which makes things confusing for me. I don't want to take medication for something I don't have, but I also don't want to Not take medication if it actually is helpful. (Also, yeah, I pretty much do have ADHD. I just hate having another thing wrong with me, and I feel like "what if that's just my personality?" But then listening to my partner will be excruciating, and I'm like, yeah. ADHD.)

Thank you!

Books & Articles / Re: information on breathing? aka, how to do it?
« on: August 21, 2019, 08:03:12 PM »
You guys, I can't tell you how helpful this all is--your kind words, that I'm not the only one, the suggestions for research and links. I feel so much better about it all, and it's previously been a horrific burden and source of shame. All these razor thin yogi women always saying, "breathe" in these irksome calming tones, like it's easy and everyone knows how to do it--let's just say, not helpful for me.

One of my regular struggles is trying to do waaaaay too much, and while that megadrive has gotten me pretty far in a lot of areas, it seriously does not apply to healing. At all. And learning how to breathe is part of healing. The idea that four deep breaths at a time is plenty is such a relief. And I can learn what I can when I can, and build my path forward brick by brick.

A big part of my heart is a waterfall of inside-tears, because I am just really grateful for these gifts you all have given, your thoughts and sharing your struggles and your suggestions from what you've learned, which helps me take big steps forward. For so long, I felt like all these issues were me-problems, inherent flaws in my self, but if you all have them, too, they're not who I am. They're the damage. And we can heal damage.

Thanks so much, you guys. Thank you.

Books & Articles / Re: information on breathing? aka, how to do it?
« on: August 20, 2019, 06:59:10 PM »
Snowdrop--thanks! I checked out the book, but it sounds like it's a bit clinical, and I learned from "Children of the Self Absorbed" that heavy clinical-speak does not work for me as well when it's actually about me. But I will keep it in my rolodex for the future. I've been googling "longevity breathing" and think that could be a great way to research.

Harmony--with nose versus mouth, I'm all over the place. I've had severe allergies forever and am now getting allergy shots, which should wrap up soon, so that has already helped a little with nose breathing. I know mouth breathing (or at least inhales) aren't supposed to be as good, and I do tend to gulp and do shallow breaths when I go in through the mouth. But I'm going to start paying a lot more attention all the time and see what I actually do.

One scary thing about breathing--during meditation practice, where I breathe slow and deep, and even in the last two minutes just now when I tried to practice diaphragm breathing in a chair--is that I feel kind of weird and woozy, even when breathe really slow, like I'm literally drunk on oxygen. My body feels all cold and tingly and weird, and frankly I Do Not Like It. It's scary. I feel stable in one way, but in another like I might pass out or just fall out of my chair, like my bones melted and my muscles are jelly.

Has my body gotten used to living on a tiny bit of oxygen, and now that I'm trying to practice deeper breathing, I literally get kind of drunk on it? The third time I tried to meditate, I ended up going into a good loop and doing it for 25 whole minutes, and for about an hour after I felt high as a kite--to tell the truth, I was basically terrified of the way I felt. It was a "good" feeling on one level, but I did. Not. Like. It. If that feeling came from a drug, I wouldn't take it again.

Good god--do I need to literally need to learn how to breathe at a slower pace? What did they do to me!?! (Kidding. Barely.)

Thanks to you guys for talking to me about this. It really means a lot to have people to talk to about these things.

Books & Articles / information on breathing? aka, how to do it?
« on: August 20, 2019, 04:51:06 PM »
I suck at breathing. Absolutely suck at it. Which is weird to say--like saying, "oh, I am bad at blinking." Which, if I start to think about it, also becomes weirdly difficult. :)

But being bad at breathing is a real thing for me, and it's all the time. I'm developing a mindfulness and meditation practice (emphasis on the practice, meaning I have to work really hard at it), and something I keep on noticing, again and again, is that my breaths are shallow and sharp, and I keep struggling with it. I can force myself to "belly breathe," but breathing that way takes a lot of attention and is still really hard, and I'm supposed to not be doing an activity, just observing. So I observe how terrible and small and shallow these poor little breaths are, and then I think, woah girl. You got issues. And I'd like to solve them.

