I want to let other sufferers of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) know they are not alone and that there is healing power of telling my trauma story. 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. I stopped taking care of myself. 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 felt ugly and scary all over, inside and out.
During my first marriage, I was deployed to Iraq. While over there, I found out that my husband had a girlfriend and they were spending my money. I was so broken. I went home for a while to try to sort affairs out. It was such a mess. I could not believe someone who said they 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 it’s toll on me. This is when my PTSD started creeping in 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. Unfortunately, my struggles with PTSD 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 could not even hold up a marriage. This added more fuel to the fire for me.
My PTSD manifested slowly over time, and I wasn’t aware 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 was 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. I shut out everyone including my family and friends. I made death threats to certain family and friends. To avoid going to jail, I was forced to attend an anger management class. The class only seemed to make me angrier. 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. 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.
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. One of my good friends who is a Mental Health Provider talked with me about getting evaluated for PTSD. I finally got the courage to talk with a professional about PTSD. With the help of many professionals and people who cared, I was able to get the help I needed to my road of recovery and healing.
I began my weight loss journey by walking, which led me back to running again. I began to make healthier food choices daily. I talked with my mental health provider often and the therapy helped me to slowly recover. Shortly after that, I was diagnosed with the disorder. I also attended several different group healing classes. Associating myself with motivating, positive, successful, caring, loving people changed my life for the best. After about six months, I lost 60lbs. My health issues disappeared, and I was happy again.
My experience with the struggles of PTSD inspired me to help you who have similar stories. I care and I want to help you. I am here to offer you a chance, to hold your hand and walk beside you. I want to help you if you will allow me. I am that person who that wants to give you a chance. I want you to live your life to the fullest and be the best possible you.
I regret not getting help sooner. Perhaps I could have saved myself and many others from much heartache and despair. I am glad to be here to be able to tell you my story. I want you to know you are not alone. There are caring and loving people out there that are ready and able to help you. It is never too late. My mission, aspiration, and purpose are helping people with similar experiences, help those to overcome their obstacles to a full, rich and abundant life, be and advocate for them and giving them the support they need. I want people to know your life and the lives of those you love!