Re: [jski123] PTSD from Accident - Solutions?
I've had two ski accidents that have left me with permanent scars. The second one involved some forgotten lessons from the first accident. Both have had long-term impacts on my life and my risk appetite. But nothing as severe as what you went through so I offer this with a grain of salt.
It sounds like your body has mostly healed, but your mind/spirit (whatever you want to call it) still has a ways to go. Just like you shouldn't stress a broken bone until it's healed strong enough, or exercise a torn muscle until it's rested, you shouldn't force yourself to take on more fear than your mind is ready for. Different parts of you will heal at different speeds. You're trying to lift 1,000 lbs when you should be using exercise bands.
I've known people who have taken 5, 10, + years off from an adventure sport because they just weren't ready to enjoy returning to it. That's OK, because the key point is about returning to it. Meanwhile, there are a lot of other great adventures to be had that can help you grow as a person, and prepare you for re-entry.
Scars, physical and psychological, affect your limits. Physically it could be a joint's range of motion, or stability. Mentally it could be your tolerance / appetite for danger, or your ability to "keep your shit together." Physical therapy is the gradual process of building up your strength and remodeling your scar tissue. Mental therapy does the same for your mind.. it's gradual, deliberate, sometimes a few steps forward, a few steps backwards.
I'd start with a sober re-assessment of, out of your activities? If experiencing high exposure is something that you feel is really important to you, think about why it's important to you and what you're willing to do... and to risk... to regain it. Make some goals for long term, middle term, and short term, but make sure they are goals you truly want and not the goals you assume you wanted. Talk with others who have recovered. Consider a therapist, and try to find one who understands adventure sports. You may discover that, having seen some of the most severe risks the sport can offer, the new you just doesn't find it worth it any more. That's OK too (and you'd be in good company).
Start really, really basic, and do things specially designed to boost your confidence in safe environments. Most people didn't just start soloing 2000 ft walls, they started on top rope at a 5.easy crag. Go to the mental gym and train-- try martial arts, meditation, Feldenkrais, yoga, bouldering, endurance sports, teach rock climbing, travel, take flying lessons, whatever floats your boat-- and do some self-exploration without putting artificial pressure on yourself.
And enjoy the journey. Good luck.
"This is not normal" - John Oliver