A bit strange, that the first person (C-PTSD A way out) to comment on this blog has so many of the same ideas on healing that I have. Thanks Marty:)
I have been in serious trouble for as long as I can remember. Hiding has been my way of coping since I was four, after that came running away, drugs, a short period of forgetting as I got three children, and then cPTSD struck big time. Then studies, drugs, therapy, depressions, work, more studies, more drugs… and so on, really. It has been my whole life. I hope to go into more details, for my own healing sake, later.
But as I wrote in one of the earlier posts, I now find that I have a more solid ground than ever. About a year ago, a friend of mine introduced me to an iPhone App, Deep sleep with Andrew Johnson. We were discussing apps during lunch I think, and she complained about bad sleep. (I would of course never do that… having something like the Berlin wall between my work and family life, and my PTSD issues, kind of a misunderstood idea on how to be successful.)
After downloading the app, and a few more of the same, I thought that this is bullshit. I used to go to bed like seven times every night, feeling restless and sometimes a bit anxious, but I managed to listen to the programme once, put it on play once more, and actually calmed down. So I decided to go with this, for the three weeks he recommends. It worked. I realised that by using my breath, and managing to focus on his lovely scottish accent talking me through every muscle in my body, made me calmer. And sometimes just a small step like that, the feeling that I HAVE CONTROL over something, changed the way I looked upon my whole situation. It said that I CAN DO SOMETHING to change. After so many years going round in circles this was a major step out of a circle.
These apps was an introduction to meditation, something I have always been curious about. I never had the time or took the effort to look it up. It felt too difficult, too strange, and even if I go regularly to the gym, I would never sign up for relax-classes or yoga. Too strange! But now I was curious. I started with “Meditation for dummies” but advanced quite quickly to Jon Kabat-Zinn and “Full catastrophe living” and Mindfulness. Enjoyed both apps, books and YouTube on this subject and it definitely works for me. Now I read everything I can get about Mindfulness…
I am not a premium student… I find that I actually can meditate and focus on my breathing, and after I started to do this regularly, I am much more in control of my feelings. I struggle a bit to find time to sit down and not do anything else, or think about the other things I should have done. But I don’t have the same problems falling asleep at night, and I am calmer. Last week I did a one hour speech at a national conference with 500 people, which usually gets me a bit nervous, at least before I start. This time, as I felt the butterflies invading my whole body, I managed to lower my shoulders, focus, close my eyes, breathe… And it all went away. It must be the most focused speech I have ever given, response was good too. (Afterwards I felt like a worn out washing cloth or something though…)
Being mindful changes the perspective from “I wish I didn’t…” or “If only it was Friday and I was through this hopeless dreadful week”, or “If only I get well, I will start exercising (or something)” to now, right here right now. “If only” doesn’t exist anymore. Sounds a bit weird.
This is the day I have, this minute, this hour. This opportunity.
The panic is still there, but maybe the panic for the PANIC is less intruding. Sometimes it still gets out of hand, and the last time it got really dangerous. But even so, I feel more in control, and I stop to think, instead of rushing into bad choices. I can choose!
Good choices are green, don’t you think?