Posts Tagged With: PTSD

Day 3455: What’s trending

I don’t look for what’s trending, but that list automatically popped up when I was googling the National Days for June 2022, the currently trending month.

The only thing on that list that’s trending where I am is the coronavirus. Also trending here are:

  • the recent Supreme Court decisions on guns and women’s rights,
  • injustices,
  • climate change,
  • denial,
  • the mid-term elections,
  • inflation,
  • George Carlin’s American Dream,
  • group therapy,
  • home repair, and
  • every image I recently captured on my iPhone.

PTSD is definitely trending, which I’m very aware of as a psychotherapist.

Here’s what I find when I search for “what’s trending George Carlin.”

What’s trending where you are?

What’s always trending here — no matter what day it is — is gratitude, so thanks to all who help me create these blog posts, including YOU.

Categories: life in the USA, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Day 3298: Hyper-vigilance

Hyper-vigilance is well know to me, both as a therapist and as a person diagnosed with PTSD (because of my hospital experiences when I was a child and living with a very rare heart condition for 68 years).

Because of the pandemic, global warming, racism, economic disparities, and many other complex and constant abuses to our psyches and our bodies, there are very few of us who are not hyper-vigilant these days.

Here is a definition of hyper-vigilance from healthline.com:

Yesterday, when I was at a hospital waiting for a bone scan, I tweeted this as I was trying to take deep breaths and slow down some racing thoughts:

Some people on Twitter responded with gratitude for the thought, others pointed out how hyper-vigilance is not a choice. I work on hyper-vigilance every day, and I understand.

Do you see hyper-vigilance in my other images for today?

I think our phones add to our hyper-vigilance, do you?

I want to be vigilant (and not hyper) in wishing a happy birthday to my first husband (and father of our son, Aaron), who reads this blog. Happy birthday, Leon Dave, and many more!

Because of my vigilance in sharing music I love in this blog, here’s one of my favorite Thomas Dolby tunes:

Thanks to all who are vigilant enough to get to the bottom of this “Hyper-vigilance” blog post, including YOU!

Categories: life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 20 Comments

Day 3043: Whatever doesn’t kill me

Who said “whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”?

It didn’t kill me to discover that it was Friedrich Nietzsche.

It didn’t kill me to finally spell “Friedrich Nietzsche” right in that previous paragraph.

Here are others things that didn’t kill me:

  • being born with a rare heart condition,
  • spending lots of time in the hospital when I was kid,
  • ridiculous hospital rules which prevented my parents from staying with me,
  • a few awful nurses and doctors,
  • medicine that made me sick,
  • many surgeries,
  • relying on cardiac pacemakers since age 10,
  • the assassinations during the 60’s,
  • bullies at school,
  • mean or incompetent teachers,
  • bad leaders,
  • bad weather,
  • bad food,
  • choking on a piece of hard candy I accidentally swallowed while laughing,
  • car accidents,
  • scary plane trips,
  • scary movies,
  • scary people, including a rapist,
  • jobs that didn’t fit my skills or interests,
  • walking across a frozen river,
  • my mistakes,
  • other people’s mistakes,
  • traveling by myself,
  • not being able to swim,
  • three bouts of endocarditis because of a leaky heart valve,
  • valve replacement surgery,
  • public speaking,
  • public singing,
  • mountains,
  • valleys,
  • depression,
  • anxiety,
  • PTSD,
  • suicidal thoughts,
  • rejection,
  • disrespect,
  • sexism,
  • anti-Semitism,
  • ageism,
  • COVID-19, and
  • everything and everybody else I’ve encountered in my long life, including what you see in today’s images.

The Daily Bitch Calendar kills me (in a good way).

Here’s Finger Eleven with “Whatever Doesn’t Kill Me”:

It doesn’t kill me to express gratitude, so thanks to all who help me create these daily posts, including YOU!

Categories: heart condition, life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 22 Comments

Day 2519: It’s safer than it feels

When people with a history of trauma (which seems to include everybody, these days) are feeling shaky, anxious, and fearful, I often encourage them to focus on this helpful phrase:

It’s safer than it feels.

Yesterday, our scaredy-cat Harley was safer — even if he didn’t feel like it — when our new vet, Dr. Jo, came for a house call.

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Michael, who wanted everybody to feel safer, had spent days developing a plan for how Dr. Jo could safely examine Harley and give him his shots.  When Dr. Jo arrived, Michael was closed up in Aaron’s bedroom with Harley, having set up the room so there was (as Michael said), “Nowhere to run, nowhere to hide.”

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Dr. Jo helped us all feel safer as she quickly, efficiently, and kindly examined Harley and gave him his yearly shots, declaring our “chunky” cat safely healthy.  Miraculously, Harley felt safe enough to be in plain sight minutes after we allowed him to escape from that safe room.

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In the past, when Harley felt unsafe, we would see neither hide nor hair of him for hours, if not days.

Now that we have a great vet who makes house calls, we all feel safer. Can you tell that I was feeling safer when I took the rest of the photos in today’s blog?

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Who feels safe enough, here and now, to dance to “Nowhere to Run” by Martha Reeves and the Vandellas?

I hope it feels safe enough for you to express your thoughts and feelings about this “It’s Safer Than It Feels” post, below.

Thanks to everybody who makes this world feel safer, including YOU.

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Categories: personal growth, photojournalism, Psychotherapy, recommendation | Tags: , , , , , , , | 23 Comments

Day 2508: Flow

Two days ago, I drew this flow chart on my office white board for somebody who was trying to decide what action to take in a very difficult family situation.

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Then, in a flow of  synchronicity, somebody who used to participate in my Coping and Healing groups sent me this flowchart in an email:

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I love the way that flow chart keeps flowing into the same conclusion.

