2023 has been the year of PTSD, anxiety and therapy for me. In 2022, I was viciously assaulted by someone in my family who then began to stalk and harass me. There have been many other illegal and horrific things this person and her family members have done, but all of that is for the detective to sort out. All I could do is control how I reacted to it all, and that is where therapy came in and saved my life.
After the assault, and the other sociopathic things this person has done, I started seeing a therapist. My therapist diagnosed me with PTSD and anxiety, and I sobbed for a few days. I am not exactly sure why it hurt me so much, but it did. Not out of shame, but out of disbelief and concern for myself. I knew something was wrong because I would have nightmares about the attack, heart palpitations and feel anxious all the time, but did not think it was at all related to PTSD. I was not that knowledgeable about PTSD and felt it was only something that happened to victims of war, incarceration, and major crimes.
After receiving the diagnosis, the real emotional and mental work began. I have spent this entire year in therapy every week. It has been excruciating, funny, filled with tears and painstaking, but it saved me. I am not cured of my PTSD/anxiety, and honestly, not sure I ever will be. What I have learned in therapy has been the catalyst for change within. Outside validation is no longer needed for me to believe in and love myself. I am not broken by all of the attacks, assaults, theft, etc this person has done. Instead it has done the exact opposite.
2023 challenged many of us in different ways. From financial instabilities due to the economy, protests, and regular everyday things that were amplified by the effects of the shut down, we have all been tested this year. Along with therapy I also meditate, listen to sound baths, hike, and exercise to help with my PTSD and anxiety. We can never control how anyone feels about us, or what they do to us. The only thing we can control is how we react to it.
I thank God for therapy, my neighbors (who know what happened and watch out for me), my sister, cousins (who are like my brothers & sisters), and family members in heaven watching over me. I would not have made it through this year without all of these people in my corner fighting for and with me. Don’t give up on yourself. Do not abandon all the greatness you have within. Healing is possible and will happen with time. It is not linear nor is it easy, but will happen for you. I believe in you. So, how was your 2023, and how did you get through this year?