A friend of mine recently asked me a question; why is life so hard? I have been thinking on that for several days now. Not because I think life is hard, but there was a time when that would be something I would have said and even believed. What I realized looking back for me is that it was not life that was hard for me, it was the way I went about it.
Sure, I may like to know the world without PTSD; I may like to know the world without the idea of depression. But I don’t, those are in my world. However, I work very hard so that they do not become my world, I work very hard so they do not define me as a person. Plus they don’t make it hard; they make it complicated. To be honest if I had to know them to be the person I am today then I would not change a damn thing.
One of my realizations is it’s how I react to any situation that has the ability to make things hard. I spent the last few weeks looking back and analyzing different parts of my life where I thought “Why is life hard?” I found some really interesting parallels to the thought “life is hard” and my choices or actions. However, the biggest links I found was the attachment to FEAR and CONTROL.
Yes, I was diagnosed with PTSD. But, getting to that diagnosis was a long hard road for me and for a lot of people around me. You see, I kept most of the darkness to myself, and it worked for a time; no one saw. Then as I continued to face my mind the intervals in which it would mess with me got more frequent, making hiding almost if not impossible.
During the times while I thought I was crazy, and I kept it to myself, I thought life sucked pretty bad to be honest. And, I can guarantee those around me may have thought life was tough too. Understand I am not saying everything that happened is a result of me, I take my part in it, work issues, friends, home there are 17 sides to a story. Time may be a great healer but it’s a shitty storyteller unless you like drama.
Not honouring myself because of fear was one of the areas that made things complicated, very complicated. So this level had pre-PTSD diagnosis and post PTSD diagnosis ramifications. Let’s start with Pre- PTSD, I learned that I had to question my mind and it’s thoughts, so everything that came up I would question, did the person actually say that or am I putting my spin on it. Am I really in danger? Why am I scared? That thought of ending it, is it real or not?
One of the most interesting thoughts I had it was around 2006 I was wanting to move away to the wilderness and live in a tent with a rifle and my wits, well that was me not thinking clearly; I know now PTSD had its hand in that cookie jar … But here is the thing there were other things going on at that time as well. I am starting to find life is a puzzle or better yet a lab experiment. You have to look at each variable that was added that day that week or month, because everything is a factor. I know that it is a factor of what I already new, check out sandpaper and pearls posted last year if you want to understand more of what I mean.
The idea of escaping came from the fact that I did not feel worthy, I did not feel worthy of the life I had, or the life I was going towards, PTSD was only a portion and putting everything on it is wrong for me. It would be me externalizing on something else or someone else both do not serve me. But the diagnosis allowed something else to happen; that I say would have me saying life was hard.
It allowed others to second-guess everything I thought or said. My emotions and feelings became a product of the diagnosis. If I thought I was unhappy it was only because of the depression, it could not be because I was unhappy. If I was upset or frustrated it was not because I was not being “heard” it was because of the PTSD. This told me I had to bottle back up again I had to eat what I was feeling because I doubted me and now so did others.
Life became hard when I had to, or felt I had to keep things to myself. It was also hard when I felt I was alone with no one to share with. You see eating our emotions is what’s not healthy. There is another thing that comes from fear or control and it’s reacting or as a teacher told me re-enacting. There is a difference in healing when you react or you respond to any situation. When I react there is no healing, it means that my regulation is off (I am still working it). I react in anger or by withdrawing I externalize it on something or someone else.
However, responding for me is different, first I still get that tinge in my chest that triggers the lizard brain of fight, flight or freeze. But, I can acknowledge it and then I can respond. Responding is not discounting or removing the feeling or emotion it is acknowledging it embracing that it is my own and I own it. It allows me to move through the emotions while not getting angry. It allows me to talk calmly and remove any attachments, if the other person hears it then great but if they don’t that’s ok too.
Life was hard for me because I did not honour myself, I did not see value in myself, I did not work on myself. All of these things came out of fear. Someone once told me there are only two emotions all the rest are all products of these two. The first emotion is fear, it used to be the one I led with. The second is love, which is now where I choose to live. By living in love sure life is still complicated but it’s definitely not hard.
With Love, Respect and Admiration
Keep chasing those cars
P.s. This blog was really tough for me to write, it has some deep connections and I am grateful for the teaching it is bringing. Thanks for the question on why is life hard.