For the past 10 years, February 23rd has always been a sollom day to mourn the loss of my mum who had dementia. Leading up to that was Valentines Day, which marked the day she had a major stroke that lead to her death. My wife and I eventually used to make light hearted comments about that day as we were supposed to be going out for dinner when the care home rang with the devastating news.
That's how things have been for all of these years until now. For today I can remember 23rd Feb in a far more uplifting way as the day I completed my therapy for CPTSD.
I wrote in my previous post about how I never imagined being where I am now, both mentally and emotionally. I've woken up from a life long nightmare and been given a fresh start at life, with no baggage or anxiety that things are going to go wrong again in a heartbeat. This time its different, new and exciting.
Apparently it's normal to come out the other side of trauma and not really know who you are, what you like or what you want to do, and I certainly experienced that in abundance. I started the blogs as a way to offload what was going on but also to give others an insight and hope that all is not lost and there is light at the end if you want it bad enough. What I never imagined was how its started to turn in to more of a passion, to develop additional ways to help others both written and verbally. There's a great sense of achievement that comes with something like this and a need to help and support more people who maybe feel lost or don't have the same services available to them that I was fortunate to have.
I've always had empathy for other people's feelings, but I was a people pleaser and so would desperately need affirmation from them in order to feel wanted. But that's all gone now and I'm glad to see the back of it. I've developed a great sense of worth, and feel more capable in helping others without that self gratification. It may sound weird, or it may ring bells with you, but the complexity to which I've lived most of life has been utterly extraordinary, spending most of the time in survival mode and on constant look out for danger.
Now the dangers are normal like they're supposed to be. I no longer catastrophise or listen to that voice in my head that spins continuous lies to keep me in line. I've taken back control and it feels fantastic.
2021 is the start of something new. There's new ideas on the horizon and plans to help more people, so I guess keep watching this space for more info. The blogs will continue as I learn more about mental health and document my ongoing recovery. I'm under no illusion its going to be plain sailing but at least I'm better prepared if the storms come back again.
Thank you to my Psychologist Maryke, you stuck to your promise and got me through it.