PTSD Recovery Tip: Face Your Fear
Posted by Michele Rosenthal
Monday, March 19th, 2012 • PTSD Recovery Tips •
Let’s be honest: one of the #1 symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder is that we like to avoid things! It’s just so hard to be brave enough all the time to feel and hear and listen and see what’s really at the root of what’s bothering you. Avoidance, actually, can be a really terrific survival skill — until it starts becoming the problem vs. helping you survive the problem.
PTSD recovery is all about demystifying, clarifying and analyzing what’s got a grip on you. Then, the task is figuring out how to shift all of that around. During the process of this chaotic deconstruction you learn things about yourself. In my own recovery, for example, (and, amazingly enough, I was really shocked to learn this) I discovered I was afraid. It sounds ridiculous, but I never actually noticed that I was fearful until a day that fear so overwhelmed me I couldn’t help but notice it!
This is how I describe it in my PTSD recovery memoir. For the longest time….
Fear had always felt so normal that I didn’t usually notice it. On this day, however, I could see how, for the nearly twenty-five years since my trauma, my life had revolved around fear: escaping it, accepting it, fighting it, reprimanding it, giving in to it, rebelling against it.
Does this sound familiar? It’s helpful to notice what you’re experiencing – and acknowledge it. Some tips about this:
- Recovery means being present enough to recognize what’s going on, why you do what you do, and what you need so that those old patterns can be broken.
- Develop this skill of recognition slowly.
- Start by facing small things, maybe things you already sort of know but haven’t really explored.
- Work yourself up to the bigger things that need to be acknowledged and then dealt with.
As in everything with how to heal posttraumatic stress syndrome, the crux of the process is going slowly, assessing how things feel and your reactions, putting in place support and committing to sticking out the process so that you move toward feeling better. Constantly check in with yourself!
PTSD Memoir News:
Sometimes, it just feels better to see your own experience lived by someone else. You get a little distance, pick up some fresh ideas, imagine new things you can do to move forward. Also, you know you are not alone and that it is possible to overcome this tricky diagnosis that – let’s be real – steals your life from you.
We’re in the process of designing a bunch of goodies just for you when you book is launched. More details to come…
This Week On YOUR LIFE AFTER TRAUMA:
Join me on Thursday night 7:05-8pm EST.
All through the month of March we’re discussing hope for post-trauma recovery. Click here to see my upcoming guests on YOUR LIFE AFTER TRAUMA.
This week we have a terrific line up: Robin Karr-Morse will discuss how childhood trauma impacts and causes adult disease – and what you can do about this staggering occurrence. Plus, survivor and author, Terry Smith, will share his story of surviving trauma and living a happy and fulfilling life with traumatic brain injury..
Want ideas about how to deal with depression, change, and healing? Want to know how to find treatments that work and proof that your past can be overcome?