Four Little Letters

Four Letters
It’s incredible just how much impact four little letters can have. When collected as a word, their weight can shape how the reader feels or understands the character to feel - Love, Hate, Lust, Rage, Cool, Heat, Cold, Pale. Of course, there’s always the familiar idea that the four-letter word represents the sort we would never use in polite company, and the idea that sex is one of the most fun three letter words -- but it really needs a few four letter words to properly describe it.

One particular collection of four letters has recently crept into my life. What it captures has been present for a number of years, but it is the label that the letters represent which is new. They’re not so much a word as much as they’re a diagnosis. Some might see it as a life sentence, but I’m not so sure about that at the moment. Ambivalence is probably the way I’m looking at it right now.

PTSD.

A lot of what’s been happening over recent years now makes more sense. I can see its effects in my writing, even if I didn’t know why things were getting worse / harder to do / the written word was taking on a darker tone. I can see its effects in my updates to this blog. I can see its effects in my family. I can see its effects in me.

Sometimes having a label to describe what’s going on is important. In this case, it opens up the pathway to correct treatment, understanding, and management. The idea of a cure doesn’t seem to be present, other than the hope that it may resolve itself with time. In the case that it doesn’t, the chemical and therapeutic interventions are meant to make it manageable and allow at least some semblance of a normal or stable life and reduce the impact of the episodes when they do strike.

It was RU OK day here in Australia yesterday (second Thursday of September), and it is a good reminder to stop and ask those around us “Are you really okay?”, and to listen for the heart-felt response. You might be surprised at the burdens those around you are shouldering in silence.

What does the future hold? No one really knows, and we’re not really future-planning at the moment. It’s more of a one-day-at-a-time type of approach. I do feel the call of my muse to keep writing, so I hope that it will form a part of that future.