Okay, so I am not yet the poster child for mental health. But I and my therapist have slayed a few of my inner dragons during my oh-so-many years of therapy. I used to feel dirty to put it mildly. Being around my therapist made me feel ashamed because I felt so disgusting. I didn’t understand how he could be in the same room as me. He seemed so clean and lovely while I was something hideous. I would cringe from my shame. But now, I feel clean too. That was a huge dragon.
I used to feel that the abuse was somehow my fault. The guilt was toxic. Now that’s no longer an issue. They did wrong, I was just a child. And not just a child — but a lovely, beautiful good child. Another dragon slain.
I need to remember these battles fought and won as I grow weary from my latest battles. I am in a difficult place right now. I am surrounded by fears. Fears of leaving the house, fears of the future, and fear that I will get no better and never be released from depression and anxiety. But these are just new dragons. Dragons do not go down in battle easily or even in one battle.
And so, I will take up the sword of hope. I will remember won battles. And dragons lying in smoldering heaps.
Source: Things that make us happy…
I thought this an important post for sufferers of PTSD since bad memories often plague us. To challenge ourselves to have a cache of good memories and sweet moments too would be healing and helpful. One memory that comes to my mind is a few hours spent at a quiet beach with my adult son sitting on the warm sand just soaking up the bright sun, listening to the waves pulsing, and collecting small shells. I am going through tough times right now and feel that my life is just awful. But my life is not just about now, or the parts of the past that were terrible. It has included good times too. Even great times. That time at the beach was less than a year ago. I am going to find a pretty tin or handsome box and then write about wonderful times on slips of paper and put them inside. My story is about more than abuse, more than trauma. I just need some help remembering that. I hope you have many sweet times to put in your memory box should you decide to keep one too.
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Source: 12 Things to Lift You Up When You Are Feeling Down!
I am my harshest critic. I have compassion for other people but have to work at having compassion for myself. One thing I do that seems to help is to imagine that I am a character in a book. I view my life page by page and begin to see someone that deserves empathy and shouldn’t be judged too harshly. Perhaps you too are hard on yourself. Try this exercise and imagine you are a fictional character. We all could use a little less judgement and a little more self-compassion.
This is my favorite quote from one of my favorite books.
“…what is essential is invisible to the eye.”
It is the only quote that I have memorized and I will sprinkle it within a conversation any chance I get. Especially to children as they will be more likely to ask what I mean by the quote. They are intrigued by anything invisible. But what does essential mean? Then I tell them that what is important is invisible to the eye. Usually this leads to a minute of quiet reflection on their part as they ponder the little prince’s words.
I also quote it to myself when I feel the stirrings of consumerism leaching into my heart.
Do you remember?
We need children to teach us or reteach us important things we have forgotten.
If you have somehow missed reading this wise and wonderful book, do yourself a favor and get yourself a copy today and read it.
I think on most days I need to read this message from Pooh Bear. Having PTSD and agoraphobia among other things makes me feel cowardly, weak and stupid. Stupid, because I can’t think my way out of my fears. I know that they are by and large illogical. Part of me thinks if I was smarter I’d be able to reason my way out of the fearful mess that is my psyche. Weak, because I cannot push past the ridiculous fears that cripple my life much of the time. Cowardly, because instead of standing up to them, I allow them to rule over me.
But, I do stand up to my fears sometimes and do something that causes me anxiety anyway. I am not always cowardly. I am not always weak. And, the more I share with and learn from fellow bloggers and my therapist, I realize that my symptoms have nothing to do with my intelligence.
So, I will take to heart this wisdom from the bear who claimed to have “very little brain”. He is so much smarter than he thought.