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How I'm Striving for Self-Compassion After My PTSD Diagnosis

Two weeks ago, I was diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). I’ve had a lot of feelings about this difficult diagnosis since that time. My emotions have been scattered, ranging from a strong sense of anger, to fear, to sadness, to stress, combined with feelings of validation, relief and hope for healing. Going through the testing for this diagnosis was very stressful in and of itself. It forced me to recount my past traumas in detail and describe the affect they had and continue to have in my daily life.

Living with constant stress and anxiety due to PTSD is a very difficult path to walk. Days when I experience stress, triggers or flashbacks are the very hardest. I am working on utilizing techniques I have learned to try to create a sense of safety and calm for myself when those things do occur. I’m also trying to be patient with myself. Rather than being upset that I “can’t get over” events of the past, I’m working to honor the place I am and apply self-compassion to my situation.

I’ve only shared my diagnosis with a few people in my family, and several highly trusted friends. I’m choosing to maintain privacy so I won’t get flooded with questions about how this condition came about. In general, I prefer not to talk about those things outside of therapy or with those I am closest to. Also, many people associate PTSD with military personnel. While many of our cherished veterans do suffer from this condition, there are a plethora of other reasons to develop PTSD.

For now, I’m clutching to the sliver of hope in my heart that this diagnosis will help me find a path to inner peace. I am literally taking life one deep breath at a time, all the while praying fervently that God will direct me through this darkness, into greater light.

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Unsplash photo via Brooke Cagel.