I have been learning how PTSD effects the brain, and I have to say this is fascinating stuff. Our brain consists of the cortex, frontal cortex, pre-frontal cortex, stem, and a bunch of other areas. So, all in all I learned that PTSD causes some parts of my brain to be hyperactive and some to be hypoactive. There really is no consistency I suppose. My brain goes to the worst case scenario of 'what if'. Everything has a tragic ending in my mind; even the yummy food at a restaurant. As we all know, I am a foodie.
So, there I am eating, analyzing, detecting the complex layers of flavors and textures. And them BAM.... my brain thinks 'what if I choke?', 'does anyone know the Heimlich maneuver?', 'will I make a fool of myself turning blue and flailing around?', 'oh, what if I pee myself?'. This was an exhausting meal.
Through all these thoughts, I managed to look down, and there was Mike. He is content to be at my side, by my feet, or laying on my feet. Just what I needed to feel grounded. He brought me back to the present and reminded me to enjoys the delicate carousel of flavors dancing on my taste buds. I can breath, I can take a deep breath; inhaling the delightful aroma of the food I'm shoving into my pie hole.
You see, Mike doesn't care if I have memories that don't travel properly from my brain stem to my broken frontal cortex. Mike doesn't pay attention to the thoughts running wildly through my brain, not being able to think at all while still thinking about everything. Mike cares about the knot in my stomach, my racing heart, the headache coming on, and the changes in my breathing. Mike will distract me, tell me that I need to go for a walk. Mike brings me into the present where it is safe, calm, and I can breathe.