I suffer from PTSD. I’ve been told this by my psychiatrist and I have no reason to doubt him. I also have grey hair. These two disparate facts are connected only by this; I dislike them both. My dislike, however, doesn’t change what is. Life is unfortunate that way.
I’ve done very little research on PTSD. I know a few things but I’ve never really got into the nitty-gritty on how it affects my life. And I’ve spent almost no time researching ways to treat it since I was given the diagnosis a little over two years ago.
I admit I’m being somewhat resistant. I don’t like diagnoses. I was resistant to the generalized anxiety disorder diagnosis for a long time too. Official labels seem like proof that I’m wrong.
Logically, I know that belief isn’t accurate, that having a mental illness doesn’t make you “wrong”.
Emotionally, however, I struggle. My inside voice tells me I’m wrong, flawed, and broken. Another diagnosis just seemed to me to be superfluous confirmation.
Really? I have something else? I refuse. Like denial, my refusal to deal accomplishes exactly nothing.
I’m aware that some of my tendencies are PTSD-related. The flashbacks. The daymares. The dissociation. I prefer to ignore the connection.
But I’ve been struggling of late as my depression cycles, ebbing and flowing. Flow is good if you want to ignore all the other problems but as the depression ebbs, clearer thinking emerges and the reality that other issues need attending to becomes apparent.
I think it’s time.
Denial is not just a river in Egypt. It’s also, I’m discovering, not a one-time thing. I can accept certain realities and deny others all in the same moment. I was able to accept and own the eating disorder label long before I admitted to any other issues. But as my thinking clears, my head is telling me the time has come. My PTSD is real and I’m going to have to deal with it.
That’s true about almost everything in life. We can only run away from things for so long. You cannot escape yourself.
So, it’s off to do what one does when one accepts things, and that is to start acquiring knowledge. Time to read articles and blog posts, time to pick up books from the library, time to sign up for appropriate Facebook groups.
I’m never going to get all the way well if I don’t work on every piece that’s holding me back and I suspect the PTSD is going to be a large piece.
Ah well, nothing to do when faced with an acknowledged challenge but to get started.
2 thoughts on “Denial has an expiry date”
Treating Trauma Related Dissociation is helpful if dissociation is a prominent factor in your PTSD. It’s written as kind of a self-help therapy adjunct alongside practitioner guide. The first book I ever read was Judith Lewis Herman’s Trauma and Recovery. It is older, but it remains a first recommendation for me because it talks overtly about systemic abuse alongside other PTSD and C-PTSD engendering experiences. That has played a prominent role in my story, though I guess I’ve been through a lot in childhood and adulthood that is traumatic. I most needed validation of systemic abuse, so I guess that book will always have an important place in my heart even though Ive read a ton of practitioner guides, research articles and practical guides for clients since then.
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Thank you for the suggestion. Dissociation is a significant issue I struggle with. I’ve downloaded Ms. Herman’s book to my Kindle and I’ll get started tomorrow. Tomorrow is always a better day, but I like to give myself some lead time when I plan to do something challenging.
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