I realize it has been a while since I have written anything, and there is truly no other reason except I just haven’t. I haven’t written because I haven’t been trying to take care of myself. I haven’t been trying to take care of myself because when I get overwhelmed with everyone else’s life stuff, my life stuff gets put on the back burner. instead of working harder to make sure I don’t shut down, I preemptively shut down all things “me”. I begin to fall farther and farther into my fantasy land of gaming and movies, pulling any plugs from their outlets of healing and light and attempt to rest in the darkness and ignore the ache.
I have not done a good job of speaking up for myself. I have not been good at it, but neither have I practiced it. When your spouse tells you over and over to be honest about how you feel-“even if it is going to hurt me”-and you still find yourself holding back, you are only hurting yourself. I have no one to blame but myself for where I am.
So, where am I? I had a very severe panic attack this week. One of those that attacks like a vicious wolf- bringing along spasms and flashbacks and darkness. There were many moments, when I was brought back to those woods again, that I wanted to scream out-but I was mute, as usual. Only able to utter small groans and sighs.
I learned something about myself this week: I am still angry. I am not entirely thrilled to be on this journey-to be who I am; who God is shaping me to be. I am not saying I am angry with Him, but I am angry that things are not how I expected them to be. It is hard to look in the mirror and still be able to see the scars in the back of my mind. I know how deeply I have been wounded, but I long to be scarless and have all things forgotten. I know this will never be so, as how can the pain and scarring be used for His glory if they are not visible? This is where the trust comes into play. I know He has allowed the pain for my good and His glory. I know that my story is not for me alone, and I have already seen Him use it to encourage others. I am blessed to be a part of His kingdom building. That doesn’t mean that it is easy. That doesn’t mean that I don’t have rough days, or weeks, or months. But I must always remember to trust my heavenly Father to carry me through it all.
I am incredibly thankful for the brothers and sisters I have walking alongside me on this journey. They have been there to, quite literally, lift me up when I could walk no further. They remind me that I am not alone and urge me forward instead of letting me fall by the wayside. The body of Christ at work is amazing to watch. I am so blessed to be a small part of it.
The hard part about living with PTSD, for me, is being fully honest. With myself, with my husband, and with those who I am accountable to. I have always, always been one who downplays my struggles and tries to focus on other’s needs before my own. But as the saying goes, “You can’t pour from an empty cup.” Self-care is vital. Paying attention to my emotional and mental health is vital. I have to be honest with myself and those around me if I need help-when I need help dealing with things. Life isn’t going to be easy. We have to work hard at being better, doing better, and living better.