Trauma Survivors Network - provided by ATS

Survive. Connect. Rebuild.

A Program of the ATS

PTSD recovery

PTSD recovery
by Hannaht5 on Jan 04, 2018, 05:55PM

Please go read my story on the survivors thread before you read this so you know my back round. I’ve been dealing with a lot of ptsd lately. I got sick in June and the flashbacks started happening September and haven’t stopped (it’s now January) and i get flashbacks of getting sick, days i was in pain emotionally and physically and hallucinations. It’s really hard to think about it so please comment how to deal with this. I have seen a therapist and i speak to them about my ptsd but it’s not helping to much.

Reply: PTSD recovery
by bmunsky on Jan 30, 2018, 10:35PM

Hi Hannaht5, Thank you for sharing your story with us. I looked for your story but could not find it. Something I learned during my recovery, while helping to start the Trauma Survivors Network at it’s first Trauma Center, University of MD Medical Centers Shock Trauma, and from supporting 1000’s of trauma survivors through thier recovery is that " trauma is trauma. " What does that mean? " It means as humans we are similar or better yet the same. No matter what part of the planet you come from or live, which color of the rainbow your skin suit resembles, social status, or any other " differences " we humans may have. So,our mental pains and other experiences as a result of trauma are similar no matter the type of trauma or injury(s). I don’t necessarily have to read your story, even though I’d love to, in order to " get " what you are going through. What I read was that you have been having flashbacks about your trauma. The emotional and physical pain, time your we’re sick as well as other circumstances that you experienced during your trauma. It seems like you are reliving your trauma over and over again. Which I get can be a trauma within itself. I’m sorry that you are going through this. Many times it can seem as though you are the only one going through trauma. As those you are alone. Just you and your suffering. Especially, if you don’t have other trauma Survivors to talk to. Who can relate to what you’re going through. I can tell you from personal experience and from many trauma survivors sharing similar stories as yours with me that you are not alone. It’s normal for us, humans, to have flashbacks. To remember our trauma. During the 7 years it took me to heal and recover from my trauma it seemed like I would have flashbacks and the same nightmare about my trauma daily. I’d be sitting in my home or somewhere else and start day dreaming about my trauma. When i finally came through I felt like I went back in time and was reliving those mental and physical pains. As though I was there again. During my recovery I learned that our minds are powerful. We can use them to heal or destroy our bodies. I realized that I was destroying my body , slowing down my recovery when I began noticing that I spent a lot of my time dwelling on my past, why and how my trauma happened, and or worrying about my future. What I won’t be able to do because of my trauma. Like not being able to work again or any other concerns / worries that I had . Which one of my injuries will put me back in the operating room. I began to notice how much time per day I spent living in my past or future. We, humans, all do this. Especially when something happens. Like a trauma. Don’t beat yourself up for dwelling on your past or worrying about the future or make yourself wrong for doing it. The real power is in noticing when you’re doing it. Living in your past or worrying about your future. I started to notice when I was doing this when I learned about and begin practicing being present. Present to who I am being in the world and noticing when I’m living in my past of worrying about what next, my future. Being present to who I’m being is like being a fly on the wall and observing your life. Like anything else I or anyone else wants to learn how to do you have to consistently practice doing it in order to get better. The same goes for being present. Each day I would notice when I was dwelling on my past of worrying about my future and just stopped it by focusing my attention on something else. Like writing or reading and many other distractions that are all around us. I need to mention that it’s normal to think about the past or future. It’s a part of being human. So, you’re going to do it. Just don’t get down on yourself for doing it and practice being present. Practicing everyday noticing when I was dwelling on my past or worrying about my future gave me a sense of peace, freedom, and hope. What I’m sharing with you is a different way to look at your life. May seem unusual or wierd. It is, but it works. To me wierd is something you don’t understand or is different than what you are used to. Here’ an example of what I’m talking about. Practicing being present, specifically noticing when you are dwelling on/ reliving your past or worrying about your future. The other piece to my recovery puzzle that HELPED me to finally heal and recover was accepting what happened to me. When something happens in our life. We tend to hang on to what happened and make some interpretation(s) about what happened that impacts our day or lives in ways that we, may not be aware of. Whenever something happens throughout the day and our lives we interpret it and or make a story up about what happened. A story that runs our lives. I was in a motor vehicle accident. Throughout my entire recovery, 7 plus years, I made it mean that I’d never walk again because of the damage done to my legs, ankle, and foot. Be able to remember or be able to talk, read, write, and do all the other things my doctors said was impossible for someone 100% permanently, like me, to able to do again as well as many other stories that made up about the different injuries and disabilities I obtained as a result of my motor vehicle accident. I had a story about being in a wheelchair and told that I’ll be an amputee. My story was that I will never be able to walk again. Which made me depressed, anxious, weak, not take actions that could possibly lead towards walking again, and many more disempowering stories that weren’t true, but i held them as my truth, my reality. Separating the what happened (the facts) from my story of what happened gave me hope for my future, opened up a new world of opportunities for me, helped me to accept my trauma and everything as a result of it, and created a space for many more powerful thoughts that could lead to actions to show up in my life. Possibly even MIRACLES. A lot of what I shared with you is different ways of viewing yourself and your life. Let me know if there’s something I need to clarify or that I may have missed. I wish the best for you during your recovery and in creating your journey towards healing. Thanks, Bruce