I love life!

Hi, I am Jo and this is my blog about my life. Here you will find entries on cooking, gardening, food safety and the interesting things happening in my search for an inexpensive and healthy way of living. My home is located in North Florida and I am relearning how to take care of myself at almost 50. This is the deep South so my garden and season may be a bit different than yours. I look forward to seeing what you have to say as time passes. Read on and have a beautiful day!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012


My time lately has been spent working in the garden. All of the beds are planted and it is thriving full of lush green plants and the promise of a full pantry in a few short months.

Since writing last we have gone on vacation, started renovating the bathroom, painted the house and I have traveled not once but twice for my job. It has been crazy and hectic and royally messed with my schedule. My routine is in shambles and today it came at me full force.

You see, I have PTSD. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. There it is- out there for everyone to stare at.

There have been many factors causing mine- per a previous therapist. Combat - never been there. Unlike soldiers mine was not acquired in a war zone. However, mine was partially acquired serving in the military. The biggest factor behind my PTSD was being raped while serving in the Marine Corps.  Having an ex-boyfriend try to choke me while I was sleeping is also in the running, followed closely by a foster brother holding a knife to my throat when I was 13.  My brothers handled the last one and the other two sat in my subconscious for years.        

In grad school, years after all of it- my life became comfortable and safe and the nightmares came in droves. My screams would cause my roommate to come running and shake me to wake me up. She later told me the first time it happened she thought someone was in the apartment murdering me. It was just my psyche unloading years of repressed anger, fear and pain and reliving the trauma. After only a few nights it became apparent that serious help was needed. I could not function,my concentration was at zero, my anxiety was high, and the slightest noise caused me to jump.

That precipitated a round of phone calls to local therapists until one was found who could fit me in the next day and take my insurance. Even better she was directly across the street from where we lived. Thus began 2 years of intense therapy and a running program to help me cope. And it helped the nightmares abated and life slowly began to have that happy warm feeling again. I still cried at crazy times and the anxiety would roll over me in waves when stress came around but I was living again.

After school I moved to Florida and was good for a while. Running was out- the heat killed me and I couldn't breathe. Yoga became my substitute. My job was crazy, chaotic and I had psycho co-workers.
repeat the Grad school scenario minus the screams. Repeat therapy and this time add antidepressants. Again life is warm and fuzzy. Stop therapy and wean off meds. Ahhh, relax.

Do more yoga and change careers completely. Life is good. Only one blip (one day last year) until today.
I haven't been sleeping well and been having unsettling dreams. Ok, nightmares. My yoga has almost stopped as I no longer feel comfortable at my old studio. Looooong story and they employ a former coworker who broke the law.

So this morning, my work computer was booted up, I opened my e-mail,  burst into tears and could not stop. Prior to that I almost bit my husbands head off for no real reason. For days I have been jumpy and anxious but did I get a clue- nope! Now is the time to note that depression is not an issue here though it could happen and I am NOT suicidal in any way. My poor boss had to listen to me blubber trying to explain why I could not work. I think I stopped making sense before I even picked up the phone.  

Thus my day was spent using a lot of Kleenex, riding my bike and trying to figure out what triggered it this time. I have an idea but I do know that I need my routine.

I need to know that I am eating breakfast at 7, working from 8-4:30 and doing yoga or riding my bike until time for dinner and in bed by 9:30. Not flying all over for races and work while consuming crap and not taking time to take care of me.

Really, I have managed to get control of my wicked ass asthma through yoga, diet and proper medication.  This too can be handled. Will it pop back up- You bet. But does it get easier. It does. And if it gets too bad I still have the name of a great therapist nearby as well as an awesome hubby who stay calm through it all.  


  1. Wow, Jo. It takes strong person to be able to lay it all out, raw and bleeding, for the world to see. I am so sorry you are a fellow PTSD sufferer, but I am so very proud of you for taking control back for yourself! This is a big step and you know how much work it is but you have a plan and you KNOW what works for you, so you have gotten through a big hurdle by knowing yourself so well. Much Love!

  2. Hey Shelley-
    Thanks for the love :).

    This post started as a normal post and morphed while typing. Like a couple other earlier posts I debated putting it all out there. It just seemed necessary to post it- so I did.

    Hope all is well in your world!

  3. Jo, I'm so sorry I didn't see this sooner. I've subscribed so your posts will come to me in my e-mail from now on. I'm blogging on Wordpress now and it's so much less trouble-prone, but one of the problems is that it doesn't show me when someone whose blog is listed on my sidebar has a new post, like Blogger did.

    It just seems like so many of us have to cope with things we shouldn't. One of the debilitating things is that, at the time, we think we're alone in it. No one should be alone in this.

    Honey, you hang in there and work this out of your life. The people who hurt you should not be allowed to KEEP hurting you. You are Woman. ROAR! Love you. XOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXO

  4. Ilene-
    I love you!! Somehow I missed your post until today!!! HUGS!!!!!!


Your comments are always appreciated and I love to hear what you think. Especially my overseas reader! Have a great day!