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Unread 01-04-2017, 03:24 PM   #1
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Default Spiritual PTSD

Hi, I have had too much loss and grief over the past decade. I am so anxious all the time, and sometimes very depressed, that I feel like I am afraid to be happy. The reason I am afraid to be happy is because I know that I will eventually be sad and anxious again. My huge fear is that if I am happy God will make me miserable again - even though I don't really believe that God would do such a thing. So there's a huge conflict, and it is exhausting to me. It's draining my life away. I am also afraid that there's some kind of universal energy/being that will cause extreme sadness for me if I feel happy or joyful. I ask God for help, I ask God to take this crazy thinking from me, but at the same time I am terrified of bad things happening. So it's like I'm rejecting God's help at the very time I am asking for help.

If anyone has some insight and feedback on this problem, I would sure appreciate it.
-L.
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Unread 01-04-2017, 03:40 PM   #2
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Have you ever read The Road Less Travelled? Maybe check out some spiritual books at your local library?
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Unread 01-04-2017, 10:44 PM   #3
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Hi LauraBeth, I have experienced something similar. We have a good day or a couple of good days in a row and I start to have hope. Then we have a bad day. Sometimes a VERY bad day and I think God is punishing me again. Which I can kind of understand because I've done things in my life that I'm not proud of. But it's my daughter who's suffering and so I have these terrible thoughts of an avenging God punishing my daughter for my past. And of course I react with wild anger at God for taking it out on her and then guilt and fear that she'll be even sicker because I got angry. On the days when things are going well and I have a minute to breathe I realize that this thinking is probably not true. But that doesn't keep me from walking down that same path the next time.
What's the answer? All I can do is keep telling myself that if the faith I believe in is making me feel worse instead of giving me comfort and support then I need to change what I believe. I've started mindfulness and gratitude meditation, contemplative prayer, read a lot of books that deal with keeping hope and faith alive when the world is a dark place.
I don't know if any of these things will help you but they might be worth a try. Because the truth is, you will have days of being sad and anxious again--we all do. It's part of the human existence but it doesn't have to be all of your existence. you will have good days too. And right now your fear is sucking the joy out of your good days when they do happen.
Mindfulness meditation may allow you to live in the moments when you are happy and content, worry less about the days when you might feel sad and give you more happy days. There are free guided meditations on YouTube if you want to try it out. In the meantime, I'm sending thoughts of peace and healing your wsy
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Unread 01-05-2017, 12:08 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Little Cat View Post
Have you ever read The Road Less Travelled? Maybe check out some spiritual books at your local library?
Hi LC, I read The Road Less Traveled when I was nineteen - many years ago! I ordered it from my library and will reread it on your suggestion, so thank you.
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Unread 01-05-2017, 12:13 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MommaD View Post
Hi LauraBeth, I have experienced something similar. We have a good day or a couple of good days in a row and I start to have hope. Then we have a bad day. Sometimes a VERY bad day and I think God is punishing me again. Which I can kind of understand because I've done things in my life that I'm not proud of. But it's my daughter who's suffering and so I have these terrible thoughts of an avenging God punishing my daughter for my past. And of course I react with wild anger at God for taking it out on her and then guilt and fear that she'll be even sicker because I got angry. On the days when things are going well and I have a minute to breathe I realize that this thinking is probably not true. But that doesn't keep me from walking down that same path the next time.
What's the answer? All I can do is keep telling myself that if the faith I believe in is making me feel worse instead of giving me comfort and support then I need to change what I believe. I've started mindfulness and gratitude meditation, contemplative prayer, read a lot of books that deal with keeping hope and faith alive when the world is a dark place.
I don't know if any of these things will help you but they might be worth a try. Because the truth is, you will have days of being sad and anxious again--we all do. It's part of the human existence but it doesn't have to be all of your existence. you will have good days too. And right now your fear is sucking the joy out of your good days when they do happen.
Mindfulness meditation may allow you to live in the moments when you are happy and content, worry less about the days when you might feel sad and give you more happy days. There are free guided meditations on YouTube if you want to try it out. In the meantime, I'm sending thoughts of peace and healing your wsy
MommaD, Thank you for your kind and thoughtful post. I agree with what you posted: 'All I can do is keep telling myself that if the faith I believe in is making me feel worse instead of giving me comfort and support then I need to change what I believe.'

What a wise thought. It really hit me as true.

I have practiced mindfulness, meditation, and various Buddhist techniques for 30-odd years. When I was younger they helped a great deal; now, I struggle with the concepts because they don't seem to help. I just keep returning to my grief over losing so many loved ones. Following my breathing is usually helpful, though.

I am so sorry you're struggling with things. Deep inside, I know that God is a loving God and does not want to punish us. If only we can get our fear-minds to accept that!!
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Unread 01-05-2017, 01:45 PM   #6
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Perhaps look at some things around the gift of trauma ( there are books ). Do you see a therapist ? My trauma led to a spiritual emergence. But there's a balance ,as William Blake tells us " Man was made for joys and woe , and when this you rightly know , through the world you safely go ".
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Unread 01-05-2017, 01:59 PM   #7
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Thank you, Out There. I appreciate your post, and the Wm. Blake quote. Very good!

I live in a town with very few therapists. I am on a waiting list to see one of the them. Tomorrow I have an appointment with my GP & I am going to beg & plead for her to speak with the therapist for me to get an appointment sooner. It's very frustrating to have to wait like this. This winter my precious sister and my dear cousin died, both of cancer, both too young. I really need a therapist to talk with.
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Unread 01-05-2017, 09:40 PM   #8
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Default Re: Spiritual PTSD

LauraBeth,
I can't believe how alike some of our experiences are. My first round of depression sorted years ago when my beloved little brother died in a ridiculous car accident 2 weeks after his wedding. My dad died 2 months later--they say heart attack but I know it was of a broken heart. That pain is hard to deal with. They were both good men and good people--something this world needs more of--and I miss them still. The pain never goes away but it does quiet down to a full roar after a time. According to my therapist, this kind of loss leads to the uncomfortable realization that our own time here is limited and that also contributes to the pain, depression and anxiety. Could be.
I hear you about meditation--I also quit for a time because I thought it was too impersonal. I wanted a God I could relate to. Instead, when my daughter became ill, I found myself saddled with the vengeful God of my childhood religion and I'm working hard to leave that behind. But it's sooooo tempting to go down that path because something inside says if you're good enough, atone enough then bad things will stop happening. And that just isn't so. Appreciate any insights or suggestions the group has on how to get past this. Until then, I guess we walk this road together
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Unread 01-06-2017, 08:19 AM   #9
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I don't really know what to offer as a suggestion but do you mind if I say a prayer for you? Please let me know.
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Unread 01-06-2017, 08:37 AM   #10
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Barbells, not sure which one of us you're speaking to. But as for me, Please feel free--I'll take all the prayers and good thoughts people send my way, and thank you!!
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