Post-traumatic stress has been described as a normal response to extraordinary traumatic circumstances.
What exactly does that mean?
My personal understanding of it is this. Our life experiences, whether good, bad, or indifferent must be processed. When we are in a position where survival and basic human instinct are required of us for safety/survival reasons, we must respond quickly and accurately for the safety of our person and others. The un-processed material of our emotions regarding the situation are logged for a later date. The later date can come whenever the brain deems necessary. For some it can be fairly close to the time of the experience, for others, symptoms seem to lie dormant for a year or more or maybe it's a matter of the symptoms not being obvious enough to cause alarm. The timeline is quite personal and the material is also quite personal. How it manifests in our lives is often very much connected to everyone around us because it can affect basic human behavior, sleep patterns, relationships, parenting, daily functioning, organizational skills, health condition, physical condition, and jobs, among other aspects of our lives. Being as PTSD can lie dormant for some time, it has been my experience that it is sometimes either not recognized by the person that has it or not fully acknowledged. This sometimes seems to lead to a period of feeling as if things are slowly crumbling around you. Some feel they are just plain going crazy and can't figure out what is going on with you. It's a very confusing time and often leads to a lot of frustration for the person who has it and the people who love them and want to be close to them again. The confusion and frustration that set in can make a person feel like they aren't in control and don't have a choice in their own life. Meditation can be the choice a person makes from day to day to turn inward. It can be the tool that is used to help facilitate a focus. It can be five minutes a day or 5 hours a day. Even five minutes of meditation in the morning before you leave the house can give you a feeling of being prepared for your day. It can help you to feel rooted in your life.
Symptoms are sometimes seen as an intrusion or interruption to our daily lives. They can be considered something that is not normal because they often times seem to wreak havoc in many areas of our lives, but what if we began to look at symptoms as a processing of dormant material that simply needs to be released from our bodies. This process of processing and releasing seems normal when we relate it to the good experiences in our lives, but it suddenly doesn't feel so normal or comfortable when it has to do with experiences we'd much rather forget. This is where meditation can act as the bridge between our mind and our bodies. It can be used as a tool to help support already ongoing medical care, as a way to reconnect us with the present moment. It can help us to feel more engaged in our life and more at ease in our own skin. It has been shown to reduce stress levels, alleviate pain, and reduce tension in the body. Consider the possibility that your body and mind have been calling out to you, but the symptoms of post-traumatic stress, combat stress, and trauma were shouting so loudly that you weren't able to tune into the quiet needs of your mind and body.