“Learning to trust is one of life’s most difficult tasks.” ~ Isaac Watts
WordPress tells me that today is my blogging anniversary. I created this site one year ago today. So what I logged in to say seems quite fitting.
When I first decided to start writing about being crazy and then put what I wrote on the internet I had this sort of vague idea that if I could become comfortable with telling this stuff to a bunch of strangers on the internet and in leaving it to just sit here, then maybe I could eventually learn to be comfortable with telling it to myself. And then with telling other people, because I figured it was probably healthier to just be able to do that as a matter of course instead of waiting until my life depended on it until I plucked up the courage to ask for help.
And it seems to have worked.
Well, it probably wasn’t just this. The psychiatrist, and the drugs, and the psychotherapist, and the CBT therapist, and the psychiatric nurse probably had a hand in it as well.
And you guys, and my friends, and just, well, time, basically.
But anyway, a few weeks ago, for the first time pretty much ever, I had a conversation with somebody who wanted know about what’s been wrong with me for the last eighteen months and why I developed PTSD in which I just told them what had happened and how I felt about it.
Now, obviously I’d told people what’s been going on before. It’s how I came by the psychiatrist, and the drugs, and the therapists, and the whatnot in the first place. But previously it’s always been a long, tortuous and drawn out process in which I’ve really struggled to bring myself to use the right words to convey what it is that I’ve been trying to say. It’s kind of been left up to the other person to just guess at what I’ve been telling them. And then I’ve felt sick and scared about it for a long time afterwards.
This time, along with the conversations on the same subject that I’ve had with the same person since, wasn’t exactly pleasant, but I’m okay with it. It doesn’t feel like quite such a horrendously huge and horrible thing to talk about as it used to.
I think it helps that the friend I’ve been talking about this with is such a fantastic human being, who’s gone out of his way to make me feel safe and comfortable, and looked up stuff about PTSD so he’d have more idea about what I was on about when I was talking about it.
But I also think that all the help has helped – and the getting things out of my head and into this space in the internet has made it easier – to finally get me to a place where I feel emotionally well-adjusted and stabilised. Probably for the first time in my life.
And it’s not just that – relatively minor things are so much easier as well.
I’ve told all my new colleagues that prior to starting my new job I was off work for a long time because I was ill. And it just wasn’t a thing. Nor should it have been, but at pretty much any point in my life previous to now I would have expected it to be, and built it up into such a scary thing in my head that I never would have mentioned it. I’d have just made something up instead.
And I can now make perfectly normal sentences which contain the words ‘I feel this’ and an actual description of a genuine emotion in near enough any situation where it’s warranted.
Which I know shouldn’t be a big deal, but it really is for me.
Because when you’re trying to suppress and avoid all the big, horrible, ugly feelings that you can’t deal with, there’s no way to only turn those ones off. You have to bottle them all up together, so that even the little things because quite scary simply due to their unfamiliarity and your lack of practice in dealing with them.
Now, like I was saying the other day about just feeling better, I have next to no idea as to how I’ve suddenly gone from A to B – but it’s awesome to finally feel like a normal, rational human being after nearer enough thirty years of, well, not being one. So I’ll take it.