This week’s blog is about one of the tools I have used over the last 10 years to manage my PTSD on a consistent basis – journaling. This past week was my 55th birthday. I am finally free from the day-to-day internal war, terror, and wall of shame I have had my entire life. I have a beautiful, gentle, kind, compassion and authentic love in my life. I am attached to two people in my life and they, along with myself, know my deepest nature, my soul. What great gifts to receive in my lifetime.
The gratitude, freedom, and joy as well as the intellectual arousal I felt from my reading this week created such a hypervigilancy and mental overload in me that I could not sleep for 2 nights. My thoughts and energy were racing and I couldn’t shut them down enough to sleep. In the last few years, I have learned to approach this inability to sleep differently. Instead of my past history of getting angry and frustrated that I cannot sleep and being terrified that I will die from lack of sleep, I now consider this a time when my creative energies and my unconscious are trying to flow. It is a time when my inner wisdom wants to share lessons with me about my journey and my unfolding. I now get up and sit at my computer with a cup of decaf coffee to ground me and write in my journal about the ideas racing around in my head.
I do not edit, I do not try to make it coherent, I just write and write. It is such a great release and brings a sense of calmness to my hypervigilance and mental overload. Also, it is during these periods of lack of sleep that I am more prone to flashbacks. Writing in my journal helps me to focus on other ideas and helps me to not get caught in the flashbacks. I see them float by. I feel the terror but the energy from the terror comes out in my writing. Eventually, the flashback process as well as my creative process will run their course. Today, I can trust in the process. Experience over the last decade has shown me journaling works for me.
Along with journaling as a tool to manage sleepless nights and flashbacks, I take time each day to journal. It serves as my meditation practice because I cannot sit in the quiet. Also, my writing helps me to process what is going on in my head every day. It slows down my racing thoughts and it puts words to my experience. Furthermore, my journaling serves as a way for me to document my evolution and my transformation. So far I have 32 journals. Several of them I burnt as a way of letting go of the past. The others are a great resource for me to go back and see my evolution over time. I intend to share some of their content in the future.
Due to the challenges I face each day, preparing these blogs, articles, and book reviews for this website is taking me much longer than I thought. It appears that I can only work at one thing at a time and my focus and clarity time for writing is limited each day but they definitely will be forth coming. I do have great determination, ambition, and drive. It is what keeps me going every day to strive to reach my fullest potential even with my disability.