Into the Light: Catherine's Journey Out of PTSD, Part IV

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This four-part article was written exclusively for PsyWeb.com by Catherine Vincent. She explains how her chaotic childhood gave way to PTSD as well as what she has done to overcome the disorder.

Click here to read Part I.

Another tool that has really sped up my healing process is Maharishi’s Transcendental Meditation. This meditation technique is also being prescribed to PTSD victims coming out of the military, with great success.

Benefits of Meditation

With regular practice I’m able to maintain a deep sense of peace and harmony inside, which is grows gradually. Meditation helps me deal with past traumatic events and process them in a new way. Instead of feeling helpless or guilty over past events, I see a bigger picture.

This particular meditation practice resolves deep stress and helps create a stronger nervous system. It is a buffer against all the past stress that resurfaces and it helps new stress leave quickly. Since I started practicing meditation 20 minutes, twice a day, the stress from my childhood traumas doesn’t weigh me down for prolonged periods of time. I’m now able to enjoy the present.

Making Serious Changes

Lifestyle changes have been huge factors in my healing. I've made changes in my diet and sleeping habits, I started an exercise routine, and took up yoga and Qigong. I am now a vegetarian and most of the food I eat is organic. My digestion is also improving, which is a big thing for me. For years, my digestion had been a source of constant distress. I had trouble digesting food and I would often suffer from an intense burning in my stomach. I believe this was due to residual stress, or stored stress. Gradually, with a consistently pure diet, and a few supplements recommended by my doctors, my digestion is improving. I accept that this will be a gradual process, but am encouraged by the positive physical changes I am seeing emerge.

On top of that my friends and all the new activities I've taken up have become tools for removing stress and increasing joy in my life. I choose to not be around people who are like my family and I have developed new friendships with people who support me. I am learning to create positive boundaries that protect and nourish my healing process. I don’t partake in or even hang out with people who drink alcohol or use drugs. I choose activities that are naturally healing like hiking, camping, drawing and photography. By eliminating and avoiding the lifestyle that I grew up in, I feel like I have been separated from the ugly weight of the abuse I endured.

Staying Hopeful

My journey, I know, is lifelong. I take life one day at a time, knowing that I have the tools to help me recover from Complex PTSD. I still have some bad days, but even the bad days take on new meaning when you have the necessary tools to help you heal. I am grateful for the kind people on SupporGroups.com who have reached out to me. I say a sincere thank you to all of you for your work. It has helped me heal and helped me understand my life in a new light. Regards, Catherine.

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