I went back to Bristol over the weekend. I went to uni here + lived in this house my final year.
This house holds some of my worst memories as it’s where I lived when I was going through the worst of my PTSD. I got PTSD in my final year when I was triggered in the middle of one of my psychology lectures, a couple months before graduating. How I graduated with a 2:1 still baffles me but this is the place where I started processing all the surgeries I had been through and the trauma my body had experienced.
I looked up at the top window and all I could remember were the flashbacks, hallucinations and the nights I used to stay up all night because the hallucinations were so bad that I was convinced a man was in my room + going to sleep meant I woke up in a panic because I would usually dream that I woke up mid surgery and the anaesthetic hadn’t worked.
I haven’t been back since 2014 for this reason and it was hard. It brought back a lot of these painful memories, also because this was also the place of my first relationship. It was hard to think back to a time when I made excuses for a man who treated me like shit and that I let it happen. I actually found it hard to process the fact that I ever had such low self esteem to tolerate that treatment from anyone but now that I’ve learnt how to be kind to my younger self, I know why I stayed in it – I was scared.
PTSD completely turned my life upside down. My life long dream of being a psychologist was no longer feasible, my housemates said me being depressed was too much to handle, I felt alone and since my identity was very attached to being a “happy” person, I no longer felt like me + that relationship became my escape.
BUT I also credit this time in my life as the thing that propelled me to where I am now. I still remember my 1st therapy appointment where she told me that I had PTSD, this was my life now + that I had to get used to this because no one recovers from PTSD. Wow, she was wrong! I recovered a few months later + have never had a symptom in 3 years. It IS possible to recover, I am proof.
Sometimes you need to revisit your past to see how much you’ve changed and be proud of yourself. #ScarredNotScared