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As I roll up to the coffee shop not far from my hometown, I feel a wave of fear come over me. Is it going to be noisy in there? Or will it be absolute chaos? While I feel like I’m being held down in my front seat of my car, I decide that I value my good friend (who is waiting inside) too much to simply drive away.
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Since 2016, this is pretty much how I’ve lived my life. Long sabbaticals away from the public, far removed from the noise and chaos. However, I refuse to be a slave to PTSD.
As I’ve said many times before, we get to choose where we put our energy. Regardless of what we have in the tank, it can still be used to propel us forward. The important question is: “Do I put what limited energy I do have into constant rumination, angst and fear? Or do I maximize it on living?
While I know that we can’t always bust through the fear and anxiety of, let’s say, the outside world, I have found that I can ill-afford to be torched by what goes on in my head either. Therefore, if both are dire, I might as well make the best of it.
So, I set goals and I commit to doing what I’m doing tonight. For example, I have a short list of people that I will muster up my limited energy for. Which is why I am sitting in this parking lot this evening. I’m meeting a very close friend who is worth the torment of the surrounding goings-on. I make time for the people on this list even when I don’t feel like it.
Consequently, however, it often makes how I am feeling, worse. But as I have come to learn in my life, understand that being uncomfortable is part of life. Therefore, it should be dealt with, not avoided. For me, this is so fundamental to my survival.
As counterintuitive as it sounds, placing your limited energy into what makes you uncomfortable can enrich your life and help you on your own road to mental wellness. How? Well, I frequently look back on moments I spent with friends, family etc, with fondness and with a sense of accomplishment.
For a moment, I beat my anxiety and the symptoms of PTSD. And because I chose to put my energy into something as amazing as a coffee with a great friend, I, for that moment in time, felt the illusive feelings of normalcy.
So, where will you put your limited energy?.
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