You may be able to lock it away in a room in your mind, but as time goes by and life happens, the door to that room will crack open. As it opens wider, all manner of thoughts and feelings rush at you from every direction.
This may happen at night while you are trying to sleep, or it can happen during the day, sneaking up on you. Your breath becomes shallow, and you become hyper-aware of your surroundings.
Rationally, you know that you are okay. You know that you are in a normal setting and as that darkness continues to settle around you and the heaviness weighs down upon your shoulders; it has the power to bring you to your knees.
You fight the weight of the darkness. You do your best to focus. What do you see? What do you hear? You must work so hard to focus. Your hands clench and muscles tense.
Breathe. Smile. Do not let anyone see what you are going through. You have become a master at disguising all that is going on within your mind and body. Take a deep breath and look around, people are standing in groups having normal conversations, no threat. Focus, listen. Ah, there it is, you hear music. You know the song and softly hum along with it.
Move forward. Keep that smile on your face. There you go, you got through that one. This may happen occasionally, or it can happen daily when you least expect it. The effort that it takes to keep control is so very tiring at times, and yet sleep is elusive. You know when you fall asleep, dreams will come, and in those dreams, you will fight another battle.
Dawn arrives. You have slept for three hours. It is the start of another day. Do not look in the mirror. If you look in your own eyes, you will see the tiredness and the sadness that lies within.
You are alone. There is a storm within you. You often wonder if there is an anchor out there somewhere. A person who does not fear the storm but is willing to chase it, one who is willing to be present with empathy. The storm settles. You have done it; you have made it through another day.
No one chooses to have PTSD. It alters your life and how you view the world. It becomes a part of you and you of it. An invisible scar. It is exhausting, and yet, each person who lives with PTSD is a warrior fighting battles no one sees. There is tremendous strength in that. Make no mistake, there is strength in that.