I try to be public about my C-PTSD and the things I’m learning though I tend to be a private person by nature. Jay (Lake) taught me how valuable it was to share these parts of our lives to help others and to reduce the stigma. So from time to time, I’ll post bits of that journey here.
Several years ago — maybe around 2001 — I started to figure out after tons of therapy that my psyche had a sense of what it needed to do to heal itself if I would pay attention to it. This was before I realized I had this monkey called C-PTSD on my back. But it came in handy later. Flash forward to 2010 when the worst of my symptoms started presenting and I found myself learning mindfulness and meditation techniques to cope with triggers. That set the stage for what became a deeper exploration over the last year as I’ve dug deeper into my secular version of the 12 steps. Both have been great maintenance tools in what seems to be a PTSD-free life.
Since the last block, in January 2015, I’ve experienced a normal range of emotion (for someone going through a difficult divorce) without seeing my C-PTSD re-triggered. Anyone who is up close and personal with me and aware of what my last year has been like is amazed given how easily I was re-triggered between 2011 and 2015. I’ve kept a close watch and so have they and…nope. I’m not experiencing PTSD. I went to Chicago six times during that stretch of time and the final one, a dual injection pulse radio-frequency SGB, shut down my PTSD in a way the single injection, standard SGB’s had not been able to. Dr Lipov’s explanation is that the dual injection hits the entire amygdala while the standard only hits half. Regardless, it worked within ten minutes and I’m coming through perhaps my toughest adult experience with flying colors. It’s still hard. But it’s the difference between one baby and quintuplets. I can handle one baby.
One of the reasons I’m doing so well, I think, is because I am using the tools to maintain. And as the 12 steps took me deeper into the idea of serenity, friends “in the know” started turning toward books. I started with Buddhism Plain and Simple and moved up to Alan Watts (his lectures are amazing) and Sam Harris’ Waking Up. And all of that has led to this hybrid form of Buddhism blended with Occam’s Razor and the Serenity Prayer that I’ve been trying to describe but inadequately. Then I ran across this video and it really summed up what I’ve learned about perspective (how we see things) and mindfulness (how we focus our attention) and how it can relate to PTSD.
Your mileage may vary but I found this very helpful, very succinct and nicely compatible with my values as a secular humanist in recovery.