Solo Survivor

Forget about it…

Over the years I have been told this in different ways like put the past in past; move on; forgive and forget. The thing is though, this disease forces the past into my everyday life through flashbacks, nightmares, panic attacks that will catch me unawares.

While I agree that dwelling back there is neither healthy nor helpful, at times it is beyond my control as I am transported back in an instant. That is PTSD’s MO – pulling you back into the trauma without warning. It can be a smell, a sound, something you see and having complex PTSD means there are a whole range of triggers out there for me.

Trying to anticipate them all detracts from quality of life. So while I am aware of the major ones and avoid them as best I can, I no longer spend time trying to account for every possible scenario. I have days when I am on high alert all day – it’s exhausting really. Other days, I am on auto-pilot and others I are what others would call normal – I am having a few more of those lately.

My new therapist is helping me to re-wire my brain. I spend time every day inputting new, positive information. I am consciously changing the way I think and that is having an affect. I learned recently that thoughts can change your brain chemistry. I have also been given new coping mechanisms and had a chance to put them into practice recently. It’s amazing to me how something as simple as a breathing technique can calm me down in the middle of panic attack.

I am so very grateful for the tools my different counsellors these past 2 years have given me. Some days I can see the progress I am making. My gratitude is beyond words.

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