Being able to trust our own memories is a struggle when we're triggered. We're in our pasts, we're in our presents...we can get confused and because of this...we feel some guilt. We question our own actions, thoughts and more. And then shame starts...and the negative thoughts and self talk does too.
Have you ever walked this staircase? I have and to see it like this...I can almost walk myself through every episode I've had. When you read this...can you recognize the steps in your own episodes? Sometimes it's not so easy to recognize and then for others it's like being slapped in the face. But you know what? When we can learn to recognize the steps...when we can learn to address our own needs as we need them... we can learn to overcome and even manage our PTSD. We can! and it can have less control on and in our lives.
Knowing the steps won't stop us from experiencing this though...but we can shorten the duration of our episodes or even avoid them all together. How do you manage your PTSD episodes?
- talk to yourself with love and care...this is not the time to beat yourself up!
- remind yourself that you're safe! ...that you're okay...that you can and will deal with this...you are strong enough! YOU ARE!
- turn to your coping skills....what keeps you grounded? what relaxes you? what thoughts can you visualize? BREATHE!! (for me it's my music and thoughts of the beach)
- who can you turn to? who can you trust?...talk to those you trust about how you're feeling and let them know what you need from them. This could even be your pet...when feeling anxious stroking and petting our furry friends can be a calming influence
- have an open line of communication with your doctor and/or treatment team - share when you have experienced a particularily bad episode or one you're strugging to come out of. Discuss your treatment options and explore them! talk therapy has some real benefits
- join a support group for people living with PTSD...there is support in numbers and understanding too and sometimes you may learn a few new tricks to help you manage your PTSD better...you are NOT alone
- love, accept, and nurture yourself! you can't change what happened or what caused the PTSD for you...but you can change what you do about it now moving forward...we have options...we have choices...and we have the control...NOT the PTSD or the causes of it either.
Our episodes are ours and what causes them are too and it will be different for each of us...but the feelings? we all experience those...and it's up to us to help ourselves live with and manage our triggers the best we can. Do you know what your triggers are? Have you ever taken the time to write them down? Why is a particular trigger a trigger for you? Do you have a plan for managing each trigger you could list?
The more you know about your triggers...the less control they can have in your life. The more prepared you are for them...the less time you'll spend in an episode. Don't beat yourself up for having the triggers...just learn how to manage them. And YES!! you CAN do this! you ARE strong enough!
take good care of you please
picture found on-line - original source unknown