Going through a trauma can really damage you as a person. When I went through a trauma two years ago, I seemed fine. It was confusing to me: Why wasn’t I more beaten up about it?
I was about to graduate from university and go on to my first professional job, then move in with my boyfriend—everything was going so well. After all this, I started to become really emotional, I was unmotivated, more anxious than ever and everything seemed to be falling apart even though I’d put so many good things into my life.
This was when I started to see a therapist.
During my first session, my whole life came out in one go. It was like I was spilling the beans, the good and the bad. When I started getting emotional talking about the trauma, I realized then that I hadn’t dealt with any of it, and since it happened, I had been restricted in so many ways. I never realized how much it had been affecting me before then.
After a few sessions, I was revealing more and more about the way I’d felt since and the different ways I’d been suffering. This was when they first mentioned PTSD. When I first heard the word come out of their mouths, I panicked. I didn’t know what this meant. I was overwhelmed with how badly I had been suffering. Surely this wasn’t true.
But the more I learned, the more it explained what had been happening: my unmotivated behaviour that had deteriorated so much over the past two years. The way I couldn’t be around certain smells without making me want to throw up. Having extreme emotions in certain situations, which happened more when I was drunk. Having anxiety attacks on bus journeys at the start of my day, when nothing significant had happened.
To start with, I freaked out. I became a lot worse for the next few weeks. It was as if I realized what I was suffering, and it all came to the surface.
And now I’m trying to accept my situation.
Two years on from trauma and I’ve still not really accepted that it happened. I don’t accept the way it happened or why, and I think of the what ifs all the time. But I’m trying to now. I need to, to save my own sanity and to improve the way I am with life.
Because now I miss the old me, before any of this had happened and I wanted to grab any opportunity that came my way. I’m trying to get back to that. I’m diving into things I used to want to do and trying to find my path and my goals. It feels good.
I’ve become so open about the way I suffer, with my work, my friends and even my family. Whether they’ve been supportive or not, it’s been good for me. I need to do more for me. I need to accept my trauma. And I need to embrace who I am now.
Therapy has been so helpful. I’m finally finding people who have been through similar experiences who can help me heal. And I wholeheartedly recommend doing it. Having someone there who is a neutral party to my own life has been such a good way to open up in the most honest way. I’m proud of myself for getting this help and for the journey I am now going on.