Tuesday, September 9, 2014

My #IceBucketChallenge without the Ice Bucket

I was challenged to the ice bucket challenge. I was also challenged to donate to my favorite charity, rather than dump ice on my head. That works great for me... Except that I don't have a favorite charity. I have many causes that mean a lot to me.

Juvenile Diabetes Research Fund. I have a friend, who I have known most of my life, but have really only kept in contact with through Facebook. Her daughter, Darci, has Type One Diabetes and has to deal with so much. I would love to find a cure for her and all of the kids that have to deal with this. (Also, my roommate in college had Type One Diabetes. She is now an adult, but I imagine a cure for Type One would help her too.

Glycogen Storage Disease. My cousin has two children with this disease. I know a little of what they have had to deal with, but not enough to really understand. Learn about it here. (I couldn't find a place to donate to... My cousin gave me a link that didn't work. I will update this as soon as I have one that works.

Scleroderma I'd never heard of this auto-immune disease until a few months ago. It's effecting the life of one of my favorite people, and it scares me to think there is nothing that will cure her right now.

ALS Association BJ has a cousin with ALS, and his aunt died from ALS. Also, I watched the video of the young man talking about how seeing people dump ice on their heads made him feel less alone...

Diabetes My brother, my parents, my grandparents, my friend Ron, and many other people I love have (or had, Ron and my Grandfather passed away in 2006) diabetes. Awareness and research to find a cure is pretty important to me.

After Silence, a message board and chat room for rape, sexual assault, and sexual abuse survivors. This message board was a life saver. I found people that understood what I was going through. I found others that were hurting and struggling, and I felt less alone.

RAINN This organization does research and has supports for those who were raped and sexually abused. Rape and sexual abuse is a huge problem that needs more attention.

The Wounded Warrior Project I ache at the thought of soldiers coming home who have no resources to deal with the emotional and physical traumas they have been endured.

Project Healing Waters This is a cause I have actively participated in. We take disabled veterans fly fishing, or they have fly tying classes.

So... I donated to Juvenile Diabetes Research Fund
I also donated to RAINN
And to Stop Diabetes
And finally to Scleroderma
I will continue to participate in the boards at After Silence and to volunteer with Project Healing Waters. And, I wanted you all to be aware of the other causes that mean something to me.

#PTSD and Feelings of hostility, guilt and fear

I volunteer for a group called Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing. (They have a local chapter in Utah.) They recently posted an article about how fishing makes you a better person. I paid special attention to this quote:
"A 2009 study shows that fishing can lower PTSD symptoms and increase the mood of those who suffer from the disorder. After three days of fly fishing, participants reported a 32 percent reduction in guilt and a 43 percent decrease in feelings of hostility. The feeling of fear was also reduced by 30 percent, and sadness dropped by 36 percent. A portion of these positive effects remained even a full month after the fishing retreat."
PTSD that they are talking about is the kind that comes after serving in the military. At first, I was thinking about how their symptoms are different than mine... I kind of chuckled at how fly fishing will help PTSD. ("See. I have to go. For my recovery.")

But then... I felt really REALLY sad. I have no feeling of hostility. I experience deep and debilitating guilt and fear. Occasionally, I still feel really sad for (seemingly) no reason. ZERO feelings of hostility.

I read the article last night, and it's gotten inside my head.
It would make sense if I felt hostility. It would make sense if I wanted to lash out. It would make sense that I would be really angry.

So why don't I?

Why do I freeze up at the thought of asking anything of anyone for any reason?
Why do I believe that it is my responsibility to take care of everyone else? Why would I rather hurt myself than to ask anything? Why do I think that asking anything of anyone will hurt them?
WHY am I so afraid of hurting someone that I ignore the facts and think if I speak, move, breath I am somehow causing someone else pain? (I'm not hurting anyone by asking for love, attention, or anything else.)
Why do I feel paralyzed and anxious? 

And why do I feel so sad today?

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Therapy Makes my Muscles Hurt

I had my second session with Green Eyes and her horses today.
By about 45 minutes in, I actually felt calm and relaxed and present. That's when I realized how sore my legs were. My legs were sore for about two days after my last session. I assumed it was from running around the turnout... or maybe from something else... it's not.

About ten minutes into the session, I felt anger. Thirty seconds later, it was gone. I didn't feel angry. I felt happy. I felt fine. I wouldn't even say I felt numb or shut down, but for my emotions to come and go so quickly seems a little... numb or shut down. (It seems most people feel angry, or sad, and it's not easy to just change and be happy all of a sudden. That is just how I operate.)

My legs and stomach muscles were really tight and sore though... I mentioned that to Green Eyes, and she chuckled. (I'd say that was rude, except that is one of the things I love about her. She chuckles when she sees something that will help - even if it sucks right now.)

We talked a little about the idea that going back to therapy is a negative thing. She pointed out that many people go their whole lives and choose not to be aware. I am not in therapy because I am in a bad place. I am in therapy because I want more out of life. Life is good, and I want more. If I have to be a little sore or hurt a little more or work a little harder or go see a therapist, that is worth it. I know there is more to life, and I can have it.

A few things we decided to work on:
  • Getting unblocked - especially since we know exactly where I block my emotions and where I store it.
  • Asking for what I want - it seems I am no longer comfortable not acknowledging that I have needs and wants. I am no longer comfortable waiting for others to tell me what to do. I am also not comfortable asking for what I want; acknowledging that I have wants; or trusting myself to do what I think is best.
  • Getting present in my body - I think a lot, about a lot of things, but there is a definite disconnect between my brain and my body.

I haven't been in therapy for a long time, and I have forgotten how good it can feel to process things and work through things. I haven't experienced getting present in my body much either, and it was nice to get there. Even though I "lost" the feeling within an hour of leaving. I also have hope that I can learn to do it better and for longer.