I also wrote a list of ten ways to be nice to myself and treat myself as someone worthy of respect:
1. Not getting down on myself when the nerves of my shoulders scream at me that the person behind me (even a friend, someone I trust) is a threat, someone who will attack me. Recognising that this is my limbic system – the same wonder of the human brain which kept my ancestors alive for thousands of years – trying to keep me safe.
2. Not getting down on myself when nightmares terrorise me. Not getting down on myself when I can’t do what I want to do because of fear, or flashbacks, or dissociation, or simple fatigue. Giving myself a break occasionally and recognising that PTSD is an illness just like a cold, and that sometimes I just need to give myself some TLC.
3. Being kind to myself when I make mistakes. Remembering that I am a mere human, and that I am not perfect.
4. Acknowledging my failings and things about myself that I’m not proud of, and seeking to understand them without hating myself for them.
5. Allowing myself to play the string game with Maggie the cat without worrying about what I should be doing. Doing fun things occasionally, like watching cool movies.
5. Getting early nights sometimes, and sleeping in when I can. Without feeling guilty.
6. Eating well and not polluting my body with sugar or alcohol – except when it’s self-care, and then it doesn’t count.
7. Buying a book if I want it and I can afford it.
8. Really enjoying my singing rather than worrying about it. Nothing bad will happen to me if I screw up.
9. Telling people if I’m not ok, and letting them take care of me.
10. Seeking to nourish people and uphold them as utterly worthy of respect – and seeking out people who nourish me, and uphold me as utterly worthy of respect.
I’m not very good at a lot of these. But practise will help – and I will become a better human being.