Hey Symptoms~Thanks, but I got this!

The past few days during moments of exasperation, I’ve said out loud to myself, “what is wrong with you, just stop it!” In reality, there is nothing wrong with me. I’ve been feeling off, and instead of sitting with the feelings, and letting them surf on through, I’ve been running the other way in a grand state of denial.

There is a saying: “PTSD: It’s not the person refusing to let go of the past, but the past refusing to let go of the person.” That saying is a simple way for me to understand that try as I might, there are reasons my PTSD symptoms sometimes still have a firm chokehold on me. The list can be long depending on the time of year and triggers.

This time of year represents trigger, after trigger for me. While I can appreciate all the beauty of nature, the long season can be challenging with prolonged symptoms and what can seem like constant symptom management. They don’t just amplify on certain calendar dates, they simmer,  just under my skin in both the Fall and Spring seasons.

I’ve noticed that as I continue to heal I’ve been able to tolerate some of the triggers that in years past, would send me hiding in the house. I’m able to name what the trigger is without flashbacks or much anxiety. But, sometimes my body memories and reptilian mind fight for a seat at the table.

I’m pretty good at accepting, and having compassion for my lizard brain and body responses by telling them, “Thank you for doing what you are meant to do, but we are safe now, and I’ve got this.” Most of the time that works, but sometimes as the skeleton hands of the past slowly edge up my spine and try to pull me down, some deep feelings get stirred up.

If I don’t acknowledge the feelings and sit with them even for a short amount of time, they come out sideways. I get emotional, irritable, and I start demanding an impossible perfection from myself. If I’m not careful those feelings can inadvertently push play on the negative self-talk and doubt.

This morning, when I caught myself again saying, “What’s wrong with you, just stop it” it made me pause. Instead of running to the next distraction, I sat down to reflect, on what was really going on. With reflection, I stopped denying that the change of season is having an effect on me. It’s not me refusing to let go of the past, it’s an internal response to the trauma I survived.

Now that I’ve accepted what is going on, and forgiven myself for how I’ve been feeling, I can say, Hey symptoms, Thanks but I got this!

PTSD

Thank you for reading my books: If I Could Tell You How It Feels, and Untangled, A Story of Resilience, Courage, and Triumph    

12 thoughts on “Hey Symptoms~Thanks, but I got this!

  1. Thank You so much for all you share and your vulnerability and realness with your posts. I appreciate your feedback so much and hope for easier/more tolerable days ahead for you.
    I’ve been thinking about you all week actually. Im involved with an organization called EmpowerSurvivors. We offer free peer support groups for survivors of childhood sexual abuse. Its locally in the Twin Cities but of course now everything is on Zoom. Also on Monday nights we have conversations with Evey and Elizabeth where we have conversations and everybody is invited to join in. They are 6pm on Zoom. If you think you would like to join I invite you to check any of the meetings out. Just go to EmpowerSurvivors website for information. Or check out their FB page. If you want their website link I can get that to you.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I often find your writing syncs with what I’m experiencing. I wrote again today, and it was about how the change in season was triggering memories for me as well. Some I’ve known, and learned to accept as you describe, and a couple that are new. I’ve felt overwhelmed this week at times as I sort through them and realize there is probably so much more I do not know yet. I appreciate learning how you have approached this for yourself. Thank you so much for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. We hear psychology ‘scoping skills in your reflections. They seem familiar but distant and unreachable to us. We are trying to refresh them, but maybe we need a different set of tools. It’s hard to know. 💕

    Liked by 2 people

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