I have an asthma inhaler, but it doesn't always help. I also have Vocal Chord Dysfunction, which is surprisingly common in those with PTSD. (Does anyone else here have Vocal Cord Dysfunction? I am supposed to go to a speech therapist for help, but medical care here isn't too good and the few I've found never even call me back.) But even outside of asthma and allergies and Vocal Cord Dysfunction, the whole "breathing" thing is just not natural for me. I'm certain it has to do with the constant fight or flight mode of my upbringing, which was extreme, but have started to wonder if something really bad happened when I was an infant. It's odd not to be able to find out, but when I tell myself to just breathe naturally like a baby does, a technique I read about, it does not get better and I get this bad feeling. It's impossible to know if it's my imagination or not, but it would not be surprising if something happened. I can't fix that, but I can try to learn how to breathe now, at 35.

Does anyone else struggle with breathing, and what did you do? What resources did you find that were helpful? So much of what I've read about breathing is just woo-woo stuff that doesn't actually say much, or it just instructs you to breathe, which I evidently don't know how to do. Like googling "how to be a millionaire," and the results all just say "Go be a millionaire!" and I'm like, "Yes, duh, but How?"


General Discussion / Re: ceaseless panic--what do you do to fix it?
« on: August 19, 2019, 10:27:58 PM »
Clay and others--I really wanted to share this podcast I just listened to about "why it's good to suck at something," an issue I have because I was raised to be a total A+++ perfectionist (yet, ironically, then got punished for being perfect because dear mama was jealous. anyway).

I keep thinking about how swing dancing class temporarily snapped me out of the panic and funk, and this podcast goes into some of that. I feel like I want to go back to school in another extra life and just study neurobiology, because what little I know has given me both answers about why I feel the way I feel and hope that there are ways to alter it and learn new patterns.

So, for all those bike riders around the block and jittery jitterbuggers, for everyone who hates setbacks and slipups:
(Itís Great to) Suck at Something With Karen Rinaldi

General Discussion / Re: Triggers.. what to do if..
« on: August 19, 2019, 06:31:52 PM »
I don't know if this will be helpful, but it's something that works for me when I remember to do it with bad feelings. Instead of running around away from the feeling, I try to turn around (in my imagination) and face it head on, then talk to that feeling like it's a character. The feelings will become images--sometimes a flood, sometimes an angry woman, etc. And I just say, "Hey there, terror. I know you're there for a reason. I'd like to talk to you, since your presence says you'd like to talk to me." And to my surprise, the feeling tends to tell all, and usually I'm surprised by what it says even though I thought I understood before. And the feeling says why it's there, which it has been trying to tell me all along, and then I can tell the feeling why and how I'm able to handle what's really causing it, and we start to work together instead of against each other.

So: Why do the floaties really bother you? And why underneath that? And why underneath that? This is the real issue that needs healing, not the floaties. (Perhaps going to an eye doctor you like and asking about the floaties and them telling you it's normal would also help.)

You could consider drawing the floaties on a sheet of paper, maybe give them antennas and googly eyes or something, or whatever you want. And ask them, the character of them, what they are doing there and why they are bothering you. As if the character part transforms them into a representation of the emotion you are really feeling. And once you know what the real deal underneath the bother is, you can work on comforting and healing and confronting it with truth. ("I'm going to die!" can become "I'm not dead right now--I am alive--and I am capable of grieving and healing." Etc.)

So anyway, I don't have any idea whether that will help you. But when I'm disciplined enough to talk to my feelings like characters in the midst of the five-alarm trigger factory, it's been a helpful practice for me. It's a way of offering yourself lots of compassion and kindness without demonizing the feelings that are there to help you, not hurt you, and get those back in balance so they no longer rule over your life.

