Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Shining Some Light in the Dark Corners

There is a light at the end of this tunnel I am in and I can finally see it.  It is becoming glaringly bright, actually, and that squinting effect is something I am feeling quite grateful for.

At the beginning of a dark tunnel, it can be hard to believe that there is such an end.

Over the past month or so, my moods and demeanor have been...deteriorating.  My sleep patterns over the past couple of weeks have downright sucked.  Not being rested never helps.

It also does not help that it has been so hot and humid that my dancing time has diminished severely, but then I think...breaks like this are meant to happen so that we might have breakthroughs.  Which is exactly what is going on.

You know I hate psychological diagnostic boxes and labels, right?  I think I've been pretty clear about that, so when I write on this site about my own troubles, I list what are essentially, for me, the biggest symptoms of something else: Depression, anxiety, fear, body image and food stuff.

But thanks to this break I've had, we've figured out (and this may seem obvious to many of you) that I suffer from Complex PTSD.  The "Complex" part of that refers to the chronic nature of my traumas.  The fact that they went on and on and on...

There is so much more to this story but I am not ready yet to try to articulate it, yet I wanted to share something that is changing my life.

This quote that I read on a British mental health site:

PTSD is an injury, not an illness.

To not think of myself as "sick" or "crazy..." this seemingly small change in language?  It is making a world of difference.

P.S. It was super hard to push the publish button for this post. I am (hard to believe...) a very private person and this post feels very vulnerable to me.  Within minutes, though, I started getting some comments, and as usual, my dear readers are the most wonderful readers.  *sigh*


Linnea said...

You're one of the bravest people I know. *massive hugs*

The Girlie-Queue said...

The difference between "Injury" and "Illness" is a great distinction. Language is so beautiful in the way it can help us completely re-evaluate (re-invent?) how we see the world (our worlds.)

Loving to see this place from your perspective. And too, thinking of it from a Dancemeditation perspective, healing injury seems so much more accessible or accomplishable than healing illness.

katlyn basilone, cmt said...

lovey, you are an amazing woman, and i know you don't need me to tell you that. i have suffered with PTSD as well, and this term "injury" makes much more sense, and definitely is a lot more cooperative to healing and growing. sometimes we find light in the most bizarrely dark of places if we aren't frightened enough to seek it. i love you to pieces.

Genevieve said...

Its ok to work though hard times at your own past, I also have been through a lot!! I hope you find the strength you need..

It will all be ok :-)

Santosha said...

Just remember that showing your weakness and vulnerability is strength and you are brave for walking through that fear with this post! I admire you for your strength and feel connected to you through your blog and our similar life experiences. I also suffer from PTSD. Childhood trauma that still comes back to haunt me periodically. We are warriors! Tackling life one day at a time. I wish you peace as you climb this next mountain brave warrior!

treeluvr87 said...

Thanks for posting this, Blisschick. I've been a long time reader and don't think I've ever commented, but I wanted to share with you that I understand where you're coming from, fearing the label and not wanting to attach onto one. I am the same way. It's hard to put a label on something you experience, because it makes it so much more real and concrete. Just don't forget that it's real, but it's also only a part of you that's emerging a lot more strongly right now. There is so much more to who you are than any diagnosis or label, and that's what's going to get you through this rough time :-)

*giant hug*

Emma said...

Thank you for trusting us enough to share this here!

From that site: "It is a normal reaction to an abnormal situation."

Yes, yes, and yes!

I have the injury, too. You are definitely NOT alone.

Susan said...

Excellent post Christine! Thanks for the heads up on it! I've been asking this question for a long time...what if we viewed ourselves as "injured" instead of "ill"...I understood "injury" could heal and that made ALL the difference in my journey.

This is wayyyy awesome Christine! So good to hear you have found that bit of something to shine the light on your path today!

Susan said...

PS love the idea of "break" leads to "breakthrough"! Yup! Me too!

Jan said...

Another whoosh of love through the airwaves from me too! I am glad you found the courage to post this. And, YES! what a difference languaging/reframing makes. I am glad this helped.

And to affirm you, dear heart, PTSD is a very serious injury. I should know I am a thriver myself, as is my daughter who went through two tours of early Iraq. The effects are very painful and ongoing. They can be brought back to the surface in a nanosecond.

That is why gentleness to self is so crucial. This is our soul-care we are talking about! We are tender, sensitive, vulnerable people who did not deserve what happened to us. So we must take good care of us and one another. The "Tribe of the Sacred Heart" as Dr. CPE calls it. It is our tribe...
Love you, Christine!

Carolynn said...

Someone once told me "It's okay to be in the struggle of it." It was an enormous and immediate relief for me to feel that I didn't have to have it all figured out. An offshoot of perfectionism, my personal albatross.

You'll get there, sweetie.

Rowena said...

I don't know your particular psychology or issues, but I know mine. I've become intimate with them. And I've learned that there is always a dark time, when the sun isn't there, when it's quiet, when the shadows loom. But I've also learned that the sun comes back, and perhaps, we get something very valuable from the darkness.

Lisa said...

I read this early today and neglected to comment. (Sorry!) You've been in my heart all day.

Sending you huge hugs of safety, peace, understanding, healing, and love.

Thank you for your courage. We are honored and enriched by your sharing.

sweetmango said...

I love the direction that you are moving towards honey.
Walking beside you the whole way.

svasti said...

PTSD is such a funny and twisted thing. It's possible to function relatively well for a while, or even a long while. But still, things aren't right. It's also possible to be almost completely oblivious that things aren't right, despite the weirdness of certain reactions and behaviours we might exhibit.

And sometimes it takes a certain amount of freedom and happiness to be present, in order to free the space that makes room for things to become more obvious. (I hope that makes sense?)

For example, my PTSD *appeared* to be under control (there's a difference between under control and healed!), and then I moved into my new place out of my temporary home at my parents'. And suddenly BANG, hello again PTSD!

The good thing about the re-emergence of these symptoms is that you can finally see them more clearly. And in doing so, you can find a way to tackle them.

As you know, EMDR helped me. But there's also people who've had success with EFT, kinesiology and hypnotherapy.

The good thing about an injury is that it can be healed with plenty of patience, love, and persistence.

I know you can do it. And you know I'm here if you ever need anything. xo

Laurina said...

My first thought is how brave you are, like others have also mentioned! And for sure you hit it on the nail when you said that PTSD is an injury not an illness... I hope our comments will help you to heal the injury :)

Anonymous said...

I have been reading your blogs for quite some time now. I don't comment, however, I read and think deeply on your comments. You most likely have no idea, but your words often touch my soul. As you speak I think we seem to cross paths often on our journey and you are ever so helpful to me. You are very brave and wise. I just wanted to take a moment to say I wish you love and peace in this difficult time as well as to say thank you.

claire said...

Blessings on you, beautiful young woman. It is good to be back here. I need your place.

I have been busy with children and grandchildren for quite a while now. They have all flown back home so my life is returning to its quite self.

I look forward to reading all the posts I have missed.

So glad that you're seeing the end of the tunnel!

Blessings and light!

Dovelily said...

Congratulating you on your breakthrough! We're here when you're ready to share. Peace & Blessings.