Memory triggers

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The following is an account of something that happened to me today that I wished to share with you, it is honest and frank and may be disturbing.

It is well know that certain things, objects, music, smells etc can trigger memories. Today I had one of these experiences and I thought I would share the experience with you. Since leaving hospital two weeks ago I have been trying to rebuild my life by setting myself a routine and small goals. As today is Friday I had achieved one of these routine goals by having got up every morning this week and help her get our daughter ready for school.

I was feeling good having had a good night sleep due to a Zopiclone last night and I had achieved my goal of getting up with my daughter, Meditated for 20 minutes while my partner too her to the bus and was feeling slightly tired (Zopiclone slow down) but motivated. My partner decided that she was going to spend the day washing and ironing so I decided I would sort out the garage.

Headphones on and my favourite Ibiza 2000 tunes at max volume I proceeded to attack the boxes of accumulated junk and other stuff trying to drag order from chaos. I had a system, I had a place for rubbish, stuff to be kept, stuff to car boot, it was going like clockwork. I was even sorting through the odds and ends boxes, putting like-minded items together and making strong harsh decisions about its future life with us. Many perished and went to the black bag of doom.

It was whilst I was in full flow and sorting a small box of assorted bits that I came across a small 1.5mm jewellers screwdriver, silver-handled with the spinning top, I knew this tool oh so well. If you have read my story you will already understand but for those that havent (naughty you) this small tool and I have history. Only a couple of weeks ago I used a very simular tool to scratch and cut my arms as a coping mechanism to enable me to make it through a weekend. The Monday after that weekend was the day I had planned at 2pm to kill myself unless I got help. I did get help and am still getting it but I stood there in that garage and the world dissolved around me.

It really did become a blur, my entire focus was on the small shiny screwdriver with the black end and the sharp little tip. I held in it my hand and an over whelming desire to drag it down my forearm overcame me, my mind filled with the sight of the flesh not so much cutting as tearing as I pulled it slowly down my arm. The blood oozing to the surface and the pain, the sweet pain that I knew would come, a pain I knew would let me feel again. So there I stood, staring at something so small but a massive talisman of my illness and then something inside me allowed something else into my line of sight. In the same box of assorted bits of common household oddments was a playing card.

The card was a joker obviously removed from the deck at one point and put to one side never to return to the pack. There I was gripped by my worst moment of anxiety since the day I walked in the dark and my brain made a brilliant connection, I was the joker, I was the fool. I stood shaking, my chest tight and the throbbing in my temples like a drum I knew I had to act. I took a few deep breaths and then went and sat on the floor of the garage, I assumed a meditation position and breathed. I counted each breath and tried to let all thoughts pass through my mind without holding them. I felt my heart steady and my shaking subside and I knew that I had found the strength to regain enough control to get back up. The feelings that had been so dark and intense had been replaced by shame but also a bit of pride that I had resisted. I actually walked back over picked up the screwdriver and put it in the pot with the other screws and assorted DIY bits without any real thought.

My anxiety was not all gone though as I had a dilemma on my hands, to tell or not to tell. I firstly tried to play it down in my mind, I was just being dramatic, I would never had done anything but I knew what had to be done. I continued to potter and in my mind ran through scenarios of how and even who I should tell. Soon my partner came out to see how I was getting on and out it came, in my ears it sounded so matter of fact and yet in her face I could see how it effected her. I could see that her eyes were welling up and I knew that even though I had hurt her I had done the right thing, I had not lied to her just as I promised.

The rest of the afternoon passed for me as if it hardly happened, I kept myself busy and maintained a hold on my anxiety but it took a lot of my control. I was not thinking of the incident in the garage but the anxiety that comes when you are reminded how easy it is to lose control, how fast you can find yourself in a very precarious position. I will tell my CPN about this episode when I see him next but have made a deal with myself that if it happens that strong again I shall not wait even if it means going back to hospital.

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4 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi David, your having difficult time. I know what your going through I have anxiety, i still get flashbacks of being in hospitail when I two operations. I hope this helps.
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  • Posted

    Hi David,

    sorry but I dont know what you are going through iwill be honest but its good that you are able to share, one thing i do know that talking does help having had different issues with GAD and depression, although for me they werent life threatening in that i would take my life although the effects of made me not want to be here, a big difference.

    i picked up on the part were you were talking about ending your life, my friend many years ago did just that. Apparently he was with his girlfriend and he just got up calmy and said he was going to kill himself, his girlfriend didnt take it literally and he went off and hung himself. Now when i last saw him he seemed the last person to do anything like that. I have no idea how what would appear that someone could so collectively do that. 

    Anyway good that you are talking about it. I really wish you a fast recoverry.

    regards

    chris

     

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    • Posted

      Chris, 

      the sad thing about suicide is that it is often planned and executed and nobody notices a difference. Mine was planned but I made a deal with myself that I would give getting help a chance first. Thanks for the reply and keep in touch my friend

      David

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    • Posted

      Thanks for that David, i think that was what must have happend with my friend. Being an RAF friend, and being posted to different locations you lose contact and  i heard through the service and it was such a shock. Being in FB im on quite a lot of ex RAF personnel sites and a lot of folk shared their memories of my friend Wayne when I pisted a picture of him. That was nice as it felt good that there was a common bond.

      you can inly hope that the person can find peace afterwards whatever happens. Yes take care too will look out for you from time to time ..

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