One of the shitty things about being an adult is having to deal with the scars of your past. Some might be recent, some might be from a few years ago, some might be from the distant past. Regardless, no matter how many times you try to burry them, one will occasionally resurface. It wouldn’t be life if it didn’t have some challenges every once in awhile and it wouldn’t be trauma if it didn’t resurface at the most inconvenient of times.
I’m 22 years old and I have been living with post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) for almost six years. I learned to cope. I learned to move on. I learned to ignore the problem. I learned to tell my close friends about the mysterious bottle of blue pills I get from the pharmacy once a month and told them to remind me to take them if I look scared, frightened, or just stop acting like myself. For six years I have managed. For six years I have pushed it aside. For six years I have survived. I’m not going to step out and say it is easy, but I will say that once you get six years in it becomes normal. Somewhere along the line I met someone who taught me how to sleep with the lights off. Somewhere along the line I met someone who showed me it is okay to trust people. Somewhere along the line I learned that sometimes it is alright to not be okay.
There will always be a day you didn’t sleep through the night. There will always be a day when you don’t want to get out of bed. There will always be a day you don’t want to eat. There will always be a day when you want to eat everything in sight. There will always be a week when showering seems like too much work. There will always be a day when a five minute shower turns into a thirty minute shower because you remember what it feels like to take care of yourself again. It is alright to not be okay. It is alright to be at that place where you need to constantly remind yourself to put one foot in front of the other and just keep moving on. There will be a day when the sun rises again, you look around and realize the smoke has cleared or that you have friends that care for you. That day might not be today. That day might come ten thousand times.
Living with PTSD is living in a world of peeks and valleys. Sometimes those peeks and valleys last weeks or months. Sometimes they last just minutes or span years. Grasping at the peaks won’t do anything to make them last longer, if anything it will make you lose sight of them as they slip away. Wallowing in the valleys won’t make them disappear any quicker, if anything it will make them seem to last forever. The best thing you can do is wake up, get out of bed, and do the things you need to do when you need to do them, because eventually you will wake up one day and realize you are living the life you want to live and doing the things you want to do. It will come in cycles. It won’t last forever. However that one week, that one day, that one moment, you will look a friend in the eye and you will know it has all been worth it. It won’t last forever. It will be gone in an instant. Enjoy it while it lasts and know it will happen again.
Living with PTST doesn’t make you a broken person. It makes you someone who has lived. It is a struggle. It is hard. Every day there will be something there trying to remind you of what you have been through. Some days you will be able to look past it without a second glance. Other days you will see something and stop and wonder why. It doesn’t matter what it is. It doesn’t matter how it happened. You’re life is worth living. Keep going. Keep putting one foot in front of the other. Keep surviving. One day it will all pay off. Until then make sure you keep doing what you need to do.
Keep doing the things that will get you where you need to go. Keep putting one foot in front of the other. It will be worth it on that magical day when you wake up surrounded by people who know what you have been through and love you anyways. Even if you haven’t found those people yet keep going. They exist. They will be there. They will pick you up and remind you why life is worth living. Just keep waiting. Your day will come.