Thursday, January 22, 2009

Healing PTSD: Get Creative

From time to time I like to highlight the voices of PARASITES OF THE MIND readers. I am not the only one who has healed, nor am I the only one who took matters into my own hands. This is the story of J.J. who suffered greatly at the end of a romantic relationship – and then, got herself up and over the PTSD hump:

I had been stalked; I had found terrible things in my house and started to be terrified to return home or (once there) afraid to leave. I found myself immobilized one day, sort of "frozen" in place! I couldn't/ wouldn't get up. I was literally frozen with fear.I called a local psych hospital and told them I was coming in!

I packed a small bag, called my kid and asked her to come check on the pets. Somehow I drove there and was admitted.I was fortunate that after just a couple of days of intense therapy and SLEEP (I had not slept in days) my head cleared and some of the worst fear lifted. I felt "safe" for the first time in weeks and hadn't even realized how terrified I was in my own bed! I continued in therapy for a while.

Every once in a while I have what I call a "flashback," and something in my surroundings frightens me-- a direct result of those traumatic experiences. I am able to recognize that and move on. If I had the resources I may have moved away after that experience, but I did what I could do: I re-decorated much of my house and removed every trace of the perpetrator, with an exception or two (I had loved the guy until he went nuts! I kept one item and some photos...)

I removed everything BLUE from my house; it's a rare day when I'll even buy blue tissues if I can find white! Dr. Jekyll (or is it Mr. Hyde who was the beast?) had BLUE furniture, blue curtains, etc... When he left, I trashed the things he had destroyed (he broke up furniture in his rage). I re-painted my favorite room and changed the entire feeling of the house. It helped me heal!

I encourage everyone who has gone through Hell and returned to tell about it to undergo whatever therapy works for them, and to practice positive thinking and acts of "kindness" to their own SELF every day. If we wait for the world (or the doctor, or the boss, or the kids) to help us, we waste time that could be enjoyed. I can honestly say I'm happy most days, even as I'm unemployed, or don't feel well, etc. I'm happy in my own skin and I wish that for everyone!!!

Inspiring, no? J.J. should motivate all of us to muster up that courage we own to 1) take charge of the situation, 2) get some help, 3) identify proactive steps to set our lives on a new course. It’s such a little thing, to paint a room, but our minds take cues from our environment. Whatever we can do through what we hear, see, smell, touch and taste provides a definite support to how our mind mulls experience and then decides how to categorize a moment and move beyond it.

(photo: pbrigitte)

1 comment:

elizabeth said...

Wonderful post, great story, and healing comments. Thank you Michelle, you truly are an inspiration to others and me.