Are you ready for the flow of lots of other photos?

 

Last night, my dear friend Jeanette flowed into town from Philadelphia and shared our dinner, flowing conversations, photos of a Nailed It! cake and her trick-or-treating dog Gidget, and also this:

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It looks like that kitty has some opinions.  Go with the flow and don’t worry about it!

Here‘s a review of the book Flow by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi:

 

Here’s “Flow” by Shawn James:

 

I look forward to the flow of comments below, because

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Are you ready for the flow of gratitude for all who help me create these daily posts, including YOU?

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Categories: friendship, group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 23 Comments

Day 2025: Backbone

The first photo I took yesterday showed some backbone.

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Here‘s a definition of “backbone”:

1 : spinal column, spine
2 : something that resembles a backbone: such as
a : a chief mountain ridge, range, or system
b : the foundation or most substantial or sturdiest part of something
c : the longest chain of atoms or groups of atoms in a usually long molecule (such as a polymer or protein)
d : the primary high-speed hardware and transmission lines of a telecommunications network (such as the Internet)
3 : firm and resolute character

I hope I’m exhibiting firm and resolute character as I send you this blog post over the primary high-speed hardware and transmission lines of the internet.

Do you see any backbone in my other photos today?

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There are several “Backbone” songs on YouTube, including this one:

Feel free to show some backbone in a comment, below.

Gratitude is a backbone of this daily blog, so thanks to all who helped me create today’s post and — of course! — to YOU.

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Categories: definition, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

Day 1754: I can’t get over it

I can’t get over how many people I see in group and individual therapy who’ve been sexually, physically, and emotionally abused.

One of those people recently borrowed and returned this book I have in my office:

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In both of  my therapy groups yesterday, everybody shared thoughts and feelings about personal experiences of abuse.

I can’t get over people’s resilience, too.

I also can’t get over how “Get over it!” never helps people get over anything.

 

I can’t get over taking and sharing photos on this blog.

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I can’t get over how the sink at work is always clogged.

I can’t get over how many people read this blog.

I can’t get over my gratitude for you!

 

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 27 Comments

Day 1683: Blending

I’ll be blending several elements in this post, as usual.

My therapist, George, tells me I’ve been blending my traumatic past  experiences as a child in the hospital with my present experiences as an adult.  This blending results in heightened and often inappropriate anxiety,  fear, and hypervigilance.

Yesterday, George and I were blending our wisdom and our commitment to healing in a therapy session, separating out the experiences of  my frightened, wounded, and powerless  10-year-old self.

Here and now, I’ll be blending my photos from yesterday.

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That last image shows people in my Wednesday morning therapy group blending their experience, hope, and love to create a list of coping strategies during difficult times.

At the end my therapy session with George, yesterday afternoon, I told him I’d be blending my love for music into today’s post with this song for him.

I’m blending my thanks to all who helped me create this post with my thanks to all my readers, including YOU.

 

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Categories: personal growth, photojournalism, Psychotherapy | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 23 Comments

Day 1427: PTSD

Because I’ve experienced several traumatizing events in my life, starting when I was a child, I have been given the diagnosis of  PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder).

However,  I also have Psychological Training for Surviving Disasters AND  Pretty Thorough Skills for Durability.

When Practiced, Those Suffice Dependably.

I am now Prepared To Share Different PTSDs I’ve been experiencing recently:

  • Post-Thoracotomy Stress Disorder
  • Pacemaker Transplant Stress Disorder
  • Pain Tolerating Stress Disorder
  • Physical Tasks Stress Disorder
  • Painfully Taking Stairs Disorder
  • Political Talk Stress Disorder
  • Post-Trump Stress Disorder
  • Pre-Trump Stress Disorder
  • Presidential Terror Stress Disorder

To relieve my various PTSDs, yesterday I Photographed These Scenes Deliberately:

 

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Do you have Photographically Tired Stress Disorder or any other form of PTSD now, my Patient, Terrific, Stupendously Dear readers?

Here‘s a PTSD song by Joe Bachman:

 

Peace, Thanks, Sincerity, and Devotedness.

 

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 47 Comments

Day 243: Freaked-out-nomics

I’ve been freaked out lately, even while I’ve been trying to keep my pledge of “no worries” for 10 days.

Why?

Lots of reasons.

  1. There was a “perfect storm” of circumstances where I live, which resulted in some significant water damage.

  2. I thought I had picked up an ailment on my trip. (I had not.)

  3.  I am going even more public — including where I work — about my being the longest surviving person in the world with a cardiac pacemaker*, as I am participating in an American Heart Association charitable walk.  (Of course, I’m going more public about my pacemaker world record by doing this blog, too.)

  4.  This morning, I spent many hours trying to create and send e-mails asking for contributions for this charitable walk, and at different times it looked like (1) none of the e-mails had gone through AGAIN!!! and (2) the e-mails had all gone through and were going to bombard people with the same request many times.

Some of the reasons I listed above may seem more minor than others.

But when I get freaked out, many things can feel like Life or Death situations.

There are very few situations that are Life or Death, but sometimes my perspective gets out of whack.

At times in my life, I’ve dealt with life-threatening situations very calmly.

At other times, I’ve dealt with non-life-threatening situations with all my alarm systems blaring, full blast — Danger, Danger, Danger!

During times of Full Blown Freak Out, I’ve encouraged myself — and others — to ask these questions:

What is hurting me right now?

What danger exists to me, here and now?

Hold on. I’m going to breathe, sit quietly for a few seconds, and ask myself those two questions.

The answers are:

Nothing.

None.

Better.

Thanks for reading today.


* In 2014, I found out that I am NOT the longest surviving person in the world with a pacemaker. See here for more about that.

Categories: personal growth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

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