Mental Health

Stability is a Good Thing

Stability is a Good Thingwilliam-randles

I haven’t been posting much lately because I’ve felt like I have nothing to write about. Nothing much has been happening in my life these past few months – other than my abusive brother contacting me, that is, which I just wrote about. Then there’s the publication of my book and the two readings I did in November, which were both successful and rewarding. So, no complaints there.

Things have been going relatively smoothly as of late. No huge ups or downs in mood, no real mania or depression. No overwhelming stresses to deal with, other than my finances, which will, I’ve come to accept, need careful tending to. I know I need to learn to live within my means and make careful choices as to how I spend what little money I have. No frills like Starbucks lattes or eating out. As I’ve written before, I need to focus on what I need – rent, utilities, phone, cat food, gas and insurance for my car, and groceries – rather than focusing on what I want. While it’s okay to have a wish list, I need to be practical and accept the fact that right now I only have money for the basic necessities of life. I am grateful – very grateful – that I have as much as I have. But finances – or lack thereof – has always been a stressor for me.

Nothing’s been triggering me lately. Nothing has been happening in my life that I haven’t been able to deal with. I haven’t been binge eating – I have that under control, it seems. But I have been keeping more to myself lately. I meet with friends a few times a month. I do my volunteer work. I go to my writers’ group. But I am not constantly around people, like I would be if I were working a full-time job (I’m on disability). If I were working I’m sure I’d be triggered frequently. My PTSD would be front and center. But, since I live alone and have kept mostly to myself, there haven’t been any stress-inducing situations I’ve had to deal with. No conflict. No assaults upon my senses. No inundation of any kind.

I am experiencing a peaceful time in my life. Winter is here. Rather than venturing out into the world I choose to stay home and crochet, listen to soothing music, read, watch movies… I’m taking a break from writing. I have a new project in mind – a novel or series of novellas (haven’t decided which would best showcase the story I want to tell) – but I’m giving myself a breather after working on my first book for two years.

I guess one could say I’ve made progress in regard to the fact that I feel pretty stable at the moment. I feel stronger and more grounded than in the past. I feel less anxious and more sure of myself. I feel good about the person I’ve become and hopeful for my future – though I try to live in the present moment. I doubt myself less and like myself more. I look forward to scheduling readings of my book for the spring so that I can share my message of healing from trauma with others. I feel confident that this is what I am meant to be doing as I move forward in my life – to let others know that they are not alone in their struggles, that I understand their pain, and to instill in them the belief that there is hope. This is where my journey has taken me. It feels good to have a sense of purpose, to know that by sharing my trauma experiences – and the lessons I’ve learned on my journey of healing – I can make a difference in someone else’s life. I am grateful for this opportunity to be of service.

While it feels strange not to be worrying or stressing out over things, not to be triggered, and to feel comfortable letting down my guard a bit and trusting people more (I feel less hypervigilant these days – other than when I’m trying to sleep), it does feel good to be able to settle into my life and just Be. This is a gift I’ve been given. A gift that I will not take for granted. The peace I feel could last a while or it could be fleeting. Whatever life has in store for me, I hope that I will be able to bring to it this feeling of being grounded and centered, of not having to be more than I am, and to remain confident that what and who I am is enough.

Photo by William Randles on Unsplash

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