PTSD Healing: Let Your Voice Be Heard
Wednesday, March 4th, 2009 • Uncategorized •
That’s cool. No need to rush into healing head first. You can sidle around the idea; circle it like a puppy before he chooses to lie down on a big fluffy pillow.
For now, reaching out can actually be done in private in the comfort of your own home. (This is just in the beginning – don’t get too comfortable with the fact that you can always reach out without personally interacting!)
The first step toward reaching out does not have to be a big one. Often I write and speak about the proactive things we need to do to heal. However, sometimes reaching out means sitting still and doing nothing at all but listening to the voices around us. In order to fully reach out and engage in healing and the world outside PTSD – which is where you eventually want to end up feeling comfortable and functional – it helps to hear that others are thinking the way you do, are as confused, troubled and stumped as you are, and are working as hard at figuring it all out, too. Do this more. Find a wide range of PTSD bloggers you can check in with every day. Learn from them. Educate them. Befriend them.
Look, this is easy to do – you’re already doing it (you’re here on this blog, aren’t you?). I’m just asking you to do it a little more. There are plenty of us speaking out about PTSD. Are you listening to the others? Some bloggers chronicle their daily struggle; others approach things from the academic point of view. We’re all in a similar boat.
If you take little time to find the other PTSD bloggers out there, you’ll expand your range of information, emotion and experience. This is good to do. It gives us perspective. Carefully choose who you follow so that you’re reading posts that benefit rather than depress or trigger you. There are several bloggers who are honest in their struggle but not self-destructive or self-indulgent. The quest is to find bloggers writing about PTSD in a proactive, self-aware voice.
When you’ve got a good list (this can be between 3 – 5 blogs) begin to engage in the conversations. Every blog post is an open invitation for someone to jump in. Are you leaving comments on the posts that resonate with you? Why not?? You are an expert in your experience. What you think, feel and understand is valid and might lead someone else to a new comprehension. It’s time to begin letting your thoughts out into the blogosphere.
BRDIGE THE GAP exercise:
Today, reach out in the smallest of ways: As you surf the net begin to leave comments on the blogs that strike a chord in you. Is there something I’ve written in an earlier post that you thought, “Oh, yeah! I feel that way, too!”? Go back to the post and leave a comment. You can do this anonymously. You can begin to flex your reach out muscle without any of us asking you for a bigger commitment.
When you find other PTSD bloggers who write clearly and with emotion, use all of our words to tap into your own experience, and then reach out to tap into the energy of the collective community. Make at least 5 comments on blog posts that ring a bell in your own self. This can be 5 comments on one blog, or spread the love around and meet some new bloggers. The point is to respond to what bloggers are saying by telling them you agree or disagree, that you feel that way or similarly, that you’ve discovered this has helped or that has hurt. As long as you’re respectful you can say whatever comes to mind so: Read and feel and then translate that into words that reach out and bridge the gap between you and the blogger and his/her community.
To get you started, I offer you these three PTSD bloggers:
Catatonic Kid has a great post today about fear and love. I already left a comment because her words so completely tapped into my own experience.
PTSD, A Soldier’s Perspective today has an in-depth exploration about why vets’ patience, value structure and sense of self change in the post-combat environment.
Broken Brain – Brilliant Mind chronicles daily life with a mild TBI and PTSD.
Do some sleuthing and searching. Read with an ear for your own heart’s voice and an eye for appropriate opportunities to engage in the discussion, whether that means adding to one that’s ongoing or writing the first comment to kick off a conversation.
And then come back here and let us all benefit from your adventure! If you come across other PTSD oriented blogs that you feel have a great voice and focus on valid topics, post the links in the comments.
Reaching out means getting comfortable letting people know your PTSD self. That’s it. I’m not asking you to strip down to the whole you – yet. But stop being content to let the rest of us do all the work. You have thoughts, ideas and opinions that matter – let the world hear them!
(Photo: unfocused mike)