Episode 29 - A light in the darkness (Be your own support)

Intro
Hello my dears! My name is Johanna, and I welcome you to the Johanna Draconis - The Deconstruction Of C-PTSD podcast.
In this episode we will talk about a light in the darkness - which I thought was very fitting for the holidays. We are of course not talking about any light or candle or anything the like.
We are talking about the light that keeps you afloat in the storm and your beacon in the dark night. The light within you or… helping you find the light within you, because it is all too easy to get lost in the dark.
Or if you like a less metaphorical title: We talk about how to be your own cheerleader and support. For PTSD and of course the rest of your life after it. It is really helpful for life in general.

Prelude
The sad reality of PTSD is; that we are often cut off from everyone around us. This isolation just makes us only more vulnerable. Even if we are surrounded by our loved ones - there is sometimes a wall.
I don’t know if it is the depression, the PTSD or both who block us so effectively, but they succeed in making a hard road even harder. They are literally cutting us off from our support network.
That is an excellent strategy. But luckily we are not completely cut off and we are not as helpless as this illness likes to make us believe. It is a matter of training and routine, but not especially hard.
Sometimes a bit tricky, especially if you have been suffering for a long time. Finding the light in the darkness is important. Even after the cure it will help you weather other darknesses or storms.
It is not just believing in yourself, but also stopping yourself from self destruction. And that alone betters the quality of life significantly. Life kicks you down enough, you really don’t need to help it.
So… first we talk about celebrating our victories and then about how to override our own negativity.

Celebrate your victories
It is important to celebrate your victories, if not in that moment, then in the evening. If you can, pause for a moment and give yourself a short praise for doing what you did. That can be WHATEVER you wanted to do.
Clean up the shoes? Give yourself a small praise. You filled the dish washer? Give yourself a small praise. And so on. If you don’t have the possibility to do it in that moment, do it in the evening.
Just before you go to bed, take a moment. Breathe. And think about all the good things you did on that day. This might even help you relax and sleep better.
It is a good exercise to think about all the things you COULD do that day. We tend to ignore our little victories and enhance our short comings. So celebrate them - I think you might need it.
And if you can, treat yourself afterwards with something. It can be some music you like, a piece of chocolate, a treat, a hug, whatever. It is important that we appreciate our own efforts.
The sad reality is, that once you are no longer a child, you parents stop applauding and praising your little victories. So we need to do that now ourselves. Sadly, but that is a part of growing up.

Override your own negativity
One thing you might have noticed, is the voice in your head, that tells you that you will fail or… worse things. This is also the voice that enhances negative statements made around you.
And almost mutes the supportive voices around you. Once again I am not sure if it is depression, PTSD or both. Most likely those two combine it to make it worse. This voice isn’t really you.
It just sounds like you. The good news is, that unlike in real life, it is trainable. Yes you can train this voice to do your bidding… by which I mean it will disappear. Or at least it did for me.
That voice is like a child or dog… anytime it behaves wrong, correct it as soon as possible. It tries to tell you, that your cooking is bad? Tell it to F off. Your cooking is good as it is.
The voice telling you how everyone will betray you? Tell it you are not the main character of a movie or book. The voice telling you, that the people around don’t love you? Tell it to shove it.
The scenarios of this voice get worse and worse, the longer it get opportunity to talk. So shut it down as soon as you can. Take over control of the tone and voices in your head. You can do it.
No matter what THEY tell you.

Private Words
Today is Christmas! That means decorating the tree - like it is tradition in my family. This time around I have a ca. 50 cm or 19,7 inch fake tree - preferable with pets and my talent for accidents.
Also everything was a bit on short notice. I left all my package boxes I received - mostly household items, cat food, etc. - and put them on a pile so to speak… and then put the tree atop of it.
You know… because the presents are supposed to be under the tree. And as you can imagine how companies sometimes like to oversize package their things - its like a kitten atop of a big dog.
I mean I know whats in there and all, but hey, I am all alone this Christmas and I least wanted to distract myself with presents. So after I upload this episode, I will cook the meal.
And after that… it is time for presents - as it is tradition in these lands. Always preferred that over the waking up on the next morning, especially since I am a walking dead in the morning.
So did my parents I think, because they know they would have had then to debate us, WHEN is morning. So all in all it will be a simple but happy celebration with my pets.

Outro
I hope you will have wonderful days ahead of you - no matter which way or shape or form you plan to spend them. But nonetheless -  I wish you great presents and awesome food.
And I wish you good company - most important thing of all. Doesn’t matter if the company is sitting next to you or is just there via screen - good company is good company.
And -naturally- I wish you good health and that you make the biggest amount of progress you can on your healing path. 
That was it for todays episode - I hope you liked it - if you have any questions or feedback and the like, please let me know at contactme@johannadraconis.com.
More information and transcript you can find as usually under johannadraconis.com/Podcast and links are in the description.
I hope to see you next time. Watch yourselves and have a wonderful time.

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The Deconstruction Of C-PTSD ~ Episode 29 - A light in the darkness (Be your own support)
Ep29 - A light in the darkness - be your
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