I am continuing down the list of things that I wished people knew about PTSD: http://medprecautions.com/23-things-i-wish-people-understood-about-ptsd/ I recommend following the link to the original post which shares their ideas on each one. So I continue down the list.
- PTSD is paradoxical in how it makes me a bigger more confident person afraid of everything.
I haven’t phrased it quite this way. I joked that I was a worm that grew a backbone. Learning new ways to cope, challenging myself, looking for ways to make my life more positive helped me to grow and strengthen physically and emotionally. Fears is still a big part of my life. This week I had two triggers that I had to work through. Not too subtle reminder that PTSD is not gone but it is more manageable.
- PTSD is my injury not my identity.
I’m sometimes hesitant to tell people I have PTSD not because I am ashamed, I don’t want them to put me in the PTSD box and leave me there. I believe that I am a person whose life challenge is PTSD. It helped shape who I am today but I am not PTSD. I agree with the author of the article:
It helps me when both the reality of my injury and “who I am” as an individual human being are acknowledged.
I am so much more than PTSD.
- PTSD doesn’t define me, but I may not remember who I am temporarily. PTSD can involve a lost sense of self.
I was so lost I was fragmented. However, I became furious when I was asked which one was real. I am completely real, I don’t function like everyone else. It is called a disorder but it is how I live. I am thankful to my first counselor that helped me to connect with myself. My sister and I have a saying, “Stopping lying, especially to yourself.” PTSD is a huge influence in my life but it is not my life. I have no memories of my life without PTSD. From the age of 5 years old on….I had symptoms of PTSD. My counselor encouraged me as I struggled through the growth process. He knew I liked butterflies so paralleled my progress to the emergence of a butterfly. I pointed out that the existence of the butterfly is the end of the caterpillar.