Posts Tagged ‘happiness’

Someone asked: Does PTSD define me?

With all my being I wish to answer no, PTSD does not define me, but that is not accurate.

For a decade-plus I have battled PTSD, seeking freedom and wellbeing.

It has been the dominant influence on my personality, and my day-to-day survival.

For five years PTSD had almost total control, my fight or flight mechanism would fire over and over and over and over and over during the day.

It wore me out physically and emotionally, I was a zombie for a while.



Life was painful, disconnected, rigid, and isolated, suffering seemed constant.

PTSD defined me back then completely.

Nowadays PTSD dominates much less, there is hope, not to heal but to gain the upper hand.

Fight or flight firing has stopped, intrusive thoughts bring more depression than terror.

Small victories heal us incrementally, never giving up is a necessity.

If your expectations are for a calm, drama-free life, then disappointment will be your companion.

PTSD defining us is all a matter of percentages, how much time does PTSD steal from your life?

Shaila Catherine: Mental Absorption (jhana states)

“When the mind abandons its contact with the senses, including discursive thinking, the concentrated absorption of jhana begins.

The mind is utterly still and focused on its object.



The specific object of focus becomes progressively refined in the development of concentration, from the physical sensations of breathing, to a perception of light.

Rapture, pleasure, and equanimity may accompany the bright radiant mind, while attention is continually directed toward the place where the breath is known.

As these perceptions grow increasingly subtle, attention remains connected and the subtle perception of breath is recognized as a perception of stable brightness in mind.

In jhana, attention is virtually merged into its object, creating an impression of complete unification.

Even if there is sensory impact from sounds and sensations, the mind remains completely unmoved.

Sensory contact—even strong pain or loud noise—does not disturb the tranquillity or affect the unification of the mind with its object of concentration.

It is as though you don’t hear anything, yet the capacity of hearing is not impaired.

It is as if you don’t feel pain, and yet the bodily processes are functioning.

There may or may not be subtle awareness of the impact of a sound or physical contact, but the mind lets go so automatically that there can be no sensory residue to disturb the concentration.


Thoughts and how to deal with Them


From Shaila Catherine: “Focused and Fearless”

“You do not need to get rid of thoughts, just cease to believe them.

If you are not seduced by the story that they represent, the thoughts will not disturb your mind.

Tenzin Palmo, a nun in the Tibetan tradition wrote:

There is the thought, and then there is the knowing of the thought.

And the difference between being aware of the thought and just thinking is immense.

Normally we are so identified with our thoughts and emotions, that we are them.

We are the happiness, we are the anger, we are the fear.

We have to learn to step back and know our thoughts and emotions are just thoughts and emotions.

They’re just mental states.

They’re not solid, they’re transparent.”



My two cents: As I have said, thoughts are air without action, an appendage compared to our true self, our core.

You can not see my thoughts, so they do not exist in the world until I act on them in some way.

60,000 thoughts cross our path daily.

I would guess 55,000 plus are unknown to even us.

Why do we pick negative, trauma thoughts to grasp?



Healing is not a spectator sport

I am not healed or probably will never be healed, however, I have sat quietly, in the middle of my biggest PTSD trauma fears (fight or flight mechanism firing violently).



I have fired my triggers intentionally, then took my breath in the middle of this unrest.

When all the cortisol and adrenaline dissipated, I went back to normal life.

In less than 15 minutes I went from fight or flight firing to calm using only my breath.

The thoughts and comorbid depression are my challenges.

I have helped others use meditation to calm their fight or flight mechanism.

It is a mechanical process, like aerobic exercise will do the same thing.

We need therapy and inner world work to integrate the rest.

We heal in small increments with many different therapies and actions.

Daily work is required.

Healing is not a spectator sport.

Physical tools to calm Ptsd

Scenarios: First, out in public, an event violently triggers your fight or flight mechanism, all hell breaks loose.

Can you sit in the middle of this event?

Can you use long slow focused breathes to dispipate the anxiety drugs, adrenaline and cortisol?

Ptsd is the scariest when triggers ignite, full arousal of our nervous system along with tunnel vision, loss of fine motor skills, Bp heartrate and respiration spike, with certain parts of the brain going offline.





We are confused, afraid and extremely anxious!

This is the ultimate test of our physical skills.

Next, let’s look at getting caught in a trauma memory loop.

Thoughts draw us into ruminating about past trauma, PTSD revving up.

Can you focus on your breath now, slow it down, observe the thoughts as appendages, these peripheral slices of junk are of no concern or danger.

With a daily practice, scenario two will be our first success.

Dissipating a full trigger explosion is our ultimate goal.

My decade-old daily meditation practice, allows me to sit in the middle of a trigger firing calmly.

My fight or flight rarely fires violently or fully, I only get small, spikes now.

You can accomplish this with daily work and application.

This is at least halfway to complete healing if that is possible.


This is an Important post, my opinion

Our trauma can take an extremely violent and damaging situation, one event, one sensationalized shaming, and make it all-consuming, all-important.


All else fades into the shadows, invisible, our distortion grows.

All my good times, events and decades of moderate happiness disappear.

Ptsd create blinders, distorts reality, memory, kindles unworthiness, and irrational thought.

