In my experience, when it comes to PTSD and mental illness in general one of the first things to go is self compassion. That innate feeling of safety has gone and my brain has replaced it with hypervigilance and a truly mean inner voice.

I thought I'd recovered from the most acute symptoms of PTSD and until recently things have been pretty good on that front. Since the current pandemic and lockdown, I now find myself in the midst of a resurgence of all the worst symptoms I thought I'd waved goodbye to. This in itself has knocked my confidence and created a near constant state of fear: the mean voice is back with vengeance, I suffer from nightmares, panic attacks, muscle aches and some pretty epic anxiety to name but a few.

I remember when I was mis-diagnosed with Postnatal Depression for years and the relief that came when I was finally diagnosed with PTSD from birth trauma. It sounds funny to say that the diagnosis came as a relief. But what it gave me was an understanding that these symptoms I was experiencing made sense. I was not weak, I was actually very strong! I managed to recover the first time by showing myself a lot of self compassion and understanding. I had other tools for sure but self compassion was the most essential. I did my best and accepted the bad days and celebrated the good.

Feeling 'old' mental health issues returning is very scary and something which effects many of us. It starts in different ways for different people but for me, it's started with a lack of self compassion and a return of the feeling of 'surviving' each day.

The first time I felt these things and recognised them for what they are, I started my healing by showing self compassion and trying not to worry about the worry!! I think you know what I mean....

This time I will do the same.

If you are struggling with your mental health at this time, especially after feeling ok previously, you are not alone. This too shall pass. You will find the tools and the self compassion you need to make it through and out the other side. We'll find that safety again and we'll be stronger for it.

It's ok to feel the way you do, be as kind to yourself as you possibly can. And remember, you are not alone.

A Moodscope member

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