Happy Sunday! Ready to start this next week with positive intentions, self-compassion, and love? Good, I am, too! Let’s start with gratitude for this past week.
One good thing that happened to me this week… I got in contact with an old friend from Fort Walton Beach. He and I fell out of touch when I moved to Guam because I stopped using social media for my own well-being. I really hated how it made me feel. It was nice to spend an hour catching up and congratulating each other’s progress and listening to each other’s problems. It’s always nice to have a good heart to heart.
This week I was proud of myself because… I invested in my future by setting a lot of new goals and deadlines. I really want this blog to become a source of information and inspiration for anyone struggling with the same things I have and still encounter today. My overall goal is to help not only those with mental illnesses, but their friends, family members, and significant others that may not exactly understand how to help or what to say. I know that my family and friends have wide-eyed expressions and question marks over their heads a lot of times when I try to explain what’s going on in my head or when medical professionals are trying to explain as well.
Something funny that happened this week… Last weekend, my dad and I went over to our neighbor’s house. We were ambushed with an impromptu game of Cards Against Humanity. It was extremely hilarious because my dad’s a bit on the conservative side. Oddly enough, he ended up winning! My neighbor is also getting married soon, and her son is adamant that he’s going to be a part of the first dance. He and his future stepdad ended up practicing salsa dancing together using YouTube as an instructor. It brought everyone to tears because they ended up getting really serious about the spins and the dips. It was so nice to be around a family that is so warm and loving toward each other.
My last affirmation I am worthy of everything good in life led to some wonderful decision making and the use of positive coping skills. Although I wasn’t feeling very well last week, I managed to keep doing what was best for me.
Unfortunately, during one of my group therapy sessions, I got triggered. In the past, I would have dealt with it by bursting into tears, isolating, and drinking heavily. My typical trauma response is one of self-harm. My instinctual trauma response is to hide away and avoid anything that causes me pain or re-emergence of old emotions. You can probably recognize; I didn’t have the best coping skills at times. Thankfully, I’ve gotten better at identifying when I’m in a “danger zone” of sorts.
What did I do instead of my version of self-harm?
I started using some of the self-care tips I’ve picked up over the years. The first of which was putting on some relaxing music and making myself go for a walk to clear my head. One of my go-to songs is “Weightless” by Marconi Union. It’s been dubbed “The World’s Most Relaxing Song.” This link also includes a playlist full of calming songs.
Other methods of self-care I used included stretching and meditation. I learned about The Lion’s Gate Portal on Instagram. Another user graciously took the time to explain it to me. Specific stars lined up over the Giza pyramids and opened a portal of increased cosmic energy. I’m not sure I believe in all of that, but I took the time to meditate and center myself on what was truly important to me. I concentrated on then wrote down what I wanted in my life and who I wanted in my life.
I’ve definitely taken more positive steps toward healing emotional trauma, as well as physical and psychological trauma. It’s going to be something that I have to work at continuously throughout my life. Before that seemed like a very daunting task, but now that I’m actually doing the work, it’s not that bad. I just want to help myself be the best and healthiest person I can be, regardless of having mental illnesses.
Your Weekly PTSD Affirmation
The affirmation for the week ahead is:
“I am safe now.”
I use this affirmation when I am beginning to get anxious and feel flashbacks working their way to the forefront of my mind. When I get trapped in a flashback, everything about reality falls away. I can’t think, speak, or move other than hyperventilating and sweating. It’s like I’m reliving the trauma but watching from a different standpoint. Seeing the trauma happen to me, rather than experiencing it again is just as uncomfortable.
I have to use the words, “I am safe now,” along with controlling my breathing to get a handle on myself. I think “I am” while taking a long breath inward, then saying “safe now” while exhaling. The act of taking deep breaths relaxes me, and the words reassure me. Sometimes it helps to hold on to something like a dresser or touch a wall to have a tangible object that’s in the future with me. I’m not trapped in the past by that flashback anymore.
Your Weekly Journal Prompt
If you suffer from PTSD, I’ve added some journal prompts to this post. Journaling makes it easier to process emotions and thoughts. I find journaling to be especially helpful after a flashback or during a very low point emotionally. Writing in my journal got me through last year in particular when it felt like up was down and left was right. It helped me make sense of all the different emotions like anger, disgust, and abandonment. It kept me from doing a lot of impulsive things.
Journal Prompt: If a loved one or close friend went through the same trauma that you have, what would you say to them?
Journal Prompt: Is your trauma expressed as pain in parts of your body (for example, do you get frequent headaches when thinking of the trauma)? Which body parts? Why do you think it manifests itself there?
Journal Prompt: Imagine a place that you could go when your trauma threatens to make you more anxious or irritable. Describe it in detail. Write down what it looks like there, what the temperature is, and how it smells. How do you feel when you’re there? Is it a beach, a mountain, an open field? Are animals present? Are there other people or are you alone?
Comment how you are going to use the affirmation “I am safe now“ this week.