Living With C-PTSD (Part 1)

TMI about living with mental Illness

Or Why I Sometimes Magically Pull a Disappearing Act

Most people seem to live in a state of being that allows them to go about life without much though about it, other than some grumbling about the necessity of of chasing the seemingly elusive dollar. Work the week, and if you're lucky, live for your weekend… You know, the status quo.

I wish I could find a way to find my place within that world. I'd decorate my house in a combination of steampunk, baroque and sci-fi. My photography business would slowly blossom as I nurtured it client by beautiful client. I'd learn to cook and get better at being domestic. I would be close to my family and would grow my circle of friends.

What a beautiful world it would be.

And, I'm going to be honest with you, I've tried. I have attempted to do just that over and over again. (This current attempt I.even got the sci-fi posters to prove it.)

…But something deep inside me just won't let it happen. Enter depression and anxiety; these are what I spent most of my life thinking were the issue. Eventually, I recognized a wider stay of anxiety disorders, including agoraphobia and OCD.

When I turned 40, a tradition was broken. Previously, every 10 years I had a party or something epic. Though on a beautiful western Caribbean island, I was ill for my birthday, and we didn't do anything for it. It was heartbreaking, as I've learned to ignore my birthdays to avoid disappointment, but this wasn't a birthday, it was a special birthday. I decided, instead, I would spend the year figuring out what the hell was going on in my mind.

I began studying the likes of polyvagal theory, somatic therapy, and how the mind and body work together and what happens when they don't.

All my studies eventually led me to what I believe is my core issue. What I consider my diagnosis truly is, which all the rest stem from. It's a condition called Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, or CPTSD. Unlike PTSD, which is caused as a result of a single, or short-lived traumatic situation, CPTSD is a result of an extended or repeated traumatic event(s).

The best description I've heard is ”PTSD comes from something scary happening in your life. CPTSD is comes from having a scary life.”

If you'd like to learn more about C-PTSD here are some great resources:

Regina SteedFord