Big life changes

I would like to ask the groups opinion on making major life changes. I feel that I will always have PTSD it isn't going anywhere soon. Is it a good idea to take a big emotional step, would this aggregate my PTSD symptoms, has anyone had to move, go through a break up or maybe start a new job, things of that nature, would it make things worse? If so how do you work thru it?

11 Replies

  • I have tried to change things as well but it always back out after I gain control of my emotions. Last week I wanted to quit my job, divorce my husband, sell the house and move to Florida. I don't think it's a good idea to make major life decisions unless you are not safe. Just my opinion.

  • I totally agree with Whirlwind. Moves, breakups, new jobs - those are all stressors. Why add them on to the burden of dealing with PTSD? I think it could aggravate symptoms. For me, my home is the "safety zone." If I changed that, it could trigger panic attacks, unless I was ready for it.

  • Thank you Whirlwind, I guess I'm afraid of how it would affect my health.

  • My fear of being away from the home for too long was challenged when I started my training for a career - having to venture out for hours at a time left me in a sweat, the tension in my body before leaving the house was coupled with an excitement for new things. It took me a long time to get over it but it lessened each week. The feeling and thoughts are always in the back of mind now but the physical symptoms hardly ever surface. Success! As far as I can go on that one I think. People in my life don't realise the effort it takes to do 'normal' things but for me, facing one challenge at a time has been helpful because by repetition, symptoms decrease. I don't think it makes things worse in my opinion, it just triggers the anxieties. If you go to a freeze response to certain triggers I am stuck with that one and wouldn't be any help!! Good luck!!

  • Pepper, I agree people and loved ones don't understand why I would be concerned, to them it is a simple thing with little to no fear. I really want to be in a better position in life, I don't want to be 'stuck' and dependent on others so much.

  • I think change is necessary and essential, but not all at once. Our fear keeps us stuck. We want to hide in our houses and feel safe but if you do that, 10 years from now you will still be there. It takes a lot of work to overcome PTSD but work you must.

    For me, a good support group is needed. This isn't just for us PTSD folks: Support groups are used by just about everyone to get from where they are to where they want to be. Pick something you want. Then find one or more people who will guide you through each step.

    Yes, you may trigger some symptoms. Find a good coping mechanism to get through the feelings and take that small step.

    I would love to sit at home and watch old movies: but now I just feel stuck. Do whatever you have to do to move forward.

    Have you ever seen an animal that was put in a cage and the door is open but the animal won't come out? It sounds like that's where you might be. Whatever you need to do, break it into very small steps. Maybe write down the 200 steps you need to do. Write down one step per day. Who should you call that day? What information do you need to know? And take a LOT of deep breaths between each step.

  • Healing Artist, this is my point exactly. I like your advice I will try that. It may feel like baby steps but that is better than no steps. I don't like being so afraid of life. Thanks to everyone for your support on this subject! I wish you all knew how much help you are doing for others with PTSD. I am glad I decided to try this.

  • I agree Healing..except beyond my control my whole life changed..every aspect..however everyday I do something almost..just getting out past the anxiety, etc is a big step for me and everything that comes afterwards is a bonus. I am out of things to do tho..and I have no one to do anything with..your right..not going anywhere soon :(

  • Hello,

    I have complex PTSD. I have been thinking of making a move-a major move with a new job. I then wonder if I could handle it. Right now I work alot and I seem to handle it. My counselor says that is probably because my PTSD id due to intimate relationships not so much the world at large, so thank goodness I can still function!

    I would like to move on and I know I could get a better job in a larger city and make more money. I do alright now but just get by. I have been on my current jobs for ten years. My boss at one job knows I have PTSD and guess what so does he so he understands. One of the things I have found so surprising is that since I have developed PTSD I have found four people with it in my smaller community. I think it is more prevalent than we know. It is a hidden issue!

    So for right now I am staying put, but I will try to make this move next year if I can! I live in the snow and I want to move south. I am highly educated so I can probably find a good job, but then I wonder -what happens if I fall on my face there! At least here I know my jobs and am functioning.

    MY PTSD is mainly physiological shakiness (which is noticeable at times) fibromyalgia, uncoordinated movements, difficulty concentrating stiffness etc. Brain fog etc.

    So any thoughts on how to make a move? Any supportive advice is appreciated!

  • I looked up the fear section here and saw your post. I'm considering big change too. Mine is somehow convincing my husband that it's time he went. Many complicated issues surround my reasons, but these few weeks have been hell.

    What got me through it was realising im not an island, id cut everyone off, even my parents and siblings. To me if they were dead I wouldnt have batted an eyelid. When I finally took the step of seeing my Dr to spill the beans to him I was on my way to recovery, it felt like an anvil had been lifted off me, id allowed someone in to my private hell.

    I have still got miles to go and every day is uncertain, I get days when I'm fine, then I get a rush of emotions that make me want to jump off a roof. What helped me was having s friend I could text any time, hes been there for two years and I know if I hit a bad time he'll be there on the end of the phone. Even when I felt like I was a pain in the bum to him.

    I too have fibromyalgia and occasional brain fog. It's something I try not to give room to. I acknowledge its there but don't let it rule me. Same with depression. I've been told by my Dr that im a really strong person, haha. It isnt easy seeing it for yourself but you must have got this far in your life and you're still making plans. I'm only just seeing that it is a miracle I made it twenty odd years through a marriage without quitting. I'm not quitting now, just saving my future.

    Look at your future, not too far, that isn't healthy. I remember panicking about how I would cope with little children but my counsellor said. "Hey they aren't going to be little forever. " in other words, who knows what life will bring your way, positive or negative, it's all there to build us up in some way and also enable us to share our experiences with others to help them.

    Sorry I've rambled, im not sure it was any help but it was therapeutic to me :-P

  • Hello Cat70,

    now I've seen your message. I've moved abroad recently. I have c-ptsd. My current job involves a great deal of social interraction and guess what - people are my trigger! I'm starting to like this place a lot - I like it more than the previous place (home country). I just have to be patient to get confortable.

    I should mention that I only left because I knew this was a safe opportunity for me - food, accommodation and pocket money included - that is some power to begin with. In absence of these you can imagine us - PTSD sufferers. I've also had doubts before, during and after moving. I still find it kind of hard to cope with all the socializing - but I guess the tools I've used will get me through.

    I;m not giving an advice, I usually act insane :) and do crazy things. But lately I've had to do those crazy things with a plan B and with ptsd recovery. I've gone through many changes - recovery requires a total life change (small steps daily - yes) - it was those changes that have given me faith in myself, faith that I can.

    If you can't do it, it's fine too. We are enough as human beings.

    Prayer and meditation can give some insights to what we really want and need.


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