I have reached a point in my journey where the amount of effort and work that I put into my healing is starting to show and it is starting to pay off. My growth has become glaringly obvious since I have started my new job.
I want to take the time to show exactly where and how I have grown since being catapulted into this journey by life. And I’m choosing to share this because I want to show why I think it is important to put in the effort and work that it takes to heal from trauma or to tackle mental health issues. I want to show that all of the pain, heartache, and tears, can result in a positive life someday. I think it is so important to take the time and effort to try to heal from trauma. I want to show that it doesn’t have to ruin your life.
My new job has made it really easy for me to gauge my growth. Especially since I started a new job August of last year. So there’s only a year and a month between the start of these two different jobs. That makes it infinitely easier to judge my progress.
When I started my old job last August, I didn’t even know yet that I had PTSD. I was just trying to put myself and my life back together. But as time passed at that job I slowly became more and more unhinged, but I was convincing myself that I was getting better and improving. I refused to acknowledge the impact that Matt’s death had on me, determined to not let it ruin me. That behavior resulted in me eventually having a total breakdown (I truly fell apart) and I had to switch to working part time because I would get set off every day and I wasn’t able to cope or self soothe in any sense. And it was during those darkest times that I reached out and started EMDR therapy. I finally admitted that I needed help processing Matt’s death so I could heal. I learned that I couldn’t will it away.
Now? I’m way more clear. So far it has not been a challenge to get myself motivated to show up to work or stay the entirety of the day. I don’t even question it, to be honest. I’m handling the stressors that come with working better than I did before. I’m better able to process incoming information, and I almost feel like my old self in terms of how my brain processes incoming information during training. The new information is sticking better than it did before. I’m definitely not at my normal, but I’m a lot closer to it than I thought I would be when I was walking into this.
On top of all of that, I’m handling getting triggered better than before. Today, I managed to get triggered by a lab safety video while at work (and admittedly felt a little ridiculous for it). However, instead of falling into a spiral and eventual panic attack or meltdown like before, I utilized some of the techniques that I have been taught in therapy and managed to get myself settled enough to continue on with my day without any of my coworkers or bosses knowing that I was dealing with this internal conflict. I was able to get out of that triggered state and back into my work day.
So yes, PTSD still has an effect on my daily life and I am still a work in progress. But that doesn’t mean that I’m not going to celebrate the victories that exist along the way. I never believed I could come this far this fast. PTSD so often felt like a black, endless hole that I would be stuck in forever. But now there is light on the horizon. There is hope for leading a functional and productive life. There is hope for normalcy.
All of this hope, it is a direct result of the effort that has gone into my therapy and my healing journey. I’m currently thankful for the fact that I reached out and asked for help. I am grateful for everyone who has played a role in helping me find my footing. I am grateful that I dug deep and faced my pain head on. Facing the darkness can be terrifying and daunting, but through that growth exists and growth is beautiful. You eventually learn how to free yourself from that darkness and you learn how to live again instead of just existing.