by Asia Patel
The most frustrating thing about PTSD is how unpredictable it can be. It’s caused by your brain not properly storing a traumatic memory, so it remains very close to the surface and is more easily retrieved; often by triggers. Triggers, and particularly trigger warnings, are something that have caused a lot of controversy which critiques predominantly focussing on how ridiculous the idea of ‘wrapping people in cotton wool’ is. Everybody is at different stages in their recovery, in different stages of processing their trauma so that it is stored correctly. Some people may rely heavily on things like trigger warnings to maintain their mental stability and others may be at a stage where they can live comfortably and without much interference from the dark memories of their past. The important thing to remember is that recovery is a process and processes not only take time, but are not fixed. There are an infinite number of ways that you can take to get from A to B – think about all those alternative routes you know you can take if there’s a lot of traffic on your way to work. I myself, have taken over two years to come to terms with my trauma, finally believing that it really happened. Until I was able to come to this agreement with my memory, my mind has been sporadic and erratic in its way of processing and it is only now that I have been able to seek out more structured healing. I drew the above picture during my last therapy session. It helps to dilute the impact of any discomfort, anxiety, or stress that can be induced during the sessions. Like my drawing, I am not yet finished but I am still complete.