This is a bit of random writing I did in the midst of a PTSD attack. In the spirit of vulnerability in sharing about my mental health, I thought the rawness of this piece might shed some light on the darkness of these attacks.
Breathe in. Breathe out. Seems simple enough until the edges of reality blur. Darkness sucks the oxygen from the room and your chest seems unable to move on its own. Past and present don’t exist. Only the nightmare. The reality is there is no escaping that moment. No matter how far removed from it time takes me, it’s always hiding in the shadows. Lurking for the moment it decides to show its ugly head and remove all sense of logic. The person I become in these moments is a stranger. An auto-bot that moves and functions mechanically for survival. It’s not living. It’s feeling everything while simultaneously feeling nothing. It’s turning up the music in a failed attempt to drown out the noise in my head. There is no here or there, there’s only this. It’s been a part of me for so long, I don’t even know who I am without this. Who would I become without these moments? What parts of who I am would disappear? Why does that scare me almost as much as the episodes themselves?
If you or someone you know is struggling with mental health, please reach out for help. While I pray my posts help people feel less alone in the battle, they are not treatment. Below are a few numbers you might find helpful if you don’t know where to turn for help.
Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK
Alcohol & Drug Abuse Hotline: (800) 729- 6686
National Youth Crisis Hotline: (800) 442- HOPE (4673)
Parent Hotline: (800) 222- 1222