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Casual Contributor

From out of the Shadows Step I ( Recovering Trauma Survivor with Complex PTSD)

Hi I am new to this forum and I am testing the waters to discover if there are other Trauma Survivors who identify as such and further who have a back ground in 12 Step Recovery via other Twelve Step programs who would like to join me as I seek to apply 12 Step philosophy, practice and program to my post Trauma problems. 


I had the big break down a few years ago now, you know the one that left no doubt that I was seriously disturbed. I completely lost control of my functioning, as my unrecognised, untreated, unhealed and unresolved CPTSD eventually got the upper hand and compelled me to a complete and total neurological disaster. I lost control, I lost my health,  I lost my sanity, I lost my Job, I lost my self respect, I lost the respect of other people, who thought I was just a loser, and they were correct because I just kept losing everything and I didn't know why, nor what I could do about it. I lost my car in the car park, I lost my car keys when I finally found my car, I lost my way home when I finally found my keys, I couldn't recognise my own house and had to look for the number on the letter box, seriously I would lose my way in my own house, and eventually I had to stop driving and it was safer just to muddle along in my own house where I couldnt get into any real trouble, or danger. 


Make no mistake unrecognised, untreated, unhealed and unresolved CPTSD is a Disorder that snuck up on me like a thief that entered my mind and my heart, messing with my insides, creating havoc with my outsides, upsetting my inner balance, robbing me of my sanity, my health, my wealth, my relationships, my happiness and eventually it took everything leaving only the shell. I was burnt out, floundering upon the turbulent sea's of biological takeover resulting in a personality makeover as my insides were exposed to copious doses of powerful hormones ( an involuntary chemical infusion released by the brain and delivered via the central nervous system) you know the ones, the ones that are supposed to save your life in a truly life threatening situation, the same ones that can up grade you to super human status for short periods of time, yes the fight, flight and freeze responses.


However in my case my trigger happy fight/flight was malfunctioning and my switch was stuck on over drive and at the time I had no idea what was happening to me, and neither did anyone else, it was the worst, most frightening and most disabling period of my life. 


Thankfully I met the Psychologist who told me the things that I most needed to hear. She told me that I had CPTSD, she told me that I had to give myself permission to have it, she told me that I needed to adopt a Trauma lens to complete a reassessment of my self and my life, she told me to take time out to attend to my Disorder, she told me that I had to make recovery my priority, and then she told me to give myself completely to my process. Yes she too had a 12  Step background that's why I chose her. 


At the time I just wanted to forget what she had suggested and get back to work, get a job, get back on the treadmill and move on like I had so many times before after numerous breakdowns etc .... my mystery illness had been creating problems for me for years, I just did not know to recognise it, much like the fish who doesn't know what wet is..... wet? What's wet? Isn't everything wet!!!!!


I probably would have returned to work if my Disorder had let me, however untreated CPTSD is progressive, and as previously stated it finally got the upper hand and I found myself on the fringes of real insanity, real illness, and real threat, that psychological death that I have heard other people refer. Make no mistake CPTSD without a recovery program is debilitating, it is devastating and it is destructive.


Well this all took place back in 2016 and with the suppport of said Psychologist I went about adapting the 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous to better suit my needs as a recovering Trauma Survivor with CPTSD, it was tough going at the outset and it got really rough along the way however eventually I started to make progress even though it was slow and exacting I came to become resolved of a Trauma or two and even though I still have CPSTD and even though today is not my best day, (thus why I have the need to reach out to others and join this forum to address the isolation that accompanies this disorder,) today is not my worst day either, because I now have a 12 Step Recovery program that has made better days possible for me, a healing process that does and has made all the difference to me. 







Re: From out of the Shadows Step I ( Recovering Trauma Survivor with Complex PTSD)

hi there @Lilabelle - I'm so glad you found us and were able to open up and share your experiences here. Sorry this post didn't get a reply til now, it slipped through the net! But we're so pleased to see that you've posted around the forums as well.


Have you heard of BlueKnot? they do wonderful work around trauma and have some amazing resources on their website....


Hope to keep seeing you around.

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