**Contains Descriptions which may not be safe for work and may trigger relapse**
The inner stillness had become my drug of choice. I needed it, craved it to please, please! silence my mind's constant noise and memory pictures. It rolled over me, consuming me until I no longer thought anything at all. Caught up in the excitement of the moment which later became neverending moments. I'd crossed a line in my search to quiet the memories, to quiet the awfulness of what had happened. To quiet it so I would not speak of it. Don't talk about it, can't talk about it. Shouldn't talk about it.
The refrain was neverending and so loud some days I would pull over on the highway, get out of my car and scream until my throat was raw. My frustration had reached an all time high and I had no outlet for it. Weight lifting only heightened it as it put me in the headspace of preparing to fight. My adrenaline was at a constant high. Add to this the endorphin's high I was on, I was on fire and not in the good kind of way. Running every day I tried to outrun my own thoughts. Yet even this did not help me to outrun the inner noise of my mind.
Tightly reining myself in took it's toll and I never saw it coming.
There are always those ready to fulfil our needs, they often don't see themselves as broken as we can are and yet they are just as broken. Perhaps it's only for a mutual moment in time, perhaps it's an ongoing relationship of hurt, pain being released because only this person, or maybe it's many persons, only they understand. Only they can help the pain go away in the moment.
I was walking a tightrope and so wound up all it took was one slip, one little slide into the emptiness that the release gave me. Talking, sharing these moments with another person was at first was a singular thing. It was almost as if it was a 'treat' of sorts. As with all 'treats' these became moments I craved daily, could not do without.
I craved the moments of release where I thought nothing, felt nothing but my body's release.
To think I was unusual in this would not be true. I discovered other men, women who were in the same place of need I was. Eventually it was almost as if we had become this secret/not so secret 'club' where we were there for each other in the moments of too much pain. Rarely did anyone share what their personal pain was about. It was all about the escape.
It was only about the release, the need which was so deeply ingrained we each thought it was "just part of who I am". Our pain bonded us together and kept us in this addiction to one other.
When I broke free of this addiction it was not a perfect path. I have had slips, slides, and moments of so much noise inside I wanted to scream with need to just make it stop. Having gone through this I now recognize immediately someone else who is stuck in this place of pain. This recognition stirs up my craving, my need. Because that is what it is. It is the constant attempt to just make all the noise stop inside. Sometimes that takes 15 times or more a day and eventually? Even those numbers are not enough.
I will never be free of this need and I know there will be slips, perhaps even slides but they do not mean I need to stay in this place anymore. I have faced my inner dragons of the past and I have had so many wins in the past year I no longer want to escape the pain.
I want to face it head on. When I finally became ready to face it, admit it and speak out about it, only then did I begin to heal.
Only then did I understand I was worth more that the momentary release of need. Now I understand I do not have to silence the past. I had to to own it.
I merely had to own it in order to move on to a place of healing.
It is possible.
(Also published on LifeBeyondPTSD.wordpress)