cPTSD - when you skipped the basics

Sep 17, 2018

The healing journey is a roller coaster in the dark - ups and downs and ups and downs.

Some days you're managing your complex PTSD quite okay, then you slip again... Everything feels like you are going backwards, all your cPTSD symptoms flare up and it feels like this’s never gonna get better for me, I’ll stay on this crazy roller coaster forever...

This was happening for me too and just recently again, even though I’ve been working on learning ways to manage my cPTSD for over 15 years now. Why?

The last few years I was doing really really well. I was so happy, as I tapered off all my medication last year. So, here I was coping really good, but then last month I wasn't doing all that good…

And how frustrating is it when it feels like we’re going backwards, despite all the hard work we are doing!!!

People often don’t realise just how much determination, persistence and courage is required to re-wire our brain after all the damage from the complex trauma

So, I was a touch cranky with myself and the process… (And just how quick do those demons within get loud and we start beating up on ourselves… Did you know that our inner critic triggers the release of the same neurotransmitters as a fight/flight response?)

Here I am doing all these videos, telling you guys how things will get better… and then things are going backwards for myself.

After a little deep honest reflection, I knew why… even if I don’t really want to admit it. But the reason I wasn’t doing so well is because I started to skip all my routines - all the basic stuff...

Only now do I realise how big an impact those basic routines had on my ability to cope with my day to day stuff and manage my cPTSD.

(Ok, I admit, for many years in the past I denied that these basic things would have any impact on my life. After all, I have cPTSD – I’m ruined…)

I guess we need to “test” every now and then that those basic routines actually really have a beneficial effect for us or not 😉

Some of my routines are:

  • Gratitude journaling in the morning
  • Work out at the gym at least 5 x times per week
  • Daily walks in nature
  • Healthy diet (Because of my eating disorder I struggled with for many years, I have a very structured meal plan)
  • No more than 1 x coffee a day
  • Cold shower daily
  • No sugar (except a couple of pieces of dark chocolate 😊 )
  • Read something inspiring daily
  • All digital stuff turned off an hour before bed time
  • Set sleep times

All these seemingly little things…

I guess it goes to show how important it is that we get the basics right.

When you’ve had complex trauma, it can alter the way our brain functions, everything is dysregulated to the point that we may struggle with detecting or sensing when we

  • are hungry or not
  • are cold or too hot
  • need rest…

all this is meant to happen “automatically”, but with complex PTSD all these functions are disrupted.

By me having these really structured routines, I could somehow overcome these shortcomings.

Well, as it turns out my routines had a much bigger influence on how I could manage my symptoms than I thought it did.

So I thought I share this with you guys, just to remind you how important it is to get the basics right 😊 please learn from my mistakes 😊

Like I said the food, the exercise, meditation, and sleep etc, when I skipped on those routines, managing my day to day things and my PTSD symptoms become extremely difficult.

This was quite a lesson for me and to symbolise that I have changed, that I am a new person who makes healthy choices for herself, I cut my hair 😊 I guess it’s a symbol that a new chapter in my life has begun. I’m not going back to those "old me habits"…

I guess, from time to time we have to change them slightly as we outgrow them 😊

As always, I love hearing your thoughts on this as well. What routines do you've in place that make a difference for you?

Sending you lots & lots of love and rainbows to brighten up the tough times just a little

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