There isn't one way to live your life; there are many ways in which to live and we have choices available to all of us in the way that we think. PTSD appears to limit a person's future because it shackles us to the past, but this is an illusion. Just because we can't see the future, doesn't mean it doesn't exist. Discovering tools that bring you into the present moment can not only help to alleviate stress, they can also help you to discern what the future may hold for you. How can you see what's potentially in front of you if you can't see that the door your standing behind that you think is closed, has actually been open the whole time? It's the power of perception that plays with us.
Flashbacks are a good example of this perception. What we see, we believe to be real and our fears about it are quite real, but the images themselves are not real. They are an illusion too that does not exist physically in the moment. They are simply a movie reel playing through our mind. When we become wise to it, stare back at it, and let it know that we know it's not real and can't hurt us, the perception shifts.
Illusions are many with PTSD but they lead us to great perception of ourselves and what we choose to subscribe to. They can highlight the parts of ourselves that block us from moving forward. What is it that scares us? What is it that prevents us from stepping outside? What is it that frightens us about being in a crowd?
I always say, allow the questions to rise, they will eventually lead to breadcrumbs on a path that help you to better understand yourself and help you take a step into towards your future. There's no need to live just like everyone else, there is just a need to understand yourself, harness your fears, and be respectful of where you've been. Judgment comes in many flavors and many times it comes from inside of us too. Never fear fitting back into the box from which you came from before your injuries or trauma....you don't need to be in that box. You've entered a new box, just check the walls because these ones aren't real. They are the product of our fears and when we realize it, the world around us begins to open up and becomes a bit less threatening.