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How have your symptoms changed, how you’ve learned to live, & what you’ve overcome?

KayW

Confident
I have a complex history of abuse from childhood into teen and adult relationships. In some respects the development of PTSD in my thirties after what I call my final trauma, led to me avoiding relationships and ultimately led to the end of a cycle of abuse.

Now after years of therapy, I'm mostly pretty good. I still have symptoms but they are mild - if my symptoms to begin with were 100,% the ones I have now are like 10%.. Although I still don't have any relationships apart from 1 friend, so still a way to go to get to normal or a life that's fulfilling.

I would really like to hear from people that are some way on in their journey of recovery and how symptoms have changed, how you've learned to live with lasting PTSD and what you've been able to really overcome
 
It sounds good, but I'm finding this point in my life really difficult. It feels like walking a wire that I could fall off with any movement.

Part of that is knowing that the next step for me would be to socialize more - but all of my trauma and all of my triggers come from relationships with other people, so this might be the hardest part.

By writing it out, I'm trying to get myself to acknowledge that I've changed where I am in processing and I need to, and want to change where I am in life and to be able to manage relationships (not necessarily romantic, just any relationships)
 
I'm on a CPTSD journey here. It's been quite a ride for the last 20 years for me. The worst part was university times, when it completely overwhelmed me. Then it was ups and downs. Nowadays, my biggest problems are: emotional numbness, dissociation, and lack of self-care. I'm only 1 year into therapy. Meds are keeping crushing anxiety away and therapy itself helped me deal with the "inner critic" that I've been feeding for years and had grown fat and ugly. It ain't much, but it's improved my life a lot.

Part of that is knowing that the next step for me would be to socialize more
Yes, that's on my route as well. I'm pretty much out of touch with other people than my closest family. Signing up here is part of re-learning "how to human".
 
I used to be so symptomatic and ragey all the time. Couldn’t sleep. Couldn’t eat right (major eating disorder) needed multiple medications and supplements and now I’m much better.

I can sleep now with medicine.
My eating is mostly ordered and healthy

Also following thread
 
The worst part was university times, when it completely overwhelmed me.
I found university difficult too. I dropped out the first time - I was in a violent relationship and taking drugs and eventually that part of me won against the one that could write essays. I went back later in life twice. It doesn't matter how qualified I am, I struggle to stay in jobs because of the people

I'm only 1 year into therapy. Meds are keeping crushing anxiety away and therapy itself helped me deal with the "inner critic" that I've been feeding for years and had grown fat and ugly. It ain't much, but it's improved my life a lot.
I'm always amazed at how well therapy does work for me. I've been in and out of therapy over the past 20 years. So progress in 1 year is a good sign.
 
I used to be so symptomatic and ragey all the time.
I read this and thought about myself at different times of life, but I really struggle with connecting to it or to those parts of me. I did some parts work in therapy, but it's too much. I think I've come to some acceptance that there are parts and it's something I need to be aware of. At the moment, it helps me function and be okay.
I can sleep now with medicine.
My eating is mostly ordered and healthy
This is a major thing to overcome.
 
Every year during anniversary month I go back to the beginning of my journal here and re-read the entire thing. As I go thru it I write down what no longer applies and what has changed since then.

What's funny is that each year what I write changes lol
That's how I know I'm making progress in all aspects of my life. Might be ar a snails pace but hey! Still progress lol

Sleep is better
Eating better
Dissociation less constant
Much less DANGER! Feeling
And so on..... ☺️
 
That's an amazing thing to do with an anniversary time and to accept the progress you've made.

Another thread reminded me of why accepting progress is so difficult for me - it's that feeling that if I believe I'm doing okay, something bad will happen to push me down.
 
In my 30s, after 36 grams of psilocybin, I spontaneously developed affective empathy (I have schizoid). I use dextromethorphan as a maintenance medicine and my day-to-day is relatively symptom-free. I used to have thousands of intrusions a day (due to OCD) and that has been mitigated a lot. My biggest challenge these days remains OCD, and I do still deal with a lot of intrusions. Simple things like petting my cat, I will be pelted with tactile hallucinations of harming animals, etc.

If I cut a vegetable with a knife, I feel the knife in my hand and flashes of cutting people. Stuff like that. But generally, on a daily basis, I play video games, chat to people and am usually pretty chill. It's taken 17 years of constant, repetitive, grueling work to get to this point. I was diagnosed with inhibited RAD as a kid, and now I have a good relationship with my mom and a solid basis of obligation and care toward her that I've purposefully built.

So, I'm very proud of that stuff, even though I'm too disabled to hold a job or attend my education. Largely, I've found ways to modify my behavior (anger management), curb my aggression (FORNET), and am able to speak about my trauma without self-judgment. I'm still in the process of learning compassion and kindness toward myself, but I make strides in that every single day. That, and the OCD, are what I'm focused on now as they have the biggest impact in my daily functioning.

Like @Friday said, this is a great question.
 
I used to have chronic SI and now it only occasionally pops up in little whispers and I can immediately dismiss it and follow it back to the feeling and thought process which came before it.

I used to drink daily and use medical marijuana daily. I no longer use either of those, but allow myself to drink socially if I want to, which has been about 4 times a year.

I used to have no routine (actively rejected it) and my eating was a cycle of restricting and bingeing. I eat about three meals a day, gained a bunch of weight so that I actually have padding when I sit down. Routine is a work-in-progress but I have a sort of basic one.

I used to have minimal attachment to my children and none to myself. I thought I was being like a Buddhist who was non-attached and that I loved and forgave everyone in the whole world. I now have a strong attachment to the child who still lives with me and I have compassion for myself. My relationship with my children who moved out is boundaried and I love them but don’t see them very often. I pray for them frequently and the grief bubbles up when I talk about them. I no longer feel like I am some kind of saint that loves and forgives everyone in the world—that was a delusion and defense mechanism. I am not a misanthrope but I am more realistic about how I approach people.

I have intimate rich friendships with men and women. I am not physically intimate with anyone. I don’t know if I ever will be again but I have never had such good friends in all my life.

I can financially support myself and live on my own. Before my recovery I believed there was something deeply wrong with me and that I would be dependent (financially and emotionally) on my ex-husband and my parents for the rest of my life.

At work I feel confident and equal to other adults that I talk to. I used to feel like a small child or a sexual object when talking to other adults at work.
 
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@Weemie @Rose White both of your stories are inspirational.

It's really interesting to look at how different the challenges that everyone faces are. And it is helpful for me to read and reflect on my own recovery more.

I've experienced parts since childhood, one part is perfectionist and doesn't show emotion and at times she has taken over and gone into denial of any trauma or effects of trauma. But she also hates other parts, feels constant shame and drinks to numb feelings. She is one reason for being so cautious about accepting recovery.

Having awareness about parts and between parts is quite a big thing for me. But I think this is the key to breaking the cycle and enabling me to form healthy relationships for the future because it's helping me to manage triggers.

It's quite difficult to admit the extent of chaos that my parts can create. Maybe this is my next step.
 
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