Gosh, another mental health blog? Yes. Why not? Here we go. Lately, I have been thinking a lot about focusing on PTSD victories. A PTSD victory is any kind of moment that overcomes PTSD symptoms or triggers. People who have PTSD live every minute with this condition. Caregivers to those with PTSD also are prone to stress and sometimes secondary PTSD. Its heavy stuff but it doesn’t always have to feel like the weight of the world is on your shoulders. There is a silver lining!
Coping skills are so important to prevent and fight feelings of isolation, depression, and discouragement. You do what you have to do from losing your sanity. Let me be more clear. Healthy coping skills are important. Doing drugs and binge drinking are not “coping skills” I would recommend.
There are a couple of coping skills I have recently focused on. One of these coping skills is focusing on little victories. Shifting your mind towards positivity will open your world to more contentment, improve your physical health and mental health. It takes work. Every single day I work on my mindset.
A few days ago, I managed to get my husband John, who has PTSD, out of the house to meet me for dinner and an after dinner hike in the woods. I know he loves Chili’s and nature. I do too. Can’t resist their chips and salsa as well as their margaritas. Their shrimp tacos are amazing! OK, enough food talk. Your loved one with PTSD will be more likely to overcome antisocial behavior if you suggest activities he enjoys. John and our son met me for dinner. We had a delicious meal then went off on our mini hike at Millcreek Park. If you’re curious, google “Millcreek Park” to see how beautiful it is.
I was elated! John got out of the house. He fought his anti-social tendencies to have a lovely family evening. As soon as we arrived to the wooded park, John’s demeanor was more relaxed. Not only was he happy, he was talking more and smiling, which is as rare as a blue moon. I couldn’t believe it; we were all in great moods and I felt like we won the mental health lottery that day.
During our hike, we saw some men fishing, saw a family of ducks, and ran into one of John’s bosses. I haven’t met many of John’s coworkers. I was delighted to meet his boss and his wife. All these little surprises popped up on a simple hike in the woods. John was happy. Our son Trace was excited and so was John’s service dog, MEMPHIS.
John’s one decision to meet me set off a domino effect of memorable moments- moments also known as little victories. These little victories are helpful when you are having a crappy day. When you have a “pulling my hair out” kind of day, an anxiety attack or mood swing, just go to your happy place and think of all the little victories you’ve had with your PTSD loved one.
I’ve had my moments I’m not proud of. I let frustration get the best of me from time to time. I think this is natural. I acknowledge that I am a work in progress as a person, mother, wife, and caregiver. I am proud to say that I always go back to finding healthy ways to cope and be happy. The little victories are locked in my memories and remain important stepping stones to John’s PTSD recovery.
What’s stopping you? Today, try and be open to positivity and relish in your little victories. I would love to hear some of your little victories. You can post them in the comment section below. I’ll end this blog with a CHEERS to LITTLE VICTORIES!