Post P-PTS episode weeks are surreal. Never am I as hyper-aware and conscious of the lack of pain and distress in my body and mind as I am then. I can feel the lack of pain and distress as if they are not a lack of a feeling but a feeling themselves. I feel it with the same vacancy I feel joy when I hear a baby laugh out of control, a bird sitting on my plant, or when I sing along ‘sawli si raat’. It involuntarily puts a smile on my face and a tilt in my neck as if someone is wooing me.

It is also a period of maximum insight. I can see my subconscious like my superego is the water of Dawki, clear. I have a lot of energy, which is amped up by the consciousness of ‘its lack which made me immobile just 2 days ago. I also develop a squirrel mentality, which makes me ‘dry and store’ food and resources for the winter.

In this P-PTSD week, I made 6 Lasagnas, an unmeasurable amount of pasta, and hummus to feed a Marwari wedding party, started learning ASL, and can communicate in basic sentences already. I know to play ‘Haal kaisa hai janab ka’ on the harmonica, took a class that taught me to draw human figures, embroidered a T-shirt ‘read to me’, set early morning alarms, and started reading a Normal Lewis book, which is nothing but a weird flex for myself from the PTSD phase. It is in doing these, that I realize that I have had no energy in the weeks before; that I was competing with a Ferrari on my purple Scooty Pep with the story writer, not on my team. It’s a retrospective realization, like becoming aware of the noise your refrigerator makes only when it stops.

My therapist told me to think positively about this; “what a surprise!” I tease him. He compares my experience with PTSD with learning to live in a jungle. A jungle which is full of traps for animals that I keep falling into. It helps me identify the trap better, and get out of them faster the next time. And in my PPTS optimism, I think he is right. During this PPTS, I learned to listen to my body, I learned about safety props and nurtured my relationships with my colleagues, most importantly I learned that recovering and lapsing is not the same as not recovering at all.

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