Combat Stress ... day 3

Some patterns don't change, no matter how hard I try to make that happen.  I go to bed at about 1am most mornings, sometimes 2 or 3am, depending on how I'm feeling and what I'm doing.

Last night I went to bed just after 1am and the usual stuff happened:  interupted sleep through nightmares, flashbacks and the slightest noise that was out of place.  I'd say that I've gotten more tolerant though as I found myself smiling when the bloke in the room next doort started snoring.  I could feel the noise vibrate through the walls!

One of my mates got me up at 6am and we headed for the gym at 6:30am and I did a series of warm ups and kata til 07:40am.  I'm still waiting for the body to seize up from the build up of exercise.  The general pain in the body has increased a little but there's also good muscle pain in there too, a familiar sign that it's doing me good.

The weather's wet and cloudy today but it's helping me to keep cool as my core temprature's gone up since my hot bath and I'm trying to stabilise it ... but the thirst seems to be increasing.

The next workshop is anger management at 11.15am.

I was looking at where I was on a cycle with regard to internal improvements etc.  It's clear and confirmed now that between the time of being retired on ill health in 2006 and Dec 2007, I had gotten myself to a place where the highs and lows were manageable and not as severe as they currently are.  The reason for the change is that the care that I've had in Nottingham in the mental health services doesn't, currently, give me what I need.  The NHS works on models based on cost analysis and emergency intervention, the kind of long term, structured support that veterans need isn't available.  In my particular case that sent me backwards with regards to coping with PTSD.  I've lost 2.5 years of progress where I had gotten myself to a level that I could cope with, even though it took all day to do it.

Now I'm having to slowly build that back up again and get to that space again.  It's generated another level of anger because men don't often open up to other people about problems, veterans even less so.  To risk opening yourself up and to ask for help makes me feel vulnerable ... so to open myself up to the system only to be told that they can't help me because they can't cater for my needs sends me one message and one message alone ... they are ill equipped and have  a serious lack of awareness of important issues to be able to cope with the needs of Armed Forces Veterans.

I don't know how I would cope if I couldn't come here for a top up and the reinforcing of coping mechanisms.


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