Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is Hard
I have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
I am a survivor of abuse. Physical, sexual, emotional, spiritual and even, financial abuse.
I have PTSD.
Some days are hard, some days are not so hard. Every day, though, brings new awareness and lessons.
That is where my focus lies. Awareness and lessons.
PTSD brings intense awareness to things that used to matter but no longer do, as well as things that didn’t matter but now do. Life has become more about the textures and hues and scents than it did before as I notice and wonder why all my colors have faded brown.
PTSD draws awareness to the different worlds that exist side by side. The witnessing of the normalcy of the scene around me, while experiencing personal chaos inside. A world full of lines and picket fences.
PTSD brings awareness to the struggle of trying to engage in the present moment yet unable to stop the elusive feeling that I am merely observing, yet not really experiencing.
PTSD fosters the realization that for years I have used every ounce of my courage to deal with the all-consuming feelings being of “unsafe." But now, maybe, just maybe, the idea that courage could be used to learn what “safe” feels like, starts to flicker.
PTSD left me consciously and unconsciously afraid to allow myself to feel safe.
In that awareness, I have learned these lessons:
- PTSD has taught me to see things as they are, not how my imagination sees them; Feelings are not facts; I must look closer before I react.
- PTSD has taught me that I can use courage to let go of the fears that surrounds feeling safe. That the same courage used to deal with the fear of feeling unsafe, can be used to embrace the feeling of being safe. Calming the personal chaos inside me, and lowering the volume on the static that continually plays in my mind.
- PTSD has taught me that through focused intention, I can stay in the present moment as one who experiences, now who observes, or both.
- PTSD has taught me to reach a little deeper to consciously hold my courage out of love, instead of fear; that love will keep me grounded and in the moment.
PTSD has taught me that I am I what I choose…fear or love.
PTSD is hard.
I have PTSD.
I am a survivor of abuse. I am a survivor of PTSD.
PTSD is NOT who I am…
I am courage. I am love. I AM SAFE.
This post previously appeared on The Good Men Project.
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