I’ve been doing a lot of inner work during this pandemic. In fact, I dedicated this whole year to loving myself.
Love for yourself is not about being conceited, or about “bigging” yourself up whilst putting others down. It’s about learning how to love you. Learning how to respect yourself. Learning how to have self love and bolster your self esteem.
I’ve learnt a lot about myself these past few months, it’s not about apportioning blame to aspects of myself I didn’t like; it’s been about acknowledging aspects that I’m less than happy with and improving what needing working on.
I’m now in a better mindset. I choose to be positive. I set that intention for myself everyday. Sometimes the demons rear their ugly heads and it’s a real struggle, other days I breeze through the day, achieving what I need to get done.
I had an interesting conversation with someone I know a few days back. She has noticed the change in me and wanted to know if I had “got better.” She was referring to my relapse with PTSD over the last couple of years.
I honestly haven’t done anything other than get medication. I believe the medication stabilised my mood enough for me to take steps to work through the flashbacks and triggers. I’m not really having flashbacks, but I am feeling very anxious.
This pandemic has really messed with my head in so much as it has made the hyper vigilance really bad. Night time is the worst. Some nights I’m a nervous wreck, jumping and hyperventilating at the slightest noise. My sleep has been really badly affected too, I’m convinced “that person” is in my house, obviously I know he’s not.
Medication has helped me to work through stuff. It’s helped me to manage my condition using the tools and techniques my therapist taught me.
I’m not “cured” from my PTSD. I am managing it. I get frustrated at people who claim they can cure PTSD. My therapist taught me that you don’t cure it, you manage it. You can heal the wounds (often emotional) that trauma inflicted upon you, but the scars will still be there. The scars will “itch and sting” from time to time, that’s the flare up of the PTSD. And just like you would with a physical scar, you soothe it the best way you can.
This pandemic has affected so many people in so many different ways. There’s no shame in hollering for help. That’s why I made a conscious decision to greet each day with as positive a mindset as possible. It’s helped me tackle a hell of a lot of blocks and for that I’m grateful.
PTSD is a mental illness and can be very debilitating. You can be going through an active episode and still appear as though you’ve got your shit together. That, for me, signifies an improvement in my journey and that’s what I’ve been striving for over so many years.