Reflections on 2013

Two months is a long time to let go by without writing a blog post. I suppose it’s a symptom of learning how to live with the rest of the world while allowing a burned brain room to heal.While on a vacation from my first full-time job in 11 years is a good enough time to try to catch up.

This time of the year is much different from last year’s holiday season. A year ago I avoided people to an extreme, only shopping for food just before closing time and walking the dog on quiet streets. For Christmas, I ate alone at a Chinese restaurant and for New Year’s, I went to bed.  This time, the holidays were spent with friends at dinners and strangers at pubs.

A year ago, I was angry at homeless people who begged for money; I told them my own homeless story and how I got a job. This year, I have pity for them.

Over the last year, I learned how debilitating PTSD can be, and I learned how well a person can heal from it. I am not entirely healed and am not sure I will be. I believe I can be, but it will take precaution, self-forgiveness, and plenty of time-outs from the rat race of the world. A year ago, I had no idea how to heal, but I knew depression to the point of death. It’s something of a miracle to be able to look back and know for sure that recovery is possible.

Back in year 2000, I worked multiple jobs while pursuing artistic and business goals and maintaining a social life. Life was non-stop. Today, I have one job. I have no artistic goals. My business still exists based on residual checks of pocket change automatically deposited every month, though I do no marketing. Book sales happen because of word of mouth, existing Internet presence, and occassionally sharing about my book with strangers. My social life is by no means back to where it was in 2000, but I am spending time with friends every week. A year ago, time with friends was minimal.

These days, instead of explaining that I am tired because of PTSD, I simply say, “My brain is tired.” I might add if appropriate that it gets tired easily because of PTSD, but it’s enough to say that I’m tired. Earlier in the year, I would tell almost everyone about what caused me to struggle but now no longer feel it necessary to be known as a person with PTSD.

This will be a happier year.

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