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Fifty Shades of Truth and BS

Exposing abuse under the guise of BDSM & related reflections on self-recovery.

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thrive

From Surviving to Thriving

It has been a very long time since I last posted to my blog and there is a wonderful reason why. I was taking a much-needed mental health hiatus.

My diagnosis of C-PTSD a few years back was a blessing in disguise. At least that is how I look at it now. Initially the diagnosis was difficult to handle but years down the road I am so very thankful for the diagnosis because it allowed me to take the steps to heal from my past traumas and to grow from them.

Since my diagnosis I have had a lot of therapy and have learned to look at life in a different light than I used to when I was i nthe thick of my PTSD. Everything these days seems to be brighter and happier. I look forward to the future and it seems that every day just gets better and better. I even enjoy those days that you wish could have ended before they started. I try to find the bright side of every life encounter and have faith that if I don’t see the bright side right away it will be revealed to me eventually.

How did I get here? Like I said, initially it took a lot of therapy which helped me to learn how to retrain my brain for the better. The most important thing that I took away from therapy is learning how to take responsibility for my life today. I may not have had control over some of the horrible things that happened to me as a child and even in my adult life but I do have control over my life now. I do have the ability to stop the cycle of trauma. I do have the responsibility to love myself enough to not put myself in situations that can have the potential to continually traumatize me. I do have a say in how my life goes these days and I am thankful for that!

I have a girlfriend who has been in a few abusive relationships and has also been diagnosed with PTSD. I try to be as supportive to her as possible when she needs me. There have been a few times in the past few years where her life has been in complete turmoil and she calls me and asks how I am so happy these days. She doesn’t understand how she can ever get out of the negative PTSD cycle of self hate and perpetual trauma.

My answer to her is alway similar – stop reliving the trauma. The moment you decide to take responsibility for your life and to change it for the better is the moment you will start to get better and recover from this disease that we call Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. That moment that you realize, “I can change the direction my life is going and take a positive turn” is the initial step to healing.

She has not yet grasped this concept but I will be her friend as long as she needs me and hope that one day she will understand what I mean. I cannot judge her for not understanding what I mean yet because there was a point in my life where I was so deeply depressed by my PTSD that I couldn’t even imagine a light at the end of the tunnel. I am not better than her and I will never judge her for the decisions she makes in her life today. But I can be a gentle guide and hope that one day she switches her mindset from surviving to thriving.

And today I cannot even imagine going back to survival mode. Today my life is thriving and I am joyous and elated to see what the future holds in store for me. I am so thankful for this journey we call life and hope I can inspire you to look at life in a similar light.

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When PTSD Rears It’s Sneaky Little Head

Last night had a night-terror dream that was similar to what I used to deal with every night when I was going through the thick of my PTSD. I woke up screaming and crying and for some reason I was in literal physical pain in my stomach. And although it was terrifying, it has reminded me how far I have come in my (C)PTSD recovery.

I am thankful that I am no longer frightened to fall asleep every night. I used to stay up for as long as possible, sometimes days on end just to avoid the impending doom of whatever nightmare I was bound to have that night. I was going through this only about a year ago so I can clearly see that I have progressed a tremendous amount since then in my recovery. It has been a slow process but I am grateful for any advancements that I have made. And I am proud of myself as well.

There are certainly other times when PTSD pops up and bothers me. Times like when my friends suggest I take an Uber or Taxi somewhere. I automatically catastrophize the situation in my head and assume something horrendous will happen to me. Usually I think that the driver will attack me or some other bad situation of the sort will occur. There are also many instances that I am scared to go to certain places or events simply out of the fear of seeing Abuser M. And I understand this is a downright ridiculous fear because I have not seen him in person in years and I also know in my rational head that he wouldn’t dare approach me these days because he knows that he has no control over me.

There are other times too that PTSD will rear it’s ugly head but these days I try not to let it get to me. I try to take note of those little red flags when PTSD is screaming at me and I try to conquer whatever my anxieties are attempting to keep me from doing. And I believe doing so has helped me progress tremendously in my (C)PTSD recovery. I try not to let these fears hold me back. I am not perfect and sometimes the fears get the best of me but I can proudly say that now a days it doesn’t happen much.

And I now know that it is possible to thrive and not survive!

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