About Me

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Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
I tell my story. I'm not here to sell a product, but to challenge people's thoughts to take better care of themselves. To validate those that are already doing this. To educate, to eradicate the mental health stigma, to influence those that need influencing and doing all of this with respect as each person has their own journey and we need to recognise that. I am vulnerable and raw. I have to be authentic. I am me. I have faults, I have made and continue to make mistakes, but I learn from those mistakes, I am me.

Thursday, August 10, 2023

Facing one of my demons.

One lesson that I have learnt during my ongoing recovery is how important it is, in a controlled way, to face my demons. I have learnt this through clinical treatment but also to challenge myself.
One of the symptoms of PTSD is that you avoid anything that reminds you about your triggering incident or incidents. For me I have a genuine single incident diagnoses which occurred in Sackville Street, Collingwood on 8 April 2003. (Even though I know the exact address, I won't disclose that).

What I have also learnt is that things can take you completely by surprise and this happened a few years back when I was doing the Victoria Police Peer Support Course. The course was being held at Victoria Park in Collingwood.

I caught the train to Flinders Street then another and on the way, I peered out the window and saw Sackville Street. I was unprepared as I had not considered the effect it would have on me and it hurt. Flashbacks entailed quite significantly, anxiety sky rocketed and felt out of sorts real bad.

Although I had received awesome treatment which had served me well, I realised that when I wasn't prepared for something like this, it takes a pretty big toll.

I managed to calm myself down and made a pretty clear mental note to face the demons of Sackville Street.

Sometime later, I prepared myself. I made a plan that I was going to drive to the location and sit there. To bring it in. To face the demons. To understand what my body and brain was telling me. To remove the power from it.

On a day that I was feeling mentally good, energetic, safe and motivated, I drove to Sackville Street and parked outside the address.

It is fair to say that my anxiety arose significantly and I wanted to leave straight away but decided, whilst controlling my breathing, that I would stay. I had to.

After a period of time, I relaxed and allowed myself to soak in the moment.

I thought about a lot of things that day but two remain and forever probably will, what drove him to take his life and What was it about that day that hurt me so much? These are questions that I don't dwell on though.

What did happen though was the next time I went past Sackville Street, I was fine. I am pretty sure that whenever I go past Sackville Street or the vicinity of it (as I did a cple of weeks back) that my mind will always go towards him, why he did it and more to the point, the empathy I feel for him having to make that decision.

The overall message is that never be afraid to confront your demons but please, only do it controlled environments.

Be Well.  

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