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.