the "Inside PTSD" collection:
- inside ptsd
- inside ptsd, the mad list
- inside ptsd, backstory
- inside ptsd, fleeing
- inside ptsd, two
- inside ptsd, remediation
- inside ptsd, three, rage
- inside ptsd, transaction costs
- time shift, inside the ptsd
- time shift three
- time shift two, still inside the ptsd
- inside ptsd, the addiction episode
- survive vs heal
- inside ptsd, body knows
- inside ptsd, body knows, part one
- one hour
- that same afternoon
- inside ptsd, more than a recollection
- inside ptsd, body knows 2
- inside ptsd, the addiction episode, part 2
- inside ptsd, the addiction episode, part 3
- inside ptsd, a student of trauma
- inside ptsd, the addiction episode, part 4a
- inside ptsd, the addiction episode, part 4b
- inside ptsd, the addiction episode, part 5
- inside ptsd, more than a recollection, part 2
- inside my midlife ptsd
- one day—the daylight part—inside ptsd
- inside ptsd, mere survival
- inside ptsd, economics
- one day, at night, inside ptsd
- on the outside, looking in
- inside ptsd, in the wind
- inside ptsd, in the wind, two
- a is for anxiety
- inside ptsd, the last match
- inside ptsd, addicted to addiction
- inside ptsd, outside looking in
- Day Three, Haunted
- inside ptsd, what it is
- inside ptsd, it takes time
- inside ptsd, the plea for understanding
- before the aftermath
addicted to being addicted, addicted to ptsd.
it's a pitfall to be wary of, the chance you get to be addicted to your ptsd, to find so much familiar comfort in being off balance all the time that you don't take steps to heal for fear of losing that which has become so much a part of who you ware.
when you spend all your time trying to survive, and you succeed at it with any modicum of spaciouness—meaning, say, that at 10pm when you lay yourself down to sleep and you're not laying on hard ground, you're not being yelled at or hurt, when you've made it through another long spate of wakeful hours w/o hurting anyone or yourself, you may get a moment to reflect, and the first bit that comes to mind is i have survived. i am still here, and it's a victory of the highest sort, to attain the title of Survivor.
when the ptsd wanes, through time or healing, the triumph of survival lessens. when it's not so damn hard to make it through 16 hours intact, what celebration can there be at the end of the day. so what, you endured another day with challenges that are getting easier, with rocks less sharp stabbing your feet, with fewer demons, with the prospect of another night of decent(!) sleep. what is there to celebrate then?
there is at that moment a temptation to mourn the passing of the post-traumatic storms, b/c what remains is too flat, too bland, too easy to warrant any sense of accomplishment.
you've become addicted to the thrill of survival, to the coursing waves of adrenaline and cortisol and oxytocin vying for balance in your nervous brain, and when balance comes, the thrill of not toppling off the cliff is gone and an emptiness remains. You don't want to ask for the ptsd to return, b/c that's what you're never supposed to wish for, but you have to wish for something b/c when the battle is at least for a span of time won, what then? if you don't have your very survival to fight for, what the hell are you going to do all day?
Tombstone in a cemetery
You are loved, and, there are clues, directions actually:
Saint Augustine: Love, and do what you will.
The Tao: Do nothing, yet leave nothing undone.
The Sergeant: Stand down, son.
Jesus: Love one another. (John: 15:17)
And all i long to hear is 'well done'.