“Even in times of trauma, we try to maintain a sense of normality until we no longer can. That, my friends, is called surviving. Not healing. We never become whole again … we are survivors. If you are here today… you are a survivor. But those of us who have made it thru hell and are still standing? We bear a different name: warriors.”
― Lori Goodwin
It has been 1 year and 143 days since my last PTSD “episode.” I feel great. Sure, I still have to consciously “fight the lie” as I call it. It is my way of saying that when a lie enters my head such as “I will always be fucked up in the head. I am a loser and will never get better!” that I use self-talk and refute the lie. It sounds something like this “You will not always be fucked up. Look at the progress you have made!” I scoffed at this method for years. However, between EMDR and self-talk amongst tons of support from friends and my awesome family, I would say I am 99% better. I still have a lower tolerance for stress but I have learned to hang in there, breathe deeply and not to lash out at others in a crazy self-destructive way. So, it is all good and my life is as normal as it has ever been…LOL.
Lori Goodwin’s quote rings true to me. For years all I did was survive. Survival is all you can do at many times on the road to healing. Sometimes just surviving is a Herculean challenge. However, I know consider myself not just a survivor but a warrior. Warriors fight for people or causes. My desire is to fight for those of us who are still just surviving. That is a hard desire to explain. But, I want to let people know that they can conquer the damage, fear, and destruction that trauma and the resulting PTSD have caused.
I want people to know that they can get better. Sometimes, people only get a little better. Often times they experience an amazing degree of healing. Before healing starts people first need to trust. Trust is very difficult for folks with PTSD for obvious reasons. However, it is possible to trust again. Maybe all you can do is trust someone or something or yourself 1% of the time. That is OK, it is a start. If you are suffering or know someone is trapped in the trauma prison know that you can get better. The reason PTSD is referred to as a battle or a war is because it is hard as hell to break out of it and win your healing. Also, we cannot heal ourselves. We were hurt by people and healing will only come with proximity to and interaction with people.
Hang in there! You are a survivor of the pain and horror that has claimed many of our fellow warriors. FIGHT THE LIE! DON’T GIVE UP! CHOOSE TO TRUST SOMEONE. There is hope and healing for you.