The first six months of 2016 were a struggle. I felt completely lost in the past and the present. I felt I didn’t belong and that I had no purpose, no reason to continue on. This cycle of self-hatred and hopelessness encompassed my whole world. I had let my PTSD control me once again. After, several occasions of taking overdoses in a disassociate state, it was the final paracetamol overdose which took a toll on my body and mind. I was trapped in this vicious cycle. I had two options to live and enjoy life or let the past forever define me.
I chose to live !!
I started a running plan and enteredthe Rat Race in London which entailed a six-mile run with over 30 water obstacles. There were things which triggered me, for instance: the colour of the t-shirts, noise and the number of people. At the start line, I repeatedly checked my laces counting the amount of times I had done, making sure the numbers were even. Within seconds the race had started, no time for my OCD to take control. I began to run, slow and steady. As the race progressed I smiled more and more. At the finish, I could not get over the final wall and some of the spectators helped me over, I was very thankful! The sense of achievement was amazing, I felt alive for the first time in years and in addition raised £250 for Shelter. In the following months, I completed The Richmond Half Marathon, running for Mind charity raising £350, next I completed the Windsor Half Marathon. I found solace in the miles which became a physical release of hurtful energy in my body was slowly starting to let go off.
Putting the running aside, my personal recovery for PTSD has taken a massive step forward. I have taken control of my life by taking openly with people about what is helpful and how I feel emotionally, these may seem basic parts of normal life but my voice was taken for main years and finding it has been journey, in itself. I have started to blog on The Huffington Post under the Young Voices section and with the help from Women Speak Out, I have done a five-minute interview about PTSD and abuse including videos of my flashbacks. Hopefully through people seeing, it might help them understanding mental illness better. It is hoping to be released in the New Year.
Even though this year, there has been incredible highs and extreme low. I have found joy and hope in my life with the help of friends and family. I have learnt to accept my imperfections and even through I still struggle on a daily basis with my PTSD.
The difference is that I have hope in my heart.
© Rosie Burnham