Balancing My Deepest Terrors with a Love of Life

Something happened this week that triggered my deepest terrors so I have been in anguish. This brought me back to the place where I questioned whether I could live with this level of anguish in my life. The accompanying physical challenges – muscle constriction, difficulty breathing, an inability to focus and concentrate, chest pains – were running rampant through me at the same time. Clearly, the idea of suicide came back into my mind. I truly understand why people choose suicide. They are looking for a permanent rest from this type of anguish. I believe and hope that someday IF I make that choice for suicide that the people closest to me will understand that I need permanent rest from this chronic PTSD. I hope it can be done in the most loving and compassionate way for all those involved including me.

After four days of terror and multiple therapy sessions I woke up thinking how can I, with so much love in my life, be thinking that suicide could put an end to my anguish and torment. Then I decided to bring all I was feeling to my morning meditation or my morning of stillness. I call it stillness because I sit in the darkness, drink my decaf coffee to stay in my body while observing my racing thoughts. I can clearly see the brilliance of the racing thoughts and today I found my answers to the madness I was feeling so deeply. I still had the thoughts of suicide because I thought how can I spend the rest of my life in such anguish but slowly I became aware of the deep feelings of a love of life that resides deep within me as well. Quickly, I became aware that I can hold the depth of anguish and thoughts of suicide with a deep sense of love for my life. I also became aware that what I was experiencing at this moment – suicidal thoughts with a love of life – was the truth of who I am. I live with permanent, severe PTSD. Somehow this sense of inner peace came over me with all that I was feeling and experiencing. I realized this is what healing is about for me – holding the truth of who I am, a woman of deep anguish and a woman with a zest and love for her life.

After my stillness period this morning I was able to reconfirm and recommit myself to loving my essence and treating myself in loving and nurturing ways. It began by how I interacted with my husband in loving ways and in what I chose to nourish my body with for breakfast. Despite the anguish I was in, I clearly knew I could make decisions today that reflected the love and respect I have for myself even in the simplest choices of how I choose to nourish my body, mind, and spirit today. I chose to respond with love instead of self-punishing and self-harming behaviors that I used in the past to self-medicate through the anguish and terror like alcohol, food and cutting. I am so full of gratitude for all the healing I have done in the past 11 years. Not everyone gets to live fully the truth of who they are. I am at inner peace with a love of life while still in the throes of terror. This is grace. This is living fully-human, fully- alive. How lucky am I to have all the tools and supports to manage the truth of who I am and live with the depth of the human experience.

I am full of pride of the hard inner work I have done over the last 11 years. I feel gifted to have found inner peace amidst it all. As Philip Hellmich says, “Inner peace is a global responsibility.” I have taken that responsibility seriously and see myself as a socially responsible person to the global community.

3 thoughts on “Balancing My Deepest Terrors with a Love of Life

  1. grace to survive

    You touch on so many extremely difficult elements, or challenges, faced by those who lived through a traumatic childhood. That your pain lately escalated to such levels causes me concern and I am sorry things became so hard. (again) But am also glad you have worked through such a disparity of emotions, joy for life along with such pain.

    1. janetcate

      It is amazing to me how childhood trauma can cause such terror but I also moved through it much quicker and became even more deeply rooted in myself. It was painful but the anguish has subsided in intensity. It still lurks there from time to time. It probably always will. It is part of my true self, part of my story.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s