I've been scared to post this but I know I made a promise to myself and to my followers to share this journey with PTSD. I asked my husband to take this photo and I question if I should have got him to video me before this moment.
I had another extreme episode - yet again in Scotland. It happened last Monday morning when I was sitting on the sofa the day after our daughters Glistening (naming ceramony.) The night before I had flash backs of events from my past that were hard and upsetting - I experience them often when I visit Scotland.
This time however, I woke up and I felt like I was still there - like everything was still happening to me. It didn't feel like I was telling a friend about my past, it felt like I was still in that life and I was scared because my adult self now knows it was all so wrong. I was scared for my self and then when I seen my baby girl sitting next to me I was scared for her - that's when I went numb.
I asked my mum to take her out the room and get my husband. I just wept, I cried like a child - I was my inner child. Every time I tried to talk to myself and tell myself it was my husband holding me, that I was now a mother and that I was safe and strong - something deeper would pull me back into darkness and I was there. I began to get pins and needles all over my body, my hands started to curl and I had no control of them, then my lips wouldn't move. Before I knew it I was trapped in my own body in a child's mind screaming for help but nobody was there, nobody could see where I was and what I felt - I was alone. So very, painfully on my own.
I needed away from everything that looked like it did when I was younger, I knew that much because since I've been seeing a councillor she's taught me SO much about coping with this all. This excruciating experience lasted for over an hour. Every now and again I would calm and my hands would start to uncurl but until I reached a place that had no association with my past - I kept getting trapped.
When we made it to my husbands parents house, I asked him to take Emily inside so she wouldn't see me trying to walk in the house. Just as he walked through the door I was sure, it would be the last time I'd see them - I truly believed my body was giving up on me, I believed I was dying. My chest was aching, my heart was hitting levels of pain that outweighed the birth of my children. This pain was beyond physical - it had my soul. It was threatening to take away the beauty of my life now and pull me back to that darkness, it was fear beyond fear.
Then my husband walked back out and he waited until I was ready to try move my legs, he stood reminding me who I was now, where I was and how safe I was - slowly he led me to his parents room. I wanted his mothers perfume on me and I wanted something that smelled safe, something that smelled of my present life - the life I love. I was hugging my daughters teddy but I was still frozen. I asked if my husband would get our dogs onto the bed - instantly they lay with me, they licked me and they instinctively knew I needed them. As I felt their fur my hands slowly uncurled and I had regained my control, I was safe, I was home, I was with my beautiful family. My safe. It was one of life's most incredibly beautiful moments. Their touch saved me.
This, is just one of the mental illnesses that's treated with a 6 month wait to just speak to someone - let alone get adequate help. Medication, therapy and the support of family and friends will cure a person who's suffering - so if you know someone who's waiting. Be that friend, be that family member. There are so many of you who suffer in silence - my inbox is full of people who are yet to find the strength to get help or are sitting in limbo waiting patiently for an opportunity to talk to a professional. This journey for me is not over, I am without question at one of the hardest stages - I've been forced to face demons I've buried and at the moment, I'm having to live with them in order to free them. That child inside me will heel, she will no longer be screaming for help and I believe that day will be soon. I will be at peace with my younger self, to live with my younger self rather than run from her, ignore her and let her remain in pain. Getting help is not easy - persisting is even harder BUT if you do, I can guarantee you it WILL get better. If you are suffering and not yet able to get the help you need, make your first aid box. A smell, a teddy, a person, a pet, a place or a piece of music. They are one of many little things to turn to when you feel like you can't get out of that darkness. There is always a way.
Share you story, share all those battles and let's build an army against mental illness - never feel like you have to fight it alone, there are so many people in this world who WANT to help or who are on this journey with you. Never feel like your pain is inadequate, never compare yourself to another's grief. I felt ashamed, embarrassed and scared for SO long and yes, even now at times I still do. Hell, I've spent the last week since this happened hiding from it and hiding from those who I thought knew about it - then I rationalise my thoughts. I remember that PTSD chose a girl with a voice, with a mission to help others. I remember how fortunate I am to be able to have the counciling I have and the information I've been given. So I choose to let this teach me, to teach others and to heal others. I choose to fix this and I choose to fix it with you.
I choose to talk