Dealing with PTSD

For some reason blogging is the way that my brain processes things best, so here I am.

I have to start this by saying that I feel guilty for feeling the way I feel. I know that the way I feel has nothing on the way these parents feel. I feel guilty for having to make my mental health a priority today, but it’s reality for me.

Yesterday in the middle of the day we heard over the PA that it’s business as usual but we need to stay inside. I locked my door and put a movie on for the kids (it was the second to last day of school). I knew that something was going on in Uvalde (about 40 miles away but the next town over) but didn’t know any details. A little bit later, I found out that there was an active shooter at a school. Then I found out it was at an elementary school. Since there weren’t any reports about if anyone was shot, I was hoping for the best. I kept things normal for my students and attempted to not think about it too much. When school let out I saw an article that 14 students and 1 teacher had passed away. I was in disbelief and assumed that it was not correct. I had seen 2 students and 1 teacher before that (which is still heartbreaking). The numbers keep rising. I found out that the shooter (an 18 year old high school drop-out) shot his grandmother. I found out that the shooter was shot and killed by a border patrol agent. There were parents looking for their missing children only to find out hours later that they were in the 19 children who were killed. They had just had an awards ceremony earlier that day to celebrate good grades. One parent posted that they had so much guilt for not checking their son out after that ceremony. I know that’s sometimes a hard decision. He had no idea that by not checking him out he would end up dead. NO ONE thinks that by having their kids in school they might die.

I don’t know what the answer is anymore, but I know this cannot keep happening. An 18 year old should not have had access to the guns that he had. And he posted about them on Instagram the day before. None of that should have been possible to obtain. And when he posted about it, someone should have said something. So many things went wrong yesterday for this to happen.

After school I kind of lost it. I have PTSD and my body immediately thought it was in danger. And I immediately thought that my kids were in danger. I had severe anxiety. Jaw clenching, bad headache (I think my blood pressure was high), pressure in my collar bone (this happens when I’m anxious but it was worse than usual), weight on my shoulders, shallow breathing, foggy brain, upset stomach, etc. I couldn’t think clearly or logically. I couldn’t do anything but lay in bed. Ethan took care of the animals, made me dinner, then made me hot tea.

When the superintendent shared that absences and exams would be excused, it didn’t take me long to decide to not go in (all of us). I feel kind of bad about it because it would have been my last day with my students, but I just really needed to take care of my mental health.

I woke up still struggling but I have made myself get moving. My house was a disaster so I started cleaning the kitchen and living room. I cleaned my bathroom. I deleted the Facebook app off of my phone for now so that I’m not constantly be bombarded by the news and the fight about guns. I’m working on a plan for the next 10 days including how I’m going to get back into intentional movement and eating well in addition to summer work plans. My brain is still foggy and I’m having symptoms of anxiety, but it’s a little better than yesterday. I would not have been able to work today though.

Robert happened to be in a spot with phone service so he texted me. I was able to unload all that has gone on and it helped a lot. He didn’t have a lot of words (it was a shock I’m sure), but he reminded me how much he loves me. And I was able to find out that he was safe (which I wasn’t sure of because of a crazy storm).

I’m going to eat a healthy lunch then maybe take a nap. I plan to also go on a long walk later. I miss my walks. Ethan also wants to workout with me tonight so I’m going to do a short Street Parking workout. I’m kind of starting fresh since I haven’t worked out consistently in a few months, so I’ll start back kind of slowly. I’ll be back where I was in time. Life has ups and downs and seasons for everything. I was in a season of survival mode, and I’m trying to work myself out of that. I can’t live there forever. With my anxiety I feel like I’m always there. I have an appointment with my psychiatrist on Friday, and I’m going to beg for a med change that could possibly help my anxiety.

My mental health struggles in addition to all of the horrific things that have been going on are so hard to overcome, but I will always keep fighting.

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