Let’s paint a picture.
It’s getting close to bedtime.
As you start to think about heading upstairs you begin to notice you feel vaguely agitated. There’s a very subtle feeling of anxiety.
You try to calm your feelings by reminding yourself that life is really good, and everything’s OK today. There’s no need to worry. And there’s no cause for concern.
And you actually believe it. You almost feel secure.
You dim the bedroom lights, and you escape into your book. You soon give up on reading, and are dropping off to sleep when – all of a sudden – you jolt awake again.
You feel as if you are having a heart attack. Your heart is thudding loudly in a stark, dramatic way. Adrenalin is rushing down one side of your body.
Now you’re really hot, and you are sweating profusely. You throw off the covers, and you gasp for air.
“Focus on your breathing.” You tell yourself. “Breath in slowly … and then slowly out again. Breath in slowly … and then slowly out again.”
As you begin to fall asleep again, your body jerks awake. Your heart is racing wildly, and your feet are tingling.
You try to relax. You try to focus on your breathing. But this time, it’s much harder. You’re alert; much more awake.
But eventually you manage, and you drop back off to sleep.
About twenty minutes later, you are wakened once again. Your heart is pounding loudly. The adrenalin in rushing.
You might as well get up. You’re going to be awake for hours.
This is what it’s like to live with PTSD. This is what it’s like when you’ve experienced a trauma.
Perhaps the days get better, and you’re on an even keel.
But then there are the nights – when you relive it all again.
“Real healing is hard, exhausting and draining. Let yourself go through it. Don’t try to paint it as anything other than it is. Be there for yourself – with no judgment.” – Unknown