Naked Truth with Carmen & Olivia
Naked Truth with Carmen & Olivia

Episode 12 · 11 months ago

Episode 12: I love you, PTSD


Join Olivia on her first solo episode where she talks to herself about her love story with PTSD - yes you read that right - her love story with PTSD! Find out how what her PTSD is like and her 3 top tips for learning to love it!

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Read Olivia's article on Medium

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Hello and welcome to naked truth withCarmen and Olivia. Not Quite true today, because today it is just naked truthwith Olivia. Unfortunately, Carmen can't be here today and also I've just, very last minute decided to pop on, so I've not even a chance tospeak the hey, yeah, with this. She's okay with me doingthis. So if you're listening to it, Carmen is okay with me doing itnow. I know our podcast has become white sporaddict, but unfortunately,well, I mean fortunately, life is just got quite busy. Things havegot in the way in terms of work and it's just really hard for usto the schedule time together, which is bad, but you know, itpays the bill, so sometimes you have to make those decisions. Unfortunately,we have both also suffered bereavements over the last few months and that would worldbe something we discussed on future episodes. It's certainly something I would be interestedin talking about and by again, I can't speak for Carmen, but Ijust wanted to hop on today as I have recently published a medium article andalso on my blog about my experience with PTSD and I also very recently twodays ago, gave a speech about it at our postmaster's contest, which,yeah, I ended up winning, which means I now get to move onto the area contest next month. I have yet to decide whether I willbe doing an improved version of the same speech or rewriting something entirely new,but you know, I've got loads of...

...time for that. I've got amonth. So I thought it would be useful to pop on here and justrecord an episode about what I was talking about in the article and in myspeech. As I know, different people like to absorb different contents. Somepeople like reading, some people like listening, so I thought why not give youguys a little episode? So I don't think it would be as longas normal because I don't have another person to bounce ideas off and this hasnot been scripted. So I apologize for the amount of UMS and ours thatthere may well be. That I will get going with the article, whichI will read out to you now, and I may well expand on it. So if you've already said the article or Thor my speech, I doapologize. A lot of it is going to be the same content again.Hopefully you will get something else out of it with me reading it myself.So the article is called a love story. I love you, PTSD. It'ssentence you don't expect to hear or read. I love you, pdfd. It's true, I love it. It's been an important and life changingrelationship within my life. I feel married to it, like it the pathof me, and I will always be inextricably linked to it. I loveit, but of course I haven't always felt like that. I didn't getto choose whether I wanted PTSD or not, and who would choose to have amental health condition? But sometimes we just have to accept the hand we'vebeen dealt. The how did I learn... love it? First of all, let's just cover what PTSD is and make sure we're on the same page. That stands or post traumatic stress disorder. Great's pretty pretty self explanatory. Theirpost traumatic stress disorder, but what actually is it? So the definitiongiven by the mental health charity mind is most dramatic. Stress Disorder is amental health problem you may develop after experiencing traumatic events. The condition was firstrecognized in war veterans. It has had different names in the past, suchas shell shock, but it's not only diagnosed in soldiers. A wide rangeof traumatic experiences can be causes of PTSD. So in my own words, itcan be simply summed up as a mental health condition caused by traumatic eventsand noticed it's traumatic events, not severely traumatic it's not just talking about peoplewho've being in bombs and at first had experience of war. It's just traumaticevents that causes it, and that's one reason why I chose to include themind definition, as they just spoke about traumatic events. If you have alook at the NHS definition, they actually do talk about it being severely traumaticevents, which the mean things very outdated, as it's well known now that itisn't just what someone may classes severely traumatic event that can trigger a ptsdate, the situations we find traumatic can vary from person to person. Thereis a vast array of different events that...

