Today is the first day in 13 years that I’ve felt like myself.
It’s been about 13 years probably, since I felt like myself. There was only a short window of time that I can say I was truly standing and living my own life without living in fear and trauma. I had 4 years where I was myself, deciding who I wanted to be and how to live. That was during my undergrad and I’m sure some friends from that time would describe me very differently than people who met me after that time.
Before that time there was trauma, and after that time was trauma. I lived in fear and with my body filled with anxiety, high stress, and yo-yoing with depression. I have PTSD, it can be described as complex since I have trauma both in my youth and as a young adult. I was caught in cycles of abuse and when you’re on edge like that — it’s hard to relax, let alone have fun, be happy, experience joy, or even laugh and smile.
But today, I saw her in myself again. I was singing my own little song to my son and cat. I was dancing while washing dishes. I remembered being her. I attribute this to ongoing therapy and most recently to anti-depressant meds and beta blockers. I’m sleeping better, my body feels relaxed, and I even had a dream. I could never sleep the whole night with my body imploding with anxiety and yes, high blood pressure. I lived in trauma — a state of fear and never really feeling at home or safe anywhere.
I think about how I could’ve lived like that? I didn’t know I could feel like this again. I didn’t know how light-hearted I could be after all of the pain I’ve experienced. I feel so good. I feel so clear headed, and I’m getting things done that I’ve struggled with before. I’m finding I have more time and things don’t take as long as they used to because I can focus.
Struggling with PTSD has held me back in so many ways. By not being able to take initiative, staying in a broken marriage past its expiration date, and not fully living up to the potential that I see in myself. I don’t regret my choices, because I had to work up until this point. As my therapist says, “Naomi back then couldn’t leave — but Naomi now is stronger and smarter. You can do hard things” — I can do hard things.
I’m so proud of myself for how far I’ve come, but I’ll be even more proud when I get to where I want to be. I’m making the life for myself that I’ve always wanted, I’m living my truth, I found my purpose, and I’m living my best life. I’m winning. *exhale*