How To Become More Present in PTSD Recovery

I’ll tell you, one of THE toughest lessons for me to learn in trauma recovery was how to be more present. Have you noticed that that’s tough to do?

My main problem was that when I was present there was so much fear and pain and anxiety and panic and… and… and… so many overwhelming emotions that threatened to render me even more dysfunctional than I already was. There was just so much bad stuff tied to being in the present moment it was easier not to be!

I much preferred either deliberately checking out and going someplace better in my head or allowing myself to drift away. In my PTSD recovery memoir I describe it this way:

I didn’t tell anyone about my increasing anxiety and insomnia. Nor did I mention that sometimes, my mind just felt stuck. My gaze would land somewhere and lock while my mind drifted away, caught in some hospital memory, or nonspecific, shadowy feeling.

In my most embarrassing moments other people would notice and have to bring me back to reality by waving their hands in front of my face, or laughing or, as one boyfriend liked to do, gently squeeze my hand while saying , “Welcome back.”

During my recovery process I had to learn ways to become more present — and stay there. It was no easy task, which is why I’m devoting an entire episode of YOUR LIFE AFTER TRAUMA to share with you a fantastic expert in the field of recovery who specializes in this area.

Join us today at 2pm EST/11amPST to listen in (and call with your questions) as Dr. Cheryl Arutt and I discuss:

  • why we dissociate
  • what it means to be present
  • why being present is such a necessary skill
  • strategies to learn how to be more present all day, every day

Click here for more details about the show.

You can call in to speak with me and Dr. Arutt live (and win our PROJECT GIVE BACK giveaway, which is a free 45-minute consultation with Dr. Arutt, how cool is that??) by calling 877.230.3062.

Recently I read a terrific blog post by a woman who uses photography in her PTSD recovery. Talk about being present! Taking a photograph would be a terrific way to connect to the moment — and preserve that connection in the shot. Read why Robin Savage says, “Photography is a powerful tool for those who have experienced trauma” here.

About Our Sponsor:
Timberline Knolls Residential Treatment Center

Timberline Knolls, a private residential treatment center for adolescent girls and women (ages 12 – 65+), offers hope, healing and recovery to women seeking treatment for eating disorders, trauma, PTSD, mood disorders, addiction, and co-occurring disorders. Highly trained professionals provide individualized clinical care in a spiritually nurturing, trauma aware treatment environment. Our picturesque 43-acre wooded campus is located in suburban Chicago.  For more information on Timberline Knolls Residential Treatment Center, call us at 877.257.9611. We are also onFacebook – Timberline Knolls, LinkedIn – Timberline Knolls, and recently launchedthe Timberline Knolls Treatment Blog.


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