A NAMI story of recovery from PTSD


 As I voraciously read and search for ways to heal myself from the abuse and abandonment I was put through as a child and the ensuing PTSD, I am so grateful and inspired to find stories like this, of recovery from the same things I struggle with. These stories give me so much hope that one day soon, I too will be whole and healthy and no longer in pain. Also, I learnt about Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) which I plan to learn more about. Thank you brave soul, for fighting and being stronger than your abuse, and for posting your story. Bravo!

Personal StoriesPTSD: My Metaphorical Experience

Imagine riding a new red bicycle. You are gracefully balanced and cruising down the neighborhood. Your bike has all the amenities for a fun ride- working petals, a nice fancy horn, and colorful pom-poms blowing in the wind. Now imagine riding that same bicycle with one petal broken, and a tire slightly deflated- you still can move, but it takes more effort, and you are losing speed. At the beginning of my diagnosis of posttraumatic stress disorder, sometimes it felt like there was a nail in the tire of my bicycle, and no matter how hard I kept pedaling and moving my legs, the air still slowly deflated the tire, eventually leaving me at a standstill.

Coming to terms with my diagnosis, finally met acknowledging my painful past, in hopes of a brighter future. After avoiding the trauma for so long, it finally made its way back to me, in the form of an expiration of the statute of limitations this past December. I could no longer avoid the deep pain I felt of injustice, fear, and victimization. My tire didn’t just pop, it exploded, with chunks of rubber left as remnants on the ground.
Deciding to do Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) was one of the bravest things I have ever done. Facing my past head on and allowing myself to truly process and heal from the assault was incredibly difficult. I have never cried so much, felt so much and simply allowed my emotions to be there. It was a very raw and emotional experience. As the weeks passed by I felt myself start to grow stronger, with a new strength of resilience and hope. I felt like I finally was able to give my pain and trauma the grieving that it deserved; its own rite of passage.
As more time went on, I started to become a new person. A person that realized that it was okay to be sad, to feel emotions, to look at the past and acknowledge what happened. I knew that it would no longer break me and that I could move forward in an honorable way. Through this experience I now know how strong and brave I am- and that my trauma is only a small piece of my autobiography, not the narrative. As I move forward, I can see a bright future filled with dreams and goals that I hope to accomplish. As I step forward, I now see that my bicycle is no longer broken in a way that slows me down- it is resilient and powerful. As the tire remnants are pieced together carefully one by one, they have created a stronger tire that no longer will deflate when it hits screws or nails in the road- making it an incredible bike with history.
I now stand incredibly humbled of how far I have come, knowing that this is just the beginning of incredible things to come. I am forever indebted to my family and friends, thank you for being there, for sitting right with me with my pain, for holding my hand when I knew it was painful for you to see my trauma. I can never thank you enough for believing in me, and for allowing me to finally believe in myself. For helping me to not be ashamed of PTSD and the experiences that I have been through, but being proud of the person that I am, the person that I have become. Your kindness and support is the greatest gift you could ever give to me. The greatest gift I gave myself was recovery.