It’s 2am and I can’t sleep, as usual. The same thoughts are whirling around in my head, the same ones that have been there for a few days now, and I keep thinking about one thing which I think I’ve been implicitly thinking for quite a while now: When will I go back to normal? When will I go back to pre-depressed, pre-PTSD, pre-2014 Me?
As I think about it more though, I’m beginning to realise two things:
1. I won’t, and that’s okay. I don’t have a time machine that will allow me to go back in time and change things (and my inner sci-fi nerd is telling me that even if I could it would be paradoxical as the event leading you to go back never actually happens so you’ll never go back and stop it so it’ll still happen etc. etc.). I’m always going to have bad days, the days where my train of thought leads me back to the day I was attacked and the feelings of confusion and anger which were prevalent in my life for the months that followed. I can’t undo what’s in the past, but I can learn to deal with it and not let it stop me enjoying life.
2. Maybe I don’t want to go back. It sounds weird I know, but I struggle to remember what sort of person I was before I was attacked and whether or not I was drastically different to the person I am now. I think it’s a question I might have to ask my friends one day. I certainly think differently to how I used to. Not just in bad ways though, good ways too. Sure, there are times when feelings of worry and terror creep in, the little voice in my mind trying to tell me “You didn’t think it would happen the first time so what’s to stop it happening again?!” (a voice which thankfully is being muffled out more and more but which still forces its way to the forefront of my mind from time to time), but the little things which used to stress me out, like obsessing over the tiniest of details which nobody else even notices, don’t seem so important any more because at the end of the day, it could be worse.
I think my idea of what ‘normal’ is is changing. I’ve been waiting for a magical switch that will turn me back into the old version of me who coped with work, had no trouble finding a reason to get out of bed in the morning and wasn’t in a constant state of worry. But there isn’t a magic switch, and that’s fine.
I can’t forget the things which have led me to the place I’m in now and the way my mind works. What I can do is try to learn to live with them and stop them impacting me in such a way that it makes me loose sight of all the positive things in my life which I constantly forget about because of the overwhelming negative thoughts which push the good things out all too quickly.