I’ve done a lot of research on PTSD in the past month.
There are so many stories, it’s…overwhelming at times.
Heck, even my favorite TV shows deal with PTSD!
In a way, I suppose, it’s good to know that we haven’t been entirely desensitized, that we can still be deeply affected despite the constant violence in our media and our entertainment.
You can argue who is more victimized or where, but you can’t classify the after-affects into gendered or racial stereotypes.
I guess that’s what draws me to PTSD: regardless of background, occupation, socio-economic status, or subscription to politically-correct organizations, when that terror and those memories hit, we couldn’t be more similar.
Fear truly is the great leveler.
Though, of course, the symptoms manifest individually.
For me, PTSD means curling up in a corner of the closet and listening to Evanescence to control my shaking, or crying on the kitchen floor, with my head tucked between my knees to stop myself from passing out.
Some days, it means that being around people is just too much to handle.
Those mental health days, or “work from home” days keep me sane.
At times, I wonder what the hell I’m doing. An investigative journalist with PTSD?
That’s about as useful as a doctor with hemophobia!
I’m no scarred detective in a crime show, just a writer with a strong sense of justice and way too much curiosity.
This series started out as a candid advice column for wanderlusters, with maybe a little dark humor.
But it has become much more than that, because I have realized how important it is for each of us to learn what travelling with our trauma actually means.
Yes, to a certain degree, we have no control over how we react, or when.
We can’t stop unbidden memories from taking over every sane thought.
But what can we control?
How do we live around, and beyond our pasts?
Whether it’s travelling around the world, or to the grocery store, or even just having the courage to leave the safety of home, we make that choice every day; that refusal to let our fears define us.
So, dear friends, here’s a question for you:
Where will your fear take you?