13 September 2009

Hi. I'm stuck.

Let's stop and take inventory for a minute. Assess the situation. Put things into perspective. Figure out where our ass is, in relation to a hole in the ground.

It's just about the middle of September, three weeks into a full time semester. Two tests tomorrow. An assignment and a lab report due tomorrow. I'm a full time student, I have two jobs (which add up to 20 hours a week), and I suffer from PTSD. Step one was starting a full time semester, step two was starting one (new) job, step three was the other job (which I already had) starting up for the semester. My stress level, then, has been steadily increasing since the start of the semester. My opportunities to relive stress, those being social activities and things outdoors in the sunshine, have been cut off because I'm so busy with school and work.

PTSD + several layers of stress = disassociation. Zoning out. Detaching. Avoiding the very things that will help take care of the stress, those being actually getting homework and additional studying done. I've had all day to work on what I need to get done and I haven't cracked a book open yet.

I know a few things about this feeling, I've had it before. Sitting in one place, spinning my wheels, almost feeling paralyzed-- it's called being at a stuck point. I'm stuck here because I believe something, about an event in the past. These points seem to happen at the worst times, when I have the most to do. Figures, that's when I experience the most stress.

9/11 doesn't help. I feel a little guilty for not wanting to remember it. I can't help it, I still do remember it-- and I don't think forgetting is a good thing-- but I need to let go of the feeling that the world is not a safe place. Worrying about what's happening in Afghanistan is not my job-- I cannot control those events. Other people are assigned to do that.

I can't change the fact that in the past I've made mistakes and had my share of failures. I've overcome them, I've made it this far, but stress now still feels like stress did when the situation was far worse.

But-- let's look at the situation this way. Even the best, most equipped, most badass vehicles in the world can get stuck. How do you get them unstuck? Slowly. You push, you pull, you rock back and forth, you add some leverage a little a time-- you don't just floor the gas pedal and expect to make up your lost time. You ease up on the clutch, you ease up on the gas, you may even grind the gears a little. You reach in the bag for some tools (in this case, tools come in the form of worksheets you got at the VA hospital, and the bag is a loose leaf binder) and eventually, slowly, you become unstuck.

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