Today I am 192 days sober!
This week I kept to myself. Last Saturday night I was taken back to a moment in my past that I have tried so hard to forget. It’s a memory that rests amongst other traumatic ones on a long laundry list that I have tried to part with over the years. Just when you think it starts to get easier and you have moved far enough forward in time, you’re sent through a time warp and boom! You’re back and have to watch the thing in horror from the sidelines unable to help the situation. It’s a sick psychological torture and enough to drive anyone to that point of madness that takes your life. Longing to remove yourself from a world that would allow such things to happen to not only you, but others as well. When all is said is done, you rationalize it as just another hurdle you need to jump though. Neglect the damage that has been done and just equate it to being a part of life. PTSD is not a part of every day life. It strikes victims at random and is out of our control. I have come to recognize that we in fact can control our trauma. We do have a say over the experience of these dark moments.
Yes. I suffer from PTSD. And yes, it is something I deal with every day. It wasn’t until recently that I began receiving treatment for it. What a difference it has made! Through this process I keep coming back to this one feeling that manifests in every situation. FEAR. Throughout every experience I become aware of the overwhelming and suffocating fear this trauma has caused me. I have come to recognize just how much fear has guided all of my decisions the last couple years. Fear has scared me into things that I didn’t want to do and scared me out of things that I should have done. Then once alcohol entered the equation it was like putting the car in cruise control. Coasting through life and fearing every turn. Not knowing whether I would continue on the road or fall off the cliff into the canyon of hopelessness.
I was afraid. I was afraid of what was becoming of me. I was afraid of what harm my actions had caused myself and others. I was afraid that I could never regain my former self. Living in the shadows for so long I could not remember light. Not until recently. Although I’m not my former self, I’m a more refined and reinvigorated version of myself now. Sobriety has made me less fearful and established a sense of bravery within me. This bravery that has been building up has finally pushed me into a position where I am able to excavate and destroy all the fear within me. I feel like a valiant warrior who has taken up arms, ready for battle. I embrace the uncertainty of moving forward and the lack of knowledge to predict the outcomes. Knowing the occasional whiplash of trauma will be a sight infused with drama.
This week I was reminded to be committed to the process. More importantly that fear is powerful and the next big step I must take in the process is to let it all go. I must live free of fear. How I will do that is up to me. The first step is that I must free myself of my traumatized inhibitions that have held me back for so long. For too long I have allowed the trauma to sit in my mind and saturate itself to the point I have accepted it as normal. Trauma is not normal. Living in fear is not normal. To find the happiness and satisfaction I deserve I have to let it all go. Say goodbye to what I used to know. Spread my wings and soar.
Both Hands On The Wheel: