The most frustrating part of having PTSD, I think, is having to constantly challenge my thoughts and feelings in order to heal. It took me many instances of being uncomfortable before I got to a point where things started not being such a bother to me. I was never more aware of that than when talking with a friend recently and discussing the progress we’ve made since first being diagnosed with PTSD.
I explained to her how I could “work” a room. I’d know where ever dangerous person was standing, and their proximity to me and the exits. It took so much energy to keep track of everyone, I never wanted to do anything socially because it was so exhausting. Although I hated going to social events, there were times I could not put it off and, in the long run, I’m glad I couldn’t. Eventually I found I was going to events and no longer worrying about my safety. I finally realized that although I may always have PTSD, it can get better over time.
The key to getting there though was having to push the limits of my comfort zone so that I did the things I didn’t want to do. By doing that, I allowed myself to develop new habits and to reinforce that just because I took a risk, it didn’t necessarily mean I was going to get hurt.
Don’t let PTSD own you. Fight back; leave your comfort zone. If you start a little bit at a time, you’ll be able to regain some of what you’ve lost. And that’s the first step toward healing!