Skip to content

Wounds Need Air

Last week I was a bit hard on myself. I am a trauma survivor living with complex PTSD. This impacts my life both personally and professionally. And my therapist has been on maternity leave since the beginning of the year. Too often I forget to be kind to myself, though I am hypervigilant to the emotions of others. I recalled a recent interaction on twitter that I found so valuable:

having a stable childhood is a professional privilege I don’t see discussed much. if you’ve been alone, or hungry, or afraid — it affects you into adulthood. your life experiences feed into how resilient you are to change, how safe you feel, how much risk you can take.

With Anil Dash chiming in and pointing out a satirical piece he had written several years ago. My tech career started early, at the age of 18. Throughout my career and adulthood, I have been resilient but also alone and afraid, and feeling unsafe and like I can take very little risk. Particularly as a single parent supporting a special needs child (now young adult). The past few years I have been gaining more insight into my behavioral patterns but also beating myself up about them. It’s a work in progress.

This past week some very relatable instagram posts that were brought to my attention.

And this

View this post on Instagram

I live with complex ptsd. I’m also an addict in recovery. I gravitate toward behaviours that ease my nervous system distress, that help me ‘check out.’ Social media is one of those things. Social media is designed with the intention of creating addiction, using a process called ludic loops. It’s the same thing that happens in gambling addiction. The behaviour is repeated over and over looking for the small hits of dopamine it sometimes produces. Social media also offers a dissociative escape where we can check out of our bodies and our lives. I try to be gentle with myself and practice a harm reduction approach. It’s okay for me to use coping strategies to deal with my c-ptsd. But I also want to live a full and vibrant life so part of my recovery is gently looking at the places where I still check out or engage in addictive behaviours. I just started reading How to Do Nothing by Jenny Odell and it is a breath of fresh air and just what I’m craving right now. I can bring awareness to my relationship to social media and begin to gently shift it in service of my recovery. 🖤🖤🖤 Phone scrolling can be a dissociative response. Phone scrolling can be a way of ‘checking out’ and coping with overwhelming nervous system states. Social media is designed to be addictive, using a process called ludic loops, that keeps us stuck in a cycle of repetition and small reward. For people with trauma ludic loops can be especially gripping. We can be begin to notice the role social media plays in our lives, without shaming ourselves for using a coping strategy that works for us. With growing awareness of how we use social media, we can begin to shift our relationship to it, if that is desired.

A post shared by Clementine Morrigan (@clementinemorrigan) on

And that sent me down the rabbit hole of ludic loops. Always, so much information to consider. But my goals remain the same. To figure out how to use my time more productively, while also being kind to myself.

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *