Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and the symptoms that spark from it can feel defeating. Overwhelming. All consuming. Some days it takes everything out of you. I have Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (C-PTSD) due to multiple traumas I have experienced throughout my life. I have dealt with my C-PTSD ever since I was a young child and I never thought it would be something I could heal from. But let me assure you of this; You can heal from Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
The Lie That You Cannot Heal
When you deal with depression, flash backs, dissociation, panic attacks and so much more on a daily basis due to the C-PTSD, it feels like you can never escape from the symptoms you are experiencing. You feel like you are in a pit with these things and no matter how hard you try to get out, you just seem to go nowhere. I remember sitting in session with a previous therapist discussing these symptoms. She looked at me and told me that struggling with these symptoms was just going to be a reality, but we were working on making them less distressing and more tolerable. My heart broke a little at those words. But I accepted my fate.
There was always that fear in me that I couldn’t heal from the symptoms I experienced. The feeling that you cannot heal is a very real feeling, but it is a lie. Nothing more.
The Truth About Healing from C-PTSD
I started thinking that it was time try a different type of therapy that really deals specifically with PTSD. I started researching EMDR and the success it had with treating PTSD symptoms. One thing I read was that some individuals no longer experienced PTSD symptoms. I thought that was amazing, but I did not believe that I was capable of that type of healing. Though I thought that I would give it a shot.
In one of my very first sessions with my EMDR therapist she made a comment that has stuck with me. She said “PTSD is not only treatable…it is healable”. We can attempt to treat the symptoms all we want…but the truth is…it is healable. You can heal from Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Being a Sceptic
The definition of the word “Heal” is this: to make free from injury or disease-to make sound or whole. TO MAKE FREE. Even after my EMDR therapist said that C-PTSD was healable, there was a lack of belief. The belief that I was too broken and too messed up to heal from the horrors that were done to me were strong.
The Healing Part
As I continued going to my EMDR therapy, I trusted the process but not the outcome. I so clearly remember the day that I realized that I was actually HEALING. Due to being abused and neglected as a young child, there was always fear that the people were going to leave. I have a very special person in my life who I see as my mom, and I really struggled with this in our relationship. She gave me no reason to believe she would disappear from my life, yet I still thought she would. Until that day.
You see, in therapy we were working really hard on the traumas that surrounded this fear. Every once in a while, I will do self-checks to see how I am feeling and doing. I was running through my fears and recent triggers and the fear of her leaving did not come up. The sceptic in me thought that it just might not have been activated or heightened, so I dug a little deeper. What I found-or rather, did not find-blew me away. Being scared of her leaving was no longer a concern.. I am not saying I was 100% free of any issues I have regarding our relationship, but this specific fear was not there. I was in awe.
It is Possible
I have seen and felt so many more things heal from the work I am doing with EMDR. Things that I thought I would deal with for my whole life are not there anymore. I have a LONG way to go and I am working so hard, but knowing that I am healing gives me so much motivation and hope.
Struggling with a mental illness is hard, and it is easy to lose hope sometimes. I know, I have been there. But I have a glimmer of hope for you; Healing is possible. Amazing healing can happen in ways you never thought possible. Take the steps you need to and trust that you CAN heal.