Regardless of the helpfulness above for you, I hope you find a way to get some peace. (And PS, I think those floaters freak everybody out. I started seeing them at 19 and was convinced I was dying, but they're normal.)

General Discussion / Re: Lost and Lost It
« on: August 19, 2019, 06:24:43 PM »
Notalone, I'm sorry for your recent news. I hope you're offering yourself lots of care, kindness, and compassion as you continue on your journey. Take really, really good care of yourself, as best you can.

The Cafe / Re: pleasant shows and movie suggestions?
« on: August 19, 2019, 06:19:38 PM »
Thanks so much for the kind replies and all the understanding. I really always felt, in recent years where I'd "go dark" like that, that I was the worst and most broken person alive. And not that I want that for anyone, but knowing there are others who understand how hard these battles are (and how constant) makes me feel a lot better. Like this is not who I am, it's just a consequence of how I grew up.

Yeah, movie theater movies have been out for me for awhile now, unless it's a special circumstances. All those people, the darkness, not knowing what is going on behind me. And then we went to see the cartoon short film award winners, and it was trigger central. I literally couldn't stop crying, and I was there for a meetup, so I was paralysed--if I left, they'd wonder what was up. I couldn't make a sound or move. Each film was triggerier (like that word? I do) than the last one, and now I'm scared to death of going to the movies.

I'd like to think that we can reach a place where a lot of this stuff is healed, where the world isn't chock full of constant throwbacks and sudden time machines and generally upsetting stuff, everywhere. Can that happen? Does that exist? A time and place in the future where we don't have to be constant soldiers, where we can just be people who experience things and aren't at the mercy of all this?

New Members / Re: Newbie
« on: August 19, 2019, 04:56:46 PM »
Hey B2B! I'm new here, too. It already helps to have a place to say some of the stuff I can't tell anyone IRL. Congrats for taking the step.

General Discussion / Re: Lost and Lost It
« on: August 14, 2019, 05:25:53 PM »
We all want to think that we're the only ones holding something together. If anyone judges you, they're really judging themselves, and all we can do is hope they find the compassion for ourselves that we want for ourselves, too.

You fell apart. Okay. This is the experience of being human, and for us, the experience of being a trauma survivor.

Plus, you lost it at a wake, not the checkout aisle at K-Mart. (Which would also be understandable, and I'm sure happens all the time anyway.)

Cut yourself more and more and more slack. Stress happens and builds up and demands release. It's okay.

(PS, getting lost is definitely one of my "lose it" things. I almost started crying real bad when I got lost on the way to a doctor's appointment, and they couldn't give good directions. It's very flooding and alarming. Travel in general can be a lot. Take the resilience part out and celebrate that instead. You did it! You found the place and felt your feelings and came here to express all of it! You get many gold stars.)

General Discussion / Re: therapy with a Narc
« on: August 14, 2019, 05:20:56 PM »
Listen to your gut--it's there to help you, and it's right. If corrected, it can evolve, but generally you know what you know.

Therapists are not sacred or perfect, the same way parents aren't. You know what you know.

As I've grown stronger, it's easier to hear myself and see these people for what they are, and to improve avoiding them, or saying no. Sometimes we can't, and as we get even stronger I think we can better recover from that, too, like we are slowly building gas masks that let us survive the small mandatory amounts of time where they can't be avoided.

It sucks that it sounds like you were going on a healing retreat, and then these people are everywhere. I think that's just life, and a bummer, but as you get stronger they will matter less.

The Cafe / Re: pleasant shows and movie suggestions?
« on: August 14, 2019, 05:17:08 PM »
You guys, thanks for all these suggestions! Instrumental music is also a good one--jazz is cool but jars me, so I have started listening to things like "calm classical" and such.

