Sunday, August 1, 2010

I'd Like to Lose this Baggage at the Airport

When I was deep in the trenches of working on my PTSD* I really felt I was dragging around a ton of extra baggage everywhere I went. I've always had a sense of humor that matched my pragmatism, so I'd occasionally quip about it. Now when I work with people who have PTSD I'll walk them through a visualization exercise of losing their baggage at the airport. It's fun, it's funny. It's vivid. It helps.

In retrospect, and even occasionally while I was in the trenches working on my own PTSD, I've had some fun and funny realizations about it. Fun in that "I'm a closet geeky psychology buff" way, and "funny" in that sarcastic, ironic, hypocritical sense as opposed to side-splitting honest & pure belly laughter.

Of course there's nothing fun or funny about it when you're enmeshed in the web of PTSD. In some ways it's like bill collectors persistently calling over and over again. It's intrusive. It's way way beyond just "annoying". It's invasive. It colors everything -- and I mean EVERYTHING -- you do. When it peaks, it becomes a matter of what are you more afraid of: the past or the dissociative flashes themselves? You begin to have trauma from the flashbacks as well as the event. It becomes compounded, it's like a prison wrapped around your thoughts, your emotions, your freedom, your possibilities.

It becomes so all-consuming that people suffering with PTSD often wonder whether they can ever get over it. I personally would like to think I'm over it, in that I'm experiencing freedom, possibilities, passion, and I'm not jumping at shadows, but I also recognize that I have a vulnerability to it -- both to the panic-syndrome of PTSD and to the "I think this is related" burnout that I've experienced from running on that panic energy for too long.

On my call I've labeled this topic "Past Echoes". Let's talk PTSD and holistic healing options including coaching, soul retrieval and self-help on Let's Heal the World Together.

*PTSD: that's Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder - also called "shell shock" after the Vietnam War.

No comments:

Post a Comment