PTSD and forgetfulness 

My therapist suggested that I make a calendar and put it some place I pass every day. She said that anxiety can make a person very forgetful. You may think you are losing your mind when in reality you are consumed with anxiety so much of the day that you are walking around like a robot doing tasks mindlessly. I do this. A lot. That is why I go for specific mindful walks to try and recalibrate these mixed up PTSD wires in my brain. 

I made a calendar last week. I printed it. I wrote out all of the bills. I wrote the date to mail them. I wrote the date on the calendar and I put a sticky not on them that said when to mail them. I put a note on the fridge of things to NOT forget. I felt very empowered that I organized, I set out to do a task and I did it. Then I didn’t. 

I walked past that calendar and that note for an entire week. Today is Tuesday. I was supposed to mail the bills on Saturday. All of a sudden at 2 am I remembered!! I got up and left a note. A LARGE note for my husband to put the bills in the mail as soon as he gets up before the mailman does. 

Then I realized the electric was due TODAY. So I thought. Ok. I am obviously out to lunch and who knows when my brain will choose to come back so how will I remember tomorrow to call and mail this bill over the phone…I taped it to the stool next to my toilet. At 5 am I taped the bill to the stool because I knew I’d have to pee and I would have to use that stool to get up (muscle disease issues with getting up). 

I woke up and I paid that bill over the phone. Sticky notes and calendars apparently did not work for me this week. I am sharing this as an example of how PTSD can work in the brain. I was so overwhelmed and so overloaded in my mind with trigger after trigger after trigger that I walked past those reminders every day for over a week and they did not register in my mind. 

Today was one of those days. All day there were triggers. I wish there were another word. Switches. Yes. Switches. A switch is flipped. I went into a store today and only half of my mind was really there. I was talking and listening and the other part of my mind was thinking that this store is so fragrant I will never get the smell out of my hands or clothes. It is as if PTSD does not allow ME to be completely present. I hate that! It is still bothering me right this moment as I write this. So much that I finally went into the kitchen and put gloves on my hands so I no longer could smell the smell. Truth. Here it is. I want to be completely transparent and authentic in what I go through because I think there is power in the truth. The truth helps others, maybe one person in this world who did something today like put on a pair of gloves to not have a trigger say to themselves, oh, ok, I’m ok, and we are all just trying to cope. But if we lie and cover up the truth of the magnitude of what PTSD can do then it leaves others feeling lost and lonely. I know this because I feel this way often.

I’m typing on this tiny ipad with these gloves on because the smell on my hands is so stimulating to my brain that it makes me want to throw up. It reminds me of things that I need to “GET OFF”  that is what a smell switch does to me. It is linked somehow to a “get this off now” emotion and reaction in my body and I could, if I let myself, go scrub my hands raw. Instead, as silly and absurd and possibly full of judgment it can be, I put on a pair of gloves. 

THIS is what all those little switches triggered on this week have done to my brain. I am thankful I have the self control to not scrub my hands raw at this moment. Prayerfully I will remain in control of this. So much of my PTSD is rooted in lack of control, helplessness. Having this muscle disease, feeling actually physcically weak, contributes on a daily basis. 

I have not given up. I keep trying. I am very self aware. I know why this is happening. I just don’t yet have the tools to cope with it. My therapy tools and even medication tools have been limited in working so far. I am seeking out other ways but that is on hold until my husband is settled into his new job. 

In the meantime:

Suggestions requested : ONLY ON BOOKS. 

If you have read a book on PTSD that you have found helpful please let me know and I will buy it ASAP. Thank you!

May you for tonight, not feel alone. 

23 thoughts on “PTSD and forgetfulness 

  1. Sorry, I can’t recommend a book on PTSD. However, I understand the anxiety of the simple acts of making sure the bills go out on time. My method??? I write the checks for bills the day I get them, They are then placed in the reserved spot for mailing Stamped edge sticking out from a shelf at my face level. Anyone in the house now is responsible for getting the items to the mailbox. Additionally, I try to make a habit of looking at the calendar every day. (I mounted it on the wall behind the toilet) and mark off the days so I know what day of the week is current.


  2. I completely get this! Thank you … you explain it really well! I usually waffle on about the heightened sense of smell and how it does my head in, but this is better, this is exactly what it ‘feels’ like.
    And as for the forgetfulness – I didn’t realise till I started blogging, that seeing a psychologist, that it was a pts(d) thing. I’ve been writing lists and ignoring them, most of my life lol. Now I just roll with – ‘it mustn’t have been important enough to remember’ – which only works for certain things of course 😉
    As for books – I haven’t read anything that has helped. Any info I’ve gleaned about pts(d) has been googled or come from other bloggers. But I am interested to know if there are others that have recommendations 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Why would the comment not get through?
      Has there been issues with your comments not making it?
      Oh trauma dissociation is huge and needs to be worked on immediately. I no longer have a therapist though. I do have a psychiatrist but she is more for meds and less for ideas although she did give me the calendar idea.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. It gets better. Stay as present as you can on the journey and tune into gratitude. Find something creative to do that you love. Put your attention on what is right and working as often as possible and rest and forgive yourself when things seem to be going sideways. Meditate. The body pain is real and psychosomatic. Rally a team. Find a chiropractor, a massage therapist, a psychologist, a friend who loves you enough to listen to you, a dog to comfort your soul. Eat and drink clean. Say sweet things to yourself. Repeatedly say ‘ I am love and I am so grateful to be ‘ everyday all day until you believe it. It takes time, but it does get better…I’m coming out the other side and the universe, I’m noticing, has my back!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Hello, I found this book helped my husband understand PTSD, as well as helping me.

    Overcoming Traumatic Stress: A Self-Help Guide Using Cognitive Behavioral Techniques: A Self-help Guide Using Cognitive Behavioural Techniques (Overcoming Books) Paperback – 1 Jan 2008
    by Claudia Herbert (Author)

    I bought on Amazon.

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts. It helps so many. My memory is terrible but I am getting better. I have shared some techniques on my blog. They might not be for everyone but some might find them useful.

    Warmest wishes

    Liked by 1 person

      • Hello! I hope it helps … Once i had finished
        counselling it really helped my husband understand me better. I had a traumatic experience that resulted in injuries that are ongoing. The book covers the whole range of issues. I found it easy to digest and clear to read. I hope you are having a good day. Take good care xxx


      • I did a year of somatic therapy for trauma and ptsd and I found it only made things worse for me. Seems like you got the good stuff!!! I have tried cognitive behavior therapy but that was many years ago. We are reading The Body Keeps Score right now and when we finish that we will get this other one. I just read all of your blog posts. And commented on one

        Liked by 1 person

      • Hello, I will check out your comment …thank you. I have noticed ‘the body keeps the score’ but wasn’t sure. Sorry about my predictive text…makes me look like I’m illiterate! Let me know how you get on with it. My work involves going deeper into our energy systems. I feel the holistic community are lagging behind because without sorting issue this out, others are exposed to risky energy and it is why some are having awful reactions. Getting a strong ‘shield’ is key. When people are vulnerable, self care is safer at present than healing treatments because it is a minefield of misinformation and distortions of facts. Getting a strong shield to keep the rubbish out is the safest optionon an energetic level. Then all the good stuff can work wonders. Ill check out your comment. Take care, 🌻


      • In somatic therapy one of the biggest things we worked on was my protective barrier. It was a true gift that I got out of therapy. The rest of that therapy was too much for me to handle but some of the coping of the protective shield was very imperative and setting boundaries which I am still a work in progress on

        Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.