[trigger warning] Happy Birthday To Me?

superbetterOr “Step One – Self Care”

I recently announced that I’m going to come out of the PTSD closet this Wednesday at Toastmasters Groningen for the capstone project of Toastmasters Competent Communication track.

If you’re in the Groningen area 18 May 2016 around 19:15, we’re meeting at the Launch Cafe. Come on by.

At PyCon Sweden I saw @aspleenic give a lightning talk about MH Prompt:

Prompt is simply a means of encouraging a conversation about mental health at tech conferences and meetups.



Which is why I’m going to talk about PTSD on Wednesday. And why I’m going to share my recovery strategy with you.

Hence: Step One – Self Care

I mean, sort of.

Let me start over.

You see, I was born 24 May 1976. Okay, maybe that’s too far back.

Six years ago I was hospitalized. I’m not ready to talk about why or the details of what happened, but I was hospitalized because I tried to kill myself. And it was awful. That, in and of itself, is another story. But the short version is that I got out. And ‘recovered’.

And then four years ago I had a mental break. This time, as I ‘recovered’ – more slowly – I learned specific steps of self care and self soothing.

There’s so much to talk about that my brain starts racing. And I even start ruminating which is a bit of a problem. Because how can you recover from anything if you can’t sleep because your brain won’t stop because you keep thinking about what happened originally and what happened recently and how you wish you were fine and you wish you weren’t broken and you just can’t stop thinking and then you don’t sleep which means the next day you’re exhausted which makes everything harder which means that you have many more failures because you haven’t slept and the next night it’s the same thing – that your brain won’t stop racing even though the pillow is so soft and cool and the room is nice and cold and the blankets are warm and your son is sleeping and doesn’t wake for a single second, except your brain keeps going.


Except when you try to stop and think about things and put them in a rational logical order and share it with other people, your brain goes blank and your fingers stop typing and suddenly you have the most debilitating writer’s block ever which is ironic because if you just pause for a second and let your fingers write about anything – no no, I promise this will never be published, write without consequences, then your fingers fly because you simply write whatever is racing through your brain and good thing you took those typing classes in high school cause how helpful is it now that you can just let your brain do the thinking and your fingers can pretty much keep up with everything as long as you don’t let your brain race too quickly that they can’t keep up.


Where was I?

I don’t remember how to take care of myself. I don’t remember how I started taking care of myself after I broke the last time. I DO remember how I started taking care of myself after the original trauma, though. I played video games. Simple ones like Final Fantasy something. And it took my mind off of killing myself because that’s all my brain was obsessed with right after the trauma – stopping the pain.

To be clear, I don’t want to kill myself right now.

When I was triggered in Texas, I did.

But I kept bringing my thoughts back to my son. Which brought me back from that cliff. Which is why I’m here now.

And part of recovery is gaming. Which is why I’m playing SuperBetter again.

And part of inspiring others to recover is talking about personal experiences.

Which is why I’m writing. On 750words.com.

And posting here.

Every day.

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