Two posts in a 5-day period, aren’t you guys lucky. No medical updates to report. Just need to ‘talk’.
Earlier in the month, I wrote about how beginning the Cellcept has been affecting me. Usually, when an unwanted change occurs, it takes a few days to sink and settle in; not this time. I’m not very good at identifying my PTSD triggers, maybe because it’s a ‘newer’ diagnosis or I subconsciously ignore them. This recent disease progression has really triggered it. Over the past few weeks I’ve been having nonstop flashbacks of every single moment [that I can recall] that I have regret about. I’m talking about going back ten plus years’ worth of flashbacks. If you’ve never experienced a flashback before, it’s like a snippet of a movie that plays on a continuous loop. I don’t know if this happens to everyone, but I feel every emotion I did at that [flashback] moment and then some. The moments are scattered in subject and time but have the same theme. Words I wish I had said, words I wish I could take back, the timing in which I met certain people, wishing I hadn’t met certain people, things like that. Certain situations are more reoccurring than others.
One flashback has ‘played’ almost hourly for the past two weeks and I can’t seem to make it stop. It’s caused to me to be withdrawn and cry more than I’d like to admit. There are two techniques I learned during my undergrad [on how to deal with anxiety/PTSD triggers] that have worked for me. The first is to allow myself to feel and acknowledge the emotions that I’m suppressing. Feel it, acknowledge it, let it go. That didn’t work. The second, is to write a ‘Dear John’ letter addressing the person or situation. You can either burn the letter or [if you’ve typed it] delete it. Both normally work for me; not this time. Three days ago, I sat in front of my computer and let it all out. Every question, emotion, good, bad, indifferent, I let it all out. I wrote four pages in an hour, that’s how intensely I was writing. I deleted right after I finished, and I felt better, but it didn’t stop the flashbacks. I know I’m being vague, it’s not something I’m inclined to discuss. Sorry, even I have boundaries (hard to believe, right?).
I think that because now [taking the Cellcept] there’s a real threat to my health and future, that’s the reason why my PTSD has kicked in hardcore. It uncertainty of it all. The bold print on the manufacturer’s website that tells you that this medication [that’s supposed to help] could end up killing you. I need to own my choice. I decided, after decision with doctors and family, to take this medication knowing the ramifications. If there are any adverse effects, such as cancer, then I can’t be upset because I chose to go this route. God forbid it ever comes to that, I may be back here talking about flashbacks and questioning whether I made the ‘right’ decision. Always wondering. Always trying to control what can’t be controlled. Always trying to undo things that can never be undone. Always trying to forget what can’t be forgotten. Always wishing to keep quiet the things I can never take back. It’s exhausting…
And then I remember who I am. I remind myself that my strength comes from the pain I’ve endured. I pick my head up and realize that I’m a god damn warrior and I won’t ever go down without one hell of a fight.