Does it ever end?

Some people online are crying, “Does PTSD ever end?”  They feel frustrated, hurt, and isolated.  I don’t know if it ever ends.  I’ve had it since I was 5 years old, I will turn 59 next month.  I control it much better after years of counseling.  I may have many good days in a row.  Then an aroma or some other trigger sends me for a tailspin.  Over the years, I developed the perspective that someone in a severe car accident may never walk again.  A person born with a birth defect may never get out of a wheel chair.  A person with type 1 diabetes has it for life.  There are many conditions in life, no fault of the ones that endure that challenge, have it for life.  Yes, it sucks.  I believe part of the acceptance process is accepting my personal response to severe stress.  However, I don’t believe that I have to lay down and let it take over my life.  I listed many tools I learned to use in coping.  I look for and study more ways and more methods of making my life more enjoyable.  I search for ways to share what I learned so others can find ways that work for them to improve quality of life.  When I was in college the movie, “The Other Side of the Mountain” came to the theaters.  The story is of a champion skier that has a terrible accident that permanently changed her life.   Her life changed.  People that experience terrible things, their life changes.  That is what is supposed to happen.  I believe it is kind of creepy that a person didn’t change after a life changing experience.  People with PTSD are not the only ones adjusting to a new way of living after a life changing experience.  I recommend learning from others.  I study the military pages, even though I am not in the military.  I study pages about TBI, traumatic brain injury, since TBI often comes with PTSD and PTSD is the most like TBI.  Scientist are discovering that people with PTSD do show injury in parts of their brains.  I learned in counseling that I cannot change my past.  I not sure about ever being free of PTSD symptoms.  But I do know I can make healthy choices that lead to more happiness everyday.  I am thankful for a counselor that understood PTSD and understood what I need to learn.  One of the first things I needed to do was accept my past.  It is there.  Ignoring it or wishing it away doesn’t improve how I am today.  I also learned that my past may influence how I respond but it doesn’t define who I am now.  Believing in myself is one of my most difficult and rewarding challenges.  “Does PTSD ever end?”  I don’t know, but to me, it doesn’t matter.  I am a survival pro.

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