The more “well” I become, the more “sick” I realize that I have been AND I have TOTALLY put myself out there by sharing it publicly. It is too late to turn back now, but the public part is a bit scary. You all know me inside out and I don’t know you or I barely know you. So when I meet someone that reads my blog regularly, I’m at a huge disadvantage. Do you understand what I’m trying to convey?
Last night I went to therapy. Yeah, I still go sit in an office for an hour, rip my guts apart and then put them back together in time to go home. I know A LOT of people don’t “believe” in therapy and some don’t even “believe” in PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), but without trying to sound cruel, I find that people with these attitudes tend to be ignorant or are trying to run from their own problems. They don’t have to remain ignorant, but that requires a change in attitude and I’ve come far enough to know that I can’t change anyone because change only happens from within oneself.
Anyway, one of the main topics of therapy tonight was the loss of the old me, how I am trying to find the new me and some of the things I’ve discovered about me.
Every morning when I get ready for the day, I apply my makeup while looking into a magnifying mirror. This past year I have watched a dramatic change in not only my appearance and health, but also my personality. No matter how I look at it, the mirror doesn’t lie.
To get an accurate perspective, I looked at photo albums full of old pictures. Page after page revealed my life. I stared at myself in the photos because it was almost like I was looking at someone I knew as a friend instead of myself. I’m different. I’m very, very different. I can remember my thoughts and thought patterns back then which are dramatically different than the things that rattle around in my head now.
Having PTSD changed me…forever.
In many ways I have been floundering – testing this, trying that, going here, going there, faking it here, being authentic there. It is scary because I don’t know who I am nor do I know how others will react to me. Because of the shaky ground I am always walking on, I am often quiet because I’m scared that I might say something totally unacceptable. I try to check and recheck what I’m about to say because I don’t want to offend anyone, but I end up offending people anyway. It is a bit disheartening.
I think more than anyone else, my mother has had the hardest time adjusting to the new me and in retrospect, I understand why she’s been having it so rough. She is, after all, my mother. I have completely changed and I haven’t been that vocal about what’s going on inside my head.
When I had agoraphobia, I was locked away inside my home all the time and very anti-social. Part of the reason I hid was because of all the PTSD symptoms and my inability to handle them. The other reason I hid was because I didn’t know who I was, how I would feel in any given situation and most importantly, how I would react in social situations. Basically, I was scared of myself.
I feel so different because I AM so different. It is impossible for me to ever be like I used to be because she died that day I screamed in terror and pain. Each day I have to come to terms with the loss and change inside while trying to maneuver my way through this new self and life.
I’ve made and continue to make mistakes because I don’t know who I am, what I feel or where I’m heading.
So here are a few things I’ve learned about the new me:
- I don’t have a billion anxious thoughts running through my head all the time.
- Peace ranks top on my list.
- I forgive quickly, but not blindly.
- It is difficult spending a lot time around people who lie to themselves or who are ignorant and don’t want to change their ignorance by learning and progressing.
- I don’t care if everyone accepts me. I am who I am and that’s all I can offer.
- My body is aging at a phenomenal rate. Maybe the wrinkles are starting to show because I keep losing weight, but STILL it is a bit shocking to see wrinkles on MY HANDS and some on MY FACE. LOL
- I am “in the moment” and every aspect of the moment – smells, tastes, the way things feel, sounds.
- I’ve stopped apologizing for forgetting all the time and for not being the old me. I’m not so bad like I am now and still worthy of being loved.
- There is a lot of empty space in my heart. Loss has taken a huge toll on my emotions.
- It is hard to have a dream for the future. Actually, every time a dream tries to start, something inside me squashes it. I think fear takes over because my last dream died really, really, really hard. That loss of purpose left a huge dark abyss that swallows up every attempt I make at planning for the future. This is really a very sad part of the new me.
- I’m more quiet now than I’ve ever been in my life because I just don’t have THAT much to say all the time. People wonder what I’m thinking, but honestly, I’m not constantly thinking anymore. I have a whole lot of silent calmness and free floating peace without the calamity of obtrusive thoughts. It’s really nice especially considering all that my poor brain has had to endure.
So there you have it…authentic and honest. Since the new me still has much to offer, I am finding it easier to be unapologetic about who I am and the struggles I still must suffer through one day at a time. Yep, that’s the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.