How does that happen so easily?

It seems to upset the balance of memory, gain power, discount the rest of my life, blindly.

It is so true for me, abuse haunts me.

It is an invisible prison, a cacophony of depression, a kaleidoscope of suffering, a plethora of worry.

Is there shaming, a betrayal that makes life unbelievable for you?

My PTSD thinks so, I veto that judgment.

I always presumed, rational thought guided me, I was mistaken, PTSD has made life and thought irrational at times.

It is a battle, triggered, I am irrational, calm I am rationale.

Where is sanity, where is healing and is happiness possible?

Please comment, this us not a monologue.

More Happiness: External things and time

Man created the clock, being late, showing up early, the past and the future. None of these times can help you experience happiness.

Remembering a past event can bring a joyful moment, any more time and energy spent, robs us of this moment.

It is similar to looking at photos, emotions roll in like an old song takes us back to an emotional time.

Predicting future happiness is a thought, nothing real
and not accurate. Even if this prediction comes true, that joy is fleeting.

What we can achieve can be lost, all impermanent possessions change in meaning and worth over time.

That promotion may bring resentment and jealousy from your peers. Protecting your title may bring worry and stress.

If you accept that happiness (wellbeing) only inhabits this present moment, how will you adjust your behavior, your thoughts, and actions?

All that seeking, Using external ways to find happiness seems misguided.

Happiness is not an emotion, not something we can achieve or accomplish with actions, it is an internal way of being, of living in the moment.

If we hunt for happiness, it will always be a stranger.

If we can be happy without needing to change or achieve a thing, will we stop seeking happiness out there?

If you are searching, try exploring your inner world, it is the core of happiness.

Time Zones related to being Happy

Happiness exists in only one time zone, this present moment, now.

Happiness does not exist in the past or future.

That means staying present, being acutely aware of our surroundings without judgment is the goal.

Matthew Ricard in his book, “Happiness” disseminates great wisdom.

“Authentic happiness is not linked to an activity;

it is a state of being,

a profound emotional balance struck by a subtle understanding of how the mind functions.

While ordinary pleasures are produced by contact with pleasant objects and end when that contact is broken,

sukha (happiness) —lasting well-being—is felt so long as we remain in harmony with our inner nature.

One intrinsic aspect of it is selflessness, which radiates from within rather than focusing on the self.

One who is at peace with herself will contribute spontaneously to establishing peace within her family, her neighborhood, and, circumstances permitting, society at large.

In brief, there is no direct relationship between pleasure and happiness.

PTSD: Changing Paradigms and Ego’s


“Shit happens”……….quote by Forrest Gump.

PTSD shit happens too!

It’s old shit! Past movements so to speak, sarcastically.

Ptsd wants you to never escape your Past Shit!

Our Ego reflects the damage of child abuse, it’s called Complex PTSD.

Ptsd is not an in-the-moment disorder, it’s all about a past trauma, old thoughts, frozen in memories.

Trauma is stored in the right amygdala, unreachable consciously. That is why PTSD runs when and where he chooses to haunt us.

The past is biased, judgmental, highly opinionated, and extraordinarily inaccurate.

Give up the beliefs that no longer serve us.

Such a great concept, a beast to apply.

A loss may actually be a success, we do not understand.

If my judgments of past events impact me right now, I need to give up this unneeded suffering.

Old bias or judgments are ephemeral, transparent, and fleeting. Not real.

My ego is the most impacted by PTSD, think about that.

He is an invented character for identity, why is a mirage connected to a mental disorder.

Our Ego is us, we think.

We construct our ego from external treatment and internal judgments.

Biggest contributors are original caregivers, then friends, followed by how strangers or the world treats us.

We form an Ego based on all these sources combined with how we see ourself.

Abused kids Ego’s are damaged, have parts that feel unworthy, flawed and broken.

That “I” we created needs fixing.

Changing the Ego is an essential part of healing.


Ptsd: We fear the unknown (perceived) about to happen to us!

At 70 nearing the end of life, past trauma and abuse flash before me, unconscious feelings and emotions from childhood have survived until now.


Todd Trapani


Waking up in a numb state, unconscious feelings of loss, harm or failure permeate my being, my initial reaction is to hide, to avoid what damage is inevitably coming.

For me, the fear of the unknown which is about to happen has always been present. My daily childhood existence carried great danger, physical and emotional abuse was going to happen and soon.

You can not escape as a kid, you are helpless, this real prison turns into an invisible prison when we reach adulthood.

How do seriously abused kids trust life? People?

Watching others live a normal life, enjoying happy emotions, feeling safe around others, puzzles us.

I have happy-go-lucky friends who are confident everything is going to turn out alright.

Abused kids never have these feelings, happy go lucky is born inside a loving and supportive childhood.

I spot and avoid danger as much as possible, fight off daily intrusive thoughts.

Unfortunately, this consumes so much of life and leaves a barren battlefield inside my head.

Ptsd and depression sabotage long term goals, we get lost, sidetracked inside the confusion of trauma.

At times trauma thoughts run rampant for days, depression grows as optimism has never had much of a chance at gaining a foothold.

At 70 my childhood abuse is alive, like I was 12 again.

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