Day 2: PTSD and Me

I’m starting my second day back from Vancouver. I just finished a morning workout incorporating a bit of Blissology (see below).

As I’ve discussed before, my wife was previously diagnosed with PTSD as a result of things which happened in her life before I met her. The severe symptoms didn’t manifest themselves until years later in our marriage when events triggered behavior we couldn’t explain. Because we have endured much and survived, we walk together now in many ways as one spirit, though we try to walk paths respecting the dignity (see definition from August 8 post) of each of our unique spirits. Thus, one could say I have PTSD too.

You see, I live through the roller coaster ride of emotional response too. This morning, like many other mornings, we smile at each other, give each other a hug, but I know she is struggling, I know she had intense dreams. I also know that it will be through her walk with her dog and her teaching at her yoga studio, as well as my validating, dignified and non-judgmental response, that she will find her way back.

PTSD stifles the lives of many. Yes, post-traumatic stress affects the lives of almost all people, in my opinion; it is the “D” part with which we all struggle. We don’t want the past to get in the way of our ability to function in the future, so we avoid the “D” label; but, sometimes it does. We’ve recently left meaningful jobs because of the fear that the work environment would trigger negative responses; we did not want those reactions to burden others… and we know that in order to help others, we will need to work in supportive environments ourselves.

It is easy to blame others. Sometimes, it seems so natural and rational to blame our situation or circumstance elsewhere. But in the end, it is our responsibility to care for ourselves and move on. Moving on involves letting go of expectations for what we envisioned life “should” be, practicing mindfulness and not letting our thoughts become our identity, and connecting with other supportive people, nature, our bodies and our spirits. Yoga is a practice that has saved my wife and me… it helps us live through the “D.”

She came home from our workshop yesterday in an anxious place, perhaps triggered by feelings of being trapped in an unsafe environment, perhaps feeling detached from her home (yoga community and Emma), perhaps feeling overwhelmed by the emotions of others. With PTSD and with intuitive powers in hyper-drive, one becomes very susceptible to the emotions of others, in my view.

Last night, a student of hers texted while enduring a downward spiral. A friend of mine (combat veteran) texted me while struggling with current and past issues in her life. We want to help. It is our nature. It helps us. We just try to remember that through our practice… whether it be walks in the woods with Emma or together, engaging ourselves as best we can in our daily routines, or practicing (or teaching) yoga and expressing love, tuning in mindfully, we will ask the right questions and get truthful answers.

My workout “cave” above the garage has been my morning retreat. This morning, it went as follows (below)… with Emma at my side… and my wife teaching at her studio. Life goes on. And it is a miraculous ride. We are thankful for all of our experiences, light and dark. There are lessons in all experiences. We are thankful for all of our friends, those who are struggling and those who are between their struggles. Just like all of you, we seek our light… by helping to illuminate others’ lights.

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My Cave

My morning Blissology workout in my cave:

A Long, Loving Self-Hug

An Intention to be at Peace Today

A1: One-leg rear lunges with 2- 25 lb dumbells, 3 x 10 each leg, tree hugger engaged, with the breath, hips extended, integrated legs.

A2: Chin-Ups, 3 x 10, integrated arms and shoulders, focus on open chest, stable anterior serratus, isolated lats…. and core suspenders engaged.

B1: Squats, 3 x 10, 185 lbs, engaged sole arches extended hips and tree hugger core, spreading floor.

B2: Push-ups, 3 x 18, Chaturanga, open chest, DUO engaged, tree hugger core, slow.

C1: Inverted rows on gym rings, 3 x 12, integrated arms, tree hugger and back body engaged, open heart, serratus and low traps engaged.

C2: Planks, 3 x 45 sec, alternating one leg up at a time slowly, 5 sec count, tree hugger, integrated arms and shoulders, extending out through heels.

D1: Slightly bent lateral shoulder raises, 3 x 12, 20 lb dumbells, tree hugger, with the breath slowly focusing on eccentric movement, sole arches angaged.

D2: Shoulder presses, 3 x 18, 20 lbs, same as above.

Inverted head stand on shoulder stand, boat pose, and bridge.


Write this.

Feeling better now. I’ll do some flow yoga later at Heart of the Village, maybe transpose a vinyasa flow routine to start getting ready to teach myself this fall…

Jo came home… a big class… and many compliments on her softness.

Life is interesting, eh? A big miraculous puzzle…

Getting ready to go up to Stratton to help design a large summit deck for next year’s Wanderlust… and work this weekend on the design of buildings being restored in Wilmington, VT… a couple years after being vacated by the effects of Hurricane Irene…

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