The Colors Of The PTSD Crayola Crayons

by Sherry Riter in PTSD

crayon no color PTSD depression

“When you become the shadow of yourself,
it is hard to find your color again.”
~ Sherry Riter ~

Every week without fail, I am told, “It is mind-boggling that you are so afflicted with such terrible PTSD symptoms and yet you continue to write an interesting blog post just about every day.” So when three different people said that same thing to me yesterday, I stopped to really think about it at length.

The short explanation to this baffling observance is really not a mystery at all. I have always been drawn to books, words and writing, so being immersed in them brings me comfort, peace and order. So each day after suffering numerous PTSD symptoms, I would sit quietly in front of the computer and concentrate on the blank post box. With my fingers resting gingerly on the keyboard, my thoughts would flow through my fingertips. Before I realized it, hours had passed and a post had been written.

Not only was there a new blog post, but my mind for those hours became less foggy and wasn’t so jumbled. As long as no one knocked on the door, turned the television loud, dropped the shampoo in the shower and no fire engines screamed by my home, many of my PTSD symptoms slowed down their torment considerably. The moment I stopped typing or got up from the computer, everything would crash back down around me and I started the horrible waltz with PTSD.

Writing has saved me.

How many ways did it save me? That information will fill an entire chapter or two of the book that I’m writing. Communicating my thoughts each day helped me to hang onto life. Writing was the only thing that I could engage in and feel normal.

Up until recently, I felt rather hopelessly lost in PTSD Hell and filled with fear that I would never be rid of it. I had become very depressed and since I also had an undiagnosed grain allergy, my outlook for the future was completely without hope. Everything about my future was sad, empty and colorless.

The desire to give up was strong, but how exactly does a person give up? Hmmm…there are many ways to quit living, but obviously I didn’t succumb completely to any of them since I’m still writing a post every day.

There have been many improvements and today I had a wonderful thing happen to me. On two separate occasions today, a co-worker walked into my office and I did not get startled. Seriously, think about this for just a minute because it is a phenomenal accomplishment that proves I am progressing. They walked into my office while I was engrossed in an Excel spreadsheet and I didn’t experience:

  • a racing heart
  • sweaty palms
  • immediate headache
  • nausea
  • lurching stomach that felt like I was going to throw up
  • confusion and brain fog
  • muscle spasms
  • the urge to run
  • and I didn’t leap out of my chair

Actually, instead of feeling any of those PTSD symptoms, I was calm as a cucumber. Then it hit me! I didn’t have any symptoms!!! I couldn’t hardly concentrate on what the two people were saying because I was so excited!

I remember what it felt like to have normal reactions and it has been so LONG since I’ve had the pleasure of feeling them. Having PTSD doesn’t have to be the end of happiness or life. However, the only way to rid yourself of the agony is to remain determined to find a solution. The desire to be “well” has to permeate every cell and cause you to stay in a continual search for the abolition of PTSD in your life.

Today I felt color returning along with hope and happiness.

bright crayons color PTSD depression

This post was written by...

Sherry Riter is also known as The Redhead Riter. Sherry is witty, intelligent and addictive as she writes about cooking, family, marriage, failures, blogging tips, art, humor, inspiration, travel, PTSD and aging. Her goal is to inspire, motivate, educate and to make her audience laugh. Sherry embraces being a redhead and helps others to see the redhead point of view…"In some eras redheads were worshipped while others thought us witches. Personally, I like the former and think every day is 'Love a redhead day!'" She can also be found on Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, StumbleUpon, Linkedin, tweeting as @TheRedheadRiter and you can subscribe to her free blog feed.

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

1 pam October 5, 2012 at 4:41 am

Writing saves me from time to time as well….was surprised last year to hear my therapist use the words to talk about my own symptoms……I am thankful for your normal non reactive day…..little things….they mean alot when it’s been awhile since you experienced them. Good educational post……there are many with PTSD who have no clue why they “feel” weird. Thanks..


2 Sherry Riter October 5, 2012 at 9:46 pm

Thank you, Pam. I know that so many people suffer and my heart goes out to everyone. {{{hugsss}}}


3 mom October 5, 2012 at 9:57 am

Just hang in there, rainbows do appear and light shines through the clouds. Depression is like being in a glass box filled with gray fog. You are floating and sometimes you get close to the side of the glass and you see everything and everyone but you cannot reach them because you are trapped with in that box. The box is is yourself and within yourself you are fighting to get back to who you are and be all the things you love. No one Sherry can understand unless they live it. PTSD is like that, no one knows unless they live it. The part of that is depression and that I know well and yet something makes you keep trying get better. Little things like someone not startling you is amazing!!! No one can ever understand that unless they have lived in a abyss of the “Nothing”… It eats you and destroys all the lovely things that make you “YOU”. How can one be so sad and not be able to cry? I have long thought, why do we have to suffer this way. I finally realize this is my life, God gave it to me and he knew my brain would suffer this thing called depression caused by lack of chemicals. So I live it the best I can and I am determined to live out this life the best I can. That is the best I can do. I know you will do the same. Life is hard. We fill it with people we love, like our children and they grow up and leave us. That leaves us empty and we struggle to find something to fill the hole. You will make it Sher, I know you will. I love you.


4 Sherry Riter October 5, 2012 at 9:47 pm

Thank you, Mom. It was nice to see you today. Thank you for being there to support me. {{{hugsss}}}


5 Tiredfiremedic October 5, 2012 at 2:58 pm

Great post! Distraction – whether it be work, playing with the kids, whatever – has always helped me. Too bad we can’t be distracted ALL the time!


6 Sherry Riter October 5, 2012 at 9:48 pm

It would be nice to to enjoy distraction all the time!!!! LOL


7 Joan October 5, 2012 at 5:00 pm

Redhead Riter, such a beautifully written and poignant post! I don’t think anyone can explain what it is like to be in the throes of PTSD better than you can. The utter hopelessness and despair that you have lived through you describe with such clarity that it is impossible not to feel the emotional havoc that PTSD has played on your life.

I am so happy that today you “felt color returning along with hope and happiness” back in your life. I do believe that there is a beautiful rainbow awaiting you after the long dark lonely tunnel that you have been walking through. 🙂


8 Sherry Riter October 5, 2012 at 9:48 pm

Thank you, Joan. I really appreciate your support and sweet words. {{{hugssss}}}


Leave a Comment

"How rare and wonderful is that flash of a moment
when we realize we have discovered a friend."

~William E. Rothschild~

Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts.
I respond back to all comments.


Previous post:

Next post: