Thursday, September 10, 2015

Ebb and Flow


Growth for someone who has lived all of their known life with PTSD is an interesting phenomenon.

People, even some close to me, don't see PTSD...they see an adult woman of 40+ years, educated, somehow having arrived, and with my life pulled-together.

Those people only see what I let them see.

My closest friends know I struggle.  Some of them are aware of the days when I am struggling. Sometimes I call them, sometimes I message them on Facebook, or text.

Even then, they only see the tip of the iceberg.

Most of the time, I tell no one.  The dark is too deep, the pain too immense, the questions too hard to answer.

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Good days are sunshine, and flowers, and birds singing, and a lot of accomplishments.

Bad days are grey, and dark, and ruminating, and sad, and a lot of time wishing I were in bed.

Good days often come in clumps...when it is sunny outside, when I have places to be and things to do, and people depending on me.

Bad days come in clumps, too.  Winter is hard because it is already grey, and cold, and requires time be spent indoors.  But is also grey when it is raining outside, or when I didn't get enough sleep, or I had nightmares, or I am in the middle of over-analyzing the last discussion I had with someone who never called back, or never emailed me, or who didn't acknowledge my existence at church.

Unfortunately, bad days happen more often than the good ones.

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I have grown a lot in recent years.

I have a name for that looming entity that threatens to engulf me from time to time.

I recognize when I am starting to go downhill now, and am able to do things to change the momentum, and change my direction.

I recognize triggers.

I know I hate the grey.  I know I love the sunshine.  I had four REALLY GOOD years.  Yes, there were hard days in there, but that was FOUR years of progress.  A LOT of growth can happen in four years' time.

I know that my dark days NOW are different than they were before, BECAUSE I have a name for it, BECAUSE I have known days without the clouds, BECAUSE I have grown.  The dark days are NOT better, but different.  They are still deep and dark and sad, but I have HOPE now.

And HOPE will get me through these dark days.

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