The New Normal

It’s 3:39am and I can’t sleep. One of the joys of PTSD. Sometimes it’s nightmares that awaken me. Sometimes it’s anxiety or hypervigilence.

I’ve been living with PTSD for almost 9 years now. So, in some respects it’s not really “new” to me. Yet, as I look back on my almost 42 years of life, it really is something that I’m still getting used to. It still catches me off guard. I still have times that I may think I’m doing ok, but PTSD has a way of slapping you in the face and reminding you that things are definitely different now.

I’ve described having PTSD as living with a tornado. It’s a violent twister of feelings and emotions. It’s a whirlwind of depression, anxiety, anger, guilt, hypervigilence, rage, and confusion. However, unlike nature’s tornadoes, this one never ends. In fact it follows you everywhere you go. It sucks you in and controls your life. Then it spits you out, leaving it’s devastating effects behind. Only to follow you once more and start the whole process over again.

I’ve cut out a few medical snippets that help describe some of the things I live with:

I know it’s difficult for the general public to grasp what really is PTSD. I hope my definition and the articles I’ve posted here help your understanding. I don’t really know why I find it so important to share this information with others. I think it may be as a way to try to get others to understand why I am the way I am. For those of you who knew me before October 13, 2009 it’s a way to explain why I’m so different now. In a way, the man you knew before has indeed died. What you have in me now is what’s left… The new normal.

-mark visscher


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