Easter. Ahhh, the evidence of Springtime – flowers, baby chicks, chocolate bunnies, death and resurrection. *needle scratching on vinyl record* What? They may not call it Easter, but did you know, every major religion acknowledges themes of death and resurrection in some form or another? I do too, speaking candidly about my own death and resurrection, right here in this article.
**Comic relief to segue such a serious subject is proudly brought to you by (or at the expense of, depending on how you look at it) Jack and Ella, the Pugs of Procrastination.**
Post Traumatic Stress (PTSD) stepped squarely on my neck almost 35 years ago, when I was 10 years old. After two nervous breakdowns, two marriages, three near suicide attempts and one recovery commitment lasting three years, I’m happy to say I am PTSD symptom free, and have been for six years. That’s the death part.
Yes, even overcoming PTSD and entering into a life free of its debilitating symptoms was a death of sorts. Suddenly, I found myself without the props I’d depended on for more than half my lifetime – negative ways of coping were gone. I had nothing left, no frame of reference about how to interact in a world that previously I was numb and blind to. I felt vulnerable in the worst way, yet determined not to go back to my old ways of coping. So, I sat with my vulnerability and waited.
I waited for the lessons I had learned during that three year recovery to sink in, and while I waited, I practiced acting upon my intuition, trusting my inner voice, believing that a Source higher than myself could direct me via my own internal compass. The result? Visits to challenging places that weren’t very popular with some people in my life and the creation of PTSD Self-Help: A Practical Guide for Personal Transformation. That’s the resurrection part.
What I Know For Sure
Living with the debilitating symptoms of PTSD for 30 years taught me a few things. So did 15 years of studying the disorder’s effects on the human mind, body and relationships, as well as, the dynamics between perpetrators and victims of child sexual abuse. What I know for sure is:
- I hate the term “disorder.” It reinforces the cultural implication that a person is somehow deeply flawed. I prefer PTSD to be viewed as a syndrome – a group of symptoms that consistently occur together or a condition characterized by a set of associated symptoms.
- I dislike the term “survivor.” Once the traumas were inflicted, every day became a fight for survival…and it wasn’t pretty. I may have won the battle (surviving the trauma) but I was losing the war (PTSD). Now that I’m on the other side of healing, being called a survivor reminds me of being back at square one – treading water, hoping I won’t succumb to PTSD and go from survivor to suicide. Can’t we think of a better moniker? *sigh*
- Survivors are more than a mind behaving badly. They are courageous human beings trying to reclaim a life of wholeness.
- PTSD’s effects are experienced in every facet of a survivor’s life – mind, body, relationships, spirit, and career.
- A gap exists between professionals’ treatment of the mind for PTSD and addressing PTSD treatment for the whole person.
- It is the survivor’s responsibility to bridge that gap.
- Bridging the gap has a steep learning curve.
- Survivors in the midst of a healing crisis don’t have the energy to navigate the learning curve.
- Survivors need help remembering who they really are, and who they can be again.
PTSD Self-Help: A Practical Guide to Personal Transformation bridges the gap between what happens in the therapist’s office and how you live your life between appointments by providing a method for developing your own Healing Plan and suggestions for low or no-cost activities used in collaboration with professional guidance. Finally, what was not available to me, is available to you. You can have something more than survival. You can hold your own person resurrection in the palm of your hand.
Back to the resurrection part. For me, resurrection didn’t happen after walking away from PTSD forever. It didn’t happen after reconciling the damage PTSD had caused in my relationships. And it didn’t happen after making peace with God’s part in all of this. Resurrection only happened when I started guiding other survivors to embark on their own healing journey, first through my life coaching business, then through publishing articles like the one’s found here at PTSD Relief. That’s when I remembered who I was.
Hope…renewal…transformation. That’s who I am and what I’m about. Now, I’m happy to say the practical advice you find here and more, will soon be available in one complete publication. Look for PTSD Self-Help: A Practical Guide for Personal Transformation soon at Amazon.com!
Do You Like The Pugs of Procrastination?
If you’ve been following my work for very long, you know that Jack and Ella are not only my pugs, but also my excuse for not meeting my writing quotas. They are just so darn cute! And more than a little demanding. The pugs love to hear from their fans! (Me too!) So, feel free to ask questions, let us know what you think about the series, or just see what we’re up to! Here’s how to connect (handy buttons at the top of this page):