How my feelings imprisoned me

Originally this post was written in my native language and can be found here. After some thinking I decided to translate all related posts because I wanted to be open towards my friends and colleagues.

It happened about six years ago when I was in college. I was a very motivated student with a lot of energy and creativity. I really enjoyed to go to class every day, hanging out with my friends and I enthusiastically burned through my assignments.

And just one day everything changed, actually in just an hour even. A confrontation with something I had never experienced before, changed my life. But I should have seen it coming…

All that remained was a person who completely fell apart, the person I had always been, was nowhere to be found. I didn’t even recognise myself anymore. PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) and Apathy were diagnosed. They were a direct consequence of the shock I endured due to the event.

I quickly noticed that people began to shun me, mostly because they did not know how to deal with me. Probably thinking: “What do you say to such a person? How should I behave?“ I could see that they felt very uncomfortable around me. Not everyone of course, but still ninety percent did.

And there were other people who acted as if I was exaggerating, as if nothing had happened and I was just pretending. I felt powerless, enormously sad, lost and especially mentally broken… I just dragged myself through the days.

I felt trapped in my own body that seemed to be broken. Words came out of my mouth, quite indifferent, without even the slightest shred of emotion. At the same time, my soul was crying out what my body could not express.

This went on for a long time. Therapy helped me small steps forward. But for me, the real struggle was not to get rid of the apathy, but to find my place again in this world.

I felt so alienated from everything and everyone I knew. Because it seems that everyone knows what has happened to you and all of a sudden you are totally different from before. You notice the look in their eyes, the unspoken words. That made me feel even worse.

For years I struggled with the thought that I wanted to be my former self again and that I would feel better again. But I was never going to be the same as before. Slowly I learned to accept that and that it doesn’t have to be a bad thing. That does not mean I have left everything behind me, certainly not. I do look back less than I did before, but I still haven’t let go. Maybe someday.

And I will be proud that I kept fighting, even if it is difficult, even if sometimes you really feel all alone. Keep on going until you realise that you are allowed to be happy.