Saturday, December 22, 2012

The Therapized Therapist: Part 1

I've been debating about when or if I would blog about this. I usually blog about love or stupid things I see that I find amusing. Sometimes I blog about faith. This topic probably encompasses all of the above, plus some.

I've been putting it off because it's sensitive and sometimes difficult and blah blah blah. Excuses really. It's not something that is talked about often, but I really feel like it should be.

Unfortunately, trauma effects more than just a few of us. It's a sad reality, one that would be super depressing if it wasn't balanced by faith and hope. It's something we should know to watch for and learn how to guard against and heal ourselves and each other from. Even as a therapist, I missed it.

And I'm still stalling.

Sigh. Here's the truth: I was diagnosed last May with "Acute Stress Disorder", which is the baby version of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, or what I like to call (thanks to Pomeranian Catholic for this one), "Hunger Games Readiness". Basically, it's the label they give people who have been traumatized, but haven't been traumatized long enough to get the oh-so-coveted PTSD label. They save that for later (like now).

Long story short - I worked in a drug rehab facility with unstable, potentially dangerous people. Some really scary shit ensued. I was caught in the middle of it for about 6 months, until I cracked and changed jobs. That's when I met my Australian psychologist friend who pulled me from the trenches and has been healing my brain ever since. He first encountered me 4 days after my last violent encounter at work; 4 days after I finally broke down and told people what I had been going through. He was the first person to tell me, "Hey, what you went through is NOT NORMAL. You're not crazy. You just feel crazy. It'll get better." He then proceeded to teach me more cognitive behavioral tricks than I've ever cared to know.

It's fun stuff, really.

And still the battle wages. I sit here watching my thoughts whirl and spin in the oh-so-familiar dance of anxiety. This happens when I get tired, sooo like every night. My thoughts go running, like wild horses penned up all day suddenly bursting forth, kicking and chomping, so eager to be free from the confines of my ever-vigilant thought police.

But it's better than it was, thankfully. I actually feel like there is hope (yes, even Emo's have hope). I feel like I can actually beat this beast of trauma and panic. I praise God for even small moments where I think that. The hope is that 5 minutes of belief will stretch to 10 moments the next time, and 15 the next, and so on.

Hmm... that should do it for now I suppose. Next up will be all the fun PTSD symptoms. Or perhaps how God literally dropped help into my life. Both? We'll see.

1 comment:

Lindsay said...

It is always difficult and brave to share this sort of thing. Thank you for having the courage to do it. I'll keep you in my prayers!