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. 🙂