While I often wish I did not have PTSD, it’s not all bad. Let’s face it, having PTSD means we are survivors. That’s a good thing, right? I was diagnosed with PTSD in my 40s. I remember thinking at least I finally had a name for what my problem was. Now I’ve mellowed a bit, and I see that, like so many other things, having PTSD has its “up” side too. I am always on alert. Yes, that can be a pain sometimes, but there are times that being so on top of things has served me well. It’s not all bad.
I don’t fight things the way I did when I was younger. I’m much more accepting. I think getting older has helped me see that this is simply the life I am allotted and if I’m to make the best of it, then I need to look behind every occurrence to see if I can find the lesson life is trying to teach me. What, you might ask then, have I learned from having PTSD? Well, let me try to answer that.
First, I’ve learned that I am not alone in how I react to things. I’m certainly not the only one who has PTSD, or even the worst case. That really wouldn’t matter though, because having it has shaped my personality. But, again, it’s not all bad. I think I have more empathy for people because I understand what it’s like to be there and to have suffered, survived and then felt guilty for surviving.
Then there is also the fact that I am more on point because of the disorder. I am extremely careful, it’s just part of my personality now. I watch that I don’t get into rooms with only one door. I watch suspicious people. I react very quickly to things I think are a danger…and I survive.
I think having PTSD has made me a more rounded person. I am much more tolerant of other peoples’ weaknesses now than I was in the past. I understand much of what drives their behaviors. That’s another good thing.
PTSD is not something I would have chosen for myself as a learning aid. But, what I’ve learned as a result of having it has made, for me, all the difference. It’s just a bit of a different perspective.