When Success is a PTSD Trigger

Pat Green sang that it came upon him wave on wave, or something like that. Maybe he was talking about anxiety?

PTSD triggers are a beast, and I have several, one of which is success. I have experienced a lot of trauma shortly after achieving success of some type or getting back on my feet after a traumatic experience, and now my brain and body are convinced that when things are going well, death and destruction are imminent. I’m wired and exhausted at the same time, and pushing the limits of my coping skills.

What is great is that I’m able to notice and identify what’s going on and why I have such severe symptoms. I’d like to shut down and quit for a few days, but I have a schedule to keep up, and things to do that won’t easily wait. It’s hard as hell, but I have places to drive to, people to see and work to do, even though I’m constantly dealing with intrusive thoughts of my house burning down, me dying in a car wreck, my family dying in a car wreck, the earth exploding, you name it.

It’s, as they say, a bitch.

I’m working on not avoiding, on not letting the symptoms win. They play hard and they don’t play fair. I’m working on not numbing, on managing my symptoms in a way that’s loving and kind toward myself, on not letting the past win. It isn’t even really here, it’s an illusion because my brain and body didn’t store those experiences as memory, they think they’re current.

I’ll be doing a lot of redirecting my thoughts and reality checking for the next few days, and keeping an eye on my resting heart rate.

6 thoughts on “When Success is a PTSD Trigger

  1. Ugh, I feel something similar too, when everything seems “too perfect” to be possible, so therefore something really bad must be coming… I try to really appreciate the good things and remind myself that things will probably get worse again, but *probably* not bad on the level of trauma… that’s what I *try* to do, at least, haha.
    Good luck, you will get through these things. ❤

    Liked by 2 people

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