PTSD: A Raw & Honest Look Inside

PTSD is an experience I would never wish on my worst enemies. In a world that tends to glorify mental illness, we need to remember that there is nothing “romantic” about mental suffering. It’s emotionally exhausting, confusing and both physically and mentally crippling. It’s feeling on top of the world for a week, then the next week, watching it crumble beneath you as you stare helplessly into the past once again. Its muscles tensing and hands shaking uncontrollably for 24 hours straight. It’s completely falling apart at the mention of his name. It’s being fine all day then hyperventilating in your bed while trying to fall asleep. It’s sleepless nights filled with nightmares that creep in from time-to-time no matter how long ago it happened. It’s constantly looking over your shoulder, prepared to defend yourself against an unexpected attacker. It’s feeling the life being sucked out of you while you’re paralyzed with anxiety. It’s feeling your voice turn to cement in your throat when you try to speak. It’s canceling plans and isolating yourself because who wants to spend time with the girl who’s coming apart at the seams? It’s a constant state of fear, a dull blade on some days and a shotgun firing on others. It’s the complete inability to trust others or even yourself. It’s lashing out at those who don’t deserve your wrath, but what they don’t see is that all you really want is the truth and for the pain to go away. You wish it never happened, but unfortunately, you cannot erase history no matter how hard you try to block it from your brain.

            This is not easy. This is something you’re going to have to deal with for the rest of your life. You will never be able to go back to the person you were before and there will be days you just want it all to end. But remember, you survived. You experienced what should have killed you, but you lived. You are the definition of strength. I know how hard that is to hear because sometimes you don’t feel strong at all. You ask yourself how others can see you as “strong” when you feeling like your insides are shattering like delicate China. Although, you have a voice and a gift to offer this world. So please, don’t be too hard on yourself and don’t give up. You are here for a reason. Be a voice for others who are oppressed; we are not alone. I know how you feel and I’m here for and with you. Remember how you feel coming out of the dark days. How the sun feels on your skin, the smell of flowers in a park, the taste of gelato on a sweltering summer day, spending time with your friends and family by the river or even just being able to get out of bed and put makeup on. Remember how good you feel on those days. It really is the small things that make life worth it and you’re doing a damn excellent job at staying alive. Not everyone will understand your pain and that’s okay. You can’t expect them to, but if anyone is toxic to your healing process, cut them out immediately. You deserve unconditional love and if someone in your life can’t offer that, they don’t deserve to be part of your journey.

            If you take anything away from this article, let it be a lesson in loving yourself. At the end of the day, you will always be who you go home to. Take care of yourself and do what you need to do to be happy and healthy, regardless of what others think. You are doing a beautiful job at putting your broken pieces back together. You don’t need to be any more than you are right now, in the present. You are enough. When it comes to growing, I like to use an analogy of a tree and a flower. Both are beautiful, but one takes longer to grow than the other. One takes weeks to blossom while the other takes years. Though the growth process can feel like forever, the branches and the roots spread their beauty for miles. We admire both the flower and the tree’s beauty, but we look down to see the flower and up to see the tree. We look up to the tree because, during the slow maturation, the tree gained wisdom many admire. It takes time to heal, but it will come. Be patient.

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