Living with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

My Spirit is in here, wrapped in the darkness that shields me from the pain.  I want to break free, I don’t want to live here, but the fear drives me deeper yet into the protection of my safe place.  All around me memories surface, causing ripples in the mirror I gaze at – in that mirror is a haunted face, a shadow of who I used to be.  You can’t see what I see…I see an ugly monster rearing it’s head behind me.  When you look at me, you see a reflection of the real me…the me that has been in the public for so long.  The real me is hidden, shattered in a million pieces on the floor.  The real me feels ugly, defeated and utterly useless.  The monsters outside my door have made me that way.  You tell me that there is beauty within me, and there is beauty in the world all around me, but as I struggle in my darkness I cannot see it.  I have shielded myself so well that the light cannot break through.

I go through the motions of life.  I appear to you as being happy and well adjusted.  I continue to go to work, school and attempt social interaction whenever I can.  You can’t see the fear I am feeling whenever I walk out the door.  I have learned to hide behind a mask that is socially acceptable.  I should suck it up and put the past behind me, but you don’t understand that my reality is not the same as yours.  At times I wish I were dead, but my conscience keeps me here.  I don’t want you to feel the pain that I am feeling.

There are many of us here in the darkness, attempting to reach out to each other and keep that fragile thread of life going.  We all have different monsters, but our realities are the same.  We are going through the same process of healing.  The healing takes a long time, and I know that you feel helpless.  It’s okay.  There is nothing you can do for me except to hold me when I let you.  Don’t give up on me, my Spirit is still reaching out to grasp the lamp that you offer me.  Don’t push me too hard, though at times you are feeling frustrated with me.  I am fragile and at some point my Spirit will once again enter my shell of a body.  I will get there on my own.

At times you do not understand my strange symptoms.  For awhile I am able to face my battlefield with dignity, then suddenly I am defeated once more and the anxiety is too much for me to bear.  I am trying, really I am.  The Depression and Anxiety are the worst symptoms of my illness.  I am filled with darkness and despair and no amount of consoling on your part will help me.  Please don’t take it personally, it is not about you, it is about the demons that follow me everywhere I go.  Sometimes I don’t see how I truly look to the outside world, my reflection is distorted.  I might think I look happy when I don’t, or I see myself as ugly and worthless when you see me as beautiful and giving.

Along my path of healing I will have many setbacks.  The visions and realities of my monsters will throw me off balance, but I will get to a point of semi-sanity eventually.  Don’t hold it against me for it isn’t something I wish for, it just is.  I do not feel sorry for myself, I am just a mere human trying to slay my monsters.  I love you for caring, I really do – but please allow me the freedom to find wholeness again.  That is all I wish for as I struggle with the side effect of my monsters, as I heal from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.


  1. I, too, have smiled that dead smile – numb from within – a rictus of something that doesn’t touch my soul. Time will eventually help, as you said. Sometimes it seems like it will never go away and you’ll never get better. But hang on and keep struggling for the light. I have faith that you’ll get there. We may never be completely whole but we will be able to believe in the beauty of the future and look forward to each day with excitement instead of dread.

    I’m sending you many cyber hugs and prayers. <3

  2. I am so proud of you for writing this!! I can just feel the honesty in your writing. One more step forward! Big HUGS!

  3. Just keep reminding yourself that the past has no power. It can not stop you from being in this moment so it really has no power at all. Acknowledge it for what it is when it rears it’s ugly head and name it and tell it to get lost and stop the thought loop. You are the awareness that watches your thoughts. You have the power. You will heal.

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