Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Post Trauma

The residual effects of my week long business trip to Minneapolis for a conference have not -- apparently -- worn off quite yet. After another restless night of sleep peppered with dreams of managing John Wood’s book signing (Oh my God, it’s not in the script!!!), I very nearly jumped out of bed when the alarm went off at 5:45am.

Only it wasn’t for me. It was MM’s alarm. I sunk back into bed, mumbling something about being “really confused,” and laid awake while MM got ready for work convincing him and myself that I must be suffering from some mild case of post-traumatic stress syndrome.

Of course, I immediately Googled “post traumatic stress syndrome” when I arrived at work. The symptoms include:
  • Recurrent re-experiencing of the trauma (three consecutive nights of dreams about the conference)
  • Avoidance to the point of having a phobia of places, people, and experiences that remind the sufferer of the trauma and a general numbing of emotional responsiveness (I left work yesterday because of a “terrible headache,” which was true, but I probably could have powered through it)
  • Chronic physical signs of hyperarousal, including sleep problems, trouble concentrating, irritability, anger, blackouts or difficulty remembering things, increased tendency and reaction to being startled, and hypervigilance to threat (sleep problems... check; irritability... check; anger... check, though I noticed a sharp decline in the irritability and anger when I laid off the dairy and went back to eating vegan yesterday; wait... I missed something... I know... hyperarousal... that's what she said... hell yeah it is)
The odd part is that I was perfectly fine before and during the conference. It seems wildly unfair that I should be upset and stressed out about the conference after the fact, particularly since, by all accounts, it was a rousing success (so this is what it feels like to be universally loved…).

According to the Web site I am plagiarizing, I could also be experiencing acute stress disorder. The major differences between the two disorders are that acute stress disorder symptoms persist from two days to four weeks, and a fewer number of traumatic symptoms are required to make the diagnosis as compared to post-traumatic stress syndrome.

I’ve totally got that.

Or I’m suffering from sugar withdraw.

It's one or the other.

4 comments:

Kendra said...

I had blog-withdrawal symptoms while you were away. Now that you are back I'm doing better.

L Sass said...

Oh no! What a conference that must have been? Can you take a mental health day off of work?

Roisin said...

You did a great job! Everyone loved the conference, a lot. I should be stressed right now because all the refunds/overpayments, onsite batches, and general crazy people who want their shit done now.

But I'm not bitter. No indeed.

heidikins said...

Gaah! You get comp time for conferencing, right? Because as far as I'm concerned after a week-long ANYTHING a person needs some time off!

xox