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PTSD in Recovery

We spend so much time dealing with the addictions at hand, that we forget to prepare for the aftershock.

The moments down the line where your disordered thinking comes back to haunt you.

I woke up this morning and saw two pills on the counter. My first thought?

Fuck.

My second thought?

Wait, no, those aren’t mine.

I get nervous seeing some else take muscle relaxers because I am afraid of what dependability they’re going to develop.

I don’t step inside a high school unless I absolutely have to (like if a 4-year old puts on a tutu and asks me to come watch her dance and bring her candy).

I look around every time I reach for a kitchen knife, wondering if my neighbors suspect I might do something harmful, instead of just cutting watermelon.

And I have been known on several occasions to purchase ice cream and throw it away when I start to crave some because I am afraid if I start I won’t be able to stop.

Sometimes I remember instances that occurred a long time ago and become engulfed in anxiety and forget how to breathe.

Recovery doesn’t mean you’re “cured” or “fixed”

You’re not a car,

It means you put in the work to learn how to deal with difficult days; to handle the memories whenever they come shooting back through your mind.

And treatment isn’t something you enroll in, graduate from and forget about (that’s call school).

I hated the doctors while I was there.

I hated that they made me eat food I didn’t want to eat, and that they made me talk about things I didn’t want to face.

And there are things I didn’t cover in treatment.

Experiences I wasn’t ready to face at the time.

But those doctors that I spent so much time loathing taught me every coping mechanism and tool to make it through the rough shit.

Experiencing PTSD from things you don’t want to remember is easier to handle when you possess the correct knowledge and tools to support your mindset and body.

You’re going to have old experiences bring up feelings throughout your recovery.

But just like urges, you don’t have to act on them.

Your recovery should be about where you are now, not the moments you spent in the bathroom alone or in your car driving aimlessly through a thunderstorm, debating what reasons you have to go back home.

Your recovery should be about you.

Replace those PTSD-fueled thoughts with thoughts that make you strong.

Replace them with glitter-filled compliments you usually only give to other people.

Try giving them to yourself.

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