Note: I posted this blog a little over a week ago but was asked to take it down by someone for personal reasons. Respectfully, I have made some edits and wanted to ensure that everyone understands this blog is specifically talking about me. But I was too proud of some of what I've written in here to let it die.
Post Traumatic Stress is not as much a disorder as it is an emotional state somewhere between sadness and fear. There is a great misconception that you have to go through something society considers to be an extreme event to get it. This would include things like witnessing a death, war, being abused as a child, etc. But sometimes, it can take the actions of other people you are extremely close to to cause it. And as much as I sometimes like to admit that I'm impenetrable against things that can cause permanent damage in my mental frame, I learned this week that I am not. Even something that happened several years ago can cause me to react on impulse towards familiar trends today that aren't even on the same level.The most important thing that I learned is that anxiety never fully goes away. It just gets locked in until something, or someone finds a way to create a crack. And sometimes, all of that repressed build up can cause an explosion making things much worse. Mixed in with my own insecurities, I was unfortunate enough to experience that and it resulted in a lot of time with my bed and two complete days of missed classes. When I NEVER miss class. Did I deserve this? Its possible. I've done some pretty shameful things in my life. But who's to say I was doing them out of malice? There's a reason I have a lot of friends, and its because most of my friends have not cracked my anxiety barrier and as a result, I am able to show my true self - which is a nice guy who people like being around. Or, it could be that THAT is actually the fake version of me and the real Peter Felice is a cold heartless asshole. But how does one really know, especially after the barricades of my inner self have been torn down.
And because I can't see this supposed post-traumatic stress, I can't in good conscious consider anything more than a theory. This of course means I am not free from the blame of my actions. I've spent many years harping about how we are all responsible for our actions and have to live with our consequences. I never thought I would be living that philosophy so deeply, but there is a lot of truth to that. It's the reason I am pro-life. I'm not a fan of people that create drama, and stir trouble and then blame everyone else around them for what has happened so I try my hardest not to be that person, even when others try and divide the blame for me.
I keep limitations on people I talk to about my problems. It has nothing to do with trust, rather it is because I can't handle idiotic cliché comments such as 'it'll be ok' or 'everything will work out!' I know why people say it. They don't say it because they honestly believe it...they say it because its an anti-awkwardness filler. I know, because I've used those phrases for that exact purpose before. They aren't helpful. Neither is someone telling you what you should and should not do. One reason I'm so turned off my therapists....many of them are arrogant, point the finger, and act like they know everything because its in some stupid book they read. I don't need someone telling me what I 'should' or 'need' to do unless its telling me that I 'should' or 'need' to do what is the best thing for me. That was the best advice I got from a friend yesterday through all of this mess. I realized that a situation was making me really stressed, sick, anxious....all things that can lead to death, and I was not going to allow myself to go through that. That doesn't mean I'm blaming someone else for the way I am.....I just recognized it as a problem, and for once decided to take care of myself. Does that make me selfish?
I have also questioned my faith because of all of this. The thing a lot of people don't know, though some people claim to have it and understand, is that anxiety is not just uncomfortable. It's PAINFUL. And having an attack shows similar symptoms to a heart attack, which can be very scary. I am reminded of 'Bruce Almighty' when Jim Carey says 'God is a mean kid sitting on an anthill with a magnifying glass. He could fix my problems in five minutes, but instead he'd rather burn of my feelers and watch me squirm'. There's some truthful feelings to that, as I want nothing more than this pain to go away. And I pray to God constantly, but I feel like he put some great things in my life only to put something else that has become such a hindrance and kept me from doing what I need to do: my anxiety. My mother suggested catching up on my Bible. Stop asking other people for answers about God, and try asking him. Sounds like good advice to me, but for all intents and purposes I am upset with Him.
The biggest problem, for me, is that I insisted on getting help from others. The reason this is a problem is because every one you ask for help thinks they know everything, and if you ask enough people you'll get way too many options making it difficult for you to choose the right one. The second we start living our lives based on what others tell us to do, that is when we lose control of our lives. And I've found that I've made more right decisions when they came from me, then I have when someone else told me to do them. And I don't think many decisions I’ve made were bad decisions, because a lot of good did come from them. It's just unfortunate that sometimes they come with train wrecks (anxiety attacks and nervous breakdowns) I never saw coming.
One thing I keep trying to tell myself is this is not my fault. Anxiety is something we can't control, and something I found out runs deep in my family. It's a powerful curse that can cause some really heavy damage sometimes. My goal is to not allow it to take control of my life, and move on. I am excited that in a little over a year, I will be graduating and my life will be as complete as it can be for that time. It will have come with some hefty sacrifice I've made, but once I get that degree I feel I will finally be able to put the past behind me.