For so many years I carried such pain around inside of me, I believe it lead to illness. 

After experiencing lose after lose I didn’t even know how to process it, I sure didn’t know how to help other people deal with the emotional trauma I was having to go through. So, like everything else in my life, I organized it—I organized my feelings, I compartmentalized my emotions into nice little moments when no one else was around. In those moments I was hysterical, crying uncontrollably, asking God why, and trying to find answers. Outside of those moments, I carried on with my life. I kept a smile on my face—it was easier than having to explain something no one else could understand. It took me years to work through the hurt that I carried with me, and although I carried it well, it was extremely heavy. 

Today, it is a little lighter, but I know that there is a possibility of hurt. I prepare myself for a “trigger” every time I leave my house. It is something I think I will always have to do. To other’s, it looks like not a lot has changed, but for me, I know I am a completely different person. I am having to learn to live with her every single day. There are even parts of me I lost and I am trying to get back. The main thing is, it gets a little better over time. It’s just not the only thing I can focus on anymore if I am going to be able to move forward, but it’s always there, in the back of my mind, the pit of my stomach, and holding onto my heart. I realize I can’t live in fear of the “trigger”—the one thing that will send me into a PTSD episode—I have to try to get to where I am going and know that I am strong enough to bounce back. The fear—I am beginning to see—is justified, it is probably even necessary for preparation. But, it is not going to hold me back, it is just going to have to go along with me, like a silent traveler—poking me in the side every now and then—then I’ll poke it back acknowledging its existence, but I will keep it in check and remind myself how far I’ve come. 

BY Dayna Mohan