Fighting Today's PTSD Battle

I wanted to start the day off with something beautiful, something inspiring, and something whole. I wanted to continue to smile while I fight the demons in my head, and the ones in my heart. I wanted to slowly return to picking of the bits and pieces of myself that have been shattered. I wanted to continue the good fight. I wanted to continue to take running steps forward and not taking steps back. I wanted all this, and I will get it. Just not right at this moment. Maybe not even soon, but I will claw my way back up and start picking up pieces again.

I have a million trillion and one things to be insanely grateful for. And I am. I have days where I can smile and deal with everything that comes my way so completely that I feel almost like my old self. Then there are days, like today, when it took everything in me to get out of bed. To attempt to have some semblance of spunk and fire and fight. Even an ember is a miracle on days like today. I don’t want my family or the love of my life to feel like they have failed me in some way. You hold the pieces for me while I try to stitch them back together, and even stitch when I find that I can’t. But today, and other days, this battle is for me. I can’t begin to describe the angst, the fear, and the overwhelming sadness that is inside me. PTSD anxiety has you fearing things that have happened. You’re not fearing the unknown. You’re remembering that you’ve already seen things  you pray others never know. You’ve seen the darkness, and there is no turning back. Sometimes I can’t breathe and just choke with terror at everything that I could lose or could go wrong again. You no longer traipse without regard to the darkness, you cautiously stride forward ever wary of anything that can set you off or hurt you again. I mourn constantly for everything I won’t ever get back, and relish everything I have gained. You cannot see the light without the dark, but I wish the dark wasn’t quite so bleak.

Some setbacks seem like you’ve been knocked off your path completely. You go from feeling everything, to feeling nothing and I don’t know which is worse. I am a libra, and an INFJ and I adore balance, and feeling off kilter is scary too. I need plans, and no surprises. I need to know what is going on and how to sort through my complicated feelings. Sometimes it takes me awhile to process while fighting off the overwhelming sadness and anxiety. Sometimes I never know, and I just “get better”. Other times I can sort it it, but don't know how to fix it and I feel trapped. It is the oddest feeling.

 I miss my old self. She was so bright, and strong, and fun. She had so many friends and was always willing to try. I am still brave and strong, but in different ways. Those are tempered by caution and terror. Terror that every step I have made towards recovery will be lost again. Terror that a different trauma will erase the hard won battles. I cry so much more easily now and avoid things that make me uncomfortable. I wish this new me was more open to new things, more willing to take some risk. You can’t grow without facing trials and tribulations. I was and am completely strong enough to face everything, but sometimes you need to just rest.

And through this all, life goes on. New challenges arise, new blessings are here, and I will meet them as I have always done – brave, and loved beyond belief.