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Posted: Sat Jun 23, 2018 7:15 pm
I wasn’t very involved or interested in my physical fitness after some dark days I’ve been recovering from since the memories came back to me around five years ago now. That’s totally different since three years ago when I was so emotionally exhausted from those memories & the dreams I began to have & so many things which would trigger them. Then I decided to go for a run with the music in my earbuds at max & my life has been so much better lately.
I went for a bike ride today & I rode for 16 miles in the sun & couldn’t help smiling with a good breeze on my face. Tomorrow I’m going to do one of many routines in the home gym I’ve built before I take a run for 45 minutes to an hour, depending on how lazy I will feel:-)! I’ll be even happier this evening, once it’s cooled down outside, & my wife joins me for either another bike ride, or a run or a long walk:-). After my workout & my run are over tomorrow, we may even play tennis (depending on how hot it will be by then!).
My entire disposition is SO much better these days & my wife says that now, after my breakdown or whatever it was that I experienced when my bad memories exploded open in my mind, it feels like I am “back.”
I know that I will still have things that bother me to pop up when I’m not expecting them with so many triggers everywhere I go, even when I’m at home, but I am so much better now. I still have flashbacks & bad dreams occasionally, & sometimes they hurt more than at other times, but overall, I feel so much better about my life in general. This, for me, is huge! And while therapy had been helpful to me, doing physical activities have been helping me to really enjoy life again
! The best part about my new & healthier “me” is that my wife & kids see it & it’s like all of our lives are better for it
I don’t know if this topic fits here or not
Take good care, everyone
Re: Living again
Posted: Sat Jun 23, 2018 10:25 pm
I relate to things getting better after seemingly having gotten worse. My whole family agree I am a better person for the healing that happened. It is true I had to learn a lot things to live a happier life. Can you relate?
Re: Living again
Posted: Mon Jun 25, 2018 10:33 am
I am very happy for you to know that things are better for you now then when you first began your healing journey. I certainly can & do relate with you having to learn a lot of things to have that happiness.
When I first began therapy I learned that I had to “ground” myself by being aware that my flashbacks were like echos after an explosion, but that the explosion was something that had already occurred & was no longer occurring now. This helped with the emotions I had from those flashbacks. I could be very quiet, full of despair, angry, although not at my wife or kids, just at those who either caused so much mental anguish or those who knew about it and did nothing to help me, thereby allowing it to happen, & the two emotions that I now realize were among the most debilitating: shame & self-blame. I had to learn that I didn’t ask for what I experienced even though I was told it was my fault for various & untrue reasons.
There are a lot of other things I have had to learn along the way, but even though I have learned them & am feeling so much better, I still have days which are harder than others to be objective about what I came through. Either way, being able to see things as they were & not in the way I was told to see them has made my life so much better for me & my family. That combined with my activity has been a hugely therapeutic process for me.
I wish you & everyone else a good journey towards inner peace & happiness
Re: Living again
Posted: Sat Jun 30, 2018 3:53 am
So glad to see that you're feeling happy and stable. Physical activities also help me. Big time.
If I don't go to the gym and do group fitness classes or take the dogs for a walk, I fall down the rabbit hole of despair.
I also have to spend time surrounded by nature, not just outside. Nature soothes me and helps me feel grounded. It reminds me that I'm connected to something. It is completely nonthreatening, when everywhere else is like a stampede of stimulation.
I hope to get to that level of positive thinking. It has only been two years since the recovery started for me.
But I am stronger than I was, that's for sure.
Re: Living again
Posted: Mon Jul 02, 2018 10:19 am
I totally relate with you on feeling connected when surrounded by nature. My bike rides are so peaceful for me on the trails I ride. They are paved trails with trees which hang over & create a canopy. It’s like riding through a tunnel of trees
I wanted to go kayaking this weekend on one of the many rivers nearby, but by the time I finished my workouts & then those bike rides, I didn’t have the time to beat the daily rains & occasional thunderstorms where I live. I live 45 minutes from the closest city in one direction & an hour from the next nearest city in another direction. When I have to go to one of those cities I am always grateful that I don’t have to do that everyday. My daily bike rides make the times when I do have to venture into the cities easier to tolerate, so I don’t get as anxious.
So two years into your recovery! I’m so happy for you that you are making progress
! It hasn’t been an easy journey for me to progress in my recovery, but it is much better now for me & I am sure that it will become this way for you too
! You know, this is OUR life we are living. It was affected by others at a point in time when we were vulnerable to the affect of others. Now, it’s up to US how much we will let those scarred over wounds affect our lives & we are strong
! It’s so much more than fighting the good fight, it’s about living for ourselves
! So taking time to enjoy nature & not taking for granted a cool breeze in our hair & on our skin makes moments like this more valuable than gold. Live it well my friend!
Re: Living again
Posted: Mon Jul 02, 2018 8:47 pm
I live in a city of about 90 thousand people. It is in a valley between two volcanoes (still classified as active).
The terrain here is amazing being that I grew up in the flattest lands of the U.S.
I love hiking, biking...being outdoors, too.
I hope that I will heal enough so that there will be a day when I don't think about, feel, or battle the trauma of my developing years.
Did that happen for you or is it more about how the trauma affects daily life?
It is good that your family is participating in your active lifestyle. Keeps us together, I think.
