There is beauty in Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). I know you probably think I'm nuts but the beauty is this: PTSD is invasive to EVERY system in the body so when we heal PTSD we HEAL EVERY SYSTEM in the body.
I liken PTSD to being painted into a corner—then the corner gets painted too and there's no place to stand. In this case, however, it's not paint—it's terror. Having PTSD is like being in a horror movie or nightmare that never ends. It's like being trapped in a prison world.
When we're terrified we want to escape somehow—by running, fighting our way out, or being invisible. In my case some combination of them all. Our adrenaline pumps, our heart races, we are given the power to do what we need to do. This is perfectly normal and useful in truly terrifying circumstances when our lives or safety is at stake.
The problem is this. Prolonged or extreme exposure to terror can cause our entire nervous system to switch such that in our everyday life we can only see terror. The adrenaline pumps and our heart races 24/7. Yup, even in our sleep. We feel that terror ALL THE TIME. It's a horrific way to live, to feel that everything everywhere is terrifying/out to get us/presents some danger.
You may think that this would be a safe way to live, that we would be able to keep ourselves safe. Unfortunately, that's not the case. It's not safe when we can't feel the difference between things that ARE safe v. things that ARE NOT safe. Having those alarm bells ringing in our head 24/7 is really not a safe way to be in times when there is no real and present danger. We treat everyone like they're the enemy, we're ready to snap and we feel like any one of life's challenges could be the straw that breaks the camel's back. Living inside a PTSD prison world is complete and utter torture. Thoughts of suicide were my constant companion. Death seemed like it would have to be more peaceful than living.
Fortunate for me, that little light inside of me never went out completely. Granted it was pretty dim but it was there.
I learned a lot of important lessons from PTSD. I learned that in war each side is resisting the other and thus each keeps amping up their weapons. When we try to resist PTSD we create better weapons to torture ourselves. Our emotions and mind flip the script on everything. We create more and more things to fear. There is no winning in a war. There is devastation and pain and suffering. There is residual energy that hangs in the air like a suffocating fog.
There is only one way to heal PTSD and trust me I've tried all of the alternatives. The only way to heal PTSD is to embrace it. To resist it is to grow it, amp it up, make it more powerful. To love it is to heal it. My inner emergency broadcast system was trying its best to keep me out of danger—but it couldn't, then the switch broke and that's when I became trapped in the dark. I have to love that part of my self and thank it for its service.
As we heal and treat ourselves well and in a loving way we will reach a tipping point and we'll switch back to our true nervous system. We can do this even if things in our lives aren't exactly stellar. It's a process whereby things improve as we go along. It helps to have a healer to help pave the way but it isn't necessary. It makes the process quicker but I know from experience that reaching out for help isn't necessarily a strong suit for those with PTSD, of course, because everything is to be feared including those who are trying to help.
Now, in the present day, there are things that can make me afraid. They're the things that I'm supposed to fear so that I can take appropriate action. There are people and things that ARE unsafe. It behooves me to know who or what they are. When I meander unknowingly into bad energy my adrenaline pumps and my heart races. It's a true blessing.
There's not a system in my body that was left untouched by PTSD. There's not a system in my body that's been left untouched by healing!