Today was a tough day.
Something triggered "something" at work and I dissociated to the point someone asked me if I was OK? I had completely "cut off." Their question brought me back to the present moment. My chest felt tight, I was having difficulties breathing and felt very restless and agitated. I had tightness down the left-side of my body from the top of my head through my neck and into my chest and left-arm. My heart felt crushed. I was trying very hard to use some of my self-help tools such as imaging my safety of arriving at work, my friends and the restaurant at Piccadilly, but it was not really working. I tried to speak to myself to reassure myself it was OK, that here I am in the room and in the present time. I just wanted to get out. I had to leave work and was late arriving to have my hair coloured. As I arrived at the hairdressers I thought for one split second that I was going to have to cancel the appointment at that moment as I felt like I was "dying" and needed hospital at that moment.
I kept self-talking and trying to remain in the moment and breathe, as I felt my chest was so constricted. It was all very frightening. My hairdresser was asking me what colour I wanted my hair to be and what colour for highlights. I was asking for reds, but could not really hear what she was saying. Fortunately it seems I managed to communicate sufficiently and the end result was fine.
It took quite sometime - 2-3 hours before I could get out of this horrible experience and feel sufficiently "real" and myself again. I asked T for support and T reminded me to use all my imagery and to stay in the right side of the body and to try turning my head to the right (to avoid triggers to the left of the body) and to get myself back into the moment. I was, of course, trying so hard to do all these things, but it is so difficult and just very frightening (terrifying) to keep feeling like this and remaining in this space. I certainly hope that T and I can release this trauma properly in my next session.