Thursday July 11, 2013
I met with my therapist again today and made my second decisive blow against my PTSD. I must admit what I am becoming is someone quite different from the person I have previously been. It feels a bit surreal whenever I leave my therapist's office; the world I walk into is so incredibly vivid that I feel I am visiting Disneyland.
Though I am an articulate man I still struggle a bit to articulate what I experience with my eyesight when I step into the world. We are currently experiencing some of the longest and brightest days of the year here in the Northern Hemisphere where I live. When I walk outside in a bright, sunny day my eyes feel positively saturated with the amazing colors of the world. And somehow I perceive the texture of trees and grass with a degree of detail that seems almost...superhuman. I see the play of shadow and light in windows, on the walls of buildings, on lawns in neighborhoods and on the faces of people I encounter on the bus, in downtown and in every other conceivable place. As a visual artist I sometimes feel the "after-effect" of these therapy sessions produces a high equivalent to that you would expect after doing some really powerful drugs. I feel so alive in countless moments throughout the day. I am not familiar with who this man is that is now emergent.
I think one of the greatest challenges we human beings face in our lives is the challenge to let go. We could never go through all the healthy developmental stages in our life journey if we clung to the last outmoded phase. It's the equivalent of attempting to wear clothes we wore as teenagers when we have long since become adults. We can find ourselves in situations where the world around us brings us face to face with our own dysfunctional patterns and reactionary behavior. In those moments when we feel most triggered we still can choose how we will respond. It's not always easy by any means but we do indeed have a choice as to how we will respond when it becomes clear a point of departure has come and we are being invited (perhaps in a very firm way!) to let go of a way of living and being that no longer serves.
I see part of my current challenge is indeed the challenge of letting go. Once I received the PTSD diagnosis I realized I would need to make some significant changes to my life to heal myself. A restructuring of my life was indeed in order. I feel a happiness and hopefulness as I go about making the changes that seem necessary to move forward. And yet there is also a grief that I must acknowledge. And the grief blooms from the recognition that an old way of being must indeed pass away. I need to evolve. And I also admittedly feel grief because I have consciously realized I have carried some very deep pain in my heart and body for decades. No one should be made to carry such a burden.
In the last three months I have cried more than I have in the last twenty years. It has been tremendously liberating to do so. It has also been very frightening. Many a time I have asked myself "What is happening to me?" From the outside looking in it might seem I am becoming very sick. But that is indeed not true. I am experiencing an awakening. And it is important to keep in mind that sometimes we look and feel worse for a time when we are actually indeed improving. It's not unlike the moment when a patient is cut open in surgery to repair something inside. All the blood and gore and incisions may look ghastly but sometimes circumstances must appear to worsen before they dramatically improve. For any of you reading this who have PTSD or know someone who is suffering with it I think it very critical to keep this in the forefront of your mind. "Reality" is not always what it appears to be.
If you are reading this posting and have become a fan of mine I wish to say thank you. I am happy that some people want to go on this ride with me in Disneyland. I have no idea where I will land but I have never been happier to take such a jolting ride!