10 good things about falling apart

This won’t be news to those of you with PTSD, but … flashbacks suck. They suck you in like a port key in the books and movies about the boy wizard. They leave you feeling like you’ve been hit by a truck – wrung out emotionally and physically exhausted.

I got whacked the other day, by a conversation with my therapist about fish. It took me a couple of days to feel “normal” again … or as normal as you get when sh1t like this follows you around all the time.

I also found a nice article that helped … helped stop me spiralling completely out of control again. It’s about depression, but there’s no reason it couldn’t be about PTSD or any one of a hundred other diagnoses.

So in a bid to help me feel good again I’m stealing borrowing the author’s technique and creating my own list of “10 good things about falling apart.” I say “falling apart” because that’s what happened to me. I fell apart and life as I knew it hasn’t really been seen since.

So, also David Letterman style, here are my “10 good things about falling apart”:

10. Finding creativity again. I’ve freed myself enough to start being creative again, with writing and with photography.

9. Making new friends. I have met a wonderful group of friends online who make me laugh, make me cry and give me endless support. Thank you 🙂

8. Learning to be gentle with myself and learning to look after me. This is still quite foreign but I’m learning. Like when the flashbacks hit I try to take care and not flagellate myself for being a freak. Small steps, but at least they are steps.

7. Learning to listen to my body. This is also still quite foreign but I’m trying. Like listening to my body’s calls for rest during this period of post-op recovery. Thankfully my body’s giving me clues – like breaking out into a sweat, or feeling faint, or pain … and I am actually resting. Alien, I know, but true.

6. Finding hope.

5. Improving my relationships with “human” friends. I mean the “real life” ones. My relationships are much more open. At a basic level, I’m more likely to tell people how I am, rather than cover it up with my ubiquitous “I’m fine”. I guess because I’m no longer scared they will find out the thing/s I’ve been hiding from so long. It’s not because I’ve shared those things with my friends, but because my therapist has held them for – and with – me.

4. Being less judgemental. I used to be a master cynic and a master judge of everyone and everything. Not long after starting therapy I noticed this start to dissipate. It’s now almost gone. I now no longer enjoy being cynical or judgemental, and I no longer need it. It makes me uncomfortable and even sometimes makes me reach out (mentally if not physically) with kindness. Which leads nicely to the next “good thing”…

3. Becoming more compassionate. I am more likely to be touched by human kindness, and human frailty. I see the plight of others, and I want to help. I genuinely want to help and no longer think everyone in the world is out to get me.

2. Becoming more confident in who I am. This is also still a work in progress – they all are really – but I’m learning who I am and becoming more confident in that person. I am even starting to believe – I mean really believe – that I am a good person. I’ve even wore skirts!!! 🙂

And, my number one good thing about falling apart:

1. Believing I deserve to be happy. Sounds silly, right? Who doesn’t deserve to be happy? Well, me… or that’s what I thought before I “fell apart”. I thought happiness was something only “lucky” people got in life. I didn’t think it could be mine, and I certainly didn’t think I deserved it. But I do now. 🙂

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29 thoughts on “10 good things about falling apart

  1. I LOVE THIS POST!!!!!!
    I am going to link to it later today, if you don’t mind 🙂
    I can relate to ALL of it, what a wondrous thing huh?
    I am so happy for you Kerr, you are making it happen for yourself and you should be proud and pleased with yourself, I know I am 😉

  2. Wow, that is a great list. Do you mind if I ask how you achieved these 10 things? Was it your therapy? How long have you been working with your therapist? You are an inspiration really!

  3. @ Phoenix – Thank you Gorgeous! Feel free to link to it, do your own, whatever… it truly is wondrous and I’m trying hard to be pleased with myself. 🙂

    @ Ivory – Thank you. Definitely do your own, it felt great to do. It’s amazing what a difference these seemingly “small” things can make in your life. 🙂

    @ OLJ – Thank you. The physical health is ok, I hope … back to the surgeon again today. Stay tuned.

    @ Harriet – Thank you. Yes, these achievements are the product of my therapy… and the work I have done, and continue to do, through therapy. I’ve only been working with my therapist for 15 months and, as she says, I have achieved a LOT in that time, though I’m not really sure how or when it happened. My therapist is “firm but gentle” (her words)… one day she said to me that she doesn’t work with people who don’t do their “homework”… I said, “but you don’t set me any homework?” … she said, “what do you mean? I’ve set you half a dozen things or more just today!” LOL I think I’m trying to say that her approach, whilst she labels it CBT, is very subtle and quite blended. Sometimes I think I’m just there for a glass of water and a nice chat! I’ve given up trying to understand how it works and now just call it the “magic of therapy”. Thanks so much for your kind words. 🙂

  4. Hi Kerro. I think this is a really great post. I can see many good things from having had my breakdown even though most of it has been a trip through hell. I understand a lot more about human beings. I understand a lot more about the mind. I understand a lot more about pain. I’ve had many experiences that I’d never have had. I know what it is like to not be me, which could never have occurred otherwise. There are many valuable experiences there.

    Bearfriend xx

  5. Thanks Bearfriend. I’m glad you can see positive things in your own struggles, though yea, I agree, it is a “trip through hell” and I doubt I’d recommend it to anyone! LOL 😉

  6. You DO deserve to be happy! This is such a wonderful list. What a great exercise! I especially like #7 and #8. I can really relate to those right now.

    This would be such a wonderful entry for THE BLOG CARNIVAL AGAINST CHILD ABUSE, if you’d like to submit it. We have an edition being hosted at Mind Parts at the end of the month. Thanks, in advance, for considering!

  7. You always amaze me with your healing progress. This is a great list. I remember just a short time ago you didn’t see these things happening in your life and you didn’t know that you deserve happiness. This makes me feel so happy.

    Good and healing thoughts to you.

    Kate

  8. @ Marg aka Thriver – thanks so much for dropping by. It is a great exercise – I’m glad it’s useful for you. Thanks also for the tip about the Blog Carnival, I’ll definitely follow that up. 🙂

    @ Kate – thank you. It means so much that you say I amaze you. I look at you and see how much you’ve healed, and how strong you are. I’m flattered. 🙂

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  10. This is a great post. It gives hope to someone who is still in the pain of beginning to deal with their abuse issues. Things do get better further down the line. Sometimes it doesn’t seem that way but it does.

    This is my first visit to your blog. I found you because of your submission to the Blog Carnival Against Child Abuse (January 2010). Two of my posts are also included in this month’s Carnival.

  11. Thanks Patricia – yes, things do get better, though I never would have believed it a year ago. I’m so glad I can see it now. Thanks for stopping by.

  12. @ Paul – I don’t know how I missed your comment here. Thanks so much for putting me up in the Carnival 🙂

    @ Marj – thanks, I’m going to do a follow on, especially for disbelievers like me. LOL

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