Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Observation of before and after

The Mall..
Going to the mall was overshooting. I don't know if I was testing myself or punishing myself. My motives regarding these adventures are never clear to me. I had two panic attacks, but didn't run screaming. So there was good and bad. Admittedly, there was more bad than good, but the good was real and it existed. It's important not to let the bad drown out the good upon reflection.
I used to love the mall. LOVE. I loved the bombardment of the senses, and the inevitable overstimulation. I remember this feeling of excited anticipation that was far disproportionate to the average person's. I wanted to see EVERYTHING, smell it, and if possible touch it, and when I did, I saw countless possibilities. (Most of them were dreamy unrealistically positive.) It was almost like being tipsy happy drunk.
This time I saw a potentially deadly, definitely dangerous, and unquestionably stressful obstacle course. My objective was only to get in and get out alive and in record time. Just another thing I had to survive.
Looking back I can almost pinpoint the exact moment of my disillusionment. I got a job at the mall straight out of the army. Security. Every day that I went to work my anxiety grew and my enchantment dissipated. Partially due no doubt, to the fact that WORK has to ruin every good thing ever. But this was the beginning of my new identity as a PTSD patient? survivor? nut? Lol.
It's sad. It's like the day when you truly stop believing in magic, miracles, and santa claus when you were a kid. You stopped looking for four leaf clovers, and you didn't make wishes on shooting stars anymore. Everything magical eventually becomes mundane. It's part of growing up.
Should I cling to the slender and fragile positive side that I did get SOME pleasure out of the experience, despite the fact that in retrospect it is nearly invisible, hidden behind so many bad feelings? Should I write off trips to the malls as something I will EVER enjoy again? Shrug it off as something I outgrew, and try to ignore the significance of this as the perfect example of what PTSD has been for me?
This is nearly a decade of PTSD. 7 years of non-stop therapy and medication. 7 years of losing one battle after another, and losing pieces of myself and my life to this disease.
I used to be a real person, and now I feel like a fragment of a reflection of a memory.

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