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What happens when everything in your life seems to be going great, and then in the blink of an eye, you lose everything. And I truly mean, everything. Your entire world is turned upside down and shaken so thoroughly it will never be the same.
How do you survive? Not many people can say that in the span of 72 hours they lost their job, the woman that they love, the roof over their head, their transportation, and their best friend. Not many people can say that on top of that, they have PTSD that gets triggered so severely their heart begins to show signs of distress, meaning the heartstrings are being pulled so greatly that medication and sedatives would be the only way to physically stay alive in the weeks that follow.
How do you begin moving forward? Let me give you a few tips to begin this healing process.
1. Re-invent yourself.
Strange as it may sound, if you literally have nothing left to lose, reinvent yourself. Your look, your beliefs, your friends. Go shopping, get yourself a look that you never though would look good on you. Get your hair cut, dyed, twisted, whatever you want. Don’t worry, it’s actually part of the grieving process!
2. Go to therapy.
As cliche as this sounds, going to therapy can be life saving. Being able to receive counseling on how to stay focused and stable during such a trying time is one of the biggest helps there is. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
3. Take your meds.
If you currently are taking meds, or your doctor or therapist prescribes then, take them! Chances are there is a good reason they want you to take them. Remember, they are the professional-you aren’t. They know more about what your body needs to survive right now than you do!
4. Allow yourself the opportunity to go through the full grieving process.
If you don’t, you can’t move on. You won’t be able to heal. However long it takes, allow it. The grieving process is different for everyone, but completely normal. When someone has gone trough a or multiple) traumatic experience(s), their body and mind have to catch up with each other, because they aren’t in sync. Your mind goes one way, your physical body goes the other. It’s normal-allow yourself to feel. Express your feelings in therapy and have your counselor help you through the stages as they come.
5. Cut out the negative.
Cut out any negative in your life that may hinder you from moving on or growing in your experiences. Even if they were once friends, cut them out if it will bring more harm to you than good right now. It doesn’t have to be forever, but if it hurts your healing process in the here and now, then you have to do what is best for YOU. It’s time to be selfish, because being selfish right now might be the only way you survive.
6. Don't close yourself up.
For those of us with PTSD, it is very easy for us to shut ourselves up and not allow anyone back in our lives. In fact, it is even more difficult for us to allow people back in our lives at all once we begin to heal from traumatic experiences. Our brains work a bit differently, while we work on healing, through therapy, medication, what have you-our brains close off to our feelings and emotions. That’s what is so hard about treating someone with PTSD. We are very guarded and our defensive mechanism is in a constant state of “on.” Work with a PTSD specialist if possible. They are able to help pinpoint this weakness and help you to keep your defenses down while you are healing.
Hang in there. Chances are, it will get worse before it gets better. It is just the eye of the storm for some people. Don’t quit, don’t give up. Fight your way back to the top-do whatever it takes.