Updated: PTSD: Can we ever be happy?




Being abused in childhood, impacted my mind permanently. I am not saying this abuse rules my mind but it will at least lay dormant until I die.


Happiness was impossible, imminent danger lived inside my home and I was his only target.


Survival and shame dominated my thoughts, helped formulate my unworthy self image and destroyed my nervous system.


I always knew something was wrong, like I was flawed, unworthy, not like other people.


Then one day in my 50’s a family crisis ignited my childhood trauma. It was alive, bringing that terrifying jolt to my solar plexus, cortisol and adrenaline, PTSD’s scare drugs.


Took me 6 years to heal or improve, for the suffering to curtail and life to have a little lightness, some contentment.


When I improved or healed, the suffering dissipated, the intrusive thoughts lost power without attention.


For 60 years I enjoyed momentary joy from accomplishments, however happiness was a stranger.


To heal or improve, I had dedicated five hours a day to meditating and healing.


On this journey, while entering into mundane tasks, (a mindful practice) I found happy moments.


Moments free of any deadline or time apparatus, where thought had curtailed, where things unfolded naturally.


These moments calmed my being beyond any prior feeling.


Looking at nature one day, I saw perfection, was it out of body or was I just one with it?


I believe if I can find some happiness, then you can also.


It is not easy, it takes courage and daily action.





23 responses to this post.

  1. Yes, it is all about effort and dedication to heal and find meaning.
    As always, Thank you!

  2. Not easy

    I learned to focus on small specific concrete actions

    One symptom dissociation

    The kingpin

    Stay present and let thought go and Ptsd loses power

    Weaken it a little everyday

  3. What types of meditation do you do?

  4. At the zen center I was taught the Soto Zen meditation similar
    To vipassana meditation

    I use my breathing model to follow my breath as I focus on my hearing

    When thoughts clear I explore my inner world

    In the beginning I built enough focus to stay present when my fight or flight mechanism fired

    I focus on meta at times
    Loving kindness meditation
    Hoping all beings suffering would be lessened

    It is a simple practice that requires daily effort and trust

  5. Thanks for sharing this

  6. I can help if you want to start a practice

    Start with three breaths slow and easy
    No pressure
    No right or wrong

  7. Thank you. We have started. We appreciate hearing your choices. Your experience is helpful

  8. I am happy for you
    Enjoy the journey

  9. I use this model
    It is visual and highlights the four parts of the breath
    Inhale pause exhale pause

    This may help keep thoughts at bay

    Use hearing also
    Try to hear your j games and exhales

    Be gentle on yourself and keep going

    Changes take a whole and are subtle

    Good luck


  10. Posted by rudid96 on June 10, 2020 at 3:30 pm

    Often I dreamed that adulthood would resolve all my childhood “issues.” Not so! Sliding into the adult portion of life with much of my personal resources undeveloped and drained left me unprepared to handle the real work of living and navigating adult challenges. What I found was fatigue, disillusionment, depression and a general crisis of values. It’s been and still is, A LOT of on-going, conscious work to focus my attention and develop the personal resources for happiness. This is not for the faint hearted. This takes commitment. Understanding deeply, intellectually and somatically that there’s no magic genie sent from above to rescue me from others or myself was sobering and something to grieve. Now I work at recognizing joy, staying open to experiencing, and learning that it’s ‘Ok’ to let it go. This is my daily work.

  11. And that is all you can do
    It the basis for a happy life
    You have a memory of improving in the face of ptsd already

    Living for us is a moment to moment awareness

    It is never perfection or do we yearn to be perfect

    When we regress we know the path back to center

    Dreams need action, daily action and a plan combined with some tools for change to happen

    Good job

    You are improving

  12. We always wondered if our breathing/meditation coach had us visualize our posture during in-breath to occupy our mind. Probably!

  13. Yes

    Having a model defines all four phases of the breath

    I use listening intently also
    I can hear my inhales and exhales when I slow down

    In the end we find a no thought space where everything else fades our breath included

    Take what works best for you

    I have multiple ways to focus if one if thoughts are difficult

  14. I believe we can heal, and get better with our issues. Meditation has helped massively ❤

  15. Thank you

    That was my way out

    Well a main ingredient

  16. Wow. this is incredible. I really enjoyed reading this!

  17. Please feel encouraged to check out my recent blog post regarding PTSD awareness day (today, June 27th) or just the overall PTSD awareness month of June! Thank you❤️

  18. Thankyou for sharing! So inspiring ❤

  19. Thank for for your kindness

    Early in this blogs life, I did not feel comfortable sharing my personal challenges, the messy details but now I see that many identify with the humbling and terrifying part of the journey

    It is what we do when Ptsd is at its apex of power that decides who wins

    Ptsd or us

  20. Thank for sharing this, very interesting 😊

  21. Your welcome

  22. I feared for a very long time that I could never get better. I could not separate from my trauma; I could not stop myself from collapsing into depression. There was no hope. I honestly told my therapist, “I will never get over this. The best I can do it learn to manage it a bit better.”

    But to my surprise, like you, I have found that it IS possible to heal. I mean, the wounds are still there, and once in a while something triggers them. But I don’t suffer as much or as long. I notice that I have been triggered, and the wisest part of myself steps in to assist, to comfort, to soothe.

    Also like you, I have found meditation to be an enormously helpful tool. In addition, mindful yoga, cranio-sacral therapy and other forms of tuning in to the energy of my body have all helped me bring the concepts I started learning in therapy from my head down into my heart.

    It’s very important, I think, that we share these messages so others can take some hope that their suffering doesn’t have to last forever. Thanks for your post!

  23. Thank you for sharing your insight.

    I did cranial sacral therapy and was introduced to meditation thru the gentle yoga studio I frequented.

    Both helped. If you have childhood abuse there does not exist that immediate awakening or healing.

    I healed in very subtle ways in the beginning, then in small increments from many different healing action I did everyday.

    I would like to offer you a platform to write a post about your journey

    What worked
    what did not
    What influenced you to take action in the face of helplessness
    How did you handle setbacks
    How did understanding the mechanism of PTSD help

    Like you Meditation was my aircraft carrier

    Always undervalued and not given air time is exercise

    For me it was aerobic exercise, vigorous, challenging hiking uphill for me

    It gave me exhilaration, achievement and satisfaction

    Even when my mind was frozen my legs could move

    My first victory was realizing PTSD could not stop my body from excelling

    We have to find power, use our strengths and traumas weaknesses

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