If you’ve read my blog, or followed me on Twitter or Facebook, for any length of time, you’re probably aware that life has not been too kind to me or my family over the last few years. And you are probably aware that as the year 2014 was ending, I was in a very dark place and I was considering ending my life. Obviously, I didn’t. I can’t express how thankful I am for the messages of love and support that came in from all of my DOC friends and family at that time.
In mid-January, I was reading a blog post written by my friend Mari Ruddy, in which she mentioned her experience with PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) stemming from her experience with cancer, and how that led to an attempt to end her life. As I sat there thinking about Mari’s experience in comparison to mine, a light bulb flashed on in my head. The “Ah Ha” moment.
“Could I be dealing with PTSD, too?” I thought. So, the research began. I spent quite a bit of time reading up on PTSD, it’s symptoms, causes, treatments, etc… on my own. Knowing that I needed help, I reached out to someone that I knew I could trust and depend on, and who happens to work in the mental health field. My dear friend Ashley. She was able to provide a lot of good information about PTSD in general, as well as tools for coping with and treating it. All of which has been a huge help. Thanks again, Ash.
The answer to the question is yes. After a great deal of personal research and many consultations with my doctors and mental health professionals, it has been determined that I do, in fact, have PTSD. It stems from my diagnosis with congestive heart failure and it has been exacerbated by a number of other traumatic events in my life.
As for what I’m doing about it? Well, I’ve spent the last couple of months trying to educate myself and develop coping mechanisms to help deal with things. I’ve found a couple of really good workbooks with guided exercises to help with the healing process. In general, I’m just trying to get back on the wagon and stay focused on doing what’s best for me.
I’ve got a long road ahead of me, but for the first time in months, I can actually see the road. For that, I’m thankful.