PTSD is an invisible condition full of trials and tribulations. It lurks in the shadows with me, always following close behind, but never fully going away.
For far too long, I kept my PTSD a secret, thinking that if I just ignored it, it would eventually go away. This failed strategy only made things worse as my anxiety grew and I began to experience more frequent panic attacks. My sleep suffered and anxiety levels became so high that sometimes, just getting out of bed was a monumental task.
I knew I needed help but was embarrassed about what had happened to me and how PTSD impacted my life. After much courage-building, I finally reached out for assistance from a licensed therapist who helped me manage my symptoms through cognitive behaviour therapy.
A huge breakthrough came when I found solace in writing down everything that had been going through my head to express and release the trauma in a healthy way. Along with meditation and mindfulness practices like yoga, I slowly learned ways to manage triggers and re-wire unhealthy thought patterns without having to speak them out loud or talk about them in great detail with anyone other than my therapist.
After months of hard work on dealing with my traumas, I can today proudly say that PTSD does not control me anymore – instead, now I know how to take control over it. There’s still some bad days - panic attacks can come when you least expect them - but knowing how to handle these moments has removed much of the fear from my life. Everyone’s story is different but learning coping mechanisms truly does make a difference!