This one won’t be filled with informative facts & statistics. This blog is purely from my heart, as a survivor- to you, whether you are also a survivor or a caregiver. This is how my PTSD works the most often, and how EASY it is to start that downward spiral. For any survivor, please reach out- you are not alone. For the caregivers, remember this is just MY story- no two are the same.
I recently took an out of town trip; before we could even leave I began to feel as though we shouldn’t have gone, but my heart was dying for an escape. I was at a point where everything that surrounded me was a reminder of yet another way I had failed at something. My house was flea infested, laundry piled higher than I care to remember, and my adoring parents were beginning to become irritated with me as I continued to place my children in their care while trying to address these highly irritating conditions. Even as we began the road trip I cried to my loving boyfriend, feeling like a failure because my credit card wasn’t accepted for the car rental & my vehicle is no longer of “road traveling” conditions. I wanted to crawl under my very broken bed to wait for it to fall on top of me.
The irony is that through all of this, only a fraction of what was going through my head could be explained to him. It’s easy to explain feeling like a failure, everyone knows what it’s like to lose at SOMETHING. However, when you start to stack those failures up you begin to feel like you are no good at ANYTHING. At that point, my skin begins to crawl and it’s the most disgusting feeling in the entire world. It’s one thing to be frustrated, it’s a totally different beast to hate the person you see in the mirror & that is how far things go sometimes. I think about when I wish I would’ve died, when ending my life could’ve been convenient, then hate myself even more for being that way, being weak.
The amazing thing is that he can see through me when I need him to the most. He knew that although I was extremely upset that my heart was set on this trip. I was at the cliff’s edge and I needed to remember there’s an entire world outside of my problems; one filled with amazing beauty like the Smoky Mountains, love like two broken souls promising to love like they had never lost at all, and the freedom of the open road. I had forgot how to be “in the moment” so to speak. The anxiety can build sometimes so much so that there just feels like no way out, that you are cumbersome to those you love- it’s a fight to remember that although your problems feel so large, you are just a small part of this world.
It’s okay to let go of the annoyances that are plaguing you for a brief time, they’ll be around when you return to your daily life. However, you are only given one life- so seize it and take control before it’s too late. Make the most of every opportunity that is gifted to you. Do not let the anxiety become who you are, how people define you. At the end of your life will you look back and see that you let other people define you? Do not let your anxiety be any different from the nay-sayers in your life, acknowledge it but do not let it control you. Always keep your chin up, as they say “your discharge papers aren’t on the ground.”