A side effect of PTSD - isolation

A side effect of PTSD - isolation

In the long-forgotten past, before the old me, the cheeky chappy, centre of attention, social butterfly and people pleaser died, I had many friends and life was great in that respect. People would message me daily and meet up with me and on my part, very little effort was needed to maintain those friendships, because it was just easy!

I learned a lesson about friendship from my father, he always told me that having friends during the good times was fine, it's the friends who are there during the bad times that prove their worth. I never really understood that though, not until after my diagnosis. Maintaining friendships wasn't as easy anymore and I found that I was the one having to initiate the contact more and more, up until the point where I just couldn't. Over the years this has lost me a lot of friends, but to be honest they were friends I could probably do with losing.

Now I know I am not an easy person to be around, just ask Colleen, although she will deny that 😁, it has become harder and harder for me to continually wear my mask and that exposes people to the 'other me', he is a lot less fun to be around but he is also the one that probably needs interaction the most. Once you get inside your own head it can become a very dark place to be trapped. My PTSD means that positive thinking is nearly impossible, I immediately go to the dark side and isolate myself, I think this is to protect others rather than myself though.

Earlier today I told Colleen that she is extremely lucky with her circle of friends and to never take that for granted, they are such a great support mechanism for her, in touch every day and often going out for social activities. It always makes me smile to see that because it means she is getting the respite she deserves and also the support I can't always give her.

The friends I still have are either fortunate that they live quite far away or only have to see me every couple of weeks, this reduces their exposure to the other me and allows it to still be easier, plus they like me are, veterans and that often meant going long periods not seeing each other, but feeling like it was just yesterday when you did meet. Back when I was 'normal' that always worked for me, these days though the dark side of my mind tells me all kinds of other reasons why I don't hear from them, then I become my own worst enemy.

I decided to write this post after I left all my group chats on WhatsApp earlier and turned off all notifications, I would have closed my account and deleted WhatsApp, but for the fact, I have messages on there from my father which I like to re-read from time to time.

This post, to many, will detail very irrational behaviour and I would agree with them if I were reading it as the old me, there are probably many people out there though who are nodding as they read and can recognise themselves, I just decided to put it in writing so that maybe it would help others to understand the constant war going on in some minds.

I am so very fortunate to have Colleen in my life, she has never wavered in her support of me and is truly my rock! Also, let's not forget my pebble Leffe.