One thing about PTSD I’ve realized, is that to a large extent, I can define whether it’s going to have a totally negative effect on me or not. While I wish I didn’t have this particular diagnosis, I’ve had to admit there is a legitimate reason I have PTSD, and that, having it does, to an extent, protect me. After all, being hypervigilant means that it is very rare for anyone to take me by surprise.
I’ve had one friend point out that I’m probably one of the safest people he knows just because I am so tuned in to what’s going on around me. When I get out of my car, I’m always aware of others in the area and I’m always evaluating whether they are a danger to me or not. While that doesn’t mean I won’t get hurt in the long run, it does mean that subconsciously I’m doing everything possible to ensure I won’t be stuck in another traumatic situation again.
Trying to view something in this manner is called reframing it. By acknowledging that my PTSD has a positive effect on my life in some way, makes it easier for me to live with it. PTSD is something I wish I didn’t have to live with. But, I have had to acknowledge that it’s possible to view things in a different light and recognize that there are silver linings to my clouds. PTSD is a way my mind has responded in order to keep me alive…and that can’t be all bad, can it?