Complex Ptsd: Faster is Not the Answer
If there’s one thing I’ve continually felt frustrated with during this recovery to remission process it’s this. Why can’t I be well now. Heck, not even now, why can’t I be well yesterday?
The reality hit me one day. It took generations before me and years of my life for this complete health breakdown to manifest. I lost everything. Unable to get out of bed for close to 2.5 years. The impact of generations of abandonment wounds, emotional neglect, the sexual abuse, the divorces, witnessing physical abuse, and more, didn’t appear in my life overnight.
Rather, I left the family home and I got on with living my life. I was happy, working, playing softball and mens baseball. Loving playing tennis and moving around the country. Literally, the downhill decline didn’t begin until I began to have children. Now, I know that’s a normal time for everything to begin appearing but nearly 30 years ago there was zero information to help me.
I was diagnosed with Post Natal Depression 5 months after my first child. The doctor was so shocked that I had hid the symptoms for so long and literally couldn’t believe I even had Post Natal Depression. His exact comment was “No, not you.” Well, yes, me. Now I can understand that the strength it took to get through my childhood gave me strength to hide what was happening internally for me. Until the day I just couldn’t manage everything all at once.
Then a year after my 3rd child the sexual abuse memories came forward. I was devastated and terrified all at once. Now, nearly 20 years later I’m aware this is normal for Complex Ptsd. For the memories to return after having multiple children. Back then I had no clue all this was hidden inside of me. The big bang of the breakdown happened 12 years ago in my second marriage. In a blinding instant I felt unsafe in my most intimate relationship. I had no idea what was happening and nor did the doctors.
So no, I wasn’t going to become well overnight when the symptoms took their time to come forward fully. Mental health challenges, and especially complex mental health challenges, don’t heal overnight. We walk this path one step at a time, one day at a time. Why? Because we’re now in school to learn how to recognise and manage the different aspects of our lives as we begin to live authentically.
Beginning to live authentically saved my life. Prior to the final internal land mine that exploded and left me bedridden (unable to walk, talk and needing a full time carer) I had worked to be My Authentic Self. Without this knowledge I would not have known how to get out of bed one step at a time. I wouldn’t have known how to dig deep inside of me for strength, for wisdom, for direction and for the deep pool of love inside of me.
I made a commitment to myself to daily take just one next step, literally. I had to hug walls, lean on chairs and kitchen counter tops and pray I wouldn’t fall over to make it to the computer. But I did it. Every step meant one more step I could take. Unable to talk I joined Facebook and helped many in abusive situations. No memory meant I used a Thesaurus to find the words my mind had forgotten from years reading. I worked hard to return to life.
The day I made it up and down the hallway four times is clear in my mind. I knew if I could do it four times I could get well. I didn’t know it’d take 9 years to get this far but no complaints, I’m walking and talking and I have a memory again! The strength from My Authentic Self made sure I had a foundation of knowing who I am and why I’m here. It gave me confidence to continue to pursue healing and never look back. All before we even knew the words Complex Ptsd Recovery.
And I’ve learnt so much. I had no information about an abandonment wound back then either. I’ve met and released mine and I couldn’t be happier. Abandonment Recovery is crucial to our recovery. Having my abandonment wound come up meant no more major panic attacks, minimal anxiety, and the ability to recognise the underlying depression. Depression is my last battlefront, but I’m happy to say it’s a battle I’m winning.
Just last week I was able to let my doctor know I was only down for 3 days with depression. I worked in between the sleep that comes with a depression trigger. And I couldn’t be prouder of myself for making it through the episode in 3 days. Just last year I was losing weeks of productivity and didn’t know it.
Faster doesn’t get us healing. Consistency helps us recover and heal and not have to be on repeat. The challenge is no one can do it for us. We are the instigators of our own journey. We get to say yes, now, or no, not now. And both are okay. It’s hard work. All of my clients will tell you it takes work. The good news is it’s work that’s completely worth it. To transform our lives and the lives of all those who will come after us.
Each day, just one next step.
Each day, just one authentic step at a time.
Blessings and dreams,
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A recent article on Psychology Today blog by Myra Altman Ph.D. discusses the peer-reviewed study just accepted for publication at the Journal of Technology in Behavioral Science.
The new research shows 58 percent of people who started care with symptoms of depression experienced clinical recovery after at least one session with a certified coach and saw a 76 percent increase in their well-being overall.
These findings build upon our previous published research showing the more sessions people participated in, the more their well-being improved.