Bad things happen, I know this, everyone seems to get this. PTSD seems to steal away the process of moving on from bad things happening. Sh*t happens and move on? No. Stuckness happens instead. I thought I’d moved on and yet as the big anniversary of all things terrible approaches I am realising something pretty important.
I chose to deal with this stuff head on. I chose. What I didn’t expect was to unearth so many reactions to anniversaries which had been going on without me acknowledging them in any way for years. So why now? I face it anew this time with fresh eyes. Eyes which are no longer merely observing, they are participating in the process this time. I’d tried before to deal with this when I’d had an event happen in my personal life which set off a spiral. An event everyone seemed to think you just get over in a few days or even a week. Even in therapy I couldn’t find it in me to trust so I buffaloed for the few sessions (only 3) before they started pushing medication my way. I refused this route as I knew it was inappropriate. I knew this because I was not being truthful. I was presenting a picture which was ‘expected’ as a response to a loved one’s suicide, so of course medication was their answer. But it wasn’t because I was just faking it, it was because there was no trust contained in my sharing. I wasn’t about to be real about the depth of what was going on. This terrible thing which had happened had engaged a trigger I couldn’t fully recover from. I couldn’t contain all the bad sh*t inside the filing box I’d stuffed it into anymore.
I’d learned a long time ago to ‘fake it’. If I could ‘fake’ being all happy and OK all things would be set right by my attitude. Something which seems to be coming full circle to bite me in the ass. Truth. Why is trust and truth so very hard? Every moment I establish a new level of truth in this year long process I discover a new level of fickleness where I want to step away from this process. I don’t want to let anyone in that deep. So today as I woke up and realised the date and what it’s approaching I finally got it. If I don’t’ let anyone close enough to talk the truth to I don’t have to face the bad things head on.
Facing the bad things is, well it’s scary for one. It brought up all the fears and insecurities which had all lead to a downfall I hadn’t taken a long hard look at before. Facing this meant I’d have to also face what not facing it had done to my life. It took peace and happiness away from me. I fell, I fell long, hard and extremely ungracefully. To expect to not receive abrasions along the way and even receive deep bloody gashes isn’t even realistic. Choosing to open up those badly healed scars comes with pain and fresh bleeding in order to heal.
A year of continuing to show up. Six months to a good 9 months of it spent on establishing verified trust. Yeah, most will understand what that means. I trust no one. I seem to, but it’s not my reality. Verified trust, wallowing around in meaningless sharing for what seemed to be forever. To still show up until I could really work at this journey. To appear to really be working hard at this was a special kind of personal hell. But when I finally did? Well dang it’s not a happy place. It brings back all these amazing memories of being so happy, so in love, so alive. I want to be in those places again. Ones of new beginnings and new chances where the world was out there and I could do anything possible. I had all these ‘second chances’ given and I look back to find all I feel is they were squandered chances.
Effed up. I can’t honestly look back at my fall from ‘grace’ and see anything but effed up chances. Always falling short because I was not even close to being prepared for success. Deep inside I did not believe I deserved success in spite of those who believed in me. The self blame for what I had done to survive, to live, it had permeated into every moment of my seemingly successful life. Self blame from this upcoming anniversary of bad things had become my internal definition. I’ve got to move past this one. I’ve got to face it head on, dig out the documents to face head on this date and talk it out for good. No more avoidance.
Avoidance had become a tragic ability I’d become good at. But this sh*t? It’s part of me now. It always will be and yet it does not have to define me as a person. I don’t have to live that way anymore.
To live a life defined only by the bad things which happen is not healthy and it’s not a recipe for happiness. So this year, as I’ve locked in my appointments for the rest of the year, my recipe to discover is the one for my personal happiness. I’ll keep trying out the recipes I think will work until I find the one which does.
The bad things and the anniversary of them will not continue to be my recipe for personal disaster. Because this is a personal quest to find this recipe unique to me. It’s no one else’s recipe but mine and I’ll do what it takes, dig deep, cry hard, scream loud, and eventually the recipe will fall together and be beautiful.