Healing from PTSD is definitely a journey. Some "arrive" at their destination much sooner than others and for some, it takes a bit more courage, tenacity, and patience.
I recently went to an arial adventure park with my 5 yr old grandson. The park had different "levels" of obstacle courses at differing heights way up in the trees! I was there for my grandson to have fun so of course, I, Nahnee wanted to participate. We had to "buckle up" with a harness that covered my shoulders, waist and bottom area. The harness and cable were the assurance that I could get through the journey facing me up in those trees several feet off of the safety and familiarity of the ground.
As I looked up above me, I could feel anxiety rising and the temptation to back out of my commitment grew stronger. I faced a choice. Once you choose to go up in the course, you have to complete it or call for the staff to come and get you down (which actually affects the rest of the party climbing/zip lining). So I took a deep breath and began the climb up....with my little 5 year old grandson following me excitedly.
Way up off the ground we climbed...no turning back now. I went first of course and Kaidyn behind me and my sister behind him...I was committed now.
On the platform in the trees I could see the "other side" of where I was going but there was an obstacle course to be conquered before I could get there. It just struck me so deeply that I was standing physically in a picture analogy of what my life has been like as I face dealing with PTSD, anxiety, panic and healing.
It all looks so exciting, yet walking it out is not so exciting at times; it could be dangerous, I could fall, I may get stuck and need someone to come rescue me, but most of all I will have to choose to stay on the course and take the steps needed to get to the other side whether I am feeling afraid or not. I have to choose to trust the tools I have equipped myself with that they will indeed provide the safety I need should I fall off course and that there are indeed others who can come and rescue me should I decide to call for help and I cannot let the thought of how my calling for help may affect others around me....if I need help, I MUST cry out for help to those who can truly help me!
So there I was-finding myself on a single cable, several feet off the ground but wanting to chicken out and call for staff....so I stopped and gathered my thoughts...yes I am feeling anxious...yes this is out of my element of feeling safe....but here is the chance to make it to the other side and use courage and skill to get there...so I had to choose to quit or to go over and I took the next step....one baby step at a time...oh I held up the rest of the line...but no bother...it was my turn to go across and they would just have to deal with the pace I had to set for myself in order to feel safe and be successful....it was a trip up there.
My little grandson yelled out at one time, "Nahnee, are you crying?" , to which I replied, "NO!, I AM PRAYING!" and I kept taking my baby steps across this scary obstacle course. A little farther down the course, I hear him again, "Nahnee, are you STILL praying?", to which I said, "YES! AND I AM ABOUT TO BE PRAISING ONCE I FINALLY MAKE IT ACROSS TO THE NEXT PLATFORM!" No shame in my game :).
I just feel like that day was a physical encounter with a real invisible struggle I and so many others face when dealing with the obstacles of overcoming the challenges PTSD interjects into our life paths.
So buckle up! Trust and be patient! Be courageous, you can get there! Take your time, go at your pace, don't look back and don't look down....you will get there even if you have to do it while you feel afraid and anxious! You can get to the other side!!!!!