Today in a one on one meeting with my former supervisor (now fellow account team member) he made a comment to me that shifted my perspective with a rush of incredible clarity. “You see things in black and white, but you need to know what will actually sink your ship.”
The purpose in this statement was that while I am excellent in identifying potential red flags with a development project, all issues are immediately classified as “Red Alert”. I can fully appreciate the irony in the fact that my PTSD driven tendency to always be watching for potential dangers and pitfalls makes me good at risk aversion in my job. That said, he had a wonderful point in that I really do waste a lot of energy on problems that crop up in life (and work) on issues that don’t end up even putting a dent in my metaphorical ship, much less a leak.
Ultimately, I think the most interesting part of this revelation was that for the first time, I saw attributes of my PTSD as something that has become part of me in a positive way. I’d spent almost two weeks feeling as if I was mourning the loss of the girl I was before, the girl who’s life changed at the hands of others and who would never be the same. Then a simple comment shifted my perspective. Sure, there are still ways that it interferes with my life in a very real way, but I was suddenly able to see PTSD as just a part of who I am, not what defines me. Instead of viewing it as something that I needed to cut out, eradicate, I have started to mold into something useful, to control it. To make it not only something I can live with, but a skill that makes me greater.
I have started to think, is my PTSD really something that sank my ship? Or am I stronger for learning how to control it?