Mostly, it makes me feel a lot better that I'm not the only one who struggles with media. I hate feeling difficult or picky, but so much sets me off, making me even more afraid of everything, even the "easy" things, because those are often the ones that sneak up on you the fastest and the worst, and then it makes you even More afraid of everything.

I know this is just a forum, and I wish I could meet some of you in person--but this is more than I've ever gotten, and I really appreciate it. (PS, along those lines, Supernormals by Meg Jay, which I'm only able to read in spurts due to emotional overload issues mentioned in this thread, gave me a little of that same comfort if anyone is looking for more examples of us.)

Win report: I had a bad, bad, BAD day on Sunday and Monday. I'm talking couldn't get up off the floor, at one point was howling like a dog-child hybrid grieving its own existence. It hasn't been that bad in over a year, but I hit trigger after trigger after my first week of delving into the CPTSD Workbook (and of course that PTSD drive made me do way too much, but I never know what is too much until I hit a wall), and I ended up on the floor for 24 hours, totally comatose, unable to even make words come out. So, not proud of that. But I broke. I just broke.

And then I slept, and I kind of got over it. Too much happened too quickly, and every part of me shut down, said to stop, and I grieved when I howled. And then yesterday I took it slow, I went from task to task to task, one at a time, and I made some cool things. I didn't freak out when they weren't perfect. I reminded myself that setbacks happen, and I didn't dwell on the floor day or beat myself up about it. Maybe floor days just happen sometimes, and I'll get better and learn to slow things down before I hit the floor.

And I think part of that was knowing I had a place--this place--where there were some others, where someone maybe understands.

I don't need you guys to be perfect--I'm just really glad someone is there. Even if it's only in the computer. That someone else might get it, what all this is, how heavy it can be, how much there is to carry and sort and repair. And how tenuous and grateful I feel that I can say this and don't necessarily need to apologize for telling you, that I can tell someone I had a Floor Day and they won't think I'm all the worst things some people would assume, without knowing, without taking the time to get it.

For some reason this one isn't as famous, but it was one of J.K. Rowling's books. Simple and easy, Secret-Gardeny.
The Little White Horse by Elizabeth Goudge

The Wednesday Wars
Gary D. Schmidt
(love, love, love the audiobook edition)

Turtle in Paradise
Jennifer L. Holm

The Cafe / Re: pleasant shows and movie suggestions?
« on: August 13, 2019, 06:06:40 PM »
Notalone, that response makes me feel a little better... My mom was always a very picky, impossible to please narc, and I have a hard time constantly telling my partner, " I can't watch this," even though it's something you said, like a barette, or whatever. I have always been tough and brave, the girl who kills the spider in the tent when the other girls run screaming, so not being able to make it through a Pixar movie makes me feel prissy and picky and totally unlikeable.

I don't want to avoid everything forever, I just think it would be healthy for me to start finding some happy places, to recover in those until I'm strong enough to handle triggers. Right now, it feels like just about anything can capsize me. Going out to eat is scary because the waiters are mean and the one meal I always get will come out so peppery I can't swallow it. Hiking is scary because of off-leash dogs and jerk owners who don't care whether it's illegal or you're afraid of their dog. I could go on, but at this point I'm becoming a very bored agoraphobic, and I don't want that.

I just need to rediscover safe areas where I can recharge, and learn that calm and happy are possibilities, and practice those.

Other / good CPTSD craft suggestions, like the glitter jar?
« on: August 13, 2019, 05:21:50 PM »
I made a glitter jar last week (glue, water, glitter, jar--easy) and I have really enjoyed it. It didn't take long to do and still gives me a sense of accomplishment and optimism--like, I wondered if a stupid glitter jar would be nice to stare at when I'm freaking out, and it kind of is, and no matter what the * is happening, I was capable of making that glitter jar, and look how shiny it is now. Well done, Scout.

What other good, happy, easy crafts do you guys know of that are good for us? Easy, pleasant, doesn't-take-weeks-to-finish kind of stuff?

Glitter on, (and contain responsibly)

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