Thursday, June 18, 2015

Moving forward

Letting go is not about forgetting the past, but living and growing for a better future.” – Brian J. Wyly

The last few months have definitely been the most challenging of my life, but through them I’ve learned so much about myself and grown in a lot of areas. About 5 or 6 months ago after seeing several doctors I was diagnosed with Post-traumatic Stress Disorder. Post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD is a mental health condition that’s triggered by a terrifying event – either experiencing it or witnessing it. Symptoms usually include flashbacks, nightmares, uncontrollable thoughts about the event, and severe anxiety. It can also lead to other mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts and actions, etc. Although the event happen when I was 10, we didn’t discover that I had PTSD until it was triggered a few months ago and we saw a doctor.
When I was first diagnosed  I never talked about it. Not only because talking about trauma can be hard and scary, but also because the first few reactions from family members where far from kind and made me feel like I should feel ashamed for having this. I was also not in a place to give any sort of advice or consolation whatsoever, but through many sleepless nights and changes I'm in a better place now. Lately though, I’ve realized that each story matters and can make even the slightest impact on someone else. So, the reason I’m writing this is for the girl/boy going through a similar situation and dealing with PTSD – you’re not alone and even though it sounds cliché, things do get better. I promise that everything will be okay in the end.


~ Have a caring support system to help you through. We were never meant to do this life alone, and it’s okay to ask for help sometimes.
~ Find healthy outlets. Running, music, making videos, makeup, helping others, writing, etc. are all good examples. As long as it’s not harming you or anyone else find outlets and channel any anxiety and negative energy into that.
~ Take care of yourself. Just like you wouldn’t go running on a broken leg until you fix it, you can’t expect to function without first taking care of yourself. Take a bath. Go for a jog. Cut out any negativity in your life. You’ll get better faster if you first take care of yourself.
~ Reassurance. Remind yourself that you can handle this pain, even though it hurts right now and you don’t like it.
~ Give yourself validation.  It’s okay to hurt and want to feel better.
 ~ Alter perspectives and realize that even though you’re having a really bad day your track record for getting through bad days is 100% and that’s really good.
~ Don't feel ashamed or embarrassed for struggling with any mental health condition. You are human, you aren't perfect. Humans struggle and that's okay. You should never feel ashamed that you've been through something hard and scary.
~ Forgive yourself. What you’re going through is not your fault and you couldn’t have changed or stopped it. Please forgive yourself for the things you couldn’t have changed.
~ Light a candle and start a new good book or movie. Need I say more?:)
~ If you can, adopt a pet. Having a furry companion with adorable little eyes will instantly boost your mood and help you through recovery.
~ Tell yourself that you are worth it, loved, cared for, not alone, and strong for going through everything you’ve been through.
~ Realize that recovering from PTSD or any mental disorder isn’t going to happen all at once. It’s going to take time and it won’t be easy, but it will be worth it.
~ Love yourself. This one is so hard, but very important. You are worth it and deserve to love yourself.
~ Don’t bottle your emotions up. It’s okay not to be okay. It’s okay to cry sometimes. It’s okay to be sad. It’s just not okay to give up.
~ Seek medical help. I promise that therapy is not scary or the end of the world. I know seeing a psychologist may make you feel weak, but it’s incredibly strong and the best thing you could do for yourself.

If you’re struggling with ptsd or any other mental illness I’ve linked some resources below that could be potentially helpful. I know how hard it is to go through something scary then still struggle with it years later, but it will all be okay in the end, and if it’s not okay then it’s not the end. I promise you’re never alone and you’re always stronger than you think. You are all in my prayers.

Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” – 1 Peter 5:7

                        Meredith xoxo


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