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The symptoms of PTSD are not the world’s fault.Tweet
Living in the world with PTSD makes it seem like the entire population isn’t very considerate, but in reality we chose to sign on the dotted line, hence we risk becoming sick and thus must deal with the symptom’s consequences.
For anyone with PTSD it’s no secret that there is a sort of ebb and flow to the disorder. Sometimes you feel well and can take on the world in copious amounts, while at other times, you can barely navigate through it. This is simply because the world is too noisy and too unpredictable. To put it another way, the world around us is perfectly designed to aggravate our symptoms. With that said, it’s not the world’s fault.
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Perhaps you’re like myself when PTSD has taken command…constantly startled and slowly boiling in agitation over absolutely everything going on around you?
If this sounds like you, you know how frustrating it is, how debilitating it can be. A frustrating, uphill battle for sure. Despite this being a fact, I will continue to fight on. I fight so that I can control the narrative in my head, and extinguish the thoughts of the world changing for me.
From high-performance mufflers on cars to eighteen-wheelers groaning and rattling by, it can be too much to bear. What’s worse, is the repetitiveness of it all. It’s very overwhelming.
While I know they are not intentionally out to scare the living heck out of me every day, I still rage inside; my thoughts are of inconsideration. “If only they would ban those mufflers. Is there.really any need for motorcycles to be that loud? Why does that a–hole need to slam the lights around like an animal?”
Well it’s certainly true that PTSD has put me through the wringer and as a consequence, has shaved my nerves down to the myelin sheath, I know logically that many people are just going about their business. I must remind myself that it’s not the world’s fault, and just keep working on me.
I have PTSD because I served my community and ended up paying the ultimate mental price. With that said, it is my responsibility to learn how to negotiate my way around the wider world, a world that is literally beyond my control. But how? Well, knowing my tolerances for one. I have long resigned myself to the fact that I am not the man I used to be. And you know what? Despite all the mental pain, I don’t want to go backward. I only want to grow and move forward.
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What’s more, it is unrealistic for me to have the world customize itself towards my intolerance. Therefore, I am the solution.
There are only two core solutions here. Either I remain a hermit in the darkness for the remainder of my life, or I fight like hell to defeat the beast within. For instance, I have learned that I can handle the world a bit at a time – that I need to remind myself that I am safe, and that I need to breathe deeply. All of these things are essentially my action plan for coping, for not giving up.
I recommend that you commit to a coffee with a friend. Maybe that’s all you can do, but that’s still amazing. Afterwards, go home and rest. Looking back on your time out and how you feel compared to how you felt when out with your friend, you may feel a sense of accomplishment. You weren’t disabled, you were empowered.
Listen to the life journey of others in similar situations: The Depression Files
Finally, one’s mental health condition shouldn’t define them, nor should one be angry because the world never accommodates around them. While it’s important to acknowledge that the world and PTSD are not compatible, we can handle smaller doses, making the challenges we face in the public, more manageable.
Because I know it is not the world’s fault, and that all I want to do is live again, I will carry forth and I will win the day… No matter how loud that day may be.
20 authors from the military and emergency services tell their story of PTSD.
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