Living with PTSD impacts your life and relationships with people in a number of ways. These are just five of those ways in which I have found PTSD affects my life personally.
1. Getting up in the morning is a battle that starts with the incessant debate of "Should I talk to people today or no?".
PTSD is draining and an incredibly isolation disorder to live with. I find that I am far more quick to lose my temper with people and become so pissed off at things that shouldn't even matter to me so as a result some days being social is a chore.
2. Back to getting up in the morning, PTSD makes me feel both exhausted and not exhausted at the same time if that makes any sense.
For instance, when I am having a particularly bad day I am addicted to laying in my bed all day long but at the same time, I am not even really tired. However, I find that when it is actually time to go to sleep I can naturally force myself to go to sleep. This leaves me zombie-like the next day.
3. This next one is possibly the most debilitating way in which PTSD effects me. All it takes is for something so insignificant, such as a smell, and for it to happen at the exact right time and then I am left staring off into space while I relive those events over and over again.
If it is a particularly bad trigger, it is not uncommon for me to burst into tears and curl into a ball while I feel my heart racing out of my chest and I am screaming at the top of my lungs. Those days are the absolute worst.
4. PTSD led me to build an impenetrable set of walls that few people were ever able to break through.
Although I have gotten much better about learning to let people in and trust people more, I used to push people out because I had the mindset of "Why would anyone want to be around me? I wouldn't want to be around someone as crazy as me." Those were some of the darkest days. I missed out on a lot of potentially good friendships because of those uncertainties.
5. But most of all, PTSD has given me such a unique perspective on life and for that I am grateful.
Because I know what it is like to have people walk out on you and give up on you because of a mental illness that it is not of your own fault, I am more empathetic towards people who go through this, as well.
Overall, living with PTSD is not easy. In fact, it can be really shitty at times. But there is a bright side to it and that is that it forces you to recognize that you are indeed stronger than you believe you are and that you are not alone in this journey.