LIVING WITH PTSD

Perhaps the most frustrating thing about living with PTSD is knowing that, at least to an extent, it’s robbed you of your joy in life.  It can be frustrating to know you are responding to things based on your PTSD, but in a way, it may help to recognize that it’s also a survival tactic.  PTSD makes us more alert to everything going on around us; that makes us able to respond more quickly to things when they go wrong.  That can be a good thing.

As I’ve aged, I’ve found that although my PTSD remains, it’s easier for me to manage.  Part of that is learning to recognize when I’m really in danger verses when I am simply reacting without thinking things through.  If I take the time to ask myself if I’m really in trouble or if things are really as bad as I think they are, I often find the answer is “not really.”

Recognizing the reality of danger is part of growing through your PTSD.  Notice that I didn’t say “growing out” of it; I don’t believe we ever really grow out of PTSD.  But, I do believe we can grow within it and maybe even beyond it.  I think I use it to increase my understanding life’s risks.  Knowing that it flavors how I react too can be frustrating, but that’s okay.   I’ve gotten comfortable with that.  It no longer entirely controls me.  Instead, I see it as a necessary (for me) way of surviving.  And, I can live with that.

 

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