Dealing With PTSD
Hey, My Gorgeous Pelican friends,
I hope you’ve all been okay and making the most of the last warm weather we have this year? So, before we carry on I just want to say what I talk about in this month’s blog is NOT professional advice and strictly only my personal experiences. Remember if any of this resonates with you and you feel that you need to speak to somebody please seek professional help.
My experience with PTSD
So, I wanted to touch on my experience with PTSD because I am always talking about the positive things and I don’t want you all to think ‘Oh why am I not like her, why am I not always so positive’ because that’s not the case, I also go through things and I am going to be completely real and honest with that as talking about these things also help others know they are now alone, and for me that is comforting. Also, I think this pandemic has triggered it out of me a lot more than usual. PTSD stands for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and is an anxiety disorder. It is usually triggered by traumatic experiences, in my case a near-death experience and how everything happened the way it did for me.
Over the course of lockdown, and the fact I am still limited to things I do as my IBD nurses have advised I avoid certain things it has begun to get harder and harder. I haven’t seen my friends since February, and I am limited on the amount of time I spend with my boyfriend. Ollie has to isolate for two weeks at a time just before I go and stay with him again. This makes me feel so bad as I don’t want him to think he has to restrict himself on doing certain things because of me.
I have recently been waking up in the middle of the night having flashbacks and worries of the day I die. I get death is something all of us one day go through, but the thought of it scares me so much. I feel physically sick when I think of these things. It takes me ages to then get back to sleep and my anxiety goes out the roof. I found myself seeking more answers about where we go when we die, I need proof of the afterlife. I have researched so many stories, I have been to mediums just to speak to my own loved ones to feel more comfort and confirmation death is not the end. I think this all has stemmed from when I had my surgery and was fighting for my life, I never got that ‘experience with loved ones’ as some people do. Some people say they had seen loved ones on near-death experiences, why didn’t I see mine? I felt very angry for a long time after that as I was scared and confused.
I do see a trauma councillor and I do get given techniques to work on. I think for me, I bottled a lot of these traumas up and didn’t face them. I know I talk a lot about self-love and how we need to break down every little layer and learn it, face it and grow from it in order to move to the next step, this is exactly the same for this trauma I have gone through. I haven’t full on addressed all of my trauma and faced it head on. This is now why everything is coming back to me, being in a pandemic, something I have never had to experience before, being high risk so there is a chance I could have complications if I caught the virus and being limited on what I can and cannot do now means I have nothing to distract me from my feelings. It is a lot easier for me to unpeel layers of self-love when it comes to my body and what I should and shouldn’t tolerate in life, but when it’s something that is very deep like this its harder.
It does still hurt, I have days where I get a little bitter that I had 7 years taken from me, I could’ve actually done what I originally wanted to in regard to my career if I had actually been diagnosed sooner. I am, however, so grateful that this is my new calling, that I get to help people and change lives on a daily basis, I am a lot more passionate about this than my dancing career. I am allowed to feel a little angry about what my old life was like. I am only human. I think for anybody who has PTSD, we need to make it very clear to friends, partners and family about how not every day is going to be flowers with us, some days it’s going to be rubbish. It is very important they understand this and if need be they do their research on what PTSD is and how they can be supportive of us when we have those days.
When I get days like this, I binge watch programmes that take me away from the world. I like to sit by myself, eat what I want and talk to nobody. That’s how I like to deal with things. Everybody is different but we all know what works best for us. I have just been given some tablets from my doctor that may help with the lucid dreams, flashbacks and anxiety so hopefully soon they will start to kick in.
I just want to say to anybody reading this my dm’s are always open if you need to talk. I found talking to others who also suffer from trauma really helped, they understood me and didn’t judge. Remember the right ones in your life will be understanding and supportive. Those who aren’t don’t deserve to know you.
When it comes to truly healing from things, I don’t think that I will personally ever fully heal in regards to things I have gone through but what I do know is I will be able to find ways of dealing with it and living with it so it doesn’t affect my day to day life. I am patient, as I said in previous blogs patience is key and there is no rush or time limit on how long it should take you. Everybody deals with things in their own way and we have to be respectful of that. I am not saying nobody can ever heal, so many people have fully healed from things and for some its quicker than others, we are all different I am just referring to me in particular.
Please, never think you are alone, you always have somebody to talk to If you need and most importantly remember to be kind to yourself.
Until next month
Love Natalie-Amber x
This blog post is intended to give advice to ostomates. The information given is based on Natalie-Amber’s personal experience and should not be taken as clinical advice. Each ostomates’ needs are unique to them and their stoma care routine. Please consult with your Stoma Care Nurse before undertaking any changes to your stoma care routine.
For more information on PTSD, click here
For more advice on dealing with mental health issues, please visit the Mind website