I am a recovering adrenaline junkie. This is my story. I did not understand the strong connection between my life and the adrenaline coursing through my body until my daughter wrote a high school research paper about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, which was really about her experiences growing up with me.
Yes, I have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). I was diagnosed with this, as well as four other types of anxiety disorder, at the age of 33. My (deceased) bi-polar mother was the root of my PTSD. I have forgiven her, but unfortunately, she was abusive, and she did her toll on me. More unfortunately, no relatives or state agencies intervened. This was before the age of child abuse hotlines.
The point of this blog is not to villanize my mentally ill mother, who cannot be held responsible for what she did to me, but to discuss what it has been like to live my life as an adrenaline junkie.
Adrenaline is a hormone which our body produces when we are under stress. It prepares us for ‘fight or flight‘ response so that we can survive an emergency situation. As a child, the adrenaline rush my body gave me enabled me to hide when my mother was drunk and combative and in a fighting mood. It enabled me to run and hide in a closet, or behind a couch, or to run out the back door and hide in the woods.
As an adult, when my PTSD is triggered by an emotional event which my subconscious interprets as threatening, (and believe me, so many things can trigger me)- adrenaline kicks in. It helps me get ready for fight or flight, so that I can survive. The adrenaline does not know that it is no longer needed, that it is no longer a question of survival.
The adrenaline will never stop kicking in. It will always keep me ready for fight or flight. I owe my life to adrenaline.
- Anxiety disorders (bupa.com.au)
- PTSD – Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (chrissyadventures.wordpress.com)
- Understanding the biology of PTSD (medicalxpress.com)