terrible time

Hi everyone,

I felt as if I was 'cured' from ptsd but now i see that it responds in more subtle forms.

I was physically assaulted about ten years ago and also lost my family and career in the process. Since then I have questioned everything about life, identity, faith, society etc. I began to paint and write because I had very little in my life. At the same time, I began to self-medicate because the pain was awful. Plus the pain, the numbness, sleeplessness, anxiety all added to my deep feelings of isolation and I became dependent on alcohol.

Three years ago I got sober through a 12 step program and began working again. I got married two years ago. Now I am in my last year of completing my Masters degree in Art Therapy. I am very busy with this degree and with work in a local cafe which I do not enjoy at all but need to work at to pay for food and life in general.

I have been doing pretty well this year but as I inch my way toward completion of the degree (I have about 30 more weeks) I find myself becoming quite depressed and angry. I just feel that there is part of me that is not there or a sense of sadness, emptiness, and grief.

I cannot afford therapy myself so I am just stumbling through life, showing up but not really feeling engaged. I feel exhausted with life and sad most of the time. I am angry when I have to interact with the general public because I just want to go and sleep and hide and paint and write for a while.

Does any one have any advice?

thank you,

Zipi

12 Replies

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  • Zipi,

    You must not be so hard on yourself. You have come such a long way from the trauma that precipitated your PTSD and all of the horrible experiences that followed--achieving tremendous accomplishments along the way. Completing a Masters in Art Therapy---I commend and applaud you. The end of something as regulated and 'safe' as school, although it can be daunting to start, is equally worrisome to leave.

    You are carrying a tremendous responsibility with completion of the degree in the next 30 weeks and I have no doubt, you are apprehensive for your future. In saying you do not particularly like your current job, you have unrest there as well. Make sure you get plenty of sleep and eat a balanced diet---these things are often put on the back burner when we are so busy, but they are vital. Also, take a small amount of time every day for yourself--again, another aspect of life often ignored when time is of the essence. Start a journal and when starting an entry always start and end with something for which you are thankful; another possible activity would be to set a timer and give yourself 15-30 minutes to paint....start a painting, continue one already started or put the finishing touches on another; or just take a walk or spend a bit of time connecting with your husband or a close friend. You could also exercise--I know that is counter-intuitive when your are so tired, and I'm not saying start training for a marathon, just do a somewhat vigorous activity for 5-10 minutes. You might be surprised how good you feel.

    I felt much the same way as I competed my graduate degree. By keeping a small amount of your valuable time for you and your passions, I believe you will feel more engaged, less sad/angry and there will be an activity for you to look forward to everyday.

    Please keep in touch....there are so many great people on this forum that will cheer you on as you hit a rough patch! :-)

  • Thank you BikerChk, Such a supportive and encouraging post, it is very much appreciated. I am glad that someone understands. So often I feel so isolated with these feelings.

    I will keep in touch,

    Zip

  • Zipi,

    I'm so glad I could assist you in a tough spot. It is my belief that we should try to help people to learn from situations already experienced.

    You have come so far and have demonstrated incredible strength--you don't have long now--before you know it, you will have that Master's certificate in hand!!

    Please don't hesitate to check in once in awhile! Take care!! :-)

  • I watched my x when she got her PHD. She went through what you are describing. All this stuff is taxing but she was tenacious. Just push through it. If it was easy everyone would have a degree. I feel for you. With all the things that you have been through, it sounds like you are pretty tough. The finish line is not far off. You can do it.

  • thanks so much, it really does make me feel better to know that people have been through a similar experience and have made it through. I have pushed through to brighter days and feel a bit better now. ;-)

  • It sounds like depression. Have you considered seeing a physician?

  • I have seen a GP and have been prescribed Zoloft which I have taken for the past 7 years. But I know these depressive episodes can come and go with ptsd. I think it is more the ptsd in a less outwardly noticeable form than I used to have.

  • There are Therapist that will take clients,for a reduced rate...and there are interns you can find...that are cheap. It takes some work to find. You can see if there is any group therapy....thats really cheap. Also check Mending the Soul groups...in your area...Some Hospitals , and your college should have counciling aswell.

  • I go to AA which is the best therapy I have found for me. ;)

  • Zipi, I am actually awed by how much you have accomplished in the past 2-3 years, it is most impressive! I was also physically assaulted, by someone I didn't know.

    I can't speak to the PhD matter, but I do think you are being very hard on yourself, when really, you have so much to be proud of. As someone else mentioned, therapists often have "sliding scale" fees. I would also recommend Family Services, and they certainly have sliding scale.

    Another option is the website innerbonding.com, which I've belonged to for

    a couple of years. It's run by Dr. Margaret Paul? (she's written several bestsellers, and is a very gifted therapist). There are lots of ways you can learn and benefit from Inner Bonding--and Dr Paul is very kind. She let me take a $200 course for $40, or just asked me what I could afford. Inner Bonding is a very effective psychological system and a lot of it can be done by yourself, and the rest can come at a very reduced rate.

    They also have a range of facilitators, some cheaper than others (I guess they are newer at it)---some of it is actually covered by the monthly website fees (they start at

    $10 a month). Inner Bonding deals with the whole array of emotional problems, including addiction, ptsd, depression, etc. and they also have a forum for support too (very nice people). It's definitely worth checking out!

    All the best to you, and please start giving credit where it's due :-))

    Hugs,

    bookgoddess

  • Thank you so much, it is really great to hear how people respond to this stuff. I feel much better this week. I needed extra rest, an AA meeting, more exercise and to 'paint it out'. thanks for being there. I will definitely check out 'Inner Bonding'. It sounds very helpful.

  • You won't be sorry, Zipi, it's great for all problems, even the largest.

    And you can find inexpensive therapists on the site too

    bookgoddess

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