the AFTER

Today I went out to the All American Tattoo Convention in Fayetteville NC. Something I wanted to do for my Fuck PTSD bucket list. This year I wanted to do more things to push myself, to not allow PTSD to control so much of my life. This convention was one of them.

There are steps to doing anything outside of my comfort zone, for leaving my safe zone and preparing myself to be somewhere surrounded by people I don’t know, at a location I do not frequent. What is often times not talked about is The After. The way my body just goes into overdrive, pumping adrenaline the whole time is out and the anxiety/paranoia making me feel on guard all the time. .

So what happens after? Well every part of my body starts to shake, ache and even cramp up as I begin to relax being back in my safe zone. As the adrenaline begins to leave my body, as the breaths I was holding seem to expel out all I can do is just hold on and let whatever is going to happen, happen.

It is so hard to describe but many of us have been in near accidents or very high stress situations. The way you feel when you can finally accept that the situation is over is what I go through, just multiply that times 100. I feel ill, my eyes even bother me and I have to remove my contacts. My legs hurt so bad I don’t want to do anything but lay down.

As the day continues on, I want to kick myself in the ass for not talking my cane while there. So that I could have had that extra support. The walking and standing, watching everyone and not being able to completely enjoy it all.

Ohhh don’t let me forget feeling like I didn’t belong, wanting to talk to more artists but not being able to. Having my kids helped, we talked about the amazing artwork they had out there and being able to enjoy some of the exhibits. One of my boys has anxiety as well so we were both dealing with the crowds. Thankfully when he is out of the situation he is back to his normal self while it takes me hours and maybe another day or so to feel normal again.

All of these things is why I want to push myself more, so that I can go out and not feel like I got hit by a car after. Maybe only like I stubbed my toe lol. Just want to be at a point that I can be more comfortable in public, more with myself as well.

At least I did it, right? I did not find a reason to not go, I actually walked in and walked around. I did enjoy myself and was able to talk with some of the artists. More than I thought I would have been able to do so that is something.

For now I am going to lay here, hope to keep my food down and wait for the pains to ease a bit. Maybe I just need a nap lol.

Thanks to my boys for going with me and for the folks at Chop Shop Tattoo for letting me hang out at their booth.

2018-04-14 15.57.37
Relaxing time on the couch watching baseball.

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