Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder…that is one heck of a diagnosis when your family doesn’t “believe” in mental illness so to speak. Yet, there I sat in the doctors’ office-venting my frustrations & concerns of my medical status when she agreed with what others had suggested- I have PTSD. Even after receiving my letter of disability rating from the VA, I had a tough time identifying myself as a victim. How did this happen? How do I explain myself to my parents? Will I be the same ever again?
Now, almost a year later- I’ve begun to speak out. Initially embarrassed, my PTSD does not stem from combat related stress, which caused me to feel like such a failure & thus, not share my frustrations. There is such a HUGE shadow of ignorance cast around victims of PTSD (which is the case for MANY mental diagnoses that the general population is unfamiliar with). We can’t be trusted, we could go off at any minute, a LIABILITY. Many also believe the ONLY way to get PTSD is from war (oh how I wish this was true). Our stories are all unique, we are all different. The truth of the matter is the only thing you can loop ALL people diagnosed with PTSD into being is a SURVIVOR.
I’ve been searching for a long time on how to give back to my community. Volunteering is something I’ve loved since a girl participating in BBBS bowl for kid’s sake. Recently, an opportunity to blog has presented itself to me. I couldn’t be happier to share my story with you. The only way we can combat our loved ones from becoming another statistic is by banding together and sharing our knowledge- for that is true power that no one can take away. Today I promise you all to share my knowledge, both as a survivor & as a military caregiver. I want you to walk hand in hand with me during my now lifelong journey as we learn together how to overcome.
1 person taking their life a day is too many in my book. It is my honor to work with PTSD Projects to help these strong survivors to learn that they are NEVER alone & that they are LOVED. Sometimes, the darkness envelops us so much it is hard to hold onto that. If you are reading this please reach out- there is a whole team behind this website that is ready to help you; whether that capacity is taking care of someone with this diagnosis, or it’s yourself that needs help.