I love watching kids explore the outdoors.
There's a book I read (well, most of it LOL) called Last Child in the Woods about how society has changed how children are raised in that nature is no longer a player in the game. It affects so much.
Anyway, thank you for the well wishes!
Wishing the same for you,
Re: Living again
Posted: Tue Jul 03, 2018 11:31 am
Wow! Living between two active volcanos! It sounds a bit scary, but I bet the vegetation is absolutely beautiful
! I’m happy for you that you have such an incredible surrounding:-)! I had lived in a mountainous area for almost three years & felt so close to nature then. Where I live now is just as beautiful, even though there are no majestic mountains anywhere near me. It is better than where I grew up in a military town that was as naturally featureless as it was culturally, so I’m much happier now to live where I do. I am excited just thinking about how good I will feel after I submit this reply & head out for a nice & long ride:-)! Hmm, am I able to post pictures of my ride here? Either way, it’s cool to talk with someone who enjoys sound so many things outdoors like I do:-)
It’s a bit hard for me to say if there will be days when you “don’t think about, feel, or battle the trauma” of your developing years. For me, on most days I am reminded of my own trauma during the same period of my own life. I can tell you that there are days when I do forget. Then something will trigger some aspect of things I went through & there it is again. The biggest difference in me these days is how I handle it. I was put through some things that if I hear about happening to anyone else, really hurts my feelings. When I remember my own experiences I get sad & frustrated & I wonder who I would be if those things never did happen, whether just once or for the years that they did. Sometimes I think of the power I give to those involved with those experiences & I choose not to let them have that power anymore. I choose to live for me. I get to do that now. It’s over & I’m free. I’m here & I am who I am & nowadays I know that I didn’t deserve the trauma & I DO deserve to be happy & they don’t deserve the amount of thought that I have given them & still do give them. This is exactly the same for you my friend. It is the same for everyone here.
Sometimes this is easy, sometimes it isn’t. But I try. I try because I do want to be happy & this is MY life & all I want is peace & to be happy & free of anything which takes away from that. ¡Salvaje soy! ¡Y libre! Sorry, that’s inspired from a song I love:-)! Anyway, I would never announce to anyone that I’m “cured.” I know that I have been affected & will be forever. It is my reality. But I get to choose how I live now. And so do you:-)
My family participates with me, but not as much as I would like for them too LOL! It is a good feeling for me to see them enjoying being outside, but it gets very humid & hot where I live & I am a little better suited for the environment, no matter what time of day, & I’m always ready to do something outside!
Yeah, I always feel good when I see a family with little kids on the trail or at the parks or playing tennis or on the rivers when I’m doing things by myself. And then I miss my family lol. The book sounds really interesting. I’m going to check it out, even though it sounds like you & I have similar “reading” styles haha!!
Sorry to write so much, again! Hmm, maybe I’ve missed my calling as a novelist? Anyway, have a great day:-)
My bike is calling me:-)
Re: Living again
Posted: Tue Jul 03, 2018 2:59 pm
Thankfully, our volcanoes haven't erupted in a hundred years or more. But one of them is still producing activity, just not threatening if that makes sense. It's the scenery and the rivers and trails and lakes, etc. that makes them beautiful.
Thanks for describing how life is for you, now. Choice. I've heard and read that a lot.
I do not feel as if I have a choice, yet. So many flashbacks, feelings and thoughts to work through.
One thing that might be a "key" is to grieve. My t tells me that a lot.
I just don't understand how to grieve.
I can't force it, you know?
Anyway, I'm happy to read that there is healing and empowerment in this world.
Have fun out there, jumping from path to path, zooming around trees and branches and rocks or past houses and people and parks.
I loved riding a bike as a kid. Such a wonderful form of escape.
Re: Living again
Posted: Thu Jul 05, 2018 10:33 am
I knew that feeling so well, like I didn’t have a choice in my recovery because the flashbacks & dreams were so strong & overwhelming for me. I was taught by my therapist that there are five stages of grief, but I didn’t see that I was already experiencing some of them because the anger & depression stages were so big for me. A lot of my problem with grieving was that I was so angry at myself, more so than I was angry with those who were deserving of blame. The things I was blaming myself for & was angry with myself for made it hard for me to realize that what happened to me wasn’t because I was weak or somehow a bad person who was being punished, but those things happened & I couldn’t & didn’t stop them because I was a little & scarred little boy. Once I really understood this I grieved. I was distraught with the depression stage & that was very hard to make it through. But I made it.
The five stages of grief don’t always happen for everyone in the same order & some stages will occur more than once. I didn’t even realize I was grieving while I was. I’m not a therapist & I do know that we all heal differently,but I really believe that you will get there too. Not because I’m being blindly optimistic & not because of my experiences, but because I believe that we are stronger than we think we are & are capable of many great things, no matter if we deny & argue this with ourselves like I had done for a very long time. I am wishing the best for you.
Btw, I’m a little jealous of your environment lol
Re: Living again
Posted: Thu Jul 05, 2018 3:14 pm
Thank you for sharing your truth and journey with me.
I try to notice the changes and growth in how I handle life and that helps me.
Knowing how other survivors have gone through the process is also so helpful.
I appreciate your kindness and encouragement. I really do.
Here's to moving ahead as much or as little as we can, right?