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

Episode 12 · 1 year 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 with Carmen and Olivia. Not Quite true today, because today it is just naked truth with 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 to speak the hey, yeah, with this. She's okay with me doing this. So if you're listening to it, Carmen is okay with me doing it now. I know our podcast has become white sporaddict, but unfortunately, well, I mean fortunately, life is just got quite busy. Things have got in the way in terms of work and it's just really hard for us to the schedule time together, which is bad, but you know, it pays 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 world be something we discussed on future episodes. It's certainly something I would be interested in talking about and by again, I can't speak for Carmen, but I just wanted to hop on today as I have recently published a medium article and also on my blog about my experience with PTSD and I also very recently two days ago, gave a speech about it at our postmaster's contest, which, yeah, I ended up winning, which means I now get to move on to the area contest next month. I have yet to decide whether I will be 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 a month. So I thought it would be useful to pop on here and just record an episode about what I was talking about in the article and in my speech. As I know, different people like to absorb different contents. Some people like reading, some people like listening, so I thought why not give you guys a little episode? So I don't think it would be as long as normal because I don't have another person to bounce ideas off and this has not been scripted. So I apologize for the amount of UMS and ours that there may well be. That I will get going with the article, which I 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 do apologize. 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's sentence 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 changing relationship within my life. I feel married to it, like it the path of me, and I will always be inextricably linked to it. I love it, but of course I haven't always felt like that. I didn't get to choose whether I wanted PTSD or not, and who would choose to have a mental health condition? But sometimes we just have to accept the hand we've been 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. Their post traumatic stress disorder, but what actually is it? So the definition given by the mental health charity mind is most dramatic. Stress Disorder is a mental health problem you may develop after experiencing traumatic events. The condition was first recognized in war veterans. It has had different names in the past, such as shell shock, but it's not only diagnosed in soldiers. A wide range of traumatic experiences can be causes of PTSD. So in my own words, it can be simply summed up as a mental health condition caused by traumatic events and noticed it's traumatic events, not severely traumatic it's not just talking about people who've being in bombs and at first had experience of war. It's just traumatic events that causes it, and that's one reason why I chose to include the mind definition, as they just spoke about traumatic events. If you have a look at the NHS definition, they actually do talk about it being severely traumatic events, which the mean things very outdated, as it's well known now that it isn't just what someone may classes severely traumatic event that can trigger a pts date, the situations we find traumatic can vary from person to person. There is 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 in a car crash, being raped or sexually assaulted, being abused, harassed or bullied, being kidnapped or held hostage, experiencing violence, being other people hurt or killed, doing a job where you repeatedly see or hear distressing things. Surviving a natural disaster such as flooding, earthquakes or pandemics, and unfortunately that includes coronavirus, pandemic. Raumatic childbirth. That could be as the mother or the partner witnessing or traumatic childbirth, losing someone close to you, being sectioned or 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 lead someone being diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder and suffering their symptoms. My personal story is that I was a police officer, and the causes can be simplified as the six and seventh bullet points on that list. So seeing other people hurt or killed and doing a job where you repeatedly see the stressing images or here 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 PTSD can be split into four broad categories. Those are reliving events. I put alertness and feeling on edge, avoidance of feelings and memories and difficult belief and feelings, and the symptoms that I had actually cover all those categories. There was there were stuff from each of those...

...categories that I suffered, which I think is quite usual. A few of the main things I experience, or have experience previously, are flashbacks, nightmares, intrusive thoughts, crying, and I mean like unbelievable, non stop crying that I didn't know it was possible for 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 in a list. It's it's no joke, it's hard and it's real. That's what it is and why it happens and what it feels like. How on Earth 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 key things 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 brutally honest and open with them. If I've been off on long time sick with a physical injury, everyone would expect you to be talking about it. Everyone would 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 is why I was so brutally open and honest. I just didn't want to hide behind it. 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 and honest with me. They told me their own stories. Walking helped me and it 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 those without mental health conditions, although maybe that's something to do with working in the police, I don't know. The more I taught, the more comfortable I became with it. I didn't have to say much to let people know us feeling triggered and needed to remove myself from a situation. People were able to understand 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 and I have had bad therapists, and I would advise anyone just to keep going until you find someone that suits you. They are life savers. They are worth their weight in gold. That could be a podntive behavioral therapist, it could 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 just pags of finding someone you really feel comfortable talking to. And Point two was I gave myself time. I gave myself time to adjust, time to rest, time for talking, therapies to work, time for medication to work. I had space away from my triggers and face to let my brain do what it needed to do to get itself,... know, functioning again, getting itself to a better place. And with that time came reflection. So my point 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 I didn't really like her very much. I became nicer, more patient through my experience, 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 be here talking to you today. I wouldn't be as comfortable as I am in my own skin. I wouldn't push myself to try new things. I wouldn't have 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 what I was doing. But instead I'm here. I know myself better than I've ever known myself. I know what I can do and what I can achieve in life. No, it's not easy, but I know what's possible. Now, now, could I not love something that led me to being right here, right now? You're listening to this and you are going through a difficult time. You are not alone or yourself. Kine and allow yourself to reflect on what really matters to you. Now, reach out and get the port except support when it is given to... This isn't as easy as to just doing steps one, two three, but these are three things that really helped me, on reflection, deal with my PTSD and get to a point where I have no regrets with it. I can't regret something that has led me to be leading a much better life now. It's difficult journey and it's really difficult when you're in the middle of it and it feels like that light 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 get closer and closer. And sometimes it's not a straight road. Sometimes we wander off on a little paths and have to find our way back again. That you will get behind to yourself. This is my love story. It's not a romance, it's not a mills and boon or a Jackie Collins. It's an Olivia stanbridge original. And this love story is just one part of my life 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 is the end of the article and also the speech that I gave. They weren't completely identical. Things were adapted for different audiences. I just wanted to do it on the PODCAST and get it out there in another format and I would be really interested to hear what you think about it and your own experiences and you know what this is brought up for... How does it make you think? Is it a lot of rubbish? Is it? Is it, you know, ringing your bell for you? I'd love to I'd love to hear from you and I've already had some feedback on facebook actually, from the the article being shared on there, and someone commented that it was very brave of me and that they were impressed about me talking about it. I was a 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 I find talking or writing things that expose my vulnerability to be very empowering and it made me wonder why, why my brain works like that, like, why do I find just telling people about things that that makes me feel so much better about it, because I'll be honest. Sometimes, when I was being brutally honest with you know, fellow police officers about why I'd been off sick and what it have been like and what I was going through with the Ptfdin part 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 was all true. None of it was made up. It really happened. That was really how I felt and although that came from a place of I'll show you why. I was off sick. Don't you be thinking like, yeah, if you pulled a fast one, there's nothing wrong with you? It ended 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 me as well, and together that just felt really powerful, and I think the reason I enjoy that so much is because I am controlling the narrative. It is my own story. Who has to be right? I think anyone who's been off on long term six in whatever industry, has probably experienced the thought whether they're true or not, but the thoughts that other people think you're pulling a fast one, that there's nothing wrong with you, that you could be back at work if you wanted to. They're actually been by being really open and 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 to be 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 sick like you you couldn't work at that time. So I hope that encourages other people to be vulnerable and be open and people. But let me know and I'm I'm considering whether, excuse me, to do my own podcast separate to naked truth. That probably would be shorter episodes, but I don't really know yet what the genre of podcast would be and considering doing something like the weird well being episode we did a while while ago, which is a really fun one. If you haven't listened to it, I thoroughly recommend if you want to know about wandering wounds, as I quite like that combination of well being in history and the kind of weird...

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

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