PTSD, also known as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder affects far too many people. Those who have been through extremely traumatic situations are often subjected to PTSD, but, unless seeking professional help how does one move forward? Is there truly a life after PTSD?
The answer is yes, my babies!
I have recently been reading a book called, An Unspoken Voice: How the Body Releases Trauma and Restores Goodness. Written by Peter Levine Ph.D.
This book was recommended to me by my therapist who speaks very much about positivity and healthy manifestations. And in doing so, I am always on the up and up about how to keep positivity in my life as well as how to keep myself mentally healthy. So, I decided to read this book. I am a few chapters in and it is something that has absolutely given me so many tools and ways of thinking, already. I am shooooookkk!
So, one of the things that Peter discusses in his book is how most people view PTSD as a disorder. Which the clinical definition is a disorder. However, Peter describes looking at PTSD as rather an injury, instead of a disorder. An injury can be fixed, most times it can be fixed with surgery, physical therapy, etc. Rather, as a disorder you are told that it is something that you have to live with and deal with and it won’t necessarily get any better. And so, he wants those who suffer from PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) to view it as PSTI (Post Traumatic Stress Injury) instead. So, that was immediately something that I viewed as amazing. I have always had some sort of a pessimistic view in regard to PTSD and Trauma and I have always asked the question, how the fuck am I supposed to get past this and let it go when it sits on my chest? And by on my chest, I mean anxiety. I do have what seems to be really bad anxiety, but instead of looking at is as a mental illness that I need to take something for and something that will not get much better, I am looking at all of this as, an injury.
I have been told by my therapist that speaking positive manifestations to myself will overall help with my mental health. Rather I believe it or not, speaking these mantras to myself is something that will help my overall energy, aura, mental health, and self-confidence.
I wrote a card (as shown above) and I read this to myself a lot. I cannot say that I have gotten to the point of saying it 100 x a day, but I have gotten to the point of telling it to myself when my anxiety rises. My main point of therapy this time around was learning to control my anxiety and allowing myself the opportunity to get it under control on my own, instead of needing a lot of reassurance. I still need reassurance, but not to the point of it making me spin out of control and lose self-control. So, when my anxiety gets the best of me, I tend to repeat to myself on a continuous loop of, “I am safe, I am in a safe place”; too keep my feet grounded.
While reading this incredible Peter Levine book, I came across an excerpt that really stuck out to me, I literally stopped reading the book and decided to write this post. The excerpt is quoted from the book and the words of Peter Levine, Ph.D. from the book, An Unspoken Voice: How the Body Releases Trauma and Restores Goodness.
“The fear-potentiated immobility” is maintained from within the vicious cycle of intense sensation/rage/fear locks a person in the biological trauma response. A traumatized individual is literally imprisoned, repeatedly frightened and restrained- by his or her own persistent physiological reactions and by fear of those reactions and emotions. This vicious cycle of fear and immobility (a.k.a fear potentiated immobility) prevents the responder from ever fully completing and resolving as it does in wild animals”.
This stood out to me because in the past I have been fearful of relationships and new people. In my last relationship I literally started it off by telling my best friend “I am freaking out, I am so afraid” after being asked to be someone’s girlfriend. I realized that this allowed a lot of room for me to hold on to things and to bring that specific energy into new situations. Without a doubt, I think that that is a logical reason to be fearful, but not to the point of allowing it to still linger in my body. I should be at the point of saying, I am cautiously optimistic. But my fear comes from being in a situation where I am abused again. I am in fear of being in a situation where someone portrays they are one way but truly end up being everything that I feared. So, how does one change this?
Seeing that fear definitely controls my trauma and my PTSI, I realize that I need to not allow that to affect me and by doing so combining what Peter said and what my therapist recommends from me. This requires that I continue to have healthy self-mantras. This is something that I need to manifest within myself and actually fully get to a place of believing it. Although, it would be nice to have someone enter my life and truly treat me the way I deserved to be treated and nicely at that. I do think that I need to be that same kind and gentle person to myself and that means not allowing fear to control me. I have been teaching myself to get out of that cycle of allowing myself to be revictimized when a traumatizing situation happens. With my previous situation I have been handling it rather, incredible. I feel as if I am being very gentle to myself and allowing myself to grow and continue to be very nice to myself. I am going to keep pushing myself to maintain on the positive and optimistic side of trauma and allow my trauma to be fixable and maintainable.
I am going to keep promoting myself to be mentally healthy. #ProMentalHealth
Keep surviving Battered Hearts! We’ve got this!