My Months - PTSD Edition

My Months - PTSD Edition

Mar 12, 2023

I'm sitting at my computer writing this hopped-up on caffeine and carbs. Not healthy, you say? I don't care. They're the only reason I'm awake, not in a fitful slumber of runaway recriminations and flashbacks. I tried to get some sleep last night, but as soon as I started to drift off my mind reminded me of my (many) failures, the worst of which were nine years ago next month.

Most years I get through at least part of April before my brain breaks into the locked box of my 'Memories That Shall Be Forgotten.' I'm not going to explain what happened in this blog. (If you're interested, read about it here, and here.) It looks like I have an extra month of hell this year. Top that with the stress of having to pick up and start over, again, and my stress levels are high.

I know what kick-started my memories. A friend posted a video of a comedian who happened to be my late husband's doppelganger. I had to give him a second look to see any differences (which are minor). Then I turned the sound off, because not only does he look like my husband, he sounds a little bit like him, too. I proceeded for the next ten minutes, to replay the reel over and over without really seeing it. After a couple hours, I managed to put it out of my mind. For a couple days, anyway.

Fast forward to last night. Each time I was almost asleep, a memory would pop up, replaying in my mind, reminding me of all the things I did wrong nine years ago. I replayed the phone call, talking to his mother, the memorial service. I remember the argument that precipitated that day. I also replayed stuff regarding my oldest daughter that I was dealing with at the same time. I was stressed, angry, and depressed. My emotions couldn't have been any more overloaded without me exploding.

My PTSD, if you can call it that (because I'll be honest, I haven't gone to counseling), only shows up in April and May (except this year. Yay me). It robs me of my sleep, my ability to think things through logically, and my ability to handle stress. For two months every year, it tries to steal the sanity I've worked hard to hold onto.

That's how (my) PTSD works. It's under control until my months come around. PTSD is non-discriminatory. It doesn't care who you are, or what you believe. It doesn't care about the (relative, because you can't compare) severity of the trauma you have suffered. And just as every person who deals with PTSD, so are the circumstances behind it, and the damage it inflicts.

Every person deals with different symptoms, triggered by different things. It could be a smell, sound, a person who looks like someone else, it could be a place, a date, or anything else. Triggers don't have to make sense. Everyone's PTSD is different from everyone else's. This does not mean you are alone. Although no one deals with exactly the same thing, we all relate to some degree. We can all empathize, and we can all offer a quiet shoulder. None of us are alone. (Reread that last sentence. Now reread it again.)

Because really, that's all most of us need. A shoulder, quiet support, someone to have our back while we're hurting. We don't necessarily need solutions. We need to know we aren't alone. (At least for me,) That almost causes more damage than PTSD itself. We get in our own heads and think no one understands, or people look at us like we're crazy, or we're too much trouble. I myself have thought that. I've been treated like I'm not worth the effort.

Thoughts like that are a trap. They're quicksand. Sometimes you can't get out without help. Without help, the more you struggle, the deeper you sink. If you suffer with PTSD, I cannot stress this enough.


Find someone to talk to, someone to lean on. There is someone out there who will have your back. Your mind lies to you. It tells you you're not worth the effort. That no one will stick around. That people will get tired of dealing with your problems. YOUR MIND IS LYING. Don't listen. Please don't listen to the negative garbage your mind is spewing at you.

Here's the bottom line. THIS I want you to listen to. THIS I need you to hear.


There is someone out there who will have your back, who will not walk away. There is someone out there who cares about you. Do not give up. Don't listen to the negativity. Don't listen to the lies. Do not give up. Do not give in. Never quit. Keep fighting. You made it through yesterday, so you can make it through today. And tomorrow, you will get through that, too.

Don't fucking give up. Keep fighting. Keep fucking going. Take it a day at a time. Take it an hour, or a minute at a time if you have to. Just don't fucking give up. You can do it. I believe in you.

*** If you are depressed or suicidal, don't hesitate to ask for help. You are worth it. Find someone to talk to, call 988, or text 741741. Please, just don't give up. ***

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