When The Rain Comes
It rained this week in Rutland. I mean, it really came down, in a biblical deluge.
We were driving home from Stamford, along the shore of Rutland Water, when the skies opened. So much rain, falling so hard on the roof of the car, it felt dangerous. I had to grip the wheel extra tight with my myo-electric hands.
Just so, with my PTSD after sepsis. Twenty years on, it can come on quickly, without warning. It can affect me massively. Suddenly I can slip below the surface of everyday life, my spirits drowning, and even after I’ve struggled back to normality, sometimes hours later, I’m left soaked in the memories of trauma.
We can go for days feeling OK and on top of all our stuff, then something can throw us, and we go hurtling down. But we can’t let ourselves fall. We have lives to lead. Responsibilities. We deserve to survive. So… How do we recapture our equilibrium and work back towards inner peace when we’re tested under stress or assailed by such powerful, negative forces?
- There is sunshine, after the rain. That’s something I keep in mind, whenever my mood is running low. Everything has its moment, and every tide will turn. Difficult will at some point become easy, pain will give way to pleasure. Time is a healer. Living in the country has helped me to respect the way nature turns around.
- I’ve learned to love myself. In a good way, and without getting it out of sensible proportion, I’ve become my own biggest fan. I don’t do self-recrimination. My mind and body has been through so much, I owe myself only kindness. So when I catch myself feeling low, I work hard mentally to coach myself out of it. I encourage myself towards light. I make that a priority.
- I stay safe. I know what things trigger my PTSD, so I avoid them. I try not to be alone. I don’t really worry about money. I keep my mind busy. I focus on others. Every day I start by remembering how lucky I am to be alive, in love, to be a husband and a Dad.
I reject what stresses me. By now, I know the value of what I have left, and I remind myself every day that I’m rich in so much experience. I’m a billionaire in it! So long as I’m breathing, I’m not going to let anything or anyone make me feel bad, stressed or negative. I’m just not.
So it’s OK for me, when it rains. I can do storms too. When things get too bad, I have safe places where I go, I have people I can be with, huge reserves of strength and perspective.
And we’re looking forward to speaking in Hull this week.
With all best wishes to you.