05 September 2010

Okay, stop the world, I'm getting off here

I can see what you're doing, or what you're considering doing.  You think there's no one that cares, no one that will know, but you're wrong-- you'll know, and you'll have to live with it.  Later, in the near future, when you compare what you're considering with the rest of your life and the progress you've made, you'll see a failure and a setback if you follow this path.  Failures and setbacks take time, energy, and effort to recover from.  Sometimes, something will happen and you'll have no control over the situation.  Then you'll have to expend the effort to recover, and you have tools for doing that.  What's eaten you alive in the past is that you didn't consider what was progress and what wasn't, you experienced the setback, and then lightning struck and you got slammed with a setback on top of a setback.  One you could control, one you couldn't.  Two punches to the face.  Both hurt the same.

You got here, wherever here is, by taking small steps forward that put you in a position where maybe you weren't successful, but in a position to be successful at the next step (or the next, or the next).  This may not be the end of the road, but it's certainly a nicer place than you were a few miles back down the road over the last hill.  Take the step you're thinking about taking right now, and not only do you slide back over that last hill, you may slide farther.  In exactly the same way as you couldn't see for sure what was ahead before, you can't see what's ahead now.  Maybe things will be okay.  Maybe not.

PTSD makes you afraid.  It makes you question your own judgement, your own gut instinct.  Your brain's chemistry is reacting to a situation that isn't real, a mishmash of images and feelings and emotions.  Long time gone, and yesterday, they're all in the same swirling mess, and brother, you don't know what's what and what's where in that swirl of colors.  Right now you're alone and afraid and thinking in terms of everything, or nothing.  Do whatever it takes, desperate times call for desperate measures.  That idea saved you more than once, but it's inappropriate and wrong here.  You don't need to do this.  It's not a matter of should, because you should not-- the reason you should not, is you're launching the lifeboat when the sea is calm and the sun is shining.  Your brain has the threat level all wrong.  The ship is not sinking.

Stay on station for the rest of your watch.  Tomorrow will be a lot like today, but a little better.  The day after that will be a normal day, which will be reality, the same reality you've been working to reach for so long.  Good things will ultimately happen if you put yourself in a position to take advantage of them.  You still can't control them, but at least you know they're good, and don't have to lose sleep wondering when the judgement day will arrive for what you thought you needed to do, but didn't.

Note: I'm okay, really.  The second half of today wasn't the greatest day in the world, and I reacted to that, and was headed towards something really stupid when I found myself pulling the emergency stop cord.  (This post is the emergency stop cord.) 

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