Survive. Heal. Move forward. On paper it seems so simple. In actuality it was not an easy path at all. It proved to be a path which meandered a lot. Sometimes I just sat down in the mud and said, "Nope, not moving from this spot. Not happening." Yet eventually I would get up and move forward again. Other times I would push too hard, too fast and fall down, go several steps back and restart the process again until I stopped falling down.
It's always interesting to meet others struggling along in their journeys towards healing. Sometimes I am met with a lot of anger by others who are stuck and do not believe growth or healing is possible. Worse, I am often met with the attitude which tells me I am naive. Other times it is one of aggressive anger which demands I tell them exactly what my PTSD is based in. The need to prove to them anything about my situation is not in my make up.
My personal attitude is I do not believe this journey to be a contest where anyone has to compete. It is not about who's PTSD is the worst. I've read articles, blogs where people have written they felt they couldn't have PTSD because what they thought caused it 'wasn't that bad'. Reading those words always make me feel very discouraged.
I am not and don't want to be in competition with anyone. Who's got the worst story? Who's got the best story? None of it is anything worth competing with one another. Perhaps it is sometimes easier for others to believe what they will and discount my experience. Yet I remember I am the 'triple threat' and have a reputation to live up to. My days are my days. No one else can lay claim to the hard work I've done day to day or in therapy. In the end, no matter how hard I looked to the outer influences trying to find answers, I didn't find them.
It was only when I went inward to prod at my truths that I uncovered them and faced the reality of being able to heal. Then growth lead to more healing and recovery. Because it was possible to recover and move on into a new life of being a warrior who survived and became stronger for the experience. This was always my goal.
The goal of the imperfect path where I do not have to justify to anyone, details about my past, my terrors, my horrors. The imperfect path of healing, recovery has only been a contest against the triple threat of me.
(Also published to Life Beyond PTSD Wordpress)