There was a time when I was diagnosed with PTSD, which stemmed from military service. The mental illness took a toll on my life and health. I went through two divorces.
My passion for running and healthy living just stopped. I gained a lot of weight. I became pre-diabetic, and my blood pressure was very high. I became a different person.
I felt like a monster. I stopped taking care of myself, which caused even more damage. I felt ugly and scary all over, inside, and out.
However, I did bounce back and regained my health and well-being. And today, I want to let other sufferers of PTSD know they are not alone. And that there are hope and healing power of telling my trauma story.
From Where & How It All Started
During my first marriage, I was deployed to Iraq.
While over there, I found out that my husband had a girlfriend and spent my money. I was so broken. I went home for a while to try to sort affairs out, but it turned out to be a mess as well.
I could not believe someone who said he loved me would do this to me. This was so traumatizing for me. The marriage ended up in a divorce. This hardship, along with the ugliness of war, took its toll on me.
This was when my PTSD started creeping into my life. I had no clue I was under attack by this life-threatening mental illness. I thought I was happy and found happiness and got married again.
The Suffering Continues
I had married again, but I was still struggling with my PTSD. This, unfortunately, ended my second marriage. My husband just could not understand the hardships of having a relationship with someone diagnosed with PTSD.
He had enough, and my damaged mental state ran him out. This was so devastating for me. I felt like a total failure. I said to myself that I could not even hold up a marriage. This added more fuel to the fire burning within me.
My PTSD manifested slowly over time, and I wasn’t aware of how much I was changing. People had to tell me that something was not right with me. My patience in everyday life grew shorter and shorter.
I got so frustrated over things when they did not work out or go my way. I thought everyone was out to get me. I felt attacked every day. I honestly believed my life was cursed because of the things I had done.
I thought GOD is punishing me for joining the Army, going to war, having an abortion, and my sinful nature. Every person around me became an enemy and irritable to me. I ended up hating people.
The Situation Got Even Worse
After my condition worsened, I shut out everyone, including my family and friends. I made death threats to certain family members and friends. To avoid going to jail, I was forced to attend an anger management class. The class only seemed to make me angrier, to be honest.
I thought about how I could die by suicide. I thought about it every day and often. I closed myself inside my home and did not want to leave, ever. I didn’t want to see a human.
I became physically sick due to my mental state and developed disabling migraines. I felt that no one cared about me. I felt left out since most family and friends thought I was crazy.
I was so angry that no one understood me and tried to help me. I felt so very alone. I felt that reaching out for help was a weakness. I felt ashamed and scared. I didn’t know where to start, where I can go for help.
I felt so hopeless and helpless that no one was able to help me. I felt the whole world was against me, so why even get help.
After Constant Pain, Things Begin To Change
As a Veteran, I heard about maybe being able to use the VA.
I knew very little about the VA. I usually only heard horror stories about going to the VA. I did not trust going to the VA. One of my good friends, a Mental Health Provider, talked with me about getting evaluated for PTSD.
The turning point for me was the unhealthy amount of weight I gained. I did not like the way I looked and felt. I was too young to have the health problems I was having.
Also, it was the failed marriages and relationships I experienced. I was not a happy person, and it was like walking on eggshells. I finally got the courage to talk with a professional about PTSD. I started working on my own condition, I realized that the only way I can win over PTSD is by fighting back.
My consistency, an itch for change, and my own betterments caused me to change and gather the scattered pieces of me that I had lost over the years to rebuild myself back.
Moreover, with the help of many professionals and people who cared about me, I could get the help I needed to go on my recovery and healing journey.
I’m telling my story to you all because I don’t want anyone to give up or lose hope. There’s always a way. No matter how hard the circumstances may seem, it all gets better if you just don’t give up.