Each day we wake up and say thank you for another day to breathe, another day to see the sun rise or set and another day with our loved ones. I try to really focus on this area of “be”.
For many years like everyone I have had some serious struggles. Ones that have tested every fibre in my body till recently. That struggle I call the “dark ages” and unfortunately I would love to say I am through them, but each day I take it slow, as they try to creep into your every being.
Over a year ago, I experience a traumatic event, (I need to say this is one of many) one that every time I tried to work on healing someone or something would drudge it up like something from the bottom of the swamp. Questions, answers, finger pointing. All these events I had locked away in my cookie jar in my head and had done so well, or so I thought on not letting them escape. Turns out I didn’t run fast enough.
I eventually thought I was normal or my version of normal and then found the tears had started. I think I cried every day for over a year. Makes it challenging to keep going, but I tried. I spent time with family, I went on vacations, but no one knew that while I was in the shower, I would sit on the floor and cry. I would close my office door and the tears came, I would drive home and try to fix myself up before I walked in the door. I had the smile fixed on my face and would answer how fabulous everything was. My world was crumbling and the anxiety and heaviness in my heart made me feel like an anchor was pulling me under. Under the depths of the sea and I could not breathe. I didn’t sleep much and this added to it and the nightmares came as if there was a drive in movie on in my head and the events just kept replaying, night after night. My own ground hog day was taking place. Just when I thought things could not get worse, it did. I found I started to lash out, I would shake uncontrollably when I was in an uncomfortable situation and I knew at this moment this was not living, there had to be something wrong. I wished it was over in so many ways.
I became brave one day and made a call, I know someone was watching over me and started my therapy. Can you believe that when I was told I was dealing with PTSD, the first thing I thought of, was thank God, I am not crazy. That was how it made you feel. I tried to continue working but the secret and the torture it was creating in my life was too much and thus began the time of me. At this point I had been dealing with this for 11 months. So this isn’t a woe is me story there is something I think great that happened.
When I met the most awesome therapist who was my savior, between her and the strength of my BFF listening, each week I struggled, I tried, I hid, I cried, I ran, I nightmared, over and over and over, and then one day I smiled. That was a beautiful day! Then I laughed! I realized she or me was truly in there and she was looking for a way out. Trapped underneath the layers upon layers of emotions, doom, sludge and blackness, she was still there. I worked so hard on every aspect and assignment that she gave me. I read, I sat, I listened to my inner critic (he is not a very nice one) and step by step I kept working with a new determination and drive I have not felt in a long time. I wanted to live and not live the way I was as it was taking my life before. I choose to live and live well. This took six weeks of hard-core no moment was unturned. Day and night. Grounding, tapping, self reflection and on and on. She said I was doing well, then very well, and then amazingly well. Stunned by the fact that as she would talk my mind would start to process the next task and I would be working and applying it. With this I ran, and ran and continued as I needed a way to stop the outlet of nightmares so I could heal. If I could exhaust myself, I could rest. It worked, it caught up with me sometimes but I am still continuing it. I am working on training for my 5km run.
Ok so here is the part I know you are wondering why so grateful? I got back me. I can now choose to be and do what I want. I may stumble and fall and still am working on who I am becoming but I feel reborn. I am not the same person. People think I am, or think I see things the same way as before and I do not. I am different and this is really hard to explain as it is a feeling. I returned to work, but am still questioning this as I need things to still go slow. I may find the world too people-ly now at times and have to limit some things but I am trying. I am trying every moment of every day. I am trying to live and I am trying to live to the fullest.
I encourage you to reach out to someone who you know is dealing with PTSD or depression. Take a look at all the symptoms they may be experiencing and be there for them. One thing I found hard, was when every time people would see me they would ask how are you feeling? I know it’s because they care, but that question was one of the hardest ones to answer. Some days I still don’t answer it well, but I am not always saying fabulous, instead today I choose to be awesome!