I nearly had a nervous breakdown on Thursday. It was all my effed-up brain's fault, and I hate when it happens like that.

See, I was diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder about ten years ago. Nice to know what it is, at least.

This is an example of what PTSD is like for me:

When I was a little kid, our family would travel between the Los Angeles area and central California a lot. To get there, we needed to travel over an area known as the San Marcos Pass, which is about 22 miles of winding road. See, I have pretty bad motion sickness and the 22 mile drive consisted of my mother, facing the back seat, watching until my face turned a particular shade of green. At which point, my father would pull over to the side of the road and I would get out and hurl my lunch... (Of course, my parents were both such bone-heads, they never gave me the Dramamine until Santa Barbara - which was about 30 minutes before I'd hurl, and they never once considered allowing me to sit in the front of the car with the window open... Nope. Too stupid I guess).

At any rate, the San Marcos Pass was a deep terror for me as a child. But as the years passed and I no longer had to go to central California, I forgot about those horrible trips. Or so I thought...

When I was about 28, a group of friends and I decided to go camping over Memorial Day weekend. We set out with all the necessities - a lid of p0t, a bag of "mushrooms" and a case of Heineken - oh, and a roll of toilet paper. We had a lovely drive up the coast, past Ventura, and stopped for lunch in Santa Barbara. At which point, we remembered we had no reservations at a camping site... One of the guys got on the payphone, looking for a spot. Afterward, he returned to the table to report good news. There was a camping area very near where we were. Just through "the San Marcos Pass". I excused myself from the table, went into the ladies loo, and hurled up my lunch...

PTSD causes a physical reaction to a memory we thought was hidden safely away.

Okay. Back to the present and my job, and the new project I was assigned last week.

I started having incredible anxiety on Thursday. Incredible anxiety, crying jags and the inability to perform even the most simple of tasks without totally fucking them up. I was an embarassment to my profession.

I realized that I was re-living all the times I'd done the same type of project. Being responsible for important stuff has not been all that healthy for me. I tend to wake in the middle of the night, panicked that I've forgotten some crucial detail, or I find myself unable to remember if I sent something or other in the mail, or by fax... I was apparently re-living all my fears on Thursday, and I was one miserable gal.

Fortunately, I was able to talk myself down off the ledge on Friday morning, when I remembered a couple of important details.

First - when I was on that fateful camping trip - I didn't get carsick. You know why? Because I was driving! I was in control of the car, and I was at one with the car as we sped through those curves and around the hills. I think if I'm not at the mercy of someone else's idiocy, I tend to do better.

And second - even though I tended to panic and freak out when managing important tasks with deadlines and whatnot - I never once fucked up an installation, or a catalog review Not once! I fact, I used to be complimented on jobs well done, and was even in demand for my abilities!

So yeah. PTSD sucks. But for some reason, I managed to get out of it this time. That's so cool.

July 17, 2004

Buh Bye!
October 05, 2008

Be Afraid, People.... Really Afraid
September 01, 2008

One Last Bitchfest for the Road
August 24, 2008

Get the Popcorn Ready
July 17, 2008

I'm a Rich Ho-Bag
June 20, 2008

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