It may seem that it’s easier to keep to yourself when you have PTSD. Your fear prevents you from letting other people get close. If you let them in, you have to accept that you may hurt them and that they may hurt you.
Living without a support system is like trying to live in a vacuum. We are social animals and we need that interaction with others in order to be healthy. Unfortunately, when we isolate ourselves, it causes us to give up the very people that can help us heal.
You may say that you have people in your social environment and that it doesn’t help. But it’s not just living with others it’s having meaningful interaction with them too. That includes talking to them about the things that are going through your head, sharing what’s in your heart, and letting them stand with you when things get tough. That’s how we relearn trust.
When you are isolated, you let the demons inside your head do the talking and no one is there to challenge them. You chase those demons out by exposing them to the light through sharing them and challenging the things you tell yourself that let them maintain their hold over you. This is why getting involved in a PTSD Support Group can be so helpful. You team up with others who have shared in similar experiences and together you rewrite the lessons you learned.
We can’t live and flourish in a vacuum. We need other people in our lives, even when that means we have to trust them to not hurt us…or live with the knowledge that we’ll survive even if they do cause us pain. Going it alone doesn’t work. Sharing the burden of PTSD makes it bearable.