I feel fear and wait for it to disappear

Charlie Adley

Double Vision with Charlie Adley

A couple of weeks ago I described myself here as “twitching around like a post-traumatic fart in a colander.” I wish I hadn’t. Those souls who suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) do not deserve to be the butts of cheap one liners.

Especially as right now I’m suffering many of the symptoms of the condition.

I’ve not got the whole megillah, as thankfully I’ve had no nightmares yet, and if you met me out and about, you’d say I’m in blinding form.

Unlike others with PTSD, I’m positively enjoying my public and social life, until something triggers another unexpected nadir, creating a fear-driven compulsion to rush back home and feel safe.

That I do, and then I don’t feel safe.

Between my ears there’s a particular madness going on. Thankfully I recognise it. We’ve met before.

I still feel the fear it creates, but I’m able to understand it, which is incredibly helpful.

I was lucky, because the first time I experienced this fear, a supremely qualified friend of mine explained what was wrong with me.

He fought in the Falklands War, and has seen and done things nobody ever should. His life has been ripped apart by PTSD.

Back in 2001 we sat smoking rollies, drinking strong sweet mugs of tea, dunking chocolate biscuits.

“Yeh, well, it’s like I sit at my kitchen table, mate, and I know I’m incredibly perfectly safe, rural west of Ireland, y’know, but I don’t trust it. It feels like someone or something’s going to come along and take it away from me … or take me away.”

“Oh yeh. Post-traumatic to fuck, mate.”

“Nah! I’ve not been in a war or a crash or anything.”

To read Charlie’s column in full, please see this week’s Galway City Tribune.

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