Updated: Sep 5, 2020
*(PTSD- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder)-
I remember, about six years ago, I stepped into a doctors office and asked for help with asthma. I just left a toxic situation* and I was having several things go wrong. I couldn't hold my food down, I felt guilty for eating food but then I also had anxiety when I didnt have readily access to food, I had difficulty sleeping, difficulty concentrating, and had trouble remembering the simplest things.
My doctor looked at me and said "I want to refer you to see a psychiatrist. This is more than just asthma. What are your thoughts?"
I didn't like the thought of it, but I knew I needed to figure out what was "wrong" with me. So I made an appointment to a psychiatrist and within the first 20 minutes of the session the psychiatrist says "you may have C-PTSD"
Now when people hear about PTSD....way back in the day, most people thought it only happened to soldiers...people that went away to war. But, in recent time, research has made it alarmingly evident that everyday people can be living with PTSD and not even have a clue they have it. ( I want to throw in the fact that people of color have repeatedly watched a man be suffocated and murdered on TV and turned into a hashtag. THAT IS A TRAUMATIC EVENT!)
Back to what I was saying....when it comes to PTSD....I am sure I was one of those people; one of those people who never received a formal diagnosis but I had several of the signs and symptoms.
Now C-PTSD ( for clarification), is a type of PTSD, (Complex) and it has similar criteria, however usually involves a person having repeated exposure to traumatic events, as opposed to one session/event of exposure.
Over the next 5 years, within that time of seeing my doctor and a mental health professional, I worked with several people in the healing profession to get my glow back!!!!! I got my life back! And it took some work. Well, no...who am I kidding? It took ALOT of work. But I am on the other side of this thing and have lived to LIVE and bring some clarity and relief to others who may also be suffering.
For this post, I can briefly express some of the ways I worked to get my life back. Some of these ways you may or may not find helpful, but....this is a blog and its free advisement so take what you will and leave what you don't want. Oker? Anddddd......
1. I created a routine and I kept to my routine as best I could.
( PTSD thrives in drama, and chaos. Your nervous system needs a break. It can take a break when things are ordered and predictable. * Get rid of chaos. Get rid of drama as best you can. Create a schedule and routine and stick to it.
2. Be sensual
Now when I say that, I dont mean walk outside and wear a scantly dress with a tiger gaze and red lipstick. Although I advocate for that cause that's fun too... but ...I say "be sensual" as a way to say to get in touch with your senses. Touch. Taste. Hear. Smell. See.
Being sensual is a sneaky way to be "grounded". When someone is having an anxiety attack, a therapist usually says "look at something around you", or "touch something near you". Its a way to bring yourself back into your BODY and out of your head. Your head cant be trusted all the time. Your body never lies. When you are healing from PTSD or anxiety...be sensual. Go for a nature walk and look around at the nature. Smell the fresh air. Hear the birds. When home, burn a candle, grab your favorite blanket, drink your favorite tea... be sensual. You need to signal to your body and brain that you are in a safe place...so bring pleasure to your senses. Your nervous system will thank you for it.
3. TURN stuff off!
I would encourage you to turn things off every once in a while. Turn off the notifications to facebook, and CNN and Fox News and NBC, ABC. There are times I just go on a media fast. I just dont watch or listen to anything for a full 24 hours, at least once a week. At one point I just read books and turned everything off. I made my environment predictable and I lessened the noise. I prayed, I meditated, I went to yoga, and I read my books. Sometimes it just be's like dat!
4. CLEAN YO SPACE!
There are a lot of things you can do, but its more helpful to have a clear mind when you have a clear space. There are days I can not get ANYTHING done if I feel like things are all over the place. Again, cut down on chaos and increase predictability. You can find things and KNOW where they are...if things are organized and it ain't all over the place!
5. Move your body!
Humans are weird. We're one of the creatures on earth that will go through a traumatic event, gather all the chemicals in our body to get through it, but then we dont make it to priority to move our body to get the adrenaline OUT of our body. We tend to just store it. There are various ways to move it OUT...some of these include EMDR, Tapping Technique, various forms of exercise...and my favorite YOGAAAAAA! But we, culturally, really need to get into the habit of movement! Movement is healing. Our muscles are like little computers. They store "data". They store the good the bad and the ugly. And until we challenge them and MOVE them...bring them back to an alert state...the energies will stay there...stagnant. Stagnant is not good! So, find a way to move that suits you. If you get lucky like me...you'll find your way to a trauma informed somatic/body based therapist. Hayyy!!!
If you're having trouble with anxiety, or believe you have been exposed to a traumatic event or events.... and need help with your healing and betterment, feel free to reach out to us and book a session.
It will take work. But, the work is worth it. Better to put in the energy to heal, than use up all your energies because you are suffering. Both of them take energy. Only one of those has a happier ending!
You can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org , or call us at 267- 270-2407 for a free consultation. We are culturally sensitive, trauma informed, and somatic * body oriented* practitioners.