...might cause someone to develop PTSD,and mind have provided a list of some possible causes, though. Being ina car crash, being raped or sexually assaulted, being abused, harassed orbullied, being kidnapped or held hostage, experiencing violence, being other people hurtor killed, doing a job where you repeatedly see or hear distressing things.Surviving a natural disaster such as flooding, earthquakes or pandemics, and unfortunately thatincludes coronavirus, pandemic. Raumatic childbirth. That could be as the mother orthe partner witnessing or traumatic childbirth, losing someone close to you, being sectionedor getting treatment in a mental health ward, being diagnosed with a life threatening condition. The list goes on and on as to what traumatic events could leadsomeone being diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder and suffering their symptoms. My personalstory is that I was a police officer, and the causes can be simplified asthe six and seventh bullet points on that list. So seeing other peoplehurt or killed and doing a job where you repeatedly see the stressing images orhere details of dramatic event. But, as you can as we talked about, there are numerous things that can cause it and the symptoms caused by PTSDcan be split into four broad categories. Those are reliving events. I putalertness and feeling on edge, avoidance of feelings and memories and difficult belief andfeelings, and the symptoms that I had actually cover all those categories. Therewas there were stuff from each of those...

...categories that I suffered, which Ithink is quite usual. A few of the main things I experience, orhave experience previously, are flashbacks, nightmares, intrusive thoughts, crying, and Imean like unbelievable, non stop crying that I didn't know it was possiblefor anyone to do like just I might crying off the charts, anxiety,how annoya, distrust, overwhelming feelings of blame, memory loss and panic attack. That my PTSD and and what it feels like, just summed up ina list. It's it's no joke, it's hard and it's real. That'swhat it is and why it happens and what it feels like. How onEarth did I learn the love it? Well, I'll give you a hint. It wasn't overnight. It took it took them work, but three keythings that I did that led to me loving my ptsd are number one,just poor. I talked about it to anyone and everyone who would listen.I told people why I've been off on long term sick. I would brutallyhonest and open with them. If I've been off on long time sick witha physical injury, everyone would expect you to be talking about it. Everyonewould ask you about it, but when it comes to a mental health condition, people are said to ask and people are scared to admit, which iswhy I was so brutally open and honest. I just didn't want to hide behindit. I didn't want other people making up what had happened to me. I'm the consequence of that openness.

