I spent a few weeks browsing PTSD web sites and Facebook pages. I found I was getting frustrated with what appeared to me a feeling of fatalism coming across the pages. The general tone is “PTSD took everything from me and now I have nothing except nightmares.” The overall tone of hopelessness was depressing. I am coming up for air to say, “PTSD sucks but take back your Power, take back your Life, change your step but keep moving” I will agree with anyone that PTSD is lousy. It is like insult to injury, on top of suffering from trauma PTSD keeps on giving it back over and over and over and follows me into my dreams. However, it is not the end. I learned to take back my life one inch at a time. I learned to stop giving my power away. I learned that I gave PTSD more power by being afraid of it. I can tell a terrifying emotion to sit here next to me. Gently reassure the emotion that I needed it at one time but things have changed. Let it sit with me and then send it on its way. Did it work the first time? NO. Did it work the second time, third time, …..how many times? It is a skill like playing the piano, I’m not going to be a concert pianist the first week. I need to practice this skill of sitting with a negative, terrifying emotion without flinching. Allow to exist then gently explain that it is no longer needed. This could only occur after I quit dissociating. As long as I separated myself from my emotions, I could not accept them then dismiss them. I cannot dismiss them until I accept their presence. It is a concept that 3 different counselors have worked at teaching me. I’m starting to get it. It involves accepting all of myself and putting my past back in perspective and in the past. Cool thing about this is sometimes danger does lurk. I live in a big city where there is crime. This acceptance allows me to evaluate the present moment to see if perhaps that “Danger Danger” is needed. Having PTSD is not the end of the world. The trauma has happened. I already lived through the worst. Now, I can start to live in the best. Bit by bit I am taking back my power. I am accepting my past and who I am. I am living my life. I am learning to thrive.