Every night I go to sleep expecting the worst. The trauma to my brain has trained me to be tentative about the times when my thoughts are the most vulnerable. Some say PTSD is a bully, kicking a victim when he or she is down. From what I have learned about it, PTSD occurs when the brain gets agitated (I am not a doctor) by repeated traumas, at a certain point it just says “Fuck this” and goes into lizard brain mode to protect itself. Once it hits that mode it takes a lot of work to reprogram it back to “normal”.

One of the really unfortunate things about PTSD is having to “relive” memories to heal, it is the brains way of working through a trauma I suppose. How my brain does that is during my sleep cycles. I dream about death, every time I close my eyes. I dream about all of the horrible ways that people I love (mostly my children) could be taken from me. In perfect vivid detail. I dream about familiar scenarios, in familiar locations, with Eli Roth level outcomes. Every time I close my eyes, I have these visions and I wake in a panic. The dreams are so vivid sometimes a wake up sick to my stomach and it takes me several minutes to know whether I am awake or not.

It has been almost 4 months since I have gotten more than 2 hours of uninterrupted sleep. Most nights I end up getting somewhere between 0 and 2 hours total. It is an empty, hollow cycle that has sapped a lot of my will to even get out of bed. Sleep pills, melatonin, valarian root, benadryl, GABA, Clonazepam, even booze and other recreational outlets. Nothing works, nothing can get these dreams to fuck off.

The only thing that will help my brain, my sleep, and my mental health is time and patience. Unfortunately, while I wait and heal, everything else is becoming more unmanageable. There is a positive for me though, a positive that many don’t have. I have a productive outlet for my stress, anxiety, and trauma. I write.

Through my writing I have been able to substantially improve my day-to-day functionality. I don’t re-read the things I write. I don’t edit or alter (with the exception of spelling), I try to keep the word as authentic and true to the emotion that i was feeling at the time. That is the key for me. Get out all the positive and negative I can, publish it and then move on to the next section of my life. None of the words I put down are perfect, but they don’t need to be because they are everything I wanted them to be at the time.

Nothing is more important to healing than self-discovery and evolution. Had I allowed myself to be this vulnerable all along I would have never arrived in this dark place I currently reside.

But maybe Ray Kurzweil is right, and this shit is all a simulation after all.

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