The Sign On My Door
I created a sign to put on my door at work. I’m sure people probably think I’ve lost my mind. For years I’ve been a sad, depressed and body sick/mind sick woman and overnight it seems I’ve become a happy, hopeful, healthy, energetic woman. For them it may seem quick, but for me it has been a long climb up a very jagged mountain.
Anyway, let’s get back to my new office door sign.
Looking at this picture of an open door in the middle of field with sunshine bursting through the opening totally expresses how I’m feeling. So I typed “Enter At Your Own Risk” above the picture as my “welcome” message to everyone that enters my office. Also on the sign, inside the open door which represents my open heart and soul, I typed the words “Happiness inside.” It’s a short message, but powerful since it is hanging on my office door.
The only way you can really grasp the significance of the sign is to understand that happiness has been in short supply for many years. My struggle with overcoming PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) has been lonely, scary, depressing, sad and VERY painful. Does that sound like happiness to you?
It’s Personal – My Life – 5 Things I’ve Learned
I remember when Alyssa was in a coma at the hospital. Family members and nurses would come and go. I can remember that throughout the five days they were telling me that I needed to eat, sleep, bathe… All I wanted to do was stay by Alyssa’s hospital bed and stare at her.
At night, the pediatric intensive care nurses insisted that I remained awake if I was going to stay in the room. Leaving Alyssa was not an option, so I remained awake – day, night, day, night, day, night…
I watched as her blood pressure dipped so low that I knew she was going to die, but inside my head I kept willing her to live. I was so scared. Actually, I was completely terrified that I would lose Alyssa forever and I was powerless to do anything to save her.
My mind was constantly racing with memories, fears and thoughts. Little did I know that my brain would experience that type of racing for many years to come and that PTSD would almost put me in the grave.
So today was a very stressful day at work. Maybe because it was a stressful day or maybe it was because I know that it has almost been three years since Alyssa was in a coma, but I experienced a rush of overwhelming memories late in the afternoon. I’m sure many of the women will understand, but the best way sometimes to shake off pain is simply to just break down and cry.
As if I haven’t cried enough during the past three years, I added a few more tears to the bucket after I got home. The pain was released and the memories have floated back between the pages of history.
I can’t believe I’m about to say this…Everything about my fight to overcome PTSD has not been bad. I know! Can you believe I just said THAT especially considering most of the struggle has been more like Hell than life?!
There are five very important and life altering things I learned while struggling with PTSD. These things are invaluable life lessons that have altered my perception forever.
- I know Sherry – There isn’t anything about myself that I do not know and understand. I won’t ever make apologies for being me again.
- I know the people around me – I may not know how they drink their coffee or what television shows they watch, but I know what they will do when I need them to help me. I’ve also learned that their ignorance, childhood, current insecurities or selfishness influenced their reaction to my illness and attempts in obtaining their help.
- I am stronger than I ever realized – I often tout that I am a wimp and my family will be the first people to agree. However, I have learned that I am not a wimp at all because I persevere through the pain. A wimp does not survive and overcome PTSD. No way. PTSD is like World War 3 times 2 billion. A war with one’s mind and emotions is overwhelming.
- We are alone – Not only am I alone, but you are alone too. When it all boils down to the very basics of life, you can only count on one human being. Yourself. You can believe in God, the Universe or “anything” else, but the only tangible thing you can count on is yourself. God, the Universe and “anything” else is not going to do the work for you, take away all the pain or live your life. It is YOUR life. No one on this planet knows you like you know yourself. When it is the middle of the night and you are all alone with your pain, only you can change the situation. Only you can decide when, where and how you will react to any given situation.
- I love Alyssa – I already knew that I love Alyssa, but since Alyssa supported me even when she had zero understanding of PTSD, it made me love her even more. When Alyssa was in a coma and verging on death, I was terrified. I wouldn’t have been terrified if I didn’t love her. I’m not, however, the least bit sorry that I love Alyssa. If it were possible to love her more, I would do it. It is impossible for me to love Alyssa more because I love her with every cell in my body, more than all the stars in the sky, more than every grain of sand in the desert or all the water molecules in the ocean. Yeah, that’s a lot.
Every morning I open my eyes and for a minute I am very still. I keep waiting for all that sadness and pain to come rushing back and overwhelm me like it has for the past three years, however, it is gone. The happiness in my heart is real. I am inspired and motivated to live every moment in the present. Life can’t be planned down to the miniscule of details and worrying about things that “might” happen only wastes precious time.
I feel like a new person almost like a worm that has turned into a butterfly. Actually, it is even stronger than that and more life altering. I feel like I’ve died and come back to life again with a healthier body, clearer mind and a heart that doesn’t have so much pain suffocating it.
If you take anything from this post, I hope it will be this: