Recovery is a strange thing and still unchartered ground for me, where for many years I'd be in a state of "autopilot" just to get through each day. Now something's different and I can't quite put my finger on it.
It's nice to wake up in the morning without that feeling of dread and underlying depression that today is going to be another tough one, with no real sense of happiness or purpose to my life except earn money and try to pretend that everything is fine where underneath it couldn't be further from the truth. The reality is I've woken up from a lifetime of mental prison, with a new opportunity of freedom to be the person I suspect I was supposed to be all along.
I won't lie and tell you it's been incredibly daunting, and at times almost disheartening. For several months as I really didn't know who I was or what I was supposed to do "after trauma". Thankfully I have found a new love for life and a desire to better myself so I can pay forward what I've learnt to help others escape their own prisons.
But there is this underlying "thing" that I can't quite get my head round and perhaps I'm just overthinking again (old habits die hard!).
The poor memory is still a major issue and I constantly find myself having to refer to notes previously made either for tasks or studying just to jog the brain a little. Personally I find it frustrating and almost humiliating that I can't remember the most basic things and envy those who can. Whilst I fully understand this a side effect of severe trauma, it feels like a hidden disability sometimes making me feel a little stupid which in-turn knocks my self-esteem.
I've lost the desire to push myself over and above at work to justify my worth and falsely demonstrate to others that I'm good at what I do to receive the affirmation no longer needed. THATS A GOOD THING! But the outcome of this can make me feel that perhaps I'm not working hard enough or doing a good enough job. In fact I've recently questioned this with colleagues at work to ensure they're happy with the quality of my work, to which they've responded they couldn't be happier. (Shrugs....)
Its important to remind myself more often now of how far I've come and to be kind to myself that the only person setting targets is me. There is of-course no evidence that I've dropped the ball or can't do the things I did before, but I'm struggling to find a balance where I feel happy and confident in my own abilities without having to literally flog myself to prove self worth.
There are so many great things that have happened these past few months, with even more on the horizon. For one, I became a qualified mental health first aider, passed the NLP foundation course and booked myself on the Practitioner course in May & June. In background I'm networking with other likeminded people in the mental health arena and am working on a new treatment programme with my amazing friend and psychologist Maryke. None of these things would have been possible two years ago, but I'll freely admit its taking a bit of getting used to and I'm still not fully confident yet.
The triggers still happen, albeit with less impact and they get processed far quicker. The moods can fluctuate and the brain fog still comes back with a vengeance, so while I may look ok from the outside, I'm still doing my best to keep all the plates spinning but will occasionally need a little support to keep them in the air.
Remember it's good to talk and tell others how you're feeling. Sometimes just be offloading it takes the pressure off of your brain but also lets others know that things aren't quite right and you need a little help.