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PTSD: One Coin-Two Sides

Discussion in 'General' started by Marlene, Feb 22, 2007.

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  1. Marlene

    Marlene I'm a VIP Premium Member

    Eight months ago when I was diagnosed with PTSD, the only thing I knew about it was that the acronym stood for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. I’ve learned a lot of things about it since then…most of them the hard way. But since that’s how I usually learn stuff, it’s just par for the course for me.

    One of the most important things I think I’ve learned and am still learning is that PTSD is a two-part deal. And there’s no getting around it. One part is dealing with our traumas and the other part is learning to live with the PTSD and the changes that have been made to our lives and the ones that will have to be made. Both parts have to be given equal importance (IMO) in order to live with any sort of happiness or peace.

    As I’ve been dealing with my traumas, there have been too many times to count that I just wanted to either cut and run or give up. Most people don’t enjoy deliberately exposing themselves to pain and the worse the pain, the harder we stuff it down to not deal with it. When I first heard that the only way to get better was to expose myself to all of this pain (and the associated fear)-basically tear myself apart in order to heal-I thought, ‘No freaking way. I’m in so much pain now, why do I want to add to it?’ Then my symptoms got worse, I was barely coping, so I thought I’d try it because I knew what I was doing wasn’t living-it was existing. So I started writing, writing, writing and along the way I got a lot of support, a lot of pushing and prodding and a kick in the ass when I needed it. Thanks so much to everyone who helped. Once I started, it was like a floodgate opened up inside of me and there was so much that I didn’t even know was there. Along the way I’ve also killed more boxes of tissue than I can count. Writing and crying (usually at the same time) have become something of a habit for me. But one day I noticed something…it was starting to work. I was feeling more human, stronger, less symptoms, more good hours and then good days. Finding small pieces of myself that I thought I’d lost and enjoying having them back. I know that I have more things that I need to deal with. And I won’t say that I’m looking forward to that dealing…but I will say I’m ready because the more I deal, the healthier and stronger I get. And the better my life gets.

    Learning to live with the fact that I have a chronic mental disorder and it’s not going away not matter how hard I wish or try to make it go, for me anyway, has been one of the toughest parts of this whole deal. Occasionally this realization still has the power to take my breath away. Learning to keep stress at a minimum (and saying good-bye to the perfectionist control freak that lived inside of me) has been another tough hurdle. And understanding that this isn’t just a short-term deal…that I have to change my life in order to have one. There are certain situations that will always cause my stress level to go up…I think we all have them. Learning to either alter those situations or avoid them all together is another part of this learning curve. As I’m getting stronger, I’m able to concentrate more on the ‘learning to live with it’ part of PTSD. Also, my family is on this learning curve as well. They’re learning what I can deal with and what I can’t while I learn the same thing. But we’re getting there.

    This journey…it’s almost beyond words.
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  3. anthony

    anthony Silently Watching Founder

    That second paragraph hit it all home IMO Marlene... its a two part deal. You can't succeed with only one part, heal or manage... it must be both. Your doing great though to acknowledge what must be done.
  4. Scott_Fraser

    Scott_Fraser Well-Known Member

    Hi Marlene, now you know what it is you can now get it sorted and seek the help that you need.
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