This post was originally published on Marty’s blog “C PTSD – a way out”. He kindly invited me to do a guest post on his blog. I do read other people’s blogs about C PTSD, PTSD, depression… I think it’s really important to share our points of view and to discuss in a constructive way. Being open about what works for us in our way to healing is extremely important, it gives new perspectives to other people and hopefully inspire them to find a way to cope with their struggles. I myself have done a huge improvement and want to share my own peculiar way out of pain. I recommend everyone to read other people’s blogs about how their healing process, you never know where the inspiration you need to heal may come from.
Anyway, here’s the post I wrote for Marty’s blog.
First of all I want to thank Marty for giving me this place in his blog. I have recently started my own blog where I write about my own peculiar way to fight back my PTSD and my thoughts about nothing and everything. Blogging is one of my therapeutic tools.
I’m not going to explain my past before I started healing, only that for decades I suffered from chronic pains and chronic depression. My life until a year ago was filled with opiates and other painkillers. I wasn’t even treated for my depression. It was back in 2017 when I was sent to rehab for my pains that my healing started. But it wasn’t until the end of 2018, when all my traumas were unleashed, that I really took control of my healing.
We all have our own baggage and we all have our own way to deal with it. I haven’t suffered more or less than other people, suffering ain’t a contest. Neither is happiness. We are all different unique individuals with completely different experiences, some of which are traumatic. What some people experience as traumatic may not be traumatic for others, but that doesn’t mean that those experiences weren’t traumatic. I honestly don’t think that we should be measuring and comparing ourselves. But I do know that we who have experienced traumas can be physically ill. These physical manifestations may differ from person to person. So does the way towards healing, it ain’t the same for everyone.
This last year I’ve learned a lot about myself and how to heal myself. I’m still in my healing process, and I believe that I will always be for the rest of my life. That is not a negative thing, on the contrary. That is actually an important part of my way out of denial, which is imprescindible for both healing and self development.
I’m lucky to have good therapists that respect my own way of healing. They respect that because they see my improvements. They all say that I ain’t a usual patient. I take that as a compliment, but I honestly don’t think that there are usual patients. There are indeed lot’s of different tools and medications we can use to improve our health, but I strongly believe that we need to be active in the process. I don’t know nothing about others’ struggles, I only know about mine. I don’t know what’s the best therapy for other people, but I know what works for me. I know that my way of facing my struggles works because of the results. And by the feedback I get from other people both near me and in my group therapies, it looks like it works for other people as well. But let me be clear about it, I have no idea about what’s best other people.
So what is that that works so well for me? And what are the results that confirm that this actually works for me?
First let me tell you that from taking painkillers and being physically disabled to do things I wanted to do, so went I to being able to go kayaking, hiking, cycling and being able to live alone in the polar circle forests by myself for a whole week. It took me six months to start doing that. I haven’t taken painkillers for a year now. I don’t even think about the possibility of needing painkillers during my forest adventures.
The key of my healing is being active in my healing process, being aware that I am unique. And so are you, you are unique. We all are unique individuals. There are no two living beings that are completely alike. Yes, there are lots of tools and techniques that help in my healing process, but it wasn’t until I made them really mine that it started to work. I am not confortable with following guidance without really understanding and being aware of what I’m being told and the real impact it may have on me. Two very important tools for me are meditation and meta cognitive therapy. But, contrary to what I’ve been always told, the most important tool I have is my thinking. When I say thinking I mean real deep aware complex thinking. I know, that’s the usual recipe for mental trouble and getting lost in a destructive spiral. At least that’s what I’ve always been told. So until last year, when I decided to be really active in my healing, I actually repressed my true self because of what other people told me “don’t think too much”. Well, I do think a lot. It wasn’t the thinking that made me ill. It was the denial and repression of the thinking that was being manifested as chronic pains and self inmune system problems.
You may have heard that a negative thought is just a f###ing thought, I have heard that a lot. But guess what, a positive thought is also a f###ing thought. That’s how I see it. Both positive and negative thoughts are just thoughts. Does that mean that I should give up on thinking? Not at all. For me are thoughts previous to actions, I’ve learned that when actions are not an outcome of conscious thinking then it’s my PTSD that chooses for me.
I embrace absolutely every thought and feeling. Every painful event is as valuable as every beautiful event in my life. The same with feelings and thoughts. There’s at least one reason behind every good and bad thought. I’ve learned how dangerous and tricky denial can be. For me it is not the negative thinking that hurts me, but the negative doing. And trying to deny negative thoughts has proven me to be a really bad idea. It has led me to take short term solutions instead of fixing my real problems. I know how tempting it is to take the easy way out, I’ve done that.
I know that when I talk or write about thoughts considered as negative some people think that I don’t want to change, that I want to keep my pain. That doesn’t bother me, I know what works for me because I got rid of my chronic pains and I now enjoy doing things that for a couple of years ago were completely unthinkable for me to do.
I really encourage everyone to truly understand where their bad feelings and bad thoughts come from. This is how I am able to peel off layers of the constructed me that I used in order to survive. I don’t want to survive, I want to thrive. It is true that I am still in therapy and that I still have a lot of work to do, four decades of survival aren’t easy to get rid of. But here I am, doing amazing things I never thought I could do.
I love to learn and I really think that being open and discussing with an open point of view is constructive for us all. I invite you to read my blog if you are curious about knowing more about how I confront my struggles. I would also love to know how do you confront yours. Sharing our own individual knowledge makes our common knowledge much better. And I do believe that being open about our own individual mental health improves our collective health. Let’s inspire each other and be constructive for a better collective wellbeing.