So on Saturday, I had an appointment with my shrink. I got a courtesy reminder call on Friday that it was at 11:15 and I set my alarm clock and everything, but still woke up at 11:45 on Saturday. It was the first night in two weeks I slept all the night through without a panic attack, so I think my body was going “Screw it” even if my brain wasn’t in on that decision. I made it by noon and figured I’d at least get to pay my deductible from last time, even if I had to just reschedule, but my doctor squeezed me in.
We talked about the diagnosis of PTSD, and the trauma I went through as a kid. I was again reminded that I am a survivor. Blocking everything out was the coping skill that worked for me as a kid, and even as memories now trickle in, I can now process it in ways that were beyond me back then. My doctor pointed out, “So you blocked stuff out, that’s what worked for you. You didn’t turn to drinking or to drugs. You didn’t become abusive like your dad was. You made it through school, you became a professional, and now you work with other people who have mental illnesses and awful life experiences. You’re a survivor. I’m proud of you.”
Sometimes I get focused on how much crap I went through, and I get mired in that. I forget that it’s more about where I am now, than what happened to me then, and how I can use those experiences to continue to grow and become stronger. I’m a survivor, and I will continue to survive.