Very few people know that I suffer from symptoms of PTSD. Even fewer people hear me talk about it on a regular basis. Recently I wrote a post in which I essentially said that I want to start talking about mental illness the way I would talk about any other illness, such as a migraine. I want to be more open about what I’m going through both for the added support and to fight mental health stigma. Today I took a baby step toward that goal. Continue reading Trying Not to Suffer in Silence
Let’s imagine for a moment that I posted a Facebook status saying
“I really hope this migraine goes away soon. It’s impossible to study for finals right now.”
Most people wouldn’t bat an eye at that. Having migraines, unfortunately, is super common. I would get sympathy and maybe even some advice.
Now, let’s imagine I posted this status on Facebook:
“I really hope this PTSD episode goes away soon. It’s impossible to study for finals right now.”
I feel like even in this day and age, even with so many people fighting mental illness stigma, it would still be a little strange and out of place if I posted the second status right now. Continue reading Let’s Talk about Mental Illness Like we Talk about Migraines
There I was, just studying and trying to be a good student, when a PTSD episode decided to drop on my head out of nowhere. I got caught up in one of those spirals of negative thoughts related to sexual assault. It actually was much like the thought patterns I had during depression. Soon, I got so anxious that I couldn’t even concentrate on homework and I started getting flashbacks. I curled up on bed under a blanket and tried to calm down by breathing deeply… but this episode was really stubborn. I decided to go to bed early in hopes that I would wake up tomorrow feeling better. Continue reading Free Stuff Helped Me Snap Out of a PTSD Episode
“There is no easy way to be a survivor. If I only tell you about the pain, I fear I will perpetuate toxic stereotypes of the victim who is broken.
But if I share with you only about my healing, I fear you will believe that time heals trauma, that healing is linear, and that it will minimize the damage of sexual assault.”
I’ve come a long way in the process of healing from sexual assault. It almost feels manageable at this point. However, I think one main thing at this point is holding me back from making peace with my past: I haven’t accepted my new normal. Continue reading Accepting My New Normal