Mental health is something at times we are afraid to admit we are struggling with. Post traumatic stress is a ‘condition’ many don’t understand. Since Chris’s aortic rupture, here at home, where he was drowning in his own fluid, and subsequently watching the ambulance paramedics working so hard on his heart, not once, but twice, has also left scars on my own. I can’t really speak about it verbally without crying. Writing this, I am crying. It’s the oddest thing. One minute the ocean is calm, then all of a sudden a huge wave emerges and hits me with full force! The whole experience was traumatic. As an observer it was traumatic. Yet, I felt I had no right to be traumatized, when it was Chris who was fighting for his life. ‘Don’t be afraid to be feeling vulnerable. You are meant to feel,’ my strong-self keeps saying. ‘I’m meant to be stronger than this,’ my traumatized-self replies. ‘It’s okay,’ my strong self is empathetic to my feelings. ‘You can’t be strong all the time.’ ‘I don’t know what to do.’ I plead. ‘You’ve already began healing by speaking about it. Sometimes that’s all you need to do. Share your burden.’ ‘Thank you strong self. I know you are always there to reach down into the pit and hold out a hand to lift me out of this sadness.’ I take hold of my strong self’s hand. I can see the light above. It’s small, however it’s there. A tiny speck waiting for me to break free and embrace it once again. ‘The light is growing stronger, strong-self!’ I feel relieved I can see it growing. ‘Don’t let go! I’ve got you. You can do this. You are safe.’ ‘I’m almost there.’ The climb up seems to have sapped me from all my energy. ‘Take your time. Rest if you need to. I’m not going anywhere.’ My strong self waits patiently for me to regain my strength to continue my climb. ‘What if I cry again when I reach the top? What if the memories still haunt me?’ ‘Know I am here for you. I walk beside you always. Reach out. My hand is always in yours. You are never alone. Be gentle with your feelings. Forgive yourself for them, however there is nothing to forgive, because what you are feeling is a natural reaction to your experience. Your emotions are fragile things at times. When you love deeply with all our heart, at times they don’t know how to respond… for you it’s tears, for another it may be substance abuse, sexual abuse, self harming, another starvation… each one has a different way of responding to trauma.’ ‘What is the key, strong self?’ ‘Reach out!’ ‘Thank you strong-self. I love you.’ ‘You are always loved. Life will be great again. One moment at a time, then one morning you will wake up to a brand new sunrise filled with all you ever dreamed of. Hold on, it’s on the way. Hold on for one more day, then the next, and the next.’
If you are reading this rather long post I have written about my own personal PTS, and are feeling overwhelmed with sadness, grief, depression, anxiety, loneliness etc. know there is always a hand reaching out for you to hold. All you need to do is to reach out and take hold of it.
In gratitude and love for this one more day and look forward to a brighter future. xxx