The Joys of Living with PTSD

learning how to cope

Baring Scars- My Refusal to Numb Myself

I think sometimes that we have a tendency to forget just how hard it is to keep going. It’s so much easier to cave, and fall back into old habits. They’re so comfortable, and they know us so well. Moving forward, almost always means getting rid of the stuff that will only hold us back, and this is no more evident than in the life of someone who has endured great trauma.

I do not ask for sympathy, nor do I ask for leniency. Instead I ask for you to just try to understand. I may not show it, but inside I am hurting. On the inside, I’m a complete mess, and there are moments that I would do practically anything to stop from feeling. The pain is an enormous ravenous beast, and it feeds on us. It feeds on me. Simply put, it drains the life, the energy, right out of me, and I can’t find a way out of its grip. Not always. What’s worse is I get so tired, that I stop caring about fighting it. I just want it to end, whether that means letting it drown me and then ebb away of its own accord, or it deciding I’m no fun anymore now that I’m not fighting it, and then moving on to someone/something else. Sometimes I wonder if the pain itself isn’t too familiar. Too comfortable. What would I do if I had the time away from it, and could just be. How would that feel? Would I be a different person? …Would I be “normal”?

All introspective questions aside, when the pain gets bad, the soul wants numbing. Just like any physical ache, where you take some pain reliever to ease it, the emotional pain also wants relief. Unfortunately, they don’t really make anything for that. Sure, there are anti-depressants, but since this isn’t a pain that heals fully, it’s the same thing as taking pain killers for a chronic condition. You’re not kidding anyone, including yourself, the pain is still very much there. This opens the doors to some pretty scary places. For me, I rely on pills. No kidding. I’ll admit it, fully and openly. When the emotional pain becomes too much, the only thing I want to do is pop pills. Numb myself. If I’m high on some narcotic, I can’t be bothered to feel whatever ugly memory or thought has decided to show up. Sure, the come down sucks ass, but damn if the world isn’t a brighter place for the brief moment in time that I’m high. I almost feel like I’m okay. Like… like, I belong for just the briefest of moments. I’m not some fucked in the head female who over-analyzes everything, and is a bit too sensitive to slights. No, I’m a woman again. A woman who doesn’t give a fuck what you think or say. I’m on top of the world, and baby, I feel no pain.

Pain. I feel your presence. I cry. I remember. However, like the past few times now, I will not let you push me back into habits that while comfortable, are no good for me. I will not pop pills. I will not numb myself. I will find that same confidence, that same attitude without them. I don’t know how, where, or when, but I will. You beckoned to me tonight, and for a second I thought I would cave… Not tonight though. I won’t do it.

I did not ever want to admit publicly to this struggle I have with pills, but at the same time I don’t feel like this is something I can stay quiet about any longer. I can honestly say the last time I popped pills to cope with emotional pain was last year when I was being kicked out and just shut down. Before then it had been 3 years. I am stronger than the lure of an easy out. I am. So are you if you’re reading this and have the same struggle. We can kick this habit to the curb, and we can find a way to remain confident, even in the face of pain.

A thought that has been circling my mind: perhaps what makes us beautiful is actually our scars. Bare them with pride. They are a constant reminder that we have survived to live another day.

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6 thoughts on “Baring Scars- My Refusal to Numb Myself

  1. Robert Evans on said:

    Love you, sometimes in awe of you. Yes, our scars do make us beautiful, they prove we are more than “sheeple”. That we dare to struggle. No one without scars ever really knows victory.

  2. Oh, do I understand your struggle and your post about this! I’ve recently been discussing this very thing; two individuals who don’t know each other at all have both suggested to me that I allow the pain to “feed” on me… that I allow myself to remain where I am because I don’t want to heal from it. I think they’re on to something. I’ve known the pain for so long that I don’t know how to handle “normal” and “happiness”. I began to explore this a bit and have wondered if I remain here, within the pain, as a form of self punishment because I can’t forgive myself… for the death of a very dear loved one, and for allowing all those assholes to do what they did (although we both know neither of us “allowed” a damn thing, but you know what I mean). It’s as though I know I’m not worth it due to all the messages I receive from others, so I deal with the pain. I’m only worth the pain.

    I use the narcotics for my migraines, but will confess I’ve used them to over medicate on occasion for the same reason you mention… I’m tired of pain, both emotional and physical. One can only handle so much pain on a daily basis, especially physical, before they cry “mercy”. But I’m working to understand the truth that clear crystals, while nice, just aren’t as beautiful as crystals which have cracks and refract light, thus creating rainbows.

    You’re beautiful. Our scars make us even more radiant because we know and understand what it is like to feel and we push through in spite of it all. Our compassion knows no bounds. Compassion like that certainly IS worthy… worthy of love, friendship, and a life filled with joy.

    We’ll both get there. I love you.

    • badthings07 on said:

      We are worth so much more than the pain. I know I struggle with the idea of worth as well, but I have to believe we’re worth more. I have to believe there is a reason to continue to struggle. I love you, Rose.

  3. A wise captain of a great starship once observed that scars are the things we carry with us,the things that make us who we are…if we lose them,we lose ourselves.

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