Other than the far off look of spaciness or what I call my foggy brain, I wanted a visual of the dramatic difference between who a person is before PTSD and who they are after PTSD. I’ve been trying to think of “a picture” to express PTSD for people who do not have PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder).
Before PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder)
As long as I had at least one person who could understand EXACTLY what was happening to both my body and mind, I didn’t feel so alone.
Loneliness during the suffering of PTSD symptoms is the worst type of loneliness I’ve ever experienced.
Before PTSD my brain was fully functioning on a normal level. Thought patterns flowed, emotions were understood, memory was great, and I didn’t have any adverse physical ailments. Although I had problems in my life, I still felt that I could control my destiny.
My glass was full.
After PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder)
After PTSD my brain became a jumbled mess. I couldn’t focus on one thought because the flashbacks were continuous. Two therapists didn’t know what to do to make them stop. I only slept two hours a night and my heart raced all day long. My startle reflex, the one that makes you leap when someone scares you, was in overdrive and even the slightest movement caused me to nearly jump out of my skin. My thoughts were often irrational. Relationships suffered as well and often ended because I no longer was myself. The sick me caused people to feel uncomfortable, so they avoided or ridiculed me.
My glass became not only nearly empty, but many parts of it were destroyed and totally smooshed.
Before And After PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder)
Obviously this analogy is very simple. The glass was full and then became almost empty. It is hard to go from full to empty. It is hard to be full one day and wake up the next day empty. Waking up with PTSD is a terrifying experience.
As I am healing from this horrible illness, what remains of my life sometimes feels like the devastation that is left after an explosion. It is impossible to find everything or put it back together again. During the war against PTSD, I have suffered many casualties physically and mentally. I discover and mourn those losses daily.
Having PTSD after the horrible experience was not something I chose for myself. No one “wants” to have PTSD. So if you don’t have PTSD, maybe my full glass and empty glass analogy will help you to understand the dramatic difference that occurs with the onset of PTSD.
It’s not a pretty sight.
The difference is dramatic.
The mental pain of PTSD is devastating and completely terrifying.
Think about it…
How would you like to wake up tomorrow to find that in many ways you felt totally insane?
Scary thought isn’t it?
PTSD. Going from full to devastatingly close to empty in a matter of seconds.