With that other people were open andhonest with me. They told me their own stories. Walking helped me andit helped them, and suddenly I felt like as part of some secret club. And at times it seemed like the people with mental health conditions outnumbered thosewithout mental health conditions, although maybe that's something to do with working in thepolice, I don't know. The more I taught, the more comfortable Ibecame with it. I didn't have to say much to let people know usfeeling triggered and needed to remove myself from a situation. People were able tounderstand what was going on for me, people stepped in and helped me out. I also partook in talking therapies, and now I've had good therapists andI have had bad therapists, and I would advise anyone just to keep goinguntil you find someone that suits you. They are life savers. They areworth their weight in gold. That could be a podntive behavioral therapist, itcould be someone who specializes in Edmr for D PTSD would be a psychiatrist.There are so many different professions out there who can help you. It's justpags of finding someone you really feel comfortable talking to. And Point two wasI gave myself time. I gave myself time to adjust, time to rest, time for talking, therapies to work, time for medication to work. Ihad space away from my triggers and face to let my brain do whatit needed to do to get itself,... know, functioning again, gettingitself to a better place. And with that time came reflection. So mypoint three is reflect after my diagnosis, I reevaluated my values and belief.I was different. I had empathy like I had never experienced empathy before.I didn't want be the person I had been before. The truth is Ididn't really like her very much. I became nicer, more patient through myexperience, dience of poor mental health. My PTSD changed my life, experience, my values and my attitude. It wasn't for my PTSD I wouldn't behere talking to you today. I wouldn't be as comfortable as I am inmy own skin. I wouldn't push myself to try new things. I wouldn'thave this microphone attached to my desk. I wouldn't be recording my voice.WITHOUT PTSD, I would still be wearing that uniform of a police officer,as there are, a costume, pretending to know who I was and whatI was doing. But instead I'm here. I know myself better than I've everknown myself. I know what I can do and what I can achievein life. No, it's not easy, but I know what's possible. Now, now, could I not love something that led me to being righthere, right now? You're listening to this and you are going through adifficult time. You are not alone or yourself. Kine and allow yourself toreflect on what really matters to you. Now, reach out and get theport except support when it is given to... This isn't as easy asto just doing steps one, two three, but these are three things that reallyhelped me, on reflection, deal with my PTSD and get to apoint where I have no regrets with it. I can't regret something that has ledme to be leading a much better life now. It's difficult journey andit's really difficult when you're in the middle of it and it feels like thatlight at the end of the tunnel is so small because it's so far away. But just keep lodding on. That light does get bigger as you getcloser and closer. And sometimes it's not a straight road. Sometimes we wanderoff on a little paths and have to find our way back again. Thatyou will get behind to yourself. This is my love story. It's nota romance, it's not a mills and boon or a Jackie Collins. It'san Olivia stanbridge original. And this love story is just one part of mylife story. And what I want to know is, what's Your Life Story? What genre is it? Where do you go? What do you do? Who joins you along the way? Well, do you triumph over adversity? Never forget you are the author of your next chapter. But that isthe end of the article and also the speech that I gave. They weren'tcompletely identical. Things were adapted for different audiences. I just wanted to doit on the PODCAST and get it out there in another format and I wouldbe really interested to hear what you think about it and your own experiences andyou know what this is brought up for... How does it make youthink? Is it a lot of rubbish? Is it? Is it, youknow, ringing your bell for you? I'd love to I'd love to hearfrom you and I've already had some feedback on facebook actually, from thethe article being shared on there, and someone commented that it was very braveof me and that they were impressed about me talking about it. I wasa bit taken aback because I just thought I would not really that impressive,is it, and just talking about me and what I know. And why? Why wouldn't I talk about that? And it made me realize that Ifind talking or writing things that expose my vulnerability to be very empowering and itmade me wonder why, why my brain works like that, like, whydo I find just telling people about things that that makes me feel so muchbetter about it, because I'll be honest. Sometimes, when I was being brutallyhonest with you know, fellow police officers about why I'd been off sickand what it have been like and what I was going through with the Ptfdinpart of it was you're not going to be expecting me to just tell you. I'm just going to give you the shocking answer now, but it wasall true. None of it was made up. It really happened. Thatwas really how I felt and although that came from a place of I'll showyou why. I was off sick. Don't you be thinking like, yeah, if you pulled a fast one, there's nothing wrong with you? Itended that I realized how good talking about it was. That it did,being vulnerable and and real allowed other people... be vulnerable and real with meas well, and together that just felt really powerful, and I think thereason I enjoy that so much is because I am controlling the narrative. Itis my own story. Who has to be right? I think anyone who'sbeen off on long term six in whatever industry, has probably experienced the thoughtwhether they're true or not, but the thoughts that other people think you're pullinga fast one, that there's nothing wrong with you, that you could beback at work if you wanted to. They're actually been by being really openand honest with them, you are just tell him the truth, like Nope, can't work because something's going to go terribly wrong, because someone's going tobe coming at me with a knife and I'm going to be stood there crying. You know, it's they realize that, oh wow, you really were sicklike you you couldn't work at that time. So I hope that encouragesother people to be vulnerable and be open and people. But let me knowand I'm I'm considering whether, excuse me, to do my own podcast separate tonaked truth. That probably would be shorter episodes, but I don't reallyknow yet what the genre of podcast would be and considering doing something like theweird well being episode we did a while while ago, which is a reallyfun one. If you haven't listened to it, I thoroughly recommend if youwant to know about wandering wounds, as I quite like that combination of wellbeing in history and the kind of weird...

...and wonderful and strange. But thattakes a lot of research. So I'm if anyone that's any ideas, I'mopen to hearing about them. But maybe it'll just be something where I justtalked ad hoc about some subject. I don't know. The wattling with Oliviaor something. Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this episode. Hopefully Carmen andI will manage to get together and put together an episode, script and storyfor you soon. I hope you are all well. Hope you can allsee that light at the end of the tunnel when it comes to lockdown andfind me on our social media page, pages naked truth podcast, and alsoon my website, Olivia Stand bridgecom stand bridge. It's Ta and D andbridge. Yeah, I don't have the easier Sur name to spell. Orfind me on facebook and Instagram as Olivia Stand Bridge coaching. Hey, hairand stay naked.

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