[trigger warning] What is Trauma or PTSD?

PTSDThis is written ala rumination journalling or free writing where you just write and you don’t think too much about capitalization or spacing or spelling or typos which may or may not be the style this blog becomes for the next few days / weeks while I work some shit out. Also, what ever happened to those monday / tuesday / wednesday daily guide things?

Well, I’m working some shit out. Maybe they’ll come back in a bit – maybe not.

A friend sent me an awesome blog post idea.

Blog topic – how to help someone that doesn’t understand trauma or PTSD to help someone who does..

So there are two parts to that (as I understand it) which is how to help someone who doesn’t understand trauma / ptsd and also how to educate them with what it is so that they can help someone who is recovering.

I usually send people to the spoon theory for what it’s like to have an illness that others can’t see.

But what is it like to have PTSD?

ptsd

Something that the Netherlands does that’s a little bit different than the States is that every six months, you fill out a survey about your long term illness. And I don’t really remember the first time I filled it out – six months after breaking down. I’m not even sure I filled one out. Maybe the doctor asked me the questions and wrote down the answers for me. But I do remember when I filled it out towards the end of treatment. Or maybe after at least a year of treatment.

It was written in two sections because there’s the baseline mental health questions (how are you sleeping? are you stressed at work? how are the ruminations? how are you eating?) these are all symptoms that fall apart when you’re suffering from depression or anxiety or any number of physical or mental illnesses so they’re great indicators to indicate if you’re recovering. It’s a great way to see progress. See how much better you’re sleeping now? FOUR whole hours instead of NONE – that’s wonderful.

Keep going.

So I was filling out this survey thing. Progress report. And when I filled out the first section, the basic mental illness section, I was fine on paper. Healthy. I seemed perfectly normal. As a matter of fact, I got a little ‘high’ from it – OMG, I’m so healthy, look how freaking healthy I am!

LOOK!

And then I filled out the stuff specific to PTSD – do you feel unsafe in new spaces? Do you keep an eye on the exits when you’re in public? What is your level of anxiety when you meet someone for the first time? Do you feel detached from other people? Do you have an exaggerated startle response? Do you avoid people or situations because it reminds you of a stressful experience from the past?

And I was still clearly sick.

I remember at another point bursting into tears because I realized that I would never be ‘healthy’ again. that there would always be triggers that would sucker punch me out of the blue.

That I would always be sick.

FUCK.

But then how can you help someone like me? That depends on the person. I can tell you what I need.

BAM! Writer’s block!

writing

I guess that needs to percolate and wait for another day.

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  • Lisa Pineau

    PTSD is not considered a blessing. But it means survival, you’re alive for another day to strategize strengths and seek peace. Surviving day to day is a triumph and thriving may seem out of reach, unlikely or even strange. SuperBetter witnesses to an insight. I can be my own best friend, with seeds of recovery within. Seeking reveals them, sometimes awfully slowly. Believing in myself takes a lot of self-patience and self-kindness.