Good friends send you books, make you think and change your perspective.
A friend who understands PTSD and has had to deal with it longer than I have changed my perspective by asking if I have thought about PTG – Post-Traumatic Growth. He pointed out that we focus on and talk about the harm, but we rarely talk about the good – about the changes in us that we make or that we allow post-trauma. He then made me list things out. Sometimes good friends make you do more than nod in agreement.
I like myself a lot more now than before. I know how resilient I am, how much I can endure. I am much more compassionate. I am much less willing to tolerate bullshit or have my time wasted. I have a lot more boundaries now, I blame myself less and, now that I am replacing negative coping mechanisms with positive ones, am engaging in a much healthier lifestyle that is also much happier.
I asked for help and support twice this week, which is twice more than I ever do. I didn’t rush myself this week. I made sure I expressed gratitude, stayed in my own lane and took some time out to rest. Those are things I would not have done a year ago.
I have a lot more knowledge – head and heart – now that I am willing to lean into the pain and grief. Starting the process of stopping avoidance (and all the habits that are avoidance traits) is a very empowering thing. Not just knowing that I have choice but making choices is a very empowering thing.
I have had some pretty incredible post-traumatic growth, and I am looking forward to more.