Last week kicked my ass. It didn't just kick my ass, it drug it through the mucky sludge of some of my worst PTSD triggers. If getting the flu weren't awful enough, I also started back to work after a four year hiatus. So while I'm lying on the sofa writhing with feverish aches, my inner adult is screaming at me to get myself together. The last thing I wanted was to go back to work on the same note I left. SICK. Like all my other ailments, this flu didn't give a rats woo-ha about my obligations or expectations. It invaded my body to do a job and damn it, it was gonna accomplish that task. My health-nut self knows sending my husband out for fresh vegeatable juice instead of Theraflu is the only reason my misery didn't linger more than a few days.
By the time Tuesday rolled around I was able to eat, stand without passing out and even leave the house for a little while. I still felt like crap but really, what's new? Except I felt like I was re-living the scariest experience of my life. Four years ago I ignored a raging, splitting headache that had been cracking my skull open for a few days. I mean really, what's new? Like a good girl I got up to go to work and for the 75 millionth time, ignored the way I felt in order to fulfill my obligations. Then another lightening bolt struck my head. It hurt so bad all I could do was scream and claw my face off. Somehow I was able to call my friend to take me to the ER. Two feverish days of medical tests later, the Dean of Neurology confirmed I'd had two strokes. Shortly after I quit my job.
So last week I sat here stressing and freaking out. Once again I was ignoring the way I felt in order to go to work. How had four years of fantastic progress deposited me back in this awful predicament? I know I could use a couple more months of recoup after that hellacious move, but as a retail gal I can't afford to miss Christmas. So just in case I forgot how awful my past was, how far I've come, or what a true gift being able to return to my job is, I got smacked into a PTSD meltdown of despair, fear and uncertainty. Luckily, after nine years of this crap survival is deeply ingrained inside my every action. Not only did I make it through work, I enjoyed myself immensely. And it only took me another week to feel human again.
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